TOP GEAR PICKS

Best LED Headlamp: Hands-Free and Reliable Illumination for Outdoor Use

Best Led Headlamp
Bradley Page
Written by Bradley Page

When you are traveling at night or performing any activity like hiking, climbing or fishing, you will need a reliable source of light, right? Although most people carry torches, there is another great option: a headlamp.

The best LED headlamp will surely come in handy if you are doing some activity where you need to use your hands or maintain your balance such as climbing or digging. Construction workers also use headlamps, when work needs to be done overnight.

Headlamp For Camping

In any case, a headlamp is a good piece of equipment, which can come in handy in many circumstances. LED headlamps are better than CFL ones as they can last longer. However, how do you shop for LED headlamps considering the number of choices out there? Worry no more, because we are here to help!

In this article, we will talk about the most important features you must consider before finalizing your purchase. After that, we will review some of the top-rated LED headlamps on the market today. Let’s get to it!

Our Top Picks

ProductWeightDimensionsModesPrice
Energizer Vision HD4 ounces1.5 x 5 x 3 inchesThree: white spotlight, white floodlight and red lightCheck price on Amazon
Wowtac A23.8 ounces4.2 x 1.9 x 0.2 inchesLow, medium, high, strobe, turboCheck price on Amazon
GRDE Zoomable12.8 ounces6 x 4.8 x 3 inchesLow, medium, strobeCheck price on Amazon
SGODDE Zoomable7.8 ounces3.27 x 1.46 x 2.28 inchesLow, medium, high and strobeCheck price on Amazon
STCT Street Cat CREE15.8 ounces4.5 x 4.4 x 3.6 inches4 – middle LEDS light up, side LEDs, both LEDs, strobe modeCheck price on Amazon
Diateklity Super Bright15.2 ounces4.9 x 4.5 x 4.1 inchesLow, medium, high, strobeCheck price on Amazon
LuminoLite Ultra Bright Cree1.6 ounces2.3 x 1.4 x 2.7 inchesWhite light: low, medium and strobe
Red light: stable and strobe
Check price on Amazon
Zukvye CREE0.8 ounces3 x 2.3 x 2.8 inchesWhite light: low, high and strobe
Red light: ultra-bright red and strobe
Check price on Amazon

Things to Consider Before Buying

If you want to buy a headlamp, you should look at some of the features, which the lamps offer. You need to know for which purposes you are going to use the headlamp, and how much you are willing to spend. We are going to mention some important points, which you should keep in mind before you head out to buy an LED headlamp.

Type of Beam

This is one of the most important things to consider when purchasing your headlamp. There are two main types of lights, spot light and flood light.

  • Spotlight, as the name suggests, focuses mainly on one point or area. This light is concentrated, and travels a larger distance. Hence is best if you are walking or hiking and need to see the path.
  • Floodlights are used in those situations when you need a vast light. For example, you can use it if you need to do any task such as cooking, writing or reading etc. If you are going camping this kind of beam can be used at night to perform different activities.

Headlamp Beam

Distance

Distance is measured in meters and it tells you how far away the headlamp’s light will reach. While going hiking, you need a headlamp which can throw light a long distance, so you can see where you are going.

However, there are headlamps for close range activities such as building or digging. A headlamp with lesser beam distance can also serve you well.

Comfort

You need to wear the headlamp on your head, often for extended periods, so it should be very comfortable. Make sure that the headlamp is not too tight and does not cause you a headache when you wear it for prolonged periods.

Headlight Comfort

The weight of the headlamp is very important in this regard. If the lamp weighs too much, it will get tiring very soon. Another thing to consider is the band of the headlamp. Sometimes the bands are rough and can chafe your skin. It is best if you try on the lamp and ensure that it is the right size before you buy it.

Brightness

Lumens are used to measure the total brightness of the headlamp. It is important to note that the quality of light depends on many factors other than just lumens.

Best LED Headlamp: Hands-Free and Reliable Illumination for Outdoor Use

Headlamps that have more lumens are usually brighter. However, you must also consider other aspects such as how well the lamp focuses on a point, its beam distance etc. All of these combined improve the quality of a headlamp’s light.

Battery Life

The battery life of your headlamp is a very important factor that you must consider. A general rule is that the brighter the lamp, the shorter will be its battery life. However, most batteries offer bright and low light settings so you can save battery if you need to.

