Bontrager’s Ion Pro RT achieves the gold standard combination of a high-lumen output with a consistent and well-focused beam pattern.
The yellow beam produced does not appear to be the brightest when viewing the night shots, but it creates a warmer light without glare that is easier on the eye. Plus, the quality of the beam is very even with no obvious ‘stepping’ or hard edges.
The distance reach is excellent and there’s enough spread to give good peripheral vision without leaking too much light upwards, so less risk of dazzling pedestrians or other road users.
There are five modes that allow you to run at three lumen outputs from the full 1,300 to 800 or 400 as appropriate – dialling down will extend the battery run-time too. It also includes day time and night time flashing modes that enhance visibility.
A feature that is unique to this Bontrager light is Bluetooth compatibility, which means if you use a Garmin you can control the light from that as well as monitor its battery life.
Small amber lights positioned on the sides increase visibility at junctions with joining traffic – enough to be seen but not so bright that they create a distraction for the rider. Control is via a large central button for on/off, or cycling between modes if you’re not linking to a Garmin.
This is a slim unit that doesn’t hog space on your bar. The mount was easy to fit, with a simple hand-tightened hinged clamp that has an integral rubber bar-protector. It’s a small detail but it made it so much less fiddly to fit and there’s no chance of losing it.
There is a reassuringly positive click when sliding the light onto the bracket, while a raised grip pattern on the sides makes it easy to remove, even with gloved hands.
Together with the quality of the light, it’s the considered detail like this that elevates the Ion Pro RT.My only gripe is that there is no lateral adjustment – the light is fixed in one position on the bracket – but that feels like a minor objection to what is an otherwise incredibly well-specified and designed light.
Belting out enough lumens for confidence on unlit roads with little traffic, it transitions well to a more urban environment, and in contrast is bright enough for off-road use too.
If you regularly switch between bikes and terrain it will work as well on your commute as on weekend club outings or mountain bike night rides.
The Bontrager Ion Pro RT is a powerful, versatile, solidly constructed light that I definitely recommend.
How we tested
With winter on its way, now is the time to review your bike lights setup and invest in a new set if your lights are weak or you’re in need of an update.
So we’ve put nine sets of the best front lights for around £100 to the test.
Other lights on test:
- Blackburn Dayblazer 1100
- Cateye AMPP 1100
- Exposure Sirius MK9
- Knog PWR Road
- Lezyne Macro Drive 1300XXL
- Magicshine Allty 1000 DRL
- Niterider Lumina 1200 Boost
- Ravemen PR1200
|Price||AUD $190.00GBP £100.00USD $125.00|
|Weight||178g – including mount|
|Features||Lumens: 1300 Lux (5m at full beam) 323
Run time (full beam): 90 minutes
IP rating: 4
Battery capacity: 4900 Li-Ion
Modes: Five including day flash / night flash