TOP 5 Best Headlamps for Hunting in 2014 – Our reviews – Your perfect choice

Having a high-quality headlamp can make hunting a lot easier but with many different options out there, it can be hard to know what is right for you. Here we look to find the best headlamp for hunting to ensure that you’re never caught out in the dark.

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ProductDetailsPrice

Nitecore NU25

  • 360 lumens
  • Compact size
  • Lightweight
  • Micro-USB charging
  • Three color options
  • Three light sources
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OLIGHT H1R Rechargeable LED Headlamp

  • 600 lumens
  • Available in cool or neutral white
  • Magnetic tail cap
  • Under 2 ounces
  • Compact design
  • USB rechargeable
  • Three color options
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Fenix HL60R Rechargeable LED Headlamp

  • Easily rechargeable
  • 950 lumens
  • Four light levels
  • Made from aluminum
  • Waterproof
  • Impact-resistant
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Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

  • Four color options
  • 350 lumens
  • Night vision settings
  • Dust and waterproof
  • High usability
  • Various light modes
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PETZL – ACTIK CORE Headlamp

  • 350 lumens
  • Two beam patterns
  • Red light for night vision
  • Long-running time
  • USB rechargeable
  • Reflective headband
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Product

Nitecore NU25

  • 360 lumens
  • Compact size
  • Lightweight
  • Micro-USB charging
  • Three color options
  • Three light sources

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OLIGHT H1R Rechargeable LED Headlamp

  • 600 lumens
  • Available in cool or neutral white
  • Magnetic tail cap
  • Under 2 ounces
  • Compact design
  • USB rechargeable
  • Three color options

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Fenix HL60R Rechargeable LED Headlamp

  • Easily rechargeable
  • 950 lumens
  • Four light levels
  • Made from aluminum
  • Waterproof
  • Impact-resistant

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Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

  • Four color options
  • 350 lumens
  • Night vision settings
  • Dust and waterproof
  • High usability
  • Various light modes

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PETZL – ACTIK CORE Headlamp

  • 350 lumens
  • Two beam patterns
  • Red light for night vision
  • Long-running time
  • USB rechargeable
  • Reflective headband

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In order to determine the best headlamp four your needs, you need to consider which on the mean features are most important to you. Once you know that you’re going to be able to head out on your hunting adventure knowing that you will have your trusted headlamp with you.

Nitecore NU25

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At 360 lumens you are going to get a strong light which is going to be able to keep its charge for a long time. While most companies mention a top lumen figure that is only available in short bursts, this light is going to keep going.

Not only does this headlamp have a compact size but it also combines that with being lightweight too. It’s therefore going to sit comfortably on your head without distracting or annoying you when you’re trying to carry out various tasks.

Part of the reason for that low weight is the battery that it has. It’s very easy to charge via a micro-USB and that makes it versatile as you don’t always need an outlet to plug it into as it will charge from other electronics, such as a laptop.

The headlamp looks good and there are three color options available to help you find something that matches your style. The three light sources on the headlamp enable you to look at short, medium and long distances, making it perfect for hunting.

Some users have reported the battery life being quite low but plenty of others are happy with the way that it performs. This is a very good headlamp that is going to allow you to complete all the hunting tasks that you need to in all conditions.

PROS:
  • Easy to charge
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Makes reading easy
  • Very bright light

CONS:
  • Some users report low battery life

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OLIGHT H1R Rechargeable LED Headlamp

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As we said previously, the highest lumen setting on small lights can often be a misleading figure. This headlamp is capable of producing 600 lumens with its ‘turbo’ mode but it doesn’t last for long and isn’t particularly useful.

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That being said, the headlamp is able to keep a charge for a long time at a very bright level. You can buy the headlamp in cool or neutral white. The cool white is going to give you the enhanced appearance of particular details while the neutral white gives more of a sunlight appearance.

