Don’t Let The Dark Hold You Down: The Best Hunting Headlamps In 2022
Hunting means different things for different people, but ultimately it’s a way to get outside and connect with nature. It’s just a plus that you might get to bring home hard-won meat. But when you’re stalking through the woods at sunset or before sunrise, the last thing you want to worry about is not being able to see where you’re going. I can’t count how many times I have found myself slowly making my way through the woods or down a talus field as the sun sets, my eyes unable to adjust to the dark. If only I had remembered to bring a headlamp…
Every hunter or general outdoors person needs a quality hunting headlamp as part of their hunting gear. Whether you’re on the move with your hunting GPS or just setting up camp and making dinner after dark, it’s a pain to have to constantly move a lantern, or even worse, not be able to see what you’re doing. A reliable, bright headlamp for hunting is a lifesaver and vital addition to your outdoor gear. Without further ado, here are the best hunting head lamps according to GearHungry’s team of outdoor professionals, adventure-seekers, and hunters.
- Best Rechargeable Batteries: LUXPRO Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp
- Best Splurge-Worthy: PETZL Swift RL Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp
- Best Overall: Black Diamond Storm 400 Hunting Headlamp
- Best Dimmable Light: Energizer LED Hunting Head Lamp
- Highest Lumen Headlamp : Fenix HM65R 1400 Lumen Dual Beam Hunting Headlamp
- Longest Battery Life: Petzl Tactikka RGB Hunting Headlamp
- Best Headlamp Beanie: Panther Vision CUBWB Hands-Free LED Hunting Headlamp
- Best Blood Tracking Mode: Bushnell TRKR 325L Multi-Color Headlamp
- Best High Powered White Light: 77Outdoor Headlamp
- Best Budget Headlamp: LE LED Headlamp Flashlight
The Best Hunting Head Lamp
If you’re looking for an excellent hunting headlamp at a reasonable price, we highly recommend the LUXPRO Rechargeable Hunting Headlamp. While the battery only lasts for about 2.5 hours on medium or 3.5 hours on flood light, our tester has reported that the battery charges ultra-fast – in only an hour or so. This headlamp flashlight is also completely waterproof, meaning it can be submerged up to 3 feet of water for up to thirty minutes. So if you like to fish or spend a lot of time on the water, this is a great headlamp to add to your outdoor gear.
Our tester particularly liked the multiple lighting modes on this headlamp, including a white light spotlight, a red beam, green light, and white flood light. There’s also a hidden strobe light which can be accessed by pressing and holding the left button while in any light mode. As a nice bonus, this hunting headlamp comes with a one-year warranty in case of any manufacturer defects. Perfect to always have in your hunting backpack.
362 lumens on high
IPX7 waterproof rating
- Weight2.4 Ounces
Our top pick for hunting headlamps is the Petzl Swift headlamp. It’s not the cheapest option on the list, but it’s reliable, high-powered, and includes rechargeable batteries. It features reactive lighting, which automatically adjusts the light beam distance and brightness based on light levels. This helps optimize battery life and provides the best lighting for your needs. A single button cycles through all the light options, plus, it locks for security. At the highest power mode, it can illuminate up to 150 meters with 900 lumens. In the lowest power mode, this hunting light will last for up to 100 hours, meaning if you used it for four hours a day, it would last for about a month of everyday use. It features a battery life indicator and charges with any USB C connection.
The two-part reflective head strap stays put while you are moving quickly, so you don’t have to worry about having to adjust your headlamp flashlight while on the move. Also, this headlamp comes with a five-year guarantee against any manufacturer’s defects, basically promising that it will last for at least that long.
Includes lock mode
- Weight3.7 Ounces
The Black Diamond Storm headlamp is the best hunting headlamp for anyone who just wants something simple but effective. 400 lumens of light provides plenty of hands-free night vision with Power Tap technology allowing instant transition between full power and dimmed light. One of the best features of this headlamp is that it includes brightness memory. This allows you to turn the headlamp off and on without having to cycle through all of the light options to find what you need again. It also includes red, green, and blue lighting options for the best night vision.