Headlamp Battery Life

Some headlamps come with rechargeable batteries while for others, the battery must be discarded after use. Rechargeable batteries last for lesser time in one setting but can be recharged again and again. Permanent batteries last longer but once they give out, you cannot reuse them.

Special Features

Many headlamps offer special features, like different light settings, ranging from low to high. You can also adjust the beam and make it either focused or floodlight. Strobe mode makes the light blink on and off in a rapid fashion, and can hence be used in an emergency or if you want to signals for distress.

Headlamp Special Features

Other than white light, some headlamps also offer red light, which can be used to see in the dark. Red light does not cause as much glare as white light and hence offers better visibility at night.

Best Products on Today’s Market

Now that you have an idea about the particular features to look for in a headlamp, we can move on the list of the best headlamps you can buy. All the headlamps we will mention have LED lights

Energizer Vision HD LED Headlamp

Price: Approx. $27Energizer Headlamp

Weight: 4 ounces

Dimensions: 1.5 x 5 x 3 inches

Specific features: Three modes; bright light; water resistant; brightness 150 lumens; beam distance 40 meters

Best use: Hiking, traveling, climbing

The Energizer Vision HD LED Headlamp is a versatile tool and is ideal for many conditions in which you need light. There are three modes including white flood light, white spotlight and red light. Hence, you can use this headlamp for all sorts of activities.

With this headlamp, you can hope to keep the maximum light running for up to several hours. If you choose the dim light setting, the battery lasts up to 50 hours. You can change the batteries easily as the battery pack opens without any hassle.

Perhaps the best thing about this headlamp is that the straps are very comfortable as well as adjustable. It will even sit well on a safety hats and the like. The light is very bright and you will be able to see very well in the dark with this headlamp. Perfect for just about any outdoor activity at night.

PROS:

  • Very bright
  • Comfortable
  • Spotlight is very focused and sharp
 CONS:

  • There is quite a bit of glare
  • Screws are not the best quality

Related: If you want another bright LED headlamp, you should look at the Energizer 6 LED Headlight. This one has 4 white LEDs and two red LEDs. The 3 AAA batteries can last a long time.

Check the price on Amazon

Wowtac A2 LED Headlamp

Price: Approx. $19Wowtac A2.

Weight: 3.8 ounces

Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 0.9 inches

Specific features: 5 modes; on/off switch on right side; durable; water resistant; can be used as a flashlight; very bright

Best use: Hiking, fishing in the dark; seeing in the distance

The Wowtac A2 LED Headlamp is a good, bright option for anyone who is performing an activity which needs illumination in the dark, such as construction work, hiking etc. The lamp offers 5 different modes. The light intensity can be adjusted to low, medium or high. Even the low light is quite bright in the dark.

There is an SOS mode which you can use to signal for help in case of an emergency. This headlamp comes with memory function, which means that if you have the light set to any particular setting and turn it off, when you next turn it on it will be in the same setting. The exception is SOS mode, which will turn to Turbo mode when the light is switched back on.

You get a charging cable with the headlamp so you can easily recharge it. If the battery is getting low, the light will blink twice to warn you. You can remove the LED and use it as a flashlight if you want.

PROS:

  • Very bright
  • Five modes
  • Waterproof so you can wear it in the rain
 CONS:

  • No red light

Related: If you like the idea of a headlamp which can double as a flashlight, you should consider the Lumintrail Angle Head LED Flashlight. You can easily and quickly remove the light if you want to. The bright light comes with adjustable straps, which are comfortable to wear.

Check the price on Amazon

GRDE Zoomable LED Headlamp

Price: Approx. $22GRDE Zoomable LED Headlamp

Weight: 12.8 ounces

Dimensions: 6 x 4.8 x 3 inches

Specific features: Up to 1800 Lumens; zoom able; durable; 3 modes; charger and USB cable included; single button control

Best use: Camping, hiking, fishing

The GRDE Zoomable LED Headlamp is a versatile lamp which can be used as a headlamp, desk lamp, worn around the waist, or even in your hat.

This headlamp is very well made, with a lot of attention paid to the durability of the product. The straps are well-made and adjustable and are quite comfortable.  The battery comes inside a plastic wrap which should be removed before you use your headlamp. Battery life is quite good and you have a lot of recharging options. You can recharge at home or even in your car.

