Have you experienced being stuck in the darkest of the woods? Imagine, it’s getting dark, so you try to search for your lantern, but for some strange reason, you can’t find it no matter how hard you do. It’s getting darker so you try to find and reach for the flashlight in your bag. You can find and take a grasp of it. You try to look around your tent and your surroundings but to no avail. It’s dark to see anything. You’re getting nervous. You remember you have a phone, so you try to reach for it inside your pack. You turned it on, but sadly, it’s in low battery. You forgot to charge it earlier. Your power bank has run out of juice. Oh and, you don’t have matches or lighter to start a fire. You didn’t bring your car because you’re on a backpacking trip. The darkness blinds you. You can hear some footsteps and animals howling from afar. It’s a cruel and scary situation to be in. What would you do? What’s your stuck-in-the-dark story? You don’t want to be in this situation or any of those “almost helpless” backpacking situation especially in the middle of the woods or the mountains.
Camping lights, specifically headlamps, should be mandatory on your outdoor trip for some good reasons. Aside from the light they provide, they are more convenient than the usual lanterns because of their hands-free, meaning you don’t need to hold them, you have to place them around your head. Most of them are lightweight and compact, so they're easy to bring, and you will feel like you’re just wearing a cap. They are also comfortable to wear and adjustable whether adults or children wear them.
You may have stumbled upon many outdoor headlamps, but still deciding which one you will get. There is just a lot of information for each product that sometimes it’s too confusing and overwhelming to take in.
To simplify things, here’s what you need to look for in the best headlamp.
LumensIt’s as simple as the more lumens your headlight has, the brighter it is. You should keep in mind, though, that high lumens don’t mean rich and smooth light pattern especially if the subject is just near you. Look for headlamps that have a minimum of 130 lumens and has adjustable brightness.
Beam Modes and DistanceThere are different modes of light that headlamps emit. There are low, mid, high, zoom and strobe lights. Your preferred light mode would depend on which you are more comfortable at using, how much light you want and how dark and far the area you want to shine some light on. The distance of the light can go from 30 meters (mostly for camping) to 100 meters (primarily for hiking) depending on the manufacturer. It’s recommended for you to get the far reach of the light because you may need it someday if you plan to have night activities.
Battery LifeWhen looking for the best headlamp, of course, you would want it to last longer. You don’t want it to die on you while hiking or camping in the dark. Some headlamps consume a lot of battery power, so it runs out quickly. The battery of your headlamp matters a lot when outdoors because it affects how strong and far the light can go. You want it to perform for the duration of your trip. It’s still safer to pack extra batteries or power banks if it is rechargeable, just in case yours runs out of battery. Remember the longer your headlamp battery last, the fewer you need to bring backup batteries.
DurabilityOne of the most important things to consider in buying a headlamp is how tough it is. It should be able to handle some accidental drops or hits, won’t crack immediately, can withstand rain or is at least water resistant and can still perform well after experiencing these rough situations. If it stops working after only a few hiccups, then it’s probably not the best one out there.
Size and WeightHeadlamps come in different sizes and weight. What we would recommend is for you to get a compact, meaning it’s relatively small but still be able to fit your head and easy to pack and carry around, and lightweight. You wouldn’t want to be putting a lot of weight and pressure on your head; it’s just uncomfortable especially if you’re on a hike.
PriceDifferent products come in different price options, from the cheapest to the most expensive. That will depend on their overall quality. You might question the cheapest one if they would meet the standards of durability, lumens, beams and battery life, while the most expensive will damn break your bank. You should be on the lookout for the best reviewed, quality-made headlamp that is within your budget.
Below are some of the best headlamps out there that you can buy.
CrazyFire LED Headlamp
It’s a powerhouse headlamp that packs 800 lumens of LED with a beam distance of up to 20 feet, powered by three (3) AA batteries. It has low, high and strobe lighting modes with zoomable function. It’s IP50 waterproof, steady, easily adjustable and lightweight weighing 7.3 ounces. It’s perfect for nighttime hiking, camping, cycling, and jogging.
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
This incredible headlamp houses 300 lumens with one quad power LED and one double power white LED. You can adjust the settings based on the lighting mode, distance, dimming, red night vision, lock mode, and PowerTap Technology to transition between full light to dim instantly. It’s also lightweight, and waterproof IPX8 certified.
Energizer HDB32E LED Headlamp
A very well-known trusted brand, this Energizer headlamp keeps up with others with its state-of-the-art LED technology for up to 200 lumens and beam that reaches up to 50 meters. You can easily switch to different light modes: high, low, spot and flood. It can run up to 8.5 hours in high mode on 3 AAA batteries. It’s durable as it can resist damage from the one-meter drop. It’s also water resistant IPX4, lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Sooner than later, darkness befalls upon us all, especially to those who are outside the comforts of their homes. Your source of light on an outdoor night is the stars. That’s why you need artificial lights such as post lamps, city lights, car headlights, flashlights, and your precious phone. Though, you need to change your perspective on what lighting to use when you go on outdoor adventures. Camping lights, specifically outdoor headlamps are perfect for every nighttime activity you may be having.