Top 10 Best Headlamp for Hiking & Headlamp buying guide:
We usually go on weekend trips for camping or some sort of outdoor activities. We all prefer to spend our weekends away from polluted cities and agonizingly noisy areas. The most common problem we face is that such areas lack the necessary nighttime illumination for our favorite night activities.
This lack of lighting poses a particular danger to us or our kids due to the presence of snakes, insects, reptiles, and even wild animals, which might go unnoticed due to insufficient lighting conditions.
In such cases, the headlamps offer valuable help by lighting up the path ahead and exposing any threat which might go unnoticed in the darkness. Unfortunately, although there are many options available in the market, most of them are regular LED lights that are not so cost-efficient and might not even be used for a bit.
Best Headlamp for Hiking
There are instances when even your smartphone or a hand torch would do the job, but headlamps are a boon when you need the light for a long time, and you also need both your hands to be free simultaneously so that they can use for more productive things rather than just holding a torchlight. Scroll to the bottom to get some tips on choosing the best headlamp that most suits your needs.
So, we present you with ten of the best headlamps suitable for all your hiking needs. And not just that, most of the headlamps listed here are multi-purpose and can use for more than one task in more than one way.
(1) Petzl – NAO+ Headlamp, 750 Lumens, Bluetooth Enabled
Petzl is one of the most trusted brands. The legendary Nao+ headlamp has of its kind Bluetooth; app-controlled operation feature, which makes it stand out from other numerous headlight options available in the market.
The headlight throws a very bright light of about 750 lumens which is bright enough to light up a pitch-black patch in front of you. The longer burn time has also reduced manual intervention.
Moreover, this is due to reactive lighting technology. You can just set any amount of time, and the app will set the luminosity such that the light lasts for the desired time. The headlamp offers a focused light cone for distant viewing and a full light cone for nearby objects.
Moreover, also a combination of both the light cones. The unit uses a 3100 mAh lithium-ion, rechargeable battery pack. It also has a charge and Bluetooth connectivity indicator. You can also set the angle of the light cone, luminosity alongside light duration straight from the mobile app.
There is a red safety indicator lamp at the back to warn others of your presence on the track. However, one downside that I could not neglect is that the fastening straps are in the form of thin wires, which might not be pleasant when you wear them for long. Rest features are too useful to resist.
82% of customers have given it more than 6 points out of 10.
- Optimal for quick trips that need too much light
- It weighs just 0.6 oz or 17 gm
- He throws a noticeable 750 lumens
- The beam goes a long distance at 459 ft or 140 miter
- The battery goes for 1 hour and 30 minutes on a high beam
- The battery goes for about 15 hours on the low beam
- The headlight has an IPX4 water resistance rating
- The light is very bright
- It has a rechargeable battery pack
- The fire also has a sensor supported reactive lighting
- Bluetooth supported
- It can be operated using a mobile app
- Lower battery life
(2) Black Diamond Spot Headlamp, Octane, One Size
The Black Diamond Spot Headlamp is of the few headlamps with an IPX8 water resistance rating. That means you can use it for the wettest adventure—one of the personal choices for uses like fishing and rain dance.
The headlight sports three LEDs with a ¼ the power LED, one double power LED, and a red night-vision LED. Various lighting settings include full strength in proximity, distance mode, dim mode, strobe lighting, night vision, and lock mode. The headlight also boasts of PowerTap technology that switches between full and dark power almost instantly.
Also, it has a brightness memory feature. That means it will start at the brightness you last turned off the light at and not full view mode. Finally, it is water-resistant for up to more than 1 m for 30 minutes. However, battery life is a bit on the lower side compared to other similar models.
Also, the back of the light housing hurts the forehead and needs to add a little padding to make it comfier. Finally, the headlight is a sharp bright at 300 lumens bright luminosity.
85% of customers have given it more than 6 points out of 10.
- Best headlight for wet adventures
- All-round lightweight
- Weighs 3.2 oz or 90 gm
- 262 ft or 80 m beam distance
- It has a 25 hr battery life on high beam
- It has a 180 hr battery life on low beam
- The headlight has an IPX8 water resistance rating
- 300 lumens luminosity
- Waterproof for slightly more than 1-meter water immersion
- It has a bit lower battery life than few other headlamps in the category
(3) Coast HL6 Dimming 285 Lumen LED Headlamp
The Coast HL6 Dimming LED headlamp is a great option for trail runners. The bull’s eye spot beam is a great feature. There is a light control lever to adjust the power output. The light output is a bright 285 lumens for the high beam and a small 4 lumens for the lower beam.
