Best Headlamps

Review & Comparison, Last Update December 30, 2016
Do you need to light up your trail, find something in your basement or go camping? Whatever the case, you will definitely need an energy-efficient and long-lasting headlamp which will be useful in any unpredictable situation. Before making a purchase, look at our new best headlamp review. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Maximum Light Output
Capacity
Weight
Lighting Modes
Maximum Beam Distance
Maximum Burn Time
Protection
Number of LEDs
 
PROS
This model has the Reactive Lighting mode, which estimates the lighting outside and automatically adjusts brightness and beam pattern due to a light sensor. Constant Lighting mode maintains a continuous level of brightness for the specific period of time. No manual control is needed.
CONS
This model has no significant drawbacks except for the situation when you go on a long journey you may lack battery life. However, you can use AAA rechargeable batteries which are included.
OUR VERDICT
This Petzl headlamp offers a great combination of innovations and high quality. It's lightweight, ergonomic and it has super powerful light beams (575 Lumens). It will particularly suit people who lead an active lifestyle and who are fond of tourism, climbing or caving.
detailed parameters
Maximum Light Output
575 Lumens
Capacity
Li-Ion 2600 mAh or 2xААА/LR03 rechargeable alkaline or lithium-ion batteries
Weight
6.5 oz
Lighting Modes
2 lighting modes, 2 brightness levels
Maximum Beam Distance
Up to 440 feet
Maximum Burn Time
Up to 12.5 hours
Protection
Protected against splashing from any angle (IPX 4), Battery indicator, Lock function to avoid accidental pressing, Petzl NAO Belt Kit reduces the weight on your head
Number of LEDs
2 LEDs
PROS
This model is lightweight and boasts an easy regulation of modes. Red night vision mode allows you to feel safe at night-time and provides great visibility.
CONS
Except for on/off button, this headlamp is equipped with a heat-sensitive sensor which you can't switch while wearing gloves.
OUR VERDICT
This LED headlamp is ideal for using at home, walking with your dog in the evening, as well as for such outdoor activities as camping, fishing, and hunting.
detailed parameters
Maximum Light Output
130 Lumens
Capacity
3хAAA batteries
Weight
3.2 oz
Lighting Modes
2 lighting modes, 3 brightness levels
Maximum Beam Distance
Up to 250 feet
Maximum Burn Time
Up to 200 hours
Protection
Protected against splashing from any angle (IPX 4), Battery indicator, Lock function to avoid accidental pressing during transportation
Number of LEDs
5 LEDs
PROS
This model has a small weight and a long-lasting and durable design. Besides, it has a reasonable price that fully corresponds to its quality.
CONS
At first glance, this headlamp may seem to be a bit massive though you won't experience any discomfort due to its light weight.
OUR VERDICT
This headlamp is a great solution to meet all your household needs. Despite the maximum beam distance of just 50 feet, this headlamp provides enough light to see nearby objects. It will come in handy to light dark basements and attics. Moreover, you can use it when you are on a nature trip or have a picnic.
detailed parameters
Maximum Light Output
78 Lumens
Capacity
3 AAA batteries
Weight
4 oz
Lighting Modes
4 lighting modes, 1 brightness level
Maximum Beam Distance
Up to 50 feet
Maximum Burn Time
Up to 10 hours
Protection
Protected against sprayed water (IPХ65), Dustproof
Number of LEDs
18 LEDs
PROS
This model is equipped with Reactive Lighting mode, which estimates the level of lighting outside and automatically adjusts brightness and beam pattern with the help of a built-in light sensor. This automatic adjustment allows you to keep your hands free.
CONS
This LED headlamp requires a special connector if you need to recharge its AAA batteries.
OUR VERDICT
This multi-purpose headlamp saves battery life owing to several lighting modes. It's good for tourism, camping and caving. Moreover, it will assist you in case of power outage in your home.
detailed parameters
Maximum Light Output
215 Lumens
Capacity
Li-Ion 1800 mAh or 3хААА/LR03 or Ni-MH rechargeable batteries
Weight
4 oz
Lighting Modes
2 lighting modes, 3 brightness levels
Maximum Beam Distance
Up to 360 feet
Maximum Burn Time
Up to 10 hours
Protection
Protected against splashing from any angle (IPX 4), Battery indicator, Lock function to avoid accidental pressing
Number of LEDs
3 LEDs
PROS
This Petzl headlamp has a halogen bulb which provides good lighting in smoke-filled rooms, in the fog and dusty areas.
CONS
This headlamp is quite heavy, but you can attach a rechargeable battery case to a belt or a helmet to reduce the weight on your head.
OUR VERDICT
This reliable headlamp is made of durable materials to ensure the maximum protection. It has several lighting modes. This headlamp will be useful for industrial or rescue workers.
detailed parameters
Maximum Light Output
67 Lumens
Capacity
4 C-LR14 batteries or ACCU DUO (E65100 2) rechargeable battery
Weight
19.5 oz
Lighting Modes
3 lighting modes, 3 brightness levels
Maximum Beam Distance
Up to 330 feet
Maximum Burn Time
Up to 210 hours
Protection
Protected against rain/snow/falling (IPХ8), Provides continuous operation at a depth of 16.5 feet, NAO Belt Kit contains a cord to attach the rechargeable battery to a belt
Number of LEDs
15 LEDs, Halogen light

