- 1 Best Headlamps
- 2 General characteristics
- 3 Top 20 Headlamps for Hunting and Hiking
- 4 Best Headlamps for Fishing
- 5 Best Headlamps for Indoor Use
- 6 Best Highest Power Headlamps
- 7 Best Affordable Headlamps
Unlike conventional rechargeable flashlights, a headlamp has the best advantage – it always shines where the user is looking, while keeping their hands free. This makes it much easier to perform various tasks, both outdoors and indoors.
This review presents the best headlamps for hunting and fishing, cycling, working or reading indoors. The rating was compiled taking into account the characteristics of the models and the reviews of numerous users with experience of their successful use.
Housing. Size, weight and material.
The body is made of plastic or aluminum. The plastic reduces the price and weight, but negates the heat dissipation from the LED. Yes, and they do not put something bright in a plastic case, in reality you should not count on a constant brightness more than something of the order of 150 lumens and a maximum of 300 lumens. In a few top-end, expensive branded battery headbands with a plastic case, there can be about 500 lumens of a short turbo mode.
However, I’ll tell you straight, to shine under your feet and at arm’s length, 150 lum will be more than enough for you. For the most part, plastic headbands are powered by AAA \ AA or a built-in battery.
- Power (in lumens) – the more powerful the flashlight, the brighter it shines (provided that the battery is fully charged).
- Light beam range (in meters) – determines the distance that the flashlight illuminates. Light can be near, far and mixed. The middle one is suitable if you need to set up a camp in the dark, cook food, look at the map. The far one is needed by cyclists, runners, climbers – it illuminates the road or wall far ahead. Mixed is convenient in movement when you need to simultaneously see what is ahead and what is under your feet.
- Weight (in grams) – the lighter the flashlight, the more comfortable it is and the less it feels on the head. Headlamps weigh 50-150 grams, but they are also heavier. Weight depends on the number of functions, the type of attachment (elastic band, sling, cord), the type and number of batteries (rechargeable battery, batteries or a separate battery pack). The lightest flashlights are the simplest ones, with 1-2 modes.
- The degree of protection of the case against moisture and dust (index IPXX) – the first X after IP means protection against dust, the second – protection against water. If only one number is listed (for example: IPX4), it means that the flashlight has passed the splash test only, and the dustproof test has not been carried out. Read more about what the index numbers mean – in the picture.
- The material – the body is usually plastic, and the forehead strap is made of an elastic band or a stretching strap.
- Operating time (in hours) – the brighter the flashlight, the faster it eats up the battery. Some models are capable of operating at multiple power levels and dimming depending on the environment.
- Operating modes – in fact, there are four of them: economical, standard, maximum power mode and flashing (strobe). In the presence of a red LED, a dipped red light and a red flashing light are added. Depending on the model, one flashlight may contain all of these modes, or only 1-2.
- Battery type – rechargeable battery or battery.
The flashlight may also have additional functions, for example: an emergency beacon, an SOS signal, a strobe, a magnet on the back cover (to attach the flashlight to metal parts of a car or bicycle), a charge indicator, additional mounts, etc.
It is worth choosing a flashlight for specific tasks and paying attention to those characteristics that are more important for your goals. For example, tourists do not need an ultra-high power of a flashlight for simple hiking trips, but lightness and the longest possible operating time are important. Trail runners, on the other hand, are concerned with the brightness and range of the beam.
Cavers prioritize impact resistance and water resistance. We will tell you how to choose a flashlight for different types of activities.
Top 20 Headlamps for Hunting and Hiking
This category includes headlamps with better dust and moisture protection and shockproof housing. All selected models have the optimum luminous flux for illuminating open spaces over long distances. You can see the best headlamps for hunting here. Note: Galaxles.com recommends installing a weapon light for more comfortable hunting.
#1 Fenix HL26R
This headlamp features a built-in rechargeable battery pack and is more compact in size. The weight of about 86 grams is not able to tire the owner – the flashlight is practically imperceptible on the head, and the seemingly simple mount reliably holds the device in the right place. The elastic band on the inside has a small silicone band that completely eliminates slippage.
This is not a searchlight, but when hunting it is quite effective (it shines up to 100 m), since it confidently withstands shocks (it can fall, etc.) and demonstrates excellent protection against moisture. There are several operating modes: high and low beam, SOS, and the most powerful Boost. The charge is enough for 100 hours of work in economical mode, but if the hunt or walks in the forest take too long, you can restore the LED flashlight to work using a car charger (or Power Bank) via a USB cable.
