There is a lot of fun after the sun has gone while camping, but the challenge is real in the dark. Why not look for a headlamp to get enough hands-free light? Make camping headlamps one of your camping essential tools to lengthen your adventures in the dark. In case you are in trouble finding yours from the best camping headlamps, here we bring help.
With years of experience in camping and hours of researching, we found the best camping headlamps 2021 worth money. And each and every product is concerned with battery life, brightness and comfort together with a reasonable price. Look at the roundup of the 11 best options to buy yours.
- Petzl Actik CORE Headlamp
- Black Diamond Spot 325
- Fenix HM50R
- BioLite HeadLamp 330
- Silva Trail Runner 4 Ultra Headlamp
- Petzl Tikkina
- Streamlight ProTac HL 1000
- Ledlenser NEO6R
- Foxelli MX20 Headlamp
- Petzl Duo S Headlamp
- Ledlenser MH11 Bluetooth Headlamp
Together with the main factors, there are more interesting and useful things you can see in each product. Read on.
Petzl Actik CORE Headlamp
- Battery Type: 1250 mAh CORE rechargeable battery
- Brightness: 450 lumens
- Weight: 2.8oz / 79.3g
- Price: $69.95
Petzl Actik CORE is one of the best rechargeable headlamps in the market and offers more brightness. It is a user-friendly design that releases quality beams in the right combination of spot and floodlight.
From the price perspective, this is more expensive than some other models in the market producing the same brightness. But with its strong rechargeable batteries, it’s been highly selling as one of the best camping headlamps in today’s market. While it runs on CORE rechargeable batteries, you can also use AAA alkaline, Ni-MH rechargeable battery, or lithium-ion where you may not find a chance to recharge batteries. If you are looking for a solid option, this is a great pick that is available in red and black colors.
- One of the best rechargeable camping headlamps
- Releases a powerful beam of light
- Versatile in battery usage as it runs on AAA alkaline, Ni-MH rechargeable battery or lithium ion
- Features auto power preservation
- Easy to use and handle
- Features locking, detachable and washable
- Slightly pricier than some other models
- Not fully waterproof
Black Diamond Spot 325
- Battery Type: 3 AAA
- Brightness: 325 lumens
- Weight: 3.0oz / 85.0g
- Price: $39.95
Being a compact design with an updated user interface, Black Diamond Spot 325 has been a popular pick among campers. In fact, it is a value pick among the best camping headlamps that are worth paying for.
It uses multiple brightness levels and for added convenience, it supports a built-in memory function. So you do not have to change the brightness every time you turn it on as it takes the last used brightness level making the usage easy. And with its size, it is totally compact and lightweight to help you with organizing your camping stuff more comfortably.
- Extremely value pick for its price
- Easy to pack being compact and lightweight
- Features PowerTap technology to change the brightness quicker
- Waterproof with the rate of IPX8
- Can have straps and light boxes in different colors
- Uses supports built-in memory function
- Some tricky controls including ergonomics
Fenix HM50R Rechargeable Headlamp
- Battery Type: 700 mAh rechargeable battery
- Brightness: 500 lumens
- Weight: 2.8oz / 79.3g
- Price: $59.95
Fenix HM50R is a solid option as a camping headlamp with a durable aluminum body. It comes with a lifetime guarantee in face of faults in supplies or workmanship and a five-year warranty for the normal user towards any related damages. This comes with a powerful rechargeable battery and as a backup; it also runs on a one-use CR123A battery.
Coming under a slightly higher price tag, it promises on releasing maximum lumens. So it is enough to light up your campsite at night to be adventurous enough. For added convenience, it supports an automatic memory circuit to recall last-used brightness, quick charging, water-resistance, and a durable body with knurled finish. It is a very bright and high-performing headlamp that can even be used in cold weather camping.
