When you are wondering how to choose a headlamp, the first thing you will want to consider is your usage. What might be the ideal headlamp for running isn’t necessarily the top choice for camping or construction. At Fenix, we make high-quality, well-made headlamps built for various uses.
However, when there are so many choices, it can be intimidating to figure out which headlamp is right for you, so we created this guide to select a headlamp for running, camping, fishing, hunting, and construction.
How to Choose a Headlamp for Running
When you are running in low-light conditions, safety and comfort are top priorities. You want a snug, breathable headband and the ability to switch modes easily.
Look for a lightweight headband that doesn’t weigh you down, but that’s snug enough to stay put as you run on roads or trails. While most headlamps should be able to handle temperature changes, your running headlamp will likely experience extreme hot and cold temperatures. Pick one that is tested to continue performing through changing conditions. In addition, if you are a distance or endurance runner, you need a headlamp with a long runtime so you don’t lose your light in the middle of a long run.
The Fenix HM65R-T Headlamp is a rechargeable headlamp that is an excellent choice for nighttime running. It features a SPORT headband, which offers a more stable fit than other headbands due to its patented rotary press/pull clasp; easily adjusted for a perfect fit.
The spotlight and the floodlight can be simultaneously selected so you can see close-up conditions in detail as well as further down the trail or road. Easily switch between six different modes so you can see well whatever the conditions or light level. The HM65R-T has a maximum runtime of 300 hours and includes a battery level indicator. Don’t worry if you do happen to drop this headlamp—it’s made of a magnesium alloy and is impact-resistant to 2 m.
How to Choose a Headlamp for Camping, Fishing, and Hunting
The best hunting headlamps combine reliability with versatility. You need a long runtime as well as the ability to choose between a floodlight and a spotlight beam. As campers, fishers, and hunters know—light conditions can vary considerably in the wilderness, so you want a headlamp that will provide clear vision in low light as well as complete darkness. A red light mode is an important feature especially on hunting headlamps so you can avoid spooking game.
Another feature to look for in a headlamp for camping, fishing, or hunting is beam distance, also known as beam throw. This is the ability of a lens to focus the light into a beam. The longer the beam distance, the further you can see in the dark.
Always look at the lumens of your headlamp. This is especially crucial when hunting. Lumens measure the total light energy emitted by your device, and the higher the lumens, the brighter your light. It’s also important to consider battery life. The battery has to last the length of your hunting trip, fishing expedition, or camping outing. Look for rechargeable lights that you can charge in the car on the way to your destination. Finally, take a look at the waterproof rating, especially when fishing.
One of Fenix’s best camping, fishing, and hunting headlamps is the HM50R V2.0. A headlamp and a flashlight in one, this light can be removed from its headband and includes a body clip for hands-free use. When fishing, this allows you to easily clip the light to your fishing vest for a forward-facing light to use while hiking to your honey hole or tying on your favorite lure.
This light is great for hiking and camping and any time when you need a variety of lighting modes. Small and lightweight, the HM50R V2.0 has a red light mode that preserves your night vision when hunting, so you can see at night without scaring away your prey. The light has a runtime of 42 hours and shines a maximum of 700 lumens 377 ft (115 m), charges fast, and withstands extreme temperatures, which is helpful when using the light if you are grilling at camp. An ideal hunting light that weighs only 2.75 ounces, the HM50R V2.0 won’t weigh you down on long reconnaissance sessions or while tracking your game.
If you’d like more lumens and an even longer runtime, the Fenix HM65R is a powerhouse ideal for camping, fishing, and hunting. The HM65R features both an independently controlled spotlight and a floodlight for a combined maximum of 1400 lumens of neutral and white light and has a max runtime of 280 hours. It’s small and lightweight and features seven modes. In addition to a floodlight mode, this powerful headlamp includes a neutral white light that's better for color rendering. Activate it when you are cooking at camp to see if your food is ready or set it simply to reduce glare fatigue.
How to Choose a Headlamp for DIY Work and Construction
When working at night, you are dealing with a dynamic environment. You may find yourself moving from low light to completely dark settings, alternating between shadows and ambient light. This is why knowing how to choose a headlamp for work is extremely important. Look for a high-performance light that is reliable, fits over a hard hat if necessary, and is rugged enough to withstand the toughest conditions.
An ideal option for nighttime construction is the powerful Fenix HP30R V2.0, a professional headlamp that can be used for search and rescue, heavy equipment operation, and construction.
This light has a separate battery case and is powered by two 21700 Li-ion batteries. It throws an incredible 3000 lumens with a max runtime of 120 hours. This headlamp is rechargeable via the USB-C port in the battery case, and the battery can be used as a power bank to charge other devices.
Use the dial switch to move between four white spotlight output levels and three neutral white floodlight output levels. This professional-grade headlamp is high-performance and durable, made of A6061-T6 aluminum.
How to Choose the Best Headlamps – Fenix Shows the Way
Fenix has some of the brightest, most versatile headlamps on the market. Made with care and exacting quality, we create our headlamps with the user in mind. We know the needs of a runner and a construction worker are not the same and are committed to providing the best headlamp for your specific needs.