We all know how entertaining the sky can be when you’re outdoors. It is easier to identify constellations and see falling stars when you’re far away from civilization. However, it can be hard to see anything else in camp especially if you don’t have proper illumination, right?
This is where the best rechargeable headlamp comes in handy. Unlike lamps, headlamps provide personal illumination so you know you always have light even if you’re some distance away from the campfire or lamps.
However, shopping for rechargeable headlamps can be a tricky affair especially with the number of choices out there. To help you out, we have provided a quick guide on how to shop for these handy outdoor illumination tools. Plus, we have reviewed a couple of headlamps which you can consider our personal recommendations. Let’s take a look!
Our Top Picks
|Foxelli USB Rechargeable||48 hours||280 lumens||Lightweight||Check price on Amazon|
|AIKENUS Waterproof||4-20 hours||200 lumens||Hand waving motion sensor||Check price on Amazon|
|Blusmart LED Rechargeable||15-20 hours||150 lumens||3 different LEDs||Check price on Amazon|
|Lighting Ever LED||30 hours||150 lumens||Multiple lighting modes||Check price on Amazon|
|Streamlight Bandit||2-10 hours||180 lumens||Weather resistant||Check price on Amazon|
|Icefox Rechargeable||8 hours||6000 lumens||4 brightness modes||Check price on Amazon|
|QPAU Superbright LED||30 hours||180 lumens||Motion sensor||Check price on Amazon|
|Flagship-X Phoenix||30 hours||180 lumens||Weatherproof||Check price on Amazon|
Things to Consider Before Buying
When it comes to headlamps, there are so many products available. This is probably because the product is so versatile it is not used only for camping and the outdoors but for other activities like jogging, walking, cycling and other outdoor endeavors that require lighting. Choosing the most suitable headlamp can be confusing because they also come with a variety of features and a wide price range.
Here are some things you need to consider before buying your headlamp.
When you’re outdoors, you have limited methods of charging your electronics. In most cases, people bring along their power banks for charging their phones and other gadgets. This method is great but you’re limited to the amount you can store in your bank.
A good option for many outdoorsmen is a solar powered charger. However, the weather can turn any minute so this alternative is not reliable all the time. This is why you need a headlamp with a good battery life.
Consider how long you’re going camping or backpacking. If you’re going for an overnighter, something that has up to 10 hours of juice is good enough with extra to spare. However if you’re going for an extended trip, headlamps with 30 hours of battery life will come in handy.
In most cases, headlamps can be charged using USB cables that you can charge using your laptop, power bank and other devices. USB charging is a good option because many outdoor gear come with this type of connectivity. Some emergency radios, flashlights and lamps have USB ports that you can use to charge your headlamp so you don’t run out of juice.
There are also headlamps that can use regular batteries when their rechargeable counterparts run out. This is a good option too because power banks and other charging options may not be available. Spare batteries are light and are very common in many outdoor shops so stocking up and taking them along is not a big hassle for many campers or backpackers.
Water resistance is a good feature because outdoor activities are not limited to camping and backpacking. Sometimes it can also rain and you want equipment that can withstand more than just a few drops of rain. Water resistance is very convenient during bad weather, when you unexpectedly get wet while kayaking or if your device gets submerged in snow.
Try to find a headlamp that works in the cold, heat, snow and rain. Headlamps can be expensive and water resistance can make a device more durable.
Brightness is measured in Lumens. Generally speaking, it is the amount of light emitted per second from a light source; the higher the lumens, the brighter the device. Brightness is important because there are some areas in the wilderness where it is totally dark. A device with high lumens can make it easier for you to see or be spotted.
For general camping and backpacking use, a headlamp with 200 lumens is a good option. It is not so bright you will hurt your camp mate’s eyes but bright enough for you to see the area around you. Other devices have high lumens but they are very bright and usually have shorter battery life.
Headlamps are meant to be worn so they need to be comfortable. In most cases, headlamps will be adjustable so that they will fit in your head securely but not cause you pain. It also needs to be lightweight so that you forget that you’re wearing it. If possible, wear the headlamp for a few minutes before purchasing it. This will give you an idea how it feels on your head.
