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Whether you're out trail running, hiking, camping, or backpacking, a good headlamp with a bright light is an important piece of gear to bring along with you. If you choose the right one, it can provide safety, security, precision lighting for outdoor work, and hands-free visibility. They also come in handy whenever the power unexpectedly goes out, too. Headlamps should be comfortable and adjustable around your head, and they should provide bright, continuous light to have sufficient visibility wherever you need it. Because they can be used for so many activities, they are versatile pieces of equipment that you'll use again and again, even if you aren't a trail runner. I have one that I use regularly during camping trips, they're awesome for getting stuff done around the campsite (like cooking or going to the bathroom) when it's dark outside. These are also perfect for going on a night run, hunting or fishing at night, as well as dog walking or bike riding. The simple and easy-to-use lighting technology and high light output make them great for all sorts of uses, and their battery life is long enough that you can use them for many hours before charging the batteries or recharging them. Here are our favorites:
1. Best Battery-Powered Option For Camping
Providing up to 300 lumens and offering a run time of up to 120 hours, this is a great lightweight option for a lighted headlamp if you like to run at night. It runs on either AAA batteries or a CORE rechargeable battery (find it here). What stands out with this headlamp as well: it's shock- and vibration-resistant, and retains 50% of it's brightness as it runs out of batteries, unlike other brands that could dim to 20 or 30%. The outdoor camping LED headlamp also has a detachable, washable headband, and there's reflective elements on the band so you can spot it anywhere.
2. Best Rechargeable Option For Camping
With 300 lumens and a lightweight design, this is one of the best headlamps for trail runs. The water resistance makes it helpful for damp or humid conditions, plus this rechargeable headlamp uses a micro- USB charger for added convenience: it will last up to 40 hours before needing a recharge. All you need is a USB cable and port, and you're able to charge anywhere. The headband is made of moisture-wicking fabric and there are easily adjustable clips for a perfectly secure fit. You can also pair it with this Stuff Sack, which can turn it into a lantern for your tent as well.
3. Best Headlamp With a Powerful Spotlight
If you're looking for a headlamp that functions like a hands-free flashlight or spotlight, this one from Olidear is the perfect option for you. The lamp is 5000 lumens, has two modes that can light a distance up to 2600 feet, and the rechargeable battery will last up to 20 hours. The elastic headband is comfortable, and the waterproof materials mean it can withstand the toughest of elements. It's also adjustable by 90 degrees, so you can shine it exactly where you need it to. One five-star reviewer writes: "This is a great hands free spotlight that is wearable on your head.T he product...is very bright, which will be perfect for my hog hunts."
4. Best Headlamp With Multiple Lights
This headlamp by DanForce was designed in the USA and has three LED lights, which means it can be used for a variety of outdoor activities: There's zoomable focus which is great for a hard hat or outdoor work that provides precision, red lights for fishing and hunting, and even a strobe setting. The lamps are adjustable by 90 degrees, and it's also incredibly durable: the band is sweat-resistant, and the whole thing is dust-, water-, and weather-resistant. It works in the ice cold as well as the heat, and reviewers love this one for everything from dog walking to bike riding. One reviewer writes: "I love them and will continue to be my go to headlamp for fishing, hiking, and camping as long as they keep making them!'
This post was originally published on July 24, 2021. It has been updated by Alida Nugent.
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