Finest Working Headlamps of 2023 – iRunFar


Best Running Headlamps - Prepping for early morning run - lifestyle image

The iRunFar crew examined working headlamps on dozens of runs that can assist you discover the precise one on this information. Right here, iRunFar’s Meghan Hicks preps for an early morning run. Picture: iRunFar/Eszter Horanyi

When working at night time, you need the perfect working headlamp doable to mild your method down the path. Whether or not you’re searching for one thing to maintain stashed in your pack for these days you don’t fairly make it again to the trailhead earlier than darkish or a headlamp that may illuminate each rock and root by a nighttime extremely; there may be an abundance of lighting options from which to decide on. Battery and lighting know-how enhancements have made headlamps brighter, lighter, and longer lasting. There are alternatives for every little thing from ultralight headlamps superb for each day working at the hours of darkness to highly effective and long-lasting headlamps that may make it simpler to maneuver confidently over rugged terrain all through the night time.

Battery life, consolation, and obtainable lumens are all concerns when choosing the proper headlamp to your working wants. We’ve scoured {the marketplace} for the perfect of the perfect, after which a small crew of iRunFar gear testers took them out for miles upon miles of dawn, sundown, and nighttime runs. Beneath, we’ve rounded up our high suggestions for the perfect headlamps for working.

For extra background data, see our shopping for recommendation, testing methodology, and continuously requested questions beneath the picks.

Finest Working Headlamps

Best Running Headlamp-Running in the dark-lifestyle image

A shiny headlamp could make nighttime working quicker and simpler. Picture: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Best Running Headlamp-Petzl Iko Core-product photoExecs:

  • Comfy
  • Light-weight
  • Accepts AAA batteries along with the included rechargeable battery


  • The battery pack is awkward to alter out

The Petzl Iko Core checks all of our bins for the perfect headlamp for working with its lighting know-how, weight, and luxury. With this headlamp, Petzl does what no different headlamp maker does by innovating in lighting and luxury. We’ve normally discovered one to come back on the compromise of the opposite. Not right here.

With 500 lumens, this high-quality headlamp creates clear and sharp, cool mild. It has two lighting beam choices — flood or blended — and three lighting ranges. We discovered the silicone band and battery cradle exceptionally comfy — we couldn’t even really feel the LED panel on the entrance. The general package deal is sufficiently light-weight for a path runner’s wants.

The one draw back with this headlamp is that switching out the battery is tough. Whereas it’s straightforward to hold a spare battery on an all-night run, getting it changed at the hours of darkness and whereas sleep-deprived is difficult.

You should definitely take a look at our in-depth Petzl Iko Core overview.

Precise Weight: 2.4 ounces (68 grams) | Most Gentle Output: 500 lumens | Battery Supply(s): 1,250-milliampere-hour Petzl Core lithium-ion rechargeable (included) or three AAA/LR03s (not included)

Store the Petzl Iko Core

Best Running Headlamp-Fenix HL18RT Rechargeable Headlamp-product photoExecs:

  • Comfy
  • Straightforward to alter batteries


  • Questionable sturdiness of the scarf strings

Now we have to confess we had been skeptical once we noticed the Boa-style dial on the scarf of the Fenix HL18R-T Rechargeable Headlamp. Nevertheless, after utilizing it, we needed to swallow our doubt and provides Fenix props for creating a fully comfy headband. The dial on the again permits sufficient micro-adjustment for actually dialing within the excellent match. The one extra progressive headband on the market now could be the Petzl Iko Core reviewed above — although we predict this Fenix headband is extra comfy. One other benefit to this headlamp is that it’s tremendous straightforward to alter the battery on the go — and in case you’re on the market lengthy sufficient to wish contemporary batteries, you want the method to be straightforward. Further headlamp options embody a 500-lumen lamp with three brightness settings and an choice for highlight or floodlight.

Whereas we had been initially nervous about snapping the dial strings and rendering the headlamp ineffective within the discipline, we’ve come to understand the click-and-twist headband adjustment. As we’ve racked up early mornings and late evenings with this headlamp, we’ve discovered no sturdiness points and found this to be an ideal mild.

