Best Headlamps For Trail Running [Reviews & Buying Guide]

Best headlamp for trail running
Best headlamp for trail running

Best Headlamps For Trail Running: Are you a trail runner, who loves to run under a starry sky? Running on trails late in the night, or early in the morning is an incredible experience. Running early in the morning when no one is around you, is kind of mesmerizing experience. You feel closer to nature, and inhale pure oxygen to your lungs. I have seen people prefer running on an open road under a full moon. This also is something trail runners must experience, as running on open roadways is more than a joy.

Trail running in the dark nights or early in the morning can be challenging.

The absence of lights is the biggest problem, and more than often, the perception of the path is destroyed. The obstacles on the terrains are challenging to spot correctly, and your eyes would be working harder to read the dimensions of the terrain. That’s where trail runner headlamps come to the play.

In trail running, especially in the dark nights trail running headlamps are considered the essential gear to buy.

These headlamps render a high level of visibility to the runners on uneven terrains in the dark. They also feature a wide range of functionality to help you go through the trail running experience without any big hiccup.

Top 10 Headlamps for Trail Running – Top Picks

So, whether you are running on the roads, or exploring your favorite trail at night, the headlamp will increase the visibility area, which is essential to be seen and others to see.

1) Princeton Tec Apex LED Headlamp

Princeton Tec Apex LED HeadlampSpecification:

  • Lumens 550
  • Weight 14.7 Oz
  • Max Beam 120m
  • Burn Time 150 hour
  • Batteries 4AA batteries

 

Princeton Tec Apex LED Headlamp Review:

If you are desired to hit uneven terrain in cold and harsh weathers, you need something sturdy likes of Princeton Tec Apex. The headlamp renders high performance and reliability.

The brand knows the high weather conditions, drains the battery quicker than normal conditions. That’s why they came up with a unique solution of the remote battery pack. The pack allows storing the battery inside your pocket, sleeping bag or somewhere else where they could not catch numbness.

The headlamps houses 550 lumens between its center points with four wide beam lights.

The apex extreme feature integrated helps you hit the terrain in most challenging situations such as for alpine climbing, mountaineering, and four-season camping.

The headlamp is weather and water-resistant, you can rely on it in harsh snow conditions. Even the mud runners love to have the lamp, durable enough to run in every condition without any hiccup.

The most glaring downside of the headlamp would be its heavyweight. The weight is overkill and bulky than most of the products listed in our list. Running with a whopping 9 ounces, along with an extra pack of batteries are something most of the runners would not agree.

But, the robust design, the high performance makes it one of the most viable options. Have a heavy headlamp with an extra battery, or not light at all.

Pros
    • Burn time is excellent (70 hours at high power, 150 hours at low power)
    • One central and four side LEDs provide a powerful spotlight
    • Compatible with chargeable batteries
    • Extra packs of batteries make sure you do not run of power
    • Great overall performance
Cons
  • The weight is cumbersome

 

2) SureFireMinimus Variable Output LED Headlamp

SureFire Minimus LED HeadlampSpecification:

  • Lumens headlight 280 lumens
  • Battery burns time 1. 5/50 hr
  • Lumens range 50-99
  • Rechargeable No
  • Battery Lithium-ion CR123

SureFire Minimus LED Headlamp Review:

SureFire is a big name in Standard bike lights or military lights. This is the first time the brand is putting its feet into trail runner world. The robust design, prolonged lifespan, and sturdy performance have been its hallmark for years. We expect the same level of performance over here as well.

You cannot find the product in the local running shop, their products are not available everywhere.

The lights beams can be adjusted from 5 lumens up to 300 lumens as per your need and requirements. The side turning knob would help you to change the lumens anywhere from the mentioned count. It is amazing to change the lumens just by turning the knobs; other top-leading brands have buttons to do the same.

