ContentsQUICK ANSWER – THE BEST HIKING HEADLAMPCOMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST HIKING HEADLAMPSHIKING HEADLAMP REVIEWSPETZL NAO PLUSPETZL REACTIK+BLACK DIAMOND REVOLTPETZL ACTIKPRINCETON TEC APEXPETZL E+LITEBLACK DIAMOND SPOTPETZL TIKKINASHINING BUDDY HL-101HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HIKING HEADLAMPWHAT WILL YOU USE IT FOR?HEADLAMP VS FLASHLIGHT/LANTERN/APPBRIGHTNESS/LUMENSBEAM DISTANCEBATTERY LIFEBATTERY TYPE/BATTERY PACKWATER RESISTANCE/IPXRED LIGHT OR FILTERSCONTROL BUTTONS AND LOCKINGFIT/HEADBAND/BALANCE/STABILITY If you’ve ever been stuck out at night without a light, you’ll know the importance of a good headlamp. This light helps you move around camp while you look for your food and set up your tent. It also aids you to navigate the trail or steep terrain. So, how should you choose the best hiking headlamp? What features should you consider? Along with helping you find the best backpacking gear and best electronics like GPS for your adventures, we’ll help you through the headlamp buying process by offering you a few tips to consider before heading to the store. For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: Tents | Hammocks | Bivy Sacks | Tarps Sleeping Bags | Sleeping Pads | Stoves Backpacks | GPS | Headlamps | Poles| Watches Boots | Shoes | Sandals | Pants | Shorts Base Layers | Fleeces | Down Jackets | Rain Jackets QUICK ANSWER – THE BEST HIKING HEADLAMP 1. PETZL NAO+ VIEW AT REI 2. PETZL ACTIK VIEW AT REI 3. PETZL E+LITE VIEW AT REI 4. BLACK DIAMOND SPOT VIEW AT REI 5. PETZL TIKKINA VIEW AT REI 6. SHINING BUDDY H1 101 VIEW AT AMAZON 7. PETZL REACTIK + VIEW AT REI 8. BLACK DIAMOND REVOLT VIEW AT BACKCOUNTRY 9. PRINCETON TEC APEX VIEW AT REI COMPARISON TABLE – THE BEST HIKING HEADLAMPS PICTUREHEADLAMPBEST FORWATERPROOFWEIGHTLUMENSPRICERATING PICTUREHEADLAMPBEST FORWATERPROOFWEIGHTLUMENSPRICERATING Petzl Nao+USB Rechageable IPX46.5 oz750$$$$4.3 Petzl ActikUSB Rechageable IPX43.2 oz300$$5 Petzl E+LiteBudgetIPX70.9 oz50$4.7 Black Diamond SpotBudgetIPX83.2 oz300$4.6 Petzl TikkinaBudgetIPX43.0 oz150$5 Shining Buddy HL-101BudgetIPX53.0 oz110$4.8 Petzl Reactik+USB Rechageable IPX44.1 oz300$$$4.4 Black Diamond RevoltUSB Rechageable IPX43.4 oz130$$4.3 Princeton Tec ApexOverallIPX710.0 oz350$$4.6 MULTI-DAYHIKING PACKING LISTDon't forget important gear at home!Print out this free hiking packing list to prepare for your next adventure.Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your time on the trail!UNLOCK THIS LIST* You will get weekly emails with practical hiking advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. 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HIKING HEADLAMP REVIEWS PETZL NAO PLUS Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Fast trips needing tons of light WEIGHT: 6.5 oz LUMENS: 750 BEAM DISTANCE: 459 ft BATTERY LIFE: High – 1 hr 30 min, Low – 15 hr IPX RATING: IPX4 PROS: Very bright, rechargeable battery pack, reactive lighting, Petzl App CONS: Heavier, low battery life, expensive PETZL REACTIK+ Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Regular, fast adventures WEIGHT: 4.1 oz LUMENS: 300 BEAM DISTANCE: 328 ft BATTERY LIFE: High – 2.5 hr, Low – 15 hr IPX RATING: IPX4 PROS: Reactive lighting, Li-Ion pack or AAA batteries, Connects to Petzl app CONS: Poor battery life, expensive BLACK DIAMOND REVOLT Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Saving money by recharging WEIGHT: 3.4 oz LUMENS: 130 BEAM DISTANCE: 229 ft BATTERY LIFE: High – 80 hr, Low – 300 hr IPX RATING: IPX4 PROS: Rechargeable, good battery life CONS: Heavy on the front of your head PETZL ACTIK Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Long, lightweight adventures. WEIGHT: 3.2 oz LUMENS: 300 BEAM DISTANCE: 295 ft BATTERY LIFE: High – 60 hr, Low – 260 hr IPX RATING: IPX4 PROS: Good