Don’t Let The Dark Hold You Down: The Best Hunting Headlamps In 2022


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When you’re stalking through the woods at sunset or before sunrise, the last thing you want to worry about is not being able to see where you’re going. I can’t count how many times I have found myself slowly making my way through the woods or down a talus field as the sun sets, my eyes unable to adjust to the dark. If only I had remembered to bring a headlamp…

Every hunter needs a quality hunting headlamp as part of their hunting gear. Here are the best hunting headlamps according to our team of outdoor professionals, adventure-seekers, and hunters.

 

Best rechargeable batteries: LUXPRO Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp

  • Rechargeable batteriesLUXPRO Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp
  • Multi-color options
  • 362 lumens on high
  • IPX7 waterproof rating
  • One-year warranty

If you’re looking for an excellent hunting headlamp at a reasonable price, we highly recommend the LUXPRO Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp. While the battery only lasts for about 2.5 hours on medium or 3.5 hours on flood light, our tester has reported that the battery charges ultra-fast, in only an hour or so. This headlamp flashlight is also completely waterproof, meaning it can be submerged in up to three feet of water for up to 30 minutes. So if you like to fish or spend a lot of time on the water, this is a great headlamp for you.

Our tester particularly liked the multiple lighting modes, including a white light spotlight, a red beam, green light, and white flood light. There’s also a hidden strobe light which can be accessed by pressing and holding the left button while in any light mode. As a nice bonus, this hunting headlamp comes with a one-year warranty in case of any manufacturer defects.

See LUXPRO Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp on Amazon

See LUXPRO Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp on Walmart

 

Best splurge-worthy: PETZL Swift RL Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp

  • 900 lumensPETZL Swift RL Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp
  • Reactive lighting
  • Includes lock mode
  • Rechargeable headlamp
  • Five-year guarantee

Our top pick for hunting headlamps is the Petzl Swift headlamp. It’s not the cheapest option on the list but it is reliable, high-powered, and includes rechargeable batteries. It features reactive lighting, which automatically adjusts the light beam distance and brightness based on light levels. This helps optimize battery life and provides the best lighting for your needs. A single button cycles through all the light options, plus, it locks for security. At the highest power mode, it can illuminate up to 150m with 900 lumens. In the lowest power mode, it will last for up to 100 hours, meaning if you used it for four hours a day, it would last for about a month of everyday use. It features a battery life indicator and charges with any USB C connection.

The two-part reflective head strap stays put while you are moving quickly, so you don’t have to worry about having to adjust your headlamp flashlight while on the move. Also, this headlamp comes with a five-year guarantee against any manufacturer’s defects.

See PETZL Swift RL Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp on Amazon

See PETZL Swift RL Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp on REI

 

Best overall: Black Diamond Storm 400 Hunting Headlamp

  • 400 lumensBlack Diamond Storm 400 Hunting Headlamp
  • Water and dust resistant
  • Brightness memory
  • Red, green, and blue lighting modes

The Black Diamond Storm headlamp is the best hunting headlamp for anyone who just wants something simple but effective. The 400 lumens of light provides plenty of hands-free night vision, with Power Tap technology allowing instant transition between full power and dimmed light. One of the best features is that it includes brightness memory. This allows you to turn the headlamp off and on without having to cycle through all of the light options to find what you need again. It also includes red, green, and blue lighting options.

The Black Diamond storm headlamp is powered by four AAA batteries. Reviewers rave over the durability of this headlamp, saying they can drop it in mud, water, and out of trees, and it is still just fine. It is water and dust resistant, and the head strap is adjustable. Also, if you are worried about the headlamp turning on in a pocket or turning off accidentally, you can lock it.

See Black Diamond Storm 400 Hunting Headlamp on Amazon

See Black Diamond Storm 400 Hunting Headlamp on Black Diamond

 

Best dimmable light: Energizer LED Hunting Head Lamp 

  • 260 lumens Energizer LED Hunting Head Lamp
  • Illuminates objects up to 80m away
  • Seven light modes
  • 35 hour run time in low power
  • IPX4 water-resistant

This Energizer Headlamp features up to 260 lumens of LED light and can illuminate objects up to 80m away, making it one of the best headlamps for hunting. It features seven different lighting modes for different situations: red, high, low, spot-high, spot-low, wide-high, and wide-low. It even has smart-dimming technology, to easily adjust brightness. The headlamp runs on three included AAA batteries which provide 35 hours of run time in low mode.

