If you have ever removed camping, walking, backpacking, climbing, hill biking, trail jogging, or almost anything else in the outdoors, chances are you’ve used a headlamp. While this useful piece of technology requires little launch (everyone understands the good thing about hands-free lighting), the impressive leaps in headlamp technology over the past few years are worthy of some reputation. The industry is within the midst of any horsepower battle, with one-upmanship observed in the maximum light end result (ranked in lumens) and battery options, and we the users will be the happy beneficiaries. Below are our top headlamp suggestions for 2019. For more information, see our headlamp examination table and buying advice.
Best Overall Headlamp
1. Black Diamond Spot 325
Weight: 3 oz.
Max Beam: 80m
What we like: Bright, great functionality, and unbeatable price.
What we don’t: No USB rechargeable option.
An individual favorite of the editors at Switchback Travel, the 2019 Black Diamond Place hits an excellent balance of power, durability, and price. The headlamp responsibilities a solid 325-lumen beam and includes a touch-sensitive property for quick brightness adjustments. Additionally, you get a total suite of light alternatives, from the long-range dual Resulted in softer proximity LED and crimson LED for work with around camp. And it’s really worth noting that Dark Gemstone has greatly increased simple use-our main difficulty with the last model by adding a second option that switches quickly between your various modes.
The headlamp industry is competitive overall, but nothing can meet the Spot’s well-rounded design. It’s priced right at $40, and the lamp’s modified, the low-profile shape makes it better to do while running or retailer in a pack. Even more, the BD can handle staying under 1.1 meters of water for thirty minutes, gives you that extra degree of security when you yourself have to hike out on a downpour. All advised, for some outdoor adventuring, the versatile Location 325 may be the headlamp to get.
Best Rechargeable Headlamp
2. Petzl Actik Core
Weight: 2.9 oz.
Max Beam: 95m
What we like: Rechargeable battery, bright, and lightweight.
What we don’t: Limited adjustments and water resistance.
Headlamps with rechargeable batteries have become increasingly more ubiquitous, and Petzl is the class-leader in this section. Their Main group of headlamps is completely rechargeable, however, the cross design allows the choice to swap the battery power out for three AAA batteries. That is especially helpful if you intend on being in the field for times at a time without recharging functions. Using their current line-up, the Actik Main model is a standout, displaying 350 lumens between two white LEDs in an affordable deal. You get steady performance across its burn up time (seven-time with standard electricity) and easy charging via micro USB.
At $70, the Actik Core is more expensive than the non-rechargeable competition, and it doesn’t continue in other functions. You get a red light method and similar maximum lighting as the Dark Diamond Location and Surprise but without a dimmer (the Actik Center has only three preset lighting levels). In addition, the Petzl has a comparatively low IPX 4 water-resistance score, which doesn’t protect it from submersion. However the rechargeable convenience, sub-three-ounce weight, and strong productivity supply the Actik Center a high I’m all over this our list. Best Budget Headlamp
Best Budget Headlamp
3. Petzl Tikkina Headlamp
Weight: 3 oz.
Max Beam: 50m
What we like: Easy to use and a good price.
What we don’t: Not a particularly powerful headlamp.
For camping trips or use around the house, a simple headlamp like the Petzl Tikkina is a fine choice. This very popular design recently was updated with a stronger 150-lumen maximum output from a single white LED. We’ve found that the center button is easy to find and operate, and the beam is great for nighttime cooking and setting up tents in the dark. As with the Actik Core above, the Tikkina is compatible with Petzl’s Core rechargeable battery, although in this case, it’s an accessory that is purchased separately. If you anticipate using the Core technology, we recommend purchasing the Actik Core above for a similar cost ($10 more) and a lot more lumens. But if you stick with AAA batteries, the Tikkina hits a nice balance of performance, weight, and price.
What’s not to as with the Petzl Tikkina? By today’s benchmarks, the light is respectable but not extremely impressive, and you don’t find the dimming capacities like the Dark Diamond models. Generally, we’d recommend spending the excess $20 for the Dark Diamond Spot, that provides a significant intensify in both productivity and versatility. But also for the truly budget-conscious, the Tikkina gets the fundamentals right in a $20 bundle, and the bump in lumens helps it be a good option. If you’re really pinching pennies, browse the Energizer Eye-sight HD below.
Best Bright, High-Lumen Headlamp
4. Coast FL85 Headlamp
Weight: 4.5 oz.
Max Beam: 183m
What we like: Crazy bright; focusing ring works really well.
What we don’t: Heavy, drains batteries on high.
Oregon-based Coast Products flies a little under the radar compared to Black Diamond or Petzl, nevertheless, they have a strong line-up of quality headlamps. A great case in point is their FL85, which has an impressive 615-lumen maximum output from a single beam, along with an easy-to-use focusing ring for modifying between proximity and range modes. The light just blew us away with its brightness and a maximum distance of 600 ft (the Spot above reaches about half that distance), but the lower power modes still are plenty functional for use around camp and lighting up a trail.
The penalties in getting such a powerful lamp are weight, bulk, and electric battery life. At 4. 5 ounces, the Coast feels heavy sitting on your forehead and takes up quite a little bit more area than the Spot or Actik Core in your pack. Furthermore, at full power, you’ll burn through your AAA batteries in two hours. This is a common problem with high-output headlamps: the Fenix HL60R below supplies a whopping 950 lumens, but with a run time of less than an hour. If you save the maximum output only for the times when you truly need it, the FL85 offers amazing power at an acceptable price—and is often found on sale.
Best Headlamp for Running
5. Black Diamond Sprinter
Weight: 3.7 oz.
Max Beam: 50m
What we like: Great beam for runners.
What we don’t: Not our preferred choice for general use.
The majority of the headlamps in this article are intended for general use—hiking, camping, climbing, or as an emergency light fixture to store in your house or vehicle. And while many of these lamps can be used for running, dedicated nighttime runners are better off getting a model built specifically for the sport. Our top running headlamp is the Black Gemstone Sprinter: it puts off a strong, regular light beam for seeing the trek ahead, is nicely well balanced with the battery on the back of the strap, and has a red taillight on the rear housing to increase visibility.
The Sprinter’s intended use also happens to be the biggest downside. The single beam along the front is ideal for running or hiking on a trail, but the lack of a proximity beam makes it much less useful around camp. And the additional strap over the top of the head and separated battery pack add a little weight and bulk relative to the amp’s output and price. If we were to choose a single headlamp, it would be one of the options above. But for serious runners or those that will value the strong oval beam, the Sprinter is an excellent option. And if you’re looking for a super lightweight running option, check out the Petzl Bindi below.