battery life, bright for weight, optional battery pack CONS: Not waterproof PRINCETON TEC APEX Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: A bright lamp on long wet adventures. WEIGHT: 10 oz LUMENS: 350 BEAM DISTANCE: 380 ft BATTERY LIFE: High – 72 hr, Low – 150 hr IPX RATING: IPX7 PROS: Largest beam distance in this set, good battery life, waterproof to 1 metre CONS: Heavy PETZL E+LITE Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Backup in your pack or for emergencies WEIGHT: .9 oz LUMENS: 50 BEAM DISTANCE: 32 ft BATTERY LIFE: High – 9 hr, Strobe – 95 hr IPX RATING: IPX7 PROS: Very lightweight, batteries can be stored 10 years CONS: Short beam distance BLACK DIAMOND SPOT Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: All around lightweight, wet adventures WEIGHT: 3.2 oz LUMENS: 300 BEAM DISTANCE: 262 ft BATTERY LIFE: High – 25 hr, Low – 180 hr IPX RATING: IPX8 PROS: Lightweight for 300 lumens and 80m, waterproof to more than 1 metre CONS: Lower battery life than some PETZL TIKKINA Check out the latest price on: Amazon | REI BEST FOR: Getting lots of light for the price WEIGHT: 3 oz LUMENS: 150 BEAM DISTANCE: 180 ft BATTERY LIFE: High – 60 hr, Low – 220 hr IPX RATING: IPX4 PROS: Lightweight, optional battery pack, inexpensive CONS: Not as bright as others SHINING BUDDY HL-101 Check out the latest price on: Amazon BEST FOR: Around the camp or for the kids WEIGHT: 3 oz LUMENS: 110 BEAM DISTANCE: 88 ft BATTERY LIFE: High – 12 hr IPX RATING: IPX5 PROS: Good, simple headlamp for kids or in camp, good water resistance CONS: Short beam distance LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTUREJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSEJOIN THE FREE HIKING GEAR COURSE HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HIKING HEADLAMP WHAT WILL YOU USE IT FOR? In choosing the best hiking headlamp, it is important to remember that every light is designed for a specific purpose. For example, a big, bright, heavy headlamp wouldn’t be a good option for a lightweight, long distance adventure. Keep in mind the purpose of the light when picking a model. Will you need something lightweight? Something with a 250- to 300-foot beam distance? Or something super bright? HEADLAMP VS FLASHLIGHT/LANTERN/APP Before you run off to buy the latest headlamp on the market, ask yourself if you really need one. Will using a flashlight, lantern or phone app be enough for your needs? If yes, then you can save the cash for the headlamp and use it for other gear. Headlamps are excellent investments for your adventures since these give you hours of long distance, hands-free light. Although headlamps offer convenience and safety, keep in mind that there are other ways to light up the night. BRIGHTNESS/LUMENS Lumens are the numbers on the package that equate to the general brightness of the lights on the headlamp. These lights generally run from 50 lumens up to around 500, with some even reaching higher levels. These aren’t the only numbers you need to look at though. You should keep in mind that lumens refer to the brightness the bulb emits in all directions. This isn’t as useful with a headlamp since you need to focus the light in one direction only. Other parts of the optics in a headlamp will vary in quality which would definitely affect the light it produces. A bright bulb with poor optics won’t go far. The distance the beam actually reaches is an important number to look at as well. The battery life of the headlamp should be considered, too. BEAM DISTANCE The beam distance is the visible distance the light will reach from the headlamp. This is an important factor to consider when comparing headlamps because it takes into account the lumens and quality of the optics. There’s no faking a long beam distance. Distances will range from 30 feet up to hundreds. BATTERY LIFE Battery