The Best Headlamps in 2019

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The Best Headlamps in 2019

A great EDC light will serve you well in the dark, better than any cell phone flash can. But when you need both hands free, only a headlamp will do. That’s because whether you’re running around for exercise, hiking a mountain, or trying to get stuff done in a dimly-lit garage, you’re not always going to be able to dedicate one of your hands for a torch, no matter how small it is. You might think having a dedicated headlamp might clutter up your carry, but the extra space one can take up is well worth it. Plus, modern models suited for everyday carry size things down to a compact footprint, and their bright tech and smart features make them a joy to use. There’s lots of great options for headlamps out there, which means you can pick the one with the features you need at the price you want to spring for. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite LED headlamps for everyday carry in this guide.

Black Diamond SpotLite 160

Black Diamond SpotLite 160

Purchase
Key Features
IPX8 rating
Red LED night vision mode
60-hour runtime on eco setting
Specifications
Max Output
160 lumens for 2 hours
Batteries
2 x AAA
Weight
1.9 oz
Reviews


Price
$
The SpotLite 160 is a good entry-level introduction to quality everyday carry LED headlamps. You get a versatile and lightweight headlamp with a strong 160-lumen High output and settings that make it great for both distance and close-up work. All built into a body that’ll stand up to some serious weather with its IPX8-rated waterproofing. And the best part is, that you won’t have to spend a pretty penny to get it in your hands.
Petzl Swift RL

Petzl Swift RL

Purchase
Key Features
Reactive lighting mode
USB rechargeable
IPX4 rating
Specifications
Max Output
900 lumens
Batteries
2350 mAh integral lithium-ion battery
Weight
3.5 oz
Reviews


Price
$$$
Petzl is a renowned name when it comes to high-quality headlamps, and their Swift RL ups the game with what they call Reactive Lighting technology. Basically, this headlamp is able to measure ambient light in order to adjust its brightness automatically to exactly what you need. This way you won’t burn through your battery unnecessarily, and you don’t have to fiddle with the controls while your hands are full as you’re trying to to get your work done in the dark.
Streamlight Bandit Pro

Streamlight Bandit Pro

Purchase
Key Features
Wide-angle diffuse light
IPX4 rating
21 hour runtime
Specifications
Max Output
180 lumens
Batteries
USB-rechargeable lithium polymer cell
Weight
1.6 oz
Reviews


Price
$$
The Bandit Pro is a wide-angle diffuse light specialty light that puts out a comfortable, non-blinding 180 lumens out the front for a total of 4.5 hours. Dial that down with a single button to 35 lumens for close up work, and you’ll enjoy an extended runtime of 21 hours total. The distinctive yellow colorway aids in making you visible in the dark, and it also makes it easier to find in a bag when you need it.
Ledlenser MH10

Ledlenser MH10

Purchase
Key Features
120-hour runtime on Low
Advanced focusing system
IPX4 rating
Specifications
Max Output
600 lumens
Batteries
1 x 18650
Weight
5.57 oz
Reviews


Price
$$$
Take one look at the MH10 and you’ll see a light that looks like it’s made exclusively for throwing light out into the distance. And it can do that for sure, putting out a max of 600 lumens out to about 500 feet. But what truly makes the MH10 shine is Ledlenser’s proprietary Advanced Focus System technology which allows you to quickly focus a beam both for long distances and diffuse close up light as well.
Fenix HM65R

Fenix HM65R

Purchase
Key Features
USB Type-C rechargeable
IP68 rating
All-magnesium metal housing
Specifications
Max Output
1400 lumens (combined)
Batteries
1x 18650 or 2 x CR123A
Weight
3.42 oz
Reviews


Price
$$$
When you need an absolutely bombproof headlamp that’ll last through some severe thrashing from the elements, the IPX68-rated Fenix HM65R is worth the pickup. It’ll seriously light the path ahead of you too, with an impressive maximum 1400-lumen output when its Cree XM-L2 U2 cool white and XP-G2 R5 neutral white LED modules combine. You can also use each one of the modules separately for spotlight and floodlight operation, respectively.
Nitecore NU17

Nitecore NU17

Purchase
Key Features
IP66 rating
Micro-USB rechargable
Red low-light mode, high-CRI mode
Specifications
Max Output
130 lumens
Batteries
Integral 580 mAh battery
Weight
1.62 oz
Reviews


