The 8 Best Headlamps of 2019

Light Up the Night With Our Top Picks

First Look

Best Overall: Ledlenser MH10 Headlamp With Rapid Focus at Amazon

“Has a temperature control system so it stays cool against your skin."

Best Budget: Northbound Train Bright LED Headlamp at Amazon

“Includes high beam, low beam, strobe, and dimmer.”

Best for Backpacking: Black Diamond Storm Headlamp at Amazon

“Fully waterproof, so it’s perfect for outdoor adventures."

Best for Hiking: Petzl Actik Core at Amazon

“Helps improve your visibility in low light conditions.”

Best for Kids: Petzl Tikkid Headlamp at Amazon

“Automatic shut-off that turns it off after an hour."

Best for Running: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp at Amazon

“Has seven different lighting modes.”

Best Lightweight: Biolite Headlamp at Amazon

“For outdoor enthusiasts who want a reliable headlamp.”

Best for Camping: Trailblazer Headlamp at LL.Bean

“Two side LEDs that provide illumination for close-up work.”

Best Overall: Ledlenser MH10 Headlamp With Rapid Focus

The Ledlenser MH10 headlamp has exactly what you need in a reliable, durable headlamp. With 600 lumens of power, it’s bright, efficient, and stays snug without moving up and down as you walk, run, or climb. One of its most useful features is the Adjustable Focus System, which allows you to adjust the light from spot to flood lighting with just a simple twist.

The long-lasting rechargeable battery provides 120 hours of light on a single charge and can reach a full charge in just six hours. The MH10 also has a temperature control system so it stays cool against your skin while still providing maximum brightness. It comes with a travel case, USB charger, and Li-Ion rechargeable battery, as well as a manufacturer's five-year warranty.

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Best Budget: Northbound Train Bright LED Headlamp

You usually get what you pay for when it comes to headlamps, but this reasonably-priced Northband Train headlamp is a nice exception to that rule. Reliable and easy to use, it’s a good choice for anyone who’s looking for a comfortable headlamp for outdoor activities or home chores and doesn’t want to spend a lot.

It features numerous settings, including high beam, low beam, strobe, and dimmer, so you can customize and control the light for any situation or conditions. You can also adjust the light’s position using the sturdy hinge to focus the beam exactly where you need it. Included with the headlamp is a waterproof hard case with clip and batteries.

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Best for Backpacking: Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

Backpackers need a dependable headlamp that’s sturdy, weather-resistant, and comfortable to stay safe when trekking in low light conditions. With a sleek design and fully adjustable headband, this durable Black Diamond Storm headlamp is built for the outdoors and perfect to take along on your adventures.

It features eight distinct lighting modes, including red, green, and blue night-vision, making it a versatile choice for all types of situations and tasks. The convenient brightness memory feature lets you return to a chosen brightness level without cycling through the other options.

The sturdy Storm is also fully waterproof, so it’s perfect for outdoor adventures that may involve some extreme weather.

Best for Hiking: Petzl Actik Core

If you have a passion for hiking and want a well-built, high-quality headlamp from a trusted brand leader, the Petzl Actik Core is a solid choice. With 350 lumens of power, it can light up a wide trail even in complete darkness. It features three levels of brightness as well as a red mode that allows for night vision without blinding others.

Extremely durable, this rugged headlamp uses a hybrid power source so you can switch between the rechargeable battery and three AAA batteries. The reflective headband helps you improve your visibility in low light conditions and it also has an emergency whistle for rescue situations. It’s an ideal outdoor companion that will help you stay safe while hiking, running, mountaineering, or backpacking.

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Best for Kids: Petzl Tikkid Headlamp

Kids love having their own headlamps, but they usually can’t get the right fit with ones that are designed for adults. Enter Petzl’s Tikkid, the company’s first headlamp that’s designed especially for kids. It features three modes—a low mode that’s ideal for reading at night, a high mode to light up the night, and a strobe light.

Another cool feature is the automatic shut-off that turns it off after an hour, just in case kids put it down and forget to turn it off or fall asleep with it turned on. This headlamp is perfect for family camping trips or playing backyard flashlight games all summer long.

Best for Running: Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

A headlamp is an essential item for those who run in the dark, so they can light their path as well as make themselves more visible to oncoming traffic. This extremely bright Black Diamond Spot Headlamp features one quad power LED and one double power white LED, which give off 300 lumens.

It also has seven different lighting modes, such as red night vision, strobe, and dimming, so you can use it for all types of conditions and situations. The strap is extremely comfortable and adjustable, so it’ll stay put and won’t bob up and down, no matter how fast you’re running.

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Best Lightweight: Biolite Headlamp

The Biolite headlamp is proof that a lightweight design doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice functionality or performance. At 2.4 ounces, it’s one of the lightest headlamps out there, making it a nice choice for outdoor enthusiasts who want a reliable and effective headlamp that’s comfortable and easy to wear. The Biolite features multiple lighting modes and 330 lumens of bright light.

What really stands out with this headlamp is the unique design that integrates the light and wiring into the strap, which allows it to sit flush on your forehead without any annoying wires to deal with. Ideal for backpackers, hikers, and runners, it doesn’t bounce or slip and the moisture-wicking fabric strap helps keep your forehead dry. The rechargeable battery runs up to three and a half hours on high and as many as 40 hours on low.

Best for Camping: LL Bean Trailblazer Headlamp

L.L. Bean Trailblazer Headlamp
Courtesy of L.L. Bean.

If you want a reliable, effective headlamp for camping and other outdoor pursuits, consider this lightweight Trailblazer headlamp. It’s reasonably priced and has been recently updated to include more modes and higher light output. It features a super bright LED of 200 lumens for overall lighting, as well as two side LEDs that provide illumination for close-up work. It’s lightweight but padded in the back, so it’s comfortable and easy to wear.

The adjustable tilt functionality allows you to focus on the task at hand. With a water-resistant construction, you don’t have to worry about getting splashed or wearing it in the rain.

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Our Process

Our writers spent 8 hours researching the best headlamps on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 21 different headlamps to buy overall, screened options from 17 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 430 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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