Lights / Lanterns

Top 5 Best Headlamps

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A decent headlamp should stay in place without too much adjusting, and be able to withstand the odd bit of wear and tear.

Perfect for night time hiking and running, and for just finding your way around in the dark when you’re out camping. There are plenty of headlamps around, and a lot of the cheaper ones just aren’t up to scratch, cracking and breaking down  with extended wear and use. If you’ve visited Camping Things before, you’ll know that we do all we can do find a balance between quality and value for money. These top 5 best headlamps are simple to use, and mostly employ power saving LEDs.

 

Pathfinder XP-E Q4 Cree Headlamp

‘Powerful and power-efficient headlamp.’

One of the main problems with any torch or headlamp, is that when the batteries start to get low, the brightness tends to dip. The Pathfinder stays at full brightness for longer, right up until your batteries are at around 15% capacity. The Pathfinder has three different modes: full beam, power-saver and strobe or blinking, which is great for attracting attention, or letting other members of your group know where you are.

Build quality and fit
The Pathfinder is a simple piece of kit, essentially a single LED lamp, attached to a plastic backing plate, with an elasticated headband. The headband is fully adjustable on the top and the sides, and while there’s no padding, it’s light enough not to cause too much trouble. It’s of decent quality, good enough for weekend camping trips and fairweather hiking. You probably wouldn’t want to use it on more extreme climbing trips. Works well stretched over a helmet, too.

Materials
To keep costs low, the Pathfinder is made from simple plastics and an elasticated headband. As we mentioned, it’s not suitable for extreme climbing, but if all you’re looking for is a sturdy headlamp for weekend camping, then the Pathfinder is a solid option. Definitely one of the best headlamps in our review.

Features
Everything is controlled with a simple push button on the side of the Pathfinder. Use it to select one of three modes (high power, power saver, strobe).

Effective beam up to 100m, which is impressive for the size and cost, and the Pathfinder will work in temperatures ranging from -40 degress to 60 degrees.

Check prices on Amazon

 

Ledlenser H7R.2 Rechargeable Professional LED Head Lamp

‘Sophisticated, professional lighting for extreme conditions.’

The Ledlenser is one of the most sophisticated headlamps around, with five different light modes, a red rear safety light, and wheel control switch, for easy adjustment while wearing gloves. With a maximum brightness output of 300 lumen, the Ledlenser holds its own against many high-end torches, too. It’s a bit more pricey than the other options here, but it’s well worth the money if you’re off on an extreme camping or hiking trip.

Build quality and fit
The choice of professionals around the world, the Ledlenser is outstanding quality, super hard-wearing and definitely one of the best headlamps. It secures at the back and front, with no over-the-head straps, which you might think would make it prone to slipping, but the fit is snug and sturdy. One of the best headlamps in our review.

Materials
Made from high quality plastic and fabric with an LED light fixture, the Ledlenser is lightweight and strong.

Features
The Ledlenser is a rechargeable headlamp, which has its advantages and disadvantages. One the plus side, it makes the Ledlenser great value for money in the long run, especially since the mains charger and USB cable are included. On the other hand, it does mean that if you’re going to be out for several days at a time, then you’ll probably need to take an additional battery pack, if you’re going to be without power.

The Ledlenser weighs in at around 175g, and has a maximum power output of 300 lumen, which is enough for most personal torches.

Check prices on Amazon

 

Striker 4-in-1 Portable Flashlight and Headlamp

‘Versatile light, switches from headlamp to handheld light.’

If you’ve ever found yourself carrying your headlamp, or wishing that you could stick your torch to your head, then the Striker is for you. It’s a 4-in-1 light, which can be used as a headlamp, magnetic light, right-angle light and handheld torch. Everything you need to switch up the Striker quickly and easily is included in the pack, and each version of the light works extremely well.

Build quality and fit
As a torch, the Striker is a reliable, versatile piece of kit in its own right. Keep hold of it with the included wrist strap, or set it on its own little stand while you go about your business. It has a decent maximum brightness, too (60 lumen.)

The headstrap on the Striker is one of the best we’ve seen, very comfortable and sturdy enough to not slide around during heavy duty activities.

Materials
Like most of these headlamps, the Striker is made from high quality plastic and elasticated fabric. The Striker also features a slightly rubberised front ring, for increased grip when wet.

Features
The Striker is a fantastic light in its own right, maximum brightness is up to 60 lumen on the Striker,  but it really shines as a versatile 4-in-1. Included are:

Headlamp — Straps on like a regular headlamp using the Striker’s secure headband.
Magnetic task light — Easily position the Striker anywhere you like and adjust to suit.
Right-angle light — Perfect for working at awkward angles.
Handheld torch — Remove the headband and attach the wrist strap, turning the Striker into a regular, handheld torch.

Check prices on Amazon

 

Pathfinder 21 LED Headlamp

‘Smart use of LEDs, great brightness control.’

A close relative of the original Pathfinder, the Pathfinder 21 features 21 individual LED lights to allow you to control the brightness of the headlamp. Compact and powerful, the Pathfinder is a versatile all-rounder that’s good for use as a reading light, and for hiking.

Build quality and fit
Like the original Pathfinder, the 21 fits nicely over a helmet, or straight onto your head. It’s more versatile than the original Pathfinder, as it can be dimmed significantly for use as a reading light, although it’s not really suited for extreme climbing.

Materials
Made from quality plastic and elasticated fabric.

Features
The 21-LED system is controlled with a single button the side of the Pathfinder. There are four settings: Power saver (1 LED), Bright (8 LED), Ultra-bright (21 LED) and strobe (21 LED flashing.) The head does move up and down, but it’s a pretty simple affair otherwise.

Check prices on Amazon

 

Boruit 5000Lumen CREE XM-L XML 3 x T6 LED Headlight

‘Ultra-powerful, professional headlamp lighting system.’

No jokes here, the Boruit is serious business, with a maximum power output of 5000 lumen. With enough light on top of your head to light an entire cave, the Boruit is a welcome companion in super dark environments.

Build quality and fit
The Boruit looks pretty bulky, but it’s comfortable enough, especially if you’re wearing it over a helmet. It’s not as nicely weighted at the other lamps, but it is bigger, and because it’s so bright, the trade off is worth it, in our opinion. One of the best headlamps in our review.

Materials
Made from high quality plastics and an elasticated headband.

Features
The 5000 lumen capacity is split over three lamps, one large, two smaller. The Boruit’s brightness is its main selling point, and the rest is pretty simple. Dimmer modes are available using the simple wheel twist system, and the whole thing is rechargeable.

Check prices on Amazon

The best of the Best Headlamps

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2 Comments

  • We bought a few of the Pathfinder head lamps purely because they dim right down, saving the battery and not constantly blinding others on a night trek

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