Precise weight: 3.2 ounces (92 grams) | Most mild output: 500 lumens | Battery supply(s): 1,300-milliampere-hour lithium-polymer rechargeable (included) or three AAA batteries (not included)

Store the Fenix HL18R-T Rechargeable Headlamp

Finest Working Headlamp for Trails Runner-Up: Petzl Swift RL ($130)

Best Running Headlamp-Petzl Swift RL-product photoExecs:

  • Fabulous softshell materials on the scarf
  • Reactive lighting adjusts brightness mechanically


  • It’s a number of headlamp and spendy for an on a regular basis path working mild

Earlier than diving into this headlamp’s know-how, we’d wish to take a second to understand the scarf on the Petzl Swift RL. Its padded softshell materials on the entrance half is extremely comfy with out including a weight penalty. In reality, this is among the most comfy headbands we’ve present in our seek for the perfect working headlamps.

Furthermore, Petzl’s progressive Reactive Lighting know-how additionally units this headlamp aside. Along with offering a constant degree of sunshine with 900 lumens, it may be set to adapt to ambient lighting situations, rising dimmer the place there’s different mild round and brighter the place there’s not. This know-how can be discovered within the Petzt Nao RL, our high headlamp selection for ultrarunning, reviewed beneath.

That mentioned, this can be a lot of headlamp — and a number of price — to your on a regular basis path working headlamp. You possibly can very a lot get pleasure from working with a headlamp that’s half the price of this one. However, one of many runners on our testing crew likes this mild a lot that they’ve been utilizing it often for nearly eight years for each path working and ski touring. In addition to the scarf stretching out from being worn over snowboarding and climbing helmets over time, our tester confirms that this headlamp continues to carry out flawlessly, making it a worthy funding, particularly in case you often run at the hours of darkness.

Precise Weight: 3.6 ounces (100 grams) | Most Gentle Output: 900 lumens | Battery Supply(s): 2,350-milliampere-hour lithium-ion rechargeable (included)

Store the Petzl Swift RL

Best Running Headlamp-ZebraLight H600d Mk IV Headlamp-product photoExecs:

  • Programmable brightness settings
  • Comfy headband
  • Batteries are straightforward to alter within the discipline


  • Heavy for a each day working headlamp
  • Solely obtainable for buy within the U.S.
  • We’d love a shorter and easier title for this headlamp

Crew iRunFar has lengthy been a fan of what ZebraLight does for the lighting trade, and the ZebraLight H600d Mk IV 18650 XHP50.2 5000K Excessive CRI Headlamp is one other instance of why we proceed keeping track of this firm. One factor that ZebraLight has lengthy been identified for is having a ton of programmable brightness settings in its lights. Though it’s a little bit of a dedication to program your headlamp, that means we’d advocate setting it up at residence with the directions earlier than you’re within the discipline, the upside is that you just’ll get to know your headlamp intimately and finally program it on the fly.

The headscarf is straightforward, delicate, and cozy, and the batteries are straightforward to swap out on the run, making it straightforward to advocate this headlamp as a each day path working companion. Simply don’t ask us to say its title aloud 5 instances quick.

We discovered that the battery is a little more than most individuals want for a each day path working headlamp. Whereas we might have thought of this headlamp for the ultrarunning class of this information, it doesn’t have a candy spot of brightness and run time that works effectively for a complete night time of working on trails. As a substitute, this headlamp will likely be extremely shiny for a number of hours throughout a pre-dawn or post-dusk run. Sadly, it gained’t maintain regular all night time with out a battery change. That mentioned, the principle draw back of this headlamp as a each day runner is its weight.

Precise Weight: 4.6 ounces (129 grams) | Most Gentle Output: 1,616 lumens | Battery Supply(s): 2,600-milliampere-hour 18,650-size lithium-ion rechargeable (not included)

Store the ZebraLight H600d Mk IV 18650 XHP50.2 5000K Excessive CRI Headlamp

Best Running Headlamp-Petzl Nao RL-product photoExecs:

  • Reactive Lighting system mechanically adapts to altering mild situations
  • The battery will final by the night time
  • Comparatively straightforward to alter out the battery


  • Not our best choice for consolation
  • Expensive

The Petzl Nao RL is the extremely anticipated up to date model of the Nao+,  which has been the go-to ultrarunning headlamp for a half-decade.

As with its predecessor, this headlamp has quite a bit happening. At first is its lighting, which is available in each common and Reactive Lighting choices. The latter setting adapts to ambient mild by rising dimmer when it’s lighter and brighter when it will get darkish. In case you’re into this Reactive Lighting however don’t want such a strong package deal, take a look at the Petzl Swift RL above, our runner-up on this information’s greatest headlamp for the path working class.

