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Best LED Headlights: Find Your Way in the Dark

Henry Silva
Written by Henry Silva

It is hard sometimes to find your way in the dark and you might need some additional tools to help you find your way. The products that will be discussed in this article are best known as headlights and they can be used in different situations when you are hiking.

One of the most obvious is when it gets dark, but you are also able to use it if you want to enhance your hiking experience and visit some places that might seem as they are out of reach such as caves.We will provide you with a wide variety of best LED headlights to choose from and it is up to you to decide if you had found something suitable for your needs.

You might think that putting a regular flashlight on your backpack is a good answer, but that does not cover the area that you are crossing when you are hiking. Some passes are more treacherous than others and if you want to be well protected, you will need a great source of light to lead you through your adventures.

Feeling comfortable makes a big difference when you are in an open terrain or even worse the mountain area, as uncomfortable gear can distort your vision and ruin your weekend and your favorite activity. Being certain that you feel the best as you can, is an important step in making sure that everything will go as planned.

Product NameWeightDimensionsColorPrice
Black Diamond Spot8.8 oz5 x 5 x 2 inBlackCheck price on Amazon
Petzl Tikkina0.75 oz5 x 7 x 10 inBlueCheck price on Amazon
Nite Ize Inova STS10.6 oz7 x 5 x 2 inBlack & OrangeCheck price on Amazon
Petzl NAO 575 Lumens6.6 oz8.9 x 5.1 x 2.2 inBlack & WhiteCheck price on Amazon
Princeton Tec Corona10.04 oz8 x 5 x 2.2 inGray & YellowCheck price on Amazon
Snow Peak SnowMiner4.8 oz10 x 4 x 3 inBlack & OrangeCheck price on Amazon
Black Diamond Icon Polar 10.2 oz5 x 5 x 5 inBlackCheck price on Amazon
UCO A120 Comfort Fit3.25 oz0.63 x 2.3 x 1.4 inBlue & SilverCheck price on Amazon

You can see that these headlights are being used in every edgy show that had found its place on channels that deal with survivalist types of documentaries. This is not to prove that if it is on the TV, it must be good, but to show you that if people who invest a large amount of money think that purchasing headlights is a good idea then it must be something useful and extraordinary.

In this review, we are going to show you the best LED headlights on the market as well as show you some features you need to think about before you make your purchase!

Features to Consider

You cannot buy them by pure luck. There are several important factors that you need to take into consideration when purchasing LED headlights. These are:

  • Weight
  • Battery life
  • The quality of the light

If you do not want a top notch product, you need to cut some of these features short. They all seem important, but you have to choose which one would be the one that is the most useful for you.

This is the question that deals with your own wishes and actual needs for the high-end or low-end quality headlights.  If you are looking for the high-end one, then you are going to get all of those features that were mentioned previously.

On the other hand, if you do not need a high-end one, then the model with basic features would do just fine. As mentioned the most important fact is for you to determine what sort of a hiker you really are.  After that, it would be much easier for you to buy a perfect product.

If you have the tendency to go hiking in late hours or to explore some dark corners, then the more advanced one is for you.

Weight

This might seem as an obvious explanation as you will be wearing it on your head. It all depends on your preferences. Headlights with more features will weigh more.

You need to see if you need all those features or they are just weighing you down. If you can deal with a few more ounces, then the one that is a bit heavier is a right choice.

Battery life

Battery life is very important and you are aware of the fact that longer battery life means more hours for you to spend hiking.

It involves planning as with inferior battery life you cannot go hiking in the late hours unless you have additional lighting, which can prove to be more of a problem than an actual solution. You should consider buying an option that corresponds to the time of the day when you go hiking

Quality of light

The quality of light is tightly connected with the battery life and you need more durable battery life for a stronger quality of light. Even though LED light is really strong, obviously some of them are weaker as they have the LED’s diodes that do not produce such a strong light.

This might sound a bit strange but the place you live can determine whether you need a weaker or a stronger light. If there is naturally a lot of natural light, then you do not need a stronger light, but if you live in the northern parts, you will need to get the best lighting possible.

We have explained earlier about your hiking activities and the quality of light is affected by your hiking schedule. You have to choose by your own affinities.

Top Product Reviews

We have finally reached the review section where we are going to explore several LED headlights so you can find the one that fits you best! Happy searching!

