Headlamps are an incredibly useful piece of gear to own. Whether camping, working outdoors, working underground, hiking, running, exploring, or otherwise, headlamps provide a hands-free way to see in the dark. They are also safety gear used in life-or-death situations. In fact, headlamps are often used in the practice of survival medicine by physicians.
Older headlamps required batteries as a source of power. Having to carry around a constant supply of extra batteries is extremely inconvenient. However, without extra batteries, you would have to simply hope that your headlamps would have enough battery power to keep working. Otherwise, they could fail on you at any time, leaving you struggling in the dark.
Rechargeable headlamps are game-changers. You know, with confidence, when your headlamp is charged, and how it will stay charged. Charging is easily done via a USB connection.
10 of the most popular rechargeable headlamps on the market are reviewed in this article. The highlights are outlined, along with the pros and cons for your consideration. Hopefully, this guide will assist you in making an informed decision when selecting the perfect rechargeable headlamp for you.
- JLANG Headlamp
- Beautiken High Lumen Headlamp
- Bovon Headlamp, Ultra Bright, Rechargeable, LED, Motion Sensor, Waterproof IPX6
- Fastras Rechargeable Headlamp
- Nitecore NU25 360 Lumen Headlamp
- Flowmist Headlamp
- PETZL - TIKKINA Headlamp
- PETZL - ACTIK CORE Headlamp
- PETZL - Bindi Headlamp
- Led Lenser - H7R.2 Rechargeable Headlamp
1 JLANG Headlamp
The JLANG is an affordable, bright, efficient, long-lasting rechargeable headlamp. It features five different working modes to meet your exact needs. The angles of the light are fully adjustable to expand or reduce your field of vision or to focus or soften the beam. The lights can even be zoomed in and out for incredibly accurate visibility.
Behind the battery back, there is a red tail light assembly. The taillights automatically are activated when the headlights are in use. This allows others to see you with greater ease in the dark. The taillights make it safer for you to be outside at night as you are easier to spot in the dark.
90 Degree Adjustable
The headlight display can be moved downward up to 90 degrees, making it incredibly adjustable. The angle can be further manipulated in any direction. The beams can then be brightened, lowered and so forth, using the headlamp’s different modes.
Cost and Value
The JLANG is an inexpensive purchase and a fantastic bargain. It is a superior product with advanced features and user-friendly operation. It’s an excellent value overall.
2 Beautiken High Lumen Headlamp
The Beautiken headlamp is waterproof, durable, versatile, adjustable and ideal for hands-free use. It offers a multitude of customizable settings that make this the quintessential all-purpose headlamp. It is also lightweight and comfortable, yet still offers a secure, steady fit.
Eight Different Modes
There are eight different lighting modes to choose from. You navigate from one mode to the next by simply pushing a button. You can use the side beams, front beams, and even signal for help using the emergency SOS beam.
The headlamp is fully sealed and protected from water damage, making it waterproof. This allows it to be safely worn in the snow or rain. The lights do not become foggy, nor will moisture cause any damage to the circuit.
Cost and Value
The Beautiken, like the JLANG, is an incredible bargain. It is extremely competitively priced and backed by a manufacturer’s warranty. It’s a fantastic value and the price is right.
3 Bovon Headlamp, Ultra Bright, Rechargeable, LED, Motion Sensor, Waterproof IPX6
The Bovon is one of the most lightweight and compact headlamps reviewed in this guide. Weighing in at just over two ounces, it is perfect for running, jogging, camping, hiking and all other outdoor activities at night. It is also great for working in low-visibility areas, such as working on a car, maneuvering in a poorly lit house and so on.
An advanced feature is the IR motion sensor. All you have to do is wave your hand in a 10-centimeter range of the headlamp, and you can turn it on or off. This adds to the true hands-free experience and ultra-convenience of the Bovon, making it a standout option.
When fully charged, the headlamp stays lit for an impressively long period of time. Set to the brightest mode, it lasts for five continuous hours. On low mode, it lasts for 15 hours. Charging is accomplished in three to four hours via a USB cable.
Cost and Value
Like the previous models reviewed here, the Bovon is an excellent headlamp sold at an inexpensive price. Quality is absolutely not sacrificed for cost. It is a very good value and a rare find, offering advanced features, excellent craftsmanship, superior durability and ultra convenience for a low price.
4 Fastras Rechargeable Headlamp
The Fastras offers nine different working modes, making it a versatile headlamp. It also features 21 powerful LED bulbs. Everything from low light to daytime-quality strength light can be accomplished at the push of a button. The configuration is fully customizable so that you can illuminate the exact field of vision you need to see, the way you need to see it.