What Is It

If you are fond of adventures and can't imagine your life without such outdoor activities as fishing, hunting, hiking, camping or caving, you will definitely need a powerful headlamp. A primary benefit of a headlamp over flashlights is its portability. In fact, headlamps are becoming increasingly popular among tourists since they provide a constant hands-free lighting in different situations. It can also be helpful if you work at night-time, make repairs or descend into a dark basement. Furthermore, a headlamp can serve you when things go wrong, for instance, in case of a sudden power cut or machinery failure. Nowadays, there is a large selection of lamps of different brands, brightness, power, and beam distance. We recommend you to look through our review of 5 most popular headlamps and choose the one that suits your needs best.  

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What Features to Compare

Before buying a headlamp, find out what you need to know about its features as not any headlamp will suit you. 

Initially, you need to decide on how and where you plan to Use it and what options are important for you. If you need a headlamp for domestic use, a short journey or a picnic, such features as beam distance and brightness levels are not actually important. Thus, a device with a light output of 50 Lumens will provide enough light for illuminating close objects. However, if you need a headlamp for tourism, climbing or caving, then you need a high light output of at least 200 Lumens, bigger beam distance and preferably several brightness levels.

Typically, there are 3 main Brightness Levels: economic, optimum and maximum. Yet, a lamp can have only one or two levels. The same is true for the lighting modes. Normally, there are 2 lighting modes: constant and flashing. Thus, you can select different modes depending on whether you need to light up your trail or signal in the dark. 

Other important features to consider when choosing a headlamp are the Capacity and the Maximum Burn Time. headlamps may have several types of charging. Some headlamps can be charged with alkaline or lithium-ion battery, whereas others run on rechargeable AAA batteries. The maximum burn time depends on the power. Some models have built-in rechargeable batteries and a USB port which makes it possible to charge a headlamp at home, in a car, or from a solar power source. Therefore, you don't have to spend extra money on buying batteries. There are multifunctional devices which include a rechargeable battery and can be replaced with AAA batteries which are desirable to have at hand when you go camping or on vacation.

Finally, the Usability includes such options as a lock function to avoid accidental pressing during transportation, a battery indicator that lets you know when the battery has to be recharged or replaced, and automatic lighting levels which provide energy-efficient lighting. Furthermore, headlamps are water-resistant with the minimum protection against splashing from any angle (IP4). Thus, you won't be afraid of being caught in the rain or if you drop your headlamp into the water by accident. Headlamps with IPX8 protection can provide continuous operation at a depth of 3 feet. The headlamp weight is also important since it might cause discomfort when you carry a heavy device on your head for a long time. In this regard, it's advisable to choose a headlamp with lighter weight or the one with auxiliary battery case, which can be attached to a belt, helmet or under your jacket to reduce the weight on your head. As you can see, headlamp features vary a lot. Therefore, it's essential to select a proper headlamp fo your specific needs.

