LED Headlamps For Hunting, Hiking, Camping and More...

There is nothing worse than losing something in the dark, except losing your survival gear in the dark. That is why we have compiled our list of the best 7 headlamps of 2020.

Everyone knows how important lights, torches, lamps, and candles are but one of the most overlooked, and important, gear item is the headlamp. It is the ‘must have’ for any serious camper, bushmaster, or operator. Not only can it keep you hands free in every situation but it puts the light right where you need it without compromising function.

Imagine being out at night fishing for your first meal of the day after spending hours building a shelter or setting up camp. Dusk sets, and you get your first catch. Throwing inhibitions aside you jump at the reel and bringing in a delicious looking Bluegill. Pulling it out of the water you prepare to remove the hook, being careful not to poke your own finger. Suddenly, your flashlight rolls off the bank and into the deep, murky water. Now you are the one caught in a dilemma not the fish.

Do you jump in the water after the flashlight or try to cook a fish in the dark? This could have all been solved with one item; a headlamp.

We’re going to look at 7 headlamps that ‘illuminate’ our expectations and experiences which give us the best quality and bang for our buck.

We are looking at overall function of the headlamps and will share the best and worst features of each of these headlamps, as well as what to be cautious of in your new purchase. We will provide:

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Our Picks For 2020

Streamlight 61304 ProTac HL

Streamlight 61304 ProTac HL Headlamp

We start the list with the Streamlight 61304 ProTac HL Headlamp. Don’t let the small size fool you, it is one powerful light. Topping at 635 lumens, it has enough light to seriously outshine many of Streamlight’s competitors.

While bright enough to illuminate nearly anything you need it does not feel to be a full 635 lumens when used next to a headlamp of equal output but even 500 lumens is more than enough for most users.

Being a small and compact headlamp with some powerful output, you really don’t feel the weight on your head as it will remain seated comfortably for hours on end. It is powered by 2 CR123A lithium batteries and while they are not rechargeable the batteries have some of the longest shelf life of any batteries on the market today, topping at 10 years and will power the 61304 HL Headlamp for up to 10 hours of continuous use.

Streamlight didn’t cut corners when they designed this headlamp and added a “Ten Tap” switch for this light. For those unfamiliar with this technology, this is the newest feature which basically means you can choose 3 specific LED light outputs.

While this is an amazing addition to any headlamp the technology is somewhat difficult to use and takes a bit of practice to program the buttons. While this can not only save battery it will also allow for each individual to choose the best output for their headlamp depending on their own, specific needs.

The quality manufacturing standards don’t end there!

Streamlight 61304 ProTac HL Headlamp’s housing is built from anodized 6000 series machined aircraft aluminum and they have installed a rugged gasket sealed glass lens which makes it IPX4 water-resistant in addition to being mountable on your head or user helmets with included hardware.

Don’t push this headlamp to the side yet as it now impacts resistant for those of us who are clumsy enough to get hit in the head with a rogue branch.

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Streamlight 61304 ProTac HL Tactical LED Headlamp, Box Packaged, 635 Lumens, Black
455 Reviews
Streamlight 61304 ProTac HL Tactical LED Headlamp, Box Packaged, 635 Lumens, Black
  • Powered by 2 3-Volt CR123A lithium batteries with a shelf life of 10-years
  • 540-Lumens of blinding light reaches 172-meters
  • LED Solid State Power Regulation provides maximum light output throughout battery life

Luxolite LED Headlamp With Red Light

Luxolite LED headlamp with red light

Next we have the Luxolite LED headlamp with red light. This headlamp sets the bar for affordability and quality. Running on 3 AA batteries and shining at 168 lumens for an average of 30 hours. The light intensity is great but will only shine for a standard 6 hours on high setting. This amount of light and battery life is more than enough for even the longest weekend camping trip.

While being made with a composite ABS housing it affords the ability to be IPX6 water resistant and incredibly lightweight, at roughly 2.8oz. Being made of composite ABS does have the downside of having a composite ABS hinge and like all composite ABS hinges, it is prone to snapping and leakage if not handled gently and closed all the way.

