If you’ve ever been hiking, you may know how important it can be to be able to see well. Whether you’re planning a hike in a place where it can get cloudy or you’re going to explore some caves along the way, it’s crucial to have a hiking headlamp.
Headlamps will keep you a bit safer when you’re out in the wilderness and can even be used to get stuff done around your home. You can use them to see the trail in front of you, work in hard to see places like under the sink or it can make finding firewood in the evening much easier.
We’ve reviewed 5 of the best hiking headlamps available today. Complete with a buyer’s guide, you’re on your way to finding the perfect headlamp for your next adventure!
Coming in first on the list is the Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight. It’s extremely lightweight and easy to store anywhere! The head strap can be adjusted to fit both adults and children. There is a built in timer function that allows you to have the light turn off at the push of a button.
It has a red light feature that can be used when you’re around others, so you don’t blind them with a bright light. It has a lumens range of 40 to 165 and can shine from 15 meters ahead of you, all the way up to 50 meters! There is an SOS mode on this headlamp that provides an extra measure of safety.
One of the best things about this headlamp is that it is water resistant and just takes a few AAA batteries to power up. You’ll be able to read, collect firewood or even work on areas in your home that are normally difficult to see.
- Water resistant
- Adjustable headband
- Red light option
- SOS feature for safety
- Adjustable lumens levels
- Elastic band tends to loosen
- Only one button – you have to cycle through to get different lights
Why it’s recommended: This headlamp not only has plenty of lumen and light-up range, it’s also water resistant and has an SOS feature to keep you extra safe in all situations.
Another great option is this Cobiz headlight. This has four different light levels including, low, medium, high and strobe. Not only is this headlight lamp rechargeable, saving you money on batteries but it’s also waterproof.
You can rotate the light up to 90 degrees which can come in handy if you’re working on something at a strange angle. There is a battery indicator light on it that lets you know when the headlamp will need recharging.
It can be used for camping, night jogging, swimming underwater and more. Like many other headlamps, it has an adjustable strap that can fit most head shapes and sizes. It also comes with a carrying case so when you’re not using it, the headlamp is kept in a safe and durable place.
- Four lighting options
- Light can be adjusted
- Completely waterproof
- Adjustable band fits most heads
- Can be a little heavy
- It takes a long time to charge
Why it’s recommended: With a max of 6,000 lumens, this is one of the brightest headlamps available. It can be used in many different locations and can easily be recharged when the batteries are low.
The third spot on our list goes to a LE Headlamp Flashlight. This is a great option if you’re looking to save a bit of money. There are four levels of brightness with this headlamp, three of which are bright white levels, while the fourth is a flashing red light.
No matter what angle it gets wet, this flashlight is also water resistant. This means you’ll be able to fish, run, camp or hike without worry about rain, snow or water splashing the light. The headlamp itself can be adjusted up to 90 degrees on the stretchable headband.
It’s lightweight and can easily fit in a pocket when you’re not using it. This headlamp takes AAA batteries and is a great option whether you’re planning to use it indoors or out.
- Can be angled up to 90 degrees
- Has four lighting options
- Headband stays put even when running
- Isn’t rechargeable
- Straps aren’t breathable
- No carrying case
Why it’s recommended: This is a great option for those with a smaller budget that want a light that has the features that more expensive options have. It may not be as bright, but it will get the job done just fine!
The penultimate hiking flashlight comes in four different designs. You’ll be able to switch it from high beam to low beam with the options of white or red light. You’ll also be able to use this headlamp at its maximum lumens of 160 for up to 100,000 hours.
It’s also weather and shock resistant, making it a great pick for hiking. The strap is not only adjustable but it won’t slip around while you’re wearing it.
This flashlight does take AAA batteries and is individually tested before being sold. If you have kids, this is a great pick for a hiking headlamp, though it can be used on adults too!
- It’s comfortable to wear
- The light options are bright
- Four design options
- It’s lightweight
- Durable – weather and shock resistant.
- Headband is snug on some adults
- Not rechargeable
- You have to cycle through the lights to turn it off
Why it’s recommended: This is a fun option for kids. It comes in a variety of different designs, the strap won’t slip around and it’s shock proof.
Last but certainly not least is the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp. It’s available in four color options including black, grey, dark green and orange. This headlamp has the ability to shine up to 350 lumens at most. It also has the option to shine red, blue or even green LED lights.
