Headlamps are the perfect hands-free, illumination aid. They are ideal not only running but also for camping, hiking, mining, cave diving, scuba diving, reading, walking the dog at night or rummaging through the attic. They are able to comfortably fit on your head while you are doing any of those activities. Most have a max bright and low light setting while some also have red LED options to warn oncoming traffic of your position.
The Black Diamond Sprinter
This model by Black Diamond is far and away one the best headlamps for runners because of its fully waterproof light, rechargeable battery and comfortable top strap. The powerful LED light has a max setting of up to 75 Lumens and also has dimmer and strobe settings.
The Princeton Tec Remix
This simple yet useful model by Princeton has a powerful range of light that emits up to 100 Lumens and uses AAA batteries. It is lightweight and waterproof. A notable feature of this headlamp is the easy to find and use single pushbutton that changes the lights settings from high to low.
The CREE LED
This model by CREE has an astonishing five different light settings including two red LED settings and three white light settings that all range from strobe to still and can illuminate close and far distances with ease. It is fully waterproof and also uses easy to find AAA batteries.
The Petzl E91 Tikkina 2
This model by Petzl has two LED lights and can shine its powerful light up to 60 feet in front of you. The easy to use and adjust headband is as comfortable as it is durable and uses AAA batteries.
The Streamlight 61400 “EIR”
Easily one of the best selling running headlamps on Amazon because of the price. This product by Streamlight is usually priced at under $15 but is also very reliable. The LED light in this headlamp can last for 100,000 hours before it needs replacing. This product is also very lightweight weighing in at 2.75 ounces.
The Yalumi Spark LED
Another low cost option, this is a great model made by Yalumi. With the very powerful 105 Lumen LED, you will be able to easily see a couple hundred feet in front of you while running. This is a simple, compact, and lightweight headlamp that won’t let you down.
Headlamps For Runners Facts & FAQs
What companies are known for making them?
There exist dozens of companies that make headlamps but the most recognizable and reliable are Petzl, Energizer, CREE, Princeton and Yalumi. Black Diamond makes some of the most high end and durable headlamps and Petzl has a wide range of products ranging in price from $10 to $50. The selected brands listed on this site all have high customer reviews and a history of making reliable, high quality headbands that can withstand heavy weather conditions and extended use.
What is their history?
Headlamps were first developed for miners beginning in the early 20th century. They were created because the use of flames in gaseous mines were hazardous. Soon they were used for recreational activities like spelunking, camping and of course, running.
Where are they commonly sold?
Headlamps can be found at most sports and recreation stores as well as running specific stores. The variety at these locations such as Sport Chalet and Runner’s World can often be limited to only a handful of brands and models and are often more expensive than simply purchasing them online. You can buy direct from many online retailers but like just about any product, they can all be easily found on Amazon.com. Amazon has dozens of headlamps to suit your need and on this website, we have compiled what we believe to be the best options offered online or anywhere else.
What can I expect to pay?
You can find headlamps at or around $10 and upwards of $100. Anything over $60 is absolutely unnecessary as even the $10 headlamps listed on this site are reliable and made of high quality materials. The $10-20 headlamps listed on this site are finely made and can handle your night runs or camping trips while the higher end models seem to be more comfortable and longer lasting.
How long do they last?
Aside from unique manufacturer defects, all of the headlamps listed on this site have been known to last from a number of months to many years depending on how often you use them. The light itself and the headband on these headlamps last seemingly forever while the battery case seems to be a constant concern for runners as being flimsy and poorly built.
Do they come with a warranty?
Every headlamp listed on this site has a manufacturer’s warranty on it. If there is an inherent defect with the product or it breaks after a short amount of time, the manufacturer will either replace the part or the entire product.
Do I need a certain size?
All of the headlamps listed on this website are a “one size fits all” model and can accomodate just about everybody. The only product with a complaint about not being able to fit larger sized heads is the Yalumi Spark LED headlamp. Other than that, you should be good to go with any headlamp.
Are there waterproof models?
Unless otherwise listed, every headlamp listed here and sold anywhere else is water resistant. Some do better in certain weather conditions but headlamps are inherently waterproof. The elastic headband and plastic lamp are able to withstand sweating and heavy downpours just fine.
Are there any safety concerns?
The only safety concern with runners headlamps is not wearing one. Not only does wearing a headlamp shine a bright light upon your path but it also alerts other people and vehicles of your location and position. Many headlamps come with red LED settings which are highly visible to oncoming cars.
How are they powered?
Almost every headlamp uses AAA batteries while some use AA batteries. The higher end Black Diamond models use rechargeable batteries with an incredibly long lifespan to it. We personally recommend using the generic models that use AAA batteries as they are easy to find and are light weight.
Can I get a customized model?
The only variations you can get for direct from the manufacturer are the color schemes and in some cases, the light bulb colors such as red, green, or white.