One necessary item, in any headlamp, for those who wish to keep their night vision sharp is the integration of two red LEDs on the right and left side of the headlamp. These red LEDs overlap at distances of 3ft or greater to give a strong red illumination.

In addition, to the red LEDs which have an on/off and strobe option they added white LED functions of low, medium, high, and SOS which only need to be cycled when you turn the lamp on, not off. No more hitting the power button over and over just to turn your headlamp off!

The best part of any Luxolite headlamp is their 100% satisfaction lifetime warranty. If you are not happy with their product they will accept your return of any of their products so there is no reason to avoid this headlamp!

LED Headlamp Flashlight with Red Led Light - Head Lamps for Adults - Brightest Headlight Lamp Camping Hiking Running Fishing Hunting - Waterproof Headlamps - Best Work Head Lamp with Free Batteries
1,275 Reviews
LED Headlamp Flashlight with Red Led Light - Head Lamps for Adults - Brightest Headlight Lamp Camping Hiking Running Fishing Hunting - Waterproof Headlamps - Best Work Head Lamp with Free Batteries
  • 🌅 BOOST YOUR VISIBILITY : Strongest and Xtreme Bright headlamp to enjoy outdoor sports safely after dark. Stop the frustration of juggling around a portable tactical lamp while trying to do something. Comfortably wear this powerful compact flashlight on head for run, walk or work out while having both hands free. Perform any task and get more done with this worry-free head mounted flashlight.
  • 👌 EASY TO USE : 2 separate push buttons to select white or red light. Instantly set the brightness you want, no cycling through the modes to turn off, just one click. Long lasting battery life by selecting the setting you need. Triple led with 4 cool white modes (HI, MED, LO and SOS flashing) + 2 red night vision modes (steady and strobe). Multi-Function Capability. Can be used as headlamp, waist lamp or desk lamps.
  • ➳ LIGHTWEIGHT : Only 3 oz weight. Stays put with soft elastic headband. Adjustable head mount tilts down to focus beam exactly where you need it. Perfect headlights for hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, grilling, boy scout, biking, cycling, caving, climbing, mining helmet, fisherman night light supplies, backpacking flashlight, walking your dog at night, reading, household work, lashes, hobby, crafts.

Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

Black Diamond Storm 250-lumen Headlamp

Rolling into our list is the Black Diamond Storm 250-lumen Headlamp. Black Diamond manufactured a 160 lumen Storm headlamp and it has been around for years. This new Black Diamond 250 made some great updates while learning from their previous success of the 160. This headlamp is jammed packed with technology and contains great options that everyone can utilize.

Using 4 AA batteries it won’t win any Green Peace, renewable energy, or lightweight awards but the Storm 250 gives an easy to read power indicator on the headlamp so you know how much battery you have left.

It easily cycles through low and high power modes simply by touching the side of the housing. That’s right, that wonderful technology you had your eye on in that Kohler faucet is available in a headlamp.

250 also goes one step further by having both a red and green night vision LED with an on and strobe function to give the best possible lighting performance at night. The main LED, or should we say main 2 LEDs, power for up to 80 hours on high and up to 150 hours on low. Each LED come with a strobe and lock option so there isn’t a need to worry about hitting the power button inside a pack.

IP67 water resistant rating allows for this headlamp to be used in the saltiest of environments, and we’re not talking about the dinner conversation during Thanksgiving.

Black Diamond Strom Headlamp, Octane
333 Reviews
Black Diamond Strom Headlamp, Octane
  • 1 Quad Power LED and 1 Double Power white LED emit up to 250 lumens on max setting
  • Power Tap Technology allows fast transitioning between full and dimmed power in order to momentarily increase illumination in distance and proximity
  • Red and Green Single Power LEDs for night vision modes have dimming and strobe settings, and activate without cycling through white mode

Coast HL7 Focusing 285 Lumen LED Headlamp

Coast HL7 Focusing 285 Lumen LED Headlamp

The Coast HL7 Focusing 285 Lumen LED Headlamp is the first focusing Headlamp we’ve seen this year and also the first we’ve seen with a battery housing at the back of the head strap. Running on 3 AA batteries you can expect to see (pun intended) 1.5 hours of use on 285 lumens and 70 hours on 4 lumens.

