With 11,500 combined lumen output, the Magicshine Monteer 3500S and Monteer 8000S is one of the brightest and best headlight combinations Magicshine currently offers for mountain biking. Individually, both Magicshine Monteer lights offer impressive output and affordable price points but are even better together. The lightweight Monteer 3500S is ideal for helmet mounting with its long beam throw to see around corners, while the obscenely bright 8000S lights up the trail when handlebar mounted. The retail price of $610.97 for the combination of the Monteer 3500S ($199.99), 8000S ($399.99) and a helmet mount ($10.99) doesn’t sound cheap but at more than 19 lumen per dollar it’s hard to beat. The lights are FL-1 tested with measured maximum outputs of 3500 lumen for the Monteer 3500S and 8000 lumen for the Monteer 8000S. Both lights feature five CREE LED setups with aggressive dual row designs and CNC aluminum bodies for heat dissipation. Although we have reviewed both lights separately, we are excited to see how the combination performs together.
|Retail Price||$610.97 (Combo) – $199.99 (3500S) / $399.99 (8000S) / $10.99 (Helmet Mount)|
|Measured Weight (in g)||392 (3500S + Battery) / 652 (8000S + Battery) / 16 (Helmet Mount)|
|Likes||+ Ridiculously bright + Five LED design provides wide and uniform beam pattern + Compatible with Garmin style mounts|
|Dislikes||– No DRL mode – Confusing number of output modes – Remote switch not available for either light|
|Where to Buy (US)||www.magichsine.us|
UNBOXINGThe Magicshine Monteer lights are each shipped in simple black cardboard boxes with glossy graphics. The headlight and battery packs are held securely in place inside custom foam cutouts at the top of the box with the accessories hidden underneath. Inside the Monteer 3500S’s box you’ll find:
- Monteer 3500S Headlamp
- MJ-6116 7.2V 5200mAh battery pack w/ Velcro straps
- Micro USB to USB charging cable
- Handlebar mount w/ different straps
- Allen key for mount
- Instruction manual
- Monteer 8000S headlamp
- MJ-6118 7.2V 10.0Ah battery pack w/ Velcro straps
- MJ-6272 out front mount w/ handlebar rubber pads
- USB-C to USB charging cable
- Allen key for mount
- Instruction manual
MOUNTINGTo take advantage of each light’s strengths, Magicshine recommends helmet mounting the Monteer 3500S and handlebar mounting the Monteer 8000S. Both lights feature a Garmin style quarter turn mount molded directly into the base of the lights allowing them to be securely mounted. For the helmet mount, the included MJ-6276 has a simple Garmin mount that attaches to a GoPro style connector. This two-piece design allows the mount to be easily tiled upward or downward to optimize the light angle. While the helmet mount is well made, many mountain biking helmets such as the Lazer Jackal MIPS include more integrated GoPro mount options that allow you to skip the Magicshine helmet mount. For the handlebar mounted Monteer 8000S, Magicshine includes their aluminium MJ-6272 out front mount. It’s a well designed one-sided out front mount that puts the light directly in front of your stem and its lightweight aluminium construction doesn’t flex compared to cheap plastic mounts. Note that both lights are wired designs which means you’ll need to save space for the large battery packs. The Monteer 8000S’s battery pack easily attaches to a top tube or downtube with the included Velcro straps. You’ll need to be creative with the helmet mounted Monteer 3500S and either put the battery pack in a backpack or jersey pocket. Magicshine also offers extension cables if you prefer a more remote mount for either battery pack.
FIT & FINISHThose more familiar with the Magicshine product line may recognize the Allty lights as being quite similar to the RN 1200. For whatever reason, Magicshine has chosen to continue the Allty name with these headlights insead of the RN product name. That said, they share the same aluminium housing design, but use sleek graphics on the sides instead of the grooves featured on the RN 1200. The design gives the headlights a more premium feel compared to plastic commuter lights and doesn’t add a significant amount of weight. The Allty 400 is the ‘fun-sized’ variation with a short and stubby design while the Allty 800 is the same length as RN 1200. USER INTERFACE As well as all the Monteer lights in the series, Magicshine has opted for the same simple one-button interface on top of the headlamp. The button is rubberized and is illuminated to show three levels of battery status: green (21-100%), red (6-20%) and flashing red (0-5%). Turning the light on is a short press while a long press shuts the light off. With the light on, a single press cycles through the options within the mode and a double press switches between the modes. There are three primary output modes that a double press cycles through: flood mode (top 3 LEDs), spot mode (bottom 2 LEDs) and a hybrid mode (all 5). Within each mode, a single press cycles through four intensities (10 / 25 / 50 / 100%) and a flashing mode. Note, the battery packs can also be used as power banks to charge other devices. The higher priced Monteer 8000S uses the higher capacity MJ-6118 which has a USB Type-C design while the Monteer 3500S uses the MJ-6116. Aside from the different USB design and capacities, the MJ-6116 has the USB port on the opposite end of the battery cable while the MJ-6118 has both connectors on the same side. There are also clever detachable cables that allow you to disconnect the headlamp connection cable to easily store or carry the battery packs. We found the power bank to be a useful feature to get more use out of the lights when you are not riding.
LIGHT OUTPUTThe Magicshine Monteer 3500S and 8000S feature three primary output modes: spot, flood, and hybrid. The beam shapes are slightly different between the modes, but unless you’re comparing side-by-side photos they are quite difficult to tell apart when riding. Each mode offers four different intensities from eco to high as well as a flash mode for extra visibility. That means each of the Monteer lights has 15 modes for 225 total combinations between the two lights. We found the most useful mode to be the spot mode for the 3500S and the hybrid mode for the 8000S. While the 11,500 lumen output is possible with the lights, we found the lower settings to be more than adequate. In the medium or high the 3500S provides a focused beam that lets you see around the next corner while the even beam of the 8000S lights up the road around the bike. Although both lights heat up quickly due the power output, the aluminium bodies dissipate heat quickly and output is consistent as long as you maintain some speed. The biggest downside of the lights is the fact that you have to cycle through flash modes to change intensities and the sheer number output modes. It’s easy to forget which mode you’re in while riding or have to quickly cycle out of flash mode to adjust the intensity. The large battery packs of both lights do provide great runtimes especially at the mid-level power settings. You’ll also want to be careful about riding on roads with the Monteer lights as neither light has a DRL mode or beam cutoff, so you’ll want to angle the lights downward to avoid blinding others.
THE VERDICTOverall, we found the Magicshine Monteer 3500S and Monteer 8000S to be an impressive mountain biking light combination. With 11,500 combined lumen output the lights are bright enough for even the most demanding trails. The long beam throw of the helmet mounted 3500S makes it easy to see what’s coming around the corner while the handlebar mounted 8000S lights up the road in front of the bike with a wide and uniform beam. The large wired battery packs for both lights also ensure you can ride longer without worrying about running low on power. Although the lights complement each other, we still wish Magicshine offered a remote switch or reduced the number of output modes. Each light has 15 modes which are hard to differentiate from each other especially with the one button interface design. That said, the Monteer 3500S and Monteer 8000S are a fun combination to ride with as they light up the trail.