This mild has a crimson mild within the again to maintain you seen to approaching automobiles or different runners. It might probably illuminate as a stable crimson mild or a strobe, and you may management it independently from the entrance mild. The reflective headband additionally will increase your visibility to others.

In terms of the battery, the entire package deal isn’t ultralight, however one battery gives you a whole night time of decently lit path working, although we are able to say from expertise it’s most likely definitely worth the 4 a.m. battery switch-out to make the final hour or so of darkness just a little brighter. And on that notice, switching batteries within the discipline is a comparatively straightforward, two-step course of.

Now for the downsides. This headlamp’s consolation isn’t wonderful, and we advocate a buff or backwards cap underneath it for a full night time of working. Additionally, it’s costly.

Precise Weight: 5.2 ounces (146 grams) | Most Gentle Output: 1,500 lumens | Battery Supply(s): 3,200-milliampere-hour lithium-ion rechargeable (included)

Store the Petzl Nao RL

Best Running Headlamp-Silva Trail Runner Free Ultra-product photoExecs:

  • A number of choices for carrying a battery pack
  • Choice for mixed flood and spot lighting


  • The headscarf is stiff at first and requires breaking in

If you’d like the perfect working headlamp for all-night efforts however don’t like carrying all that battery weight and bulk in your head, the Silva Path Runner Free Extremely headlamp is for you. Its battery pack will be carried both on the again of the top or in your hydration vest utilizing the included extra-long twine.

Silva is doing cool issues with the standard of its lighting, providing a mixture of each flood lighting and long-throw spotlighting in a single beam — what they name Clever Gentle — with out compromising a lot on the battery runtime. This setting offers just a little further peripheral imaginative and prescient even once we largely look straight forward. This appears to ease eye pressure over an extended night time of use, as your eyes don’t need to hold adjusting to the fast adjustments in path {that a} long-throw mild will make with a easy 10-degree head tilt.

This isn’t our favourite headband, and we had been shocked by its stiffness, given the model’s work in making the battery pack movable for elevated consolation. That mentioned, utilizing it makes it much less stiff, so give it a stable break-in interval earlier than judging its consolation.

Precise Weight: 5.4 ounces (153 grams) | Most Gentle Output: 400 lumens | Battery Supply(s): 4,000-milliampere-hour hour rechargeable (included) or three AAAs (not included)

Store the Silva Path Runner Free Extremely

Best Running Headlamp-Fenix HM65R Rechargeable Headlamp-product photoExecs:

  • A number of lighting choices with a most of 1,400 lumens
  • Lengthy battery run time (most 280 hours)
  • An affordable worth for what you get


  • Heavier than comparable working headlamps
  • Each the sunshine and the battery are within the entrance

The Fenix HM65R Rechargeable Headlamp is a feature-filled package deal and a very good headlamp for ultrarunning. The headlamp consists of highlight and floodlight modes that may be operated individually or mixed for a most of 1,400 lumens of sunshine, making it one of many brightest lights on our record. With a robust 2,600-milliampere-hour 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery and three lighting choices in each the floodlight and highlight settings, this headlamp presents loads of mild for both a complete night time of tremendous brightly lit working or two nights with first rate lighting with out having to cost or change the battery.

Each the lights and the battery are saved on the entrance of the headlamp, which suggests quite a bit is happening up entrance, and also you’ll wish to put on a layer, like a folded neck gaiter or beanie, beneath it for all-night consolation. Whereas it could seem like you’re carrying a small alien in your brow if you put on it, you’ll have a brilliant high-quality headlamp made for being out for so long as your legs will carry you.

The first draw back of this headlamp is the consolation issue attributable to having all the weight on the entrance, however as we mentioned, this may be mitigated with a skinny gaiter or an analogous layer beneath the headlamp.

Precise Weight: 5.2 ounces (146 grams) | Most Gentle Output: 1,400 lumens | Battery Supply(s): 2,600-milliampere-hour 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable (included) or two CR123As (not included)

Store the Fenix HM65R Rechargeable Headlamp

Finest Headlamp for Ultrarunning Runner-Up: Nitecore UT32 ($75)

Best Running Headlamp-Nitecore UT32-product photoExecs:

  • Light-weight for its mild and battery energy
  • Comfy
  • Nice worth


  • None — this can be a nice minimalist ultrarunning headlamp

Gram counters who need an ultrarunning-worthy headlamp ought to look to the Nitecore UT32, which is one more providing constructed on the highly effective 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery. This headlamp suggestions the scales at 144 grams whereas providing a highlight, floodlight, and as much as 1,100 lumens at its brightest setting. It might probably additionally present greater than 400 lumens for an evening and a half. If you have to go longer, no drawback — the battery is straightforward to alter within the discipline. See what we imply concerning the golden period of headlamp lighting and batteries? Living proof proper right here.