- Durable quality build with aircraft-grade aluminum body
- Ideal to use in hardcore, rude weather adventures
- Built-in memory system to recall last used brightness level
- Support quick charging
- Water resistant at IPX8
- Extremely bright and high performing
- Reported short battery life
- Slightly pricier option in the market
- No locking feature available
BioLite HeadLamp 330
- Battery Type: 1250 mAh rechargeable battery
- Brightness: 330 lumens
- Weight: 2.4oz / 69.0g
- Price: $59.95
If you are thoroughly concerned about the size and weight even if it comes to a small piece of gear like your headlamp, BioLite HeadLamp 330 will be a good fit with only 2.4 oz. This one is going to comfortably fit in your head with its balanced design in which the light is in front and the battery is in the back.
This headlamp is made of high-quality moisture-wicking material to keep it comfortable and dry fitting in your forehead. For its price, it brings a nice set of features including built-in brightness memory. And another useful feature it bundles is the easy recharging of the battery through a mini USB. So it can all manage well with your portable battery packs every time it runs out of light.
- Lightweight and compact design
- Easily rechargeable batteries via mini USB
- Color options available in choosing straps
- Built in brightness memory feature
- Comfortably fitting design with balanced construction
- Changeable front panel
- Features red night vision
- Made of moisture-wicking fabric to keep you cool and dry
Silva Trail Runner 4 Ultra Headlamp
- Battery Type: Rechargeable 2.4Ah lithium polymer/ 3 AAA alkaline
- Brightness: 350 lumens
- Weight: 2.96oz / 76.2g
- Price: $124.99
Silva Trail Runner 4 Ultra Headlamp is specially designed for long-haul running enthusiasts which comes with wide beams, dual battery, non-slipping headband, and enough light with 350-lumens output. This can call a finely performing camping headlamp that is lightweight and with a comfortable fit.
Compared with the other best camping headlamps on the list, this is more expensive but with better battery life. This battery can charge to full in only 4 hours’ time and thanks to its extension cord provided you can easily keep it near you even inside the pocket while it charges. This comes with a green and a red LED battery indicator featuring 4 different light modes.
- Features durable battery options
- Non-slip band making it ideal for trial run
- Small in size but features powerful lumens output
- Moderately water-resistant at IPX5 rating
- Low weight and fit comfortably
- 4 hours recharging time through USB
- Comes with an extension cord
- Built-in Silva Tyto safety light to get visible in dark
- Expensive product
- Battery Type: 3 AAA batteries/ Petzl 1250 mAh CORE rechargeable battery (not included)
- Brightness: 250 lumens
- Weight: 3.03 oz/ 86 g
- Price: $19.95
Petzl headlamps are quite popular in the market due to their wide-ranging options. Here, Petzl Tikkina is one of the best camping headlamps for those who are concerned about the budget. Its affordability is one of its biggest selling points which are easy in handling and good for long-term use.
This puts out 250 lumens of light with a flood beam and meets the basics you look for in a headlamp. You can take this for backpacking, hiking, for any emergencies, or even housework, or for anything. It comes with 3 AAA but is not rechargeable. If you want it to work on a rechargeable source, you can buy Petzl 1250 mAh CORE for about an extra $30. For its low price tag, it does a fair job. Press once for low, twice for medium-light, and three times for the highest, which is all that you need to know.
- Lightweight and compact headlamp model
- Extremely affordable and good for value
- Enough light up to 120 hours of run time
- Supports with three lighting levels so easily
- Comes with removable headband which is washable
- The can use with Petzl helmet or bike mounting accessories
- Easy to use and simple design
- Not fully waterproof
- No locking feature supported
Streamlight ProTac HL 1000
- Battery Type: Lithium Ion
- Brightness: 1,000 lumens
- Weight: 6.8oz / 192.7g
- Price: $83.81
If you are a hardcore camper looking for a perfect headlamp to take on any task, Streamlight ProTac HL 1000 can be a great pick for you. As one of the strongest camping headlamps on the list, this releases 1000 lumens with a guaranteed longtime run.
This model is designed for extreme battery life, a durable body, and high lumens to work well over the casual camper. It comes with a USB rechargeable lighting resolution that mainly runs on a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery but is supported with more backup options for added convenience. Its comfortable fit is worth mentioning thanks to adjustable elastic straps and drops the neck fatigue with a 90-degree tilting head. If you are into this category, this is a perfect pick with a lot of useful features to bring out the maximum light.
