Nitecore NU43 Review (2024 Upd.) Good But With a Few Quirks

Last Updated on April, 2024

Dependable headlights are hard to come across, and I’m sure you’ll agree too.

But at first glance, the Nitecore NU43 seems to be that jackpot choice. 

So, is the world’s lightest headlamp really a dependable headlight? To find the answer, I stuck to my usual procedure; I ordered a unit anonymously and tested it in multiple ways — and guess what? I have the answer.

This is the ultimate Nitecore NU43 review, where you’ll find EVERYTHING you need to decide.

So, read through everything carefully, and you should be fine.

Let’s start with the specs sheet of the Nitecore NU43.

 Overall: 4.6/5.0
4.7
Brightness
4.6
Beam Distance
4.6
Runtime
Features
  • 1400 lumens max output
  • IP68 dustproof and waterproof rated
  • 2m impact resistance
  • Sleek battery level indicator
  • Nine operational levels altogether
  • Near-center gravity bucket for stable wear
  • SEE WHAT’S MORE
Brand Info
  • Nitecore is a Chinese brand
  • Nitecore was founded in 2007
  • Nitecore has won awards for their products’ design and functionality
  • Nitecore is known for its innovative designs and advanced technology
  • Nitecore flashlights are made with high-quality materials
Product Benefits
  • Lightest flashlight – easy to wear on head
  • Comfortable weight and dimensions
  • Simple user interface with two buttons
  • Sensor protection function to avoid overheating
  • Lockout mode to prevent accidental activation
  • Maximum beam distance of 130m

Specs of Nitecore NU43

Flashlight Type Headlamp
Dimensions79.8mm x 46.1mm x 43.9mm (3.14″ x 1.81″ x 1.73″) Weight:  116 g / 4.09 oz
Light source2 x High-Performance LEDs
Max output: High mode1400 lumens
Max beam intensity3,800cd
White lightTurbo: 1,400 lumens
High: 600 lumens — 10h
Mid: 300 lumens — 15h
Low: 100 lumens — 29h
Ultra Low: 8 lumens — 165h
Red lightConstant-on: 10 lumens — 66h
Slow flashing: 10 lumens — 90h
White lightSOS: 1,400 lumens
Beacon: 1,400 lumens
Longest beam throw 498m
Max battery life100 hours (4+ days)
No. of modes6
Rechargability typeUSB-C
Battery typeRechargeable 18650 li-ion battery (built-in battery)
Average charging time2 hours
Waterproof ratingIP68 (2m submersible)
Impact resistance2 m

What’s in the Box: Nitecore NU43

Items Inside the Nitecore NU43 flashlight box
A human holding Nitecore NU43 flashlight
NU43 flashlight charging cable
NU43 flashlight user manual

>> Click here to checkout yourself <<

  • Nitecore NU43 x 1
  • USB-C charging cable x 1
  • Headband x 1
  • User Manual x 1

Nitecore NU43 Review: Key Features

Dimensions and Build Quality

Nitecore NU43’s USP (unique selling point) is that it’s the world’s lightest flashlight, and it’s a great idea because there are so many headlamps known for their performance but borderline too heavy to wear on your head.

For starters, the NU43 weighs only 4.09 oz (116g) — the perfect weight that doesn’t hurt your neck in the long run.

This low weight is complimented by the dimensions 79.8mm x 46.1mm x 43.9mm (3.14″ x 1.81″ x 1.73″).

So, the light is also not so bulky that it hinders smooth and comfortable maneuvering. Thanks to the polycarbonate and aluminum alloy, it will last longer by design.

NU43 flashlight

After all, the light looks so modern and perfectly crafted.

The headband plays a crucial role in a headlamp. NU43’s headlamp is skin friendly and widened by design, and that’s just the start. It features a hollow structure for lightweight comfort, and that’s why its overall comfort is superior.

The headband flexes reflective strips to alert pedestrians, vehicles, and night; that’s covering the safety covers. 

