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HomeHikingFinest Headlamps for Mountaineering & Tenting in 2023 – Bearfoot Idea

Finest Headlamps for Mountaineering & Tenting in 2023 – Bearfoot Idea

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Each outside adventurer wants a reliable headlamp to gentle their approach. Whether or not you’re going for a brief canine stroll, an early-morning daybreak patrol, an in a single day tenting journey with associates, or a multi-day backpacking journey, it’s necessary to have a headlamp you’ll be able to rely upon to information you thru.

On this roundup of the perfect headlamps for mountain climbing and tenting, we’ll stroll you thru the important thing elements to think about when selecting a headlamp – like weight, brightness, batteries, and performance – and share our favourite mountain climbing headlamp suggestions.

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Finest Mountaineering Headlamps at a Look

Headlamps Comparability Desk

See the comparability desk under for a fast abstract of every of the perfect headlamps for mountain climbing and tenting. You possibly can click on on the columns to kind by what’s most necessary to you.

Black Diamond Spot 400

Finest Worth Headlamp

Key Options

  • MSRP: $49.95
  • Weight: 2.7 oz (with batteries)
  • Max. Gentle Output: 400 lumens
  • Batteries: 3 AAA alkaline or BD rechargeable (not included)
  • Max. Beam Distance: 328 ft
  • Common Run Time: Excessive: 2.5; medium: 5; low: 200 hours

The place to buy

  • What we like: 2 buttons preserve it easy & intuitive to change between options, simply change to most brightness at any time by tapping the suitable facet of the headlamp, low profile minimizes wobbling when lively & makes it straightforward to pack
  • What we don’t like: No USB-rechargeable possibility means having to maintain further batteries readily available when you’re on the lookout for actually excessive brightness

If you would like a easy, reliable headlamp to gentle your approach, the Black Diamond Spot 400 Headlamp is a superb selection. That is the headlamp I select for nearly all of my wants, whether or not it’s establishing camp after darkish, stowing it in my bag in case I lose monitor of time throughout a day hike, or taking the trash out at night time. 

This up to date model of Spot improves on its previous, one-button design that might get complicated when attempting to entry all of the headlamp’s options. Now, there are 2 buttons that preserve it easy to cycle between options: 3 completely different beams (excessive, low, and pink), the brighten/dim sequence, strobe mode, lock mode, most brightness mode, and remaining battery life.  I’ve discovered this headlamp fairly easy to make use of and intuitive to get used to — operating by means of its completely different modes is a breeze. I additionally like that it has an built-in battery meter show that reveals % of energy remaining — no extra guessing when it’ll run out of energy.

This compact and budget-friendly headlamp is water-proof and has all the pieces you’ll want for 99% of your outside actions. There’s a distance beam for lively conditions, a proximity beam for kicking again round camp or studying, and a pink gentle beam for being discrete. Plus, the options and buttons are easy so that you received’t get annoyed attempting to entry completely different options.

Black Diamond Spot 350 on a stump
an older model of the Black Diamond Spot 400. Photograph: Isak Kvam

BioLite 325

Most Light-weight Headlamp

Key Options

  • MSRP: $49.95
  • Weight: 1.8 oz
  • Max. Gentle Output: 325 lumens
  • Batteries: USB-rechargeable
  • Max. Beam Distance: 246 ft
  • Common Run Time: Excessive: 3 hours; Low: 40 hours

The place to buy

  • What we like: most light-weight possibility on our listing, doesn’t require batteries, extraordinarily snug to put on (nice for path runners or night time hikers carrying a headlamp for prolonged intervals of time)
  • What we don’t like: elasticity of headscarf wears out over time (would possibly must tighten extra typically)

The BioLite 325 is the headlamp BFT Founder Kristen makes use of for mountain climbing, backpacking, and van life. It’s essentially the most light-weight headlamp on our listing and it’s extremely snug to put on. In contrast to different headlamps which have a cumbersome pack on the middle of your brow, the BioLite 325 suits virtually flesh to your head, which suggests no bounce when you’re path operating. You possibly can put on this headlamp for hours and barely discover it!