Though the battery is powerful and renders an amazing range of power, still a wide range of people is not just happy with it. It is non-rechargeable CR123A battery, which lasts 1.5 hours on the high, and one can push it up to 75 hours by dimming the light.

This is one of the most useful, sturdy and durable headlamps you will find useful while hitting uneven terrains or going for a run early in the morning.

The gear also comes with aerospace aluminum housing; the housing protects your gear from the damage when the headlamp is bouncing around in your gear bag. The aluminum housing is something new, and takes the beating in the worst scenario.

Pros
  • Light beam adjustment using a knob
  • Aerospace Aluminum housing to protect the gear from external damage
  • Light beam adjustment 5-300 lumens
  • Sturdy and powerful headlamp
Cons
  • Non-rechargeable CR123 battery is something does not fall right on the criteria

 

3) Wicked Lights ScanPro iC 3-Color-in-1 

Wicked Lights ScanPro Night Hunting HeadlampSpecifications:

  • Long-range 3-in-1 color
  • 400-yard eye reflection
  • Changing of the LED lights with one Knob
  • Zoom focus on kill technology
  • Intensity controller using a knob
  • Run time 4 hours
  • Two lithium-ion 18650 rechargeable batteries
  • Weight 3 pounds

Wicked Lights ScanPro ic Review:

If you are searching for best night hunting lights, Wicket ScanPro 3-in-One is the best grab. Wicket designed the headlight for night hunting, and designed to be used for scanning and locating hogs or predators.

The best feature of the light is its ability and convenience to select any of the three colors (Green, Red or White) with just one slight knob and opt-for the LED color of your choice.

Wicked took a long time in designing ScanPro IC 3-in-1 night hunting lamp. In the previous version of the same light, they were offering 4 LED light design. In the night hunting, 4 colored LED design was not practical, could not see the much of daylight.

Now, with the latest model, they offer rotational Color LED module with Fixed LED position detent lock. The lock helps to blind the predator in your surroundings, and you easily can hunt that down.

Another amazing feature, its intensity control- the intensity controller gives the option to the hunter to set the intensity before the light is turned on. This helps the hunter to condition the animal to the light be starting with a low power light and suddenly increasing the brightness of the headlight. Animals cannot notice the instant increase of the light beams would not be able to move, falls prey to the hunt easily.

The night hunting lights offer more than 400-yard eye reflection. You will be able to notice the next move of the predator by looking at the eye reflection.

The Wicked is a product of the product and offers three years life warranty. If you check any error occurs to the product, have a return.

Pros
  • Amazing eye reflection range
  • Battery run time is great for a predator night headlamp
  • Ability to turn headlamp “ON” any desired intensity level
  • Full intensity control using a knob
  • Instantly change colors using the headlamp
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Cannot withstand environmental conditions

 

4) Headlamp, Cobiz Brightest High 6000 Lumen LED Work Headlight

Cobiz Brightest HeadlampSpecification:

  • 8 hours light up
  • Four modes of usage
  • Waterproof
  • 90-degree swivel
  • Leakage resistant waterproof wiring
  • Luminosity is enough powerful to guide you in the night
  • Batteries 3200mAH 18650 rechargeable batteries
  • Battery LED indicators
  • Weight 10 oz.

Cobiz Brightest High 6000 Lumen Review:

Are you looking for the best headlamps for night fishing, emergency illuminance, camping, and bike cycling, Cobiz has produced something amazing to illuminate your darky nights. The headlamp features an amazing range of features and outshines other products in the race.

You can have the headlight on and rotate it up to 90 degrees without any hiccup. The headband comes with it fits a variety of heads, shapes, and sizes. Just put the headlamps on your head and tighten the headband.

The headlamps also feature waterproof wires and waterproof switches. So, when you are out for running or hitting trails, sudden showers would not bring any hiccup for you. You can use your Headlight for rainy days and in soggy conditions.