The light is very bright and can be zoomed in and out which is one of its unique features. That way, you can focus on things that you want. The three modes include low, medium and strobe light. The buttons are easy to use as well. Overall, it’s a great utility headlamp for all occasions.

PROS:

  • Zoomable
  • Car charger, home charger and cable provided
  • Durable and high quality
 CONS:

  • Heavy
  • No red light mode

Related: The GRDE 4 Modes Headlamp is a great alternative and lets you choose between low, medium and high light settings, and hence offers more versatility. This lightweight water-resistant headlamp is pretty bright as well as comfortable.

Check the price on Amazon

SGODDE Zoomable LED Headlamp

Price: Approx. $24LED Headlamp,SGODDE

Weight: 7.8 ounces

Dimensions: 3.27 x 1.46 x 2.28 inches

Specific features: 8000 Lumens; 500 meters maximum beam distance; 90 degrees rotatable

Best use: Rough activities like climbing, digging, construction work etc

The SGODDE Zoomable LED Headlamp is durable and abrasion resistant, making it ideal for strenuous jobs. Even if you drop the headlamp, it won’t get damaged easily. The lamp is also water resistant, which means that you can use it in the rain. However, you cannot submerge it in water.

This headlamp is rotatable up to 90 degrees, so you can turn it up or down. This means that you do not always have to move your head when you need to point your light upwards or in any direction. You can use strobe mode in this light, and zoom at any particular spot.

The lamp is quite comfortable, with adjustable straps that rest nicely on your forehead. The battery can last about 4-7 hours even if you are using it on high light setting. The lamp is lightweight and you can use it for many hours without feeling tired.

PROS:

  • Very bright and has a long beam distance
  • Sturdy and durable
  • 90 degrees rotatable
  • Waterproof
 CONS:

  • No red light mode

Related: If you want an even brighter headlamp that has greater number of LEDs, check out SGODDE 5 LED Headlamp. This one has a brightness of 8000 lumens and an anti-halo lens. There are three colored lens: white, yellow and blue; and there are 5 light modes.

Check the price on Amazon

STCT Street Cat CREE LED Headlamp

Price: Approx. $21STCT Street Cat CREE LED Headlamp

Weight: 15.8 ounces

Dimensions: 4.5 x 4.4 x 3.6 inches

Specific features: 4 modes; very bright; 5000 Lumens; waterproof; zoomable; ABS plastic shell; durable

Best use: Hiking, climbing, fishing

The STCT Street Cat CREE LED Headlamp lets you choose exactly how bright you want your light to be. There are middle and side LED lights, which light up in different patterns depending on the mode. The 4 modes switch on different LEDs as follows: middle LEDs, side LEDS, both middle and side LEDs and in the fourth mode all the lights blink (strobe mode)

You can use this headlamp in the rain and snow, as it is waterproof. You can also zoom it if you want, so you can focus on any one point or one specific area.

The battery lasts for more than 6 hours. However, if you turn all the lights on it may discharge faster. That being said, the main light is strong and bright enough and you may not even need to use the side lamps. You can also choose between spotlight and floodlight. The straps are quite comfortable and adjustable and will easily fit you no matter what your size is.

PROS:

  • Very bright
  • Let’s you choose how much light you want
  • Zoomable, comfortable and adjustable
  • Can be worn in rain
 CONS:

  • A little bulky and heavy

Related: Another headlamp of the same brand that uses AAA batteries is the STCT Street Cat CREE LED Headlamp with Red Lights. This headlamp has three white light modes and two red light modes (steady and strobe).

Check the price on Amazon

Diateklity Super Bright LED Headlamp

Price: Approx. $16Diateklity Super Bright LED Headlamp

Weight: 15.2 ounces

Dimensions: 4.9 x 4.5 x 4.1 inches

Specific features: 4 modes; waterproof; heatproof; aluminum alloy crust; bright; 90 degree rotatable; wall charger and car charger included; 3500 Lumens

Best use: Outdoor sports

Like many other headlamps, Diateklity Super Bright LED Headlamp also offers low, medium, high and strobe mode. To make the headlamp more user-friendly, the manufacturers have included a car charger, a wall charger and a USB cable in the package, along with 2 rechargeable batteries. Once you have fully charged the batteries, you can use the lamp for up to 6-8 hours on high light setting.