Black Diamond Spot Headlight

lack Diamond Spot Headlamp

Price: Approx. $40

Color: Black

Weight: 8.8 ounces

Dimensions: 5 X 5 X 2 inches

Specific features: Single power led (a red one and a white one), triple power leds, max burn time of 200 hours, 200 lumens, triple a batteries (included), waterproof

Best use:  Late night hiking and running

Description: The Black Diamond Spot Headlight is perfect for hikers who want a well-versed product with a lot of features that will make it easier for you to go on a late hiking without any worries that you might get lost.

The design of the product is ultra-slim, so you will look really fashionable while wearing it.

If you need to change fast between full and dimmed power, this headlight is right down your alley as it features Power Tap Technology which enables you to change through these two lightning nodes very fast.

It comes with the red light so you can use it when it is extremely dark and that is not all, as it has proximity and lobe settings. You can activate them without any additional cycling. Triple A batteries will provide you with the long battery life and if you are uncertain, there is a three-level power meter that shows the remaining battery percentage.

The only downgrade with this product seems to be that some water might leak into a headlight. You are getting a whole lot of features and if your activities are not revolved too much around the water then you might want to give this headlight a try.

PROS:

  • Priced right
  • Comfortable

CONS:

  • Yellow spots on lamp can occur
  • Lock function can unhook on its own by accident

Related: If you are looking for simpler headlight made by Black Diamond, you can check their other models  such as Gizmo Headlight.

Check the price on Amazon

Petzl Tikkina Headlamp

Petzl Tikkina Headlamp

Price: Approx. $20

Color: Black, various

Weight: 0.75 ounces

Dimensions: 5 x7 x 10 inches

Specific features: Maximum output of 80 lumens, power saving mode aaa/rlo3 batteries (included), very easy to use

Best use: Backpacking, hiking

Description: If you are looking for an ultra budget head light that has an ability to save battery power for extended periods of time, then Petzl Tikkina Headlamp is made for you. It has the maximum output of 80 Lumens and that is fairly enough, if you do not plan to go hiking in the pitch dark.

Its light will not diminish even though your battery level is getting lower. You can switch between two lightning modes; one is for increased brightness while the other enables quicker burn time

You will love it if you want a simple design with easy to use commands that do not require too much effort. Going on the field trip has never been easier as you do not have to carry those little flashlights around or you do not have to drain your cellophane’s battery.

Triple-A and LR03 batteries are supported so you can use batteries according to your own preferences. The only con of this product is that it does not feature a red light, but you might be the one who does not need it.

PROS:

  • Great battery life
  • Two modes to switch from
  • Simple design

CONS:

  • No red light attached
  • Can be blinding if pointed right at people

Related: If you are interested In Petzl then you can check out their more advanced models such as Petzl – TIKKA + Headlamp 160 Lumens.

Check the price on Amazon

Nite Ize Inova STS Headlamp

Nite Ize Inova STS Headlamp

Price: Approx. $20

Color: Black & orange

Weight: 10.6 ounces

Dimensions: 7 x 5 x 2 inches

Specific features: Touch (swipe) interface, 5 modes, 1 white and two red lamps, multimode

Best use: Trail racing, night trails

Description: All of the modern stuff comes with a touch interface and Nite Ize Inova STS Headlamp is one of them as it is featuring a swipe interface so you can change the lighting mode in a matter of seconds. As mentioned you will be able to use this headlight in multiple situations. The highest output is 142 and the lowest one is 2.

Two LED red lights provide you with the perfect night vision and the white light is very bright so it is suited for everyone. The design is really good so the product is lightweight and the strap is woven so it looks fashionable. STS headlamp is waterproof (1m or 3.3 feet).

Triple A batteries are included and you will get three of them. The battery life is good. The only setback for this product is that if you think of using it during the cold weather, then you might encounter a problem as it has a touch interface.

PROS:

  • Dual headlamp
  • 2 red LEDs for night time
  • Low price

CONS:

  • Headband can seem loose
  • Touch control may not work all of the time

Related: If you are outdoors with your headlamp, you may consider bringing along a multi-tool for use. The Nite Ize DoohicKey Multi-Tool is stainless steel and has a box cutter, wrench and more attached!

Check the price on Amazon

Petzl NAO 575 Lumens

Petzl NAO 575 Lumens

Price: Approx. $150

Color: Black & white

Weight: 6.6 ounces

Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.1 x 2.2 inches

Specific features: Rechargeable lion battery,

Best use: Long distance hiking, night trailing

Description:  If you do not want to worry what kind of light is going to be more suitable for different environments than Petzl NAO 575 Lumens is perfect for you.

