The CatEye ViZ300 is bright enough for almost all applications, offers great viewing angles, and has the battery life to outshine many of its competitors in its price bracket. The mount provided is a little fiddly to fit but you won't find it wriggling free once attached. Details aside, this is a great light for anything from commuting to daytime running on long winter rides.
Solid Battery life
Great brightness and viewing angles
Sturdy mount once fitted
Mount is fiddly
Some flash patterns are a bit much
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Cateye’s ViZ300 rear light is seriously bright for the money, boasts good run times and the viewing angles are up to the mark. It’s one of the best bike lights we have tested and a great option for those looking to tackle some long winter miles.
CatEye ViZ300 rear light: brightness and spec
CatEye treats us to four different modes with the ViZ300, each mode offering an increasing level of chaos! At a constant 30 lumen beam, you’ll get five hours of runtime which isn’t a great deal for daytime running. But the moment you swap out to the 30 lumen flash you’re looking at an impressive 45hrs of claimed battery life.
For commuters going into winter, this makes life super easy, almost fit and forget for a while – at least until the battery indicator in the on button reminds you to recharge. It’s a good job though, because that mount can be a bit finicky to use. More on that later.
The group ride setting is what I found myself using more often than not when riding. It provided me with a good combination of a distinctive flash – going up to 100 lumens – all with a slightly easier on the eye pattern than the quite frankly chaotic ‘Daytime Hyperflash’.
Personally I didn’t find myself using this mode all too often. It’s definitely great to see 10 hrs of battery life even with the 'Hyperflash' peaking up to the full 300 lumens, but I fear that whilst drivers will see you more readily, they may also loathe the strobe-like attack on the retina! Maybe save this for brightest days and when you're riding into the sun.
On all modes, the ViZ300 passed with flying colours on my 'dark test' on a local road. I remained visible with ease up to a distance of 150m+.
It’s also worth noting that especially on the 50 and 150 lumen settings, the difference to another light I have on test that only puts out 30 lumens was really quite significant. Perhaps not surprising, but worth mentioning considering the difference in price.
The 800mAh lithium ion battery also held up well. I flew through two longer 3+hr rides before seeing the low battery indicator and accompanying low power flash mode kick in, signalling one hour left until the battery dies.
CatEye ViZ300 rear light: mountiing and build quality
Now then. That mount.
I can't argue with its security or versatility. It fits aero seatposts and round posts alike, has a long enough silicone band for most circumstances which feels sturdy, and it angles the light up enough for really good viewing angles.
But it sure is a pain to fit. Plus, given the length of the charging cable included, there isn't much scope for just leaving it attached to your bike when topping it up.
The mount itself is made of three components, the plastic click mechanism, the strong silicone strap and the rubber block which angles the light up. My issue is that they are not fixed together - meaning I found myself dropping bits when first putting the light on.
Okay, everything is fine once the mount is on – and with a bit of practise it came with ease – but lose any one piece of the puzzle and that's a new light bracket you're going to have to source.
All that said, CatEye does offer a whole load of different and more permanent brackets – if you have different bikes it might be worth looking into an extra mount or two to save the hassle.
The overall build quality is up there though, and I like the angular style CatEye has gone for on their higher models. It looks at home on a modern aero frame, so won’t be cramping your style for the pursuit of safety (nor performance at only 47 grams)!
One thing I did notice though is still the use of micro USB. With the move of many electronics now to USB C, it would be nice to see companies making this change on bike lights as well. Plus with the higher potential power draw for faster charging, there is an additional upside beyond just being able to plug the cable in either way up.
Still, the three hour charge time of the CatEye ViZ300 isn't too long in any case.
CatEye ViZ300 rear light: value and conclusion
At $39.95 / £39.99, the CatEye’s pricing is really competitive.
Moon's Cerberus rear light costs $46.99 / £35.99, which is probably not worth the extra spend in the USA but in the UK is a viable alternative – it has its own issues with mounting, but not to the same extent as the CatEye ViZ300.
For anyone trooping through gloomy winter miles, or partaking in dark winter commutes, I really recommend a light around this brightness. And saving, in some cases, more than a tenner over the competition at this brightness, I think the ViZ300 is a great option.
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