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Best Headlamp for Hiking, Camping and Backpacking in 2023

How to choose the best headlamp for hiking, camping and backpacking? There are a few things to consider before buying a headlamp.

Modern LED technology has made headlamps more powerful than ever before. Also the battery performance has improved dramatically. You can get a good headlamp for as low as $20.

To compare headlamps you will need to know how many lumens will you need for your use. Lighting modes will allow you to save battery, and use the headlamp on different situations. Headlamps have also some additional features like red light mode, which is great when only a small amount of light is needed, and you don’t want to blind your friends.

The activities you are using the headlamp on set the requirements for the headlamp. For running and other fast-paced activities you will need more lighting power than for example just walking. If you are planning to use the same headlamp for mountain biking you will need more powerful lamp.

Headlamps work either with batteries (usually AAA or AA sized) or rechargeable battery. There are some models which support both batteries, and a rechargeable battery as well.

With accessories some headlamps can be used as bike light in addition to hiking, camping and backpacking. So if you need a light for your bicycle this is something you should keep in mind.

If you are planning to use the headlamp for running you should pay attention to weight of the headlamp.

Water resistance is also something to keep in mind. There are models which do not stand water at all which can make them a poor choice for everyday usage.

Name Price Weight Batteries Max Lumens Average Run Time
Petzl Swift RL Petzl Swift RL 3.5 oz 2350 mAh lithium ion 900 High standard: 2 hrs.; medium standard: 5 hrs.; low: 100 hrs.
Fenix HM61R Rechargeable Fenix HM61R Rechargeable 5 oz 3,400 mAh rechargeable 18650 battery (included) or 2 CR123A batteries (not included) 1200 Turbo: 2 hours; high: 4 hours; medium: 12 hours; low: 35 hours; eco: 300 hours
Petzl IKO Core Petzl IKO Core 2.8 oz 1250 mAh CORE rechargeable battery or 3 AAA batteries 500 High: 2.5 hours / Standard: 9 hours / low: 100 hours
BioLite HeadLamp 750 BioLite HeadLamp 750 5.3 oz USB Rechargeable, 3000 mAh lithium-ion battery 750 Constant mode high: 2 hrs.; regulated mode high: 7 hrs.; constant mode medium: 4 hrs.; regulated mode medium: 8.5 hrs.; constant/regulated mode low: 150 hrs.
Black Diamond Sprinter 500 Black Diamond Sprinter 500 3.7 oz 1 BD 1800 (included) or 3 AAA (not included) 500 High: 2 hrs.; low: 28 hrs.
Petzl Actik Core Petzl Actik Core 2.65 oz Includes 1250 mAh CORE rechargeable battery; compatible with 3 AAA alkaline, lithium-ion or Ni-MH rechargeable 450 High: 2 hours / medium: 8 hours / low: 130 hours
Last update: December 7, 2020

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