The choice is yours but both options are going to be able to give off strong and consistent light. Another good feature of this headlamp is that it has a magnetic tail cap. That allows you to attach it to metal if you ever needed a fixed point of light.

At just under 2 ounces, this is an extremely light headlamp. That helps to make it very comfortable and added to the strap, you’re not going to have any issues. That strap is also available in 3 different color options and therefore you’ll be able to choose the one which suits you.

Despite the small size of the light, it is very durable and will be able to take a lot of punishment when you’re out there on a trail. It’s another headlamp which is recharged using a USB port, making it very easy to put life back into your headlamp.

PROS:
  • High output
  • Attaches to many objects
  • Lightweight
  • Highly durable

CONS:
  • Turbo mode doesn’t last long

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Fenix HL60R Rechargeable LED Headlamp

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If you needed an intensely bright light then this could be the headlamp that you’re looking for. It can shine at 950 lumens for when you light up an area. A downside to that is that the lamp can get very hot when it has been on for a while.

There are four different levels of light to choose from which is a very good amount. Some lights have what seems like a million different light options which can be overcomplicated. This is a headlamp which gives you everything that you need.

It is made from aluminum which gives it an immense amount of durability. It is impact resistant but it is able to have that durability while also remaining lightweight and portable. The headlamp is also waterproof to allow you to enjoy it in all weather.

It is easily rechargeable with a running time which is impressive for the amount of power it has. It has an over the head strap which some people might not like but you are going to be able to remove it if you wish to.

There are two colors to be able to get a style of your choice and the fit of the headlamp is going to be very comfortable and secure. All the accessories that you need are included and therefore you’re not going to have to worry about buying anything else.

PROS:
  • Highly durable
  • Intense brightness
  • Two color options
  • Great output modes

CONS:
  • Can get very warm

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Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

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Many people won’t care about style when it comes to a headlamp but if you do, this is going to be a great option. There are four color options available which are going to allow you to get the perfect headlamp for you.

While the maximum lumens figure that you see here is lower than with other options on the market, the 350 it delivers is still more than bright enough to light up a path. It gives you that consistent light for a long time without it dimming.

There are various light modes available which are going to help you to see a lot in all conditions. It’s great for the night time while also performing very well at dusk. There is a high about of usability with this headlamp and you’re going to be able to use it in all situations.

Black Diamond has been able to make a headlamp which you are going to be able to depend on. It will give you that consistent light while also being dust and waterproof to give you long-lasting durability while you are out there hunting.

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Another great feature of this light is that it’s going to be able to store your preferred brightness setting and therefore you’re not going to have to cycle through them every time you switch it on. The headlamp is heavier than other options but will be comfortable for most users to carry around.

PROS:
  • Long-running time
  • Great reliability
  • Easy to use
  • Stores desired brightness setting

CONS:
  • Quite heavy

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PETZL – ACTIK CORE Headlamp

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While higher figures might be very attractive to some, the truth is that you’re not going to need much more than 300 lumens when you’re out there hunting. The 350 lumens that we see here is more than good enough for all your hunting tasks.

There are two beam patterns available and there is also a red light which is going to be able to give you a good amount of night vision. The headband is also reflective and therefore you’re going to have more safety should you or one of your party get lost.

The headlamp has a USB slot for east charging but that won’t be required very often as the battery life on this model is quite impressive. It has a long-running time and therefore you’re not going to have to worry about the headlamp dying on you.

The headlamp has a very easy operation to make your life as easy as possible when you are out there. Some people, however, may see it as a little too easy due to lack of light modes that you can have on the device.

Light modes can be quite overrated and a lot of people will only ever use one mode on their headlamp. Aside from that this is a brilliant example of a headlamp that is going to be able to give you a light which you can be confident in due to the reliability it has.

PROS:
  • Easy to use
  • Bright light
  • Long-lasting power
  • Great in all conditions

CONS:
  • Lack of light options

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Buyers Guide

Light output

The light output of these headlamps is rated in lumens. With the advancement of LED bulbs wattage is now a very inconsistent measure of light. Lumens is much better as the figure that you get is going to be a lot more accurate.