This headlamp has no bells and whistles, so to maneuver your beam up and right down to accommodate hills, you’ll need to rotate the entire battery package deal within the O-ring pair that hosts it. In addition to that, we had no points with consolation, although all the load is up entrance. In case you actually wish to go minimalist, you possibly can take away the strap that goes excessive of the top to save lots of one other 20 grams — however then it’s possible you’ll begin to sacrifice some consolation. Proceed at your individual danger.

There are not any downsides to report with this headlamp. This can be a unbelievable minimalist tackle providing you with a great deal of mild with a long-lasting battery.

Precise Weight: 5.1 ounces (144 grams) | Most Gentle Output: 1,100 lumens | Battery Supply(s): 2,600-milliampere-hour 18650-size lithium-ion rechargeable (included) or two CR123As (not included)

Store the Nitecore UT32

Best Running Headlamps - UltrAspire Lumen 600 4.0 Waist Light - product photoExecs:

  • Comfy match throughout the stomach
  • The most suitable choice in case you don’t like sporting a light-weight in your head
  • Straightforward to alter batteries within the discipline


Some folks discover {that a} waist-worn mild offers them higher depth notion on nighttime trails, whereas others merely dislike having a light-weight connected to their head whereas working at night time, and a few folks like having each a waistlamp and a headlamp to maximise their imaginative and prescient at night time. When situations or your preferences name for placing a light-weight in your waist, we advocate the UltrAspire Lumen 600 4.0 Waist Gentle. Whereas our crew is at present testing this new model, we put the earlier model of this waistlight, the UltrAspire Lumen 600 3.0 Waist Gentle, by rigorous testing to name it our favourite waistlight. This replace solely improves on the earlier model, altering the aesthetics barely and including a USB Sort-C charging port for quicker charging. Whereas the earlier model was a bit heavier, it was tremendous comfy across the waist, which meant quite a bit to these of us whose abdomens grow to be delicate throughout ultramarathons. It was straightforward to regulate each the belt and the angle of the sunshine, and the buckle was straightforward to unclip with drained or chilly fingers. The sunshine got here with a tilt mechanism to adapt the beam on the fly for uphills, downhills, and flats. It was additionally straightforward to alter this mild’s battery within the discipline. The previous and new model of this waistlight has a detachable pocket on the belt to retailer your cellphone or some snacks or go away it behind if you wish to shed just a few grams.

The primary draw back of this method is its weight and bulk. It’s not light-weight, and for these trying to shave grams, this is usually a hefty load to bear. Equally, the waistbelt makes this mild bulkier than others when the solar comes up, and also you wish to stuff it into your hydration vest. Nevertheless, this may very well be an ideal choice in case your precedence is having a robust waist-worn mild to get you thru an extended night time of working.

You possibly can study extra with our in-depth UltrAspire Lumen 600 3.0 Waist Gentle overview.

Claimed Weight: 5.1 ounces (145 grams) | Most Gentle Output: 600 lumens | Battery Supply(s): 2,600-milliampere-hour 18650-size lithium-ion rechargeable (included)

Store the UltrAspire Lumen 600 4.0 Waist Gentle

Best Running Headlamps - Nitecore NU25 UL - product photoExecs:

  • It weighs lower than two ounces
  • Nice worth
  • Good backup headlamp choice


  • We don’t love the aesthetic

The Nitecore NU25UL may be the niftiest little headlamp you didn’t know existed — or that you just wanted. However in case you’re somebody who has gotten caught out at the hours of darkness throughout a run that’s gone just a little too lengthy and wished you had one thing apart from your cellphone to mild your method again residence, you’ll respect this little mild which you can hold completely stowed away in your pack.

That is an upgraded model of the unique Nitecore NU25 (hat tip to the thru-hiking neighborhood, which has identified about this little gem for a very long time). Along with rising the lumens and the dimensions of the battery, the NU25 UL has a special headband than its predecessor.

