Best Running Headlamps
With the beginning new year, many of us have taken up the resolution of running regularly, even if it is only for a short while. But although it may take up only a small chunk of the day, many still struggle to find the time to get in a good run or jog to keep fit and healthy.
To work around this, runners are choosing more frequently than ever to run either in the early hours of the morning when work hasn’t begun, and most people are still sleeping, or late at night after work, and also after the sun has set.
Running in these conditions, with low light and, hence, low visibility can also serve as a challenge. Will you be able to see the road ahead of you, where you’re going, or what is in front of you? Will those around you be able to see you? Will people in vehicles be able to see you and, hence, avoid crashing into you?
All of these things are very important to keep in mind when thinking of taking up low-light running. One item that can help solve all these problems is a night runner headlight or a top headlamp for running. The best running headlamps allow you to run in low-light conditions with ease, illuminating both the area in front of you and your own body. This keeps you from tripping. Also, illuminating your own body enables the vehicles around you to see you properly. Another item of clothing that can help illuminate your own body is reflective clothing, which is something that is often paired with the best running headlamps.
There are many different options when it comes to the best running headlamps. Some are the best trail running headlamps, while others are the best headlamps for ultra-running. These flashlights for runners come in different shapes, sizes, and capabilities, and you must choose a headlamp that is suited to your needs and is the best running headlamp for you.
In this article, we will be looking at the best running headlamps available right now, what they are capable of, and what to look for in order to choose the best running headlamp for you.
At A Glance
Table of Contents
- Top Running Headlamps
- What To Look For In Your Best Running Headlamp
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 3 Picks For Best Running Headlamps
|Petzl MYO RXP||Check Price on Amazon|
|Black Diamond Spot 325||Check Price on Amazon|
|Biolite Headlamp 200||Check Price on Amazon|
1. Petzl MYO RXP
|Check Price on Amazon|
Petzl is a company that is known for making the best running headlights, and this flashlight for runners is one of their flagship products, which is why it makes it onto our list of the best headlamps for night running. Given that it is their flagship product, however, also means that it is not cheap at all, with prices ranging from $90-110, depending on where you shop.
Having said that, however, this flashlight for runners is definitely worth every single penny you spend on it. The MYO RXP uses three AA batteries, offering a brightness capacity of 160 lumens. The use of three AA batteries also means that it doesn’t run out of power very quickly and gives you consistent lighting throughout your run. Another incredible feature on this device that only adds to its reputation as the best running headlight is the customizable brightness feature. This is the company’s first flashlight for runners that offers programmable output for brightness settings suited to a runner’s individual needs and requirements.
The MYO RXP is also a very powerful device, with the light beam going as far as 75 meters in distance. You can also switch between a focused beam to look at things in the distance and a wide beam that helps you look at your immediate surroundings. The beam on this device isn’t very harsh either, meaning you won’t strain your eyes when going on a long run, making it one of the best trail running headlamps. The device weighs 95 grams, not including batteries, which is light enough to not cause any discomfort when running, even for those relatively new to running with a headlamp.
There are 10 different lumen levels that you can toggle between, and each takes up more battery life. The first setting can last you more than 60 hours. 35 hours is the burn time for the first setting, while 30-45 mins is the burn time for the last and most bright setting. Lastly, the Petzl MYO RXP is a very comfortable flashlight for runners, with the weight distributed proportionately and an additional top strap for added security.
Following are the reasons the Petzl MYO RXP is considered one of the best running headlights available right now-
- Ten different brightness settings give runners incredible control over their required lighting. When you’re running with the MYO RXP, the light will never be too bright or not bright enough because you can always change it to be just right for you and your running needs.
- When used on lower brightness settings, this device has incredible battery life, lasting longer than 60 hours. This also makes it one of the best headlamps for ultra running.
- The comfortable straps on this device make it great for everyday use. It also does not weigh a lot, meaning you won’t feel any discomfort when running with this flashlight for runners.
- The burn time on this device takes a significant dip if higher brightness levels are used.
