Best Headlamps For Camping

The best headlamps for camping, fishing, walking the trails, setting up camp or walking the dog are on this list for your safety after dark.

Most headlamps these days use the brilliant LEDs as their light source. They’re the perfect option to bring outdoors because they’re energy-efficient and can last for a long time.

The newest versions of headlamps for camping are typically packed with these beaming LEDs that can give off  1,000’s of lumens and can brighten up a path from hundreds of feet away.

A lot of these headlamps are very lightweight, and they’ll definitely let you assemble your tent and read maps with no troubles at all, and for more serious climbing, hiking, and cycling, they come into their own.

High-quality headlamps for camping are an essential piece of outdoor equipment for the reason that these can quickly light up your surroundings while enabling you to have both your hands-free for other tasks.

That’s why headlamps offer greater convenience compared to ordinary flashlights, especially when days get shorter during the winter and you have fewer light hours to enjoy your activities outdoors.

person standing under a large rock at night

Buyers Guide To Choosing The Best Headlamps for Camping

What sets these headlamps apart from each other? How would you know which brand to check out first or which features to look out for? Several components may set one headlamp a standard higher from the others.

Check out these features/components first before deciding on which headlamp to buy. Doing a bit of further research now may save you a lot of heartaches later.

Lumens for Light Output

You can measure the total amount of light that’s given off by a light source through the unit of lumens. If you purchase a headlamp with a high lumens count, it’s likely to consume more energy.

Therefore, a higher lumens count means a brighter light. However, this won’t always be the case as its effectiveness may also depend on how well the manufacturer focuses each light and utilizes the lumens.

Also, remember that a lot of light is not always necessary if you are working in close contact with your subject. If you are filleting a fish or grilling burgers, a low lumen headlamp with low battery usage is ideal. 

Type of Beam

One type of headlamp beam is the flood beam or the wide category. Although flood beams do not emit light at a long distance, it’s a highly useful option for ordinary repair and maintenance activities as well as for general camping activities because it offers a larger spread of light.

Another type of headlamp beam is the spot beam or the more focused type. This narrow beam gives off light at a long distance, making it a reliable companion when walking, hiking, running, and just basically navigating through dark roads and unpredictable trails.

If you need a combination of both, you can find headlamps that come with both flood and spot beams. These are the easiest and most flexible to use when it comes to providing light to a specific area, thanks to their adjustable beams.

Beam Distance

When purchasing a headlamp, remember that its main use will be to give off light to a targeted area. Your chosen headlamp’s beam distance will tell you how far it goes as opposed to how brightly it glows.

Headlamps with flood beams give off light at a shorter distance while those with spot beams offer long-range visibility or when you need illumination in the distance.

Headlamps with combo beams can give you both flood and spot beams- one for a wide, large spread and another for long-distance brightness.

Rechargeable and Non-Rechargeable Batteries

Headlamps with rechargeable batteries typically provide a consistent performance when it comes to brightness, which means your headlamp remains stable and bright throughout the rated burn time.

Most of these headlamps with rechargeable batteries can automatically adjust their brightness when the lamp senses that it needs more or less light.

With non-rechargeable batteries, expect your headlamp to provide standard performance with which brightness will slowly decrease as the batteries are used up. Still, non-rechargeable batteries can last for a longer time.

If your batteries have depleted, rechargeable ones will require a power source and a couple of hours to recharge. The non-rechargeable batteries can be replaced with new ones.

Other Considerations

Although you may consider brightness as the most important factor when choosing headlamps for camping, you may want to look over other components, too. Aside from beam type, beam distance, and battery, there’re also weight, ruggedness, and overall comfort.

Your gear will depend on what kind of adventure you’re going to or tasks you need to accomplish. Just don’t forget to purchase a headlamp that:

  • Offers great value for your money;
  • Can be used both for outdoor trips and home needs;
  • Rainproof or splash-proof; and
  • Comfortable and light enough to be placed on your head.

hikers on a mountain

Ok let’s Take A Look Starting With The One I Like Best

1. Petzl Actik Core Headlamp

 PROS.

  • Excellent brightness
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Great battery life
  • Rechargeable/non-rechargeable batteries

CONS.

  • No real negatives here 
  • It does not come with a carry case

My Initial Thoughts: One of the most impressive headlamps out there.

The Petzl Actik Core Headlamp is a topnotch contender with its 450-lumen maximum brightness and 130-hour burn time when placed in low mode. Check out my personal review, simply click on the highlighted link.

It’s equipped with a rechargeable lightweight lithium-ion Petzl CORE battery that gives off usable light for several days.

Simply plug the battery via a built-in USB port for charging so you can always have it at 100 percent. Being rechargeable is one of the standout features for me.