It comes with a reactive lighting that adapts itself automatically to different environments, LED sensors are able to adapt to the different lighting and this is done automatically too.

Rechargeable battery is another great feature that lets you use this headlight to its full potential. Lighting of 575 Lumens this headlight provides is enough and the battery can last long, as it was mentioned before you can use regular alkaline and lithium batteries.

Modern design and white and black pattern will go together perfectly with your hiking apparel.

It boasts an antilock feature so you do not have to be worried that you will waste away your Lion battery. If you are a tech savvy person and you like automated things, then this the right one for you. It might be too awkward for you to use, but it is automated so the job is done for you.

PROS:

  • Rechargeable
  • Takes alkaline and lithium batteries
  • Reactive Lighting Technology

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Battery can stop charging
  • Hard to find replacement batteries

Related: Petzl offers more premium models such as Petzl Tikka RXP Headlamp. It has an adjustable output, and 3 levels of light!

Check the price on Amazon

Princeton Tec Corona Headlamp

Princeton Tec Corona Headlamp

Price: $60

Color: Gray & yellow

Weight: 10.04 ounces

Dimensions: 8 x 5 x 2.2 inches

Specific features: Large area of illumination, very strong led lamp, long lasting bulb

Best use: Late night trekking

Some love to go out on hiking or trekking at very late hours and there is a solution for those who love to explore their natural surroundings so late.

It is called Princeton Tec Corona Headlamp and you will think it is still day. Everything that can be seen with your eyes is illuminated so there is no need to worry that you might trip and fall.

That is not all as the light seems natural so your eyes are not strained as the light coming out of LED light is pleasant. The light bulb can last for 10 000 hours so that is another plus. The headlight is robust, but light. The Nylon head strap will last for long and it is easily washable too. It is shockproof too.

There is a special feature that enables you to use light signals when you are in the emergency. This can be very useful if you are a beginner at hiking.

You might not be willing to have too bright light as you would rather have a dimmed one.

PROS:

  • Bright
  • Durable
  • 10k hours of life

CONS:

  • Hard to get a right fit
  • Can stop working at any time

Related: You can check out two additional models from Princeton: Princeton Tec Sync LED Headlamp and Princeton Tec Fuel Headlamp.

Check the price on Amazon

Snow Peak SnowMiner Headlamp

Snow Peak SnowMiner Headlamp

Price: Approx. $50

Color: Black & orange

Weight: 4.8 ounces

Dimensions: 10 x 4 x 3 inches

Specific features: Single LED lamp, easy switch, low battery indicator

Best use: Winter hiking

Description: Not everyone is afraid of snowy weather and some people love the challenge of hiking during the coldest of months during the year. If you are one of this then we are happy to present you Snow Peak SnowMiner Headlamp.

This is a compact model and it is very easy to use as it has one white LED lamp. This lamp is very flexible and you can even point downwards.

There is no unnecessary action when you want to see a path ahead of you as you only have to point the LED lamp in the desired direction. LED lamp operates in four modes and these are variable, high, low and strobe. It is up to you to see whether you will use one or the other depending on the situation.

This headlight support AAA batteries and you will get a lot of usage time from these batteries. There is an indicator that shows you that the battery is low. The only drawback is that one LED Lamp will not be enough for serious nighttime hiking.

PROS:

  • Converts into a lantern
  • 4 light options
  • Indicator for low battery

CONS:

  • There is a glare with the light
  • Limited light when turned to a lantern

Related: Snow Peak makes the Snow Peak Mini Hozuki Light, which is magnetic and lets you clip it on anywhere for use. This is great when you do not want to put on a headlamp and just need a little light.

Check the price on Amazon

Black Diamond Icon Polar Headlamp

Black Diamond Icon Polar Headlamp

Price: Approx. $70

Color: Black

Weight: 10.2 ounces

Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 5 inches

Specific features: Five LED lamps, detachable battery housing, power meter, multiple settings

Best use: Hiking during the bitter cold

Description: Black Diamond Icon Polar Headlamp is an awesome headlight for a proper adventurer. Quad Power, two white single power, and two red single power LED lights are something that makes this product more than average and that is what a hiker will need.

That is not all as it has dimming, strobe, red light when it’s nighttime and   you can use its full power when you direct it to your closest surroundings. The Lumen number of this mighty headlight is 320.

