Enjoying the great outdoors is a cherished pastime for most people. They take pleasure in hiking trails, camping, cave diving, and other outdoor activities. In these instances, it's always a great idea to get the best headlamp you can find.
But, why exactly do you need a headlamp? Where do you even get one?
These are some of the frequently asked questions about headlamps. Below we've addressed some basic questions regarding headlamps and their usefulness.
Look at each of the questions we've listed to have some of your questions answered. Then, continue reading to find out which is the best headlamp for you!
1. What Is a Headlamp?
A headlamp is a small LED flashlight. This flashlight is attached to an elastic band that can be placed on your head.
Typically, people slide them onto their foreheads just above their eyes. This helps them to see where they are going everywhere they look.
2. How Does It Work?
Either a button or a switch turns on the LED flashlight. That way you're able to turn it on and off as you need to.
The elastic band that wraps around your head typically has an adjustable strap. This strap allows you to make the adjustments you need in order for the headlamp to fit your head.
3. Why Do I Need the Best Headlamp?
Having the best headlamp is all about common sense. When it comes to safety, one should always use the best quality devices.
Cheaply made headlamps may cost less, but they come with lots of problems. Some require batteries, which means more money over the long term. It also means the headlamp could die unexpectedly.
4. How Do I Wear My Headlamp?
image source: Pixabay
How you wear your headlamp depends on the reason you're wearing it in the first place. For example, if you're going on a night hike, then you might attach it straight to your head.
Some people enjoy wearing their headlamp attached to their hat or other headgear. This allows the wearer to protect their heads and see what's in front of them.
5. Where Can I Buy One?
image source: Unsplash
Most sporting good stores sell a variety of headlamps. A google search of “headlamps near me” renders a wide variety of results. We recommend using a site like Amazon to find your best headlamp.
This site provides customer reviews, so you know what you're getting before you buy it. If you prefer to go into a brick and mortar store, then we suggest stores that specialize in camping. Some military surplus stores have some nice options to offer too.
How We Reviewed
The following products were reviewed based on the following parameters: Features, Pros & Cons, Price, Where to Buy, and Warranty. We've also taken customer reviews into our consideration.
This is the most comprehensive list of headlamps available. Consider the list below to see which on our list is the best headlamp for your next outdoor adventure!
Overall Price Range
As with most products, prices for these headlamps vary. The typical price range is between $ to upwards of $$ per headlamp. Consider the features on the more expensive headlamps.
Some come with rechargeable and removable headlamps. Meaning you can separate the flashlight from its straps and charge it up like you would your cell phone. This is a great convenience that's worth the extra cost.
Other less expensive headlamps are sewn into their straps and, therefore, cannot be removed. Their flashlights may also require specific types of batteries as we mentioned before. The battery types vary from AA to AAA and even button cell batteries.
What We Reviewed
Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp
- One Triple Power LED and 1 Double Power LED can combine to emit up to 300 lumens
- One Double Power Red LED for night vision has proximity and strobe settings
- low-profile design uses three Black Diamond AAA Rechargeable Batteries or standard alkaline or lithium batteries
- Programmable Brightness Memory gives you the option to set the light's brightness when first turned on
- Three-level power meter shows remaining battery life for three seconds after switching on headlamp
Considered the best headlamp overall by its users, the Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp is a great option. It's even waterproof, which is great for the outdoor explorer.
It also includes a double power LED red light for night vision purposes. This is a great feature to have when camping, as the brightness from a standard LED light can be harsh on the eyes at night.
This headlamp is also programmable. So, you can set your desired brightness to get the right amount of light every time you turn it on. This is a great feature for those that are more sensitive to the light's brightness.
When it comes to the brightness of the Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp, you can expect 300 lumens of power. That's all thanks to the triple power LED light built inside. Owning a headlamp with lumens that guarantees you can see far and for longer periods of time.
This product requires the use of AAA batteries. You can either purchase a standard set or snag a pair of Black Diamond's rechargeable batteries. The average lifespan for this headlamp is about 175 hours before its batteries need to be replaced.
The warranty for this headlamp is limited. It covers any issues that directly result from a manufacturing error. This warranty also only lasts one year from the date of purchase.
Black Diamond ensures they will cover the cost of repairs as well, so long as it meets the requirements.