The light runtime is a considerable one hr 30 min for the high beam and a 70 hr operation time for light on the low beam. The beam distance for high beam sight is a great 119 m or 390 ft and 13 m or 42 ft for the small beam sight. The headlight weighs 4.4 oz or 125 gm. The headlight sports an IPX4 water resistance rating. That means it cannot be submerged but is okay in case of light rains and splashes. The overall built quality is considered good, along with a good beam distance.
The wider straps do not hurt your head even after prolonged use. The headlamp was rated to ANSI/FL1 standards. The battery pack is rechargeable. The company offers a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects and artistry defects.
85% of customers have given it more than 6 points out of 10.
- Best suitable for trail navigation
- Highly ideal for long-distance viewing
- Weighs 4.4 oz or 125 gm
- Max luminous as 285 lumens
- The beam goes as far as 390 ft or 119 m
- The battery back up for high beam is about 1 hr 30 min
- The battery runs for a good 70 hr long on low beam
- The headlight has an IPX4 water resistance rating
- The beam distance is considerably good
- The overall built quality is good
- Not waterproof but water-resistant to usual splashes
(4) Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp
Again, a great option among many available headlamps from the house of Petzl. It is a must-have opportunity for emergencies, whether at home or out in the wild trekking or on the run or at hunting. This mini headlamp weighs just 0.9 oz or 25.5 gm and has a battery shelf life of about 10 years.
That means to store it once and forget about it unless you are in an emergency or run out of battery on your main headlamp. The headlamp is water-resistant for 30 min at a depth of about 1 m. It has working temperatures ranging from minus 30 degrees Celsius to plus 60 degrees Celsius. (That’s much heat.)
It offers a bright red LED beam with a range of 300 m and a battery that runs for up to 300 hours. The headlight sports a lithium battery.
92% of customers have given it more than 6 points out of 10.
- The best backup light for emergency use, be it at home or out at trekking and camping.
- It weighs a mere 0.9 oz or 25.5 gm
- It gives out a good 50 lumens of light
- The beam distance is a good 32 ft or 10 m
- The battery runs for 9 hr straight on a high beam
- The battery runs for about 95 hrs on strobe mode
- The headlight has an IPX7 water resistance rating
- The shelf life of batteries is about 10 years
- Short beam distance
(5) Petzl – ACTIK Headlamp, 300 Lumens, Active Lighting
Again a great option from the house of Petzl. Although this model has a lot of more robust competitors, this model cannot be avoided considering various positive sides in sports. The headlight is the best option for people looking for opportunities for a long and yet lightweight adventure trip.
The headlamp weighs a mere 3.2 oz or 90 gm, making it a good player for lightweight packing. Also, the headlight offers a considerably bright 300 luminous light output on the high beam. On the high beam, the shaft goes as far as 295 ft or 90 m. The headlamp has a multi-beam option. Different beam modes are designed for proximity lighting, movement, distance vision, preserving night vision, and strobe effect.
The straps are more comprehensive and reflective. The slider has a built-in whistle for emergencies. The red light is quite useful in preserving night vision and reducing glare. It runs for 60 hours on a high beam to 260 hours on autonomous mode. Three standard batteries power the headlight. You can also use rechargeable batteries.
87% of customers have rated it with more than 6 points out of 10.
- Best used for long and lightweight adventure trips ii. Weighs 3.2 oz or 90 gm
- Burns bright at 300 lumens
- The beam goes as far as 295 ft or 90 m
- On high beam; the battery runs for a good 60 hr
- On low beam, the battery runs for an excellent 260 hr
- The headlamp sports an IPX4 water resistance
- The headlamp is just splashproof and not waterproof. However, a little exposure to light rains would not affect it much.
(6) Princeton Tec Apex LED Headlamp Black
The Princeton Tec Apex LED Headlamp is too good to be compact. The headlamp has one ultrabright LED and 4 ultrabright regular LEDs. On low beam, the headlamp runs, and on high beam, the headlamp runs for 72 hours.
The projector operates on 4 AA batteries which are lithium alkaline batteries. The light beam goes up to 380 ft or 116 m on max brightness mode. So which is quite impressive and the longest among its other similar rivals?
However, the headlamp is a bit bulky for its size and might be too much weight for use over a prolonged period. Also, it sports a bright 350 lumens intensity light on the high beam mode. The headlamp has an IPX7 water rating which means you need not worry about rains or waves or water splashes on your detour.
88% of customers have rated it more than 6 points out of 10.
