While flashlights are certainly one of the most beneficial inventions ever to grace mankind, it can’t be denied that there are certain situations where these handheld light-emitters are an inconvenience. If you’re trying to carry a heavy load or need your hands free in a tactical or technical situation, being weighed down by a flashlight in your hand can be annoying or even dangerous. Thankfully, the best headlamp options are cheap and plentiful and serve the same function as a handheld flashlight. Yet not all headlamps are made the same, so doing your research before making a purchase is of the utmost importance.
Picking The Best Headlamp To Light Your Way
One person’s definition of the best headlamp may be a terrible choice for someone else, making it necessary to rise above the hype and make a decision based on your own personal research. Consider the situation in which you’re planning to use a headlamp; do you need a perfect headlamp to shine a spotlight on technical work you’re doing indoors or do you need a handsfree lighting device for hunting or fishing? When sorting through the different headlamps that are available, it can be helpful to take a look at the reviews that have been posted by other customers to get an idea of what people have used a particular headlamp for and with what degree of success.
Sifting Through the Available Features
While some headlamps have a clearly practical bent, others obviously value style over substance. Just because a headlamp is jam-packed with attractive features doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right headlamp for your particular needs. While many headlamps consist of a single LED light with various mode settings, others contain up to five LED lights to provide various zoom and focus options. And while certain LED headlamps are rechargeable, others are powered by batteries, with each type being useful for different reasons. To top it off, some LED headlamps can even shine out lights of different colors, which can be a great way to display your position or pick up different types of objects in the dark. With so many features available, doing your due diligence when it comes to researching the best headlamp is certain to pay off.
The Benefits of Hands-Free Illumination
No matter what type of headlamp you end up choosing, it can’t be denied that the ability to keep your hands free while still illuminating your environment can be incredibly useful in a variety of different situations. Campers love headlamps for navigating trails and campsites after the sun has gone down. Electrical workers appreciate the ability of headlamps to pick out minute details while working in walls. And hunters use headlamps to check their equipment after hours and to perform other tasks that require two hands. There are also hundreds of potential uses for headlamps beyond these examples, driving the point home that these hands-free illumination devices are versatile additions to anyone’s toolkit or backpack.
Ten Best Headlamp Reviews
This affordable option from Jun Xiang features 5 LED lights in a cluster at the front of the headlamp. The central light can be turned on by itself for a low beam effect and the four surrounding lights can be turned on independently as well. The entire array can also be turned on at once for a floodlight effect and the headlamp can also be set to flash as a way to alert others to your presence. The Jun Xiang Super Bright Camping Headlamp is powered by two rechargeable batteries. You can either charge this headlamp with a USB cord or remove the batteries and insert them into a charger. The batteries have a life of about 4-6 hours.
The entire LED array can be rotated downward up to 90 degrees to pick up potential obstacles on the ground and the headband can be adjusted to fit your head. The LEDs in the Jun Xiang Super Bright Camping Headlamp is advertised as being capable of delivering 8,000 lumens and the on/off switch on the top of this headlamp is waterproofed. This is a relatively new product so there are not many reviews available, but the reviews that have been posted are favorable.
Black Diamond is a well-known and reputable outdoor gear supplier. This may partially explain the relatively high price of the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp. The market is increasingly dominated by overwrought and heavy-looking headlamps. In that regard, this offering from Black Diamond is a breath of fresh air. Featuring a small and lightweight body, this headlamp contains one quad-LED light and another single LED adjacent. The LEDs can be set to illuminate distant objects or items near at hand. There is also the ability to strobe. The Black Diamond Spot Headlamp can even be set to produce a red light to help you retain your night vision.
This headlamp is waterproof in submersion depths of up to 1 meter. It is also equipped with PowerTap technology, allowing easy transition between illumination modes. This headlamp is not rechargeable but boasts a long battery life. There are over 200 reviews of this product on Amazon and almost all of them are positive. The most common issue that customers complain about is products that arrive dead-on-arrival. Black Diamond is responsive when taking care of these quality control issues.
This headlamp delivers up to 120 lumens and the light source can be swiveled up to 45 degrees. It is powered by 3 AAA batteries and is advertised as being 100% waterproof. It features an adjustable headband and does not have a strap that goes over the top of your head. There are 4 settings available on this headlamp: high resolution, low resolution, red light, and flashing. This headlamp comes equipped with a lifetime guarantee and is the most inexpensive headlamp on this list.
The overwhelming majority of reviewers on Amazon have nothing but good things to say about this product. Some negative reviews express concerns about quality and some reviewers report that the headlamp failed upon the first use. The seller appears to be quite responsive in dealing with customer concerns.
At 100 hours per charge, the Foxelli USB Rechargeable Headlamp Flashlight boasts an incredibly long battery life. Furthermore, the battery can be fully recharged with a USB cable in less than 2 hours. This best headlamp is rated as producing 280 lumens of illumination and features a full headband complete with a top strap for extra stability. An adjustable lens gives you the ability to switch from a focused to a wide angle beam in an instant. The headlamp can be tilted up to 90 degrees and is listed as being capable of producing a wide variety of light modes including ultra bright, bright, average, and minimum.
