Are you comparing the best headlamps in 2020? Headlamps are superbly helpful gadgets that support various activities from sporting to traveling. However, headlamps come in a diverse spectrum of products. There are so many headlamp variants as you shop them online. As a matter of fact, some of the big names in the industry seem to be well ahead of everybody else in both complexity and ease of use. It is for this reason that you want to take the time and learn as much as you possibly can about what makes a good headlamp and what to look for when buying one.
Check out our buying guide below so you can get the best value of money on a headlamp.
List of 10 Best Headlamps of 2020 – Reviews
1. Petzl Actik Core ($70)
Petzl Actik Core is a great rechargeable, multi-beam headlamp that provides 450 lumens of power to light the way during dynamic outdoor activities like running, hiking and backpacking. It is also compatible with 3 AAA/LR03 batteries without the need for an adapter. The lock function helps you avoid turning it on during transit or storage. In addition, the headband is detachable and washable.
2. Black Diamond Spot 350 ($40)
Black Diamond Spot 350 is a wonderful headlamp that offers durability at good price. It has a compact design, updated user interface and improved multifaceted optical lens design that saves battery. This headlamp emits up to 350 lumens on max power setting. It ensures you’ll see what’s ahead or right in front even in the darkest hours.
3. Petzl Tikkina Headlamp ($20)
Petzl Tikkina offers 250 lumens of maximum output from a single white LED. This headlamp is all you need for your campsite, hike or traveling. It Features 3 white lighting levels: proximity, movement and distance. Petzl Tikkina is compatible with Petzl’s Core rechargeable battery and has a great balance of performance, weight, and price.
4. BioLite HeadLamp 330 ($60)
BioLite HeadLamp 330 is an amazing headlamp that features low-profile design and rechargeable battery. It provides comfort, durability and up to 330 lumens of bright light. In addition, the headlamp has several different modes: dimmable spot, flood, spot+flood, red night vision and strobe.
5. Black Diamond ReVolt 350 ($65)
This headlamp is a great choice for every hiker as it is superlight and comfortable. It features proximity and distance modes, dimming, strobe, and a red-light mode great for reading at night. The brightness memory enables you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting back to full or mid-power.
6. Fenix HM50R ($60)
Featuring a compact, waterproof aluminum body, this excellent rechargeable headlamp pierces the night with 4 brightness levels and a 500-lumen maximum beam that reaches up to 80 meters. It charges quickly and easily via a USB port. This headlamp is perfect for activities such as high-altitude mountaineering and alpine climbing.
7. Petzl NAO + ($200)
The Petzl NAO+ rechargeable headlamp puts out a multi-beam, powerful 750 lumens. The headlamp has a compatible phone app where you can check power levels, store settings, and make adjustments to light performance based on your needs. It uses technology that ensures constant lighting over time. The lock function avoids accidentally turning on the headlamp during transit or storage.
8. Black Diamond Sprinter 275 ($75)
Designed for long runs that start early or push past the daylight hours, this fantastic headlamp emits 275 lumens of power, making it ready for any trail in any conditions. Brightness memory lets you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting back to full or mid-power. it comes with 3 LEDs with 6 settings and multifaceted optical lens design.
9. Princeton Tec SNAP ($40)
Princeton Tec’s SNAP offers flexible design that can be used in multiple configurations. The kit includes the SNAP light unit, headlamp attachment, lantern mount clip and bike handlebar attachment. This headlamp is a perfect choice for a wide range of outdoor activities such as running, hiking and backpacking.
10. Ledlenser NEO4 Running Headlamp ($25)
Ledlenser NEO4 Running is a wonderful headlamp created specifically for running that comes with a reflective strap and red taillight for visibility on the road. Its bright 240-lumen LED can illuminate up to 100 feet down the trail. Priced at only $25, NEO4 is an excellent value for every runner.
What’s The Headlamp for?
When choosing a headlamp, you should refer to what activity you’d use the headlamp. Some activities may require different types of headlamps for optimum functions and benefits. There would be some factors that need to be prioritized for particular activities including weight, battery life, headlamp beam distance, light output, the fit, and so forth. For example, you may need more beam distances and battery life for camping while the lightweight is important for running. Consider your activities and elaborate on those factors for the best suitable headlamp.
How Does It Fit?
You’d attach the headlamp into your head and carry it along with you through activities, so you’d need the perfect fit one. Headlamps come in different fitting designs that you may prefer one over another. You may need tilting headlamps or the ones with a top strap to promote stability. There are also headlamps designed where the battery pack is placed on the back head to promote weight distribution. Either way, ensure that the headlamp can fit your head perfectly
and support your activities properly.
There are several types of headlamp beam to cover particular uses depending on your need. The current models of headlamps use LED bulbs for more efficiency and durability.
Spot Beam: Spot beam produces straight lighting that can reach far distance on your sight. It would be helpful to light the path once you’re running or cycling in the dark.
Wide Beam: The headlamp produces distributed illumination in a wide-angle instead of spotted. It’s ideal to light the campsites or project sites.
Variable Beam: For versatile use, now you can find headlamps with a variable beam where you can choose a spot or wide beam without changing the unit.
When it comes to headlamps, we’re not talking about watts but lumens, the light output measurement unit. The light output determines how bright the headlamp would light.
Headlamps come in a range of light output and you should consider this spec whether it covers your needs. The light output can go from 50-1000 lumens. You’d need the higher light output to cover more distance(spot beam) and wider area (wide beam). Also, check the beam distance spec that refers to the actual reach of the headlamp. It’s very important if your activities require a further reach to anticipate what’s ahead. This would help your sight with a better view in the low light condition.
Mode and Leveling Features
Once you need a headlamp for multiple activities, then you should go for the ones with mode and level features. Many headlamp products now come with brightness leveling that flex your lighting needs while saving the battery life. When you’re in the darkest environment, you can set the brightness to a higher level. In the evening, you may lower the brightness just to get a clearer view of your path. You may also consider headlamps that have strobe mode that allows
you to flashlight for emergency signaling or other purposes. Some headlamps also have a red light to support a limited night vision.
Headlamps are powered by the battery so you’d need to consider the battery life and type. They come with different battery packs and technology that determine the run time of the headlamp. You may choose the one with a higher average run time if you need it for prolonged activities that consequently require a bigger battery pack. For a headlamp with brightness level, the usage of high and low settings may also affect the run time.
Generally speaking, a rechargeable battery would be more recommended if you’d use the headlamps more frequently. If you usually go to a remote area with no power source, you may consider investing in a spare battery pack and/or solar battery charger. For occasional use, headlamps with non-rechargeable batteries would work well.