Best Headlamps 2022: Top Picks & Buying Guide

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Headlamps are essential for any traveler or camper. They provide a convenient, hands-free light source that is always on hand and can be used in emergencies. Headlamps vary greatly in style, power source, durability, weight, and brightness from one to the next.

In this guide, we will cover some of the best headlamps on the market today so you can find one that suits your needs without wasting time or money.

Quick Recommendation

RANK PICTURE NAME RATING SHOPS
Best Overall Black-Diamond-Icon-700-1
Black Diamond Icon 700
  • Long operating time
  • Memory PowerTap Technology
  • Night vision mode
9.7
4.8/5 StarsMore
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Best Budget Petzl-Actik-Core
Petzl – Actik Core
  • Three light clusters
  • 4 different functions
  • Long battery life
9.5
4.7/5 StarsMore
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Most Versatile PETZL-NAO-Headlamp
PETZL – NAO+ Headlamp
  • Control via the app
  • Reactive Lighting
  • Up to 140m
  • Comfortable strap
8.7
4.7/5 StarsMore
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Best Premium Petzl-Duo-S-Headlamp
Petzl Duo S Headlamp
  • Up to nearly 600ft
  • Shock resistance
  • Easy control Anti-glare FACE2FACE
8.7
4.7/5 StarsMore
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Petzl – Actik Core

Power Source: AAA/USB Rechargeable

Price: 69.95$

Max Lumens: 350

Weight: 3.35 Ounces

What we Like: Three light clusters, Bright 350 max lumens, Long battery life (50 hrs), Use AAA batteries, Convenient one-button operation.

What we don’t like: No padding on the headband

Review: The Petzl Actik Core is a great headlamp for the money. It has three light clusters, which are very bright and reach far into the distance. Petzl’s patented technology allows the Actik Core to project light further than most lamps of its kind, which is great for trail running. It has a convenient single button on the front of the lamp that can be used to cycle through all four different lighting modes. This is especially useful for trail running, as you can quickly switch between lighting modes to avoid blinding other runners on the path.

The Actik Core runs off of AAA batteries, which gives it a long battery life of up to 50 hours. It can also be charged using a USB port, making it convenient for charging on the go. While the Actik Core is a fantastic headlamp overall, it does lack padding on the strap and around the battery compartment. This can get uncomfortable when worn for long periods of time.


BioLite HeadLamp 330

Power Source: USB Rechargeable

Price: $59.95

Max Lumens: 330

Weight: 4.16 Ounces

What we Like: Ultra-thin 3D molded case, Moisture-wicking strap, The light cluster can adjust flexibly

What We Don’t Like: Difficult to use

Review: The BioLite Headlamp 330 is a great headlamp for trail running, hiking, and camping. It has a sleek, ultra-thin design that is barely noticeable when worn. The light cluster can be adjusted to different positions, making it easy to find the perfect angle. The BioLite Headlamp 330 also comes with a moisture-wicking strap that prevents sweat from dripping down your forehead.

The BioLite Headlamp 330 is powered by USB, making it convenient for charging on the go using a portable battery pack or power bank. It has an impressive max brightness of 330 lumens, which is enough to see clearly on the trail for several miles. The only downside of the BioLite Headlamp 330 is that it can be difficult to use. The light cluster can be somewhat confusing to use, so you may need some practice before it becomes second nature.


Fenix ​​HL60R 950

Power Source: USB Rechargeable

Price: $96.00

Max Lumens: 950

Weight: 1.41 oz

What we Like: Durable, Good water resistance, Strong glow, 6 different modes, Long battery life

What We Don’t Like: Difficult to control

Review: The Fenix HL60R 950 is a great headlamp for trail running, hiking, and camping. It has a durable plastic case, which is lightweight and comfortable to wear. The Fenix HL60R also has a water-resistant design, making it great for use in wet conditions.