Weighing underneath two ounces,  this can be a nice backup or easy ultralight headlamp in case you’re counting grams. This headlamp is a powerhouse of sunshine for its weight. It’s adequate for a few hours of sunshine for path working, so long as the path isn’t tremendous technical. The dim settings will permit you to do chores round your fastpacking campsite whereas consuming virtually no battery energy.

Our solely grievance with this headlamp is its aesthetic. We are able to hardly ding one thing so great simply on appears to be like. Nevertheless, it does remind us of a child’s toy headlamp.

Precise Weight: 1.6 ounces (46 grams) | Most Gentle Output: 400 lumens | Battery Supply(s): 650-milliampere-hour lithium-ion rechargeable (included)

Store the Nitecore NU25UL

Finest Ultralight Working Headlamp Runner-Up: Petzl Bindi ($45)

Best Running Headlamp - Petzl Bindi - Product PhotoExecs:

  • Nice backup mild
  • Ultralight
  • Comfy


  • Not shiny sufficient for technical trails

The small and smooth Petzl Bindi is a good headlamp to maintain stashed in your hydration pack or working belt for these instances you both forgot your common mild or forgot to cost it. Tiny and compact, this headlamp weighs barely greater than an oz., and it’s so comfy that you possibly can simply neglect you’re sporting it. It’s formed to suit the brow and is definitely adjustable. The sunshine has three modes and will be tilted up or right down to mild the path higher forward. It’s rechargeable by way of a micro USB port on the facet and signifies with a inexperienced mild when it’s totally charged. In brief, a number of know-how and performance is packed into this little mild, making it a wonderful worth for the worth.

In fact, the first draw back of the Bindi is that its brightness tops out at 200 lumens, and most runners need extra mild for prolonged nighttime working, particularly on technical terrain that requires extra mild distinction to navigate it effectively. That’s why we love this as a backup mild; it’s additionally nice for digging by your automotive or hydration vest for spare gloves on the trailhead, conserving in your tent for nighttime toilet breaks, or related “in-a-pinch” makes use of.

Precise Weight: 1.2 ounces (35 grams) | Most Gentle Output: 200 lumens | Battery Supply(s): 680-milliampere-hour lithium-ion rechargeable battery with micro USB port

Store the Petzl Bindi

Most Ridiculously Brilliant Working Headlamp We’ve Seen: Nitecore HC35 ($100)

Best Running Headlamp - Nitecore HC35 - product photo


  • Exceptionally shiny
  • Straightforward to alter batteries within the discipline


  • It’s not comfy and requires material padding beneath
  • Heavy
  • We don’t love the aesthetic

In case you’ve ever wished for a motorcycle mild for path working, then the Nitecore HC35 is your headlamp. This headlamp’s highly effective beam pumps out 2,700 lumens for 45 minutes. Spectacular as that’s, the settings that present 800 lumens for 3 hours or 270 lumens for all-night runs are essentially the most sensible and, due to this fact, seize our consideration as runners. Add in the truth that you possibly can fairly simply change the battery within the discipline and hold going, and also you’ve received a setup for an evening of working on a brightly lit path.

The primary draw back of this headlamp is consolation. Since all the load sits in your brow, you want some material beneath as padding for prolonged put on. Lastly, the aesthetic differs from a lot of the different headlamps we examined, and we predict it appears to be like fairly alien-like.

Precise Weight: 7.6 ounces (217 grams) | Most Gentle Output: 2,700 lumens | Battery Supply(s): 4,000-milliampere-hour 21700-size lithium-ion rechargeable (included), one 18650-size lithium-ion rechargeable (not included), or two CR123As (not included)

Store the Nitecore HC35

Evaluating the Finest Working Headlamps

Purchaser’s Information: The best way to Select a Working Headlamp


For a lot of runners, brightness is the highest consideration when discovering the perfect working headlamp. Nevertheless, it’s price noting that brighter isn’t essentially higher. We imagine there may be such a factor as too shiny, and we’ve discovered each an excessive amount of mild and too little mild will trigger eye pressure. Moreover, an excessive amount of mild can blind your fellow path customers.

We imagine 200 lumens are loads for easy path working on developed trails, and 300 lumens gives you nice brightness for extra rugged trails. It’s good to have a setting the place a headlamp can produce 500 or extra lumens — discovered within the Fenix HL18R-T Rechargeable Headlamp, the Petzl Iko Core, the Petzl Swift RL, and the Petzl Nao RL on this information — that means that you can look farther for path indicators, course markers, or to see what’s going bump within the night time within the surrounding timber.