VITCHELO V800 Headlamp
- The VITCHELO V800 headlamp flashlight is SUPER BRIGHT, you can see up to 360 ft (110m), and unlike most headlamps, it has 2 SEPARATE BUTTONS FOR THE WHITE and RED LIGHTS so you don't have to cycle through one to get to the other. It's critical to have a red light (and 2 provide more output than one) to PRESERVE YOUR NIGHT VISION. Make Reading more practical. Perfect for alerting drivers without blinding them. Super convenient, this CREE headlamp TURNS OFF WITH JUST ONE PUSH of the button.
- COMPACT, COMFORTABLE & LIGHTWEIGHT head light for your head. The elastic headband strap is soft, wide, fully adjustable, stays put, very good quality and comfortable to wear for long periods thanks to the cushion in the back of the head flashlight against your forehead. It weighs only 4 ounces (with batteries) YOU WON'T EVEN NOTICE WEARING IT. Can be tilted up or down to avoid blinding people. Great hands-free headlamp led, well made and highly recommend!
- LONGER BATTERY LIFE & WATERPROOF - Because we use leading CREE technology, you get more light with less power consumption. Unlike many other head lamps for adults and kids that drain batteries quite fast even when not in use, you can count on our headlamp with red light in case of emergencies. The 3 AAA batteries included will run up to 120 hours on low light settings. Plus our headband light is WATERPROOF IPX6, it will survive rain and cold temperatures (avoid submerging underwater though).
- A BIG HELP WHEN THINGS GO WRONG - Considering the possibility of being caught out after dark in the backcountry with an injury or failed gear, our headlamp red light will make a significant difference. Best headlamp for running (long distance runner), jogging, reading, camping, hiking, backpacking, astronomy, walking your dog, hunting (since deer can't see red), DIY work around the house, or any outdoor activities. Better than flashlight since the light goes right where you turn your head at.
- TRY IT FOR 60 DAYS - Your flashlight headlamp is covered by our LIFETIME limited WARRANTY and 60-DAY, no-questions-asked, MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE. Well built, great craftsmanship, lightweight, good battery life, attractive... Our red light headlamp will meet or exceed your expectations. Get and/or gift one today!
The VITCHELO V800 Headlamp offers a super-bright LED light that allows its users to see up to 360 feet ahead, making this the perfect option for those who like to see very far ahead of them.
Two separate buttons on the top of this headlamp allow you to switch between LED lights. This model offers both a red for night vision and a regular LED. It's a great feature to have because it lets you quickly switch from one light source to another.
If you're traveling with a group, use the tilting feature on this headlamp. This way you can avoid blinding others around you while maintaining enough light for everyone to see.
VITCHELO spares no expense for the comfort of their headlamps. The adjustable strap is made of a soft elastic that feels like you aren't wearing it at all. It also comes with extra padding behind the flashlight, so it's comfortable all the way around.
This headlamp is great for those long hikes through the woods. It's even great for cave exploration either alone or as a group. So, if you're in the market for comfort and flexibility that's affordable, then this is the best headlamp for you.
Where to Buy
VITCHELO offers a great warranty for their headlamps. They're covered under a lifetime limited warranty. Like all limited warranties, this covers replacement of the headlamp if it's defective.
The company offers a 60-day money back trial period for this product. If this isn't the best headlamp for you, just return it and get a full refund no questions asked. That's a great deal, especially for new users.
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
- One Quad Power LED and one Double Power white LED emit 300 lumens
- Settings include full strength in proximity and distance modes, dimming, strobe, red night-vision and lock mode
- PowerTap Technology allows instant transitioning between full and dimmed power
- Brightness Memory allows you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting back to full power
- Waterproof; Protected against water immersion down to >1m (3.3 ft) for 30 minutes (IPX 8)
Black Diamond prides itself on this model of their headlamps called the Spot. It offers a few different features and is known for being super bright.
As with the other model we've shown here, the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp require AAA batteries. Some retailers include Black Diamond's brand of rechargeable batteries with your purchase. Just like the other Black Diamond Headlamp, its battery life is 175 hours.
They've also included a lock mode in the design. Turning on the lock will prevent your headlamp from flicking on and off should it bounce around in your pack. Lock mode also prevents your batteries from draining since it won't be clicking on and off.
A beam of light that reaches about 262 feet is what's in store for its user. This lets you see a great distance away. They've also included the red LED night vision option. The Spot headlamp also comes with Black Diamond's Spot Technology.
This allows you to tap your headlamp to turn it on. Having this option allows its user to cycle through the different light modes on the headlamp.
Where to Buy
All Black Diamond headlamps are covered under the same warranty. A one-year limited warranty that covers factory defects. If the item can be repaired, the company offers to pay for the cost of those repairs. You must select a technician of their choice prior to having it serviced.
