There are a number of different metrics to compare headlamps on. You can compare them by their brightness, for instance, if brightness is important to you. Another important metric when it comes to a good headlamp comparison is the battery life. Some headlamps will last for just a few hours, while others will last for hundreds. A lot of that has to do with power settings, but some of it comes down to just having a better battery that can put out more juice.
Headlamp ComparisonFind out what you need to know to make a good headlamp comparison.
- Lumens – The primary job of a headlamp is to illuminate whatever you point it at, so one of the most useful metrics for comparing headlamps is the amount of lumens which they can produce. The higher the lumens, the more light you will get. Related to that, you likely want a headlamp with multiple power settings, so that you can get less lumens when you want to conserve power.
- Weight – Another metric that many people may find useful is weight. Backpackers, for instance, may want a lightweight headlamp that will add a minimal amount of weight to their backpack. More generally, weight can be a good indicator of how big a headlamp is, and how powerful it will be.
Headlamp Comparison ReviewsA comparison of a few of the best headlamps, in various categories.
- Petzl Zipka Plus 2 - If all you want is something lightweight, and you're not too concerned about brightness, the Zipka 2 makes an excellent choice. It's very small, and even has a retractable strap so that it fits right in your pocket when you're not using it. It's also capable of a fairly impressive 70 lumens on the highest power setting, and 155 hours on the lowest power setting, which is rather impressive for such a small package. It weighs 2.5 ounces, or 70 grams with batteries.
- Black Diamond Storm - If you want a headlamp that does everything well, the Storm is the headlamp for you. It provides a fantastic 100 lumens of light, which is more than enough for most people, and will go for a total of 200 hours when on the lowest power setting. And as the name suggests, it's also waterproof, so a good choice for when things get wet and you still need to be able to see. It weighs 3.9 ounces, or 110 grams with batteries.
- Petzl Ultra - If all you care about is brightness, then you need a headlamp with high lumens, and the Ultra has plenty of that. With a maximum output of 350 lumens there are few headlamps that will do as good a job of turning in to day. But that ample amount of light doesn't come without a price, which in this case is battery life. Even on the lowest setting the Ultra will only go for 17 hours. Fortunately for you the Ultra has a rechargeable battery, so you wont have to be buying AAAs in bulk. It weighs 12.1 ounces, or 346 grams.