Sort of Gentle

Headlamps with a number of mild settings normally supply two forms of lighting — flood and long-throw — or a mixture of the 2. Floodlighting casts a broad cone of sunshine over a shorter distance and is good for digging one thing out of your pack, studying a map, or establishing camp at the hours of darkness. Lengthy-throw, additionally referred to as highlight, would be the commonest sort of sunshine used on the path. It casts a narrower beam out in entrance of you, lighting up the path forward. Many runners respect utilizing each forms of lighting directly to assist cut back pressure on their eyes in the course of the lengthy darkish hours of the night time.

Having sufficient mild on the path instantly in entrance will likely be most necessary for runners, although having a number of mild choices is a bonus. Fortuitously, most headlamps these days supply each forms of lighting, and a few — just like the Petzl Iko Core and Fenix HM65R Rechargeable Headlamp — even have a setting that gives each flood and long-throw mild concurrently. This is able to drain your battery rapidly if used on a regular basis however might turn out to be useful in case you lose sight of the path at the hours of darkness.

Best Running Headlamp-Fenix HM65R-lifestyle image

The Fenix HM65R is a good ultrarunning headlamp. Picture: iRunFar/Eszter Horanyi

Sort of Battery

Headlamps usually use rechargeable batteries or single-use AAA or AA batteries. There are just a few styles of rechargeable batteries, together with Petzl’s proprietary Core rechargeable battery, the 18650 lithium-ion rechargeable battery present in lots of the headlamps above, and different forms of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. The generally used 2,600-milliampere hour 18650 battery is well-liked for its reliability, long term time, and talent to be recharged many instances — all of that are worthwhile to a path runner.

Usually, we advocate selecting a headlamp with a chargeable battery because it’s extra environment friendly, handy, and higher for the setting. Some headlamps, just like the Petzl Swift RL, Silva Path Runner Free Extremely, and Fenix HL18R-T Rechargeable Headlamp, include a chargeable battery and might run on disposable batteries. That is superb for conditions the place it’s possible you’ll not have entry to energy, resembling on an prolonged backpacking journey, or if you need that further versatility.

Battery Life

Battery life is among the most necessary concerns when selecting a headlamp. The most effective working headlamp is the one which gained’t die on you unexpectedly. Nobody desires to be caught on a ridgeline or descend a steep scree slope with a useless battery — although it looks like the perfect of us have been caught out earlier than. For the sake of your ankles, it’s greatest to decide on a headlamp with an extended battery life. Some superior lamps, such because the Petzl Nao RL and the Petzl Swift RL, have Reactive Lighting know-how — the power for the lamp to sense the obtainable mild and regulate the brightness accordingly, which saves battery life.

Match and Consolation

It needs to be comfy if one thing is happening your head, doubtlessly for hours at a time. Pick a lamp that gained’t trigger complications, that gained’t snare your hair, and that’s straightforward to regulate on the transfer. Some headlamps use a cloth that’s delicate and sweat-wicking, whereas others use minimalistic cord-like constructions. In case you are utilizing the sunshine within the winter or for a extra technical outing, search for a lamp that will likely be comfy over a working hat or helmet. The Petzl Swift RL has an extremely comfy strap and is comfy to put on for lengthy intervals.

Best Running Headlamp-Fenix HL18RT displayed in the field-lifestyle image

The Fenix HL18R-T was our decide for a high path working headlamp due to its lighting, battery options, and progressive and cozy headband. Picture: iRunFar/Eszter Horanyi


There are conditions the place you’ll carry a backup headlamp, like throughout an extended extremely with many hours run at night time, or stow away the one mild you introduced throughout a pre-dawn run that extends previous dawn. Having a headlamp that stows away simply in a working shorts pocket or hydration vest with out creating undue stress on some a part of your physique is good. It’s additionally a good suggestion to have a backup mild supply in your pack everytime you head out into the mountains in case you return later than anticipated. The small dimension and shiny mild of the Nitecore NU25 UL and Petzl Bindi make them nice “just-in-case” choices.