Consider the material of the strap. Materials like polyester are durable and comfortable. Try to find materials that are breathable or wick away moisture so that your head will not become too sweaty.
Now that you know which features are important, you’re ready to take a look at some of the best products available.
Best Products in Today’s Market
Shopping is fun but it can sometimes become stressful when you’re faced with a horde of products but have no idea how well they work in real life. One of the best ways to find out if they work well or not is by checking out reviews of people who have used them in real-life situations.
Check out these headlamp reviews.
Foxelli USB Rechargeable Headlamp
Battery life: 4-20 hours
Brightness: 200 lumens
Specific features: Lightweight, waterproof, impact resistant, USB rechargeable
Best use: Long distance runners, campers, hikers, spelunkers
The Foxelli USB Rechargeable Headlamp is designed for professional sports, campers, hikers and spelunkers. This is a great option for people who are looking for a headlamp with good battery life.
This product can generate light up to 100 hours of continued use on the lowest setting and can last up to 8 hours if used on the 200 lumens mode.
This mode allows users to see up to 80 meters while switching it to 280 lumens brightens up to 120 meters. The low-light setting (12 lumens) is ideal if you don’t want to disturb your camp mates or for reading or fishing. This device comes with 1800 mAh lithium battery.
The headlamp can also be tilted up to 90 degrees so you can adjust its focus to areas where it is needed. It is constructed using lightweight and durable materials so you can use it for many years. The device weighs 4.4 ounces making it a good option for joggers and hikers. Other features include SOS Mode and attached emergency whistle.
This headlamp from Foxelli has an ergonomically designed band with detachable top strap so it can be worn comfortably. It is also water resistant up to 1 meter, impact resistant and cold resistant allowing for more adventures in your life. The device is USB rechargeable and is good to go after 2 hours of charging.
- Good battery life
- Fast charging
Related: Stay visible in low light with Freemove No.1 Reflective Running Vest Gear. This vest combined with the product’s SOS capabilities will make it easier for other people to spot you in the wilderness.
AIKENUS Waterproof Headlight
Battery life: 48 hours
Brightness: 280 lumens
Specific features: Waterproof, hand waving motion sensor
Best use: Campers, hikers, fishermen, emergency situations
If you’re looking for a headlamp with good quality and an affordable price, look no further than the AIKENUS Waterproof Headlight. Aside from being affordable, this product from AIKENUS is rated IPX5 which ensures protection against splashing or spraying water from any angle should you unexpectedly encounter rainy weather when you’re camping, hiking, walking the dog or jogging.
The hand-waving sensor of this device is a great feature so you only have to wave your hand to turn it on or off. There is no more need to remove your headlamp with this convenient feature. It also features bright LED chips so you can see as far as 600 feet on its brightest setting.
It also has a red light feature when you are on SOS mode. The headlamp tilts 60 degrees so you can adjust the angle of the head for better viewing.
The product comes with 1200 mAh built-in Li-PO battery with USB charging cable so you don’t need to buy batteries anymore. Just plug it with any USB compatible device and you’re ready to go after 2.5 hours. Once fully charged, the headlamp can provide up to 20 hours of illumination.
- Good brightness distance
- Limited tilting capabilities
Related: Headlamps are great for personal illumination but the Sandalwood 300-Lumen LED Camping Lantern is ideal for your tent and other areas of the campsite. The rugged housing is durable and can last up to 100,000 hours.
Blusmart Rechargeable Headlamp
Battery life: 15-20 hours
Brightness: 150 lumens
Specific features: Waterproof, 3 different LEDs
Best use: Hikers, campers, fishermen
The Blusmart Rechargeable Headlamp has 3 different LED bulbs. The main LED bulb is super bright and has a low and bright setting while the 2 red LEDs are for bright and SOS modes.
The LED CREE headlamp weighs 70 g and has a rechargeable port so there’s no need to buy batteries anymore. Just plug in the USB cable and you’re ready for any adventure after 4-6 hours of charging. The device is rated IPX4 so it is protected from splashing and spraying for any angle.