To finish things off, NU43’s headband also has a concealed silicone strip to divert sweat to the sides. Not only that this keeps you safe from headaches, but it also avoids sliding the headband.

Near-center gravity bucket is another integrated design feature that makes the NU43 better. This design allows for small rotation torque and short displacement when adjusting the headlamp. That dramatically reduces the pressure on your forehead from the lower edge of the bracket.

You know what I mean.

Because of this perfectly crafted build quality, wearing the NU43 without shaking during intense exercise will be more stable and comfortable. 

Besides, you can quickly adjust it with one hand to choose the desired lighting angle.

The bracket is 72 degrees all-around adjustable and can be adjusted upward quickly. That helps you avoid direct lighting on staff in aid stations.

With the signature black and yellow color scheme, Nitecore’s team has gone out of their way to design and deliver the BEST experience with the NU43 headlamp.

The verdict? Nitecore NU43 is a perfectly crafted headlamp with the impressive and comfortable build quality.

User Interface

Unlike other flashlights, the user interface of headlamps should be simple. After all, you can’t see anything, and you can’t spend a lot of time on that as well.

Nitecore has figured it out with the NU43 for sure.

It’s a straightforward user interface with two buttons; the mode and the power buttons.

The only common feature is their surface; a slightly dotted embossment surface increases friction in slippery conditions.

The power button is larger than the mode button. I’d say about twice the size difference. 

NU43 flashlight on a table

Nitecore NU43 boasts two light colors, white and red, in addition to SOS and beacon modes. There are five brightness levels in the white light and two in the red. I’ll explain more about their individual performance stats as we go.

Let’s focus on the user interface for now — here’s how it works.

You can double press the power button when the light is turned off to access the lowest ‘ultralow’ mode. With each click on the power mode, you can cycle through the modes. But at the level before the Turbo, you should double-click the button to access the highest turbo mode.

What if you wanted to switch to red?

If you want to switch to the red mode, you can simply press the mode button once when the flashlight is still turned on. That will turn on the constant-on mode. You should press the power button once to turn on the flashing mode.

To switch the SOS mode on, double-click the mode button and press the power button once to switch to the Beacon mode. The difference in the light behavior is very prominent, and you’ll understand when you try it out.

You’ll also notice the sudden jump in the brightness, and this is because the SOS and Beacon modes run at the maximum output — 1400 lumens.

Finally, you can hold the power/main button to turn off the Nitecore NU43, and that’s that.

NU43’s user interface is comprehensive, thanks to the sleek battery level indicator. 

There are constant-on blue LEDs underneath, not on the surface that touches your forehead. Four LED lights mean that one light is equivalent to 25%. You can easily access the battery level indicator by clicking the mode button once the light is turned off.

The lockout mode is the user interface’s cherry on top, which was pretty impressive for a headlamp. For any mode, except for the Turbo mode, you can hold the power and mode buttons for a moment, and the mode will lock. To turn it off, you can double-click the mode and power buttons again.

In conclusion, the Nitecore NU43’s user interface is comprehensive and simple, which is exactly how it should be for a branded headlamp.

Lumen Output 

As you read earlier, there are three main modes; white, red, and special modes. In the white light mode, there are five brightness levels. 

The lowest ultralow mode emits a comfortable 8-lumens light. 

This 17cd light is ideal for outdoor or indoor situations when you want to illuminate the surroundings while disturbing the night the least. 

Above the ultralow mode is the low mode that emits 100 lumens (notice the ten-fold lumen jump here), and it comes with a light intensity of 230 cm.

The lumen difference is significant enough, increasing the headlamp’s value.

NU43 lumen output

Then comes the mid mode, which runs with 300 lumens. With a three times increment from the low mode, the (almost) same happens to the light density. Mid mode emits 700cd.

Above the mid mode is the high mode with a lumen output of 600 lumens. This bright light is ideally the brightest light of the flashlight you can use for hours. The corresponding candela intensity is 1500cd, and it’s impressive.

