10 Best Headlamps | May 2017

10 Best Headlamps | May 2017
Best Mid-Range
Best High-End
Best Inexpensive
Get hands-free illumination for any purpose, whether hiking, camping, reading in bed or doing DIY projects around the house with one of these headlamps. From spotlight modes to USB recharging and tilting heads, we cover it all. Skip to the best headlamp on Amazon.
The Princeton Tec AMP is a basic headlamp with an output of only 125 lumens, but it weighs less than three ounces and requires just one CR123 battery for operation. One battery comes included with the headlamp.
  • high power white spot beam
  • green leds for hunter safety
  • 40 hour burn time
Brand Princeton Tec
Model HYBL123-GR-BK
Weight 3.2 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
The Fenix HL30 is a value-priced headlamp with a decent maximum 200 lumen output. It has an aluminum alloy and high performance plastic body. This is a great primary lamp for casual campers or a backup for spelunkers or mountaineers.
  • runs on 2 aa batteries
  • six output options
  • fast dual-button switch
Brand Fenix
Model HL30R5BZ
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
The Streamlight Argo features a water resistant ABS housing and can stand up to impacts of around 1.5 meters without taking damage. It is more expensive than similar models of headlamp, but it does have a high lumen output.
  • weighs four ounces with batteries
  • run time up to 6.5 hours on high mode
  • 90-degree tilting head
Brand Nitecore
Model NiteCore-HC50-XML2-Blac
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
A SmartLite Ultra LED Headlamp is suitable for many uses, like helping you work on construction projects, start a campfire, or see where you're putting your keys, and it is a great choice for use by nighttime runners or cyclists.
  • very low cost option
  • available in pink, yellow, or blue
  • dustproof housing
Brand SmarterLife Products
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.7 / 5.0
The TerraLux TLH-50 headlamp offers three hours of continuous use on its brightest setting or as long as 65 hours on its lowest output. It is constructed with an aluminum casing and anodized finish to protect the bulbs and circuits.
  • weighs 6.4 ounces
  • three output settings
  • water resistant housing
Brand TerraLUX
Model TLH-50
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
The Fenix HP25 has a maximum output of 340 lumens, and runs off four AAA batteries. It is bulkier than most models and weighs in at a hefty eight ounces. While it's not a great choice for the hiker, it's good for working at night.
  • spotlight reaches up to 525 feet
  • multiple spot and flood combinations
  • waterproof for up to 30 minutes
Brand Fenix
Model HP25R4YW
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
The Streamlight Double Clutch has spot and flood modes, and a 60-degree tilting head. AAA batteries can be used as backup power, while the main power source comes in the form of a rechargeable battery pack.
  • high and low beams
  • comes with an ac adapter
  • usb recharging option as well
Brand Streamlight
Model 61603
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
The affordably priced Coast Rechargeable HL7R Headlamp includes both USB and AC charging options. It features adjustable focus and light dimming functions, and comes with a lifetime warranty against defects.
  • impact and water resistant
  • modest 150 lumens on high setting
  • runtime is 38 hours on low setting
Brand Coast
Model 19274
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
The Olight Wave comes with a lithium ion rechargeable battery and a USB charger. It features a hands-free infrared sensor for gesture control, or can be operated by manual operation. It features a wide range of angle adjustments.
  • maximum 250 lumens output
  • adjustable pitch from 0 to 75 degrees
  • built-in diffuser
Brand Olight
Weight 1.6 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0
The Princeton Tec Apex has a high power spot beam that shines over 100 meters. It weighs only 283 grams with the included rechargeable battery, meaning you'll hardly notice this well-balanced and potent unit.
  • ultra bright focused 275 lumen beam
  • comfortable adjustable straps
  • 4 leds shine in red, green or white
Brand Princeton Tec
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

The Surprisingly Versatile Headlamp

If you have ever tried to change a tire, you know that it can be a thankless difficult task. Now imagine changing a tire in the dark, and doing so with only one hand available. If you ever have to illuminate a tire change process using a flashlight, that may well be the scenario you face. Next consider the annoyance of trying to hold a flashlight steady while you jog down a sidewalk or trail at night. Or think about trying to set up a tent at your campsite using one hand for the tarp, poles, and anchors, the other to aim your light.

The list of activities made more complicated by the need to illuminate them goes on and on, but the solution for all these situations and countless more is simple: just get yourself a great headlamp.

When many people think of headlamps, they think of adventurous spelunkers boldly exploring deep subterranean caves, or of robust miners working to bring coal, ore, and precious stones to the surface. The fact is that a headlamp can be a useful tool for almost any activity undertaken in the darkness. A headlamp is as useful an accessory for the cook trying to grill in the dark as it is for the caver, and they are as convenient for the person who wants to read in bed as for the first responder keeping her hands free while she works to perform CPR on or prepare a field dressing for an injured victim.

Whether you are a hiker or camper, you are preparing a roadside emergency preparedness kit, or if you are simply looking for a way to make those household projects like connecting wires to the TV or fixing the leaking sink easier, a headlamp can help you do it by putting light were you need it most. And while the most expensive, top of the line headlamps may cost more than a hundred dollars, there are perfectly suitable options that cost less than twenty five dollars. When it comes to putting light before your very eyes, the prospect is very much affordable.

Choosing A Headlamp For Recreation

If you are considering getting a headlamp for use during a recreational activity, then the type of activity will inform which options are right for you. If you are a hiker, mountaineer, or distance runner, then you will want to go with one of the lightest headlamps available. Every ounce counts when you are carrying your gear on your back and/or you are logging long miles with your legs, so spend the extra money and get a lightweight lamp.

You might also need a lamp with a strap that goes around and over your head if you will use it while running so the up and down motion does not shake the light out of place. If you will be climbing, caving, or biking, make sure the headlamp you choose can fit securely over your helmet, or that the strap can be woven through your head gear.

Just keep in mind that if you're using your headlamp while riding a bicycle, it's still a good idea to have a fixed light on the front of your bike as well. It can take a moment to reorient your headlamp on the path ahead after you have turned your head to one side or the other, and that second can be all it takes to hit an unseen obstacle or pothole. The combination of a bike headlight and a headlamp allows for ideal nighttime cycling safety, especially as many headlamps feature flashing modes that can help you be easily seen even when you don't need the extra light for your own vision.

If you need a headlamp for less active purposes, such as for helping you chop wood at night, spot the path or sidewalk as you take your dog for a walk, or for making your way around a campsite, then weight is less of an issue, as even the heaviest headlight of good enough quality to be worth considering will weight half a pound at most.

Make sure to also weigh variables such as beam type and distance, battery life, and brightness adjustment.

Choosing A Headlamp For Professional Applications

Whether you need a light to let you do your job on a worksite at night or you are a first responder who needs to make sure you can see the person you are trying to help after an accident or during a disaster scenario, a headlamp is the ideal tool to help you out. Headlamps direct light exactly where your gaze naturally falls, and most good models offer a diverse array of beam and fill options with variable brightness settings.

When choosing a headlamp to help you get your work done, first consider if it's more important for you to be able to see for long distances, such as can be achieved with a "long throw" beam of light, or if you need to see the area right around you, as broader fill light will provide. For disaster response, for example, a beam that reaches out many dozens of feet can help the paramedic or law enforcement official take stock of the situation from a distance.

For a worker installing hardware, cutting pipes or lumber, or working with wiring, to name a few examples, it is more important to be able to see all of the work surface and surrounding area than it is to see far off into the distance. As with the climber or biker wearing a light with his or her helmet, just make sure the band of the headlamp you consider can fit over your hardhat if applicable.

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Last updated on May 22 2017 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

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