It includes a rugged shell that can withstand a one-meter drop test, a shatterproof lens, and a water-resistant IPX4 body. It also comes in a couple of different color options. It’s one of the best hunting headlamps if you’re on a tight budget.

See Energizer LED Hunting Head Lamp on Amazon

 

Highest lumen headlamp: Fenix HM65R 1400 Lumen Dual Beam Hunting Headlamp

  • 1400 lumens reaching 178 yardsFenix HM65R 1400 Lumen Dual Beam Hunting Headlamp
  • IP68 waterproof rated
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Extra batteries included
  • Battery life indicator

If you’re looking for something to blind the competition, the highest-powered headlamp on our list is for you. It’s not cheap, but with a max output of 1400 lumens on full power, this is a great hunting headlamp for anyone who never wants to be in the dark again. The dual-beam provides a spotlight of up to 178 yards (that’s almost two football fields!) and a floodlight of up to 60 yards. The frame is made of magnesium alloy, which is lighter than aluminum but just as durable. And this waterproof headlamp passes drop tests of up to two meters on six different sides, proving that it can stand up to heavy field use. Power comes from the included rechargeable battery or two CR123A batteries. You can keep tabs on the battery with the battery life indicator, and charge it with the included USB cable.

However, if you need colored lights, this headlamp is not for you. It does one thing really well: shining bright white light. For a night vision headlamp that includes blue, green, or red lights, check out a different headlamp on our list.

See Fenix HM65R 1400 Lumen Dual Beam Hunting Headlamp on Amazon

See Fenix HM65R 1400 Lumen Dual Beam Hunting Headlamp on Walmart

See Fenix HM65R 1400 Lumen Dual Beam Hunting Headlamp on Fenix

 

Longest battery life: Petzl Tactikka RGB Hunting Headlamp

  • RGB light modesPetzl Tactikka RGB Hunting Headlamp
  • 250 lumens
  • Batteries last up to 260 hours
  • Compatible with AAA batteries or Petzl’s rechargeable battery pack

The Petzl Tactikka RGB hunting headlamp has all the light options you need, including 250 lumens of white light, and RGB (red, green, and blue) light modes. It comes with three standard AAA batteries but is also compatible with Petzl’s CORE rechargeable battery pack. The batteries last for up to 260 hours, according to Petzl.

Slip the Petzl Tactikka on when the light starts to fade and it will provide you all the illumination you need to navigate tough trails or set up your camp in a dark forest.

See Petzl Tactikka RGB Hunting Headlamp on Amazon

See Petzl Tactikka RGB Hunting Headlamp on Walmart

 

Best headlamp beanie: Panther Vision CUBWB Hands-Free LED Hunting Headlamp

  • Headlamp beaniePanther Vision CUBWB Hands-Free LED Hunting Headlamp
  • Four LED lights
  • 68 hours of operation
  • Machine-washable

Looking for something different than your average headlamp? The Panther Vision CUBWB is a beanie-style pullover cap made of comfortable compression fleece which also happens to have four LED lights embedded at the front of the cap. Two of the LED light bulbs are angled 55° down towards your hands while the other two point out in front of you to provide ample glow whatever the task may be.

This hat lamp is powered by four CR2032 coin cell batteries that are hidden in the band of the cap and provide up to 68 hours of operation. The on/off switch is also hidden in the hatband. When you want both warmth and illumination simultaneously, this LED headlamp beanie might be right for you. It’s even machine washable, just take the batteries out first. And, if you are looking for something other than camo, this option comes in a variety of colors.