- It is useful to users for longer, more wet adventure trips
- Weighs 10 oz or 283 gm
- Burns bright at 350 lumens
- The beam on high mode goes a magnificent 380 ft or 116 m
- The high beam runs for a good 72 hrs on a battery
- The low beam runs a great 150 hrs on battery
- The headlamp has an amazingly better IPX7 waterproof rating
- Battery life is too good
- Has the most considerable beam distance inline
- Is waterproof up to 1 m
- A bit too heavy
(7) Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp
One more model in the list by Black Diamond. The Black Diamond ReVolt headlamp has some unique features. The headlamp has one triple power LED and one double power LED. It also has a double power red LED with two modes.
One is the proximity mode, and the other being the strobe mode. The triple and dual power LEDs give a light output of about 300 lumens when switched on together. The headlamp runs on three AAA batteries. You can also use rechargeable batteries. The headlamp features a unique Programmable Brightness Memory feature.
Using this feature, you can set the default startup brightness as per your needs and necessities. The headlamp also has a three-level power meter which shows the remaining battery levels. This could save you from unexpected light shutdowns.
80% of customers have rated it more than 6 points out of 10.
- It saves you many bucks by using a rechargeable battery pack
- Weighs 3.4 oz or 96 gm
- Sports a good 130 lumens intensity light
- The beam runs a better 229 ft or 70 gm
- The high beam can be up for use for about 80 hrs on a single charge
- The low beam can be up for use for a marathon 300 hrs on a single charge
- Has an IPX4 water resistance rating
- The battery pack is rechargeable
- The battery life is an excellent
- A bit heavy for your forehead
(8) LED Headlamp Flashlight – Great for Camping, Hiking, Dog Walking, & Kids. One of the Lightest (2.6 oz) Cree Headlights. Water & Shock Resistant with Red Strobe. Duracell Batteries Included.
A headlamp is a great option for kids during camping and hiking—this lamp offers a four-mode lighting system. The first mode is a high beam. The second mode is a low beam. The third mode is a red beam, and the fourth mode is a red strobe mode.
The lamp can swivel up to 45 degrees in the vertical direction. The headlamp runs on three AAA batteries which are included in the package. The wider straps are extra comforting and lightweight. The LEDs max out at 160 lumens and have a working life of about one lakh hours. The headlamp has an IPX5 water resistance rating and is weather and shockproof.
The beam goes as far as about 88 ft or 27 m. Although the beam distance is short, it is suitable for kids during camping or outdoor activities in low light.
94% of customers have given it more than 6 points out of 10.
- One of the best alternatives for kids
- Weighs 3 oz or 85 gm
- It has a bright 160 lumens light
- The beam goes up to 88 ft or 27 m distance
- The battery back up on high beam is about 12 hr
- It has an IPX5 rating
- Simple and sober
- Most suitable for kids during camping
- Short beam distance
(9) Petzl – REACTIK+ Headlamp 300 Lumens, Bluetooth Enabled
One more headlamp from the house of Petzl. This model is most suitable for fast and regular adventures. The headlamp weighs 4.1 oz or 116 gm. Moreover, at a high beam setting, the light output is a considerably bright 300 lumen.
The beam travels as far as up to 328 ft or 100 mt on a high beam setting. Also, on a single refill, the high beam can stay up for about 2.5 hr.
Moreover, the low beam can stay up for about 15 hr. The headlamp sports an IPX4 water resistance rating. Like other newer models, this model too features the Reactive Lighting feature. The company offers AAA battery as well as lithium-ion battery compatibility options. It connects to the Petzl App so you can plan the light settings and get the most out of your headlamp. The full head straps are comfy, and make sure that the headlight stays in place.
The headlamp also has a light sensor. The 1800 mAh battery is USB rechargeable compatible, so that you do not have to carry spare batteries. The battery life, too, is a bit low when compared to its other counterparts. However, keeping the power output and the battery backup is a bit expensive deal.
85% of customers have rated it more than 6 points out of 10.
- The best option for fast and regular adventures
- It weighs about 4.1 oz or 116 gm
- It has a high lumen output of about 300 lumens
- The beam goes as far up to like 328 ft or 100 m
- The high beam can stay on for 2.5 hr on a single charge
- The low beam can stay on for up to 15 hrs on a single charge
- Has an IPX4 water resistance rating
- Has the reactive lighting feature
- Works on lithium-ion battery packs as well as AAA batteries
- Bluetooth connectivity with the app
- Low battery life
- Bit expensive
(10) Petzl – TIKKINA Headlamp, 150 Lumens, Standard Lighting
One more headlamp from the house of Petzl. This headlamp has a better price to lumens ratio. Using a headlamp with minimal complications is easy. It has different lighting modes. The simplest headlamp ever.
