Do you love to go hiking or jogging? Or just merely driving down the highway in a motorcycle in the middle of the night? If yes, then you understand the need for investing in the best waterproof headlamp.
This gadget will come handy for you whether you are setting up a tent, trail running or cycling at night. A waterproof headlamp can help you bring light to the darkest of places even if there is a torrential downpour outside.
But what sets a good headlamp apart from the others? What are the things that you need to consider when buying a headlamp? We will discover that in this article.
Top Waterproof Headlamp
Before we dive into the buying guide, let us first familiarize ourselves with the top brands of headlamps in the markets including their features and specs.
EdisonBright HL60R Bundle Fenix
One of the smallest yet most powerful waterproof headlamp in the market is this one from EdisonBright. The headlamp delivers a maximum output of 900 lumens and has a beam distance of up to 116 meters. With its waterproof IPX-8 rating, it has a high waterproof ability and would come handy when hiking, climbing and cycling in the rain.
Its LED Light has a digitally regulated output, so the level of brightness that it delivers is constant. It has five output modes and a red-light feature which can be operated using a side switch.
When it comes to l run time, this also does not disappoint. It can run for up to 100 hours while its LED light has an average lifespan of 50,000 hours.
This bundle contains the rechargeable headlamp with a rechargeable battery and two back -up non-rechargeable batteries.
Princeton Tec Vizz Headlamp
Another small but terrible headlamp is this one from Princeton. The updated design of this headlamp features 420 lumens and can be used in three brightness modes. First off, it has one Albright LED light which delivers a spot beam for long-distance illumination. Second, it has a pair of Ultra bright white lads for providing a flood beam. Lastly, it features two Ultra bright red lads that deliver close-range lighting and at the same time, maintains night vision.
The headlamp has a lock switch so you will not be able to turn it on when it is in your bag accidentally. It also has a translucent switch which indicates when the lamp’s battery is already running low.
The lamp’s LED light can last for up to 110 hours.
Black Diamond Spot Headlamp
The famous Black Diamond Spot Headlamp features a sleek and low profile design that all minimalists would love. But the simplicity of its design is paired with the most advanced lighting technology.
First off, the headlamp has a waterproof rating of IPX-8 and can withstand full submersion in the water for up to 30 minutes. This small headlamp offers a full suite of lighting options. It has one triple power LED, a single power white LED, and a single power red LED which can emit 200 lumens at its maximum setting.
Aside from its three brightness levels, the lamp also has a red light mode which is perfect at night as well as strobe features. The lamp is also equipped with a Power Tap technology which allows the user to transition between the brightness options with ease.
Nite Ize Inova STS Headlamp
This headlamp is designed for hands-free and hassle-free illumination. The gadget features one white high power LED light that can be used in 5 different modes (high, medium, variable dim, lockout, and strobe). Additionally, it also has two red LEDs for maintaining night vision. This feature can also be used in the same brightness levels.
The lamp’s high setting delivers up to 142 lumens while its low setting can only give 2 lumens. All the modes can be accessed hands-free, thanks to the lamp’s Swipe-to-Shine interface.
This device is waterproof (with a rating of IPX-7) and has an impact resistance of 1 m. It also has a tilt feature that allows the user to adjust the angle of the lamp and direct the illumination that it can give.
Ledlenser – MH Headlamp
This high-performance headlamp delivers 600 lumens at its maximum setting. If this is too much for you, you will be happy to know that it has a Smart Light Technology that offers three programmable modes—power, low power, and defense strobe.
One significant feature of this headlamp is its Patented Advanced Focus System which delivers a seamless and crystal clear illumination which can focus on objects that are both far and near.
The headlamp is lightweight for your comfort. It also features a wide headband strap which is highly adjustable. The straps are also removable and machine washable for your convenience.
Black Diamond Ion Headlamp
Another waterproof headlamp from Black Diamond is the Ion Headlamp. From its weight (1.9 ounces) and its size, you will think that this is just another just-in-case light, but contrary to popular belief, it is more powerful than you can ever imagine.