#2 PANDA 3R
It is very convenient to use a headlamp for hunting or walking in the forest or mountains. It has a high water resistance rating (IPX-8) and a shockproof aircraft-grade aluminum casing, so it’s best prepared for Spartan conditions. LED lamps (there are two of them, and each has its own optical system) are durable and generate a total luminous flux of up to 1100 lm. At the same time, they have 4 modes of operation, which allows you to optimally adjust the operation of the flashlight in accordance with the prevailing conditions. In the brightest mode, the flashlight range reaches 115 m.
As for the rechargeable battery, its capacity of 2600 mAh is not the most powerful, but it will be able to keep the flashlight working for up to 18 hours (low degree of illumination of 70 lm). The presence of a micro USB connector will allow you to use a car charger, Power Bank or even a laptop for recharging. When operating in Boost mode, the lighting time is limited by the degree of heating of the device (built-in overheating protection).
#3 LED LENSER H7R.2
The LED LENSER H7R.2 headlamp has a separate case (the battery pack is placed in the back of the head), which balances it and lightens the load on the neck muscles (after all, the device weighs a lot – 165 g). LED elements can generate 300 lumens, but at the same time the flashlight shines at a distance of up to 160 m due to focusing. The battery compartment has a dimmer that allows you to reduce the luminous flux to 20 lm.
Thanks to this versatility, the LED LENSER H7R.2 will be indispensable not only for hunting. It can be used on a fishing trip, on a hike, at home – anywhere it can generate lighting appropriate for the occasion. You can charge both from a 220 V power supply and using a USB cable, which means that a car charger can come in handy. The original battery lasts for 60 hours of continuous use. Not the best indicator, but more than sufficient even for a multi-day tourist trip. Also, we also recommend taking hand emergency flashlights on long trips, because you never know when other devices can turn off and let you down.
#4 Olight H2R Nova NW
The headlamp of the Olight brand is one of the best for camping or hunting use. The universal L-body allows it to be used as an ordinary hand-held flashlight, which is sometimes even convenient. To save space (the device is very compact – the length of the cylindrical body is only 110 mm), magnetic charging is used, which is very convenient. At the same time, the system does not allow closing the external contacts on the anodized body of the flashlight during use. The protection class of the device is IPX8, i.e. Olight H2R Nova easily withstands immersion in water at shallow depths.
The light source is TIR optics with an XHP50 LED source, which produces 2300 lumens (like a car headlight). This allows you to illuminate the surrounding space for at least 150 m (if there is no fog) – more than enough for night hunting or walking in the forest. At the same time, the rechargeable battery demonstrates the performance of the headlamp without recharging for 1080 hours! There is also an SOS mode and a reduced glow intensity.
Best Headlamps for Fishing
As in the previous category, here are headlamps of better protection, capable of generating a diffuse luminous flux of reduced intensity and having the ability to work in the red spectrum (a fish perceives powerful white light as a threat), since in fishing conditions this kind of illumination is required. Note: Galaxles.com recommends Fishreeler.com – the best online shop for fishing tackle and accessories. Here you will find everything you need for any fishing trip.
#5 Nitecore NU17
Nitecore NU17 is an affordable and multifunctional headlamp that has a number of undeniable advantages and is appreciated by lovers of running, hiking, fishing and just outdoor activities. The main advantage of this model is its light weight. The device with a built-in battery pack weighs only 46 grams (its capacity is only 580 mAh), which makes it imperceptible while wearing. Reflective nylon wrap for maximum operator comfort and safety.
The presented headlamp is equipped with three different light sources, where the main one is an LED lamp that generates a white luminous flux of 130 lumens. The lens provides comfortable visibility up to a maximum distance of 43 m. Red and white LEDs act as additional sources for maximum color rendering. This device can work in 3 modes, and has the widest illumination angle of 180 °, which is very convenient in open areas.