This is a great option for those who already know what the issue may be but do not want to replace their product. As with most warranties, be sure to keep your proof of purchase.
Shining Buddy LED Headlamp Flashlight
- 4 SETTINGS: High beam, low beam, red beam & red flashing. Easily change between them with a single switch. Lamp swivels down 45 degrees. 3 AAA Batteries Included!
- ULTRA-LIGHTWEIGHT, Non-Bobbing: You get long-lasting comfort that is ideal for DIYers, handymen, mechanics, runners and others.
- HANDS-FREE LIGHT Whenever You Need It. Shines ultra-bright (110 Lumens) and bulb lasts up to 100,000 hours. FREE E-Guide Included!
- AFFORDABLE QUALITY: You'll love the price and the fact that every head lamp is individually tested, so you can be sure it will arrive in good working order.
- 100% SATISFACTION, MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE Not happy with your headlamp? Just return it to Shining Buddy within 90 days for a no-questions-asked refund.
Another great headlamp is Shining Buddy's LED Headlamp Flashlight. It's durable, easy to use, and it's cheap. Shining Buddy has taken a more economical approach to the headlamp.
This headlamp offers a variety of features without being too pricey. It's a fantastic option for those who are camping on a budget.
The headlamp consists of 4 light modes; high beam, low beam, red light, and flashing. Just click the button on top of the flashlight to switch between the 4.
Made from a sturdy material the Shining Buddy LED Headlamp Flashlight can take a beating. It's also waterproof which is great if you get caught out in the rain.
Like other standard headlamps, this one requires three AA batteries to operate. Retailers on Amazon offer a fully charged headlamp, so it already comes with the batteries it needs.
You can also adjust the headlamp angles if you need to. This headlamp offers a 45-degree adjustment, so you can tilt it upwards and downwards as needed.
Shining Buddy is very proud of their headlamps. Each one is individually tested to ensure it works. This headlamp is backed by a 90 Money-Back Guarantee, so if it's faulty, you get your money back no questions asked.
Your headlamp must remain unused and in its original packaging to receive your full refund. Sale items are not refundable, and exchanges are optional under certain circumstances.
It's important to take good care of your headlamp since there is really no warranty here. Should it become defective after the 90-Day Money-Back Guarantee expires, you'll be forced to purchase a new one.
Petzl - NAO 575 Lumens
- RECHARGEABLE: no need to carry around extra batteries. Headlamp runs on an 2600 mAh Lithium-Ion battery with an integrated USB port for convenient charging
- 5 HOUR CHARGE TIME: with USB cable
- COMPATIBLE: with Alkaline and Lithium batteries
- REACTIVE LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY: headlamp automatically adjusts brightness to the needs of the user, offering a maximum of 575 lumens
- COMFORTABLE: adjustable headlamp for optimal comfort
The features on this Pretzl NAO 575 Lumens headlamp makes it the best headlamp on our list. It's durable and water resistant, making it perfect for the regular or even professional outdoor explorer.
The rechargeable flashlight eliminates any need to spend extra money on batteries. It's powered by a lithium-ion battery, so it'll last practically a lifetime.
In its brightest setting, the light burns for about 2 hours before needing to be recharged. On its lowest setting, the battery can keep the light on for well over 50 hours of continuous use.
Petzl created Reactive Technology for this lamp, so it adjusts to the user. This means when you're looking forward, it will use the brightest setting allowing you to see far away. Should you turn to look at your phone or a map, the built-in sensor detects this and adjusts the light.
The lightweight feel of this headlamp is just another reason why this is the best headlamp. Users of this product have boasted that this headlamp is far lighter than the standard. Having a headlamp that's lightweight is great, especially for those long hikes.
Petzl offers a great 3-year warranty for material and manufacture defects. Your headlamp will have to be returned to Petzle's designated After-Sales Service shop to be examined prior to warranty activation.
It's important to note, you must make sure you don't rub off the serial number. If it is, then your warranty will be considered void.
Odear Lie Wang Headlamp
- Super bright light:professional level and high brightness LED headlight?wide lamp cup of the irradiation range, long shots 2600 feet?800 meters?
- The built-in rechargeable batteries, lithium electricity 9000 milliampere battery capacity, full of electricity can light illumination 8 to 12 hours at a time, weak light 10 to 16 hours, battery and lamp life 100000 hours
- Adjustable headband, lamp holder can move up and down, you can take it and handheld head?Waterproof function (can't dive) to adapt to the damp environment
- Brightness options: 2 model (strong and weak light)?Long shots function; Perfect for garden,patrol, tactical situations, hunting,fishing, camping etc
- PACKAGE INCLUDE - 1 x headlight, 1 x wall charger, 1 x USB charger 1x headband.
