Biolite PowerLight Mini Review A compact, versatile light for the front or rear of your bike

One of the first unfortunate lessons you learn as a new cyclist is that while having bike lights is crucial to your safety at all times of day, they are particularly susceptible to being stolen. Most every cyclist has a story of popping into a store for just a moment only to come out and realize that their lights are gone. What hurts most is knowing that the people stealing bike lights are other cyclists. C’mon guys, We are all in this together. 

For that reason, I am a big fan of the BioLite PowerLight Mini. First of all, it works great as a light. It maxes out at 135 lumens for 5 hours, plenty to be seen on the road to and from work. The white light can dim and flash, but importantly, it also has a solid red and flashing red light. You can buy the lights individually or as a pair and each comes with a mounting bracket for handlebars or seat posts.

The great thing about a light being both red and white is that it can be a front or rear. If your rear light dies you can just pop the front light to the back and change it to red to prioritize being seen by cars coming up behind you. The light easily and securely attaches to the mounting system and only comes out with a hard click of the tab on the side. I was particularly pleased that the light even stayed on as I rode my gravel bike down a mountain biking trail. As my saddle bucked around, the light didn’t move at all. The 1350mAh battery charges via USB and also works as an external battery so you can charge your phone for directions while you light up your path home.

The very best part about this light, though, is its slim design. It is relatively flat, no thicker than your iPhone, and only a little bit taller than a pack of Tic-Tacs. They fit in your pocket, so it’s easy to take them off your bike and into the bar or store without having an uncomfortable pocket bulge to see or sit on.

Plus, if you’re not able to bike for part of the year, the PowerLight Mini’s clip works as a stand so the light stays steady on its own at various angles. Set it down, hang it, or even loop it over your breast pocket to use the light instead of a headlamp.

This light is a winner. It fits securely on your bike, lights up what’s in front of you and lets those behind you know you’re there, and it’s easy to remove and carry to make sure no one else enjoys its benefits.

$40 each;