Price
$
The Nitecore NU17 is built for running, with a sweat diversion strip on its headband and high visibility reflectors for safety. A wide 180-degree flood range putting out 130 lumens max off its Cree XP-G2 S3 LED module gives you plenty of coverage. The NU17 also comes with a max run time of 150 hours with its built in micro-USB rechargable battery. Last but not least, it comes with an auxiliary red light for low-light use to preserve your night vision, and a high-CRI 4500K white light for color-sensitive work.
Princeton Tec Remix RGB

Princeton Tec Remix RGB

Purchase
Key Features
IPX4 rating
Single-button operation
Adjustable RGB LED modules
Specifications
Max Output
300 lumens
Batteries
3 x AAA
Weight
2.9 oz
Reviews


Price
$$
The unique three-RGB LED module on this model of the Remix sets it apart, letting you choose the level and temperature of light that suits the task at hand. Its battle-tested design works well whether your out on patrol or working in a shop, and with its 300 lumens of power and IPX4-rated water resistance it’ll serve you well wherever you find yourself.
BioLite HeadLamp 330

BioLite HeadLamp 330

Purchase
Key Features
IPX4 rating
Comfortable fit
Lightweight construction
Specifications
Max Output
330 lumens
Batteries
Integral 900 mAh battery
Weight
2.43 oz
Reviews


Price
$$
Biolight’s HeadLamp 330 is built with your comfort in mind. With its unique proprietary 3D SlimFit construction, it’s made to fit comfortably around your head while remaining secure without bouncing around when you’re on the move. After all, what’s the point of having a headlamp on if it can’t stay trained on the path ahead of you?
Coast FL78R

Coast FL78R

Purchase
Key Features
Hard hat-compatible
Pure-beam focusing
Rechargeable battery pack module
Specifications
Max Output
530 lumens
Batteries
Lithium-ion battery pack or 3 x AAA
Weight
3.7 oz
Reviews


Price
$$$
The Coast FL78R is designed to fit atop a hard hat, make it a great option for a headlamp to bring to a job site or other hazardous environments. With its Pure-Beam Focusing technology, the separate spot and flood LED light modules allow for seamless transition, without halos or hot spots, between long range and short distance use. Its battery pack is also USB rechargeable, making topping up on power a flexible and quick thing to do when you need it.
Nite Ize Radiant 300

Nite Ize Radiant 300

Purchase
Key Features
IPX4 rating
Spot and flood modes
90-degree tilt
Specifications
Max Output
300 lumens
Batteries
Integral USB-rechargeable lithium ion battery
Weight
3.2 oz
Reviews


Price
$$
With headlamps it can be a bit frustrating trying to figure out how to operate the light output modes, but with the Nite Ize Radiant 300, you get a simple two-button setup that separates flood and spot operation. You can also actuate a low-light night vision red LED mode that won’t destroy your night adaptation with a flood of bright white light by accident. And when you’re trying not to accidentally turn on the light, you can activate its lockout mode to prevent it from going off in your bag and giving you a rude surprise with a dead battery when you actually need it in the outdoors.

Do you use a headlamp in your work or outdoor EDC? What did we miss? Sound off in the comments below!

#hiking #outdoors #survival #flashlights #headlamps #buying-guides #petzl-swift-rl-review see all



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Discussion (3 total)

I enjoyed your article about headlamps, though I feel you should have included the olight h1r or h2r. The reason I put forth these two lights is that you can multi task them. They make excellent headlamps with lots of power. Then they can be used as flashlights by removing the headband. This makes them truly versatile to handle a wide variety of needs. This is my opinion just putting it out there for discussion. Thank you again for the article.
Petzl's quality has taken a steep nosedive. I bought the model you have listed here and it's absolute junk. Cheaply made with cheap, flimsy materials. I also bought the Coast model you have listed here and it's junk too. The white light push button that turns the light on and off went out after about three months of light use. Not worth it. Tired of all these brands going to crap. Ready for solidly built products made with highest quality materials. These days, with the flood of junk from China and others, if it's junk, I'll just do without.
Select one of the many headlamps from Zebralight that suit your needs and preferences (size, LED tint, max output, battery type and price) and I can guarantee you will not regret it. Their single-button UI can be a bit overwhelming and tricky to learn at first, but it’s easy to get the hang of it with some practice. I own several ZLs in CR123, 18650 & AA battery form factors (each one uses a single cell) and I use them daily with great satisfaction.