A headlamp means a lot when you are caught outdoors after the sun goes down.
Have you accidentally stepped into a pothole with one foot? It feels distressful around your pelvic region, right?
Not only that, you can easily break your ankle.
So whether you need to maneuver through rugged terrain in the dark, or simply set up your tent at night, a headlamp can make a big difference.
But you just don’t pick any mediocre headlamp.
This article explores the important features which all of the best camping headlamps should have and what to look out for. At the end it also reviews best backpacking headlamps 2019.
- How to Choose the Best Hiking Headlamp
- TOP 7 Best Hiking & Backpacking Headlamps Reviewed 2019
- Bottom Line
How to Choose the Best Hiking Headlamp
The main purpose of a headlamp is hands-free lighting. Priorities differ when looking for the best hiking headlamp.
But generally, you will want to look out for the following:
The brightness of your headlamp will determine the distance you will be able to see. The distance you wish to see is also determined by your hiking activities and weather conditions.
Some circumstances require long range lighting while others may not.
When you intend to hike at night, you will want a headlamp that spans long distances. But if most of your activities will just be in and around your tent, a short range headlamp will be appropriate.
High humidity areas will call for bright headlamps.
Dry regions require less brightness as light travels further in dry air than humid air. In any case, mostly all of the best headlamps for backpacking offer more than 4 adjustable brightness settings.
This determines the visibility of the area you focus the headlamp.
A headlamp that combines both floodlight and spotlight settings illuminates better than one without. Floodlight setting lights up a large area while spotlight pinpoints to distant objects.
Look for headlamps with long battery life. Preserving battery is essential when caught up in survival situations.
A good hiking headlamp must contain a power saving attribute. Find one that incorporates both white and red lights to increase battery life.
The red light setting is less bright. It is suitable to use for low light activities such as cooking and reading.
Bright lights drain your batteries faster. So if you don’t have a power source you can opt for a lesser lumens headlamp.
The type of batteries and number of lights contribute to the weight of the headlamp. Choose a headlamp that you will feel comfortable wearing for a long period of time.
Note that some hiking headlamps come with separate battery compartments which add bulk to your load. Pick one that suits your needs depending on the distance you want to cover.
This is a must-have attribute of the best hiking headlamp. It should be able to withstand rain showers.
Hiking weather conditions vary so manufacturers must figure that out and sort you out. Otherwise, don’t buy if it can’t protect against splashing water.
Sometimes you want to position the beam at a specific target. A good headlight should adjust up and down to focus exactly where you want the light.
Some models even feature an automatic LED tilt that matches the angle of your eyes.
It directs light closer to where your eyes are looking at a specific moment. This is beneficial especially when you want to read.
The headlamp should fit well around your head. This comes in handy especially when you plan to run or climb steep mountain slopes.
Some headlamps have elastic straps that make it possible to fit any head size. Others have adjustable straps that you can alter to find the right fit.
Choose one that will not sway during intense activities.
Try out the buttons on the headlamp to find out how they function. Check out how they adjust through various light cycles; high, low, mid, and strobe.
Look for headlamps with switches that lock to prevent the device from unintentional lighting when it’s in the pack. The on and off buttons should also be easy to use.
Choose a headlamp that is made from high-quality materials.
You can also check for impact resistance when choosing a headlamp as that assures durability.
TOP 7 Best Hiking & Backpacking Headlamps Reviewed 2019
Here is a compilation of some of the best hiking headlamps.
These headlamps have taken into consideration the aforementioned factors and they rank high on performance.
Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp
The Black Diamond features 130 lumens of bright, long range light for night adventures. Its housing is water resistant to protect the lamp from splashing water.
It features a modern, sleek design that is attractive to casual hikers. It can tilt for better views including reading.
Its settings comprise full strength in close and distant modes, strobe, lock mode, dimming, and red light vision. High beam covers up to 60 meters while its low beam is 12 meters.
It features Triple A batteries that keep it running for up to 300 hours with maximum brightness.
In addition, it includes a power meter that shows battery usage. So you are always aware of the remaining battery life and when to replace batteries.
- Several light modes.
- It is lightweight.
- Adjustable brightness.
- The red light is extra bright so it can disturb others.
Shining Buddy LED Headlamp
This multi-purpose gadget delivers even in the most adverse conditions. It is highly waterproof to resist a heavy downpour at night.