#6 Ridge Monkey VRH150
In our rating, this flashlight has probably the most progressive design and layout. It makes no difference in what position you put it on, the rubberized case can withstand repeated drops, and the presence of protection from moisture comes in handy in the rain. At the same time, the additional LED unit also has an optical lens and brightness modes. In green light (a modern alternative to red) it is very comfortable to fish out a fish – it is not at all afraid of it,
The owners also noticed a lack of attractiveness for insects – they do not fly to the green spectrum, which makes it very comfortable to spend the night fishing. The power of the battery is enough to work in economic mode for up to 80 hours. At maximum brightness, the headlamp is unlikely to last all night, but such lighting, as a rule, is not needed by fishermen. The presence of a USB connection allows you to use Power Bank or car charging. This is a fairly relevant decision, especially in cases where fishing trips (or just to nature) are delayed for more than one day.
#7 JETBeam HR30 SST40 N5
A good headlamp for fishing is offered by the manufacturer JETBeam. This is the third model in the line, and it is better than its predecessors – many annoying flaws have been eliminated. A USB Type-C cable (included in the kit) is used for charging, while access to the connector is hidden under a threaded cover with a seal – water must try to ruin the lantern. If you are outdoors for a long time, you can take an additional battery for replacement.
The owner has access to six preset operating parameters, including the red light on duty, which is generated by separate LED elements (2 pcs.). In the “turbo” mode, the luminous flux reaches 950 lm, but the headlamp can withstand such a load for a short time – only 3 minutes. Then it just switches to a more economical glow. Despite the lack of thermal control, other modes are stabilized (except for “turbo”). The generation of white light occurs in accordance with a certain brightness setting of the flashlight, without flicker.
#8 Fenix HL60R CREE XM-L2 U2
An excellent option for autonomous lighting for fishing, walking in the forest, indoors, etc. from the Chinese brand Fenix deservedly leads this category. The headlamp is very comfortable, fits well and does not slip. The presence of a ratchet allows you to fix the required angle of direction of light in a wide range. Moreover, she holds it quite confidently (the small weight of the flashlight also affects), and does not require much effort to turn. Its distinctive feature is the ability of the LED unit to work in red (two diodes without optics). It provides a sufficiently high-quality emergency lighting (with a radius of up to 8 m), completely non-irritating to the eye.
The central optics is equipped with tempered glass with a reflector and is capable of providing a maximum range of the flashlight up to 116 m. There are several operating modes in total: from standby lighting (50 lm) to medium (150 lm) and maximum (400 lm). There is also a Turbo mode, in which the luminous flux reaches 950 lm. However, in case of overheating in excess of the norm (built-in protection system), it is reset to the previous operation algorithm. This ensures greater durability of the device and its reliability in everyday use.
Best Headlamps for Indoor Use
The category contains lighting products that are optimally suited for use inside unlit rooms.
#9 Bright Beam LH-190M “Cobra M”
The LED light provides good visibility in the room. The headlamp shines in three modes: 10, 60 and 90 lm. In this case, if you hold down the switch key, there will be a gradual decrease in brightness until it is completely turned off. Even at maximum power, the radius of the illuminated space will be small, only a couple of meters, but this is quite enough for small rooms.
A rechargeable Li-ion battery with a capacity of 2200 mAh is used as a battery. The “Cobra M” is charged via the USB connector rather quickly (there is a readiness indication near the connector – the green LED lights up). Judging by the reviews, the flashlight is quite convenient and practical, and the price can be safely considered its advantage – it is the most affordable in the category. In addition to the head mount, there is an internal magnet that makes it easy to attach the unit to a dashboard door or other metal base – a feature that electricians liked best.
#10 Petzl Tikkina
A fairly popular model on the Russian market uses three conventional AAA batteries as a power source. This is very convenient if the lighting device is planned to be used not on an ongoing basis, but from time to time. The headlamp itself, together with the batteries, weighs only 85 grams and is completely imperceptible when worn frequently. The LED lamp can only work in one mode, but with a preset adjustment of the luminous intensity (2 positions). At the maximum, the diode gives out 150 lm, which is not demonstrated by every street lamp. A more economical mode will be quite enough for a comfortable stay in dark rooms. With such a brightness, high-quality batteries are able to ensure uninterrupted operation of the device for 210-220 hours.
The high level of assembly and the quality of the materials used, from which the headlamp is made, is visible to the naked eye. It is non-separable, which means that the manufacturer is confident in the reliability of the device throughout the entire warranty period. Among the lamps of this form factor, it is the largest, and is 5 years old. There is a convenient tilt adjustment, as well as the presence of protection against moisture of an average level (you can turn it on with wet hands, is not afraid of splashing water, etc.).