- It might be hard for runners wearing gloves to press the buttons on top of the headlamp since they are quite small.
2. Black Diamond Spot 325
|Check Price on Amazon|
Black Diamond is a company that you know you can rely on because not only do they make the best running headlights for both short and long-distance runners, but these headlights are also used by skiers and climbers. Both of these can be considered high-intensity, high-risk sports, which is why it is imperative that the gear that skiers and climbers wear is of the best quality and delivers every single time.
The Black Diamond Spot 325 is one of Black Diamond’s flagship products, with many reviews calling it the single best running headlight available right now, and it certainly deserves all that praise. Priced at only $40, this is one of the most affordable, high-functioning flashlights for runners out there. It has a brightness of 325 lumens, an upgrade of 25 lumens from the Spot’s previous iteration. The 325 lumens are enough to help you see everything in front of you very clearly, even if you’re running on rocky, muddy, or sandy areas, which is why we also consider the Spot 325 to be one of the best trail running headlamps.
Another essential feature of the best trail running headlamps is that they must have a high range. This enables you to see both what is right in front of you and what is in the distance. The Spot 325 does not disappoint in this respect either, with an immense range of 94 meters. This is enough for you to spot any potential dangers up ahead in the distance, which, in turn, gives you enough time to get yourself back to safety. The Spot 325, due to its excellent beam range, brightness, and beam width combined, is great at trail finding and does better than competitors that cost twice as much or more.
One of the only areas it lags in is its battery life. The Spot 325 uses three AAA batteries and functions very well on its lowest setting, lasting for over 100 hours, but once you begin increasing the brightness, the battery starts to run out very rapidly. The medium setting lasts only about 8-10 hours, while the highest setting lasts about 4 hours, which is way lower than what Black Diamond claims are the battery life of this device.
This issue can be combated, however, by carrying an extra set of batteries while on your run. You may be worried about carrying extra, unnecessary weight, but three AAA batteries only weigh about 30 grams.
If you’re worried about carrying unnecessary weight and want the best running flashlight that does not weigh too much, then the Spot 325 is a great fit for you, weighing in at only 89 grams. The weight is distributed appropriately, and the straps are very comfortable and sturdy, allowing you to run for long hours without straining your neck. If you carry a set of extra batteries, this device can qualify as one of the best headlamps for ultra-running.
Following are the reasons the Black Diamond Spot 325 is on our list of best running headlights.
- The Spot 325 has an excellent beam range of 90+ meters and a stunning brightness of 325 lumens, making it very versatile since you’ll be able to use it on trails and tarmac and also for short and long-distance runs.
- With an IPX8 waterproof rating, the Black Diamond Spot 325 is usable even when you’re running in the rain. You can even use this best running flashlight if you would like to go for a late-night swim since it works well even when submerged underwater for up to 1 meter.
- With a weight of mere 89 grams, the Black Diamond Spot 325 is considerably lighter than other headlights, rendering it lightweight and highly usable.
Following is what Black Diamond can improve upon with this device.
- The battery life on this device is noticeably worse than its competitors, which can be an issue, especially if you’ve forgotten to take an extra set of batteries with you.
- The Spot 325 is composed of one single function button. While this button is designed excellently, it requires the user to remember many different and convoluted pattern mechanisms to utilize it fully.
- While The Spot 325 claims to be waterproof with an IPX8 rating (can function underwater up to a distance of 1 meter for 30 minutes), it is, at best, capable of functioning after brief exposure to water. If exposed to water for a prolonged period, the device will malfunction.
3. BioLite HeadLamp 200
|Check Price on Amazon|
BioLite is a company that builds the best trail running headlamps and the best running flashlights, which are energy efficient. This is done to reduce the rising problem of energy crises and offer sustainable and affordable choices to campers and runners.
Lightweight, comfortable, and easily rechargeable – the BioLite HeadLamp 200 is tailored to cater to runners’ needs making it an essential for runners as one of the top headlamps for running. The BioLite HeadLamp 200 is also considered a good all round best running flashlight option, and especially it also becomes one of the best trail running headlamps.