Are you looking for an enormous spotlight geared more for professional wear? Then Odear Lie Wang's headlamp might be an option for you. Pushing out a startling 10,000 Lumens, this headlamp lets you see up to 2,600 feet.
This is a fantastic option for professional use, as they require more powerful headlamp flashlights. Two adjustable straps attach around the sides and top of the head. The top strap helps to support the weight of the headlamp.
It's a great feature because if the headlamp is heavy, you'd have to wear a hat to support that kind of weight. An adjustable headlamp allows you to tip it upwards and downwards at an angle of 45 degrees.
This is perfect for those who need to adjust the height of their lamp so they can see. Say goodbye to batteries with this model because it has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 16 hours. It even comes with a wall and USB charger, so you can charge it anywhere.
Unfortunately, this product is not covered under any warranty. Retailers have their own return policy, so be sure to check it out prior to purchasing.
There may also be an option from some retailers to purchase a warranty from them directly. If this is an option for you, it is a wise investment should anything happen to your headlamp.
Black Diamond Icon Headlamp
- One Quad Power LED spotlight and 1 Double Power white LED emit 500 lumens (max. setting)
- Brightness memory allows you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting back to full power
- Red, Green and Blue night vision modes cover the spectrum of night vision needs
- Three-level power meter shows remaining battery life for three seconds after switching on headlamp
- IP67: waterproof and dust proof-best for saltwater and extremely wet or dusty environments. Unit is completely sealed and tested to operate up to 1 meter underwater for 30 minutes
Black Diamond continues to amaze us with its Icon Headlamp. This light is packed with features making it stand out from other models by the brand.
A 500 Lumen powered flashlight lets you see up to 500 feet in front of you. That's almost as many Lumens as the headlight of a car! Seeing far ahead of you in the dark will never be an issue again with this headlamp.
When it comes to night vision, the Icon sets the standard. Red, blue, and green LED lights are the options you get to choose from, letting you see in the dark in a variety of scenarios. A feature like this is perfect for professional tactical use.
Water-resistant casing lets you take your Icon as deep as 3 feet into the water without damaging it for up to 30 minutes. This is ideal for people who enjoy more dusty and wet outdoor activities.
Besides all of its other wonderful features, the Black Diamond Icon Headlamp contains a rechargeable battery. A feature that isn't an option on the other Black Diamond Headlamp models we've shown here.
As with its sister models, the Black Diamond Icon is protected under a 1-year limited warranty. This protects the materials and manufacturing of the product.
Should there be any issues, just show your proof of purchase. Black Diamond will proceed to either fix or replace your headlamp entirely.
Nite Ize Inova STS Headlamp
- Multi-mode, dual LED color headlamp featuring a simple touch activated user interface - Swipe-To-Shine
- ANSI/NEMA FL1 Standards-Light Output: High 142 Lumens, Low .2 Lumens
- 1 white high power LED featuring 5 modes (high, variable dim, medium, strobe and lockout)
- 2 Red LEDs for preserving night vision that features 5 modes (high, variable dim, medium, strobe and lockout)
- Battery Type: 3 x AAA alkaline replaceable batteries (included)
Designed to take a beating, this Nite Ize Inova STS Headlamp has a polycarbonate body. It's the same material used to make those scratch, shatter, and dustproof products.
Its LED flashlight offers a 50-degree adjustable headlamp allowing you to get more precise angles. You can tip it upwards and downwards to your liking.
There are two red LED lights built into the headlamp itself. A single regular LED light is built into the headlamp. Both lights have 5 different mode options.
High Beam, low beam, variable, medium, and flashing are the options. A lockout mode for each light is also included. This feature helps to preserve the life of your headlamp, so you get the most use out of it.
You'll need a set of AAA batteries to operate this lamp. Some retailers offer to throw in the batteries with your purchase. This means you must replace them unless you purchase a rechargeable pair.
Nite Ize offers its customers a "Worry-Free Guarantee". This covers all factory defects for the lifespan of the product. Your headlamp will only be covered if you've purchased it directly from Nite Ize or an authorized retailer. Be sure to check with the retailer before you buy it.
Petzl ACTIK Headlamp
- HAVE A LIT ADVENTURE: The ACTIK is perfect for outdoor activities like mountaineering, running, hiking and backpacking.
