Having the right headlamp makes outdoor adventures much easier, especially when you're spending a lot of time in the dark. Brightness and comfort are some of the main features you might think about when purchasing a headlamp, but several models are targeted to specific needs. For example, runners might opt for a lighter headlamp that doesn't bounce while some outdoor enthusiasts won't settle for anything less than a fully waterproof headlamp.
Best Overall: BioLite HeadLamp 330
The BioLite HeadLamp 330 provides 330 lumens of light output on the highest setting, which is plenty for most of your favorite outdoor activities. The headlamp is recommended for backpacking and running, but it's versatile enough to come in handy for all your nighttime adventures. However, this headlamp isn't water-resistant. Athletes especially like how the LED panel can be directed down without throwing off the balance of the headlamp.
Best Value: ELMCHEE Rechargeable Headlamp
A gigantic light output of 12,000 lumens makes the ELMCHEE Rechargeable Headlamp a bright source of light on even the darkest nights. While many reviewers appreciate the various brightness settings, the red backlight is particularly impressive. If you like to wear your headlamps over a hat, this headlamp might feel a bit snug.
Best For Running: PETZL TACTIKKA
As a runner, the last thing you want to deal with is a large and bulky headlamp. The PETZL TACTIKKA features a slim design and lightweight construction that won't weigh you down. At first glance, the 200-lumen output might not seem like much, but most nighttime users find it's bright enough. This headlamp is weather-resistant but is not waterproof.
Best for Night Use: Explortek LED Headlamp
On its highest setting, the Explortek LED Headlamp casts a beam as long as a football field. The lamp is also adjustable to light up those dark spots as you go. Some wish the output were greater than 168 lumens, but the choice between multiple lighting modes seems to suit nearly everyone who uses this headlamp at night.
Best for Women: FOXELLI MX200
Not only is thee FOXELLI MX200 stylish, it has a bright 180-lumen output with a beam that travels 300 feet and weighs just 2.4 ounces. The headlamp also tilts 45 degrees and has several different light modes. If you find yourself in prolonged darkness, you'll get up to 40 hours of constant light per charge. This headlamp is splash-resistant but isn't fully waterproof.
Best Battery Life: Shining Buddy LED Headlamp
If you'd rather not deal with frequently recharging your headlamp, install the included AAA batteries and enjoy a run time up to 100,000 hours. The Shining Buddy LED Headlamp has two light settings ― low and high ― but many users find the 160-lumen output to be fine for most nighttime activities. At a lightweight 2.6 ounces, this headlamp won't weigh you down.
Best Waterproof Headlamp: Vekkia CREE LED Headlamp
An IPX6 water-resistant rating means the Vekkia CREE LED Headlamp is designed for your favorite outdoor activities, even in inclement weather. While having a choice between five available lighting modes is a perk for many users, several find it tedious to have to cycle through every light mode to find the right one.
Brightest Headlamp: MOICO Headlamp
The MOICO Headlamp has a maximum brightness of 13,000 lumens, which is more than enough for most outdoor activities. Not only is it super bright, but the headlight also illuminates up to 600 meters. While you can expect up to nine hours of battery life per charge, there is no battery indicator.
Most Versatile: DanForce Headlamp
The DanForce Headlamp has a generous output of 1080 lumens, which is plenty for most outdoor activities. You can also adjust the light 90 degrees and switch between four light modes to find the right one. The headlamp is size adjustable to fit various heads. However, several users mention it's quite hefty.
Best for Kids: The Original DinoBryte LED Headlamp
The Original DinoBryte LED Headlamp is equally effective and entertaining for kids. Reviewers are divided over whether the fact that the headlamp turns on and off by squeezing the dinosaur's mouth is a good design, but most kids love the accompanying roaring noises. Adjustable Velcro straps allow the headlamp to fit heads of various sizes.