The BioLite Headlamp costs $45. It is affordable and weighs a mere 1.8 ounces making it the best running flashlight. It boasts a variety of features designed to fulfill the requirements of the user.
With an output of 200 Lumens, the beam angle and distance for the red floodlight is a solid 8m and a whopping 50m for the white spotlight. The battery is charged at 700 mAh, lasts up to 3 hours, and is easily rechargeable through a Micro-USB plug-in feature. It also possesses a wide variety of outstanding features that the top headlamps for running should have. This includes brightness memory, moisture-absorbent fabric, and waterproof rating of IPX4 (which makes the product resistant to splashes coming from any direction), not to mention the Articulating Front Bezel, which allows you to direct the stream of light towards the area you desire.
It also contains easily adjustable clips, which make the fitting of the headlamp flexible to adjust to different head sizes. The headlamp offers four different light modes – a white spot along with a dimming feature, a red flood with a dimming feature, and a white strobe as well as a red strobe feature. The BioLite HeadLamp’s most commendable feature is the 3D Slimfit Construction Technology, which makes the headlamp bounce-resistant; the lamp is conveniently built into the band, making it a flush and snug fit, thus, allowing runners easy usability without being weighed down by the device.
Following are the reasons The BioLite HeadLamp 200 is considered the best headlamp for ultra running:
- The device is affordable, easily accessible, adjustable to different sizes, possess a bounce-resistant fit, a feature meant precisely to render easy mobility for runners. Its bountiful features and energy conservation technology make it the best running headlight available in today’s environment-conscious market.
- Different running areas require different types of lighting for easy visibility. This flashlight for runners is versatile in the sense that it offers four different light modes for spot, flood, and strobe lighting, allowing the runners to utilize the headlamp to adapt to specific environments. That is why it is so often called one of the best headlamps for night running.
- The material is soft, comfortable, and light. It also absorbs moisture and is thus, highly usable. Buyers and reviewers have lauded this product as the best headlamp for ultra running due to the negligible amount of feel on the forehead, enabling runners to exercise for longer periods without any residual discomfort or disturbance.
Following are the features which the BioLite HeadLamp 200 can improve upon:
- The battery life of this device isn’t very good in comparison to other products. It lasts only up to three hours. It is rechargeable through a USB port, but it cannot be charged while simultaneously in use.
- The best headlamp for ultra running offers a power output of 200 lumens, which is scarce relative to the light output that the top headlamps for running usually offer. Thus, unlike most night runner headlights, it is not bright enough for running in the night.
- Despite its easy usability, the BioLite 200 cannot be considered the best trail running headlight because it does not possess a red tail light.
What To Look For In Your Best Running Headlamp
As mentioned, many different things make the best running headlamps different from each other. Each of these determines what that particular night runner headlight is capable of and who it is suited for. Following is a list of things to look for and keep in mind when buying a top headlamp for running to make an informed decision on which is the best running headlamp for you.
The best running headlamps and even flashlights for runners measure brightness with a Lumen unit, as opposed to the Watt, which we find in light bulbs and tubes. Lumens differ based on the requirements of the runner. The best trail running headlamps, for example, have higher lumens, going as far as 300 lumens and up, because this sort of brightness is required on trails, especially if you’re running at night, to avoid tripping over tree roots, or stones, or any other such stray item.
The best headlamps for ultra-running may be a little conservative in terms of lumens in order to save battery since the best headlamps for ultra-running need to last a long time while still being light and wearable. This does not put extra weight on the runner. If you’re looking for the best headlamp for night-running, with the intention of only running around the block and not straying too far from the main roads, then a night runner headlight with 100-200 lumens of brightness should be enough for you.
As mentioned, the battery life differs immensely based on the requirement of the runner. The best headlamps for ultra-running have batteries that last for several hours, while those that are only meant for short distances have smaller batteries that last only a few hours. It is very important that you determine what kind of running you want to partake in and buy the best running headlamp appropriate for you.