The 21 LED bulbs are so powerful that a distance of up to 500 meters can be illuminated in the dark. The headlamp is ideal for walking your dog, jogging, or exploring in the pitch black. Alternatively, short distances can be brightened as needed, to allow indoor tasks such as reading and crafting can be done without eye strain.
The front light can be raised and lowered as needed at various angles. The side panel lights can also be rotated and angled to aim the light at exactly what you need to see. There are nine different lighting modes and configurations to choose from, making the headlamp useful in a variety of settings.
Cost and Value
The Fastras is yet another in a series of affordable, well-made, and incredibly impressive headlamps. Like its contemporaries, the Fastras is a high-end headlamp sold at an economy price. Overall, it’s a wonderful value for virtually anyone.
5 Nitecore NU25 360 Lumen Headlamp
The Nitecore NU25 is lightweight, compact and affordable. It’s the perfect headlamp for camping, hiking, working on a car and so on. It’s also great for traveling and rapidly charges using a micro-USB cable. It boasts a 360-lumen wide beam, offering an impressive field of vision in the dark.
The 360-lumen wide beam is powerful. It allows you to safely see your surrounding areas even in total darkness. This allows you to have a greater degree of safety when jogging, running or exploring unfamiliar, poorly lit areas. It also allows others to see you easily. This makes it much safer for joggers to venture out at night.
No Charger Necessary
The headlamp has a micro-USB battery that is built-in. The battery can be recharged by simply connecting a micro-USB cable to a power source. Carrying a charger is not necessary.
Cost and Value
The NU25 is competitively priced and affordable. It is well-built, long-lasting, and a powerful headlamp that would be extremely useful to own. It’s an excellent value.
6 Flowmist Headlamp
What sets the Flowmist apart from the competition is its many, highly advanced safety features. The headlamp features both red and white emergency SOS strobe lights to signal rescuers in an emergency. The Flowmist offers easy, hands-free operation.
White and Red SOS Strobe Lights
In an emergency, the red and white strobe lights are incredibly bright and easy to see, even in a vast field of darkness. If you need to be rescued, the SOS lights will alert rescuers to your presence. This can be a truly life-saving feature.
A common problem with many headlamps is that after several hours of use, the lights become extremely hot. This makes sense, considering the brightness and massive lumen output. After an extended period of use, the surface of the lights can become extremely hot. The Flowmist offers heat dissipation, preventing the lights from becoming too hot.
Cost and Value
The Flowmist is similarly priced to the previous models on this list. Its extra safety features cannot be understated, and its overall performance and effectiveness is excellent. All things considered, it’s yet another headlamp that offers superb value and returns on investment.
7 PETZL - TIKKINA Headlamp
The Tikkina is one of the most lightweight headlamps reviewed here. It is unobtrusive and sleek. In terms of power, the Tikkina is not a headlamp to be underestimated or overlooked. Its maximum burn time is 220 hours.
The Tikkina is capable of providing an almost unheard of 220 hours of light. This means the Tikkina could provide you with light for an entire camping expedition on a single charge. The Tikkina is small and powerful.
The Perfect Camping Headlamp
This is the quintessential camping headlamp. As previously mentioned, it offers up to 220 uninterrupted hours of light on a single charge. It is also lightweight and comfortable to wear, even for hours on end. It does not cause any neck strain. The unit itself is compact and portable.
Cost and Value
The Tikkina is slightly more expensive than the headlamps previously reviewed in this guide, but it is nonetheless competitively and fairly priced. For an avid camper or hiker, this lightweight headlamp is a fantastic value.
8 PETZL - ACTIK CORE Headlamp
The Actik Core offers incredible power. It offers the rare combination of high lumen output paired with extended use. In other words, it offers high brightness for hours on end, instead of just in short bursts. It is an extremely efficient headlamp, able to withstand putting out strong a consistently strong and bright beam for considerable lengths of time.
This headlamp is designed to provide a perfect night vision. Additionally, no matter what brightness setting you choose, you will not blind the other members of your group. This is a common problem with wearing headlamps that the Actik Core is able to avoid altogether through careful engineering.
Different lighting settings and configurations are available to best suit your needs. For max brightness, select the 350-lumen output, and see the darkness instantly illuminated.
Cost and Value
The Actik Core is considerably more expensive than the other headlamps reviewed here. However, the extra cost is warranted. This headlamp offers amazing lumen output for extended periods of time, something which most headlamps are not capable of doing.
