Headlamp

Best Headlamp of 2018: Reviews and Comparison

Flashlights work just fine if you have your hands free to hold them, but that is not always the case. Whether you are hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, or anything in between, you probably don’t want to be holding a flashlight in your hands.

Most likely, you don’t have enough hands to hold the light and do whatever else you are up to. Therefore, you might want to get yourself a headlamp, which is literally a head mounted flashlight. Let’s take a closer look and figure out what the best headlamp out there is right now.

Quick Answer: The Smiling Shark 5000

In our opinion, the Smiling Shark 5000 Lumen Bright Headlamp is currently the best headlamp out there.

It has a great beam distance, good battery life, is easy to use, durable, and comfortable too. Buy it. Use it. Love it (more details below)

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Our Headlamp Comparison Chart

Top Pick
Smiling Shark 5000 Lumen Bright Headlamp Flashlight, 3 XML-T6 LED Headlight Torch with Rechargeable Batteries and Charger for Outdoor Sport
Tactical
Zoomable Rechargeable Headlamp - LED Headlight Flashlight with Rechargeable Batteries - Head Flashlight - Best Tactical Headlamp - 2000 Lumen Hard Hat Light - Brightest Waterproof Led Head Lamp
Running
MergerGo USB Rechargeable LED Headlamp,Ultra Lightweight Comfortable Super Bright Waterproof,Perfect for Running,Camping,Hiking,Fishing,Bicycling (Black)
Waterproof
Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight - 165 Lumen, 3 x AAA Batteries Operated, Bright White Cree Led + Red Light, Perfect for Runners, Lightweight, Waterproof, Adjustable Headband, 3 AAA Batteries Included
Product
Smiling Shark 5000
Monger-Trend Zoomable
MergerGo
Foxelli
Weight
7.2 Ounces
6.4 Ounces
2.5 Ounces
4.8 Ounces
Best Feature
5000 Lumens of brightness
Light up to 330 ft
160 Lumens shine up to 150 meters
200 feet beam
Top Pick
Smiling Shark 5000 Lumen Bright Headlamp Flashlight, 3 XML-T6 LED Headlight Torch with Rechargeable Batteries and Charger for Outdoor Sport
Product
Smiling Shark 5000
Weight
7.2 Ounces
Best Feature
5000 Lumens of brightness
Tactical
Zoomable Rechargeable Headlamp - LED Headlight Flashlight with Rechargeable Batteries - Head Flashlight - Best Tactical Headlamp - 2000 Lumen Hard Hat Light - Brightest Waterproof Led Head Lamp
Product
Monger-Trend Zoomable
Weight
6.4 Ounces
Best Feature
Light up to 330 ft
Running
MergerGo USB Rechargeable LED Headlamp,Ultra Lightweight Comfortable Super Bright Waterproof,Perfect for Running,Camping,Hiking,Fishing,Bicycling (Black)
Product
MergerGo
Weight
2.5 Ounces
Best Feature
160 Lumens shine up to 150 meters
Waterproof
Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight - 165 Lumen, 3 x AAA Batteries Operated, Bright White Cree Led + Red Light, Perfect for Runners, Lightweight, Waterproof, Adjustable Headband, 3 AAA Batteries Included
Product
Foxelli
Weight
4.8 Ounces
Best Feature
200 feet beam

Headlamp Reviews

1. Smiling Shark 5000 Lumen Bright Headlamp (Best for Hunting)

The Smiling Shark 5000 Lumen Bright Headlamp is a great option to go with for hunting, especially during the night. It features a fully adjustable headband so that it can fit virtually anybody out there. It comes with a normal white light for normal illumination, plus green and red lights for hunting and fishing.

The lights are all fairly bright, with the white being the brightest and being able to reach a couple hundred feet with ease. The battery life on the Smiling Shark is also very impressive, plus it can be recharged with your car or a normal AC charging unit. It is not too heavy, which is important when you are wearing it for long stretches of time.

Pros

  • Red, green and white light
  • Lights are very bright
  • Colors are ideal for hunting and fishing
  • Not too heavy
  • Fits securely
  • Long battery life
  • Easy to recharge

Cons

  • Tends to sit back a little bit
  • Not all that durable

Who It Is best For

The Topwell Hunting Tactical Headlight is best if you need a good hunting light, one with red and green bulbs, for hunting during the night.

