Good quality headlamps range in price from $40 to $550 USD. Many people buy junk headlamps they see advertised for $10-15. You absolutely get what you pay for with headlamps! We recommend some great headlamps for you at various price-points below. Read on!
Activity Dictates How Much Your Headlamp Should Cost
What exactly will you be doing with your headlamp? Taking the garbage out at night? Chasing dogs out of your garbage bin?
If so, sure you can buy a $15 dollar headlamp and get a few months of use out of it before it fails.
If you’re using it while camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, running, racing, skiing, caving, or night golfing, you’re going to want a reliable headlamp that won’t let you down when you need it. Oh, I forgot emergencies. If you have a headlamp in your car for emergencies, you must buy a decent unit that could end up saving your life – or at least a lot of aggravation.
A Better Question – How Much Do Good Headlamps Cost?
Again, the answer to this question depends on what exactly you’ll be using your light for. I’ll list some headlamps below and tell you what activities they are good for. You can decide what price-point makes sense to you.
Keep in mind that the activities you use your headlamp for now may change in the future. You may run at night now, but in the future you may also be riding your bike on mountain trails. You may be running on flat road now, but later add trail ultra-running or night skiing to your list of adventures that require a good headlamp.
I always recommend that you get the best headlamp you can afford because it will pay you back over the years with reliability and satisfaction. Not to mention, durability. When I go into the rainforest by myself at midnight or later, I can’t rely on any headlamp under $50 to take care of me. I almost always have two or three headlamps with me so I don’t have to worry about failure.
It’s funny, because I NEVER had one of my headlamps over $70 fail me. Never. So, I have never used one of my spares to take over for one that failed. I have however, used my spares for their extra battery length! Batteries today are getting much better, much stronger, but in the past they were not good for more than 90 minutes on high brightness settings.
Headlamps Under $50
Petzl ACTIK 350, ACTIK CORE 450, – Good for running on street and non-technical trails, slow biking on roads, camping, hiking, non-technical cave exploring, reading in your tent, taking the garbage out, auto repairs, fishing.
NiteCore HC65 – Good for all the activities in the Under $50 list, as well as some faster activities and those that require better water resistance and durability. The HC65 is strong and capable, putting out 1,000 lumens of light which is enough for most activities. Our full review is coming shortly. Find it at Amazon here.
This is really the sweet spot where you get the most bang for your buck. The headlamps in this section are all very highly recommended unless you have much more money to spend on a headlamp for about the same (or fewer) options in the Under $500 list below.