The lamp delivers brightness of up to 100 lumens and offers the full selection of lighting modes including red night vision, strobe, full, and dimming. The modes can be adjusted using the easy-to-use touch-control housing. It also has a lock option to keep it turned off even if it is inside your bag.
Aside from the lighting options, the lamp also has a long staying power and can last for up 180 hours when it is used in its lowest setting. With a waterproof rating of IPX-8, you are assured that this headlamp is fully waterproof.
Shining Buddy LED Headlamp Flashlight
One of the most stylish headlamps in the market is this one from Shining Buddy. Shying away from the all-black design, this headlamp comes in four different designs and color combinations including black/black, white/green, black/orange, and white/orange.
But it is more than its stylish appearance. It is also equipped with a powerful LED light that delivers 100 Lumens and can be used in four settings—low beam, high beam, red beam, and red strobe. Settings can be easily changed using just a single switch. The lifespan of the bulb is up to 100 hours.
The lamp is also extremely lightweight and comes with a non-slip adjustable strap. Its casing is also shock and weather resistant and has a waterproof rating of IPX5.
SmarterLife Products LED Headlamp
Another colorful and powerful headlamp is this lamp from SmarterLife Products. The headlamp uses CREE which is the highly trusted brand of LED products. The lamp features 6 modes including low, medium, and high as well as SOS and red-light modes. You can go all of these modes with just a push of a button.
The IPX6 waterproof rating of this headlamp allows the user to take advantage of it even in wet weather. Moreover, the headlamp is lightweight and designed for comfort.
The headlamp comes in four eye-catching colors—black, midnight blue, neon green, and hot pink.
Why You Need a Waterproof Headlamp
If you are an adventurous traveler, you already know the importance of traveling with a flashlight. Well, the best waterproof headlamp can help you go far.
First off, a headlamp can be operated hands-free. This gives you the ability to direct the light wherever you want without having to stop what you are doing or pull over.
Second, the beam distance of a headlamp is farther as compared to that of flashlights and lanterns, so it allows you to shed the light that you need when you finding the road back home or looking for things in the dark.
Lastly, a headlamp is more compact and lightweight. Because of this, it is a lot more portable and is the best option for travelers.
The bonus point is, you can go hiking, running, jogging and even cycling safely even if it is raining outside when you invest in a good waterproof lamp.
Best Waterproof Head Lamp Buying Guide
Now that you know the advantage that a headlamp over all your other lighting gear, then now is the time for you to determine what are the things that you need to consider when buying a headlamp. I have listed all of those below:
Beam and Bulb Type
LED bulbs have become the go-to option for headlamps because of their durability and energy efficiency so that answers the bulb type issue
But for the beam type, you have four other options. These are as follows:
This type of beam gives off a focused and narrow light and can light the path ahead of you. Because of this, it is a good option when running, cycling or hiking as it can shine a light ahead of you.
This is also called wide beam simply because it creates dispersed light at a wide angle. This is why this type of beam is often used in performing general tasks like reading, repairing, and many others.
This is one of the latest features of the modern headlamps, and it allows the user to transition from the spot beam to flood beam using just a single headlamp.
There are a few headlamps that are able to create a uniform beam without producing any blotches or dark rings.
Continuing with the topic of bulbs and lights, you should also go for a headlamp that offers varying levels of brightness. Most headlamps offer two brightness level settings—high and low. On the other hand, some headlamps offer a wide array of brightness levels that you can take advantage of.
To know which one you should purchase, here are some of the information that you need to know:
This is the brightest setting of all and would come handy for maneuvering through the darkest places. But of course, this setting consumes the highest amount of energy.
This is available only on a few models and is the right balance between high and low.
This is the most energy efficient setting.
If you are in need of help or you want to catch the attention of a passerby, some headlamps can be used as a flashlight when turned into the strobe setting. This feature can be used as a distress signal during emergencies.