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2. SmarterLife Products Headlamp (Best for Hiking)

The SmarterLife Products Headlamp is a great choice for hiking. It is a simple little headlamp with an elastic band, plus a good tightening mechanism. It will fit pretty much anybody quite well. It is a very light headlamp, one that you will barely notice wearing at all.

This headlamp is water resistant so it won’t get damaged in the rain. It comes with a white light for normal purposes and red light for hunting too. The SmarterLife Products Headlamp features 6 different modes including high, medium, low, strobe, a 95-meter beam distance and an 8-hour runtime on high mode.

Pros

  • Durable and waterproof
  • Long battery life
  • Various light modes
  • Red and white light
  • Good fitting
  • Multipurpose

Cons

  • Requires battery replacements
  • Bulbs are not the most long lasting

Who It Is Best For

While the SmarterLife Products Headlamp can be used for hunting, it is best used for general hiking purposes.

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3. InnoGear 5000 Lumens Headlamp (Best Camping Headlamp)

The InnoGear Headlamp is a really bright option to go with, one that is also considered the best headlamp for fishing. This headlamp only comes with white LEDs, but there are many of them and they are extremely bright too. it comes with 4 different light modes.

The InnoGear 5000 Lumens Headlamp is a good choice for camping, hiking, and fishing alike. It is made to be quite durable; it has a secure fitting mechanism; and it is very bright. You can charge this in multiple ways and the battery life is quite good too.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Quite durable
  • Very bright
  • Long distance
  • Multipurpose
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Not very comfortable
  • Takes a long time to charge

Who It Is Best For

The InnoGear 5000 Lumens Headlamp is best for general camping purposes, but works quite well for night fishing too.

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4. Monger-Trend Headlamp (Best Tactical Headlamp)

This is one of the best red light headlamps out there right now. It has the normal white light for general purposes, as well as red light for tactical and hunting purposes. It features a far beam distance and can zoom to over 330 feet. You can narrow or widen the beam, change the color, plus you can zoom in and out.

It features multiple modes like bright, super bright, and SOS. The Monger-Trend Headlamp is easy to charge and has a decent battery life. It is designed to be lightweight and the strap can fit virtually anybody. The aluminum alloy construction is quite solid.

Pros

  • Lightweight and ergonomic
  • Decent battery life – easy charging
  • Red and white light
  • Good for tactical and hunting purposes
  • Zoom function
  • Decent durability

Cons

  • No waterproof
  • Quite bulky
  • Battery compartment may have some issues

Who It Is Best For

The Monger-Trend Headlamp is best for all kinds of tactical purposes and people who want to do some night hunting.

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5. MergerGo USB Rechargeable LED Headlamp (Best Running Headlamp)

This is a really simple running headlamp. It only features white LED lights, but they can illuminate up to 150 meters. This headlamp is somewhat durable, with a high level of water resistance. It can be easily adjusted to fit virtually any head, plus the band is fairly soft and comfortable. It is very lightweight, which is good for running. Also, it has a battery life of up to 30 hours and can be charged with a USB charger. This thing is actually quite bright.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Simple
  • Bright
  • Good battery life
  • Water resistant

Cons

  • Could be more durable
  • LED bulbs don’t have the longest life

Who It Is Best For

If you run on roads during the night, or anytime it is dark, the MergerGo LED Headlamp is a good choice for you.

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6. nyteBright LED Headlamp (Best Headlamp for Work)

Another simple headlight to go with, this one is ideal for all kinds of work, such as if you are a mechanic. It features a 110-meter beam length with a 120-hour runtime when it has new batteries. The nyteBright LED Headlamp features white and red light, plus it has various modes. Control the modes using the 2 easy-to-press buttons. It comes with a comfortable and fully adjustable headband. It is compact and lightweight, waterproof, and also quite durable.

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • Good beam length
  • 6 modes
  • Red and white light
  • Waterproof
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Band is not that durable
  • Needs replacement batteries

Who It Is Best For

The nyteBright LED Headlamp is a good choice for anybody who works with their hands and often needs more illumination.

