Expensive Vs. Cheap Headlamp – 2 Massive Differences!

[Page updated: 1 June 2022]

What are the benefits of buying a headlamp that is expensive, and costs more than the cheap headlamps you can get?

SAFETY. The cheap headlamps you see online for $8, $15, $30 by no-name brands from China who create the entire project in three days and bring it to market – not caring at all about what they’re selling, can burn your house down. Not joking. There is literally no quality assurance with these lights.

There is nobody to sue when your house or vehicle catches fire, killing your kids, pets, and destroying a lifetime of memories. Headlamps can have extremely bright, powerful lights that get super-hot and are more than capable of starting a fire in your backpack, or in attic storage. Peace of mind is why you shouldn’t buy junk headlamps. 

RELIABILITYWhen I first began taking people to look for snakes in Thailand, I let them use the junk headlamps I bought for $30 each at the local store. They were Chinese rip-offs, but they were cheap, and I didn’t know any better. Within 2 months, in every case, the headlamps were broken. The rain got to a couple of them, and a lady dropped hers from no more than 60 cm height on dirt, and it broke.

Being in Thailand, it was very difficult for me to know which headlamps to order because I was taking a risk – needing to pay high shipping and import duties into the country. I took a risk on Petzl with more expensive CREE LED bulbs – ultra-high-efficiency lighting, and never looked back. Petzl is the most reliable brand I have used or heard of anyone using. If you know one better – do let us know!

These are the two big reasons to buy expensive headlamps over cheap rip-offs. You can probably come up with a few more reasons on your own, or, read our full list here

If you’re in a job that requires the best headlamp possible – get the DUO RL by Petzl.

If you’re doing some extreme ultra-distance event and you need a headlamp that can handle torrential rain, and falls on hard rock – get the ACEBEAM H30 with the belt cable.

If you’re a runner, get the Petzl NAO PLUS with a couple of extra batteries.

If you’re a camper, and you need up to 38 hours of light – get the ULTRA RUSH with Accu 2 battery (included). If you need 76 hours of light – just upgrade to the Accu 4 battery, and cable kit (Petzl ACCU 4 or ACCU 2 Waist Cable Kit).

Check Out Our Headlamp Buyer’s Guide – Updated Monthly >

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