Best Headlamps 2024: suggested for outdoor activities

A headlight is a lamp mounted on the front of a vehicle to illuminate the road.

If you want to try astrophotography or stargazing, you need one of the best headlamps on the market. During these activities, you often have to do more than one thing at once and fiddle with different parts in the dark. A headlamp will let you see while keeping your hands free. We show you the best stargazing headlamps you can buy this year. Not only that, but we’ve also tested and reviewed the best headlamps for different uses, so there’s something for everyone, no matter their needs or budget.

If you’re here because you’re interested in looking at the night sky, you should also check out our lists of the best telescopes, binoculars, and cameras. A headlamp can help you find your way in the dark anywhere, from the hiking trail to your own backyard. At first glance, the different features and specs that set headlamps apart may not seem obvious or important. But with options for batteries, runtime, brightness, and light settings, headlamps are becoming more complex tools that can be used in different ways.

Headlamps let you see without using your hands. Our favorite is the Black Diamond Spot 400 Headlamp. It can be changed in many ways, including the type of battery it uses and the way it lights up. It is also small, light, and strong. On our list of the best headlamps on the market, we also included models for runners, backpackers, kids, and more.

Best Headlamps Comparison Table

Headlamp ModelMaximum Output (Lumens)Beam Distance (meters)Battery TypeBattery Life (hours)Price Range (USD)
Black Diamond Spot 40040080AAA or 3000mAh rechargeable battery200 or 30 (at max output)$30 – $50
Petzl Actik Core350951250mAh rechargeable battery or AAA130 or 60 (at max output)$50 – $70
Black Diamond Wiz20020AAA or 1000mAh rechargeable battery120 or 30 (at max output)$15 – $25
BioLite HeadLamp 42542510900mAh rechargeable battery150 (at max output)$60 – $80
Petzl Tikkina250603 AAA or 2 CORE rechargeable battery60 or 120 (at max output)$20 – $30
Black Diamond Astro 30030040AAA or 1200mAh rechargeable battery40 or 20 (at max output)$20 – $30
Nitecore NU32 Headlamp5501361800mAh rechargeable battery330 (at low output)$35 – $50

Black Diamond Spot 400

Best Headlamps
SpecificationDescription
BrandBlack Diamond
ModelSpot 400
Maximum Brightness400 lumens
Beam Distance80 meters
Waterproof RatingIPX8
Battery Type3 AAA batteries or rechargeable
Weight86 grams
ModesFull strength, dimming, strobe, red

The Black Diamond Spot 400 has everything you need when you’re car camping or just looking through a closet: a bright beam, easy-to-use buttons, and a long battery life. The Spot has been at the top of our list since 2012 because it is reliable and bright enough to light the way in most situations, indoors or out. We’ve always liked the same things about the 400 model. It also has 50 more lumens than the previous Spot, bringing the total to 400. This is a noticeable increase in brightness, though we still think the previous model was plenty bright. Overall, this is one of the best headlamps you can buy right now.

The top buttons on the Spot are easier to use than the single button on older models like the 350. You’ll still need to try out the different modes and click through them, but we think the learning curve is pretty short. The Spot has a Brightness Memory mode, so when you turn on the headlamp, it can go back to a setting from before. This model also has a red-light option, which is good for turning the lamp on and off at night. It also has a “proximity” flood-light option, which is great for camping because it gives you a wider beam and more light around you.

It also has a strobe option, which is great for sending out an emergency signal in the dark. The 3-ounce Spot 400 locks and can be used in all kinds of weather. And its PowerTap technology lets you turn the headlamp from full power to dimmed with just one touch. Even though there are headlamps with brighter and better beams, none of them offered the same level of brightness, ease of use, and dependability for such a low price.

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Pros

  • Bright and powerful beam with multiple lighting modes.
  • Long battery life.
  • Waterproof and durable design.
  • Adjustable headband for a comfortable fit.

Cons

  • The button interface can be confusing to use initially.
  • Some users have reported issues with the battery compartment.

Petzl Actik Core

Best Headlamps
SpecificationDescription
BrandPetzl
ModelActik Core
Maximum Brightness450 lumens
Beam Distance90 meters
Waterproof RatingIPX4
Battery TypeRechargeable (via USB)
Weight75 grams
ModesProximity, distance, strobe, red

The Petzl Actik Core ($69) is hard to beat if you want a headlamp that is easy to use and has enough power for most outdoor tasks. It works as well as most of the other lights on this list, and it’s great that you can use either AAA batteries or the Petzl Core rechargeable battery that comes with it.