You need to insert 4 AA batteries in its detachable battery housing and it has a three-level indicator so you can see when you need to change your batteries. They work perfectly even during really harsh weather, especially snow.

It is a really powerful headlight and as its name suggests, you can explore the most northern parts of your country. As mentioned earlier, everything depends on your preferences and this headlight has a lot of features. The only setback is that it is a bit bigger.

PROS:

  • Has 2 red LED lights
  • Has various light settings

CONS:

  • Somewhat pricey
  • Takes 4 AA batteries

Related: There is one more premium model from Black Diamond and this is Black Diamond Icon Headlamp.

Check the price on Amazon

UCO A120 Comfort Fit Headlamp

UCO A120 Comfort Fit Headlamp

Price: Approx. $27

Color: Blue & silver

Weight: 3.25 ounces

Dimensions: 0.63 inches x 2.3 inches x 1.4 inches

Specific features: Very light weight, user-friendly, external battery pack

Best use: Hiking, trail racing

Description: If you get a headache from wearing stuff on your head, then you will be delighted with UCO A120 Comfort Fit Headlamp. This is not as simple of a headlight as you might think as it features a red lamp for night vision. One of the biggest features is that brightness could be adjusted up to the 120 Lumens.

To improve the comfort when you are wearing it there is a unique hinge design which removes the hard point from the strap as that hard point can cause headaches. That is not the only benefit as with this removed, you will be able to move the lamp downwards and upwards.

The external battery pack is very useful as you can change AA batteries very quickly and this makes the product even lighter. The design looks very posh but in a good way and the strap is adjustable so you can expect maximum comfort from this headlight.

Additional features are a red light for night vision and the waterproof ability. Basically, this headlight is for people who love to go hiking as lightweight as possible.

PROS:

  • Adjustable brightness
  • Neoprene strap is soft
  • External battery pack

CONS:

  • Too bright or some
  • Some do not like the Velcro and would prefer elastic

Related: This company also makes candles that you can put in your lantern. The UCO Candles for Candle Lanterns are 3.5 inches and under $5!

Check the price on Amazon

Concluding Thoughts

You have read all that you need to know about how to choose the most suitable headlight for you, your family or you your friends. It depends on what you are going to do with it and whether you want to go for a lightweight one or the one that is equipped with extra tech or extra LED lights for more power.

Your way of hiking and the places that you choose to go hiking will reflect on your choice. We hope that we help in your search for the perfect headlight. If you have any additional comments or suggestions, feel free to comment on this article.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henry Silva
Henry Silva

Henry was hiking since he was 4. He was lucky enough to be born in Boulder, Colorado and enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park hikes growing up. His favourite is Longs Peak, which rises to 14,259 feet (4,346 m) above sea level. It is the highest point of the park. Henry likes to explore new hikes and spend his spare time in the wilderness.

  • Robert Neil

    The Black diamond headlight is really worth the money! Bright light, long battery life, and it has 2 light modes. It is also charging fast and is compact. Great for camping, the car, power cuts, holidays and every other possible use. I use it for all my handy work jobs.

  • Joseph White

    I live on a farm, I’m a backpacker and I pretty much use a headlamp every day. So maybe I’m expecting too much, like these are more for occasional use. However, for the money, you can’t beat the great functionality of the Princeton tec light! It is weather-proof which is definitely great in many situations!

  • Henry Silva

    The Black diamond is indeed value for your money. It has a lot of great features that hikers need. Just don’t use this where it involves a lot of water or you’re likely to get wet. Water tends to get into the headlights – but apart from that, this product is a gem.

  • Henry Silva

    The Princeton also has a wider range of illumination so you’ll be able to see clearly what’s ahead. It is also very affordable, yet gives you clear and bright light. I have a couple of led headlights that I also use inside the home, very handy to have and easy to use, too. It frees our hands, unlike handheld flashlights.

  • Paul Evans

    I recently lost my headlamp so I had to replace it. A family camping trip is happening soon and I have bought the Petzl Tikkina Headlamp for the occasion. I haven’t tested in the wild yet but I have tried it out in the backyard at night and the results have been amazing. Hopefully this will hold true out in the wildness.

  • Henry Silva

    You’ll be happy to note that the Petzl will do justice and perform excellently in your next camping trip. The ability to save on batteries is one of its stellar features. At 80 lumens, the Petzl is simply the best one there is.

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