The BioLite 325 is USB-rechargeable which suggests you don’t have to hold any batteries. Kristen has used this headlamp on weekend backpacking journeys without having to recharge, primarily conserving it on the “low” setting to protect battery life. Whereas not the brightest headlamp available on the market, it’s good for many adventures.

Petzl Tikkina

Finest Funds Headlamp

Key Options

  • MSRP: $24.95
  • Weight: 3.24 oz (with batteries)
  • Max. Gentle Output: 300 lumens
  • Batteries: 3 AAA; additionally appropriate with Petzl 1250 mAh CORE rechargeable battery (not included)
  • Max. Beam Distance: 213 ft
  • Common Run Time: Excessive: 2 hours, Medium: 9 hours, Low: 120 hours

The place to buy

  • What we like: essentially the most budget-friendly possibility on our listing, easy to make use of
  • What we don’t like: no pink or strobe gentle possibility, no locking mechanism

If you’re on the lookout for a budget-friendly, no-frills headlamp, the Petzl Tikkina is a superb possibility for below $25. It’s good for establishing camp at the hours of darkness, conserving in your day pack in case of emergencies, and virtually any outside journey. There may be one middle button that’s straightforward to seek out and simple to make use of, though there isn’t a locking mode to make sure you don’t by chance flip in your headlamp and drain the batteries. The Tikkina can be utilized with Petzl’s CORE rechargeable battery, however you need to purchase it individually, not like the Petzl Actik under. In any other case, pop 3 AAA batteries into this headlamp and also you’re able to go.

The draw back of the Tikkina is that it doesn’t have a pink gentle mode, which is handy at night time for not blinding your campmates and being simpler on the eyes than white LED.

Petzl Actik Core

Finest Rechargeable Headlamp

Key Options

  • MSRP: $79.95
  • Weight: 3.1 oz (with batteries)
  • Max. Gentle Output: 450 lumens
  • Batteries: USB rechargeable, 1250 mAh lithium-ion battery; OR 3 AAA batteries
  • Max. Beam Distance: 377 ft
  • Common Run Time: Excessive: 2 hours; Medium: 8 hours; Low: 130 hours

The place to buy

  • What we like: Can use the rechargeable battery or AAA batteries (which provides you the perfect of each worlds), one button that cycles between brightness settings retains it easy
  • What we don’t like: No dimming characteristic between the three brightness modes, not as water-proof as different headlamp fashions

There’s numerous buzz for the Petzl Actik Core Headlamp for a cause: this rechargeable headlamp packs many options into a light-weight, easy-to-use bundle that’s a fantastic match for many outside actions. The very best factor about this headlamp is its skill to make use of its USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery OR 3 AAA batteries. The comfort of recharging the headlamp at house however having the ability to pack spare batteries for the sector is genius. I’ve been which means to improve to a chargeable headlamp for a protracted, very long time, and after testing out the Petzl Actik Core, I’m disenchanted I didn’t do it sooner. 

This headlamp’s interface is lifeless easy: simply press a button to cycle between the three brightnesses of white gentle and the pink gentle. It additionally has a lock mode, strobe mode, reserve mode, and is water-proof. Regardless of having a chargeable battery, the headlamp remains to be tremendous gentle and has a low profile, and I gladly seen it doesn’t bounce round when mountain climbing or operating, which is a vital issue to bear in mind

Total, this can be a light-weight headlamp with options you’ll truly use and a chargeable battery, all for a comparatively modest value.

