At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The NiteRider Swift 350 is a decent looking, bright and robust light. It has a secure fixing system and offers a useful selection of brightnesses and sequences.
As the name suggests, the Swift 350 has a maximum output of 350 lumens, alongside a 'day flash' and two other slightly less bright solid beams. I found that 350 lumens was good enough for most situations included unlit road use, although I would stop short of using it on trails.
Changing the sequencing is done through the single button on the top of the unit. It is simple to use by holding down the button for 1-2 seconds to turn it on/off and then 3 seconds turns it to flash mode and then once more after this for the 20-lumen setting.
The main unit is made from fairly thick and robust plastic that seems like it would survive several drops and scrapes. The front is held in place by four bolts, which made me worry slightly about waterproofing, but this wasn't an issue; in fact it survived some truly apocalyptic rainfall without any problems, justifying the FL1 Standard IP64 water resistant rating.
Attaching and removing the light is very simple with a rubber ladder strap. This then connects to a mount that's permanently attached to the light and has a much larger hook than most, making it a breeze to attach and remove. It can also rotate on the base, so you can fit it to a variety of handlebars or have it facing a different direction, which is a nice touch.
Battery life on full beam is a claimed 1.5 hours, but can extend to 21.5 hours when being used at 20 lumens for visibility only. As run-times go these are okay, though it would be nice to have a little longer for full beam. The light also has a built-in battery level indicator, which is essentially a coloured LED within the button at top of the unit – blue for 'it's fine' and red for 'needs charging'. Charging is through a micro USB slot, which is covered by a rubber bung, and it charges within 3 hours. The bung can be a little hard to get back in, but stays in place well once it is.
An RRP of £32 seems about right for a well made and bright light, especially given that many 200-lumen lights from other companies come in at around this price. It also weighs only 80g, which is good for a light of this size and brightness.
Overall, I was impressed by the Swift 350; it brings together decent brightness, good construction and some nice features like the super-easy strap and battery life indicator.
A strong performance at a good price
If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website
road.cc test report
Make and model: NiteRider Swift 350
Size tested: n/a
Tell us what the light is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
A mid-power front light that provides a good level of lighting.
NiteRider says: 'Delivering everyday reliable performance in an economical ultra compact head light. Sporting features like an easy on and off handlebar strap mount, low battery indicator and to top it off, it's USB Rechargeable; making it the perfect light of choice for commuters and cycling enthusiasts.
"Although small in size, make no mistake, the Swift™ 350 packs a big punch with a maximum light output of 350 lumens! Powered by an internal Lithium Ion battery, in Walk Mode, the Swift™ 350 can run for up to twenty one hours thirty minutes before it needs a charge."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the light?
Highly durable design made with fiberglass reinforced plastic
Smooth 350 lumen beam pattern in an ultra compact and lightweight design
Innovative Collimator Lens – optimizes your field of view
Built-in, easy on and off handlebar strap mount
4 Light Levels plus 1 Daylight Flash Mode
Fuel Gauge / Battery Level Indicator
FL1 Standard IP64, water resistant
Convenient USB rechargeable
Well made casing that has managed to survive torrential downpours.
Really easy to use.
Very good, secure and simple to use.
Survived torrential downpours and everything that the British weather threw at it.
Perhaps not the best on the brighter settings, but for visibility alone the 21.5 hours was more than enough.
Seems well made, although maybe having a separate mount could improve life expectancy.
80g for a light of this size and power is pretty good.
Really good value for a 350-lumen light.
Tell us how the light performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, did everything I needed it to with minimum fuss.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the light
The clamping system was really good, simple to use and secure.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the light
The bung for the USB slot could sometimes be a bit of a fiddle to get back in, although it stays there once you get it right.
Did you enjoy using the light? Yes
Would you consider buying the light? Yes
Would you recommend the light to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
A really strong performing light that did everything I needed. Battery life on the highest settings could perhaps be a bit better, but for the price it isn't something to complain about too much.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb,
George spends his days helping companies deal with their cycling commuting challenges with his company Cycling for Work. He has been writing for Road.cc since 2014.
When he is not writing about cycling, he is either out on his bike cursing not living in the countryside or boring anybody who will listen about the latest pro peloton/cycling tech/cycling infrastructure projects.