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7. Olidear LED Headlamp

This headlamp might have only white light, but it is one of the brightest headlamps that we have ever seen. The beam can reach up to 800 meters with a whole lot of lumens. The lamp itself is a good spotlight and can be tilted 90 degrees. If you use it on the high mode, it can last for up to 6 hours on a full charge, and it is, of course, rechargeable. It is totally waterproof and quite durable. The elastic headband is fairly easy to adjust.

Pros

  • Very bright
  • Decent battery life
  • Rechargeable
  • Adjustable headband
  • Can tilt
  • Very long beam length

Cons

  • Only good for general purposes
  • Only white light
  • A little bulky in the front
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8. Odear Super Bright Headlamp (Best Rechargeable)

This light has over 5,000 lumens of power, with a beam length that can reach up to 800 meters. It is a really nice rechargeable headlamp spotlight to consider. The Odear Super Bright Headlamp is fairly comfortable to wear, with a fully adjustable elastic headband. It is a little bulky, but not too bad. It has 2 different light modes, with the very bright mode having a battery life of around 6 hours. It is water resistant, but not waterproof. It is a good choice for general needs.

Pros

  • Water resistant
  • Decent comfort level
  • Extremely bright
  • Very long beam length
  • Rechargeable
  • Decent battery life

Cons

  • Only white light
  • A little bulky
  • Not waterproof

Who It is Best For

This headlamp is ideal for all kinds of general flashlight needs. It is a good choice for hiking and camping.

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9. Foxelli Headlamp (Best Waterproof)

The Foxelli Headlamp is 100% waterproof as advertised, but its overall durability is a little questionable. It is fairly lightweight and it comes with a fully adjustable headband. It features both red and white light, making it ideal for running, camping, and hiking. It can run for about 40 hours off 3 batteries, but it will need replacement batteries. It has a tilting body with a few different modes and an OK beam length too. It’s not the brightest headlamp, but it is more than adequate.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Water resistant
  • Long battery life
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not totally waterproof
  • Not the most durable
  • Requires replacement batteries

Who It Is Best For

The Foxelli Headlamp is a good choice if you want to go running, camping, or hiking, and need a decent headlamp to do so.

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10. Luxolite LED Headlamp (Best Cheap Headlamp)

This is a good option for reading, cycling, running, and small hiking trips too. It is quite durable, and has a decent waterproof rating as well. While it is fairly bright, pretty comfortable, and has a decent runtime, due to its low price, it will only go so far. The Luxolite LED Headlamp is a good option considering its very low price.

Pros

  • Good comfort
  • Decent battery life
  • Decent durability
  • Water resistant
  • Easy to adjust
  • Decent brightness
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Just not as good as many of the competitors
  • Not a very long lifetime

Who It Is Best For

The Luxolite LED Headlamp is best for simple purposes. Anyone who needs a little reading or running light will do well with this headlamp.

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Buying Guide: What To Look For In Your Best Headlamp

There are a couple of things that you should always look out for when buying a new headlamp, so let’s go over these factors real quick.

Light Colors

One thing to keep in mind is what light colors the headlamp is question has. Different colors are ideal for different purposes.

Beam Distance

How far does the beam go? For hiking and camping, plus for hunting, a good beam length is vital.

Batteries

Does the headlamp in question have good battery life? Is the headlamp rechargeable or does it require replacement batteries?

Comfort

Does the headlamp in question have a good headband? Does it shift around a lot? Is it adjustable to provide a secure fit?

Durability

How durable is the headlamp in question? Does it have a strong housing? Is it waterproof or water resistant?

Best Headlamp FAQ

What are the red, white, and green colors for?

White light is good for general illumination. Red light is best for alerts and tactical purposes. Green light is best for hunting and fishing.

What is strobe mode used for?

If a headlamp comes with a strobe mode, it is meant to alert others to your presence, such as when hunting or running on a road.

What is the difference between waterproof and water resistant?

If your headlamp has a rating of IPX6, that means it is fully waterproof. Anything below IPX6 means that it is water resistant, but not totally waterproof.

Want more hiking gear? Check out our other reviews on:

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Hiking Sandals

Hiking Shoes

Hiking Pants

Hiking Backpacks

Hiking Socks

Liner Socks

Hiking Shirts

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