life is the another important factor to look at when comparing headlamps. You may need 50-100 hours of light on a long hiking trip. For short night runs, five to 10 hours of battery life would already be acceptable. Most headlamps start at max brightness which is stated on the package. This level then drops considerably in the first 10 hours as the batteries start to die. They will still have usable light after that, but it would be of lower intensity compared with their max brightness. A nice feature to have to solve this issue is called regulated lighting or constant lighting. This feature maintains a steady light output throughout the entire battery’s life. The light won’t be as bright but it will be steady. There might be a boost option to get extra distance, but this can only be used for short periods. BATTERY TYPE/BATTERY PACK Headlamps commonly use AA or AAA batteries. Meanwhile, some can use rechargeable batteries which would be convenient and practical as you will no longer need to buy batteries for every trip. This can also save you some cash. With USB charging available in many devices these days, companies like PETZL offer USB-rechargeable battery packs for some of their headlamps. They use a small case with AAA batteries in them or the battery pack. You can simply use the power banks you own for your phones and cameras to charge these battery packs as well. WATER RESISTANCE/IPX Completely waterproof headlamps are rare. If you do need one, look for a model with an IPX8 or IPX7 rating. IPX7 will be waterproof in one meter for 30 minutes, while the IPX8 will last in submersion longer. Most headlamps have an IPX4 rating which will cover splashes and rain. IPX5 will cover more sustained exposure but not submersion. RED LIGHT OR FILTERS Many headlamps today have red lights built in or filters you can add that change color. Red preserves your night vision and doesn’t disturb your camp mates. Using the white light will dilate the pupils in your eyes, which would cause you to take more time to adjust back to the dark. CONTROL BUTTONS AND LOCKING Most headlamps are equipped with easy buttons to control the modes and brightness. Make sure that the buttons are easy to press with your fingers or gloves if you’ll be out in the cold. Check that it doesn’t take multiple clicks to get to the brightness level you like every time you turn it on. Some models require pressing their buttons multiple times every time you turn it on, which can be a hassle. It can also be annoying or even dangerous if you pull out your headlamp and find that it has been turned on inside your pack all day, draining the batteries. You’re left with minimal battery life for when you actually need it. Some models have a lock control separate from the power button to disable the light when it’s packed. FIT/HEADBAND/BALANCE/STABILITY Most headlamps have wide elastic bands that fit comfortably around your head. These are usually adjustable, so you can just fix them to fit you. Some use wire or cord instead of an elastic fabric band, but these aren’t as comfortable against your skin. Using them on a helmet still works well though. The larger the battery pack on a headlamp, the heavier it will be on your head. Headlamps with a battery pack on the back of your head often have a middle strap running over the top of your skull to help hold the straps in place. HIKING RESOURCESTABLE OF CONTENTSHIKINGTABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FUNDAMENTALS 5. HIKING TRAILS 2. HIKING GEAR 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 3. HIKING CLOTHING 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 4. CAMPING 8. WOMEN'S HIKING 1. FUNDAMENTALS 2. HIKING GEAR 3. HIKING CLOTHING 4. CAMPING 5. HIKING TRAILS 6. HIKING WITH KIDS 7. HIKING WITH DOGS 8. 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