At the highest level (turbo mode), you get 1400 lumens for the max output. The powerful Li-Ion rechargeable battery makes it possible.

That’s about the regular white light modes. But before I talk about the red mode, let me outline the True Vision+ technology embedded in this powerful light.

This technology ensures a smooth and soft spotlight, utilizing a unibody optical lens system with a transmission of over 94%. It’s very comfortable for the eyes compared to the conventional hotspot light.

The cherry on top is the wide-range flood beam of over 100 degrees angle.

When we look at the red light, it has two modes; constant-on and slow flashlight. It’s a very comfortable and smooth light, perfect for map reading and night vision. 

You could also use it for nighttime photography without hindering night vision.

Both modes come with 10 lumens, and the only difference is the runtime, which you’ll read shortly.

Nitecore NU43 also features two special modes with white light with the same 1400 lumens output. These SOS and Beacon modes work perfectly and aren’t similar when functioning. 

Before I move to the next section, I must emphasize its highly efficient constant current circuit (Non-PWN) light that guarantees continual brightness without a flashlight — it’s quite comfortable for your eyes.

Battery, Runtime, and Charging

At the lowest ultralow (white light) mode, the peak runtime of the NU43 is 165h.

That’s almost seven days when you keep it turned on constantly. So, practically, the flashlight could last for months in the ultralow mode.

At the low mode, above the ultralow mode, the NU43 will run for 29 hours. Given the ten-fold lumen jump from the ultralow mode, it’s pretty decent.

I’d recommend the low mode for everyday work easier.

Then comes the mid mode that boats 15 hours of runtime. The mid mode is for those who are unsatisfied with the low mode.

NU43 Flashlight

600 lumens high mode is very impressive in terms of the runtime of 10 hours. The built-in Li-ion rechargeable battery is strong enough for that.

Although the runtime of the highest turbo mode is not specified, it’s about 30 seconds. The device gets very warm until the ATR (Advanced Temperature Regulation) lowers the brightness.

But rest assured, these runtimes for a headlamp are quite impressive. 

So, that’s it about the regular mode.

The red light of the Nitecore NU43 runs either as constant-on or slow flashing. 

The runtime for constant-on is 66 hours (about two and 3-quarter days), and the slow flashing runs for 90 hours (about three and 3-quarter days.)

The SOS and Beacon modes do not have runtimes, but I trust these run longer than 7 days (ultralow runtime) — I didn’t check them exclusively.

What about the built-in Li-ion rechargeable battery?

This legendary headlamp has a built-in 3400mAh 18650 Li-ion battery that ensures stable output throughout the day. A built-in battery for a headlamp has ups and downs, but this one outperforms the typical standards.

Nitecore claims the light will fully charge in 2 hours, thanks to its USB-C rechargeable nature.

Additionally, you can use the NU43 while charging it, and it takes only 40 minutes to charge from 30% to 80%. Nitecore claims this is 50% shorter than the charging time of similar headlamps.

You can charge the headlamp conveniently with a USB-C charging cable. But remember that these performance stats depend on the used charging cable too. That’s why you should use the one in the package.

On top of that, the NU43 also features a rotating protection cover that makes the USB-C charging port concealed, safeguarding it from dust and impact resistance — how thoughtful of Nitecore?

We also discussed the battery level indicator under the user interface section. So, I won’t elaborate on it other than that it’s very useful.

Beam Distance

Ultimately, you need the best balance between the brightness AND the beam throw. Nitecore understood this fact long ago; the NU43 is another great example.

Let’s start with the white light (regular mode) settings.

The ultralow mode that runs for a week has a 5m beam throw. That’s why you could use this to see just ahead of you when you’re tight on juice and can’t recharge anytime soon.

The low mode jumps up to almost four times the lowest mode with a beam throw of 30m. This beam distance with sufficient brightness justifies the low mode’s suitability for everyday work.

A Human wearing a torching headlamp

At least it’s my choice.