There’s also no need to suffer from neck sprains because the headlamp is movable so you can adjust the angle so it points straight ahead or lower (45 degrees). This headlamp provides up to 30 hours of power with a maximum of 150 m, making it an ideal torch-companion when you’re fishing, hiking, camping or even when you’re walking the dog.
With this headlamp, you don’t have to worry about struggling to hold a flashlight, buying tons of batteries for camping, saying good-bye to it if it gets wet or accidentally dropping it. The Blusmart Headlamp lets you camp or fish worry free so you can enjoy the outdoors knowing that you will always have light if needed.
- Good battery life
- Slow charging
Related: The Blusmart Headlamp is great for extended hiking trips thanks to its long battery life. To avoid getting thirsty on long trips, bring along the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System for on the spot hydration.
Lighting Ever LED Headlamp
Battery life: 30 hours
Brightness: 150 lumens
Specific features: Multiple lighting modes, waterproof, versatile
Best use: Runners, hikers, joggers
Weighing only 2.85 ounces, the Lighting Ever LED Headlamp is a good option for people looking for a lightweight headlamp. It is a great headlamp for various low light or night time activities such as jogging, camping, fishing, bicycling and reading This headlamp has 5 lighting modes: 3 white light modes (full light/low light/flash) and 3 red light modes (standby and flashing).
The 2.85 oz weight with the elastic and adjustable headband is very comfortable on the head. The headlamp can be rotated 45 degrees up and down for better focus. It has a waterproof rating of IPX4 so your device is protected from splashing water. This device is versatile so you can use it for camping, jogging, fishing, bicycling, dog walking and reading.
This product from Lighting Ever has a 1200 mAh battery and takes around 3 hours to charge to full capacity. It comes with a USB cable so you can say goodbye to battery operated headlamps. It is also very easy to operate as it only has 2 buttons: 1 for white light and the other for red light.
There is no confusion as you only need to press the lighting you need. The headlamp is tilt-able up to 45 degrees so you can see up to 164 yards (150 m) with up to 150 lumens of brightness.
- Long charging time
Related: While headlamps are great for personal illumination, the classics like the Ustellar Rechargeable Flashlight never goes out of style. This camping backup is bright as 1,000 lumens and can illuminate up to 1640 ft (500 m).
Streamlight Bandit Headlamp
Battery life: 2-10 hours
Brightness: 180 lumens
Specific features: Weather resistant, clip on capability
Best use: Campers, runners, hikers
Go hands free for up close tasks with the Streamlight Bandit Headlamp. This is an ideal headlamp for campers, runners, hikers or people who need illumination but want to free up their hands.
The Bandit is unique because it is not a traditional headlamp. It comes with a hat clip so you can clip it on the visor instead of wearing it on your head. It has a polycarbonate body that meets European Community Directives and is impact resistant. The Bandit is built for toughness so you can take it anywhere with you.
This headlamp produces bright, even, diffused light with less shadow than spot beams. It has a lithium polymer rechargeable battery; a rubber plug keeps dirt and debris out of the micro USB charging port and a head strap so you can use it like a traditional headlamp.
Streamlight makes versatile and durable products so you can use it whether it is freezing cold, scorching hot, desert dry, or rainforest humid. This device will still work even if it has been beat up, abused, dropped in water, or left in icy snow. With the Bandit, you know the headlamp will deliver the light they need for the task at hand.
- Can be used with hats and caps
- Poor battery life
Related: Headlamps are great for personal lighting but camping is not complete without a bonfire. Start one easily with the Power Practical Sparkr Mini Lighter. It is a USB rechargeable wind-proof electric arc lighter to make lighting in the wind or rain simple and easy.
Icefox Rechargeable Headlamp
Battery life: 8 hours
Brightness: 6,000 lumens
Specific features: 4 brightness modes, waterproof
Best use: Runners, campers, hikers
The powerful Icefox Rechargeable Headlamp has a brightness of 6000 lumens and is powered by 2 pieces of 18650 rechargeable batteries. It has 4 working modes: low (one light), mid (two lights), high (three lights) and strobe (three lights flashing) so you can easily choose the best lighting for your needs. The lamp swivels down 90 degrees so you can adjust it at an angle that is most comfortable.