If the charge runs low, no problems this headlamp can also use AAA batteries so you can bring spare batteries with you on long trips that will assure you of continuous light.

A single button will make it easy for you to switch through three brightness levels plus a red light- the perfect light settings while at camp or in any other outdoor location.

The sturdy Petzl Actik Core can fit comfortably, is not bulky, and is light enough to wear on your head for long periods. It’s always bright enough to give off illumination to your immediate area.

Its tilting head enables hands-free use as you work alone. Thanks to an IPX4 rating, the Petzl Actik Core is well-protected from splashes.  

We Scored This Product 4.8 from 5 Stars 

Check The Current Price On Amazon

2. COAST FL85 Headlamp

 PROS.

  • Lightweight, comfortable
  • Highly adjustable 
  • Dual color, twist-focusing system, and many other features
  • Water-resistant
  • Great value for money

CONS.

  • Possible battery life issues, as reported by some users

My Initial Thoughts: One of the most popular headlamps out there.

The FL85 Headlamp from COAST is easily noticeable for the exceptional amount of light it gives off, thanks to its 615 lumens of brightness at its highest level.

One of its two buttons will put out an extra-wide flood beam and twisting the bezel will quickly give you a far-reaching spot beam, giving you an easy-to-use twisting system.

You can easily adjust the levels of brightness as well. To help preserve night vision, the FL85 Headlamp also comes with a red LED light. 

Aside from being impressively lightweight, its comfort strap effectively distributes weight on your head. This top-quality headlamp can deliver the quality of light you need in any circumstance.

With a hinged head, you can easily tilt the lamp and adjust its direction, bringing clarity either through a precise ray of light or a wide spread of brightness.

Tested to ANSI/FL1 standards, you can expect the FL85 headlamp’s runtime to endure well throughout the night. Keep it on low and its 3 AAA batteries can last up to 13 hours.

 Sleekly designed and comfortable to wear at 4.5 ounces, the FL85 Headlamp comes with a reflective safety strap to ensure visibility in low-light areas plus an IPX4 weatherproof rating, allowing it to withstand different weather conditions.

Even with multiple features and great functionality, the Coast FL85 Headlamp answers to all of your lighting needs while maintaining an ideal system of comfort.

We Scored This Product 4.5 from 5 Stars

Check The Current Price On Amazon

3. Fenix HP25R Rechargeable Headlamp

 PROS.

  • Regulated lighting 
  • Exceptional brightness
  • Rechargeable

CONS.

  • A little heavier than some of the others

My Initial Thoughts: If you’re seeking a bright, wide light to keep you on the trail this one is worth a look.

This Fenix HP25R Rechargeable Headlamp goes a long way in offering unparalleled performance. Highly versatile, the Fenix HP25R has recharging capabilities and conveniently combines white floodlight and powerful far-reaching spotlight.

Whether you’re going hiking, exploring the trails, camping overnight, or other similar outdoor activity, this top-of-the-line headlamp is easy to use and comfortable on the head.

It features a battery level indicator to keep track of power levels and when you need it is equipped with a micro-UB port so you can quickly charge when your battery depletes. 

With 1000 lumens output, it’s certainly an abundance of light you’ve never seen before in a headlamp, although on the high mode you can expect it to last for about 3 hours- not bad, though.

Weighing around 6.5 oz. without the battery, the Fenix HP25R features a 60-degree tilt mechanism for easy beam adjustment.

This headlamp is smart enough to memorize the brightness level that was last used, maintain constant brightness, and avoid high surface temperature. 

We Scored This Product 4.6 from 5 Stars

Check The Current Price On Amazon

4.   SLONIK Rechargeable LED Headlamp

 PROS.

  • Super bright, long-distance visibility
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight 4.19 ounces
  • Easy and comfortable to use

CONS.

  • Really hard to find a major problem with this headlamp

My Initial Thoughts: An outstanding headlamp equipped with a rechargeable headband battery.

With 1000 lumens of maximum light output, the SLONIK Rechargeable LED Headlamp gives you a very good range (around 600 ft.) great if you need long-distance visibility for your outdoor trip.

You’re always on the go with its recharging capabilities through a USB cable. The maximum run time is about 8 hours or 3.5 hours in high mode while charging time can take 2 hours.

 The SLONIK headlamp is also equipped with a dustproof and waterproof design, making it a perfectly convenient companion for your favorite outdoor activities.

Designed for rough conditions, this high-quality item can withstand different kinds of weather and will take a little bit of rough treatment in the pack.

What’s more is that its lightbulbs have been rated for 100,000 hours, which means that the headlamp could last for more than ten years before the lightbulbs will need replacing. 