This is the kind of light used in maintaining night vision because it will not cause the pupils to shrink while giving you enough amount of illumination.
Aside from the beam type, you also need to consider the beam distance, and it is measured in meters. For people who are planning to use the headlamp for running, cycling and climbing, you need a headlamp with a longer beam distance.
This is indicated as lumens, a unit that determines the total quantity of light that the source can emit in all directions. In short, this will define how bright your headlamp can be.
You can find this unit stated in the headlamp’s packaging. The rule of thumb here is the higher the lumens, the brighter it would be, and the more energy it will consume.
Average Headlamp Run Time
This factor indicates how long (number of hours) your headlamp will last. This value is often stated in the packaging with a clock symbol behind it. Most packaging indicates the average run times for headlamps in their low, mid and high setting. If only one value is provided, that refers to the average run time of the headlamp when it is on the low setting.
Since we are already talking about the battery, let us also tackle another vital factor—the type of battery used in operating the headlamp. Most headlamps are powered by standard sized batteries. That will not be the issue to think about. Instead, you need to choose between two types of batteries—one-time use or rechargeable.
Of course, the most cost-effective and practical option would be to use rechargeable batteries so you can use it many times. But please keep in mind, these batteries tend to lose their power when they are left unused for a long time. To avoid this, it is recommended that you recharge the batteries every one to two months even if you do not use the headlamp.
To ensure that you will be able to use the headlamp to its maximum potential, it is recommended that you bring an extra set of batteries so you will never get stuck in the dark. Moreover, it is recommended that you always carry your battery charger with you.
An IPX rating gauges the waterproof ability of headlamps. Most headlamps in the market come with an IPX 4 rating. This rating indicates that the headlamp can be able o withstand a splash of water for 5 minutes which makes it water resistant (not waterproof).
If you want a waterproof headlamp, I suggest that you go for ones with a rating of IPX-7. This indicates that headlamp can withstand full submersion up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes.
Headlamps are available in various shapes, sizes, and weight. The latter is indicated in either ounces or grams. For convenience, go for a lightweight headlamp. This is most especially true if you plan to bring an external battery pack and top strap with you as these accessories can add to the weight.
For your comfort, make sure that the strap of the headlamp fits you well. You also have to make sure that you feel comfortable using it and that is why you should test it out first before buying.
If you plan on getting an external battery pack, go for a headlamp that places it at the back of your head. You can also use a top strap to redistribute the lamp’s weight, but this could be irritating for some so once again, give it a try first before buying.
Type of Activity
When it comes to headlamps, one size does not fit all. It is essential that you choose a headlamp with features that are tailored for the type of activity that you will perform. Here is the information that you need to know to do that:
When choosing headlamps for running, prioritize the beam distance, weight, and fit of the headlamp.
For paddling activities, keep in mind the weight, light output and fit of your headlamp.
For this activity, prioritize the beam distance, battery life, weight and brightness levels of the lamp.
Climbing and Cycling
These activities would require you to keep in mind the beam distance and light output of the lamp.
This activity entails the beam type and battery life of the headlamp.
If you wish to enjoy a fully functional headlamp that is easy to use, you may want to look for one that has these features:
Some headlamps can be tilted up and down. This feature allows you to direct the light and position the beam exactly where you want it to be.
Go for a headlamp that comes with an off and lock switch so it won’t be accidentally turned on when it is inside your bag. This simple feature allows you to save battery.
You also need to make sure that the controls of the headlamps allow you to transition from different beam types and brightness levels easily.
Top straps can add stability to the headlamp when worn.
When camping, hiking, cycling or traveling, you need more than your trusty waterproof tent. You also need a waterproof headlamp so you can always bring light with you wherever you go.
There are lots of things that you need to consider to find the best waterproof headlamp. That is why it is a must that you follow this simple buying guide so you can be able to make an informed decision with regards to your purchase.