The headlamp features red light on the back of battery holder for increased visibility from all directions, so you and your loved ones or friends are safer in low light conditions. The device can be used up to 8 hours if fully charged and is a great choice for outdoor activities like camping, hunting, fishing, adventure racing and spelunking. You can even attach it to your cycling helmet for better visibility during low light or night time riding.
The device is durable and waterproof, so you don’t have to worry about it in all kinds of rain weather. The headlamp is also waterproof so it can survive splashes of water. However at 10.6 ounces, the headlamp is not really lightweight and can be heavy to wear on extended periods of time.
- 6,000 lumens
- Multiple working modes
- Poor battery life
Related: Don’t let your icefox run out of juice with the EasyAcc 20000mAh Outdoor Power Bank. It is IP67 waterproof, made from industrial-grade plastic and screws and a high capacity fast charger.
QPAU Superbright LED Headlamp
Battery life: 30 hours
Brightness: 180 lumens
Specific features: Motion sensor, adjustable, water resistant
Best use: Campers, runners, hunters, cyclists
The QPAU Superbright LED Headlamp is multi functional so you can use it for various outdoor activities like camping, running, hunting and cycling. It features an Infrared Motion Sensor so when the headlamp is turned on, you only need to wave your hand in front of the lamp to turn it on or off. This feature makes it convenient to use as you don’t need to remove the device anymore.
It has 3 light mode settings: low (60 lumens), high (180 lumens) and white strobe (180 lumens). The headlamp can be adjusted 45 degree angle to meet your needs.
The device has an IPX4 rating so your device won’t fail should it suddenly rain or if you get wet. The Superbright has a charging time of 3 hours and provides up to 30 hours of constant light on a single charge.
The device is lightweight at only 2.8 ounces so it can be worn comfortably even by children. It is also perfect for indoor use when you need to repair a leaky pipe or a cramped cabinet.
This gadget makes it easier to do chores around the house or campsite. The highly elastic tap is wide and very comfortable to wear. It has an adjustable viewing angle so you can clearly see obstructions on the road when you’re hiking or running. This device is made for durability and can survive drops of up to 5 feet.
- Convenient motion sensor
- Slow charging time
Flagship-X Phoenix Headlamp
Battery life: 30 hours
Brightness: 160 lumens
Specific features: Weatherproof, lightweight, crystal clear white LED
Best use: Campers, runners
Get crystal clear white LED with super brightness with the Flagship-X Phoenix Headlamp. It is rechargeable and waterproof so you can use it for camping or running.
This headlamp has a brightness of 160 lumens and juice that can last up to 30 hours. It features 5 working modes: MAX power, dimmed for reading, strobe white, red light night vision and strobe red. The Phoenix has a waterproof rating of IPX4 to protect against splashing.
The device weighs only 2.5 ounces, making it ideal for running, walking, hiking and other strenuous outdoor activities. It is very comfortable to wear with a comfortable band and adjustable strap width so there is no more flapping around. The device comes with a USB cable so all you need to do is to plug it with a compatible charging outlet for hours of continuous use.
The headlight has a spotlight beam that hinges downward so you can easily see obstructions in the dark. This is a versatile headlamp that is very wearable and comfortable. It is also great for household chores like sewing, going to the basement or for extra light when you’re fixing your car.
- Good battery life
- Short USB cable
Related: Aside from the Phoenix, you will also need Oujin Outdoor Mesh Hat to complete your survival gear. It is made with breathable mesh, with UV protection and is lightweight so you have protection from the sun.
When choosing a headlight, don’t just consider your budget. Frame your choice on possible scenarios you might encounter when you’re camping, hiking or jogging. Think about bad weather, injuries, complex trails or broken equipment and the need for light for long periods of time. Always evaluate your needs and do a little research to find the best headlamp.
When you’re setting up a tent, running at dusk or looking for something in your attic; the hands-free capabilities of a headlamp can become very handy. The ability to keep your hands free while directing light when something goes wrong in the backcountry can also have life-saving advantages.
What do you think about the products that we reviewed? Do you think you will buy any of them? Tell us what you think by leaving your comments below.