Let’s start with the interface, which is the first thing you’ll notice. It only has one button on the top. To turn it on, press it once. Push it again to get the full amount of light. Press and hold until the light turns red. It really couldn’t be any easier. Overall, this is one of the best headlamps you can buy right now.

This spring, we camped in the Colorado Rocky Mountains to test the Actik Core’s power and how well it lit up. At close range, it gives off a nice, even light. It doesn’t have the best long-range power. Several other models have better range. And some lights, like the ones made by Fenix, have much better color rendering, which means you can see colors better when you use them.

But what we really like about the Actik Core is that it can be powered by both the Core battery that comes with it and AAA batteries. It doesn’t need an adapter, so you can switch between them in the field or bring AAA batteries with you on longer trips as a backup. It has a red beam, of course. We won’t even think about using a headlamp without one because it’s so important for seeing in the dark, not blinding people around camp, and saving battery life.

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Pros

  • Bright and versatile headlamp with multiple lighting modes.
  • Rechargeable battery option.
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear.
  • Red lighting mode preserves night vision.

Cons

  • The headband adjustment can be a bit finicky.
  • Some users have experienced issues with the battery life.

Black Diamond Wiz

Best Headlamps
SpecificationDescription
BrandBlack Diamond
ModelWiz
Maximum Brightness30 lumens
Beam Distance20 meters
Waterproof RatingIPX4
Battery Type2 AAA batteries
Weight56 grams
ModesFull strength, dimming, strobe

We really liked the Black Diamond Wiz because it has a cool light that shines in all the colors of the rainbow. This model also turns off after two hours, just in case your child forgets. The Wiz is hard to control, but we think kids won’t mind clicking through the rainbow colors as they try to figure out which setting to choose. Currently, this is one of the best headlamps you can buy right now.

Compared to the other kids’ headlamps we tried, which only had red and white lights, we think this one is a better deal and more fun to use. Even though the Wiz only has 30 lumens, that should be enough for most kids, and they won’t be able to blind each other or you with it.

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Pros

  • Easy-to-use interface with a single button.
  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Comes in fun colors.

Cons

  • Not as bright or powerful as other headlamps.
  • Limited features compared to adult headlamp models.

BioLite HeadLamp 425

Best Headlamps
SpecificationDescription
BrandBioLite
ModelHeadLamp 425
Maximum Brightness425 lumens
Beam Distance75 meters
Waterproof RatingIPX4
Battery TypeRechargeable (via USB)
Weight115 grams
ModesFlood, spot, red, strobe

As people who like to look at the stars, we were most interested in the HeadLamp 425 because of its red flood light, easy-to-use power button, and “run forever” battery. In our full review of the Biolite HeadLamp 425, we talked about these and other changes.

In addition to the above astro-friendly features and improvements over the previous BioLite models (which we also loved), the new version has an increased beam distance, longer run time, and a better temperature use rating. Overall, this is one of the best headlamps you can buy right now.

We also think it’s important to point out that BioLite’s goal is to use renewable energy to help people and protect the planet. It is a big goal to give clean energy to 20 million people and cut CO2 emissions by 3 million tonnes by 2025. By buying a BioLite product, you help them put money toward that goal.

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Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear.
  • USB rechargeable with a long battery life.
  • Adjustable brightness and beam angle.
  • Moisture-wicking fabric for added comfort.

Cons

  • Some users have reported issues with the strap quality.
  • The power button can be difficult to press with gloves on.

Petzl Tikkina

Best Headlamps
SpecificationDescription
BrandPetzl
ModelTikkina
Maximum Brightness250 lumens
Beam Distance60 meters
Waterproof RatingIPX4
Battery Type3 AAA batteries
Weight81 grams
ModesProximity, distance, strobe

The $25 Petzl Tikkina headlamp is exactly what it sounds like: a headlamp. It is not very bright, and there is no red light. But for $25, you can get a good battery-powered headlamp. If you want to be more eco-friendly, you can also buy 1,250 mAh CORE rechargeable batteries for this lamp. The Tikkina is not too heavy, and in low-light mode, it can run for a long time. It has three levels of light that are easy to change with one button: dim, medium, and bright. Still, this is one of the best headlamps you can buy right now.

