Updated May 1, 2021
When you’re preparing for a full day of hiking, a headlamp is a must-have piece of gear. If your hike takes you on a wrong path or takes longer than you planned for with daylight, having a headlamp will help you pick back up on the trail, or identify an area to camp for the night. It’s always better to be over-prepared. Depending on your hike, you can select the headlamp suitable for you based on the specifications.
Below we have researched for you and come up with the best hiking headlamps of 2021. Read our review to find the best outdoor headlamp and buy it online before your next hike.
Top 6 Best Headlamps for Hiking in 2021
AAA batteries are considered out of date as many headlamps have now started coming with USB-rechargeable options. The Petzl Actik Core is currently our top pick. In a nutshell, this headlamp is a complete power packed item, and it has 450 maximum brightness lumens, an extended battery life with constant running across its burn time, unlike some of the headlamps that start to flicker as soon as they get on low battery levels, a sub-3-ounce body, and easy-to-use control. Petzl has been in the lead with its up-to-date innovations for a long time now, and their Actik Core is a star in the market.
- Higher Price ($70)
The Black Diamond Spot 350 fits comfortably all around your head, and the newest in-market version checks all, a long-running battery, sturdiness, and worth. Prominently, Black Diamond lately modernized the design with an advanced max lumen output (from 325 to 350 in the recent model), lighter in weight (by 0.1 oz.), and a much more user-friendly design, but the rest of the winning approach is somewhat the same. The headlamp shines out a strong beam of light and comes with a touch-sensitive feature for quick illumination adjustments.
- Easy to use
- Affordable Price ($40)
- Doesn’t support a USB charging option
For hiking trips and camping overnight, this headlamp is a good choice, and it has over 250 lumens of maximum brightness from just one white LED light. The button in the center is easy to press and turn on, and the sharpness of the light is enough for doing regular activities in the dark. In comparison to other brands, the light is a bit dim and not overly striking, and you don’t get the dimming features or red-light option like in Black Diamond versions. One thing that is great is the price of this product.
- Easy to use
- Affordable Price ($20)
- Light quality is average
- No option for a red light
This ultimate headlamp for the thru-hikers, Nitecore NU25, is our top pick ultralight headlamp of 2021. Lighter than 1 ounce in weight for the lamp itself (excluding the strap on the bottom), the Nitecore NU25 is astonishing projects a bright light with a 360-lumen maximum output, has an easy-to-use interface, and supports charging via micro-USB feature. For thru-hikers and for people who don’t want to carry much load on their heads while hiking, the NU25 is a bright, cheap, and the best option available.
Bear in mind that the Nitecore NU25 has brightness settings: 360, 190, 38, and 1 as the 4 levels of the lumen, respectively. The dimmer light option is not available, but this is not something to worry about as one gets used to using the bright lights at one point.
- Bright and sharp light
- No dim light option, but has 4 levels of brightness
In Stock at Amazon from $36
5. Fenix HM50R
For outdoor activities like high-altitude hiking, alpine ascending, and many more, you’ll need a headlamp that can stand strong against any hits and dangers, and Fenix’s HM50R checks this box correctly. This headlamp is covered with a complete aluminum covering, the brightness of a 500-lumen max output and light beam illuminating power of around 260 feet, and is water and dust-proof with a rating of IP68. It clearly means it can withstand being underwater for 30 minutes in up to 2 meters of density. The overall design of this headband is great, and it comes with a single side switch for easy switching between settings during your hike; it has four brightness settings.
- Solid and durable
- Short battery life when in Turbo mode
6. Petzl e+LITE
Very easy to operate, which is a great feature for a headlamp because of its uses, it comes with a single simple switch in the middle which can be used to switch between red and white lights and other modes like strobe lighting. If we consider the price, it is a little expensive for just 50 lumens output, but it’s all the more a perfect headlamp to be stuffed in an emergency kit or to take along in your pack on an afternoon or early morning hike. It could have caused discomfort if the light got any heavier than this, but if we look at the bigger picture and overall features, it is not a bad option to consider for hiking trips.
It is an ideal emergency light, and the e+LITE is designed to operate just fine whenever you are in need of it; it has an IPX7 waterproof rating, and It is capable of running even after being in storage for long because of its batteries.
- Great for emergencies
- Simple Design
- Light output is low
- A little expensive for 50 lumens output
In Stock Amazon from $30
The need to carry a good headlamp should not be underestimated. They’re great to have for night hikes and outdoor adventures, overnight camps, or as a just-in-case item when you’re out for long days.
We hope you enjoyed our review of the the best headlamps for hiking in 2021. Grab your online today and make your next outdoor experience even better and more prepared.
Jeremy Alderman is an outdoor enthusiast in Scottsdale, Arizona. He writes on all things camping, hiking, outdoor sports, and travel. His weekends are often filled exploring the desert with his wife Madison and their 3-year-old German Shepherd rescue, Grace. His favorite spot in all of North America is the Oregon Coast.