See Panther Vision CUBWB Hands-Free LED Hunting Headlamp on Amazon

See Panther Vision CUBWB Hands-Free LED Hunting Headlamp on Walmart

 

Best blood tracking mode: Bushnell TRKR 325L Multi-Color Headlamp

  • 325 lumensBushnell TRKR 325L Multi-Color Headlamp
  • Includes blood tracking mode
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum
  • IPX4 weather-resistant

With 325 Lumens, the Bushnell TRKR 325L Multi-Color Headlamp illuminates the darkest places, revealing tracks even on uneven surfaces. The headlamp comes with a few different colored light modes that are helpful for hunting. The red mode offers dim light without losing your night vision. While the blue light provides a blood tracking mode which allows you to better see blood trails in the dark.

Headlamps for hunting also need to be durable and withstand all sorts of conditions. The Bushnell TRKR headlamp has a sturdy build that makes it suitable for rigorous use, even in adverse weather conditions. Aircraft-grade aluminum protects from falls up to one meter and the lamp can also stand up to light rainfall.

See Bushnell TRKR 325L Multi-Color Headlamp on Amazon

 

Best high powered white light: 77Outdoor Headlamp 

  • 1200 lumens77Outdoor Headlamp
  • Rechargeable headlamp
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy case
  • Pivots 180 degrees up and down

The 77Outdoor Headlamp uses two SST40 LEDs to deliver a maximum light output of 1200 lumens, one of the brightest lumen headlamps we included on our list. What this headlamp does best is shine really bright, but it doesn’t have a whole lot of other useful hunting features like red light modes. It’s lightweight (2.9 ounces without battery), has a nylon band, and an adjustable beam with 180° of vertical rotation. Five light modes allow you to customize how much light you need at a given moment.

Fitted with a micro USB port, this is a rechargeable headlamp and is powered by a single 18650 battery that also comes in the package along with a charging cable. It is crafted with high-quality materials, which make it durable and able to withstand adverse weather conditions. The headlamp’s toughness comes from its hard-anodized finish, and an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy case fitting.

See 77Outdoor Headlamp on Amazon

See 77Outdoor Headlamp on Walmart

 

Best budget headlamp: LE LED Headlamp Flashlight

  • Four light modes including flashing red lightLE LED Headlamp Flashlight
  • Batteries included
  • Removable strap
  • Water-resistant

The LE LED Headlamp Flashlight features four different lighting modes, which include three levels of white light for everyday use as well as a red flashing mode for emergency purposes. The headlamp has up to 18 LED lights while on full blast. It fits securely on any size head with adjustments in both a horizontal and vertical direction. The strap is also removable, which is handy when you start to sweat and want to wash it. This headlamp is also IP44 water-resistant which means it can handle some splashing, but cannot be fully submerged.

The headlamp pivots both up and down 90° and stays in place once positioned. It comes with three AAA batteries included, and they last for up to 10 hours in red light mode (lowest power). While it may not offer the brightest beam light, it’s an excellent piece of hunting or hiking kit that you’d be wise to have as your backup headlamp.

See LE LED Headlamp Flashlight on Amazon

 

 

Why trust us

We’ve spent plenty of time outside, hunting, fishing, camping, and more. Over the years, we have tried many headlamps on the market, and have tested them out on the trail.

Who this is for

Anyone who spends time outside needs a good headlamp. Hunters, campers, and hikers alike all need to see where they are going after the sun goes down. Having your hands free is can also be essential.

How we picked

We picked the best headlamps based on our own tests, research, and the opinions of others. Everyone has an opinion about what makes the best headlamp, so we asked, listened, and compiled this list so that you can choose the right hunting headlamp for your next trip. We made sure to choose a variety of price points, with many different features. Whether you are looking for the longest battery life, a rechargeable headlamp, the furthest beam distance, or one with a red light mode, you will find all of these options and more in our best hunting headlamp roundup.

How we tested

We tested some of the headlamps while out camping, hiking, skiing, and climbing. We have made our way painstakingly down talus fields by the light of a headlamp, carefully eyeing each rock to make sure not to twist an ankle. And we have read books in a tent by the red light glow. We’ve also dropped headlamps and stuffed them in packs and drawers. We know that life gets rough out there, and we want you to find the headlamp that fits your lifestyle and needs.

man in the dark wearing headlamp

Features to look for in hunting headlamps

Beam type

The type of beam determines how wide or concentrated the light will shine. It is best to choose a headlamp that has adjustable light outputs so that you can change between a concentrated spotlight and a wider flood light or diffuse light depending on your needs.