The battery pack can heat up a bit but it’s still not Note 7 worthy and will probably be allowed on an airplane. Two great options of this headlamp are the adjustable power output allowing you to adjust the intensity of the light in order to best serve your specific needs and also the ability to focus into a small, bullseye beam or large flood-like beam.

Be aware, that even though it is adjustable you have no idea of how much energy it is using and can completely drain your batteries without realizing.

Two great options of this headlamp are the adjustable power output allowing you to adjust the intensity of the light in order to best serve your specific needs and also the ability to focus into a small, bullseye beam or large flood-like beam. Be aware, that even though it is adjustable you have no idea of how much energy it is using and can completely drain your batteries without realizing.

As with all of Coast’s lamps, the HL7 is impact and water resistant and backed by their lifetime limited warranty on manufacturing and material defects. Coming in a 4.4 oz it won’t will the lightweight competition but it will win in overall adjustability and function. There is a great option for those who don’t want to be confined to only 3 or 4 settings and need a great variable setting at a low cost.

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COAST HL7 305 Lumen Focusing LED Headlamp with Twist Focus
500 Reviews
COAST HL7 305 Lumen Focusing LED Headlamp with Twist Focus
  • PURE BEAM FOCUSING: Zoom between a super wide flood beam or spot mode with transition halo at varying distances and brightness.
  • BRIGHT: 305 Lumens in a hands-free package perfect for work, hiking, backpacking, emergency prep, disaster situations, industrial, and tactical scenarios.
  • HARD-HAT: Includes clips to attach headlamp to hard hats

Petzl NAO 575 Lumens Headlamp

Petzl NAO 575 Lumens

The Petzl NAO 575 Lumens is the coolest looking headlamp to date, hands down, and the first we reviewed to have a USB rechargeable battery standard with an option to use AAA/LR03 batteries at a reduced output. Additionally, you can charge this headlamp from any compatible USB charging device. While it charges well the batteries do not recharge as often as other rechargeable batteries and users have found themselves replacing the battery in as little as 30 cycles. While that doesn’t change how cool this headlamp is it is important to take note to properly charge and discharge, your batteries.

While it charges well the batteries do not recharge as often as other rechargeable batteries and users have found themselves replacing the battery in as little as 30 cycles. While that doesn’t change how cool this headlamp is it is important to take note to properly charge and discharge, your batteries.

Think of this headlamp as Star Trek meets Stargazer. Petzl has made a ‘reactive’ variable headlamp that adjusts itself to the needs of the user. It will adjust itself accordingly when stopping to read a map or looking into the great beyond and even that variable function as 5 different settings. However, if you want to stick to the standard, boring, constant output it does offer 5 settings for that, as well.

Battery use is inconsistent and difficult for users to gauge because of the adaptive power function and depends heavily on the use of the wearer and ambient temperatures. However, many users experience a 30-40 hour adaptive use. Having a lock function allows this headlamp to be stored without worry of accidentally turning it on while in a pack or car.

Even though this headlamp has a ton of cool features you are not able to mount it on most helmets but require special tabs build into each helmet in order to mount. To make up for this Petzl has made separate adaptors for helmets and belts so it is now possible to mount the battery pack onto that optional belt kit in order to get that ‘Chic Coal Miner’ look that kids these days are all about.

All the options and upgrades may be expensive for someone just looking to light up their toes as they put on nail polish but it can really put this headlamp in a class of its own for those who take any outdoor activities seriously.

$133, for just the headlamp, on Amazon it is the priciest and heaviest option we are reviewing, at about 12 oz, but also the coolest headlamp we are reviewing.

Petzl - NAO 575 Lumens
374 Reviews
Petzl - NAO 575 Lumens
  • RECHARGEABLE: no need to carry around extra batteries. Headlamp runs on an 2600 mAh Lithium-Ion battery with an integrated USB port for convenient charging
  • 5 HOUR CHARGE TIME: with USB cable
  • COMPATIBLE: with Alkaline and Lithium batteries

Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

black diamond spot headlamp

Black Diamond comes at us again with their Spot Headlamp. 200 lumens with ‘PowerTap’ and all LEDs on this model are dimmable. Containing two white LEDs and one red LED, we find that Black Diamond continues to amaze us with their excellent use of LED placement and aluminum construction. 3 AAA batteries are needed and this headlamp does include a power meter and will run between 200 hours on ‘Triple Power’ LED to 80 hours on ‘Single Power’ LED.