The mid mode of Nitecore NU43 boasts a beam distance of 53 meters. Although I’m tempted to say the beam distance gap is not impressive, I cannot disregard the lumen gap between mid and low modes.

The high mode allows the NU43’s beam to reach up to 77m, which is still amazing, given its brightness.

At the top, the turbo mode throws for an impressive 130m distance. This massive beam throw helps the NU43 stay ahead of the competition amongst other headlamps easily. 

Why so?

Because not only that this headlamp has a massive beam throw, but it’s very comfortable for the eyes. The unibody optical lens system with various facets for reflecting a uniform and soft light is the secret to that.

So, the Nitecore NU43 is a dependable headlamp whose beam distance varies between 5m to 130m — that’s impressive.

Special Features

Not always do I get to elaborate on the special features of flashlights or headlamps, as they are pretty standard.

But the NU43 has a sensor protection function. When this built-in optical sensor protection function detects an obstruction ahead, the brightness will automatically lower to avoid overheating. 

It’s such a blessing, given how warm high-performance headlamps like the NU43 can get. 

On top of that, you also get a lockout mode where you can lock both buttons to prevent accidental activation effectively. 

Resistance Against Water, Dust, and Impact

Headlamps are typically used for outdoor work. Even if it was indoors, the working conditions might expose the device to different hazards.

On top of that, integrating resistance against water and impact for branded lights has become an industry standard. 

That’s why the Nitecore NU43 is IP68 rated. The number 8 means that the headlamp will be found under 2m of water for about 30 minutes.

The number 6 means that the NU43 is fully dustproof.

Remember that this is different from IPX8, that aren’t dustproof.

flashlight charging port

You don’t have to worry about accidentally dropping the NU43 since it has a 2m impact resistance. But you probably shouldn’t check it yourself.

That’s all about the Nitecore NU43 headlamp — let’s look at what NU43 customers say.

What Do Customers Say About Nitecore NU43?

So, what do customers say about this headlamp? 

Nitecore NU43 customer testimonial 1

A.W. reviews the headlamp emphasizing its importance for a camper, predicting that it will last for one and a half decades.

Nitecore NU43 customer testimonial 2

Howard here gives an excellent overall review on the flashlight with five stars.

Nitecore NU43 customer testimonial 3

Justin has the NU43 on his head all day and rates it by five stars; that’s how reliable the light is.

With that concluded, let me share MY experience with this headlamp.

My Experience With Nitecore NU43

It had been a while since I had a headlamp, so I was excited to check the NU43.

The headband’s quality was the first thing I checked out as soon as I took it out of the box. The fabric feels AMAZING, is slightly stretchable, and has all sorts of features on the inside surface to increase comfort.

Before I wore it, I wanted to check all the lighting modes, so I took it outside.

The user interface is straightforward once you get the hang of it; it took me only three times, and I knew what to do. You can hear the ‘click’ when you press the switches, and the surface bubbles sure increase friction, and it’s comfortable.

What about the light? Mind-blowing. The TrueVision technology makes a massive difference from average flashlights (yes, I have a few just for comparison purposes), and the unibody optical lens system does a splendid job.

The turbo mode’s max output of 14000 lumens is astonishingly bright light. Even at the ultralow mode, the environment brights up pretty nicely. I started wondering if the beam throw is more than 5m.

I only timed the high mode’s runtime, which was about 10 hours and 20 minutes. I’m sure the performance is the same for other modes as well.

To compliment that, the charging time really is accurate as mine charged in 1 hour and 54 minutes. But since the battery level indicators are quarter-fold, I couldn’t check the 30-80% claim. 

The lockout feature is spot-on in preventing accidental activation, and it’s a blessing.

The sensory protection feature is very useful and works as demonstrated on the page. The response time is quick and works as advertised.

I did test the waterproof aspect, but as always, I didn’t drop my only unit — let’s rely on Nitecore’s promise for that.

Finally, I wore the headlamp and used it for a couple of days. I wanted to see if anything changed under a week, and it didn’t — the band and the placement are incredibly comfortable without costing the performance aspect.

