A good headlamp is quite simply one of the key essentials you need to purchase and pack when embarking on any travels.
Incredibly useful as a reading light, for seeing during power cuts, when camping or for safety purposes, a good headlamp is as versatile and handy as it is hands-free and practical.
Granted, fashion statement it is not, but practical?
Woah mamma, is it ever!
Forget every other type of travel light; it really is all about the head torch.
If you’ve ever tried to read a book in a darkened hostel dorm or tried to pitch a tent after sunset you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
Sadly, even when I’m not travelling you will very often find a headlamp in my bag, just because they’re so damn useful!
I have tried a number of rechargeable head torches in my time, but despite my love for environmentally friendly products, sadly they just don’t cut it.
Mostly, they are bulky and don’t stay bright for nearly long enough so, unfortunately, until I find a better product, I’ll be sticking with a battery-operated headlamp.
As one of my top essentials you should take backpacking, I’ve done a lot of research when it comes to the top headlamps with the most reasonable price tag.
Take a look at these 3 best headlamps for backpacking and decide which one you’ll be taking on your next trip:
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#1 Vtin Aurora Headlamp
Without a doubt, the Vtin Aurora Headlamp is one of the best headlamps for backpacking I’ve found.
I love this model’s low price tag as well as its excellent beam, diverse range of settings and the fact it is waterproof! I know, waterproof, how good is that!
The Vtin Aurora Headlamp is super bright, with luminance up to 130m and a total of 6 settings – a glare, low beam and flashing mode – all available in 2 colours (red and white).
This range of 6 settings is one of the greatest I’ve come across in a headlamp and it’s easy to flick between the settings at the simply touch of a button.
The Vtin Aurora Headlamp also has a great zoom feature, which makes it incredibly easy to focus on smaller specific objects, or change and protect lighter over a broader area.
All you have to do is simply rotate the lamp to turn its highly focused beam into a wider angle of light.
This means the Vtin Aurora Headlamp can be used just as easily to read a book in your hostel dorm as it can to find items in the back of your car during a late night road trip.
The fact that the Vtin Aurora Headlamp is waterproof makes enjoying the outdoors even easier as you needn’t worried about it being damaged by rain or snow – a great piece of mind I’ve found in tropical downpours!
Just in case, however, this is a great headlamp for backpacking as it also comes with a 12 month warranty guarantee!
Conclusion: The cheapest model in my list here, I love the Vtin Aurora Headlamp’s fully waterproof credentials and the great range of settings you get for the price
#2 Petzl TIKKA 100 Lumens Headlamp
If you’re looking for a slightly more upmarket headlamp for backpacking, then the Petzl TIKKA 100 Lumens Headlamp is hard to ignore.
Petzl really are one of the leading brands in the headlamp world and all of their products are renowned for being of the best quality.
Many are of their best headlamps are designed for professional cavers and other extreme conditions, but they also produce a number of lower spec headlamps that are perfect for travellers.
I really like the Petzl TIKKA 100 Lumens as one of the best headlamps for backpacking because the brightness of its light doesn’t fade as the battery drains.
There is also an awesome phosphorescent reflector which allows you to find this headlamp even when it’s stuffed at the bottom of your bag or in a darkened dorm – very handy if you have a tendency to misplace things like me!
With 2 lighting modes, the Petzl TIKKA 100 Lumens Headlamp can either be used to favour longer-lasting light or used to favour brightness.
There is a wide beam, which is excellent for hiking in low light or finding your way home in the dark and the product is also weather-resistant and covered by a 3 year guarantee.
The head strap of the Petzl TIKKA 100 Lumens Headlamp is totally adjustable, very comfortable and washable.
The whole device is light and compact, meaning it’s a great choice of headlamp for ultralight backpacking, especially because it can operate in conjunction with both rechargeable batteries as well as with 3xAAA batteries.
I’ve found this to be perfectly helpful when backpacking as I once purchased and travelled with a headlamp that only took one certain type of round, flat, watch-like battery – very difficult to source in Guatemala let me tell you!
Note to self: Always use a headlamp for backpacking that uses a common battery type!
Conclusion: I think the Petzl TIKKA 100 Lumens Headlamp is one of the best headlamps for backpacking because of its long-lasting light mode, easy to use nature and reflector feature which makes it easy to locate.
#3 Black Diamond Storm Headlamp
This headlamp continually gets rave reports from users and review companies.
The brightest of the 3 best headlamps for backpacking I’ve recommended so far, the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp emits 160 lumens via 2 single white / red LEDS.
That’s a pretty impressive beam for a headlamp in this price range.
Another of the great features of the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp is its power tap technology, which allows you to flick between the simple modes of the headlamp with the gentle touch of a finger, like a smartphone.
Don’t worry however, this won’t mean the headlamp will be switching itself between modes every minute.
No, the clever technology used in the Power Tap function means the pressure of rain or other objects won’t affect the setting as its totally operated by touch.
This will brilliantly save you have to click through all the modes on this headlamp to get to the one you want.
Nor will the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp accidentally turn itself on in your bag.
Fitted with a clever intuitive locking mode, this headlamp won’t ever turn itself on without you wanting it too – so good for saving battery life and efficiency!
If you’re anything you like me, you’ve probably opened your backpack on more than a few occasions to just see your headlamp losing the final battery life it has to illuminate your socks! Not fun!
With both white LED and red night-vision LED lights, the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp offers an above average number of settings for a backpacker headlamp including proximity and strobe modes, as well as full and dimmed power for distance lighting.
This certainly makes the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp one of the best headlamps for backpacking and gives it a versatility that would also make it perfect for late night running or cycling as well as more general travel uses.
The all-condition suitability of the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp is further enforced by its great waterproofing capabilities, which will certainly withstand a good downpour or a water leak in your bag!
The battery life on this headlamp is also outstanding and there is also a handy battery indicator that easily allows you to see how much power there is left in the lamp.
Conclusion: Slightly more expensive than the other 2 headlamps I’ve listed here, the Black Diamond Storm Headlamp is your best bet if you’re looking for a bright, outdoor or sport orientated travel head light. I love the intuitive lock feature and the easy power tap technology.
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So those are 3 of the best headlamps for backpacking I’d recommend.
Have you used any of these products?
What was your experience?
Any other great headlamps for backpacking you would recommend?