Whereas weight is arguably one of many much less necessary components when selecting a headlamp, minimal weight and maximal battery life are optimum. Whereas just a few ounces don’t look like they might matter, weight performs into total consolation — these added ounces in your head over many hours of concentrating on the path can add further pressure in your neck. The distribution of the load on the headlamp can be necessary. An excessive amount of weight on the entrance of a headlamp could make it uncomfortable for lengthy runs. The Silva Path Runner Free Extremely means that you can place the battery pack on the again of your head or in a pack, which takes the load off your head.

Why You Ought to Belief Us

We run far at iRunFar, which frequently consists of working at the hours of darkness throughout 100-mile races, multi-day fastpack adventures, or pre-dawn begin instances. Our testers have expertise working on their native trails at the hours of darkness and at premiere long-distance races just like the Hardrock 100, UTMB, and Tor des Géants, the place it’s frequent for some finishers to endure a couple of darkish night time on the path.

Best Running Headlamp-UltrAspire Lumen 600 3.0 Waist Light - field photo lifestyle image

The UltrAspire Lumen 600 3.0 Waist Gentle is iRunFar’s decide for the perfect waistlight for working. Picture: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Our in depth testing course of ensures you get not solely the perfect headlamp for working to your cash but additionally the precise headlamp that matches your wants. As ultra-long distance runs and races have grow to be extra mainstream, the on a regular basis runner must have a high-quality headlamp. For this information, we’ve recognized each heritage manufacturers and new progressive corporations bringing mild to the path, and we put every of the lights above by the paces — testing their sturdiness, versatility, match, and battery life — to make sure that you gained’t be caught at the hours of darkness out on the path.

Sadly, we’ve but to acquire and check the Gentle of Eärendil, “a light-weight for you in darkish locations when all different lights exit.” So, hold your batteries charged and a backup mild readily available!

Please notice that product fashions are routinely discontinued within the lighting world, whereas new ones continuously come to market. On the identical time, we right here at iRunFar usually hold utilizing our high picks in our each day working … they’re our high picks, in any case! Generally, that continued use leads to uncovering product failures. With all this — product discontinuations, product introductions, and product failures — in thoughts, we routinely replace our purchaser’s guides based mostly on previous and ongoing testing and analysis by our authors and editorial crew. Whereas these updates can seem like us pushing the most recent product, it’s something however that. After we replace any purchaser’s information, most merchandise will possible stay the identical. That matches our aim: to get you in the perfect gear you’ll use for a very long time.

Incessantly Requested Questions About Working Headlamps

What’s a lumen?

Okay, bear with us. The official definition of the lumen is: “Worldwide Commonplace Unit of luminous flux, a measure of the full amount of seen mild emitted by a supply per unit of time.” In runner phrases, this tells us how shiny a headlamp is. The brighter the sunshine, the additional you possibly can see onto the path. The typical headlamp maxes out at 300 to 600 lumens. That’s as a result of as lumens enhance, energy utilization will increase, and battery run time drops.

As runners, we wish a headlamp that’s shiny sufficient to mild up rocks and different terrain options underfoot, but we additionally need sufficient battery energy to final till we get the place we’re going — whether or not that’s again to the trailhead or by the complete night time. And we don’t need our headlamps to weigh an excessive amount of. Nevertheless, in order for you as a lot mild as doable, the Nitecore HC35 has a turbo mode the place you possibly can outshine the moon at 2,700 lumens for 45 minutes.

Best Running Headlamp-sunrise mountain running-lifestyle image

Meghan Hicks makes use of the Petzl Iko Core to mild the best way on runs that begin earlier than daybreak. Picture: iRunFar/Eszter Horanyi

How shiny ought to my headlamp be for path working?

We advocate utilizing a headlamp with 200 to 300 lumens for path working. In case you are on technical terrain, going off path, or on a path that’s tough to comply with, you would possibly contemplate a headlamp with a brighter setting to bump up the brightness when wanted. Nevertheless, there may be such a factor as too shiny. Headlamps which might be both too dim or too shiny can pressure the eyes, particularly all through the night time, resembling in a 100-mile race. Our testers discovered that the Petzl Iko Core offered the correct quantity of sunshine for working on all forms of trails.

What forms of batteries do headlamps use?

Most headlamps can run from rechargeable battery packs or disposable AA or AAA batteries. Most modern headlamps use some rechargeable battery pack — and might usually accommodate disposable batteries in case you don’t have entry to an influence supply to recharge the battery pack. This versatility makes it straightforward to swap out batteries on the go. Many Petzl lights, together with the Petzl Iko Core, use a proprietary battery.

How a lot battery energy do I want on my path working headlamp?

