Interest Check: Headlamps
Greetings everyone,
We want to know what headlamps all of you are into. We already source a variety of brands, types, and styles, but are always looking to stay in tune with the interests of the community. Here are some questions to help inspire your opinions and ideas.
· What do you look for in a headlamp? · What kind of features do you prefer to have? · What do you use headlamps for the most? · What particular brands do you like?
Your suggestions and feedback are taken into account when we look for products to put on the site so tell us what you like, what you don’t like and any preferences you have in between.
See our other Interest Checks:
· Flashlights:
· Jackets:
· Backpacks:
· Shoes:

Check out our past and current drops here:
thumb_upoutsider217, eeshmail, and 43 others

Jan 18, 2020
I'm a pilot, and haven't found a headlamp that best fits my needs, for flying at night. In order of highest to lowest priority, they would be:
  1. Red LED
  2. Separate buttons to turn on red and white LEDs, so that I don't have to cycle through white first and ruin my night vision
  3. Uses AA batteries (so I don't have to carry two different types of batteries in my flight bag)
Feb 22, 2019
I'm a caver, so the top three priorities in headlamps are reliability, reliability, and reliability. (Nothing ruins a day underground faster than failed lighting.) Battery life and overall output are a close fourth and fifth. Scurion makes the most beastly bulletproof badass piece of lighting kit I've ever used, but it's damn expensive. (Though well worth it for serious users.) In the budget realm, Zebralight is the current fave of most cavers I know.
Petzl are top quality...
Jan 20, 2019
I use my Petzl Actik for hiking and cycling, and for repairs in low light. I bought the battery and Noctilight case to use it as a lantern also, I love it.
Jan 13, 2019
I'll echo the comments made below by Hatchetman and Brian8383. I use headlamps for wilderness Search & Rescue, where weight, robustness, duration of light and a variety of light output levels are important. My 18650-powered lights from Zebralight have served me well for years, and the battery type works well for my purposes. I switched to all 18650 lights and carry a power bank that uses a 18650 battery to charge my phone/GPS, so that "system" covers all my light and power needs. As mentioned, Zebralight makes a wide variety of high quality headlamps, that would fit many activities and light requirements.
Feb 6, 2019
Props for the Search & Rescue! Strong endorsement.
Feb 6, 2019
Thanks Duncan
Dec 16, 2018
I'm a caver. Things I look for in a lamp include: • Robust. It has to stand up to hard use. Headlamps are usually the primary light source; taking two headlamps with you is weight and space prohibitive, therefor the main source of life has to stand up to hard use. • Waterproof. Has to handle falling water and submersion. Unless you are are a diver--which takes us into a whole different spec world--the lamp generally won't be submerged for longer than a minute when say pushing a sump, or deeper than a meter. • Flexible mounting/headband system. Has to mount easily to helmet or head. If there is something to keep the straps from moving on a helmet, that helps in tight passages. Should be easily adjustable, preferably while wearing gloves, while transitioning between helmet, head, and (insulating or rain) hat. • Several lighting modes. If there is a need to bivy up for a while it's nice to have a low power setting that is good for days. Hi power should range between 500 and 1000+ lumens, with more being better as a rule of thumb as it's nice to be able to light an immense space when needed. • Spot to wide focus ability. Wide beam should allow you to see your feet. Spot should allow you to see the top (or bottom) of a hundred ft. + pit. • Batteries. Should be a common battery type, for the most part. Here it gets complicated. If caving in an area where resupply is easy, then more exotic battery types are okay, such as 123s or 18650s. The further off the beaten track you get the more common the battery type needs to be, i.e. AAs or AAAs. I'm not a huge fan of proprietary battery packs, with a couple exceptions. If they provide a significant performance improvement, and are inexpensive enough to purchase multiple backup battery packs, or there is some sort of adapter that allows you to use standard batteries if needed, and if recharging cables are common types rather than some sort of proprietary cable I'll think about owning one. Proprietary battery packs from a not particularly well established company are a concern as there is no guarantee they'll be available a year later. • Weight and distribution. Less of an issue than back in the 4 D cell incandescent days, but still a consideration. Four 1860s installed in the lamp might make for a long burn or great performance, but could lead to a helmet wanting to rock forward and need readjustment, which gets old over a 36 hour trip. Placing the battery pack on the rear of the helmet helps balance things, but then the wire/connection has to be quite robust and designed in a manner that it doesn't hang on things. I'm not a huge fan of coiled battery pack wires as they are a lot more likely to catch on stuff/abrade. I realize caving is a bit of a niche, but many of the design parameters mentioned would also serve other pursuits well, such as hardcore trekking, climbing, etc.
Feb 20, 2019
All this plus a rear indicator light (red or green) so people can follow me.
Feb 22, 2019
As another caver, I'd argue that any light that is "caveworthy" is gonna be more than suitable for pretty much any other activity you have in mind (with the possible exception of scuba, for obvious reasons).
Dec 7, 2018
Zebralight Olight is bright and really nice. Armytek makes great headlamps also. Nitecore, they are OK. Other guys have great options also..... But.... Zebralight has something for everyone. Focused standard reflector beam, floody lights or pure flood. Cool white extreme output. Neutral tints. High CRI. XHP50's, XHP35's, XP-L2's, 18650 battery powered, AA, CR123, headlamps and flashlights. Try to get something with these guys. Zebralight would bring many flashlightaholics to your website. More so than any other brand, IMHO. The Olight H2R is a great second choice, but.......... The Zebralight NW color is better. Yup the output of the Olight is crazy on Max. But that's for 50 seconds and its just a cool "Hey guys, check this out." kind of thing. Then it steps down to 600-700 lumens. The Zebralight outputs over 1000 lumens then it's PID will slowly ramp it down and level off seamlessly to about 700 lumens. It's a great feature and less distracting and drastic than a sudden output drop. Also, the H2R is pretty big compared to the comparable Zebralight.
Dec 7, 2018
Zebralight! Armytek!
Dec 6, 2018
I use headlamps more than flashlights: it's just so convenient to have hands free when rummaging in a pack or making coffee in the dark; they make me more visible when I'm running at night or early in the morning. I stash them in packs, gear bags, vehicles. I mostly use relatively cheap LED ones with rechargeable batteries, since for me they're almost always a task light. I don't need a million lumens or a fancy battery. I do like a red light setting to help preserve night vision.
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Oct 25, 2020