Last Updated on
Letting your hands free as you light the trail is a must while hiking around. As flashlight duct which is taped to your head is a wallet friendly solution, there are more elegant and stylish products out in the market which can be chosen according to your budget and requirements. While being out for an adventure hike at night, headlamps are the most important piece of gear which you should carry with you.
Quick Comparison: Top Hiking Headlamps
- Petzl Nao Headlamp
- Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
- Black Diamond ReVolt Headlamp
- GRDE Zoomable 3 Modes Super Bright LED Headlamp
- Petzl PIXA 3 pro headlamp
**Below, you'll find our expert's reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
How to Choose the Best Hiking Head Lamp?
While picking the best headlamp for hiking, it is important to keep in mind that each light is well designed for specific purpose. For instance, a bright as well as a big headlamp is not at all a good choice if you are planning for a lightweight and long-distance adventure.
Keep in mind the need for the headlamp while choosing a model.
Lumens are those digits which are printed on the package that denotes the general brightens of the lights on your headlamp. They usually run from 50 lumens to around 500 lumens, with certain ranging to even higher levels.
Remember that, lumens numbers points to the brightness which the bulb will emit in every direction.
The other parts of the headlamp will vary in its quality which will affect the light it generates. Keep in mind that a bright bulb which is having poor optics won’t last much. Apart from this, the life of the battery should also be considered.
The beam distance is calculated as the maximum distance which the light reaches from your headlamp. This is the most important factor to be considered while comparing the headlamps since it denotes the lumens as well as the quality of the optics. Distance will range from around 30 feet to 100 feet.
Battery life is yet another important factor which you should check while comparing the headlamps. For a longer hike, you may require 50 to 100 hours of light. On the other hand, for shorter hikes, 5 to 10 hours of light is more than enough.
Majority of the headlamps are starting with maximum brightness which is printed on the package. This level of brightness will then drop down within the first 10 hours as the battery will begin to die. However, they will still show brightness but with lesser intensity than before.
To solve this issue, many makers are now selling headlamps with constant lighting or regulated lighting. This special feature will help to maintain a steady light beam until the batter dies.
Since hiking is not just limited to dry weather, choosing the best hiking headlamp with waterproof or water resistant is important. Water resistance property is usually measured with the IEC standard 60529 that includes the ratings from the IPX1 to the IPX8. Pick the one which can withstand even in heavy showers.
Red Light or Filters
Majority of the headlamps which are now available in the market comes with built in red lights or filters which adds color change. The red light will help to preserve the night vision without disturbing the camp mates. Using white light will dilate the eye pupil which will then take more time to adjust with the darkness.
Control Buttons and Locking
The headlamps are made with buttons for managing the brightness and modes. Ensure that the buttons are easy to handle and press using your fingers or even after wearing gloves if you are out in chilly weathers.
Check whether it needs to make multiple clicks for setting the required brightness level each time you switch it on. There are certain models which require multiple times pressing for choosing the desired level. This will be really annoying during the hike.
There are certain other models which are having separate locking control from the power button for disabling the light when not in use.
The headlamps are having wide elastic bands which fit comfortably around the head. They are really adjustable and hence you can fix them according to your fit. Some models will be using cord or wire instead of the elastic band. However these are not as comfortable as the fabric bands against your skin.
Since the headlamp is fixed to a helmet or a headband it will be as light as possible. Therefore it is preferable to choose lightweight headlamps, those which weigh less than 200 grams.
How to Clean the Hiking Headlamps?
Before your start cleaning headlamps all by yourself, make sure that you check the printed instructions on the label which is provided by the manufacturer.
Apart from this, keep in mind that you should always maintain your headlamps dust free and dirt free. Wipe the headlamps with a cotton cloth which is wet. Don’t ever immerse the headlamps in water as it may highly affect the performance.
You can wash the elastic bands in water and use some advised conditioners on it.
Review of some of the Best Hiking Headlamps
The Petzl Nao Headlamp features constant as well as reactive lighting which will automatically brightens or dims depending on the ambient lighting conditions.
It is compatible with the Petzl’s proprietary customization software which will allow you to make the necessary customization for tuning your headlamp right from your desktop itself.
The headlamp is used with the constant lighting technology and this in turn makes sure that there is constant lighting throughout the trails.
The red indicator light which is present on the headlamp on its battery (rare side) will signal the location. Special lock feature is equipped for avoiding accidental turning on during storage or transit.
Despite the low weight and smaller size, the Black Diamond Spot Headlamp offers a brightness of the 300 lumens along with a beam distance of around 80 meters.
It is less expensive than any other models and comes with one DoublePower LED, one QuadPower LED and a SinglePower Red LED.
It is equipped with the PowerTap technology that permits you to modify the brightness levels quickly as well as very easily. Apart from these, it has a battery level indicator along with a lock feature which makes it choosier by many hikers. It offers better durability.
If you have ever stuck in the middle of your hiking adventure without a light, you will definitely know the importance of a good and high quality one.
The headlights will help you move all around the camp while you step out in search for food or for the tent.
It will also help you in better navigation while being in some steep terrain during night hours. Hence it is always recommended to choose those models which are having high quality and advanced features together with a long batter life to stay protected you from the darkness.
Image credit: amazon.com, amazon.in