The quality of wired designing and compact binding have helped the product to lower down the insufficient electrical leakage problem. In fact, in headlights, this is the biggest issue, and most of the times shorten the LED light lifespan. The battery life thus can be discussed, it should have been enhanced, but the indicator helps you to learn about this is going down in a few minutes. The LED indicator also indicates when it is undercharging, or fully charged.

The LED headlamp’s battery is rechargeable; do not need to bring spare batteries along. You can recharge the batteries whenever they drain and have full usage of them as per your necessities.

The headlamps are an ideal source of light for backpacking, hiking, caving, camping and night fishing. This is your source of daylight, source of amusement with friends outdoor.

Pros
  • Unparalleled luminosity
  • Rechargeable batteries
  • Fully waterproof
  • Electrical leakage shockproof
  • LED indicators for batteries
Cons
  • Battery life is not as long as marketing

 

5) Nitecore HC90 900 Lumen CREE XM-L2 T6 LED USB Rechargeable headlamp 

Nitecore HC90 900 headlampSpecifications:

  • Ultralight and compact
  • Available in 6 colors
  • 170-degree swivel angle
  • 60-Degree adjustable illumination angle
  • White and red dual light source with three brightness level and two special modes
  • Built-in 900mAh Lion battery run time up 150 hours
  • USB power regulation
  • Dual switch lock
  • Dust and waterproof
  • Durable polycarbonate body

Nitecore HC90 900 Lumen Review:

If you are a night runner and looking for an ultra-lightweight and compact solution for your needs- Nicole has designed something amazing.

The headlamp is featured with the dual light source and dual-switch user interface, the headlamp is capable of giving 160 lumens output with three brightness levels. The one white light level for normal condition and small illuminance, the other two red modes for night camping or where you need severe illuminance in dark surrounding.

The headlamp is capable of 170-degree illumination and offers a swivel angle around 60-degree.

The white light comes with three built-in modes, high, mid and ultra-low with burn hours range around 7-8 hours. Pressing through the white power buttons cycle through the three modes and dead simple to use.

If the headlamp is on, and you press down the white button for three seconds, the white light turns off. If the headlamp is off, and you press the button for three seconds, it flashes on high in strobe mode.

The NU10 includes a micro USB cord for charging. To recharge it get the small piece out, and plug into power simply, that simple. The power indicator under the white light will turn green if the light is fully charged, with charging the indicator remains red.

The headlamp also features a digital lock to prevent accidental activation. To lock the gear, you push both the buttons at once, until the meter flashes. To unlock, push the same buttons again, until the meter flashes. The headlamp lock is the must-have feature, and if the lights are turned on automatically without knowing it, it can eat up the entire charging.

Pros
  • Dual button power lock is something amazing
  • Power indicator helps a lot to check the charging status
  • USB power cord connection
  • Battery backup is amazing
  • 160 lumens intensity light is enough light to run, camp or fish at the nights
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Cannot withstand wear and tear

 

6) Ledlenser – H14R.2 Rechargeable Headlamp, Black

Ledlenser Rechargeable HeadlampSpecifications:

  • Lumens 850
  • Range 300 meters
  • Battery 40 hours runtime
  • Weight 340g
  • Power button the back of the head
  • Battery packs on the back
  • Smart light technology
  • Rapid focus mechanism
  • Five years warranty

Led lenser H14R.2 Headlamp Review:

If you had been trying different cheap headlamps for years, and now are desired to experience something amazing and decent, it is time to purchase Led Lesner product H14.2. The line has something exceptional to offer, with the updated and latest product, you are going to blow away with the performance and durability.

The torch is well made. The torch head is completely adjustable to up or down in your desired position. With a quick turn of the head, it will change the beam diameter from a spotlight to a floodlight which has a bright range of about 100-meter.

The on/off switch is on the head of the torch, no fumbling in the night.

The battery back is positioned on the back of the head. The pack holds four AA batteries which last for a fair amount of hours depending on the intensity of usage and hours.