The Black Diamond storm headlamp is powered by four AAA batteries. Reviewers rave over the durability of this headlamp, saying they can drop it in mud, water, and out of trees, and it is still just fine. It is water and dust resistant, and the head strap is adjustable. Also, if you are worried about the headlamp turning on in a pocket or turning off accidentally, you can lock it.
Water and dust resistant
Red, green, and blue lighting modes
- BrandBlack Diamond
- ModelStorm 400 Headlamp
- Weight5.64 Ounces
This Energizer Headlamp features up to 260-lumens of LED light and can illuminate objects up to 80 meters away, making it one of the best headlamps for hunting. It produces seven different lighting modes for different situations – red, high, low, spot-high, spot-low, wide-high, and wide-low – and it has smart-dimming technology, to easily adjust brightness. The headlamp runs on three included AAA batteries which provide 35 hours of run time in low mode.
It also includes a rugged shell that can withstand a one-meter drop test, a shatterproof lens, and a water-resistant IPX4 body. It also comes in a couple of different color options. It’s one of the best hunting headlamps if you’re on a tight budget! For more useful products for your hunting adventures, check out our guide to the best hunting binoculars.
Illuminates objects up to 80 meters away
Seven light modes
35 hours run time in low power
- Weight4 Ounces
If you’re looking for something to blind the competition and blaze the way forward, this highest-powered headlamp on our list is for you. Now, it’s not cheap, but with a max output of 1400 lumens on full power, this is a great hunting headlamp for anyone who never wants to be in the dark again. The dual-beam provides a spotlight of up to 178 yards (that’s almost two football fields!) and a floodlight of up to 60 yards. The frame is made of magnesium alloy, which is lighter than aluminum but just as durable. And this waterproof headlamp passes drop tests of up to 2 meters on six different sides, proving that it can stand up to heavy field use. Power comes from the included rechargeable battery or 2 CR123A batteries. You can keep tabs on the battery with the battery life indicator, and charge it with the included USB cable.
However, if you need colored lights, this headlamp is not for you. It does one thing really well — shining bright white light. For a night vision headlamp that includes blue, green, or red lights, check out a different headlamp on our list. It’s a great headlamp for fishing as well. Be sure to also pick a handy hunting knife from our list, as well.
14o0 lumens reach out to 178 yards
IP68 waterproof rated
Extra batteries included
Battery life indicator
- BrandFenix Flashlights
- Weight3.42 Ounces
The Petzl Tactikka RGB hunting headlamp is Petzl’s answering call to the hunters’ needs. It has all the light options you need, including 250 lumens of white light, as well as RGB (red, green, and blue) light modes. It comes with three standard AAA batteries but is also compatible with Petzl’s CORE rechargeable battery pack. The batteries last for up to 260 hours, according to Petzl.
Slip the Petzl Tactikka on when the light starts to fade and it will provide you all the illumination you need to navigate tough trails or set up your camp in a dark forest. Designed for hunting and built to serve that purpose, this is one of the best headlamps for hunting in this price range. Be sure to also browse our list of the top hunting blinds on the market.
RGB light modes
Batteries last up to 260 hours
Compatible with AAA batteries or Petzl’s rechargeable battery pack
- Weight2.82 Ounces
Looking for something different than your average headlamp? The Panther Vision CUBWB is a beanie-style pullover cap made of comfortable compression fleece which also happens to have 4 LED lights embedded at the front of the cap. Two of the LED light bulbs are angled 55 degrees down towards your hands while the other two point out in front of you to provide ample glow whatever the task may be.
This hat lamp(?) is powered by 4 CR2032 coin cell batteries that are hidden in the band of the cap and provide up to 68 hours of operation. The on/off switch is also hidden in the hatband. When you want both warmth and illumination simultaneously, this LED headlamp beanie might be right for you. It’s even machine washable — just take the batteries out first. And, if you are looking for something other than camo, this option comes in a variety of colors for every mood and activity.