Headlamps are useful because they free your hands and let you adjust the light as needed. In this regard, this headlamp does not disappoint. The light is 90 degree rotatable, which means that you can look up and down without having to crane your neck. You can also adjust the head straps so the light rests comfortably on your head.

The buttons are easy to operate. You can zoom the light in and out. Even in the low light setting, you will be able to see quite well on a short range.

PROS:

  • Very bright
  • Rotatable
  • Comfortable and adjustable straps
  • Easy to use
 CONS:

  • Takes around 8 hours to charge fully
  • Bulky

Related: Another headlamp with rotatable light and 4 light modes is Cobiz LED Headlamp. The lamp is waterproof and very bright.

Check the price on Amazon

LuminoLite Ultra Bright Cree LED Headlamp

Price: Approx. $10LuminoLite Ultra Bright Cree LED Headlamp

Weight: 1.6 ounces

Dimensions: 2.3 x 1.4 x 1.7 inches

Specific features: 150 lumens; IP 6 water resistant; durable; beam adjustable to 45 degrees; red and white light

Best use: Long expeditions

The LuminoLite Ultra Bright Cree LED Headlamp has both red and white light settings and offers strobe mode in both lights. You can also choose between high and low light settings for the white light.

This headlamp is a very lightweight one, which makes it easy to wear for prolonged periods of time and during strenuous activity. The straps are also pretty comfortable and will not irritate the skin.

The beam can be adjusted up to 45 degrees in both up and down position. This means that if you need your light focused up or down, you do not have to move your head and can simply adjust the beam, for example while reading.

This headlamp has two different button, which let you select the mode of red or white light you want. This is greatly convenient as you do not have to cycle through all the modes to choose the one you want. The battery will last many days before needing to be changed, so you are free of the hassle of having to charge daily.

PROS:

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Battery lasts a long time
  • Red and white lights have separate buttons
 CONS:

  • Red light is very dim

Related: If you prefer a headlamp that has rechargeable batteries, you should check out Active Pride LED Headlamp. It is a waterproof and heatproof headlamp, which is quite durable and offers both red and white light settings.

Check the price on Amazon

Zukvye CREE LED Headlamp

Price: Approx. $7Zukvye CREE LED Headlamp

Weight: 0.8 ounces

Dimensions: 3 x 2.3 x 2.8 inches

Specific features: 5 modes; red and white light; 45 degree adjustable beam; 150 Lumens; 150 meters beam distance; bright; splash-proof

Best use: Walking, hiking, cycling in the dark

With the Zukvye CREE LED Headlamp, you can go hiking, camping or even fishing in the dark with no trouble, and in all kinds of weather. Although the headlamp is not waterproof enough to be functional even after being submerged in water, it can still work perfectly if it gets splashes from puddles or even in the rain.

Headlamps need to be comfortable to be of any use, and this one is perfect in the comfort department. It is very lightweight, with adjustable straps which will make the lamp fit you perfectly. You can even wear the headlamp while cycling or jogging without any fear that will fall off.

The red and white lights have different buttons, with white light having low, high and strobe setting and red light having ultra-red bright and strobe mode. The light is very bright, and you will be able to see perfectly in the distance even if it is completely dark.

PROS:

  • Very lightweight
  • Bright
  • Red and white light have separate buttons
 CONS:

  • Battery is not rechargeable

Related: If rechargeable batteries are more your style, you may consider the RedSun Headlamp which comes with a wall charger, a car charger and a USB cable. This waterproof and durable headlamp is very bright, comfortable and easy to use.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

That concludes our reviews of the top-rated LED headlamps that you can buy. After this detailed discussion, we hope you found out all that you needed to know about LED headlamps.

Best Led Headlamp

These headlamps are very practical and functional, and can help you in many situations. Having a headlamp is superior to having a torch, since it leaves your hands free. This is why workers, climbers, anglers and even campers often prefer having a headlamp.

The headlamps we mentioned in our list are all excellent products, based on their quality, functioning and value for money. How do you find our selection? If you know of another great LED headlamp that we missed in our review, feel free to let us know in the comments section.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bradley Page

Bradley Page

With several decades of experience as a backpacker and outdoor adventurer, Bradley is an open encyclopedia when it comes to gear, clothes, and other items that matter on the trail. He tested hundreds of shoes, pants, jackets, and backpacks in his long career and is always up to date with the new appearances in the niche. His experience makes him one of the authority figures in backpacking and he can help anyone to get prepared for a great adventure!