Users have been consistently surprised by the red illumination and how bright it really is. Many times, red LEDs are painted white LEDs and do not preserve our night vision but Black Diamond did not skip any quality and produced a pure red LED for the best possible vision.

3 AAA batteries are needed and this headlamp does include a power meter and will run between 200 hours on ‘Triple Power’ LED to 80 hours on ‘Single Power’ LED. Users have been consistently surprised by the red illumination and how bright it really is. Many times, red LEDs are painted white LEDs and do not preserve our night vision but Black Diamond did not skip any quality and produced a pure red LED for the best possible vision.

IPX8 rated for water resistance, tough aluminum casing, and a switch lock setting put this headlamp above most of the competition. Even though it is water resistant, it does not carry a rubber gasket and Black Diamond will not cover damage due to salt water corrosion, especially from battery corrosion. For this reason, we do not feel the IPX8 water resistance rating is well suited for this headlamp and would advise that it not be used in very wet conditions.

All settings (Flood and Throw) are able to be dimmable and now at $38 on Amazon, it’s a hard headlamp to beat.

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Black Diamond Spot Headlamp: Matte Black
583 Reviews
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp: Matte Black
  • Max Lumens: 200
  • Burn Time: 200 hrs (low) 80 hrs (high)
  • Max Distance: 80 m (high) 10 m (low)

Foxelli USB Rechargeable Headlamp

Foxelli USB rechargeable Headlamp

We round off our list with the Foxelli USB rechargeable Headlamp. For many of us, batteries and time are limited and Foxelli has solved that issue by giving us a rechargeable headlamp that produces an average of 40 hours of light, and maximum of 100 hours, with only a 4 hour charge time. It also boasts an easy to read battery life indicator.

Initial charging and proper maintenance of batteries are the most important things to remember when using a rechargeable headlamp and failure to charge properly will result in poor performance, as many users have experienced with the

It also boasts an easy to read battery life indicator. Initial charging and proper maintenance of batteries are the most important things to remember when using a rechargeable headlamp and failure to charge properly will result in poor performance, as many users have experienced with the Foxelli.

Coming in at 280 max lumens with both white and red LEDs this headlamp has 5 brightness modes, not including SOS. These 5 brightness modes allow for an easy and versatile illumination of all environments and terrains.

IPX7 water resistant rating and can afford to take a bit of a tumble. Foxelli is well known for their quality and they think about their designs which are why the battery compartment is on the back. While it may get banged up if you’re a mechanic it’s perfectly balanced for the adventurer, hiker, or jogger.

There needs to be caution with the on/off switch as it is a bit small, made of a semi-fragile plastic, and not the easiest to use with big fingers. Users have reported the switch to be the best and worst part of the entire headlamp. Regardless, at $30 on Amazon, there is really no way you can go wrong!

Foxelli USB Rechargeable Headlamp Flashlight With Up To 100 Hours Battery Life Time And New Ultra Bright Cree XP-G2 Led Technology, Waterproof, Impact Resistant, Lightweight & Comfortable, Easy to Use
1,367 Reviews
Foxelli USB Rechargeable Headlamp Flashlight With Up To 100 Hours Battery Life Time And New Ultra Bright Cree XP-G2 Led Technology, Waterproof, Impact Resistant, Lightweight & Comfortable, Easy to Use
  • USB RECHARGEABLE: Charge Fully from any USB Port in Only 2 Hours and Provide up to 100 Hours of Constant Light on a Single Charge. Plus it has a Built-In Battery Life Indicator.
  • EXTRA BRIGHTNESS: 280 Lumens CREE-XP-G2 LED (400 Feet Beam) and Adjustable Flood Light Diffuser Makes this the Brightest and Most Versatile Headlight. Offers a Wide Variety of Light Modes and 90 Tiltable Body. Includes SOS Mode and Attached Emergency Whistle.
  • WATERPROOF & DURABLE: This Headlamp is Built to Last. Will Withstand Heavy Rain, Cold, Heat, Dropping on the Ground or in Water. Foxelli MX500 Is Rated IPX7 - Protected Against Water Immersion Down to 1 Meter for 30 Minutes.

