9 Best Headlamps | December 2016

9 Best Headlamps
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Best High-End
★★★
Best Inexpensive
★★★
We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you're out hiking at night, camping, reading in bed, or doing DIY projects around the house, one of the options from our comprehensive selection of headlamps will help you achieve hands-free illumination. We've included a range of choices with features like spotlight modes, USB charging, and tilting heads. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best headlamp on Amazon.
9
The Streamlight Double Clutch has spot and flood modes, a 60-degree tilting head, and a rotating face cap in place of traditional buttons. AAA batteries can be used as backup power, while the main source comes in the form of a rechargeable battery pack.
  • durable polymer construction
  • includes an ac adapter
  • a little too bulky for some
Brand Streamlight
Model 61603
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
8
The Foxelli MX500L is capable of withstanding even the harshest elements, like a torrential downpour or extreme heat, and won't break if you accidentally drop it on the ground. The adjustable lens makes switching between focused and wide beams an absolute breeze.
  • recharges via usb
  • has a battery level indicator
  • strap is a little flimsy
Brand Foxelli
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
7
Backed by a lifetime warranty, the nyteBright T6 is a compact and attractive unit that'll meet all of your lighting needs. It's great for reading, kayaking, jogging, and exploring caves, and uses Cree XP-E technology to cast an impressive beam.
  • four white light modes
  • simple to operate
  • unstable lamp bracket
Brand nyteBright
Model pending
Weight 4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
6
Easy to control and sleekly designed, the LuminoLite Ultra Bright features a range of settings, including dim, strobe, and constant mode. The beam angle can also be adjusted up to 45 degrees, and the LED stays cool to the touch even after extended usage.
  • fits both children and adults
  • doesn't interfere with night vision
  • buttons are hard to locate
Brand LuminoLite
Model pending
Weight 3.5 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
5
The PathBrite LED features IR Sensor Control, which allows you to switch lighting modes simply by waving your hand. It has a red strobe with a high visibility, so it's ideal for emergency situations, like dealing with a broken-down car in the middle of the night.
  • includes a carrying pouch
  • conforms to any head shape
  • can easily withstand rain
Brand TheXtremer
Model pending
Weight 4.5 ounces
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
4
A SmartLite Ultra LED is suitable for a variety of uses, and is made of sturdy, non-toxic materials. It can be easily stored in your pocket or backpack, and the curved forehead panel allows for a snug and comfortable fit, even if you're wearing it for hours at a time.
  • six different light settings
  • available in multiple colors
  • dustproof housing
Brand SmarterLife Products
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0
3
The Luxolite LED features 2 push buttons for when you need to switch between white and red light, allowing you to instantly set the brightness you require without cycling through various modes. It's also one of the more compact options out there, weighing only 3 ounces.
  • tiltable head mount
  • adjustable elastic headband
  • impact resistant up to 5 feet
Brand Luxolite
Model pending
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 5.0 / 5.0
2
The Shining Buddy LED boasts an eye-catching, comfortable design, and comes in at quite an affordable price. It's a great choice for jogging and biking, thanks to the non-slip strap that won't fall or bob while you're moving.
  • bulb lasts up to 100000 hours
  • includes a helpful e-guide
  • water- and shock-resistant
Brand Shining Buddy
Model pending
Weight 2.6 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
1
Capable of casting a beam of light the length of a football field, the Explortek Nite-Blazer is an extremely powerful and easy to use option. Lightweight and waterproof, it's suitable for use in just about any situation you can think of.
  • includes lifetime warranty
  • battery can last up to 120 hours
  • comfortable elastic headband
Brand Explortek
Model EHNB-168
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 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 December 15, 2016 by multiple members of the ezvid wiki editorial staff

Our professional staff of writers and researchers have been creating authoritative product recommendations and reviews since 2011. Many of our wikis require expert maintenance, and are authored by individual members of our editorial staff. However, this wiki is currently maintained by multiple members of the ezvid wiki team.


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