Top 6 Headlamps for travelers
Go camping just once without a headlamp and you’ll quickly understand how big of a difference having your headlamp makes when on a camping trip. Some will try to convince you that you can substitute your headlamp for a heavy-duty Maglite but the obvious differences become quite clear when you consider that when using a regular flashlight your hands are then tied up.
In this article, keeping in mind they’re not all created equally, we’ll have a look at 5 of the best and most durable headlamps available on the market. If you’re looking to make a headlamp purchase you simply can’t go wrong by choosing any of those we’ve listed her. They’re all at varying price levels so it’s a virtual certainty you’ll find at least one to be well within your desired price range.
When choosing a headlamp you should remember there are matters other than price that you should take into consideration. These would include things like durability, the weight of the headlamp, and beam distance just to name a few. One universally important consideration when comparing headlamps is lumen output. This is an area that none of the headlamps you’ll find listed below will disappoint you in.
1. Petzl NAO
We start the list off with probably the highest priced headlamps on the list. This is a unit that more than justifies its higher end price tag. It comes with a ton of features we’re sure you’ll find very handy and to top it off has a whopping 575 lumens of maximum brightness. With what is known as “reactive technology” as well as inbuilt light sensors it automatically adjusts the beam pattern and brightness depending on the environment you’re experiencing.
This is a truly wonderful feature as it reduces the amount of time and energy you’ll need to spend adjusting it. With a built-in lock function, it is prevented from being turned on accidentally while it’s being stored. It also comes standard with two different power options. These are Max Power and their Max Autonomy Power option. Having these two options proved some often need battery life extension capabilities. Another very nice feature of note about the Petzl NAO that should be pointed out is the fact that when your beam goes out it can be recharged through an integrated USB connector that is mounted on the device. As you’ll discover, this can be a very handy feature.
2. Black Diamond
This is a headlamp that was recently updated and now delivers 320 lumens of very comfortable light. That’s an upgrade of more than 200 lumens above previous models. Versatility is the calling card of the Black Diamond Icon, perfectly combining form and function into one unit. One of the best displays of this versatility is its ability to withstand being submerged in water up to 1 meter for more than 20 minutes. This in addition to its excellent battery life makes it a great option. It should be noted that it’s bulkier and heavier than others, so if you’re into the ultralight units this one may not be the one for you.
3. Fenix HP25
As for sheer brightness, the Fenix HP25 probably provides the brightest lighting of all those on the list. Although it is certainly quite bright you’ll find it’s doesn’t give you the most uniform beam. What it does do well though is shine good lighting for up to almost 160 meters, while being very durable. Of course, the drawback of this brighter lighting is shortened battery life. You’ll completely drain the batteries if the headlamp is operated on high for about 2 hours.It seems everything comes with tradeoffs and that’s certainly true here. One of the drawbacks of the unstable beam that was noted above is the fact that it leads to tired eyes, but having the ability to see up to 500 feet because of the brightness of the beam sure can be a nice convenience. I guess what it just comes down to your preference and priority.
4. Black Diamond ReVolt
The very popular Black Diamond Revolt is a headlamp that for the price, with all the functionality that it’s packed with, is a bargain. Though its beam distance may not be quite as high as some other popular units, you’ll find it plenty bright enough for most of your needs. One good point is that its light beam is very even, which leads to a lot less eye strain. Another of the features that make it a standout is the fact that you’ll get nine hours of life from the battery even when set on high beam, using rechargeable AAA lithium batteries. It also comes standard with an option for red light, which is great for reading, as well as a very useful strobe setting.
5. Princeton Tec Sync
There are certainly a lot of lower priced headlamp options available, but the one we like the most of all these options is the Princeton Tec Sync. We like it because it’s an extremely functional unit and doesn’t cost very much more than what many are paying for penlights. It’s flexible and lightweight and comes standard with both white and red LEDs, as well as five differing brightness and mid-range levels that both also have flood and spotlight settings. When considering functionality, value and pricing this is unquestionably one of the better headlamps available on the market right now.
6. Black Diamond Spot
This one is for those who may be working within a strict budget. Though you may assume at just 130 lumens it’s not a very worthy alternative to some of the other previously mentioned headlamps nothing could be further from the truth. Among some of the many nice features of this unit is it’s built with technology that makes changing from dim to full brightness a quick and easy process. You’re able to adjust its brightness with literally just a single finger tap. It’s powered by 3 AAA batteries and has a built-in battery meter display that shows you how much life your batteries have remaining whenever it’s activated. It should also be noted that although it’s not a unit that’s rated as waterproof it is indeed water resistant and will continue to function perfectly fine even if hit with an occasional light splash every now and then.