When you head out for a little backpacking or camping, one essential item that everyone should have with them is a light source. But when you are using a light source you often need both of your hands to work with whatever you are lighting, which is where something like an LED headlamp is so useful.
LED HeadlampBest features to look for on an LED headlamp.
- Weight - If you are going to be carrying an LED headlamp around on your head, you might as well make it a light headlamp. And if you need a big and bright LED headlamp, at least get one with a good strap system so the headlamp isn't likely to fall off.
- Battery Life - It's best to get a headlamp with good battery life. You wont pay as much in replacement batteries, and you also wont have to haul replacement batteries around with you when you are camping or backpacking. Of course battery life is always going to be affected by the headlamp's lumens, or output.
- Lumens - Always be aware of how much light you can expect from your headlamp. Most LED headlamps also typically have several different power settings, so that you can vary the amount of light you get, and also how long you can expect your battery to last.
Best LED HeadlampA few of the very best LED headlamps currently on the market.
- Black Diamond Icon - The Icon is a great headlamp if what you want is ample power. It puts out 100 lumens on the high setting, and you get 80 hours of battery life at that setting, or 140 hours on the low setting. But the Icon weighs 6.6 ounces, or 187 grams, so it's definitely not the lightest LED headlamp. But if you want high power, there is no getting around around a higher weight.
- Petzl Tactikka Plus - The Tactikka is a great little headlamp with a bunch of good features. It weighs just 2.5 ounces, or 70 grams, and gives you 150 hours of running time on the lowest of the three brightness settings. One feature that a lot of people will appreciate is a small red filter that slides down over the white LEDs, to give the light a red tinge. Red LED light is desirable because it wont ruin your night vision, which can be handy when moving around at night.
- Black Diamond Ion - The Ion is the lightest headlamp that Black Diamond makes. It weighs a scant 1.3 ounces, or 30 grams, which is light enough that you wont even know it's in your bag until you need it. The extremely small size, however, means that you get just 15 hours on the low setting, and 3 on high. Still, if you want lightweight, this is it.