The Fenix HL60R 950 comes with a USB charging cable and can be charged using a laptop, power bank, or portable battery pack. It has six different lighting modes and an impressive 950 max lumens of brightness. The only downside of the Fenix HL60R 950 is that it can be difficult to control. The different lighting modes can be confusing to switch between, so you may need some practice.


PETZL TIKKINA

Power Source: USB Rechargeable

Price: $19.95

Max Lumens: 250

Weight: 4.8 oz

What we Like: Low price, 250 lumens light source, IPX4 Water Resistance, Easy to operate

What We Don’t Like: Lack of features.

Review: The Petzl Tikka is a great headlamp for everyday use. It has a low price and a 250-lumens light source, making it perfect for tasks such as walking the dog at night or taking late-night walks. The Petzl Tikka is also easy to operate, with a single button that can be used to cycle through all the different lighting modes.

The Petzl Tikka is powered by USB, making it convenient for charging on the go using a portable battery pack or power bank. It has a max brightness of 250 lumens, which is enough to see clearly in the dark. The Petzl Tikka only weighs about four ounces and can be used for several hours on a full charge. The only downside of the Petzl Tikka is that it lacks features, making it feel a bit basic.


Ledlenser MH10

Power Source: Rechargeable

Price: $69.95

Max Lumens: 600

Weight: 12.8 oz

What we Like: Suitable for long trips, Fishing or night hunting, Light filter, Rear lamp cluster, Long battery life

What We Don’t Like: Heavy

Summary: Ledlenser MH10 Headlamp is another LED headlight model that has impressed many users due to its impressive characteristics. First of all, it can emit up to 600 lumens of brightness, making it perfect for long trips, fishing, or night hunting. In addition, the headlight also comes with a rear lamp cluster that provides additional lighting when needed.

However, Ledlenser MH10 Headlamp has not yet been able to have a perfect score in all aspects. The most significant shortcoming is its weight, which is quite heavy. But of course, this product still has many other advantages that can be considered as a profitable investment for users especially those who often engage in outdoor activities.


Nitecore HC65

Power Source: USB Rechargeable

Price: $74.95

Max Lumens: 1000

Weight: 10.22 oz

What we Like: Multi-use, Long luminous range, There are red lights, Multiple control functions

What We Don’t Like: Average battery life

Summary: Besides being able to produce up to 1000 lumens, Nitecore HC65 can also emit red light which is suitable for preserving night vision and reading. Moreover, the headlamp possesses many other functions for users to control such as brightness adjustment, SOS mode, or turning off the light.

Moreover, Nitecore HC65 owns a durable body that is resistant to water and dust. This allows users to feel comfortable when using it in any weather conditions.


Petzl Duo S Headlamp

Power Source: USB Rechargeable

Price: $350

Max Lumens: 1100

Weight: 10.22 oz

What we Like: Maximum transmission distance up to nearly 600ft, Shock resistance, and Water-resistant, Easy to control, Anti-glare FACE²FACE

What We Don’t Like: Expensive, Buky

Summary: Despite having a rather high price, in return, PETZL DUO S HEADLAMP gives users extremely quality features that are hard to find in other products. Including the ability to emit light up to 1100 lumens and a maximum emission distance of up to nearly 600ft.

Not only outstanding in lighting performance, but DUO S also makes a good impression on users thanks to its durable structure that resists shocks and water resistance to -0.90 meters for 30 minutes under the IPX-68 standard. In addition, the anti-glare FACE²FACE design helps users work more comfortably for a long time.


Black Diamond Icon 700

Power Source: AAA

Price: $100

Max Lumens: 700

Weight: 1.76 oz

What we Like: Long operating time, 700 lumens Brightness, Memory PowerTap Technology, Night vision mode

What We Don’t Like: No USB Charge, Expensive

Summary: The Black Diamond Equipment – Icon 700 Headlamp is a great choice for those who want a headlamp that will last for an extended period of time. It has a very bright 700 lumen light, with the ability to use night vision mode, and can go up to 11 hours of continuous lighting.