Another switch along the battery pack helps you increase or decrease the power of beams from normal mode to high-intensity mode.

When the batteries are almost run down, dim- on the other hand, you need something intensive, the battery pack manages to give high insensitive light for the short period when needed. The control regulates the light, and provides you high intensive light for the short-period so that you could have a better performance for some minutes. The intense light goes for some minutes, before going dim, at that stage the batteries need to be changed.

The lamp head provides 1000 lumens power with a wide range of 300 meters. In our usage and experience, the actual range is something around 100-120 meters. After 100-meters, you struggle to identify the person or thing ahead.

The batteries power is something unparalleled. You can have the juice for around 35 hours without going dim or low.

Pros
  • Powerful light
  • Amazing illuminance range and intensity
  • Incredible battery life
  • Clever control battery feature adds life to the battery when it goes down
  • The torch head is completely adjustable
Cons
  • Expensive
  • The battery packs should not have placed on the back of the head

 

7) Coast HL8R Rechargeable Headlamp Review

COAST HL8R 800 headlampSpecifications:

  • Brightness 800 lumens
  • Brightness range 700 Feet
  • Battery run time 4 hours
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries
  • Exchangeable batteries with traditional 4AA
  • The power button is located on the side
  • Water/weather resistant
  • Weight 12.3 ounces
  • Elastic bands are made of Nylon
  • Battery pack shell

Coast HL8R Rechargeable Headlamp Review:

Coast did a fantastic job in designing this gear. It is comfortable to wear, switches are easy to get and easy to control, in reach. The high-quality rechargeable headlamp emphasizes on build quality and impressive performance.

The headlamp is bolstered with 800 Lumens output, removable battery, and adjustable lens. The lumens power is enough to brighten up any trail, to walk or run without any hiccup.

The brand includes a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack, which runs at least 4 continuous hours. The batteries can be exchanged with traditional 4AA batteries. The LED headlamp can provide a high powered light beam up to 700 feet for 4 hours, 180 Feet beam for 62 hours, medium setting also included.

The light output is controlled using a twist dial located on the side of the lamp. The push-button which power on/off the lamp is located in the center of the dial.

The headlamp is water and weather resistant, weighs around 12.3 ounces. The weight is cumbersome, and people posted negative remarks regarding the same.

The incredible headlamp is useful for any condition, such as long dark trails, rescue operations in the night, or working in the night environment for an extended amount of time.

You can turn the bulb down to the lowest performance, when you see the battery is draining, at the lowest settings, the brightness is completely useable and help you do the chores in the same way.

The build quality of the headlamp is what I am deeply impressed. At this price, the brand did not cut the corners.

The bands are made of nylon elastic, the cables are thick and well built, connects are pivotal and lock together to avoid any electrical breakdown. Even the battery pack is a hard durable shell with a twist lock to keep out the elements.

Pressing the power button is a satisfying click, equally the turning the knob to change the illuminance.

Pros
  • Ample amount of light it produces
  • Robust design with an amazing range of advanced features
  • The rugged piece can survive in any condition
  • Equally helpful hiking in the run, rescuing lost hackers, working around the job site
  • High quality, long-lasting batteries
Cons
  • Bulky gear

 

8) Fenix HP25R 1000 Lumen USB rechargeable LED Headlamp

Fenix HP25R headlampSpecifications:

  • Output 1000 lumens
  • Battery Lithium Li-ion battery 18650
  • Dual CREE LEDs allow spotlighting and floodlighting
  • Intelligent memory unit remembers last preferences for brightness
  • Headlamp can be tilted up to 60 degrees downward
  • Aluminum body provides optimal heat dissipation
  • Dual switch controls for spotlight and floodlight
  • Soft floodlight beams angle 90 degree
  • Weight: 6.5 oz.

Fenix HP25R 1000 Lumen Headlamp Review:

Fenix is not a new brand in the world of lights and headlamps. The brand has been doing great in this world, and always looks forward to renovating its products as per the latest trends and necessities.