Water resistance

The nature of hunting, hiking, and camping entails exposure to varying weather conditions. A good headlamp should be able to perform well under light rain or when it’s snowing. Choosing a water-resistant headlamp might allow it to last longer and perform better.

Beam distance

Headlamps are designed to allow you to see what is in front (and around) you. Different headlamps provide different types of light outputs which allow you to see either further in the distance or provide periphery vision. A good headlamp should specify what the beam distance is.

Power source

What does your headlamp run on? Does it use batteries or is it rechargeable? Rechargeable headlamps are becoming more popular and usually include a USB power cord for recharging. Otherwise, you will need to replace the batteries whenever they run out. Most headlamps use AAA or AA batteries. I prefer rechargeable headlamps, as it can be a pain to have to buy new batteries and keep them on hand.

Battery life

How long will your headlamp last? The battery life of your headlamp is a big factor as no one likes to constantly have to replace or recharge their electronics. Also, depending on the length of your hunting trip, you may not be able to recharge or replace your batteries often. Make sure you know how long the battery life of your hunting headlamp should be and prepare for what you will do if it runs out.

Operational mode

Some headlamps are as simple as off and on, but others have lots of different operational modes including multiple white light settings, strobe mode, white and red light, blue light modes, and more. Knowing how to access each of these light modes is important. Sometimes there may be multiple buttons, while other times you may have to click a button twice or press and hold to change the light output.

hunting headlamp hanging on the tree

Hunting headlamp FAQ

Q: How many lumens do I need for a headlamp?

A: This depends on what you plan to do with your headlamp. Typically, I would not use a headlamp with less than 300 lumens, but 150 can be sufficient for some pursuits, and fewer lumens often equals cheaper.

Here’s the thing though, higher lumens do not simply equal brighter light. More lumens can produce a further-reaching light, but it depends on the spread of the light output. A focused beam of 300 lumens can provide a bright, far-reaching spotlight, which is great for spotting distant wildlife but not if you are trying to set up camp or make dinner. Taking that same 300 lumens and spreading it out to more of a flood beam will not look as bright, but is more suitable for other activities such as cooking or hiking. Some headlamps have an adjustable light output for different beam distances which allows you to use both spotlights and floodlights at various times.

Q: What is the brightest headlamp you can buy?

A: There are headlamps on the market that surpass 5000 lumens, but that is overkill for almost everyone. Plenty of 1000+ lumen headlamps exist, and we include a few of those in our reviews above. But that does come with a higher price. For most people, 300-700 lumens is a sufficient amount of light output for hunting. The white light is typically the brightest, whereas if your headlamp has red light or green light, it will be dimmer for times you don’t need to see very far.

Q: What color light will I need?

A: Having different colored lights can help with different activities. Of course, every flashlight needs white light. This is going to be your do-it-all light for when you need to see clearly. Red light is the second most common light on hunting headlamps. Red light preserves your night vision while still providing some light to see by. Also, using a red, green, or blue light is not as bright in other people’s eyes, so try to keep your headlamp on a colored light if you are with a group of people. Green lights are also better for night vision, and some hunters claim that green light actually attracts wildlife. It definitely won’t scare away a deer compared to bright white light. Blue light is the best for fog, as it cuts through more than any other light. It also works well for reading maps at night as it does not wash out red or green lines. It’s also the best light for blood tracking in the dark, as blue light reflects blood droplets.

Sources:

  1. What Colors Can Deer See? – Northern Woodlands
  2. How Does Blue Light Affect Animals? -BMC
Ilana Newman

Ilana Newman Ilana is a writer, photographer, and life long learner. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she spends her free time climbing, running, and skiing in the mountains. She is passionate about intersectional social justice work in the outdoors and creating access for all.

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