Top 5 Best Headlamps of 2022: Worth Your Hard-Earned Buck

Best Headlamps of 2021-Worth Your Hard-Earned Buck

Top 5 Best Headlamps of 2022: Worth Your Hard-Earned Buck

The best headlamps free up a whole host of awesome adventures, from Alpine starts and pre dawn rambles to after dark hiking and camping expeditions.

Once the sun sets and your primary light source is gone, activities like setting up a tent or cooking outside become almost impossible without a headlamp guiding you along the way. Even when you’re not camping, if you’re hiking or trail running after dark, good visibility is essential. If you get turned around on the trail or the route takes longer than you anticipated, a good headlamp helps you get there faster while keeping your hands free. Sure, the light from your phone will do in a pinch, but it also drains your battery faster, which won’t help you at all if it dies and you’re really stuck.

Camping and adventure enthusiasts have plenty of opinions when it comes to headlamps, seeing as they’re such an essential piece of camping equipment. In line with this, we’ve rounded up the best headlamps for every type of outdoorsman. Once you find the perfect headlamp for you, you’ll be surprised at how much use you really get out of it.

When you are riding outdoors, you can look for the best bike lights to install on your bicycle handlebars.

Quick Recommendations

Check out this quick list of our favorites if you’re in a hurry, or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.


PRICE:$49

Weight:260g / 0.57lb

MAX LIGHT OUTPUT:1200LM

AVERAGE RUN TIME:8-10 hours

MAX BEAM DISTANCE:500m / 1640ft

WATER RESISTANCE:IPX4

PROS:

  • Two light modes
  • Enhanced long shot wick
  • Deepen the aluminum alloy lamp cup
  • Smart wave sensing, high sensitivity
  • The long service life of ten years
  • 4000 mAh high-capacity battery, can be used as a power bank
  • USB portable charging design
  • Real-time smart battery indicator
  • Trustworthy brand
  • Provide high-quality after-sales service
  • Money-back guarantee

CONS:

  • No central over-the-head harness band

PRICE:$53

Weight:290g / 0.63lb

MAX LIGHT OUTPUT:1000LM

AVERAGE RUN TIME:7-9 hours

MAX BEAM DISTANCE:400m / 1312ft

WATER RESISTANCE: IPX3

PROS:

  • Two light models
  • Aluminum alloy large light cup, fast heat dissipation, and long shot
  • Upgrade highlight wick
  • Smart wave sensing, high sensitivity
  • USB portable charging design
  • 5400 mAh high-capacity battery, can be used as a power bank
  • Breathable braided headband, portable and easy to clean

CONS:

  • Relatively chunky

PRICE:$49

Weight:94g / 0.20lb

MAX LIGHT OUTPUT:350LM

AVERAGE RUN TIME:3-8 hours

MAX BEAM DISTANCE:50m / 164ft

WATER RESISTANCE: IPX6

PROS:

  • 230° Wide Beam & Full Area Illumination
  • High bright COB and LED light source
  • Waving Induction Technology
  • 5 Light modes
  • USB fast-charge interface
  • Lightweight and comfortable

CONS:

  • No central over-the-head harness band
  • Not bright enough

PRICE:$69

Weight:339g / 0.74lb

MAX LIGHT OUTPUT:600LM

AVERAGE RUN TIME:7-30 hours

MAX BEAM DISTANCE:200m / 656ft

WATER RESISTANCE: IP54

PROS:

  • Three light modes
  • Quickly focus on near and far objects
  • Long-lasting and rechargeable
  • A detachable lamp holder can be used as a hand-held lamp

CONS:

  • A little bulky
  • Water-resistant, but not waterproof

PRICE:$45

Weight:150g / 0.33lb

MAX LIGHT OUTPUT:400LM

AVERAGE RUN TIME:5-100 hours

MAX BEAM DISTANCE:100m / 328ft

WATER RESISTANCE: IPX5

PROS:

  • Three different color night vision modes
  • Reliable and robust
  • Easy to use and adjust
  • Good price point

CONS:

  • Not rechargeable
  • No over-the-top headstrap

Why Is the DECENTRAVELER™ Headlamp Rated #1 of 2022?

  • Upgraded version of the large spot, lighting distance up to 1640 feet.
  • Intelligent wave hand sensing, high sensitivity, convenient operation.
  • Built-in 4000 mAh lithium battery, which can be used as a power bank to charge mobile phones.
  • Ten years of long service life, up to 10 hours of battery life after fully charged.
  • Real-time smart battery indicator.
  • IPX4 Waterproof, easy to deal with heavy rain.
  • USB portable fast charging.
  • Trusted by 10,000+ customers.
  • Best value for your money.