Petzl Actik Core on a stump
Petzl Actik Core Headlamp. Photograph: Isak Kvam

BioLite 800 Professional

Brightest Mountaineering Headlamp

Key Options

  • MSRP: $99.95
  • Weight: 5.3 oz (with batteries)
  • Max. Gentle Output: 800 lumens
  • Batteries: USB rechargeable, 3000 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Max. Beam Distance: 442 ft
  • Common Run Time: Excessive: 7 hours Medium: 8.5 hours Low: 150 hours

The place to buy

  • What we like: Consists of all of the options you’ll want (excessive brightness, rear lighting, rechargeable, a number of lighting modes), lengthy beam distance is useful for non-hiking outside sports activities like path operating, snowboarding, biking, or climbing.
  • What we don’t like: Extra options make for a steeper studying curve when first utilizing the headlamp, the scale/weight could also be overkill for fast, light-and-fast goals, increased value when you don’t use the additional options

In the event you’re on the lookout for the brightest headlamp for mountain climbing with all of the bells and whistles, that is the headlamp for you. A step up from the opposite headlamps on this information, the BioLite Headlamp 800 packs a severe punch.

Whereas extra options normally make a headlamp much less intuitive to make use of, BioLite someway manages to maintain it easy by making normal makes use of considerably straightforward — simply faucet the ability button to scroll by means of its gentle modes: pink, spot, flood, combo, strobe, and off. There’s additionally a rear pink gentle (that may additionally strobe) that’s managed by a button within the again. A rear gentle is nice for path races, biking, and different outside actions the place individuals could also be approaching you from behind.

Regardless of its performance and weight, I discovered it to be fairly snug. Whereas it’s double the load of different headlamps on this listing, its moisture-wicking sweatband and battery-in-the-back design enable runners to make use of it regardless of its full-featured bundle. It’s additionally water-proof and has a battery stage indicator. Total, this gentle is a bit overkill for many of my on a regular basis outside actions, and I can’t fairly justify its larger dimension in my pack if I’m solely packing it as a just-in-case merchandise in my day mountain climbing pack. But when I’m on a technical daybreak patrol or am mountain climbing in a distant space, you higher consider I’m going to understand all these further lumens.

BioLite Headlamp 750 on a stump
An older mannequin of the BioLite 800 Headlamp. Photograph: Isak Kvam

Black Diamond Storm 500-R Headlamp

Finest Mountaineering Headlamp for Wet Climate

Key Options

  • MSRP: $74.95
  • Weight: 3.5 oz (with batteries)
  • Max. Gentle Output: 500 lumens
  • Batteries: USB-rechargeable
  • Max. Beam Distance: 393 ft
  • Common Run Time: Excessive: 5 hours, Medium: 10 hours, Low: 150 hours

The place to buy

  • What we like: 5 completely different gentle settings (white, pink, blue, inexperienced, strobe), nice battery life, holds up finest in windy and moist circumstances vs. different headlamps on our listing
  • What we don’t like: there’s a small studying curve with extra options and modes, overkill for many common outdoorsy adventurers

In the event you’re on the lookout for a technical headlamp with numerous options and modes, the Black Diamond Storm 500 is our prime choose. With 5 completely different gentle settings (white, pink, blue, inexperienced, and strobe), you could have numerous performance and flexibility. It has a formidable vary which is nice for low visibility circumstances corresponding to wind or rain, and it’s additionally waterproof as much as 1 meter for half-hour.

The Storm 500 is on the heavier facet for headlamps, but it surely’s a strong selection for adventurers who desire a sturdy headlamp which you can tackle any journey.

Find out how to Select the Finest Headlamp

Choosing the proper headlamp for you means understanding what qualities and functionalities are most necessary to your wants.


A headlamp’s brightness is without doubt one of the most necessary elements to think about when deciding on a headlamp. Lumens are a unit of measurement for the way vivid your headlamp is — the upper the quantity, the brighter the headlamp. Headlamp lumens normally vary from 100 lumens for dim headlamps to 1,000 lumens for super-bright headlamps.

As a common guideline, a most brightness of 450 lumens is taken into account vivid sufficient for practically all mountain climbing conditions, and I’ve discovered that going above 450 lumens begins to have diminishing returns on operate versus weight and value. You probably received’t want a headlamp with 600+ lumens for many mountain climbing eventualities, however you’ll wish to take into account it for dawn-patrol snowboarding, mountain climbing, night-time wildlife watching, or discovering a path marker in an unknown or rugged space.