- BRILLIANT BEAMS: Multi-beam headlamp designed for proximity lighting, movement, and distance vision. White and red lighting for nocturnal stealth.
- TURN YOUR BRIGHTS DOWN: Features red lighting that preserves night vision and keeps from blinding other members of the group.
- NEVER GET CAUGHT IN THE DARK: Lighting modes include Max Autonomy, Standard, Max Power, Proximity, and Strobe. Ranging burn times 60 hour on Max to 260 hour on Max Autonomy.
- CHARGE IT UP: Every ACTIK includes three standard batteries, and is also compatible with the CORE rechargeable battery (sold separately).
This Petzl ACTIK Headlamp puts the safe in safety. A reflective headband is just one of its safety features. This headlamp also comes with a built-in whistle.
They've attached it to the adjustable strap, so all you have to do is slide it off and use it. The red LED light helps to guide you at night time.
Perfect for those who like to forage for firewood and food at night. It also comes with a multi-mode white LED light for a variety of settings.
You'll need 3 AAA batteries to operate the headlamp. This gives off about 300 Lumens and lasts about 260 hours. A headlamp like this one is perfect for long camping trips.
The Peztl ACTIK Headlamp is considered a hybrid, meaning it can also take a rechargeable battery. Petzl's CORE rechargeable battery can be added to this headlamp for longer use. This battery, however, is sold separately.
Petzl warranties are all 3-year limited warranties for all their headlamps. Their products must be purchased by an authorized retailer to apply.
The warranty covers the headlamp from any defects. This includes both material and manufacturing issues that occur when in use.
COAST FL85 615 Lumen Headlamp
- TWIST FOCUSING OPTIC: The simple Twist Focusing system goes from an Ultra View Flood Beam to Bulls-Eye Spot Beam.
- DUAL COLOR: The FL85 includes white and red LED light options. The red LED light preserve night vision.
- ADDITIONAL FEATURES: Reflective strap for added visibility, hinged beam light adjustment, and hard had compatibility (clips included).
- SPECS: Light Output: 615 lumens (high), 330 lumens (med), 96 lumens (low). Runtime: 2.15 hours (high), 3.45 hours (med), 13 hours (low). Beam Distance: 183 meters (high), 139 meters (med), 77 meters (low).
- TOUGH & RELIABLE: IPX4 rated design for water resistance and 1-meter drop protection. Backed by the COAST Lifetime Warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.
The COAST FL85 615 Lumen Headlamp is ideal for more technical work like foraging. It comes with a couple of features that sets it apart from the rest.
An adjustable focus lens allows you to narrow your view and target a specific area. The lens switches from a wide view to spotlight just by twisting the headlamp.
Red and white LED lights give you sight in all dimly lit conditions. This is perfect for a variety of settings, like cloudy days and night hikes.
A reflective elastic band offers you comfort. Its reflective coating lets you become visible to others. COAST truly considered the safety of its users with this feature.
Its durable casing protects this headlamp from drops up to 3 feet high. It's also water resistant for up to 3 feet in the water as well. So, go and venture off into those wet and muddy areas because this headlamp can take it.
As far as warranties go, COAST has the best headlamp warranty around. This product is backed by a lifetime limited warranty. This protects the product from any factory defects during manufacturing.
It also protects the elastic material for the headband should it be faulty. As always, be sure to keep your proof of purchase and always buy from an authorized retailer.
image source: Pixabay
If you're looking for a reliable headlamp, you don't have to look too hard. We've answered some basic frequently asked questions about what makes the best headlamp.
Cheaper headlamps are great for beginners as they tend to use it less often. As we've seen, cheaper doesn't always mean made cheaply.
Each of the more affordable options we've shown has almost all the same features as more expensive models. The pricer models offered a few extra features, though, like an extra adjustable strap to hold the flashlight in place.
Some also offer rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that can be used again and again. They also offered LED lights with higher Lumens, which lets you see farther away.
Both styles seem to come with a standard comfortable strap. Each headlamp also included multiple modes of light to choose from including night vision.
After looking at each of the models, it's easier to determine which is the best headlamp for you. If you're more interested in a sturdier, more professional light, then you might like the Petzl Nao Headlamp.
However, if you're just looking to try a little rainy day hike, then grab a Shining Buddy LED Headlamp to enhance your experience. All of these headlamps have one thing in common, and that's safety.
Every single one of the headlamps we listed is designed to keep you safe in the dark, in the rain, or a cave. So, be sure to get the best headlamp for you because a safe outdoor experience is a great outdoor experience.
Featured image source: Pixabay