The latest one, Fenix HP25R offers something amazing to trail runners who are looking to grab a big, bright and bright light. The unmatched performance of the gear will make you fall in love with this expensive fella.

In times when you need a super big light, little else matters. It does not matter in that situation, whether the headlamp is bulky or heavy, batteries last or do not last.

In those situations, you need something massive, and the Fenix HP25R is for those situations. The USB rechargeable battery produces an immense amount of lights; an overabundance of illuminance outshines others from the roots.

The light is heavy and bulky weighing around 8.4 ounces, with the high mode of battery life 2.8 hours. Though the battery run time could have been enhanced, that’s not that low, looking at the high-intensity beam of light ranging 182 meters.

Whether you need it for backpacking, hiking, camping or doing outdoor jobs, having a light of this big becomes imperative. The dark nights or poorly lights areas halt issues in our performance, and without a proper headlight, you cannot take a step further ahead.

The turbo beams of the headlight produce 1000 lumens; the high beams range 350 lumens, with mid beam, 130 lumens, and low beams, 30 lumens.

The floodlight of the Fenix HP25R is something phenomenal. With the features integrated, users get the four brightness level.

With this, the high beams range 350 lumens, mid 130 and Low 30 lumens. The levels allow you to save the battery as much as possible, by switching the required levels.

The gear fits over the heads of the users with different sized and shapes. Thie make the users use the hands for doing other important chores on rough terrains or somewhere else.

The headlamp is rechargeable; with a micro USB cable you can recharge it. In remote locations when you do not access to the charging, the convertible traditional charging will fill the bill. You can put the standard batteries and get the job done without any halt.

Pros
  • Super overabundance bright light
  • Wide spotlight
  • Rechargeable using micro USB
  • Traditional batteries can be used
  • Water and weather resistant
  • Dustproof
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Bright beam sucks the battery quickly
  • Pricey

 

9) NITECORE HC33 1800 Lumen High-Performance Headlamp

NITECORE HC33 headlampSpecifications:

  • L-shaped headlamp
  • Five brightness levels three special modes
  • Floodlighting mode produces 100-degree beam angle
  • Advance temperature technology
  • Reverse polarity protection prevents from damages
  • Powerful enough to produce 1800 lumens beams
  • Distance up to 204 yards
  • Battery up to 330 hours runtime
  • Easily adjustable brightness

NITECORE HC33 1800 Lumen Review:

The Nitecore is a leading name in the world of headlights. The latest product HC33 is a big bother of HC30. Both looks the same, at least built is similar and almost look identical. Everything on the latest one is bigger and seems better than the previous one. You can think of HC30 is an upgraded edition of HC30, which was quite a successful product by the Nitecore.

Nitecore HC33 is a versatile, high-performance headlamp. The headlamp is famous due to its high lumens power, ranging about 1800 lumens. The lumens output is capable to reach up to 204 yards.

The L-Shaped designed headlamp is a multipurpose gear, can be used as a handheld flashlight when removed from the headband. While the integrated magnetic tail cap or removable clip offers a hands-free mounting, hiking, backpacking options.

The latest model houses one push-button which offers quite a seamless experience, one-handed control of different brightness level and three special modes.

To power on the headlamp, simply press and hold the power switch. With power on, press the same power switch to cycle through the different brightness levels.

To access a special mode, double tap on the switch with power off. To cycle through the special features continues pressing the switch repeatedly.

The gear features a 1x IMR 18650 batteries, which is taken as a better performer than AA batteries and longer runtime it offers, around 330 hours.

The addition of voltage and battery indicator, with polarity protection, has made it one of the viable options for hiking, biking and working.

