When selecting a headlamp to take hiking you have a wide variety of options available to you, and the best hiking headlamp for you will be determined, in large part, by how exactly you plan to use your headlamp. If you just want something to get you through dusk, for instance, then you don’t need anything too fancy, but if you’re going to be hiking straight through the night, you might want something a little more powerful to help light the way.
Best Hiking HeadlampWhat to look at when you want the best hiking headlamp.
- Power Range – As alluded to above, the amount of light that you need may change. And so it helps if you can change the amount of light that your headlamp produces, so that you get lots of light when you’re moving fast at night, and low light when you’re not doing much and are looking to save power.
- Red Light – One thing that you might want when hiking with a headlamp is the ability to produce red light. Red light doesn’t dilate your pupils, so when you turn the headlamp off you’re not temporarily blind. It’s an ideal power setting for when you just need the headlamp for a minute or two, and don’t want to have to wait for your eyes to readjust.
Best Hiking Headlamp ReviewsReviews of a few of the best hiking headlamps on the market.
- Petzl Ultra Headlamp - The Ultra is the best hiking headlamp for one thing, and that is when you are moving fast and need lots of brightness. With 350 lumens at your disposal on the highest power setting you will never be without enough light. The downside is that this headlamp doesn't have any low power LEDs, so even on the lowest power setting you still run out of battery power rather quickly - 17 hours to be precise. So built for brightness and not much else. The battery is rechargeable, however, which is definitely nice. It's also not the lightest headlamp, at 12.1 ounces, which is 346 grams.
- Petzl Tactikka Plus Headlamp - The Tactikka is at the other end of the spectrum from the Ultra, with just 35 lumens available on the highest power setting. So not much. But that's balanced out by a total of 150 hours of battery life, which is certainly better than the Ultra's 17. And even on the Tactikka's highest power setting, you still get an impressive 100 hours of battery life. And all that in a 2.75 ounce, or 78 gram package. It even has a small little red lens that you can flip down over the white LEDs, for a red light mode.
- Black Diamond Storm - The Storm is a solid, durable headlamp meant for abuse. For starters it's waterproof, which most headlamps cant claim to be. It will give you 100 lumens of light to work with on the highest power setting, which is plenty to see far with, and on the lowest power setting you get a total of 200 hours of battery life. That lowest setting is a red light setting that comes from the 2 red LEDs built in. So a solid headlamp with plenty of options. It weighs 3.9 ounces, which is 110 grams.