Greatest Headlamps for Climbing & Tenting in 2023 – Bearfoot Idea

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Each outside adventurer wants a reliable headlamp to gentle their means. Whether or not you’re going for a brief canine stroll, an early-morning daybreak patrol, an in a single day tenting journey with buddies, or a multi-day backpacking journey, it’s essential to have a headlamp you may rely on to information you thru.

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

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Greatest Climbing Headlamps at a Look

Headlamps Comparability Desk

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

Black Diamond Spot 400

Greatest Worth Headlamp

Key Options

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

The place to buy

  • What we like: 2 buttons maintain it easy & intuitive to change between options, simply change to most brightness at any time by tapping the proper aspect of the headlamp, low profile minimizes wobbling when energetic & makes it straightforward to pack
  • What we don’t like: No USB-rechargeable choice means having to maintain additional batteries available for those who’re in search of actually excessive brightness

In order for you a easy, reliable headlamp to gentle your means, the Black Diamond Spot 400 Headlamp is a good alternative. 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 observe 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 making an attempt to entry all of the headlamp’s options. Now, there are 2 buttons that maintain it easy to cycle between options: 3 totally different beams (excessive, low, and crimson), 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 — working via its totally 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 things you’ll want for 99% of your outside actions. There’s a distance beam for energetic conditions, a proximity beam for kicking again round camp or studying, and a crimson gentle beam for being discrete. Plus, the options and buttons are easy so that you gained’t get annoyed making an attempt to entry totally 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. Mild Output: 325 lumens
  • Batteries: USB-rechargeable
  • Max. Beam Distance: 246 toes
  • Common Run Time: Excessive: 3 hours; Low: 40 hours

The place to buy

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

The BioLite 325 is the headlamp BFT Founder Kristen makes use of for climbing, backpacking, and van life. It’s probably the most light-weight headlamp on our checklist and it’s extremely snug to put on. In contrast to different headlamps which have a cumbersome pack on the heart of your brow, the BioLite 325 matches nearly flesh to your head, which implies no bounce for those who’re path working. You possibly can put on this headlamp for hours and barely discover it!

The BioLite 325 is USB-rechargeable which implies you don’t have to hold any batteries. Kristen has used this headlamp on weekend backpacking journeys while not having to recharge, primarily protecting it on the “low” setting to protect battery life. Whereas not the brightest headlamp in the marketplace, it’s excellent for many adventures.

Petzl Tikkina

Greatest Funds Headlamp

Key Options

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

The place to buy

  • What we like: probably the most budget-friendly choice on our checklist, easy to make use of
  • What we don’t like: no crimson or strobe gentle choice, no locking mechanism

If you’re in search of a budget-friendly, no-frills headlamp, the Petzl Tikkina is a good choice for underneath $25. It’s excellent for establishing camp at the hours of darkness, protecting in your day pack in case of emergencies, and nearly any outside journey. There may be one heart button that’s straightforward to search out and simple to make use of, though there is no such thing as a locking mode to make sure you don’t unintentionally 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, in contrast to 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 crimson 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

Greatest Rechargeable Headlamp

Key Options

  • MSRP: $79.95
  • Weight: 3.1 oz (with batteries)
  • Max. Mild Output: 450 lumens
  • Batteries: USB rechargeable, 1250 mAh lithium-ion battery; OR 3 AAA batteries
  • Max. Beam Distance: 377 toes
  • 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 supplies 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 an excellent match for many outside actions. The perfect factor about this headlamp is its potential to make use of its USB-rechargeable lithium-ion battery OR 3 AAA batteries. The comfort of recharging the headlamp at residence however with the ability to pack spare batteries for the sector is genius. I’ve been which means to improve to a chargeable headlamp for an extended, very long time, and after testing out the Petzl Actik Core, I’m disillusioned 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 crimson gentle. It additionally has a lock mode, strobe mode, reserve mode, and is water-proof. Regardless of having a chargeable battery, the headlamp continues to be tremendous gentle and has a low profile, and I gladly seen it doesn’t bounce round when climbing or working, which is an important issue to remember