How to Choose the Best Headlamp for Your Needs

Everyone should own a headlamp. Whether you’re going on a backpacking trip, walking the dog in the evening, or car camping with friends, a headlamp is an essential tool and is sure to become one of your favorite gadgets. Before buying, you need to choose the headlight you need based on the following factors.

PRICE

You don’t have to spend a lot to get a headlamp that will get the job done. Just remember that buying a quality piece of equipment costs more initially, but it will last longer and will likely be more efficient.

LUMENS

In essence, lumens are a unit of brightness emitted from a light source. While it’s a somewhat helpful descriptor, the lumens measurement does not factor in the quality of the beam pattern, but only the total sum of light in any direction.

Two lights with the exact same lumens can have tremendously different light quality depending on the beam width and the optical quality of the lens system. After testing many headlamps, we have concluded that lumens are not a reliable way to compare performance and that beam distance is a better indicator.

BATTERIES

Using a headlamp with rechargeable batteries is more environmentally friendly and reduces battery waste. They’re also great for saving money on batteries but, they tend to have shorter burn times. Rechargeables are great for everyday use, running, and short trips when you can charge them easily and often. For extended backcountry trips, you may have to carry a charger/cords, power bank, or solar charger.

BURN TIME (BATTERY LIFE)

The amount of time the battery will be able to sustain the light without recharging or changing batteries. Often, the burn time is far greater when you switch to your low setting, whenever possible.

WEIGHT

Get the lightest headlight with the features and power you want. If you only need a basic lamp and don’t care about anything fancy or super bright, then a minimalist headlamp can solve the problem. For those who need extra bright light, it is worthwhile to carry a heavier lamp.

DURABILITY & WEATHER RESISTANCE

We look for headlamps that are made of quality materials that can stand some abuse. To denote this, manufacturers use an IPX rating system to identify how weather resistant something is. Essentially, any product that claims to be waterproof, must denote an IP Code, which tells us more specifically how protected electrical components are from water and dust. By using this international standard, consumers are protected from vague marketing terms like waterproof and water-resistant and can make more informed decisions.

For most hiking and backpacking we’re only concerned with our headlamp being weather-resistant enough to deal with some rain and ambient humidity (IPX4), however, extra water, dust, and shock-proofing are always good. If you need a completely waterproof headlamp look for a model with an IPX8 or IPX7 rating. IPX7 will be waterproof in one meter of water for 30 minutes, while the IPX8 can be submerged longer.

LIGHT MODES

Depending on your chosen activity, certain light modes will suit the situation best.

  • Red Light: Uses very little energy and does not cause your pupils to dilate at night. Great for camp chores and does not attract flying insects like white light. Less irritating for groups or couples. Great for stealthy midnight peeing without disturbing your tentmate.
  • Strobe: Makes you visible when hiking, biking, or running along roadsides. Could be used as a signal in emergency situations.
  • High (Spotlight): Condensed, focused, bright light usually directed towards a distant object. Good for night hiking, looking for trail signs, spotting climbing anchors, or using as a bike headlight.
  • Low (Floodlight): Also called ‘proximity mode.’ Conserves battery power and produces a wider beam of softer, dimmer light usually directed downwards to see nearby (or proximal) objects. Great for cooking in camp, setting up tents, familiar night hikes, etc.

COMFORT

A well-designed lamp should have the strap adjustments necessary to secure the light snuggly without putting too much pressure on your forehead. Some headlamps distribute the weight between the front and the back for better balance and less bouncing. This is especially important for runners or for those who choose a lamp with a larger battery pack. The band should be made of a durable, but soft, wicking fabric, and adjusters should not slip or loosen on their own.

Why Trust Us?

We fully understand how tough it is to find trustworthy gear advice, and that’s one of the main reasons we build this blog section. We live for outdoor adventure, and we take these guides very seriously. Here are some of the reasons you can trust us:

  • Our choices are completely independent and based on personal experience.
  • We’ve logged over 10,000 trail miles and test outdoor gear for a living.
  • We own and field test every product we recommend, which is sadly not the norm.
  • We travel to industry trade shows to learn about upcoming product innovations.
  • We constantly update our guides when new products launch.
  • We treat our recommendations as if they were for our family and friends.
  • We’re lifelong learners and we’re always open to constructive criticism. If you think we’ve missed a product or got something wrong, we’d love to hear your feedback.

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