The 15 BEST headlights of 2024

There are several factors to consider when you are trying to sort out the best headlights.


Headlight brightness is usually measured in lumens. The higher the lumen number, the brighter the light.

In general, anything over 300 lumens is enough for hiking or general tasks. You may want something brighter for off-roading or if you want to illuminate at longer distances.

Some headlights have a brightness of 1000 lumens or more, which is extremely bright. These high-powered headlights are great, but they also use more power and drain the battery quickly on the highest setting.

Weather resistant

If you are using your headlamp for hiking, jogging, camping, or any other activity outside, chances are it will rain.

Most headlights are rated IPX4, which means they have been tested to withstand splashes or jets of water. This rating is completely sufficient for protection from rain and weather.

If you want the best possible water resistance, look for a light rated IP68 or IPX8. These are the best headlights for inclement weather because they are fully submersible and completely waterproof.

Disposable or rechargeable battery

Previously, the standard was for headlights to use three AAA batteries. That’s still the most popular choice, but now manufacturers like Black Diamond and others are making more headlights with built-in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

Standard batteries are convenient and it’s great that you can find them anywhere, but they often cost more in the long run. Additionally, if your battery runs out and you don’t have any on hand, you’re still SOL until you buy more batteries. AAA batteries also have a much worse environmental impact.

Rechargeable lights are more expensive up front, but I think the extra cost is always worth it, especially if you use your headlights regularly.

Battery life

Whether you choose a headlight that uses AAA batteries or charges with a USB cable, battery life is a major concern. The last thing you want is for your headlights to go out while you’re on a mission or hiking.

Most manufacturers advertise runtimes at different brightness levels. However, I will always take these things with a grain of salt. I used a headlight that said it would last five hours, but after two hours it was so dim that it wasn’t of much use. I recommend always reading reviews to see other people’s testing and real-life experiences with battery life.


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