Our 10 best headlamps of 2021

The paramount guide to the best headlamps available!

Reading a book in your tent, going to the toilet on a campsite or finding your path on a mountain hike? A headlamp is essential in many outdoor situations and should be on your buy list if you do not already own one. We have made a selection of the best 10 headlamps of 2021, one for every budget and useful for nearly any activity.

Selecting one can be a hassle. There are many headlamps on the market, so how do you pick one without the proper knowledge or time to spend researching? 

We have tested many headlamps and made a list of our most favorite examples for our most popular activities.

Best headlamp 2020

Our 10 picks in a super quick overview. In-dept reviews below!

The Petzl Tikkina is the best budget headlamp and great for camping!

The Knog Quokka Run is our super affordable pick as best headlamp for runners.

A great Budget-friendly pick for hikers is the Black Diamond Spot 350 boasting high weather resist ratings.

In the mid-range price-class we selected the Black Diamond Storm 400 for hiking in any environment.

The Petzl Actik 350 headlamp Camping is a solid, user-friendly lamp and a great pick for camping.

A strong jack of all trades would be the Black Diamond Revolt.

Entering the higher price class Petzl Actik Core 450 headlamp offers the best light beam for a lightweight lamp and is best for camping.

Being a bit more pricey, but also a bit more powerful the Ledlenser-MH10 is a durable hiking headlamp.

The best headlamp when working around the house is the Black Diamond Icon 700.

Last but not least, a fitting headlamp we deem to be best for trail running: Fenix HM50R

Dollar $

19.95

29.99

39.95

49.95

49.95


59.95

69.95


69.95


99.95

59.95

Price €

19.95

29.95

39.95

54.95


39.95

59.95

59.95


79.95


99.95

59.95

*All prices listed on this website are as at time of writing.

Budget

The Best headlamp for camping

Best headlamp for camping

Petzl Tikkina headlamp

The Petzl Tikkina headlamp is a lightweight lamp, both in weight as in price. It’s popular for use during camping or, alternatively, in and around the house.  And today we’ve selected it as the best budget headlamp for camping!

The Tikkina has a durable and compact chassis. It’s strong, lightweight and easy to operate. This headlamp comes equipped with Alkaline AAA batteries, but you can fit Core rechargeable batteries if preferred.

The Tikkina offers good illumination on use. The headband is similar to other Petzl headlamps we’ve tested and fits comfortable around the head.  All of this comes in a light package of just over 80 grams.

It is no wonder this headlamp is loved by many, especially while being on a budget. For those looking for a cheap headlamp that ‘just works’, this might well be the best pick!

Being one of the cheaper headlamp models in the field, it truly delivers a bang for your bucks! The only things that could be improved are the Weather Resistance values and the battery life. For this reason we feel this headlamp will best serve you while camping.

The headlamp is an absolute steal considering it costs barely 20 Dollars/Euros.

Key features of the Petzl Tikkina headlamp

Average price:  $19.95 /€19.95

Weight: 3 ounces / 81 grams       

Max Lumens: 250 lumens

Max. Beam distance: 196 feet / 60 meters

Battery time: Low mode 120 hours / High mode 2 hours

Weather Resistance: IPX4 /against dust and splashes of water

Pros

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The Best headlamp for runners

Knog Quokka Run

Knog Quokka Run

This little headlamp will keep you save while running on paths and roads, and it will do so at a very low price. It comes equipped with a special red halo light effect which lights up the headband while on. This way it doesn’t only light up your path, but also you yourself.

Although primarily meant for runners the Knog Quokka Run can also be used for other outdoor activities. Being extremely light weight and easy to use this lamp can come in handy when tieing your shoelaces during an evening walk, or when reading a book in your tent.

Because it is so light weight it may also do service as a handy light during holidays.

The Knog Quokka Run headlamp is an affordable option mostly meant for use in less extreme environments. Do not bring it as your only option on a multiple day hike, but do use it for cycling, running or reading! We like the flexibility of the materials used and how the lamp is designed for use in primarily urban areas. Adding it all up we do feel this is the best headlamp for runners and bikers in the market today!