Pros
  • Exceptional Lumens power 1800 Lumens
  • The headlamp is powerful enough to illuminate up to 204 yards of distance
  • Power on/off with one push button
  • Accessible controls
  • Upgraded powerful Headlamp
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Pricy

 

10) PETZL – ACTIK CORE Headlamp

PETZL ACTIK CORE HeadlampSpecifications:

  • Beam Power 350 Lumens
  • Beam distance 90 meters
  • Burn Time 2hours (high), 160 hours (Low)
  • Weight 3.2 Oz
  • Water resistance
  • Battery rechargeable via USB cable

PETZL – ACTIK CORE Headlamp Review:

If you are looking for a relatively simpler and cheaper headlamp option for backpacking, camping, trail running hiking, PETLZ has something advanced produced for you.

It is a lightweight model, can produce 350 lumens of the light beam to illuminate your surrounding and trails. The beam distance is quite good if we look at the price, enough to provide accurate ground dimensions while running. The design of the headlamp is something out of the box; anatomy is great for its size.

The headlamp features two light options, wide beam, and mixed light. The battery’s burn time is quite good offers 2 complete hours on high illuminance and 160 hours at low settings. The battery cannot run that extended hours, still, produce good counts of results.

The battery is rechargeable via USB cable, compatible for traditional batteries, can carry a pack of AAA batteries, if you are going to need a headlamp for an extended period of time.

The model may not be completely waterproof; most of the headlamp would not. Still, it can resist the splashes of water; do not expect submersion of it into a pound of water would not bring any harm.

In a nutshell, the model is good to go option for casual backers, campers, night runners and hikers.

Pros
  • Pretty lightweight model
  • Adequate power lumens
  • A handy option for trail runners, backpackers and night runners
  • Adequate battery runtime
  • Sturdy model withstands wear and tear
Cons
  • Not that lightweight
  • Battery runtime is low than expected.

 

Buying Guide:

What to look for when buying a trail running headlamp?

Purchasing a trail runner headlamp is not that easy. There are mountains of options with hundreds of various brands that have launched different kinds of headlamps featuring coming of age features.

This makes the process little tricky for novice users, to zero in a product.

These are a few parameters that one should be kept in mind while stepping it to purchase a running headlamp.

Fittings:

The head of the lamp is one of the important part in a headlamp. The head more than often twists when you run. This is something inevitable, and one musts look for a product that fits your head, so that it could not change the direction when you trail or run.

Most of the headlamps come with just one headband. The problem is, with the time, hat headband tend to loosen its grip. So, always look for the option which comes with two straps. Some headband features a second strap to secure the light at the head.

The illuminance of the lamp:

For trail running, you need high lumens or brightness headlamp. The general headlamps feature 20-40 lumens maximum illuminance. For trail running, it is recommending to have a headlight featuring at least 120-140 lumens power.

Running at the night, or camping in jungles, clear vision is paramount. It adds to your safety, as you would not be able to safely run with clear visions.

Weight:

For a headlamp, do not go for a bulky option ever. You are going to carry the headlamp along, so do not go for heavier options, which are cumbersome. And also buy a headlamp which comes with a separate or removable battery pack at the back. This helps you when you run down the battery; the exchangeable traditional battery would fill the bill.

Adjustable beam:

Always look for an adjustable beam headlamp. The adjustable beam option offers you to adjust the beam to broader and diffuse from narrow. The feature works well on the uneven terrain or in varied conditions when you trail. You can change the beam according to your needs, or the state of the path.

Easy Controls:

Easy controls are essential in a headlamp. Look for the lamps which come with buttons that can be controlled and access easily when the headlamp if on your head. The easy to access buttons will help you to customize the beams with gloves wearing on. Like, power on/off button the back of the headlamp, mode option on the side of the headlamps is easy to access.

Water/weather resistance:

Though, water-resistance or weather resistance is not an as important feature. But, in severe weather conditions, this comes handy. Still, if you are out on the trails, sudden showers can disrupt your entire program of training. Without a proper water resistance headlamp, you would not be able to disembark from the journey.

 

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