We Scored This Product 4.7 from 5 Stars

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5. Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

 PROS.

  • Brightness memory
  • High dustproof, waterproof rating
  • Performs well in rough weather conditions
  • Comfortable fit

CONS.

  • Single-button operation may be difficult to learn at first

My Initial Thoughts: With wide-ranging functionality, the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp is one highly equipped piece of outdoor gear you should have.

Aside from a floodlight and spotlight mode, it also features three night-mode colors.

Producing 350 lumens with a bright beam that reaches up to 80 meters, the sleekly designed Black Diamond Storm is equipped with a brightness memory feature so it remembers its exact settings before being turned off.

Thanks to its IPX8 water and dustproof rating, this headlamp won’t give you any trouble even when submerged a meter underwater for half an hour. It’s the perfect option for wet and windy adventures. 

While the Black Diamond Storm only accommodates 4 AAA batteries and is not rechargeable, its battery indicator is still a handy add-on for quick battery life monitoring.

The battery casing even comes with a heatsink that will make sure this headlamp’s batteries are warm and can perform well even in cold conditions.

With a compact design, the Black Diamond Storm feels comfortable, firm, and balanced; its single strap can support the headlamp with its stretchable yet strong material. No need to worry about chafing due to extra padding at the rear.

We Scored This Product 4.6 from 5 Stars

Check The Current Price On Amazon

6. Foxelli Rechargeable Headlamp MX200

 PROS.

  • Bright, lightweight, compact
  • Good value for money

CONS.

  • Instructions warn users to not overcharge, need to keep a close eye on charging process (full charge should be approximately 4 hours)

My Initial Thoughts: Best suited for camping, hiking, trekking, backpacking, and mountaineering.

This USB-rechargeable headlamp features a firm headlamp body that can tilt up to 45 degrees and enables you to focus brightness as needed.

No more complex environments as its 180-lumen LED light with a 300 ft. beam comes with different light modes and a battery with a run time of up to 40 hours, making it easier to navigate unpredictable terrain in the dark. 

Even if it’s built with sturdy materials, the Foxelli MX200 remains a commendable lightweight option among outdoor enthusiasts.

Extremely popular with well over 2000 satisfied customers. More than 80% of ratings on Amazon are 5 stars which is amazing for any product.

Besides being comfortable to wear, it also weighs 2.4 ounces, so if you’re joining a night run out on the paved roads or the trails, this will be a reliable companion.

With a water-resistance rating of IPX5, the Foxelli MX200 can withstand splashing water from any angle; it also fared well after being tested for cold and impact resistance. 

We Scored This Product 4.7 from 5 Stars

Check The Current Price On Amazon

7. Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

 PROS.

  • Plenty of features
  • Spotlight capability, bright wide beam
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable

CONS.

  • Possible issues with battery life, as some users have reported

My Initial Thoughts: A high-performing headlamp that’s earned its rightful ranks in many “best of headlamps” lists.

The Black Diamond Spot is fully equipped with all the features you will need. Even in low power mode, cars will easily notice you’re there when you’re running or cycling at night.

At full brightness of 300 lumens and an extra wide-angle, this headlamp offers adequate illumination so you can easily run and hike through trails and other unpredictable terrains.

The Black Diamond Spot features various lighting modes, making it ideal for plenty of your favorite outdoor activities, from jogging and climbing to even skiing at night.

It also comes with a brightness memory mode to detect your last brightness settings plus PowerTap technology so you can quickly switch between different modes at the touch of your finger.

The Black Diamond Spot fits comfortably and, at 3.1 ounces, is a compact option and doesn’t fly off at any angle, sitting close to the head.

Other handy features include a flash mode, red night vision mode, dimming function, and waterproof housing with its IPX8 rating.

All these have been packed into a lightweight, all-rounder headlamp that you can easily put on when getting off on your next adventure.

We Scored This Product 4.5 from 5 Stars

Check The Current Price On Amazon 

8. Kohree CREE 80000 LUX LED Hunting Light

 PROS.

  • Waterproof and dustproof
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Rechargeable lithium battery 
  • Great value for money

CONS.

  • Light may be too dim for long vision when set in low mode

My Initial Thoughts: One of the most reliable hunting lights out there.

The Kohree CREE 80000 comes with impressive features that make it highly versatile, for one it illuminates well up to 250 meters with its wide beam.

This hunting light features a multicolor beam and a 5-position band rotary switch so you can easily switch and choose from three brightness levels (white, red, or green LED light). 

Designed to be worn either as a headband or over your hat or helmet to stay on and avoid falling off when used.

Kohree CREE 8000 comes with a rechargeable lithium battery pack that’s expected to last for 6 hours on high mode, 12 hours on medium mode and over 20 hours on low mode.