4 LED lights
68 hours of operation
- BrandPanther Vision
- Weight0.32 Ounces
With 325 Lumens, the Bushnell TRKR 325L Multi-Color Headlamp illuminates the darkest places, revealing animals’ foot tracks even on uneven surfaces. The headlamp comes with a few different colored light modes that are helpful for hunting. The red mode offers dim light without losing your night vision. While the blue light provides a blood tracking mode which allows you to better see blood trails in the dark.
Headlamps for hunting also need to be durable and withstand all sorts of conditions. The Bushnell TRKR headlamp has a sturdy build that makes it suitable for rigorous use, even in adverse weather conditions. Aircraft-grade aluminum protects from falls up to 1 meter and the lamp can also stand up to light rainfall. You may also be interested in some of the best-selling LED flashlights from our list. Check them out.
Includes blood tracking mode
- Weight3.58 Ounces
The 77Outdoor Headlamp uses two SST40 LEDs to deliver a maximum light output of 1200 lumens, one of the highest lumen headlamps we included on our list. What this headlamp does best is shine really bright, but it doesn’t have a whole lot of other useful hunting features like red light modes. It’s lightweight (2.9 ounces without battery), has a nylon band, and an adjustable beam with 180 degrees of vertical rotation. Five light modes allow you to customize how much light you need at a given moment.
Fitted with a micro USB port, this is a rechargeable headlamp and is powered by a single 18650 battery that also comes in the package along with a charging cable. It is crafted with high-quality materials, which make it durable and able to withstand adverse weather conditions. The headlamp’s toughness comes from its hard-anodized finish, and an aircraft-grade aluminum alloy case fitting. Take a look at our selection of the most popular rechargeable flashlights on the market, and pick your favorite.
Aircraft-grade aluminum alloy case
Pivots 180 degrees up and down
- Weight2.82 Ounces
The LE LED Headlamp Flashlight features four different lighting modes, which include three levels of white light for everyday use as well as a red flashing mode for emergency purposes. The headlamp has up to 18 LED lights while on full blast. It fits securely on any size head with adjustments in both a horizontal and vertical direction. The strap is also removable, which is handy when you start to sweat and want to wash it. This headlamp is also IP44 water-resistant which means it can handle some splashing, but cannot be fully submerged.
The headlamp pivots both up and down 90 degrees and stays in place once positioned. It comes with three AAA batteries included, and they last for up to 10 hours in red light mode (lowest power). While it may not offer the brightest beam light, it’s an excellent piece of hunting or hiking kit that you’d be wise to have as your backup head lamp. For more awesome outdoor gear, check out our guide to the top-rated tactical flashlights.
Four light modes including flashing red light
- BrandLighting EVER
- Weight4.8 Ounces
Why Trust Us
We've spent plenty of time outside, hunting, fishing, camping, and more. Over the years, we have tried many headlamps on the market, and have tested them out while on the trail or setting up camp. By spending lots of time outside living life and testing headlamps, our testers have learned everything there is to know about headlamps and what makes a good one, from lumens to light modes.
Who This Is For
Anyone who spends time outside needs a good headlamp. Hunters, campers, and hikers alike all need to see where they are going after the sun goes down, or before the first light of dawn breaches the horizon. Having your hands free is essential for hunters, campers, and hikers.
How We Picked
We picked the best headlamps based on our own testing, researching, and the opinions of others. Everyone has an opinion about what makes the best headlamp, so we asked, listened, and compiled this list so that you can choose the right hunting headlamp for your next trip. We made sure to choose a variety of price points, with many different features so that everyone can find their best headlamp for hunting. Whether you are looking for the longest battery life, a rechargeable headlamp, the furthest beam distance, or one with a red light mode, you will find all of these options and more in our best hunting headlamp roundup.