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Review of Petzl NAO 575 Lumens Power Headlamp

Petzl NAO 575 Lumens

Petzl NAO 575 Lumens

Use and Brightness Levels

This high power headlamp has 2 LEDs producing the high light output of 575 Lumens and ensuring maximum beam distance of 440 feet. You can adjust beam width of a headlamp to obtain scattered or mixed light depending on the situation. The headlamp has Constant and Reactive lighting modes. The Constant Lighting mode maintains steady brightness during the rated burn time. The Reactive lighting mode has a sensor to detect ambient lighting and automatically adjusts brightness and beam width. When you illuminate close objects the beam is not so bright, but when you illuminate objects at a distance, the beam shines brighter, providing you with excellent visibility. With adaptive technology, you are able to keep both hands free. When the battery is running low, a headlamp goes into standby mode, which extends a battery life to one hour, producing 20 Lumens of light. This is the best headlamp for running, hiking, climbing and other outdoor activities.

Capacity and the Maximum Burn Time

Petzl headlamp is powered by Li-ion battery with a capacity of 2600 mAh which provides maximal brightness of 575 Lumens. In addition, a headlamp comes with a convenient USB cable for quick charging. The maximum burn time is about 12.5 hours on a single charge. There are situations when the battery is low and you have nowhere to charge it. Then, you can use alkaline or lithium 2 x AAA / LR03 batteries. The battery indicator informs you how much battery power is left so that you can always charge the battery on time.

Usability

This LED headlamp can be synchronized with a computer via a USB cord. The OS by Petzl software allows you to customize the lighting performance according to your needs. For instance, you can create 4 personal activity profiles with several brightness levels, lighting distance and burn time. Petzl NAO Belt Kit allows you to attach the rechargeable battery to a belt or other gear in harsh weather conditions, hence reducing the weight on your head. Lock function prevents accidental operation of a headlamp during transportation. The headlamp is protected against splashing from any angle (IPX 4). Thus, it is capable of working efficiently even in a heavy rain.

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Petzl NAO 575 Lumens
Petzl NAO 575 Lumens
 
Review of Black Diamond Spot Headlamp Red Night Vision Mode

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

Use and Brightness Levels

Black Diamond headlamp is a multipurpose device which will suit both for home use and tourism purposes. Its maximum beam distance can reach up to 250 feet with a maximum light output of 130 Lumens. This headlamp features 5 LEDs and 3 operating modes: low beam, high beam, and maximum brightness. Furthermore, you can use a headlamp in flashing mode for warning signal purposes in the dark. Single Power red LED lights offer excellent visibility at night-time without changing between white and red lighting.

Capacity and the Maximum Burn Time

Black Diamond headlamp is powered by disposable or rechargeable 3 х AAA batteries. The headlamp battery life depends on its capacity and lighting modes. Typically, high-quality batteries can provide up to 200 hours of burn time in standby mode. It is also very convenient because you can always replace removable batteries if you are out of town and the power source is unavailable. Thus, you don't have to worry that your headlamp will let you down in an emergency situation.

Usability

Black Diamond headlamp has a number of quite simple and, at the same time, very useful lighting functions. The battery icon shows remaining battery life and indicates that it's time to replace a battery. It also has a lock function which helps avoid accidental pressing, whereas a sensor allows you to switch easily between the modes. This super light headlamp weighs about 3.2 ounces, so you will not feel somewhat uncomfortable carrying it on your head. This waterproof headlamp is protected against splashing from any angle (IPX 4). Therefore, even if you are caught in the rain, you don't have to worry about its efficient operation.

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Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
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Review of Lighting EVER LE CREE Headlamp LED Flashlight

Lighting EVER LE CREE Headlamp LED Flashlight

Lighting EVER LE CREE Headlamp LED Flashlight

Use and Brightness Levels

This affordable headlamp can be used for in-home lighting, that is handy in a number of situations. For instance, when you actually need to descent into the basement or go upstairs to the attic in search of something or during repair work in your house. Also, it features 18 LEDs that can provide a maximum light output of 78 Lumens and illuminate the trail of about 50 feet in length. This is the brightest headlamp, which has 4 lighting modes. The first mode includes 2 LEDs, the second - 10 LEDs, the third - all 18 LEDs and the fourth - 2 flashing red LED lights.