This headlamp comes with a whistle for emergency situations and can be set to flash as an SOS beacon. The manufacturer alleges that this product is built to last, and it does indeed seem to be a very high-quality headlamp offering. This appears to be a very popular product with over 2,500 reviews on Amazon. Negative reviewers point out apparent issues with batteries that fail to charge. But the vast majority of the reviews posted are positive.
Equipped with a large and imposing headlamp body, this option from Japanese manufacturer Akitsuma is packed with features. It also appears to be of high manufacture quality. While most competitors decline to clearly list the types of LEDs used in their headlamps, Akitsuma are happy to disclose this. They make no pretense of hiding the fact that they use T6 LED diodes. These are used for all 5 of the illumination sources in this headlamp. The Akitsuma LED Cree Headlamp comes with two rechargeable batteries. They also outstrip the competition by providing three different methods for charging the headlamp. These include a USB cord, a car charger, and a wall charger.
The listed range of the Akitsuma LED Cree Headlamp is 500 feet and this headlamp features a red safety light on the back over the battery pack to serve as a point of reference to others that may be nearby. The headlamp can swivel down 90 degrees and the materials used in the construction of the headlamp are aluminum alloy and rubber. Unfortunately, this product does not have many reviews at this time. One negative reviewer complained about this headlamp breaking in less than a month and there has been no response from the seller. The rest of the reviews are all positive and praise the brightness and battery life of this product.
This headlamp distinguishes itself from the competition with its availability in multiple colors, including blue, yellow, purple, and black. Consisting of a simple adjustable horizontal headband design, this Headlamp by SmarterLife uses CREE LEDs to shine a light that’s adjustable in intensity from low to medium to high. This headlamp also includes an SOS flashing mode. There are even two modes of red light; solid and flashing. This headlamp is powered by a single AA battery and features an IPX6 water resistance rating. To become rated as IPX6, the Headlamp by SmarterLife was proven water resistant under water pressures as high as 100 liters per second at a distance of 3 meters.
At only 35 grams, this headlamp is incredibly lightweight and is even suitable for children. At its highest setting, it shines out at 115 lumens and runs for up to 60 hours on one battery. The main benefit of the best headlamp by SmarterLife is its high portability, and most reviewers on Amazon are thrilled by the performance of this headlamp. The most common complaint is receiving defective items and it appears that the manufacturer is quick about providing replacement products.
This affordable headlamp comes with a whistle for safety and can shine out light in both bright white and red spectrums. There are two buttons on the top of the headlamp. One button turns on the white light at various intensities and the other button activates the red light. This headlamp casts a beam rated at 168 lumens for up to 110 meters using CREE XP-E LED lights. Each headlamp comes with the three AAA batteries that are required for operation and is protected by a lifetime warranty that covers defects and damage.
There are three light intensities in the white light range: high, medium, and low. The batteries used in this LED headlamp last for 30 hours on high, 55 hours on medium, and 120 hours on low. The beam can be pivoted up to 45 degrees and the simple horizontal headband is fully adjustable. This headlamp comes highly rated by reviewers and is IPX6 water resistant. Unlike many competitors, this headlamp is CE and RoHS certified, meaning that you can use it without having to worry about being exposed to toxic substances.
This heavy-duty headlamp contains one central T6 LED and 4 surrounding XPE LEDs. The central LED can be turned on by itself or in conjunction with the 4 supplementary lights. The supplementary lights can also be turned on without the central light. This headlamp is also equipped with a red LED on the front and a dimmer red LED over the battery pack on the back for safety.
This headlamp comes with two rechargeable AA batteries that can be charged while inside the headlamp or with an external charger. For internal charging, the manufacturer provides a wall charger, a USB charger, and a car charger. With the lights at full intensity, a battery charge lasts between 4 and 6 hours. This product also comes with a free mini LED light.
This affordable LED headlamp can be used in ultra bright, bright, flashing, or SOS modes. It comes with two rechargeable batteries and three different types of chargers. It is also advertised as being IPX8 water resistant and drop resistant from heights of up to 5 feet. The manufacturers claim that the beam travels 500 feet and shines out at 1,000 lumens. The headlamp can be tilted down by 90 degrees and it contains a single T6 LED diode.
Some customers report issues with connecting the charging port. Otherwise, customer reviews are largely favorable.
This heavy-duty headlamp contains 6 separate LEDs including one T6 diode, four XPE diodes, and one COB diode that casts a wide beam. It is relatively heavy compared to some smaller headlamps and is equipped with two rechargeable batteries. These are stored in a rubber case at the back of the headlamp. This headlamp comes with a USB charging cable and is covered with an 18-month warranty. It has 6 different light modes, including a flashing SOS beacon mode. The body of this headlamp is constructed of aluminum alloy and plastic and at its highest setting, the beam can be seen from 100 meters away.
This is another example of a headlamp that claims an 8,000-lumen output, which seems a bit optimistic. This headlamp has over 100 reviews on Amazon, almost all of which are favorable. However, the review analyzer FakeSpot reveals that some of the reviewers are known to be dodgy. That being said, there are ample photo and video reviews of the product. While a handful may be ‘spammy’ reviewers, it is highly unlikely that they all are.