Our Choice For Best Hunting Headlamp

If functions and adaptability are your things our choice for overall adaptability would land on the Petzl NAO 575. This headlamp looks seriously cool, is loaded with quality features, and blows the competition out of the water. Not only does this headlamp boast an incredible adaptive dimmer that stands out as far superior to other headlamps but it also allows you to modify the intensity of the headlamp yourself. Rechargeable, quality batteries come standard and loads of adapters made this headlamp seriously useful in all environments and situations as long as you have the proper hardware. Don’t let the price make you ignore the option to purchase this headlamp because the quality and comfort

Don’t let the price make you ignore the option to purchase this headlamp because the quality and comfort are outstanding. That is why the Petzl NAO 575 is our choice for 2020 Best Hunting Headlamp.

Our Choice For Best LED Headlamp

If comfort is a serious factor when choosing a headlamp than the Black Diamond Spot Lamp is our choice for even the most cost-centric consumer. Black Diamond has one of the best and longest headlamp histories and they have learned from their past endeavors by bringing us some amazing lamps and torches at unbeatable prices. Their focus has always been a bright and blue-ish tinted main light and with their integration of the red lamps, they continue to surpass most headlamps in the same class. While we love this headlamp we hope they will add a gasket in their next version of the Black Diamond Spot Lamp. Despite the gasket, Black Diamond Spot Lamp is our choice for 2020 Best LED Headlamp.

Our Choice For Best Hiking Headlamp

All of these headlamps have some strong positives but what is more important is what contains superior quality, function, and price. Pulling into the lead for the best combination of form and function we have to say that the Streamlight 61304 ProTac HL Headlamp grabbed our attention better than any other headlamps.

While it may not have a rechargeable battery it comes loaded with amazing features, powerful output, and customization that no other headlamp has been able to offer. This headlamp proves it’s reliability and rugged strength by having one of the

While it may not have a rechargeable battery it comes loaded with amazing features, powerful output, and customization that no other headlamp has been able to offer.

This headlamp proves it’s reliability and rugged strength by having one of the best-manufactured bodies which may make your head dip a little with the weight yet it lets you know it’s there and not leaving you for many years to come. That is why the Streamlight 61304 ProTac HL Headlamp is our choice for 2020 Best Hiking Headlamp.

Honourable Mention

The Coast HL7 hit our radar hard and we were pleasantly surprised. While it was beaten by the competition for 2020 it still holds our attention. The battery life is low in full brightness which is why this didn’t land at the top of our list but it still boasts many positive features.

A mix of the zooming and dimmable LED really made us take a double look at this headlamp. It won’t win any awards in beauty but it will get our recommendation and runner up for 2020 headlamps.

Conclusion

Now there is no reason to lose your heads when you drop your flashlight because we have listed some of the best headlamps seen this year. Each one has surpassed our expectations in both positive and negative ways.

Don’t let another day go by when you put off gearing up with a headlamp which could be the most important piece of gear you can have. Start your journey with a headlamp or upgrade the headlamp you already have; the choice is yours.

We have tried, listed, reviewed, and examined all of our headlamp choices for 2020 and are left with only one question; which one will you choose? Let us know in the comments below!

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Jonathan Kilburn is a Martial Arts Instructor, Special Needs educator and businessman. He focuses on self-reliance and survival in difficult urban and sub-urban areas. Natural disasters have pushed Jonathan to teach about urban farming, homesteading, and survival. As a Special Needs Educator, Mr. Kilburn has developed a neurological approach to executive function. This means: pushing the boundaries of human needs vs human wants. This mindset and philosophy assists in training himself and others in self-reliance and survival. Mr. Kilburn has also studies martial arts which include but are not limited to: Aikido, Combat Sambo, Judo, TaeKwon-Do, Haidon Gumdo, and various other sword arts.

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