It has a lock mode that can come in handy to keep the lamp on the settings you have it on. This light is also waterproof and dustproof. It can be under a meter of water, fully immersed for up to 30 minutes.
There is a brightness memory that allows you to easily pick your preferred settings without having to cycle through all of them. The battery life is great, as it takes four AAA batteries, and it provides plenty of light to whatever you’re tackling!
- Different design options
- Four different light colors
- There’s a lock mode
- Brightness memory remembers your preferred settings
- Can be difficult to toggle between lighting modes
- A bit heavy for some users
Why it’s recommended: With four different colored lighting options along with features like lock mode and brightness memory, this makes for a great hiking headlamp!
Key Considerations When Choosing a Hiking Headlamp
When it comes to finding the hiking headlamp that’s best for you, there are some key factors to consider. Below are a handful of some of the most common things people look for in a hiking headlamp. Consider using this section when you’re comparing which features you need when shopping for your next hiking headlamp to make the decision a bit easier!
Lumen is a word that describes how bright a light is. The more lumens, the brighter the light. Depending on what you’re planning on using your headlamp for, you may need a certain number of lumens. The headlamps reviewed above have quite the variety of lumens.
There is one with 160 maximum while another has a max of 6,000. If you’re using the headlamp to get work done around the house or under a car, you shouldn’t need one that’s incredibly bright. On the other hand, if you’re camping or hiking with it, you’ll want one with a bit more shine.
Waterproof / Water Resistant
Another feature that can come in handy is having a hiking headlamp that is waterproof or water resistant. If you plan on camping, fishing or swimming with your headlamp, it’s important that it’s either waterproof or water resistant. It’s also good to know the difference between the two.
Waterproof can be submerged and used underwater for night swimming, whereas water resistant means the light is protected in the event of rain or getting splashed.
Where you’re camping or hiking can play a part in this as well. If you’re camping or hiking in somewhere like the Pacific Northwest, you’re much more likely to need a hiking headlamp that’s at least water resistant.
Sometimes you’ll find a headlamp may be a bit too heavy for you. If this is the case, you’ll find it falling down towards your eyes, as well as moving around a lot. One thing that plays a part in the weight of a headlamp is the battery.
If it takes several batteries, it will weigh more than a headlamp that takes less. This can be important to consider if you’re buying the headlamp for a child or if you plan on using it for running. The last thing you want is to be on a night jog, only to realize your lamp is too heavy to perform adequately.
One of the main features of a hiking headlamp is the strap. You’ll want to make sure the headlamp you choose has an adjustable strap. This can come in handy if you’re hair grows out, if you wear it in a different style, if you’re sharing a headlamp with someone else or if you need to put on a hat.
You also want to make sure the strap fits snug, but not too tight. Having it snug allows you to go about your hike and not worry about your lamp falling off. Having a headlamp that’s not too tight is a great way to get a bit of airflow and keep the straps as breathable as possible. If you’re hiking and sweating a lot, you’ll definitely want to make sure the strap is plenty breathable.
How is the headlamp powered? Nearly all headlamps are powered by batteries, but is it rechargeable? You’ve read a bit about how the number of batteries can affect the weight of your headlamp. We all know that batteries are not the cheapest thing to buy either.
Rechargeable headlamps are great because you don’t need to spend extra money, and you can charge your flashlight overnight while you’re camping. Some headlamps only take a few triple AAA batteries and still have a decent battery life. This is something to consider before you spend any money!
Beam distance is how far you can see in front of and around you when the lamp is on. If you have a headlamp with multiple brightnesses, the more bright, the longer the beam distance. Like many other things, the beam distance you require is related to what you plan on using the headlamp for.
If you’ll be working under the kitchen sink or a car, you won’t need a large beam distance at all. But if you plan on hiking or camping with the headlamp, a large beam distance can be crucial.
This way you can easily see your surroundings whether you’re trying to find firewood or there is an intruder in your campsite. To be safe, consider getting a headlamp with a medium to high beam distance.
While there are several factors that play into what makes a headlamp one of the best, a lot of them are preferences. Hopefully after reading a handful of in-depth reviews and our buyer’s guide, you feel better suited to make the best purchase for you.
Some headlamps are great for getting things done around the house, while others can be used to swim underwater at night. Remember to consider the lumens, the weight of the headlamp and the beam distance. You are one step closer to purchasing one of the best hiking headlamps on the market! Good luck!