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 Climbing Headlamp

Key Options

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

The place to buy

  • What we like: Contains 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 working, snowboarding, biking, or climbing.
  • What we don’t like: Extra options make for a steeper studying curve when first utilizing the headlamp, the dimensions/weight could also be overkill for fast, light-and-fast goals, greater price for those who don’t use the additional options

When you’re in search of the brightest headlamp for 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 often make a headlamp much less intuitive to make use of, BioLite one way or the other manages to maintain it easy by making customary makes use of considerably straightforward — simply faucet the facility button to scroll via its gentle modes: crimson, spot, flood, combo, strobe, and off. There’s additionally a rear crimson 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 checklist, its moisture-wicking sweatband and battery-in-the-back design permit 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 climbing pack. But when I’m on a technical daybreak patrol or am climbing in a distant space, you higher consider I’m going to understand all these additional lumens.

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

Black Diamond Storm 500-R Headlamp

Greatest Climbing Headlamp for Wet Climate

Key Options

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

The place to buy

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

When you’re in search of a technical headlamp with numerous options and modes, the Black Diamond Storm 500 is our high decide. With 5 totally different gentle settings (white, crimson, blue, inexperienced, and strobe), you may have numerous performance and flexibility. It has a powerful vary which is nice for low visibility circumstances reminiscent of wind or rain, and it’s additionally waterproof as much as 1 meter for half-hour.

The Storm 500 is on the heavier aspect for headlamps, but it surely’s a strong alternative for adventurers who need a sturdy headlamp you could tackle any journey.

How you can Select the Greatest Headlamp

Selecting the best headlamp for you means understanding what qualities and functionalities are most essential to your wants.


A headlamp’s brightness is among the most essential components to contemplate when choosing a headlamp. Lumens are a unit of measurement for a way vibrant your headlamp is — the upper the quantity, the brighter the headlamp. Headlamp lumens often vary from 100 lumens for dim headlamps to 1,000 lumens for super-bright headlamps.

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

I often stick to 450 lumens myself, however I’ve undoubtedly appreciated higher-lumen headlamps in technical terrain or for extra confidence once I hear a twig snap at the hours of darkness whereas night time 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 just nearly as good because the batteries that energy it. When choosing 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 residence or on the path, however they’re costlier. One good thing about a headlamp with disposable batteries is that you just don’t have to attend to recharge it — simply pop in some new batteries and proceed onward.

All the time you’ll want to carry an additional set of batteries as a backup so that you just don’t get caught at the hours of darkness when your batteries die. Even higher, carry an additional headlamp as a backup as a substitute — since many of the weight of a headlamp is within the batteries, packing an additional headlamp doesn’t take up far more room or weight and brings peace of thoughts in case your predominant headlamp breaks. 

I paradoxically forgot the essential rule about packing additional 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 best way again in an unfamiliar space.


You already know the widespread backpacking credo: take note of the ounces, and the kilos deal with themselves. It’s essential to maintain your headlamp as light-weight as doable, and there’s a particular trade-off between its weight and its options.

Most tenting headlamps weigh just a few ounces, however you’ll discover the distinction between a heavy and lightweight headlamp as soon as it’s strapped to your head. Heavier headlamps have extra bounce once you transfer, which is annoying on the path. Plus, many hikers attempt to mitigate bounce by tightening the headlamp strap, which may 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 climbing headlamps are comparatively light-weight, but it surely’s essential to contemplate if you may get by with a lighter headlamp when you may. 

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


Backpacking headlamps have come a good distance from a easy on/off change with a typical brightness setting. Listed below are another options you’ll need to search for when choosing the right headlamp.

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

Purple Mild Mode: Headlamps with a low crimson gentle assist maintain your night time imaginative and prescient intact once 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 midst of the night time.

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

Reserve Mode: When your battery is getting low, the reserve mode will mechanically 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 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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