Key features of the Knog Quokka Run headlamp

Average price:  $29.99 /€29.95

Weight: 1.7 ounces / 49 grams       

Max Lumens: 100 lumens

Max. Beam distance: 131 feet / 40 meters

Battery time: Low mode 10 hours / High mode 2.5 hours

Weather Resistance: IP65 /Almost fully dust protected and resist water from a nozzle.

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The Best headlamp for hiking

Black Diamond Spot​ vs Storm

Black Diamond Spot 350

On the thin red line between “budget” and “mid-range” prices lamps, the Black Diamond Spot 350 is a headlamp we cannot deny praise for its good qualities. For starters, it’s almost completely waterproof and has the best weather resistances you will find on a headlamp. Even when compared to headlamps in a higher price class.

The lamp offers high battery life while in Low mode and a decent one in High mode. We noticed the battery is easy to replace, and you should succeed in doing this even without any other light source to help you out!

When used in High mode the light supplied is somewhat weaker compared to alternatives. However, this is not a dealbreaker since it is still strong enough to hike in the dark!

The light settings range from full strength in proximity and distance modes to dimming, strobe and red night-vision. This broad range of settings makes the lamp somewhat more difficult to operate. Conveniently, you can always return to High mode by putting your finger on the sensor on the side of the chassis!

The combination of good battery life, high weather resistances while still retaining low weight makes this headlamp ideal for hiking and trekking. It might be needless to say that we are a fan of this lamp and would gladly advise you to go for it if you are still in doubt!

We have compared the Black Diamond Storm with the Spot? You can find the article here: Black diamond Storm vs Spot.

Key features of the Black Diamond Spot 350

Average price:  $39.95 /€39.95

Weight: 3.2 ounces / 86 grams       

Max Lumens: 350 lumens.

Max. Beam distance: 275 feet / 85 meters

Battery time: Low mode 200 hours / High mode 4 hours

Weather Resistance: IPX8 Waterproof to operate at least 1.1 meters underwater for 30 minutes. It should be completely dried out after use in wet conditions.

Pros

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Extra's

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Mid-range

The Best headlamp for hiking

Black Diamond Storm vs Spot

Black Diamond Storm 400

One step up from the Black Diamond Spot 350 is the Black Diamond Storm 400 headlamp. This is essentially is the Black Diamond Spot in overdrive. It has equally robust chassis and long battery life but the light thrown is stronger.

Although normally an increase in lights goes hand in hand with a decrease in battery life, this is not the case here. The Black Diamond Storm even offers a higher battery life than its alternatives, like the Petzl Actik. However, the main drawback of all its features is the lamp’s increased weight

Like most Black Diamonds headlamps the Storm comes equipped with a battery life meter on the side of the chassis.

The lamp offers a broad range of settings. It has the normal High and Low light options but also a red strobe light. Adding to the list we also discovered a green and blue light. Although a fun feature we are less positive about these extra options as it also complicates the controls.

We think the Black Diamond Storm definitely one of the best alternatives for hikers and trekkers who prefer a headlamp with a stronger light over lightweight. It is a steady choice for any adventurer. It can also be great for other activities like camping or working in and around the house. While using it try not to blind other adventurers!

We have compared the Black Diamond Spot with the Storm? You can find the article here: Black diamond Storm vs Spot.

Key features of the Black Diamond Storm headlamp

Average price:  $49.95 /€54.95

Weight: 4.2 ounces / 120 grams       

Max Lumens: 400 lumens

Max. Beam distance: 328 feet / 100 meters

Battery time: Low mode 150 hours / High mode 5 hours

Weather Resistance: IP67 /Sealed housing withstands immersion over 1 meter for 30 minutes

Pros

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The Best headlamp for camping

Petzl Actik headlamp

Petzl Actik 350

The Petzl Actik headlamp is the affordable sibling of the Petzl Actik Core headlamp also listed on this page. It’s a headlamp developed for outdoor activities like  camping to hiking.

The Petzl Actik has been around for a while now, and it has proven to be a solid choice for any hillwalker. In addition, we’ve had good experiences while testing it.

The headlamp is somewhat above average priced. To offset this the lamp offers plenty of strong points. The lamp comes equipped with Alkaline batteries, but you can also fit Core rechargeable batteries.