This headlamp fits our KISS (Keep It Simple) model of efficiency well and costs $20 or less. The only bad thing about it is that it doesn’t come with a battery that can be charged. As is the case with most cheap lights, you’ll spend more money in the long run as you buy more and more batteries. But if you don’t want a big hit to your wallet, it will work on a $20 bill.

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Pros

  • Affordable and budget-friendly option.
  • Lightweight and compact design.
  • Easy-to-use interface with a single button.
  • Adjustable headband for a secure fit.

Cons

  • Not as bright or powerful as higher-end models.
  • Limited battery life compared to rechargeable options.

Black Diamond Astro 300

Best Headlamps
SpecificationValue
BrandBlack Diamond
ModelAstro 300
Brightness300 lumens
Beam TypeFlood
Power Source3 AAA batteries
Weight86 grams
Water ResistanceIPX4 (Water-resistant)
ModesDimming, Strobe, Red
Max Distance40 meters
Max Burn Time40 hours

The Black Diamond Astro 300 is a good choice if you want a simple headlamp that you can use at camp and around the house. For only $20, the Astro gives off a very useful 300 lumens and has dimming and strobe modes. On its brightest setting, it lasts for four hours, and on its lowest setting, it lasts for 140 hours. Also, at 2.6 ounces and a small size, it’s light enough to go almost unnoticed on your head or in a pack, making it a great backup for emergencies.

You can spend a lot of money on a headlamp that is brighter or lasts longer, but for most campers, hikers, and backpackers, the Astro is a great deal and more than enough. The Astro was updated last spring, and the new version has Dual Fuel technology from Black Diamond that lets it run on either AAA batteries or a lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which can be bought separately for $30. This is a huge improvement over the old version in terms of versatility, and $50 is a good price for a rechargeable headlamp. Currently, this is one of the best headlamps you can buy right now.

The Astro 300-R, which is also rechargeable but doesn’t work with AAA batteries, costs only $40. Keep in mind that a device with so few features and that costs so little is bound to have problems: The Astro has an IPX4 rating, which means it won’t work if you put it in water. It also doesn’t have distance and proximity lighting or a red light mode like BD’s higher-end lamps. But simplicity is a strong point for many uses, and the Astro’s price and performance are hard to beat.

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Pros

  • Compact and lightweight for easy carrying.
  • Multiple lighting modes for different needs.
  • Easy-to-use interface with a single button.
  • Affordable price point.

Cons

  • Battery life can be shorter compared to other models.
  • Not as bright or powerful as higher-end headlamps.

Nitecore NU32 Headlamp

Best Headlamps
SpecificationValue
BrandNitecore
ModelNU32
Brightness550 lumens
Beam TypeFlood, Spot
Power SourceRechargeable battery
Weight99 grams
Water ResistanceIP67 (Waterproof)
ModesTurbo, High, Mid, Low, Ultralow, Red, Flashing
Max Distance136 meters
Max Burn Time330 hours

The Nitecore NU32 is a great candidate for any emergency kit because it can run for up to 330 hours. The 3.5-ounce headlamp has four brightness levels (ultralow, mid, high, and turbo) and two special modes (beacon and SOS) that range from 1 to 550 lumens. In a power outage, the middle setting gives 33 lumens and 50 hours of light. Thus, this is one of the best headlamps you can buy right now.

This is a good balance between battery life and light output. The turbo, beacon, and SOS modes, on the other hand, all put out 550 lumens. In turbo mode, the light can reach up to 124 meters. The NU32 also has red and high CRI LEDs that help with night vision and tasks that are close up. A power indicator and a locking feature can help you keep track of and control how much your battery is used. The headlamps can be tilted up to 60 degrees to improve visibility even more.

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Pros

  • Very bright and powerful output.
  • USB rechargeable with long battery life.
  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear.

Cons

  • Some users have reported issues with the headband’s durability.
  • Higher price point compared to other models.

FAQs

Which headlamp is the brightest?

The Olight H67 is the headlamp with the most light. In our test, we measured more than 14,000 lumens when the light was turned on, and more than 13,000 lumens 30 seconds later. This is the headlamp with the most lumens.

Which is best LED or HID headlights?

HID headlights cover a wider area than LED headlights, but if they’re not installed correctly, they can shine into oncoming traffic, so it’s important to have an experienced professional check them out.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!

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