There are quite a few headlamps out there to choose from, and to help narrow things down a bit it can be helpful to start with the top rated headlamps, and then narrow that selection down, based on what your needs are. And there is quite a wide range of features available on headlamps, with many of them being designed for those that just want something to see at night, and others that are designed to illuminate the whole forest, and are ideal for those moving fast at night.
Top Rated HeadlampsWhat to look at when you want the top rated headlamps.
- Lumens – Lumens is the unit of measurement for how bright a headlamp is. The higher the lumens, the brighter the headlamp will be. What helps is to get a headlamp that has several power settings, so that you can boost the power, and the lumens when you need brightness, and then lower the power down when you want to conserve batteries.
- Red Light – Another helpful feature that you may want on your headlamp is the ability to produce red light. Some headlamps do this with red LEDs while others have a lens that you can put over the white LEDs. Either way, red light doesn’t cause your pupil to dilate, and so when you turn the light off you’re not temporarily blind.
Top Rated Headlamps ReviewsA few quick reviews of some of the top rated headlamps.
- Black Diamond Storm Headlamp - Part of what makes the Storm such a popular choice is that unlike many other headlamps it's completely waterproof, and thus the perfect headlamp to be wearing in a storm, as the name suggests. It also puts out an impressive 100 lumens on the highest power setting, with a 70 meter beam distance, while on the lower red LED power setting you can expect to squeeze out about 200 hours, which is rather impressive. And the whole hing weighs just 3.9 ounces, or 110 grams.
- Petzl Ultra Headlamp - What the Ultra does best is brightness. On the maximum setting it will give you 350 lumens, which is enough to see about 120 meters in front of you. Unfortunately it will only do that for about 2 hours, and will only get about 17 hours of battery life on the lowest power setting. It's a headlamp built for one thing, and that's brightness. The batteries are rechargeable, however, so it's not like you're buying a new set every time you run it dry. The whole thing also weighs 12.1 ounces, or 346 grams, so not exactly light either.
- Petzl Tactikka Plus Headlamp - One more very popular and highly rated headlamp. It's not particularly powerful, with just 35 lumens at it's disposal on the highest power setting. But even on the high setting you get 100 hours of battery life, and a full 150 on the lowest power setting. It also has a little red lens that can flip down over the LEDs which gives you a red light mode to work with as well. But what stands out is that the whole thing weighs just 2.75 ounces, or 78 grams, which is rather lightweight.