- Best for hardcore camper
- Brings extreme battery life, durable body and high lumens
- Comfortable fit
- USB rechargeable
- Included Lithium Ion battery and also agrees with Streamlight 18650 lithium ion battery and charger
- Switchable red and green filtered lenses
- Water resistant at IPX4 rating
- Sturdy, Anodized Aluminum structure
- Expensive model but worth price
- Slightly heavier than other options
- Battery Type: Rechargeable 1 proprietary 3.7V
- Brightness: 240 lumens
- Weight: 3.4 oz/ 96 g
- Price: $30.00
If you are involved in running or biking when camping, Ledlenser NEO6R is a kind of headlamp you should not miss. This is safely crafted with light in front and rear red light built into. So motorists can see you with this reflective band from any direction and are popular in the category of running/ hiking headlamp in the market.
With the included straps, this headlamp can wear on your chest as well. And thanks to its multiple modes to save energy it manages well through maximum time and power. Even though it is slightly tricky to change the modes, they are really useful to bring out the maximum use. You can find this a powerful headlamp releasing 240 lumens for 6 hours in switched to the mode energy saving. It is a simple and fairly priced headlamp you can find for all outdoor adventurers.
- Safety-minded design smart and nice to wear
- Ideal for running/biking or other adventures
- Built in front and rear red lights
- 2-in-1 headlamp or chest-mounted light with included straps
- Wide beam to spread enough light
- Supports multiple modes
- Features swivel-mounted design
- Fairly priced model
Foxelli MX20 Headlamp
- Battery Type: 3 AAA batteries (included)
- Brightness: 165 lumens
- Weight: 3.2 oz / 90.7 g
- Price: $10.00
If you do not want to spend any more on a headlamp and are tight on budget, Foxelli MX20 Headlamp is a great pick that is extremely low in its price to match with any budget user. It bundles many useful features for its price including various light settings, red light function, and fairly long battery life.
Compared with others on the best camping headlamps list, this comes with handy features for its price with extremely good functionality. It is fairly lightweight too and comes in a good design that is comfortable to wear. While it runs on batteries with technology MX20, it ensures more lumens with less energy. The headlamp receives a lot of good reviews on its quality and functionality overall except for some reports on the slight spillover of light in the eyes. But for its price, it is a great pick.
- Extremely low-priced headlamp in the market
- Good design that is comfortable to wear
- Fairly lightweight and good functioning
- Different modes of white and red light
- 45° tiltable body for more versatility
- Long battery life
- Built-in timer function
- Not totally waterproof but protected from water splashing or spraying
- Slight spillover of light in eyes reported
- Ideal for casual camper
Petzl Duo S Headlamp
- Battery Type: Lithium Ion
- Brightness: 1,100 lumens
- Weight: 13.05 oz / 369.0g
- Price: $349.95
Petzl Duo S Headlamp is a very serious camping gear that is specially designed for hardcore campers. If you love adventuring in extremely rustic environments, this should be one of your additions to a backpack. While this is one of the most expensive Petzl headlamps in the market it takes a lot of features and functionality through improved technology use.
This takes 5 different modes of light for any adventure and with Face 2 Face technology it automatically dims its light when you meet another camper wearing a headlamp. So it is good to do playgroup activities safely in the dark with so much fun. Additionally, this is waterproof and also impact-resistant for making you ready for adventures. Also, this can easily be worn even wearing gloves.
- Extremely expensive camping headlamp in the market
- Improved technology used
- Comes with a lot features and functionality
- 5 different modes of light
- Face 2 Face technology to dim light automatically
- Waterproof and impact-resistant
- Extreme battery life
- Durable design that fits comfortably
Ledlenser MH11 Bluetooth Headlamp
- Battery Type: Lithium Ion
- Brightness: 1,000 lumens
- Weight: 6.3oz / 178.6g
- Price: $159.95
To support any low-light adventures, Ledlenser MH11 Bluetooth Headlamp is a perfect option for extreme lumens with the right technology used. The Bluetooth feature is an amazing feature with this item through which you can take the right control of the brightness and focus. It works through a dedicated smartphone app which makes it one of the most advanced camping headlamps to have.
