These days USB rechargeable lights are a dime a dozen. However, not all get it right despite it being relatively simple. Being bright isn’t enough—it’s all the little things that make a light worthy of purchasing. I’ve tried several lights from the Portland based company, Portland Design Works, and have been impressed on mostly all occasions.

 GET SOME: The PDW Danger Zone is your rear guard protection against unwanted entry into your stern.

The Portland Design Works City Rover 400

The Portland Design Works City Rover 400 ($65USD) uses a CREE LED powered by the standard Li-ion battery which is controlled by Texas Instruments integrated circuitry. PDW’s simple Mission Control 2 quick release keeps it locked on your bars when riding and easy to get off when not. Micro-USB rechargable, it has 5 modes to blast the darkforce inhibiting your ride: 100 lumens (10 hrs), 200 lumens (5 hrs), 400 lumens (2.5 hrs), fast flashing (11 hrs) and pulse (7 hrs).

Portland Design Works City Rover 400 In Points Relative To Your Decision Process For Purchasing A Lighting System In The Near Future

  • 400 lumens isn’t crazy, annoyingly bright, nor is it underpowered.
  • The Mission Control 2 mounting system is very easy to use. Just have to make sure it’s locked in and you’re set.
  • Mission Control 2 makes the secondary light release superfluous.
  • The mount doesn’t allow for the light to pivot, something useful for those with uncommon bars.
  • It ain’t small. Not for those looking for something super stealth.
  • Despite its size, it’s still a light, light at 125 grams (4.4 oz voor de heathens).
  • While not a huge issue, it can’t pivot on its mount like other systems I’m currently testing.
  • Button takes some force to depress, which is great as it makes it difficult to activate when thrown into a bag.

First Look: Portland Design Works City Rover 400

First Look: Portland Design Works City Rover 400

What I'm Riding: Portland Design Works City Rover 400
The Portland Design Works City Rover 400 light is a worthy candidate in the mid-powered, urban cycling category. Its battery efficiency and mounting system will appeal to many. However, its larger size and inability to pivot are opportunities for improvement among its competitors. Yet despite that, it's a damn good light and a no-brainer for fans of PDW.
Performance95%
Quality95%
Value95%
Aesthetics90%
Pro Factors
  • Great battery efficiency when compared to other brands.
  • Mounting system is incredibly easy.
Opportunities
  • Not small. Would like to see its size reduced a bit.
  • Can't pivot on its mount.
94%Pro Rating