#11 Fenix HL16
The advantage of this flashlight is the absence of a battery pack. Instead, it uses the most common AA battery. There is only one battery and in an economical mode it can last up to 170 hours. If the headlamp is used systematically, then there is nothing easier than installing a finger battery in it. The HL16 LED element at a maximum produces about 70 lm – this power is quite enough, and not only for indoor use. Stabilization works in all modes, due to which there is no flicker of light at all. The neutral color temperature also favorably differs, which does not irritate the eye with excessive whiteness.
The headband has a silicone band – it not only keeps the flashlight from slipping, but also effectively prevents sweat from dripping, which is constantly distracting when working in hot rooms. At the same time, the model is positioned as a children’s one – a small hexagon is needed to open the battery compartment (it is included in the kit). In addition, there is a plate with thermal paste inside, which provides high-quality heat removal from the battery. Otherwise, this is one of the highest quality, safest and lightest headlamps, which has 4 modes of operation (including red emergency lighting) and tilt adjustment.
#12 Energizer ATEX HL
Positioned by the manufacturer as an explosion-proof model, the Energizer ATEX HL 2018 headlamp will be the best assistant when working in closed rooms, especially in the presence of flammable and explosive substances. Also, this flashlight has increased resistance to impacts and will remain intact even as a result of a fall from a height of 2 meters, but just in case it has a shatterproof lens. The presented flashlight is very comfortable to hold on the head thanks to the non-slip head strap and good weight distribution in the body itself.
The versatility of this lighting device is determined by its resistance to dust and moisture, as well as the presence of red and green LEDs. An additional advantage of this flashlight is the ability to remove the diffuser lens for a brighter glow, the maximum range of which in such conditions will be 125 m. The presented LED model can operate in different modes: red, green and white of different power. Separately, the record 15 years of service life of the Energizer ATEX HL headlamp should be highlighted – this is the best result among all the participants in the rating.
Best Highest Power Headlamps
Headlamps-floodlights and simply models with the highest luminous flux are multifunctional equipment and can be used in any conditions.
#13 UltraFire QE-905A
New this year, the UltraFire QE-905A headlamp surpasses all models in the 5000-lumen category in terms of the total brightness of LED lamps (one main and 4 additional ones, with separate lenses). The use of high-quality USA-made Cree T6 (main) and Cree XPE (auxiliary) light sources determines the excellent performance of the device. In addition, the optics allows you to focus the center beam, depending on the nature of use. Based on the experience of most users, we can safely talk about the stable operation of this powerful flashlight and its sufficient reliability.
With high performance indicators, a headlamp is quite inexpensive, but there is a completely rational explanation for this. The manufacturer does not make any claims about the moisture resistance and shock resistance of the device at all. The owners also confirm that you shouldn’t get caught in the rain with this flashlight. It is also undesirable to drop it. A fall from a height for a case made of fragile plastic may result in inevitable breakage.
#14 Boruit HL-720
This is an LED device so powerful that the beam range is 1 kilometer. Despite the fact that this is one of the most massive headlamps, it is not felt on the head. The model is well balanced, thanks to the transfer of the battery pack to the back of the head, it was possible to better balance the entire structure (its weight is 205 grams). Four modes of operation, including a stroboscope, a high degree of protection against moisture (IPX-6) and a total brightness of 3000 lumens of LED lamps are the strengths of this model.
Such power requires a good supply of energy – two rechargeable batteries (ICR 18650) of 4000 mA * hour are used (according to the manufacturer’s statements). In reality, the installed batteries have a much smaller capacity, and at maximum glow they are enough for only 40 minutes of flashlight operation. Both an AC adapter and a car charger are suitable for charging. Also, the owner has the opportunity to install his own spare set of batteries. Based on the opinions of the owners, it is difficult to find anything more powerful for this price (the best in the category). At the same time, there are no special complaints about the quality of work. The luminous flux of Boruit HL-720 is stable, the color temperature is mild and does not irritate the eyes.
#15 Fenix HP30R
Even a cursory inspection is enough to evaluate the Fenix HP30R as professional lighting equipment, there is no reason to doubt the quality and reliability of which. Judge for yourself: the compact headlamp is made of impact-resistant aircraft-grade aluminum and has a high degree of moisture resistance. In total, there are nine operating modes, including Boost (with it, the total luminous flux reaches 1750 lm). For the convenience of long-term use, the battery pack (two cells ICR18650 or CR123A) is made separately and has a fastener for placing on a trouser belt.
