Gear Review – Nitecore NU43 headlamp

When I looked at the now-classic NU-25 headlamp, I found it light, capable, and effective. A headlamp that works well for the myriad of chores needed for backpacking and some night hiking in a pinch.

However, it’s not meant for continuous night hiking or where you need much illumination. It does not last relatively long, either.

It’s good for what it is.

But if you need, or want, a longer battery life, another headlamp will fit your needs better.

And what headlamp may fit the bill? Another Nitecore headlamp, for sure. In this case? The NU43 headlamp.

Flashlight Go,” an online store specializing in flashlights, provided the headlamp to me, and I tested it over the winter.

I’ll let the Nitecore website give the stats –


LED White Light, Red Light
Maximum Brightness 1400 lumens
Peak Beam Distance 142 yards
Peak Beam Intensity 3400 cd
IP Rating IP68
Impact Resistance 2 m
Dimensions L-3.14″x W-1.81″x H-1.73″
Weight 4.09oz



Turbo 1400 Lumens – –
High 600 Lumens 10 hr
Mid 300 Lumens 15 hr
Low 100 Lumens 29 hr
Ultralow 8 Lumens 165 hr
SOS 1400 Lumens – –
BEACON 1400 Lumens


Constant-ON 10 Lumens 66 hr
Slow Flashing 10 Lumens 90 hr

What does all this mean in the real world?

It means it’s a bit heavier than the NU25, esp modified (4 oz vs. 1 oz) and bulkier,  but it’s far brighter, has a more intense beam, and lasts longer. The light is also very weather resistant and sturdier seeming, too. As with all headlamps I use now, it’s rechargeable and uses an internal battery.

It works well for any situation where you need a long-lasting headlamp that will work well for long nights in winter, emergency use when the vehicle breaks down, car camping, or more technical aspects such as SAR use, climbing, or similar.

It’s telling that the mid-mode is about a third higher in the output of the NU25, with a much longer battery life of 15 hours vs. 5 hrs.

I found the Nitecore comfortable to wear, and the two-button setup makes it easy to switch between modes. It’s the simple RED LIGHT / WHITE LIGHT setup I prefer, but rather a one-button configuration for the light type of red vs. white and another button to set the brightness. Easy enough to use once you get used to this system.   As a fantastic bonus, the USB-C input charges the headlamp much more efficiently.

The headlamp costs $60, but it is competitive for a headlamp with these features.

PCO Joan. Using the redlight mode at a quick camp before a backpacking trip.

Overall and use case?

Unless you plan on deep winter backpacking and need a very long-lasting headlamp, this headlamp is overkill for most people’s needs. More technical pursuits will appreciate the relative lightweight compared to similar headlamps in the class, along with durability, brightness, and long-lasting battery life.

For my use, I certainly appreciate the duration of the battery time for those longer and earlier winter nights when Joan and I made camp on a jeep road somewhere before backpacking. And it makes an excellent headlamp to stash in the vehicle for emergencies. Though not cheap, it is not expensive compared to similar choices.

If you have similar needs, the NU43 by Nitecore continues its tradition of providing well-designed quality headlamps for a reasonable price.

Disclaimer Flashlight Go provided the headlamp for my review.

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John Yates
John Yates
1 year ago

Sounds like a good headlamp, but it lacks one feature that I value: the lamp’s rechargeable battery apparently cannot be removed and replaced. I have a headlamp whose rechargeable battery can be replaced with AAA batteries in case it gets depleted. I have the advantages of mostly using a rechargeable battery while having a backup option.

John Yates
John Yates
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Mags

If I were doing much SAR work, I’d probably use a different strategy, but I’ve only been involved in a few serious rescues in 50 years or so. The real-world situations I have most often experienced are having the headlamp turn on in my pack, my having failed to recharge it, and just having the lamp stop working (not a battery problem, but see below). You probably manage to avoid those situations, but I’ve experienced them all and expect to again. The backup batteries I carry are lithium AAA cells, which have a very long shelf life, don’t weigh very… Read more »