The reason for that is that lumens are a measure of brightness, and not power. An incandescent bulb will produce around 14 lumens per watt whereas an LED bulb will be around 74 lumens per watt. It’s part of the reason why LED bulbs have become so popular.

For hunting, 300 lumens is going to be more than enough to see the path in front of you and a lot more. In truth, you often won’t be using the highest setting as you’re not going to need that much light. Having various light modes can be very useful for conserving power.

Having a headlamp capable of lumens way above this figure can be useful but only in short bursts. More lumens mean more power has been used and therefore your battery is going to die a lot more quickly than you could on other settings.

Light type and color

All the headlamps that we have looked at here have LED bulbs. As we discussed earlier, that is partly due to them needing to use a lot less power but they are also more durable and last longer. The average LED bulb will last for around 50,000 hours.

You will also see different type of light settings on these headlamps. While having too many settings can be a bit of a gimmick, you want to at least have a low, medium and high setting as this not only makes it more versatile but is also an important part of saving power.

There is also the advantage of having a flashing light on the headlamp. While some may see this as an annoying extra it can be vital in emergencies. It acts as a distress signal and you’ll get help quickly should someone see it.

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Having a red light on your headlamp can also be an advantage. This allows you to see more clearly at night with a low light setting which isn’t going to startle any animals. It’s a good additional feature for those that like to be out at night.

Headlamp size and weight

As you can imagine, the size and weight of the headlamp are going to be very important. Not only do you have to consider the overall weight but you also need to look at the design of the headlamp as you don’t want it to be too bulky.

Just as with holding out a weight with an outstretched arm is a lot more difficult than holding it close to your body, a bulky headlamp is going to put more strain on your neck. Due to that, you want to look for a headlamp that not only has a low weight but also a compact design.

All of the options that we have looked at here are going to sit comfortably on your head. They are all great for all-day use and allow you to focus on the task at hand.

Headbands

We can see here that there are plenty of different options when it comes to headbands. There aren’t all the same and there are a few key features that you need to look out for with one of the being adjustability. If you have a small or large head you want to make sure that the headband is going to be able to sit comfortably on there.

There is also the aspect of style too. A lot of headlamps will just have one strap which wraps around your head while others will have a strap which goes over the top. While it may be less stylish, having an over the top strap can be more secure unless your head is going to get in the way.

On the subject of style, there are plenty of companies who are going to offer you a choice of different colors which can be a great feature. Another good additional feature is having reflective strips on the headband which is a good extra safety measure.

Waterproofing

All the headlamps that we have looked at have a different level of waterproofing and the importance of this is going to depend on the type of conditions that you normally head out in. All of them are rated to be able to deal with rain but it could be that you want more protection than that.

Some of these headlamps can be fully submerged and able to offer a complete level of waterproof protection. It also makes then much easier to clean if you have mud on them as you can simply wash them in a nearby stream or other body of water.

Extra Features

Impact – There is a good chance that sooner or late you’re going to drop your headlamp. If this happens when you’re out hunting then this can lead to difficulties if it breaks. You want it to be able to cope with small drops.

Dust – If the headlamp has a good level of water resistance then there’s a good chance it will also be resistant to dust. If you’re going to be hunting in dry areas then this is an extra feature you will probably want to have.

Battery – Batteries powered by USB are lighter, easily chargeable and allow the headlamp to be more compact. Headlamps that have disposable batteries don’t have those qualities but have the advantage of you carrying spare batteries to never run out of power.

Colors – As we mentioned before, a lot of these headbands give you the option of coming in different colors which will allow you to add a bit of individuality. This obviously doesn’t affect the quality of the product but can be a nice little feature.

Magnetism – Some headlamps have a magnetic base on them. That can be good for those who want a stable light to be able to do more intricate hunting tasks such as cutting

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