Remember when camping meant lugging around massive, D-battery flashlights? Thankfully, technology has turned the page on that chapter. Today’s campers can benefit from lightweight and feature-packed headlamps that make navigating the wilderness a breeze.

As someone who has spent countless nights under the stars, I’ve seen firsthand how the right headlamp can make or break a camping trip. Read on to discover my top recommendations for the best headlamps for camping based on performance, durability, and features.

Top 5 headlamps for your next camp trip

Here are our top picks for a feature and budget-wise headlamps you could purchase for your next camping trip.

Petzl actik core headlamp 350 lumens

This is the best option for you if you are looking for a versatile and durable headlamp. It can last several years and work well under varying weather conditions. If there is no electric source to plug the rechargeable Lithium-ion battery, you can definitely use a triple-A battery. It can withstand mild rain showers because of its IP X4 water resistance rating.


  • Light and very portable
  • Comes with a built-in whistle for emergency purposes
  • With a multi-sourced beam great for night jogging and hiking
  • With a rechargeable core battery capable of producing up to 350 lumens


  • Not affordable
  • Burn time needs improvement
  • Its waterproof level cannot withstand swimming and other strong rain

Black diamond spot 325 headlamp

This product is the best choice for people who love a lightweight headlamp that can blend in with one’s gear. With its 3.1 ounces weight, even with 3 AAA batteries installed, this headlamp is the winner in portability and wearability. Its lightweight did not compromise its quality of producing more than 300 lumens. Considering its features, it gives value to your money.


  • Very light and wearable
  • With a single control button for ease of use
  • Highly water resistant and can even survive a puddle drop


  • Has a minimal learning curve for the various modes

Biolite headlamp 330 lumens

With only 4 ounces, this headlamp is 1/3 of the weight of the usual headlamps in the market. This makes it one of the winners in the area of wearability. Aside from its edge in the weight area, it also has cool features such as the red night light. This enables you to see well at night without shocking the woodland creatures.


  • Has a rechargeable battery
  • Can illuminate the trail at 330 lumens
  • With a micro USB cord for easier charging
  • With a band of stretchable and twistable “smart fabric” that is comfortable for the forehead


  • Battery life is relatively short
  • Does not fit well when worn with a helmet

Petzl tikkina 150 lumens headlamp

For those campers who prioritize comfort, this is the best choice. This Petzl tikka only weighs less than half a pound. Additionally, it has a stretchy and wide band that can gently hold into your forehead, saving you from the hassle of constant adjustments.


  • Brightness at 150 lumens
  • Powered by AAA batteries that can run for more than 200 hours
  • Made from high-impact plastic without compromising its lightness


  • Lacks locking feature
  • Does not have a strobe
  • Does not have a red light option
  • Waterproofing needs improvement
  • 150 lumens output is inferior to other models

Black diamond spot lite 160

This lightweight headlamp is the simplified version of the spot 325 and is the best choice for those who prioritize features rather than all-out power. True to its name, it emits 160 lumens compared to the spot’s 325 lumens. These two products are almost the same in terms of quality and texture. Because of its lesser output, it is 13 dollars cheaper than its superior counterpart.


  • Weighs 1.9 oz
  • Has a red-light option
  • Has dimming capabilities
  • Powered by 2 AAA batteries
  • Highly waterproof, with an IPX8 waterproof rating


  • Has a low power output

What to Look for in a Camping Headlamp


Remember, a low initial price often means compromised quality. Look for a headlamp that strikes a balance between cost and performance.

Brightness & Beam Distance

For night hikers, a longer beam distance and higher lumen count are critical. If you’re mainly walking the dog, lower lumens will suffice.

Battery Type

Choose between rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries, each with its merits. Rechargeables are eco-friendlier, but non-rechargeables usually last longer.

Final Thoughts

Choosing a headlamp involves more than just picking the cheapest or brightest option. Balance your priorities—whether it’s weight, lumens, battery life, or cost—to find a model that meets your unique camping needs. Armed with the right headlamp, your outdoor adventures will be more enjoyable and safer.