It includes long lasting 3 AAA batteries that can take you through several hours before replacing.
It features 4 settings which you can switch between with a single button. You can use the bright light setting for night time hikes then adjust to less brightness to preserve battery life.
Red light allows you to do your activities at night without disturbing your buddies.
This headlight is ultra-lightweight for long lasting comfort. You can wear it for a long hiking period. The strap grips well and won’t slip or fall when jogging.
- It is lightweight.
- Affordable price.
- Water and shock resistant.
- Long life batteries.
- It lacks instant turn-off.
Vitchelo V800 Headlamp
The V800 is a quality device for backpacking. It is super bright on its highest setting which makes it safe for hiking and running at night. It sees up to 110 meters.
It includes 6 light settings that you can adjust to meet your own needs. The fit is elastic and tight enough to prevent sway yet it’s still comfortable. It has a focused beam that helps you look into the distance you are hiking.
It incorporates 2 red lights that are great for reading. Its white and red lights have separate switch buttons for convenient use. It uses three AAA batteries which are powerful enough to last for hours.
- Extended beam distance.
- Very bright light.
- Adjustable light modes.
- It has a light body.
- Long battery life.
- The brightest setting drains battery quickly.
Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight
Foxelli integrates all the light functions needed for hiking and backpacking. It is lightweight thus comfortable to wear over extended trips.
It includes an adjustable light setting that allows you to alter brightness as needed. You can always adjust to the low setting to increase battery life when you won’t need the brighter setting.
The red light option is great for night vision. The battery has a long life and stays bright for hours; its highest setting is 165 lumens.
This headlamp is also designed from tough and high-quality materials. It is highly waterproof providing you the confidence of hiking in the rain.
- Good button action.
- Adjustable light settings.
- Includes both white and red lights.
- It is lightweight.
- It is waterproof.
- Does not use standard batteries.
Aennon USB Rechargeable LED Headlamp Flashlight
This headlamp’s night visibility is superb. Its beam extends a whopping 492 feet and can tilt 60 degrees for wide views. The beam stays focused on your preferred direction.
It features a long LED lifetime of thousands of hours. It integrates 4 adjustable light settings. You can alter your preferred brightness with a single control button.
The headband is elastic to fit any head size. It is also comfortable wearing for long periods. It is also waterproof to protect against splashing water.
Another great attribute with this headlamp is the ability to recharge from a USB port. This device will save you costs of buying batteries now and then.
- Long distance viewing.
- USB Rechargeable headlamp.
- Variable settings.
- Comfortable for extended hikes.
- Limited light settings.
Noza Tec LED Headlamp
The Noza Tec serves well for most outdoor activities. It features three ultra-bright lights that will take you through extreme dark conditions. It has a bright and powerful beam that sees over wide areas.
The headlamp fits well on the head and it is comfortable to walk with for hours.
Its batteries charge inside their compartment so you won’t need to take them out. The charger shuts off once it is fully charged. They are also long lasting so you don’t recharge quite often.
It features a waterproof design that protects against rain. It can adjust up to 90 degrees for wide coverage.
- It has powerful lumen lights.
- It is water resistant.
- It includes a rechargeable battery.
- Waterproof design.
- It is expensive.
- No red lights.
Petlz REACTIK Headlamp
This headlamp features reactive lighting technology which enables it to adjust brightness automatically to your needs. This attribute makes it energy-efficient and convenient to use.
It is a rechargeable device, thus you don’t need to travel with batteries. The headlamp comes with an integrated USB port for charging on the go.
The headband is adjustable to fit different head sizes.
It includes a Bluetooth that integrates with the MyPetzi Light mobile app. You can use your Smartphone to read the remaining battery life and adjust its performance to your activity. The app also allows you to input different light settings.
- Convenient USB charging.
- Interactive Bluetooth app.
- Automatic light adjustments.
- Adjustable headband.
- It is a little heavy.
- It is expensive.
A reliable headlamp is a decent addition to your hiking gear. When choosing the best hiking headlamp for hiking make sure you choose one that suits your outdoor needs.
Consider the climate where you want to hike so as to pick the most suitable lighting.
The versatility of the headlamp is crucial so check for adjustability and multiple settings. Water and shock resistance, and having a battery backup will increase your chances of survival.
A headlamp is a must-have tool, especially for extended hiking and backpacking. Otherwise, you can just stay at home.