Most noticeable specifics are the strong powerful light, robust chassis and the ease of use. We were less satisfied with the battery life when the lamp is set to High mode. This might not be a big issue as the lamp performs well on low mode and can last approx. 200 hours. A very long time! Regardless, the limited weather resistance still makes us feel that this headlamp is best used on and around the camp site. It is definitely capable to assist you while on a hike, but try not to drop it in a stream!

Key features of the Petzl Actik 350 headlamp

Average price:  $49.95 /€39.95

Weight: 3.2 ounces / 86 grams       

Max Lumens: 350 lumen

Max. Beam distance: 262 feet / 80 meters

Battery time: Low mode 200 hours / High mode 2 hours

Weather Resistance: IPX4, against dust and splashes of water

Pros

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The Best all-round headlamp

Black Diamond Revolt 350 headlight

Black Diamond Revolt 350

Our most pricey mid-range headlight is picked for its predictability. The Black Diamond Revolt is a headlamp with above average qualities in almost every way, but not excelling in any one thing. Shipped with the BD 1800 rechargeable battery it can also use standard Alkaline batteries offering flexibility. It offers an above average strong light in combination with above average burn times. In addition, its Weather resistance is reasonable, but do not expect it to survive full submersion!

Regardless of all these properties Black Diamond has succeeded in keeping the headlamp reasonably light weight. 

While testing the lamp we found it somewhat difficult to replace the battery in the dark. The mechanism to open the battery compartment does not feel very sturdy.

In addition, we feel the button to control the settings could have been a bit bigger. It may be difficult to control the lamp with gloves on.

Just like other Black Diamond headlamps, the Revolt comes equipped with a battery life meter. It also sports the PowerTap sensor enabling you to instantly return to high settings.

Our verdict is that the Black Diamond Revolt is a good all-rounder standing out as the “in the middle” solution. 

Key features of the Black Diamond Revolt 350 headlamp

Average price:  $59.95 /€59.95

Weight: 3.2 ounces / 90 grams       

Max Lumens: 350 lumens

Max. Beam distance: 269 feet / 82 meters

Battery time: Low mode 200 hours / High mode 4 hours

Weather Resistance: IPX4 /against dust and splashes of water

Pros

Cons

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High-end

The Best headlamp for camping

Petzl Actik Core review

Petzl Actik Core 450

The Petzl Actik Core headlamp is the more powerful sibling of the Petzl Actik headlamp also found on this webpage. The Actik Core excels in flooding the dark with light to such an extent you might feel like the sun is shining wherever you look!

In addition to the power of the light, the lamp is very light weight. We also feel the lamp fits seamless around the head. We barely noticed the lamp was there, which is nice for a lamp of this caliber.

The Hybrid design offers flexibility to the user: you can either relay on USB rechargeable batteries, or bring a set of AAA. Or, if weight isn’t a problem, do both?

Of course, these good qualities come at a price. Firstly the Actik Core is a bit more expensive than other lamps we have reviewed. Secondly, the battery life of 2 hours when used on full blast is a bit short. Of course, you can utilize the headlamp in Low mode for 150 hours and the light is strong enough to still find your way.

The lamp is good for people who like to go camping but could also be useful for hikers, amongst other things.  All in all, this lamp is a power to be reckoned with in your outdoor adventures. We do feel the price is a bit steep, but this would not prevent us from buying and using it ourselves since the lamp offers a punch!

A steady option and clearly worthy of making it to the list of the best headlamps of 2021!

Read our in-depth review of the Petzl Actik Core 450 headlamp here.

Key features of the Petzl Actik Core headlamp

Average price:  $69.95 /€59.95

Weight: 2.6 ounces / 75 grams       

Max Lumens: 450 lumens

Max. Beam distance: 295 feet / 90 grams

Battery time: Low mode 130 hours / High mode 2 hours

Weather Resistance: IPX4 /against dust and splashes of water

Pros

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Extra's

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The Best headlamp for hiking

Ledlenser MH10 headlamp

Ledlenzer mh10

The Ledlenzer mh10 is a super powerful headlamp. The designers clearly intended to create a distinct alternative to other lamps in the market. Where most headlamps aim for good light at low weight, the Ledlenzer mh10 went for extreme light output at the cost of a higher weight.

