Headlamps: Ratings of Sources
Total of 18 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
State of the Market Report: LED Headlamps (2007)
by Rick Dreher
Our AssessmentTen LED headlamps from four major brands are reviewed and ranked here. Overall ratings are based on scores for eleven different factors, including battery life, beam quality, comfort and value. These more specific ratings are especially useful in choosing the best headlamp for a particular situation. The review includes a detailed buyer's guide, and readers have added useful comments as well. This site includes a 2003 review of earlier LED headlamps, plus an article explaining LED technology and several in-depth reviews of specific headlamps.
"Top Picks" - Headlamps
by Doug Pribis
Our AssessmentThis review site specializes more on handheld flashlights, but does test and rate headlamps as well recommending that every family member have a headlamp on hand for power outages.
In addition to comparison charts and top picks based on objective testing, flashlight enthusiast Doug Pribis provides detailed single-product reviews of 54 models. The most recent headlamp reviews here are dated November 2006, and he stopped updating the site in June 2007, but the site is still extremely useful. A buyer's guide is supplemented by other articles that explain more about batteries, LED colors and much more.
by Editors and contributors to REI.com
Our AssessmentREI publishes detailed specifications of headlamps, usually including the staff's calculations of the amount of light (in lux) at two meters the distance most important in seeing a path right ahead of you. The headlamp descriptions also report hours of battery life at high and low light levels, plus beam throw in meters. The site also publishes owner-written reviews and ratings, listing the average rating and number of reviews right on the list of models which makes it especially easy to browse here. The more detailed headlamp pages list the pros and cons mentioned by owners, and the site also includes an excellent headlamp buyer's guide. This guide also provides details of the standardized testing procedures adopted by manufacturers.
by Contributors to CandlePowerForums.com
Our AssessmentContributors to this forum are mostly enthusiasts who keep up with the newest headlamps and have enough experience to compare them with other models. Since FlashlightReviews.com stopped adding new models in June 2007, this is a good place to find reviews of newer models. Experts here often share tips on how to modify a headlamp to tweak its design or to use a preferred LED. The first headlamp to use a CREE LED is discussed and reviewed here, and quite a few discussions focus on which headlamp is best for a specific use such as running, rescue and even dental work. You can ask your own question here, or search the forum to see what enthusiasts say about a specific model.
2008 Gear Guide: Headlamps
by Editors of Backpacker Magazine
Our AssessmentThough this review is very current, we'd rank it higher if it compared these six new headlamps with other available models reviewed in previous years. Though the headlamps are thoroughly tested in the field, the descriptions are brief, with no ratings or rankings. The Everlite EL8 Solar headlamp is selected as the best; it can also be recharged on an AC outlet, and with optional accessories, its solar panel can be used to charge a cell phone or digital camera.
by Reviewers for BackpackGearTest.org
Our AssessmentThis site screens reviewers, who publish detailed single-product reviews of headlamps starting with first impressions, then progressing to field tests and long-term reviews. At the time of this report, 24 models have been reviewed by at least one hiker, and quite a few have received long-term reviews from more than one person. The site organizes the reviews by model, but doesn't rate or rank headlamps, nor make any attempt to consolidate reviews from different owners. But it's an excellent site for getting detailed reviews once you've narrowed your choice to two or three headlamps.
2007 Buyer's Guide: Lanterns & Headlamps Reviews
by Sam Moulton
Our AssessmentBased on testing in field conditions, the 2007 issue of the Outside magazine Buyer's Guide recommends six headlamps covering a wide price range, selecting the Black Diamond Gizmo as a "killer value." We'd rank this review higher if newer headlamps were also compared with slightly older models; an earlier issue gave top ranking to two other headlamps that are still available. The descriptions are brief, leaving out important details such as whether or not a headlamp uses a voltage regulator. A later issue gives a 2007 Gear of the Year Award to the Princeton Tec Apex Pro.
2006 Best of the Best Awards
by Mike Toth
Our AssessmentReviewing gear with a focus on hunting and fishing, Field & Stream gives the Petzl Tactikka XP headlamp a 2006 Best of the Best Award. To confirm its water resistance, testers hold it under a shower while it's powered up, then store it wet in a plastic bag all afternoon after which it still performs well. Tests also show it outlasting the advertised battery life by 30 hours. The review also highlights the features that make this headlamp especially flexible and useful.
by Contributors to Buzzillions.com
Our AssessmentThis site uses moderators to check each owner-written review before it's published, making it a more credible source than its competitors. The site is also easy to use, since the list shows each model's average rating plus the number of reviews. Quite a few headlamps have accumulated ample reviews here.
by Contributors to BackCountry.com
Our AssessmentThis site publishes owner-written headlamp ratings and reviews. The average rating is shown right on the list of headlamps, though you have to click on each model to find out how many owners rated it. Quite a few headlamps get near-perfect ratings here, but some have been reviewed by many more owners than others. A few headlamps get notably low ratings.
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentThis site publishes owner-written reviews and ratings of many headlamps, though most have accumulated only a handful of reviews. Amazon.com is a good place to check once you've narrowed down your choice.
by Contributors to Cabelas.com
Our AssessmentThis is another retailer site that publishes owner-written reviews and ratings, and quite a few headlamps get an ample number of reviews. We rank this site lower than similar sites only because the list of headlamps doesn't show the average rating, making the site tedious to browse.
Gear Reviews: UK Vizion 3AAA eLED Headlamp Review
by Kendall Card
Our AssessmentThis detailed single-product review is the only review we found of the new Underwater Kinetics (UK) Vizion 3AAA eLED headlamp. Manufactured in the United States, the headlamp has some new design features.
by Sam Jemielity
Our AssessmentThis article is nearly three years old and rates only four headlamps with brief descriptions. It's useful that the distance each headlamp throws its beam is included, but no actual testing or field use is documented. We rank this review lower than most not only because of its age, but because the numeric ratings don't seem to match the text.
Best of Headlamps
by Editors of 3Luxe.com
Our AssessmentThe three headlamps recommended at this site are selected by researchers on the basis of existing reviews, but the process isn't documented so we don't know how many products and reviews were actually analyzed. Nor is there any help in choosing among the three models.
Gear Reviews: Headlamps
by Todd Nowack
Our AssessmentOnly two headlamps are reviewed here, based on the experiences of one adventure runner and his team, but the author confirms that both the Princeton Tec Quad and the Princeton Tec Apex prove waterproof. For racing, the Apex dims enough to require a battery change after only four to six hours of use, but is still recommended. The Quad isn't as bright as the Apex, so it's recommended as a backup light.
Petzl Zipka Plus Night Light Review
by David M. Rowell, a.k.a The Travel Insider
Our AssessmentThis review compares the Petzl Zipka Plus headlamp with a budget model, the Rayovac Sportsman, with an eye to usefulness for travelers reading in bed, for example concluding that the Zipka Plus is well worth the difference in price.
by Editors of HeadlampZone.com
Our AssessmentThis site provides a handy comparison chart of specifications for current headlamps made by the three most popular manufacturers: Black Diamond, Petzl and Princeton Tec. Maximum distance is given in yards, and details include warranty, regulator, water resistance, weight with and without batteries and brightness in lumens (except for Black Diamond, which doesn't provide this). A separate page recommends specific headlamps for particular uses, but no testing is documented.