Capacity and the Maximum Burn Time

This headlamp is charged with 3 AAA batteries. If required, you can use disposable or rechargeable batteries. The greater the capacity of a battery, the longer the burn time of the headlamp. Normally, medium-quality batteries with an average price can provide about 8-10 hours of burn time. The same is true for the lighting modes. The LED lighting has a life expectancy of 50.000 hours. That's why it is important to choose the batteries according to the headlamp use.

Usability

Some people claim that this headlamp may seem a bit massive, though due to its light weight (4 ounces), you will not feel like carrying large loads on your head. So, you will be able to carry it for several hours without any discomfort. This dustproof and water-resistant headlamp is protected against sprayed water. If you are out with friends, you don't have to care about charging the battery when it suddenly runs out. Instead, make sure that you have replaceable batteries at hand.

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Lighting EVER LE CREE Headlamp LED Flashlight
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Review of Petzl TIKKA RXP 215 Lumens Reactive and Constant Headlamp

Petzl TIKKA RXP 215 Lumens

Petzl TIKKA RXP 215 Lumens

Use and Brightness Levels

This Petzl headlamp is a unique combination of light weight, portability, and high reliability. There are 3 lighting modes available with economic, optimum and maximum lighting levels, as well as 3 LEDs. A headlamp can provide the light output of up to 215 Lumens with maximum beam distance of 360 feet. This headlamp is fitted with 2 lighting modes. The constant Lighting mode maintains steady light output for a specific period of time. The Reactive Lighting mode estimates the lighting outside and automatically adjusts brightness due to a light sensor helping extend a battery life. Moreover, there are wide, mixed and focused beams that provide excellent visibility and can be adapted to a different situation. The Red night vision mode also ensures great visibility, comfort, and safety in the dark. This is the best headlamp for hunting, camping, climbing and other adventures, as well as for some emergency situations.

Capacity and the Maximum Burn Time

This headlamp is charged with the battery of 1800 mAh capacity. A USB cable comes standard with a headlamp which makes it easy to charge the battery at home, in the car or even from a portable solar battery. The headlamp can produce usable light up to 10 hours on a single charge. If needed, you can replace your battery to lithium or alkaline 3 AAA / LR03 batteries. However, the headlamp requires a special battery case which is not included.

Usability

This LED headlamp is able to synchronize with your computer as well as create several profiles with different burn time and brightness thanks to the OS by Petzl software. The headlamp weighs only 4 ounces, therefore, you will not feel any burden on your head. The battery indicator allows you to check a battery status. Besides, there is a lock function in order to prevent a headlamp from accidental pressing in your bag or backpack. This water-resistant LED headlamp is protected against rain and splashing from any angle (IPX 4).

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Petzl TIKKA RXP 215 Lumens
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Review of Petzl Duo LED 14 Headlamp Halogen and Focused with Regulated Zoom

Petzl Duo LED 14 Headlamp

Petzl Duo LED 14 Headlamp

Use and Brightness Levels

This functional headlamp is well suited to industrial or even rescue workers. It has 14 LEDs which produce bright cold lighting with a maximum brightness of 67 Lumens and 3 brightness levels - economic, optimum and maximum. In addition, apart from LEDs, the device comes with an energy efficient halogen bulb which can illuminate areas up to 330 feet and emit light in smoke-filled rooms, in the dust or in the fog.

Capacity and the Maximum Burn Time

This high power headlamp is charged with 4 C-LR14 batteries. When the batteries start to run low, a headlamp goes into a standby mode which provides energy-efficient lighting and guarantees constant brightness. If you initially use a headlamp in a standby mode, you can expect continuous operation of about 210 hours. If required, C-LR14 batteries can be replaced to an ACCU DUO (E65100 2) battery (not included).

Usability

This Petzl headlamp with batteries weighs about 19.5 ounces and it can be quite heavy to carry on the head for an extended period of time. That's why manufacturers provided it with a removable battery case which can be attached to a belt or a helmet. This LED headlamp ensures the maximum protection (IPH8) against rain, snow, dust, falling and even provides continuous operation at a depth of 16.5 feet. Besides, there is some space for a spare halogen bulb in the light body.

Petzl Duo LED 14 Headlamp
Petzl Duo LED 14 Headlamp