Just press a single button to cycle through various ways. The headlamp runs on three standard batteries and is also compatible with rechargeable batteries. The hinge allows the movement of the lamp in the vertical direction. The high beam is up for about 60 hr.
Moreover, the low beam is up for about a marathon of 220 hr. The headlamp also sports an IPX4 water resistance rating. It is lightweight and lesser expensive than other options in the range. However, the brightness is a bit low when compared to other similar options. However, the overall performance is entirely satisfactory.
91% of customers have rated it more than 6 points out of 10.
- Better price to lumens ratio
- Weighs 3 oz or 85 gm
- Has 150 lumens output on high beam
- The beam goes up to around 180 ft or 55 m
- The high beam has a battery life of about 60 hr
- The low beam has a battery life of a marathon 220 hr
- It has an IPX4 water resistance rating
- It is light in weight
- It provides an optional battery pack
- Less expensive
- The brightness is low compared to its other counterparts
So, this was all about the ten of the best headlamps for hiking available in the market. I hope this has helped you to decide the best headlamp satisfying your hiking requirements. We have some tips for you to choose the perfect headlamp.
When you choose any headlamp, keep in mind that every headlamp is designed keeping in mind some specific purpose or goal. Like a bright, bulky, and big headlamp would not be good at all for a long, light-packed adventure trip. Decide your requirements first and then compare the product specifications with your requirements to see if it fits your needs or is too much or something too less than you would expect.
There were instances when your smartphone LED, a lantern or a flashlight, or a hand torch would do the job. However, in cases of trekking or hiking expeditions, you would undoubtedly want your hands free for other tasks. In such instances, using a hands-free headlight is the best option.
The first thing to look for while selecting a headlight is looking up to its illuminating capacity. That is lumens. Most headlamps offer from 50 to 500 lumens and some with even higher luminosity. These intensities vary depending upon the tasks they are designed for.
Lumens alone do not stand up for the area illuminated as lumens are the standard area illuminated in all directions by a lamp. So, the reflecting surface type and reflecting surface materials also add to the path illustrated by the headlight. So the distance up to which the beam lights up the way should also be your criteria while selecting a headlamp.
Generally, such getaway trips range from a short weekend outing to an extended mini-vacation. So, maybe you will be out in the wild for a day or two or even for a week or two. The battery backups of different headlamps also differ widely. So, make sure you are choosing the headlamp with a battery backup that well suits your usage.
Some headlamps come with an inbuilt battery which is not removable. Thus, if you plan to use it for too long out in the wild, you will soon run out of power as you will not be able to feed the spare batteries you had for backup. Moreover, that is frightening.
The luminosity and reflecting surface add up to a specific beam distance. For example, the beam distance could range from a mere 30 feet up to a few hundred feet. So make sure you opt for the headlight, which offers the beam distance you desire.
Make sure you know about the battery backup of the headlight you are choosing, and be sure that it would be adequate for your needs. For example, short night outs require a headlamp with a battery life of about 8 – 10 hours, whereas a long trip could require light hours ranging from 50 to 100 hours. Some headlamps get dim as the battery starts to die. At the same time, some headlamp offers a steady but a bit lower bright light throughout the battery cycle.
Most headlamps run on AA or AAA batteries. However, some headlamp also offers a USB rechargeable in-built battery pack. Water resistance is also an important feature when you are out in the wild. Unfortunately, entirely waterproof headlamps are very rare. However, if you want one, look for a model with an IPX8 or an IPX7 rating.
The IPX7 rating means the device is water-resistant in one meter for 30 minutes, while an IPX8 says it will last longer in similar submergence. Generally, IPX4 states the method is splash and rain resistant. At the same time, an IPX5 can bear more sustained exposure but not including submersion.
Red preserves your night vision and doesn’t disturb your campmates. However, using the white light will dilate the pupils in your eyes, which would cause you to take more time to adjust back to the dark.
The controls or the ON/OFF buttons, cushioning, and the head straps also are considered essential factors that should be kept in view but not overly highlighted while choosing the perfect headlamp.
We hope that this would have helped you more and clarified the characteristics to look forward to while choosing the headlamp that suits your needs the most. It will now be possible for you to select and choose the best headlamp that will help you out while hiking.
The only thing you need to do is go through every product we mentioned on our list. Then you will just have to select the best suitable headlamp that you want to purchase. Also, it will be great for our readers if you mention in the comment which headlamp you will buy from our list.