It uses Optisense technology to automatically alter the output of light conditions and thanks to its advanced focus system; you can sharply focus even long distances. Together, it is water and dust-resistant supports multi-colors of LEDs, an impressive mounting system, and more. Overall, it uses many advanced techniques for its price-making a value deal.
- Bluetooth feature to control focus and brightness
- Extremely bright and value for price
- Optisense technology to alter output of light automatically
- Uses most advanced technology in functionality
- Water and dust resistant
- Uses advanced focus system
- Rechargeable through magnetic charge method
- Multicolored LEDs
- Impressive mounting system
- Quite expensive item with a lot of features
Best Camping Headlamps Buying Guide
A camping headlamp may sound like an easy and simple piece of gear on your list. But there are many factors you need to check before you buy one from the best camping headlamps. Check through the following facts to find the best.
The purpose of buying a headlamp is to have the light on your way to the campsite when the sun is gone. So here, the level of brightness is very important which is measured in lumens.
To light up the pathway, the minimum light you require is 100 lumens. So with no trouble, you can find almost all of the camping headlamps in the market at least supported of 150 lumens. There you get enough light to brighten your way. Remember, the more lumens it features the more it will cost.
For a casual camper, something from 150 lumens to the upper can benefit. Even there isn’t enough artificial light in your campsite; a headlamp with 300 to 500 lumens can help. But if you are a hardcore camper with a lot of adventurous plans in the head after the sun is gone, you should definitely choose one with more lumens.
Instead of a simple light strapped to your head, you can find a lot of different features in headlamps today. Among them, light modes are important to consider finding a perfect camping headlamp for your needs.
- Low: Best for reading in the tent or manage with small work around the tent
- Medium: Fine to move around at twilight or dawning
- High: Ideal for setting up the tent even when the sun has gone or even good for late-night hikes/ walks
- Strobe: Required especially for families/ groups of campers who spread out for gathering firewood, and want bright blinking lights for each other to see. Especially for kids to see where their parents go
Like light modes, beam distance and beam angle are more factors you should consider.
Beam distance is about how far it lights up. If you want maximum light to spread in the maximum distance, choose a headlamp with a strong beam distance.
The beam angle is an important factor for trail runners. It allows pointing the light down a bit, to clearly see the trail.
The light modes of the camping headlamps are important to consider making maximum use of them throughout the entire camping trip. Make sure you check for built-in memory features to use the last setting light mode.
Power source of the headlamp
Earlier, headlamps for camping were powered by AAA batteries that are disposable after use. But today rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are taking over.
If the battery source of your headlamp is batteries, you should know how long they will last. But high-powered lithium-ion batteries can be used for several hours at the same time with the ability to recharge rather than throwing away after use. And for those who are more concerned with this, you can use a headlamp with an included lithium-ion, but at the same time can run on AAA batteries.
Comfort to wear
Headlamps are to light up your direction; but if they are not comfortable enough to wear, you would not feel the real worth of it. Consider the facts mentioned below and find what can fit the most comfortably on your head.
- Weight of the headlamp: To feel more comfortable to wear choose the lightest headlamp. But sometimes, lighter options may be less bright. Consider that too before going to a lightweight option
- Strap material: The strap material should be soft and comfortable to wear as this tightly stretches around your head
- Design of the strap: As you are going to wear this on your head, its looks really matters. Think about aesthetic quality that can satisfy you
Do not get fooled by the trade-offs; just look for the right one that reaches your level of satisfaction for what you pay.
When you are planning on a camping trip, think about packing water-resistant gear as the chance of getting water-logged is unpredictable. Make sure you get the right headlamp that is of the right water-resistant rating.
Fortunately, most of the best camping headlamps 2021 are water-resistant fully or moderately. Somehow they are strong enough to stand in rain. But as not every headlamp is rated for water resistance, refer to the IPX rating before you buy.
Hands-free light is essential when camping in various ways. So why not make camping headlamps a key tool in your gear list?