It is perfect for long hikes, hunting, cycling, and other outdoor activities. The two-piece design makes it much easier to carry – the weight of the Fenix HP30R is barely felt on the head. Thanks to powerful batteries and low current consumption of the LED source (capacity is enough for 400 hours of flashlight operation), the device can be used to recharge a mobile phone and other devices, which makes it one of the most practical.
#16 LED LENSER MH7
In the LED LENSER range, the MH7 headlamp is definitely the flagship, which also defines its leadership position in this category. The flashlight can work both in light stabilization mode and without it. The power of the LED element is 600 lm, which, together with the focusing lens, allows for visibility up to 200 meters.
As for the quality, even the slightest complaints about the assembly are not to be found. A striking characteristic of the reliability and high quality of the headlamp can be even not so much a seven-year warranty as the presence of gold-plated contacts for rechargeable batteries. Despite all its power, the MH7 has a completely compact and organic body with design elements and a competent color selection.
Best Affordable Headlamps
The most popular headlamps on the market are, of course, budget-priced. Despite the low price, there are many models in this segment that deserve the attention of consumers. The best of the most affordable headlamps are presented in this category.
#17 Ultraflash LED5351
One of the most affordable headlamps in our rating, Ultraflash LED5351 cannot boast of any outstanding performance, but it is quite worthy of attention and can become an indispensable assistant in everyday life. The lightweight plastic body and adjustable forehead strap make it comfortable to wear and very easy to operate. The presented device can provide uninterrupted operation for 70 hours, receiving the necessary power from AAA batteries. The maximum illumination range that this model is capable of does not exceed 20 m.
The light source in this headlamp is 7 LED bulbs. They generate a luminous flux of 15 lm. The color temperature is very cold – 8000 K. This flashlight can operate in three different modes – both at full strength with the involvement of all diodes, and with a minimum level of light output from three or one LED-element. In addition, the Ultraflash LED5351 is highly resistant to dust and moisture.
#18 Trophy TG 9
The rechargeable model of the TROPHY TG 9 headlamp, judging by numerous reviews, is distinguished by the best build quality, despite the more than affordable cost. A wide, with good elasticity, rubber mount on the head is especially distinguished, on which the convenience of using such devices directly depends. Also, this flashlight has increased resistance to shocks and drops, thanks to a durable housing made of ABS plastic. This device provides for the adjustment not only of the lighting power, with the possibility of choosing one of two modes, but also the angle of inclination of the headlight itself.
The TROPHY TG9 headband is equipped with 9 white LED sources that can illuminate the space within a radius of up to 45 m. The presented flashlight is equipped with a lead-acid battery with a capacity of 0.9 Ah, which guarantees a continuous glow for 6 hours. It is recharged from a 220 V network, for which a cord is provided in the package.
#19 ERA Practitioner GB-701
LED torch ERA Practitioner GB-701 is designed for head wear and will become the best assistant when carrying out a wide variety of work in conditions of weak or completely absent lighting. It is equipped with a powerful (5W) COB LED, guaranteeing the best brightness. which ensures the dispersion of the light beam at a distance of up to 25 m. The presented flashlight provides 3 options for operation, two of which are the choice of the power level, and the third implies a blinking red LED mode.
A distinctive feature of the ERA Practician GB-701 headlamp is the presence of a sensor that reacts to both a finger and a glove, which greatly simplifies the process of controlling this device. An additional advantage of this model is the presence of an adaptive tilt angle. Provided that better quality AAA batteries are installed, the presented flashlight will be able to provide autonomous operation for 8 hours.
#20 Bright Beam LH-260S “Stalker”
The compact and at the same time very powerful headlamp Bright Beam LH-260S “Stalker” will become an indispensable item in the household, it is also perfect for use in hiking or fishing. This model is equipped with a range of LED lamps, which together provide a cool white glow with the most optimal light distribution. This flashlight can work as a source of both high and low beam, with the choice of the most suitable power level of 30% or 100%. At the same time, users note its ability to shine at a distance of up to 100 m.
One of the distinctive features of this head-mounted model is a built-in sensor that can automatically adjust the brightness of the device depending on the degree of ambient light. Under the operating conditions of the flashlight at full power, it can work for 3.5 hours, and if the economy mode is selected, this time indicator increases significantly. As a power source, you can use AAA rechargeable batteries, for recharging which this flashlight is supplied with a USB cable.