How We Tested
We tested some of the headlamps while out camping, hiking, skiing, and climbing. From early mornings when you need a headlamp to see before the sun crests over the slopes of the mountains, to late nights making mac and cheese around a campfire. We have made our way painstakingly down talus fields by the light of a headlamp, carefully eyeing each rock to make sure not to twist an ankle. And, we have read books in a tent by the red light glow of a headlamp. We've also dropped headlamps and stuffed them in packs and drawers. We know that life gets rough out there, and we want you to find the headlamp that fits your lifestyle and needs.
Features To Look For In Hunting Headlamps
Beam type - The type of beam determines how wide or concentrated the light will shine. It is best to choose a headlamp that has adjustable light outputs so that you can change between a concentrated spotlight and a wider flood light or diffuse light depending on your needs.
Water resistance - The nature of hunting, hiking, and camping entails exposure to varying weather conditions. A good headlamp should be able to perform well under light rain or when it’s snowing. Choosing a water-resistant headlamp might allow it to last longer and perform better in all possible conditions.
Beam distance - Headlamps are designed to allow you to see what is in front (and around) you. Different headlamps provide different types of light outputs which allow you to see either further in the distance or provide periphery vision. A good headlamp should specify what the beam distance is, and that is an important factor in which headlamp you choose.
Power source - What does your headlamp run on? Does it use batteries or is it rechargeable? Rechargeable headlamps are becoming more popular and usually include a USB power cord for recharging. Otherwise, you will need to replace the batteries whenever they run out. Most headlamps use AAA or AA batteries. I prefer rechargeable headlamps, as it can be a pain to have to buy new batteries and keep them on hand in case of a dead headlamp.
Battery life - How long will your headlamp last? The battery life of your headlamp is a big factor as no one likes to constantly have to replace or recharge their electronics. Also, depending on the length of your hunting trip, you may not be able to recharge or replace your batteries often. Make sure you know how long the battery life of your hunting headlamp should be and prepare for what you will do if it runs out.
Operational mode - Some headlamps are as simple as off and on, but others have lots of different operational modes including multiple white light settings, strobe mode, white and red light, blue light modes, and more. Knowing how to access each of these light modes is important. Sometimes there may be multiple buttons, while other times you may have to click a button twice or press and hold to change the light output on your hunting headlamp.
Hunting Headlamp FAQ
Q: How many lumens do I need for a headlamp?
A: This depends on what you plan to do with your headlamp. Typically, I would not use a headlamp with less than 300 lumens, but 150 can be sufficient for some pursuits, and fewer lumens often equals cheaper.
Here's the thing though, higher lumens do not simply equal brighter light. More lumens can produce a further-reaching light, but it depends on the spread of the light output. A focused beam of 300 lumens can provide a bright, far-reaching spotlight, which is great for spotting distant wildlife but not if you are trying to set up camp or make dinner. Taking that same 300 lumens and spreading it out to more of a flood beam will not look as bright, but is more suitable for other activities such as cooking or hiking. Some headlamps have an adjustable light output for different beam distances which allows you to use both spotlights and floodlights at various times.
Q: What is the brightest headlamp you can buy?
A: There are headlamps on the market that reach 1600 lumens, which is more than enough for most people. Plenty of 1000+ lumen headlamps exist, and we include a few of those in our reviews above. But, that does come with a price. For most people, 300-700 lumens is a sufficient amount of light output for hunting. The white light is typically the brightest, whereas if your headlamp has red light or green light, it will be dimmer for times you don't need to see very far.
Q: What color light will I need?
A: Having different colored lights can help with different activities. Of course, every flashlight needs white light. This is going to be your do-it-all light for when you need to see clearly. Red light is the second most common light on hunting headlamps. Red light preserves your night vision while still providing some light to see by. Also, using a red, green, or blue light is not as bright in other people's eyes, so try to keep your headlamp on a colored light if you are with a group of people. Green lights are also better for night vision, and some hunters claim that green light actually attracts wildlife. It definitely won't scare away a deer compared to bright white light. Blue light is the best for fog, as it cuts through more than any other light. It also works well for reading maps at night as it does not wash out red or green lines. It's also the best light for blood tracking in the dark, as blue light reflects blood droplets.