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rechargeable headlamps for hiking

see also:

  • I don't sell any of these nor do I receive any remuneration if you buy them, and I have not personally reviewed all of them, they are listed here to give you perspective


  • LED headlamps have changed the safety profile of outdoors activities and they are generally light, powerful and with good battery life of around 15hrs on a charge
  • aim for:
  • a beam distance of at least 80m (beam distance depends on the optical lens system which concentrates the light into a beam and the maximum output)
  • a maximum output of at least 200-300 lumens/m
    • 10-25 lumens for reading
    • 25-150 lumens is generally all that is needed for around the house, for hiking, backpacking, and camping
    • aim for 200+ if you need a navigational aid in complete darkness
    • aim for 250+ if you’ll be traveling at higher speeds, such as a night trail run or mountain bike ride
  • beam needs to be able to have a wide angle flood light for when working in close spaces
  • adjustable beam spot and ability to tilt the beam is essential
  • color of the main light can be important
    • many people prefer cool white
    • zero blue ray damage (RG0) reduces effects on your sleep cycle and fatigue
    • very warm/orange lighting is beneficial for reducing insect attraction as insects cannot see orange/red
  • if you are wanting to conserve your night vision or avoid attracting insects, a red mode is needed however this should not be too bright (eg. 5-10lumens), or, if brighter, it should be dimmable
  • most have a emergency strobe function
  • niche headlamps may have:
    • UV mode for detecting scorpions, urine, leaks etc eg. Armytek Wizard C2 WUV Dual 1100 lumen rechargeable UV and White LED headlamp
    • Green for observing wildlife
    • Blue for tracking and to differentiate between green foliage and the blood of their wounded prey (most do not have a blue light mode)
    • tri-color high lumen hunting beams eg. white/red/green
      • eg. Brinyte HL28 Artemis Tri-colour zoomable dimmable 2x 21700 5000mAh batteries rear mounted 200g excl. batt. 500g w batt $AU334
      • eg. AceBeam H30 4000lumen white (5000K or 6500K versions), 50lumen non-dimmable red (too bright for reading!), 70lumen green/CRI/UV options depending upon version; $AU174-189
    • runners may require a brighter flood light mode
  • water resistance to at least IPX 4 or preferably IPX 6 - it is going to rain on your head!
    • IPX-4 Can handle splashing water (10-litre/min) from any angle – that’s most rainy conditions.
    • IPX-6 Protected against splashed and pressurised water from any angle from a 12.5mm nozzle at 100-litre/min.
    • IPX-7 Full immersion in one metre of water for up to 30min.
    • IPX-8 Full and continuous immersion, up to and within the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • light weight - under 200g, and preferably under 100g - if only front mounted unit, even a little extra weight can make it awkward on the head, especially if you run
  • lithium ion battery USB chargeable plus option to use regular AAA alkaline batteries
  • some have the battery mounted at the rear of head but this generally means more weight and bulk

Black Diamond Storm 500 R

  • perhaps the best combination of features for most people
  • relatively light at 100g, IP67, submersible for 30min at 1m;
  • two white LEDs - one 500lumen 7hr beam and one flood;
  • red, green and blue LED modes (the latter two are for hunters);
  • tiltable, DIMMABLE, even the red light is dimmable which is fantastic!!!; remembers last setting when turn back on;
  • USB rechargable takes 3hrs to recharge; 19hrs on 250lumen 60m medium beam, 350hrs on 6lumen 12m low beam;
  • $AU109 on special in 2022

Nitecore NU33

  • tiltable, triple output 60-700 lumen white beam, high CRI white 6-50 lumen flood, 13 lumen red flood (although this red mode is still a bit too bright for reading)
  • IP66; USB-C 2,000mAh rechargeable but battery not removable
  • 96g; position tends to slip; $AU89

LED Lenser SEO 7R

  • discontinued
  • lightweight design - only 93g and 29mm diameter head
  • watersealed to IPX6 level
  • lithium polymer rechargeable 3.26Whr battery which lasts 5-20 hours depending on output
  • optionally can use 3x AAA batteries
  • USB chargeable via USB power packs
  • white light:
    • 20-220 l/m - Optisense technology (dimming function) for automatic adjustment to the lighting conditions.
    • range 40-130m
  • red light mainly for reading without affecting your night vision
  • Transportation Lock
  • RRP $AU185

LED Lenser MH6

  • ?discontinued; was presumably a much more affordable replacement for the SEO 7R - I just wish it wasn't all black!
  • lightweight design - only 93g and 29mm diameter head
  • 20-200 Lm
  • wide beam and spot beam (40m to 120m) - Advanced Focus System (AFS), Rapid Focus single handed
  • 5-20hr 3.26Wh 3.7V lithium polymer battery life depending upon output with low battery warning and charge indicator (optional 3xAAA batteries); USB chargeable via USB power packs
  • dimmable, tiltable
  • red reading light
  • Transportation Lock
  • IPX6 water resistance
  • Smart Light Technology
  • cons: all black - you won't find it in the dark when it is off!
  • $AU109

LED Lenser MH8

  • 600 lumen; magnetic charging
  • option of R/G/B LED light modes
  • $AU178

LED Lenser MH10

LED Lenser MH11

  • 1000lumen; Bluetooth smartphone configurations - Set your light preference, set up a timer
  • options for either R/G/B LED modes
  • $299

Petzl Reactik+

  • 115g, 300lumens, 110m,
  • lithium battery 2.5-17hrs
  • has a sensor which analyses the ambient light and adjusts the beam pattern and brightness accordingly (reactive lighting mode)
  • 3 different battery modes – Max Power, Standard and Max Autonomy
  • Bluetooth so can optionally control beam from smartphone app
  • travel lock feature
  • red light
  • requires adapter to use alkaline batteries
  • $AU149

Petzl Nao+

  • state of the art features and very expensive and heavier, great for runners
  • 185g, 700 lumens, 135m
  • rear-placed rechargeable Li ion battery - takes 6hrs to recharge
  • top strap for improved security when doing technical climbing
  • Bluetooth so can optionally control beam from smartphone app
  • $AU309
australia/headlamps.txt · Last modified: 2023/07/14 08:59 by gary1

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