The headlamp also comes with a Brightness Memory feature that allows the product to remember settings, as well as PowerTap Technology, which easily allows the user to change between modes.


GearLight LED Headlamp S500

Power Source: AAA

Price: $13.99

Max Lumens: 200

Weight: 1.8 oz

What we Like: Low Price, 7 brightness modes 45-degree folding ability, Shock resistance, Good resistance in many weather conditions

What We Don’t Like: Average battery life

Review: The GearLight LED Headlamp Flashlight S500 is a great buy for the price. It has seven different modes and can fold at a 45-degree angle. On top of this, it also is very shock-resistant and can resist any weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow.

The GearLight LED Headlamp Flashlight also has a good battery life of about ten hours, which should be enough for many uses. The only problem is that it might not be as bright as some of the other headlamps on this list.


PETZL – NAO+ Headlamp

Power Source: USB Rechargeable

Price: $198.65

Max Lumens: 750

Weight: 6.5 Oz

What we Like: Control via the app, Reactive Lighting, Emits light 750 lumens in 140m, Comfortable strap

What We Don’t Like: Bulky, Expensive

Review: The Petzl – NAO+ Headlamp is a great choice for those who want an advanced headlamp with many features. It can be controlled via a smartphone app and has a reactive lighting mode, which means that the headlamp will adjust its brightness based on how dark it is.

The headlamp can produce a maximum of 750 lumens and emits light up to 140m. It also has an advanced lighting mode, which gives the user more control over the light. The headband is also very comfortable to wear for long periods of time.

The only downside is that the Petzl – NAO+ Headlamp is a bit bulky and expensive.

How To Choose a Headlamp

How To Choose a Headlamp

Types of Activity

When choosing a headlamp, it is important to consider the activity that you will be using it for. The lighting needs vary depending on what your plans are outdoors.

  • Hiking: When hiking, you will need a headlamp with a bright beam that can cover a long distance. The perfect headlamp for this activity should also have an adjustable zoom feature to focus the light on specific areas in front of you.
  • Running: If you are running, you will need a headlamp with a bright and wide beam. This will help you see obstacles in your path and also ensure that you are seen by oncoming traffic.
  • Camping: When camping, you will need a headlamp with multiple lighting modes. This is because the brightness of the light can vary depending on where you are in the campground. For example, if you are reading near your tent you will not need as much light.
  • Cycling: When cycling, you will need a headlamp with a bright and narrow beam. This will help you see in front of you while ensuring that the light does not shine in the eyes of oncoming traffic.
  • Climbing: When climbing, you will need a headlamp with multiple lighting modes and adjustable brightness. This is so that you can focus the light on specific areas of your climb while also having enough to see in front of you.
  • Boating: When boating, you will need a light that has multiple lighting modes and adjustable brightness. This is so that your headlamp can be used on a boat at night without distracting the driver of the vessel while also being able to see in front of you if necessary.
best headlamps 2022

Beam Type

When choosing a headlamp, it is also important to consider the type of beam that you prefer

  • Flood Beam: A flood beam is a wide and diffuse beam that is perfect for close-up tasks like reading or camp chores.
  • Spot Beam: A spot beam is a focused and tight beam that is perfect for long-distance tasks like hiking or running.
  • Adjustable Beam: An adjustable beam is a hybrid of the two-beam types allowing you to focus on both close-up and long-distance tasks.
  • Flood Beams: A flood beam projects light in an even circle around your feet or hands while allowing for good peripheral vision on all sides of you. This would be ideal if you will be navigating a campground at night or if you are going camping near your car.
  • Red Beams: A red beam is perfect for preserving your night vision. This type of beam should only be used when there is a need to see in the dark and will not work as well for other activities.
best headlamps

Light Output (Lumens)

Another factor to consider when choosing a headlamp is how much light it will provide. This value is measured in lumens and the higher this number is, the brighter your headlamp will be.