This good quality hunting light is rainproof and dustproof so you can protect your headlight from rainy weather as you work, climb, go camping, or just about any other similar outdoor activity.

It’s also reinforced with a robust aluminum casing to withstand harsh conditions.

We Scored This Product 4.7  from 5 Stars

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9. LE LED Headlamp Flashlight by Lighting Ever

 PROS.

  • Adjustable beam, buckles
  • Lightweight
  • Weatherproof
  • Versatile enough for adults and children
  • Very affordable for every member of the family

CONS.

  • Some users have reported issues on the band’s elasticity
  • Don’t expect miracles from something this cheap

My Initial Thoughts: With 4 lighting modes (3 levels for white light and 1 for emergency red flash mode), this simple LE LED Headlamp Flashlight by Lighting Ever will give you adequate brightness anytime you need it.

For work, camping, running, dog walking, and more. You can easily wear it over your cap, helmet, and hard hat. Great for those simple tasks around the house or campsite.

Thanks to its elastic yet durable headband it can fit well on any head, it’s ideal for adults and children alike with its circumference range of 33 cm to 55 cm. 

With an IP44 rating, expect the LE LED Headlamp Flashlight to be water-resistant from different angles.

Its hands-free lamp can be tilted up and down in 90 degrees with no difficulty. This is a really good lamp for the kids playing around camp.

Weighing about 2.85 oz., this well-built item from LE is lightweight and easy to carry around even with AAA batteries on its left side.

We Scored This Product 4 from 5 Stars

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10. OV Broadbeam Headlamp

 PROS.

  • Reasonable price
  • Minimalist design
  • Easy to use and care for
  • LED lights are extremely durable

CONS.

  • Some users have reported issues with the switch 

My Initial Thoughts: Positioning its LED lights on a flexible strip for wide-range illumination is a great idea

This one is a little different as a LED strip has not been a common design feature on personal headlamps but its a great idea and could prove to be a winner.

You can expect an amazingly bright 300-lumen output from the OV Broadbeam Headlamp plus it provides a good balance of performance, comfort, and price. 

With 20 high-efficiency LED lights and three power modes, this powerful headlamp easily lights up any area. 

Even with AAA batteries, its compact, lightweight design makes it less bulky and extra comfortable to use over caps while its stretchable headband easily adjusts to any head size.

As the headlamp is easy to use and has good weight distribution, it’s a reliable companion for running, hiking, fishing, and other similar outdoor activities. 

We Scored This Product 4.6 from 5 Stars

Check The Current Price On Amazon

a group of people sitting in front of a campfirefire

Top Picks

Best Overall Headlamp for Camping- Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

Best Rechargeable Headlamp for Camping- Petzl Actik Core Headlamp 

Best Value for Money- Coast FL85 Headlamp 

Questions and Answers

Question: What is the best headlamp?

Answer: There are many headlamps on the market and most manufacturers claim their product is the best, however, what you need the light to do will largely determine the correct headlamp for you.

The brightness level for the task at hand is it for use in close quarters like around the house or in the garage? The battery type, do you prefer rechargeable batteries or cell batteries? 

Its ability to work well into the future without fault is the durability and features you need within the headlamp you are looking at buying?

Question: What headlamp do you use around your campsite

Answer: If I am moving around camp at night setting up, cooking or even just sitting around the fire I will have a very lightweight low lumen headlamp and its very cheap the Black Dimond Spot. 

It serves my purposes well and even with only 300 lumens this is ample for any task in close, as a matter of fact for reading I dim it down and there is still plenty of light and at 88 grams it won’t be a big weight on your head.

If on the other hand, I am hiking after dark which I love to do sometimes I always use my Petzl Actik Core, it is a remarkable lightweight rechargeable headlamp that I love and I think you will too.

Conclusion

These days when outdoor gear manufacturers have heard the pleas of camping enthusiasts, nature explorers, and just about any other outdoor lover, you can look forward to choosing from reliable headlamps that best suit your needs, travel style, and budget.

Don’t sacrifice natural vision at night; if you’ve read through our guide, you’ve checked out some of the most impressive, tested and proved headlamps for camping that will cast brightness farther down the road and illuminate the trails in front of you.

These outstanding advancements in headlamp technology certainly deserve plenty of recognition! Make sure you consider their light output, visibility features, charging capabilities, and other details that will give you the best illumination, from camping tasks and trail activities to home and work use.

If you have any more questions about the best headlamps for camping, I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the comments section below.

For an even more amazing range of quality Headlamps for your next adventure be sure to check out my Best Headlamps of 2020 that will help with your purchasing decision.

Remember! Leave it cleaner than you found it, only footprints not rubbish.

Shane.

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