I normally persist with 450 lumens myself, however I’ve positively appreciated higher-lumen headlamps in technical terrain or for extra confidence after I hear a twig snap at the hours of darkness whereas night time mountain climbing (let’s admit it, we’ve all been fearful of the darkish in some unspecified time in the future).


It goes with out saying {that a} headlamp is barely nearly as good because the batteries that energy it. When deciding on a headlamp, you’ll must resolve between a USB-rechargeable headlamp and disposable AAA batteries.

USB-rechargeable headlamps are handy as a result of they’re straightforward to recharge at house or on the path, however they’re costlier. One advantage of a headlamp with disposable batteries is that you simply don’t have to attend to recharge it — simply pop in some new batteries and proceed onward.

All the time you should definitely carry an additional set of batteries as a backup so that you simply don’t get caught at the hours of darkness when your batteries die. Even higher, carry an additional headlamp as a backup as an alternative — since many of the weight of a headlamp is within the batteries, packing an additional headlamp doesn’t take up rather more room or weight and brings peace of thoughts in case your fundamental headlamp breaks. 

I mockingly forgot the necessary rule about packing further batteries whereas testing these headlamps earlier this winter at Curecanti Nationwide Wildlife Refuge. I used to be a couple of hundred yards from my camp when my headlamp died within the darkness of a brand new moon, and I used to be very grateful to have an additional headlamp to gentle the way in which again in an unfamiliar space.


You recognize the frequent backpacking credo: take note of the ounces, and the kilos handle themselves. It’s necessary to maintain your headlamp as light-weight as potential, and there’s a particular trade-off between its weight and its options.

Most tenting headlamps weigh only some ounces, however you’ll discover the distinction between a heavy and light-weight headlamp as soon as it’s strapped to your head. Heavier headlamps have extra bounce while you transfer, which is annoying on the path. Plus, many hikers attempt to mitigate bounce by tightening the headlamp strap, which might result in complications over time. That’s ain’t enjoyable! I personally don’t have any tolerance for a headlamp that bounces, so I’m all the time eager to check out the way it feels on my head within the retailer earlier than shopping for.

Most mountain climbing headlamps are comparatively light-weight, but it surely’s necessary to think about if you will get by with a lighter headlamp when you’ll be able to. 

Three headlamps hanging on the side of a blue daypack
Having a light-weight headlamp is vital for consolation


Backpacking headlamps have come a good distance from a easy on/off change with a normal brightness setting. Listed here are another options you’ll wish to search for when deciding on the proper headlamp.

Lock Mode: Most fashionable headlamps include a lock mode, which can preserve the headlamp from by chance turning on in your pack and draining the battery. Talking from private expertise, this can be a main promoting level with regards to choosing out a headlamp. That is nice not just for while you’re touring on an extended journey however even when saved at house so that you don’t end up with a lifeless battery after driving to an area trailhead.

Crimson Gentle Mode: Headlamps with a low pink gentle assist preserve your night time imaginative and prescient intact while you don’t want a lot brightness. I’ve discovered this to be particularly nice at not irritating my tent associate when nature calls in the course of the night time.

Strobe Mode: That is largely used to get somebody’s consideration throughout an emergency scenario. Some bikers will put on a strobing headlamp backward (along with a front-facing headlamp) to extend their visibility to passing automobiles. Some campers will even use them for a fast campsite dance celebration.

Reserve Mode: When your battery is getting low, the reserve mode will routinely kick in a dim, low-light setting that can assist you get again to the trailhead. This can be a lot safer and extra handy than your headlamp abruptly dying and leaving you with no gentle.

What headlamps have you ever discovered to be the perfect for mountain climbing and tenting? Did we omit your favourite? Tell us within the feedback under!

Looking for the perfect headlamp for your next outdoor adventure? We've got you covered! We've put together a list of the best headlamps for hiking and camping, including options for every budget and need. Whether you're a serious hiker or just love camping under the stars, these headlamps will help you stay safe and see everything the great outdoors has to offer. So grab your backpack and check out our top picks!



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