High (500+ Lumens): A high lumen count means that you can expect an extremely bright beam for long periods of time with little reduction in output. This is perfect for activities that take place in the dark, like hiking or running.

Medium(200-500): A medium lumen count means that you can expect a good amount of light for longer periods of time with minimal reduction in output. This is perfect for activities like walking around your campsite at night.

Low (0-200): A low lumen count means that you can expect a dimmer light that will not last as long as a headlamp with a higher lumen rating. This would be good for tasks that do not require a lot of light, like reading in your tent at night.

Additional Headlamp Features

Some additional features to consider when choosing a headlamp to include:

  • Water Resistance: It is important that your headlamp can withstand water so that it does not short circuit or stop working while you are using it. Look for an IPX rating between four and six if you will be running or biking during the rain, hail, snow, or sleet.
  • Adjustable Size: A headlamp should have an adjustable size to fit a variety of face sizes and shapes comfortably while staying in place during use. This is especially important for activities that involve a lot of movement, like running or climbing.
  • Battery Types: Some headlamps require special batteries which you may not be able to find in the middle of nowhere. Consider a headlamp that uses standard AA or AAA batteries which are easy to find and replace.
  • Weight: A heavier headlamp may be more comfortable for some people, but it can also be tiring to wear for long periods of time. Choose a headlamp that is lightweight so that you do not get too tired while using it.
  • Tilt: A headlamp with a tilt feature will allow you to direct the light where you need it most. This is perfect for activities that require a lot of movement, like running or biking.
  • On/Off Switch: It is important that the on/off switch is easy to access and use so that you can turn your headlamp off quickly in case of emergencies.
  • Reflectors: A headlamp with reflectors will allow you to see your surroundings more clearly by reflecting the light off objects around you. This is perfect for activities that take place near or on water, like kayaking or canoeing.
  • Battery Time: Another thing to consider when choosing a headlamp is how long the battery will last. This value can vary depending on the lumen output of your headlamp and the type of batteries that it uses.

FAQ

Q.How many lumens do I need for my activity?

A.This will vary depending on the type of activity you are doing and how much light you need. A headlamp with a high lumen count (500+) is perfect for activities that take place in the dark, like hiking or running, while a headlamp with a lower lumen count (0-200) is perfect for tasks that do not require a lot of light, like reading in your tent at night.

Q.How long should the battery last?

A.This value will vary depending on how bright you have your headlamp and what type of batteries it uses. A higher lumen count means more power being drained from the battery, so the battery time will be shorter. Consider a headlamp that has a battery time of at least six hours if you will be using it for long periods of time.

Q.Is the headlamp waterproof?

A.Some headlamps are water-resistant and can withstand being in the rain, hail, snow, or sleet, while others are not. Look for an IPX rating between four and six if you will be running or biking during the rain, hail, snow, or sleet.

Q.Is it easy to adjust?

A.It is important that your headlamp can fit a variety of face sizes and shapes comfortably while staying in place during use. This is especially important for activities that involve a lot of movement like running or climbing.

Q. What is a headlight used for?

A. A headlamp is a type of flashlight designed to be worn on the forehead and in front of your eyes. Headlights are perfect for activities like hiking, running, or biking when you need both hands free to do other things.

Q.What does IPX mean?

A.The International Protection Rating (IP) is an international standard used to test the ability of electronic devices and electrical enclosures to protect against water, solid particles, or mechanical impacts.

Q.What are some activities that require a headlamp?

A.Some common outdoor activities that would benefit from having a headlamp include hiking, running, backpacking, camping, hunting/fishing/sc

Q.What type of batteries does it use?

A- It can depend, but some will accept normal AAA and AA batteries that are easy to find in the middle of nowhere when there’s no time to charge.

Q. What’s the red light on a headlight for?

A. Many headlamps have a red light mode, which is perfect for activities like reading in your tent at night or being seen by oncoming traffic when you’re walking/running at night. The red light will not affect your natural night vision as much as the white light will

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