The best battery energy, and thus run time, will depend on your supposed headlamp use. In case you primarily run throughout daylight however sometimes begin or end at the hours of darkness, battery energy will likely be much less necessary than for somebody who persistently runs by the night time throughout coaching runs or races.

For normal path working, the perfect working headlamp may have sufficient energy to final 4 to 6 hours at 200 to 300 lumens. For ultrarunning, search for a headlamp with sufficient energy to final eight to 12 hours and has a straightforward mechanism for swapping batteries. Bigger batteries, such because the Fenix HM65R Rechargeable Headlamp, can present practically two nights of affordable lighting.

Best Running Headlamp-using a headlamp to pack a fastpack at dawn - lifestyle image

iRunFar’s Meghan Hicks makes use of a headlamp to pack a fastpack at daybreak. Picture: iRunFar/Eszter Horanyi

What are the totally different modes of headlamps?

Most headlamps have just a few basic modes: a continuing or flashing white mild and a continuing or flashing crimson mild. Extra complicated lamps permit for extra changes: the lumens of the white mild will be turned up or down, affecting battery life, and the width of the beam can widen or slim, generally mechanically, as with Petzl’s Reactive Lighting know-how, which will be discovered on the Petzl Swift RL and the Petzl Nao RL.

When ought to I take advantage of another mild supply like a waistlight?

Whereas headlamps are the commonest sort of sunshine, some waistlight choices, just like the UltrAspire Lumen 600 4.0 Waist Gentle, are gaining popularity. Kogalla additionally makes a waistlight for runners. These corporations declare the lighting offered by a waistlight presents a wider beam of sunshine at a greater angle, enabling runners to see extra shadows and have a greater depth of view of their working path. In case you don’t need one thing further in your head, desire a wider sight view, or need the benefit of a number of mild sources, a waistlight would be the resolution.

Best Running Headlamp-testing a Black Diamond headlamp while fastpacking - lifestyle image

iRunFar’s Meghan Hicks wears a Black Diamond headlamp and fastpacking gear on a cold morning. Picture: iRunFar/Eszter Horanyi

My head begins to harm when sporting a headlamp all night time. How can I make it extra comfy?

In case your headlamp is persistently inflicting discomfort after just a few hours, you possibly can strive just a few issues. One is including a layer of material beneath your headlamp band, as we recommended with the Fenix HM65R Rechargeable Headlamp. A delicate layer of material will help take up the band’s stress in opposition to your head. A second choice is to decide on a headlamp with a couple of strap to assist disperse the stress – just like the ZebraLight H600d Mk IV 18650 XHP50.2 5000K Excessive CRI Headlamp, which we discovered extraordinarily comfy. Equally, making an attempt a lighter-weight headlamp or one with a battery pack on the again, such because the Petzl Iko Core, may also alleviate discomfort. If all else fails, we advocate making an attempt a waistlight, such because the UltrAspire Lumen 600 4.0 Waist Gentle.

My headlamp battery ran out on the path. How do I stop this from occurring subsequent time?

The easiest way to keep away from getting caught at the hours of darkness is to hold spare batteries, a backup headlamp that’s totally charged or has contemporary batteries, or each. We additionally advocate often charging your on a regular basis headlamp and ensuring to high it off earlier than any massive adventures that may start or finish in darkness. It’s additionally necessary to take precautions to maintain your headlamp from turning on unintentionally in your pack and depleting the battery. Lastly, in case you’re nervous about your headlamp’s energy degree, conserving it on the bottom doable brightness setting will assist prolong its run time. In case you run out of battery on the path, you’ll respect having a small backup mild, just like the Nitecore NU25 UL or Petzl Bindi, to get you again to the trailhead.

Do I want each a entrance and rear mild?

In case you continuously run on roads at the hours of darkness, a rear-facing mild will help automobiles see you. Some headlamps, just like the Petzl Nao RL, have a built-in crimson mild on the top strap, however you possibly can all the time carry a small further crimson mild to supply a flashing mild for visibility. An additional mild for elevated visibility may also be helpful in case you’re working on well-liked trails at the hours of darkness. They will make your presence identified to different path customers arising behind you and assist keep away from collisions or startling one another.

Name for Feedback

  • What’s your favourite working headlamp?
  • Path runners, what headlamp do you utilize essentially the most on the paths?
  • What’s your prized working headlamp for all-night ultrarunning?

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