The only two areas to improve are the lack of beam focus adjusting and the limited modes for the red mode.

But when I was taking off the headlamp, I had already come down to my verdict.

The Nitecore NU43 is one of the BEST headlamps that I have ever owned.

Price, Warranty, and Return Policy of Nitecore NU43

human holding Nitecore NU43 and testing it

You just might be surprised that the Nitecore NU43 is only $59.99 as its official price. Given the features it has, it’s a steal.

You also get a limited lifetime warranty from Nitecore with a two-year replacement warranty. If you didn’t already know, the limited lifetime warranty means you get your flashlight repaired for FREE for a LIFETIME — all you need to pay is for replacement items.

Nitecore is very generous, with a return policy valid for 15 days. Naturally, returned items must be the same item in the same condition as originally shipped. It’s a very hassle-free process.

But then comes the biggest question; where to buy an authentic Nitecore NU34?

Where to Buy Nitecore NU43?

As I always tell my readers, the best place to buy a branded flashlight is always the official website. Here’s the link to the official page of the Nitecire NU43 from one of their two official websites — this is where I got mine from.

You also will receive a 10% discount for the first order when you join the Nitecore email list — that makes the Nitecore NU43 only $53.95 from their OFFICIAL site.

RECOMMENDED HEADLAMP FLASHLIGHT

Pros and Cons of Nitecore NU43

Pros

  • Lightest flashlight – easy to wear on head
  • Comfortable weight and dimensions
  • Simple user interface with two buttons
  • White and red light, SOS, and beacon modes
  • Nine operational levels altogether
  • Sensor protection function to avoid overheating
  • Wide over-100-degree flood beam
  • Lockout mode to prevent accidental activation
  • 1400 lumens max output
  • USB-C rechargeable
  • Maximum beam distance of 130m
  • IP68 dustproof and waterproof rated
  • 2m impact resistance
  • Stylish and modern design with black and yellow color scheme
  • Skin-friendly and widened headband with reflective strips
  • Diverts sweat to sides to prevent headaches and sliding
  • Near-center gravity bucket for stable wear
  • Bracket adjustable with one hand
  • Comprehensive and simple dual-button user interface
  • Lockout mode for each mode, except Turbo

Cons

  • No option to adjust the beam focus
  • Only two brightness levels in the red light mode

Nitecore brand’s other flashlight reviews:

In Conclusion: Nitecore NU43 Review

In conclusion, having a reliable and efficient headlamp is an investment. My prime advice is never to compromise quality when it comes to flashlights of any kind — it’s not like you’d have several anyway. 

In that case, Nitecore NU43’s features are impressive and cater to your needs perfectly. With its compact design, multiple lighting modes, and long battery life, the NU43 is a reliable and practical choice for anyone

For that price and the limited lifetime warranty, it’s a steal.

I hope this review was helpful; see you in another!

FAQs

The Nitecore NU43 Headlamp has a maximum brightness of 1400 lumens.

Yes, the Nitecore NU43 is waterproof, dustproof, and has an impact resistance of 2 meters.

There are a total of nine brightness settings (including two SOS and beacon modes and two red light modes) on the Nitecore NU43.

RECOMMENDED HEADLAMP FLASHLIGHT
Nitecore NU43
Brightness
Beam distance
Runtime
Durability
Price

4.7

4.6

4.6

4.7

4.8

Overall Score

4.6

visa, master, amex, paypal
Pros
Skin-friendly and widened headband with reflective strips
Wide over-100-degree flood beam
Lockout mode to prevent accidental activation
White and red light, SOS, and beacon modes
IP68 dustproof and waterproof rated
Get the BEST PRICE until the end of April
Cons
No option to adjust the beam focus

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Author
Dillon Morrison
I have been involved in the flashlight community since 2007. My brother has a flashlight shop from where I have tested and reviewed more than 600+ different types of flashlights. You can find more about me here.

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