The headlamp comes at 158 grams or 5.6 ounces, which is almost twice as heavy as middle class headlamps. To offset this, the lamp offers a dashing 600 Lumens, which is also twice as much as some alternatives. At the same time we have nothing to complain about the battery life offered while using this lamp. On High settings it still manages to offer 10 hours of light. Not too bad!

This really is a headlamp of extremes, however, as Low light settings only supply 120 hours of light. Which is just as bad as the 10 hours are good.

We do feel to note the absence of a red strobe, which we feel should have been included. That said, it does offer an extra in the form of a red trail lights.

The Ledlenzer mh10 is all about personal preference. Do you mind about a few extra grams/ounces or do you prefer a bit less lighting power?  Depending on your preferences this lamp is either great or bad. If weight isn’t your primary concern the Ledlenzer mh10 can be a good hiking option!

What we love about this lamp is that it offers flavor to the market, and it’s definitely one of the best headlamps if your goals align to the qualities this powerful light has to offer.

Key features of the Ledlenzer mh10

Average price:  $69.95 /€79.95

Weight: 5.6 ounces / 158 grams       

Max Lumens: 600 lumens.

Max. Beam distance: 292 feet / 150 meters

Battery time: Low mode 120 hours / High mode 10 hours

Weather Resistance: IP54 /against dust and splashes of water

Pros

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The Best headlamp for work

Icon 700

Black Diamond Icon 700

Our most powerful pick is also the highest priced lamp on our list. And although the price might be a hurdle for some, we believe it can definitely be worth it for certain people. 

This lamp really delivers. Be it the strength of its light, the quality of the chassis or the lengthy, well-balanced, battery life it comes equipped with. The lamp is also very comfortable to wear we found. This is especially surprising when you keep its weight in mind of 8.3 ounces / 236 grams. Yes, it is also the heaviest lamp we’ve listed on this page! Compared to the earlier mentioned Ledlenzer m10 we feel this lamp add a lot of weight for the extra 100 Lumens, though.

We found the lamp to have a very bright, wide floodlight. Then again, with the Lumen offered by the Icon 600 we’d have been surprised if it didn’t! It seems to be a well build, robust lamp with the extra strap over the head helping it to feel less heavy. We can imagine a lot of backpackers might find this lamp too heavy to bring. But for hunters or as a light source for work around the house this may not be seen as an issue!

Key features of the Black Diamond Icon 700

Average price:  $99.95 /€99.95

Weight: 8.3 ounces / 236 grams       

Max Lumens: 700 lumens

Max. Beam distance: 459 feet / 140 meters

Battery time: Low mode 190 hours / High mode 7+ hours

Weather Resistance: IP67/Waterproof and dustproof—Completely sealed and tested to operate up to 1 meter underwater for 30 minutes

Pros

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Extra's

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The Best headlamp for trail running

Fenix HM50r headlamp

Fenix HM50R

Our last entry in this 10 best headlamps of 2021 buy guide is the Fenix HM50R. A lamp we feel would come into its own while trail running or hiking. It offers a 500 Lumens strong light in combination with a low carry weight. This little beast does sacrifice battery life for these advantages, however.

Although the lamp does not last more than two hours at  High settings, it is strong enough to find an animal in the bushes even on the darkest nights! On Low setting the light is still strong enough for activities like hiking or trail running. The battery on this setting last around 128 hours.  To be fair, you won’t need High settings on this lamp often, as the Low settings will generally suffice.

The battery is rechargeable so if you are bringing a power bank there is no need to haul additional batteries. In case you are planning to use this lamp for hiking this could be seen as a downside. Of course, it is possible to just bring regular batteries instead.

The lamp is very lightweight and the headband feels good around the head. It is also nicely weather resistant.

Key features of the Fenix HM50R​

Average price:  $59.95 /€59.95

Weight: 2.2 ounces / 63 grams       

Max Lumens: 500 lumens

Max. Beam distance: 262 feet / 80 meters

Battery time: Low mode 128 hours / High mode 2 hours

Weather Resistance: IP68 /against dust and underwater max 2 meters

Pros

Cons

Extra's

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Thank you for reading our best headlamps of 2021 guide, we hope you have found your own optimal headlamp today!

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