9 PETZL - Bindi Headlamp
The Bindi is incredibly ultralight. It can be worn for hours and hours without causing the user the slightest bit of fatigue or neck strain. It is incredibly small, weighing just 35 grams, but powerful. It is still capable of 200-lumen output.
Perfect for Runners
The Bindi is the ideal headlamp for runners. It is small, compact and incredibly light. It is also versatile in how it is worn. Not only can it be worn as a traditional headlamp; it can also be worn around the neck with the light tilted upwards.
The headlamp features a convenient lock function. This prevents the headlamp from being accidentally switched on and off. The Bindi gets high marks across the board for convenience and ease of use, and the lock function is just another example of why the Bindi is user-friendly.
Cost and Value
The Bindi is on the expensive side. However, the extra cost is certainly justified. With its incredibly lightweight design and undeniable power, the incredibly-convenient Bindi is an excellent value.
10 Led Lenser - H7R.2 Rechargeable Headlamp
The Led lenser H7R.2 is an all-around impressive piece of gear. From its 300-lumen output to its lightweight body, it’s a respectable headlamp that is built to last. The average burn time for the H7R.2 is a fantastic 60 hours.
On average, the H7R.2 burns for 60 continuous hours. This doesn’t quite reach the dizzying heights that Petzl’s various headlamps do, but it is far above average.
The Ledlenser’s maximum 300 lumen output makes it an extremely bright and powerful headlamp. The beam can be fully focused and adjusted for maximum efficiency.
Cost and Value
The Ledlenser is more expensive than the majority of headlamps reviewed here. However, its features are some of the most advanced. For serious outdoor enthusiasts, the extra cost is warranted. Overall, it’s a good value.
Rechargeable Headlamps Buying Guide
The value of a headlamp is largely determined by how long they will last on a single battery charge. The longer the charge, the better. Of course, some models power more lumens and are subsequently brighter than others. Others simply do not operate as efficiently and use more energy. All of these factors affect the headlamp’s battery life.
Battery life varies greatly from headlamp to headlamp. The greater the lumen output, the greater the amount of strain put on the battery, therefore decreasing the battery life on a single charge. The different lighting modes also affect battery life (the brighter the mode, the shorter the amount of time the battery will stay charged). The battery can usually be fully charged within a few hours using a USB or micro-USB cable.
As with comfort and fit, adjustability is also important to consider when selecting the right headlamp. Most are sold as one size fits all, but they are easily adjusted to comfortably and securely fit on a person’s head.
Important questions to consider are:
- How easily can the headlamp be adjusted?
- Can I adjust the headlamp without taking it off?
- Does adjusting the headlamp require just one hand or two?
The efficacy of a headlamp is also one of the most important considerations.
Questions to ask include:
- How bright is the headlamp?
- How well does the headlamp illuminate a pitch black environment?
- What is the illuminated field of vision in front of me?
- How well does the headlamp work in the fog or the rain?
- Does the bulb short circuit if moisture infiltrates the lens?
A good headlamp should be comfortable. It needs to fit snugly and securely on your head, but it should not be too tight, or it will cause comfort and undoubtedly give you a headache over time. The material determines overall comfort. The band should have a great deal of elasticity.
A well-designed headlamp should fit perfectly. It should be adjustable, as discussed above so that it sits securely on your head. You should not have to stop to readjust or reposition it. It should not slip to one side or the other, nor should it drop frontward or backward.
Check the Specs
Consider the reasons why you are interested in a headlamp.
Ask the following:
- In what situations will I be wearing the headlamp?
- How often will I be exposed to water and the elements?
- How long will I need a continuous light source?
- What safety features do I need?
- Do I need completely hands-free functionality?
Once you’ve answered the above questions with as much specificity as possible, you can help narrow down your search and choose the headlamp that best meets your particular needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the typical distance in front of me that my headlamp will illuminate?
A: Most headlamps can illuminate anywhere from 80 to 200 meters
Q: How long can I use the max lumen output?
A: It depends. Some models are capable of 300+ lumen output. However, this can cause the lamp to overheat rapidly. Therefore, in most cases, such high lumen output can only be done in short bursts (no more than 30 seconds at a time). The greater the lumen output, the greater the strain.
Q: How long do most headlamps last on a single charge?
A: This varies greatly depending on the lumen output and the vision mode. Most of the models reviewed here range anywhere from two hours (at the brightest mode) to 15 hours (on low mode) on a single charge. However, several of the Petzl models burn for over one hundred hours autonomously.