Since losing battery in your night runner headlight in the dead of night can be very dangerous since you may lose your way and get lost, so choose wisely. While most top headlamps for running slowly decrease the brightness to maintain longer battery life, others maintain a constant beam of high brightness and then cut out abruptly, so you must be aware of the kind of night runner headlight you’re choosing.
Flashlights for runners and the best headlamps for night running come with two different kinds of batteries. One is the rechargeable kind, which can be recharged using a regular USB cable, while the other is the one that comes with a single-use battery, either a AA or AAA type battery.
The former is great if you only intend on going on short runs and also if you regularly charge your devices. If, however, you are the type to forget charging your top headlamp for running, then the second type of headlamp is best for you since you only need to replace the battery and you are ready to go, as opposed to waiting a few hours to charge your best running headlamp that comes with a rechargeable battery.
You should also choose the single-use battery type if you intend on going for overnight runs so that you can quickly change the battery in case your best running headlamp begins to lose power in the middle of your run.
- Weight – Another very important thing to keep in mind when choosing the best running headlamp for your needs is the weight of the device. Since you will be wearing this device on your head, it is imperative that it is only as heavy as it needs to be since any extra weight is only dead weight that you will need to carry throughout your run. If the device is too heavy, then you may even strain your neck, which may keep you from running until you are fully recovered.
- Light Type – Most night runner headlights only have a single lamp in order to conserve energy, but this can be too little power for some runners. The best headlamps for ultra-running, for example, have both a spotlight to illuminate that which is right in front of you, and floodlights to illuminate the sides and improve your peripheral vision.
- Price – Another big factor in choosing the best running headlamp for you is your budget. It is unwise to assume that anything that costs a lot is automatically worth your money, and anything that is cheap has no value. The best running headlamps come at different price points, ranging from under $50 to over $150. It is best to think about the kind of running you are going to partake in and which top headlamp for running suits your needs the best.
Frequently Asked Questions
Ques1. What is the best headlamp for running?
Ans. According to us, the best headlamp for running is one that is comfortable to wear on the forehead for an extended period, especially for ultra-running. It should possess a good battery life and not conk off in the middle of the run. Plus, it should have good brightness and spread options. And lastly, it must be durable and lightweight.
The best headlamp for running that qualifies all these criteria is Petzl MYO RXP, with a lightweight body and good battery life. It comes with different brightness settings giving you more control over your light preferences. An affordable alternative to this model is the Black Diamond Spot 325, offering a bright flood and spotlight of up to 95 meters. If you are looking for headlamps with rechargeable batteries, then the BioLite Headlamp 200 is the best option for you.
Ques2. How many lumens are good headlamps?
Ans. Generally, a good headlamp should be able to crank out at least 200 lumens on its highest setting. If you are looking for a headlamp to use for trail running, go for lamps with higher lumens, around 300 or more. Then there are also a few headlamps that can automatically adjust their brightness according to the ambient light, while others have manual buttons to change the settings.
Ques3. Why do headlamps have red lights?
Ans. Headlamps come with red lights in order to preserve your night vision as well as the night vision of others going for a run along with you. The reason being, human eyes are less sensitive to low red light; hence, the pupil of our eyes does not shrink to the same extent as when exposed to bluish or white light.
Ques4. Are Black Diamond headlamps good?
Ans. Black Diamond is one of the most reliable companies out there that makes the best running headlights for short- and long-distance runners. Not only do their headlamps find stalwarts in runners but also skiers and climbers. Significantly, the latest offering from the company, the Black Diamond Spot 325, has been lauded as one of the best headlamps in the market today. It comes with a bright beam, offers ease-of-use, and good battery life. It is also waterproof and highly affordable. Therefore, you can rest assured that the products coming from them are unparalleled in terms of quality and performance.
Ques5. How many lumens do I need in my headlamp for trail running?
Ans. Headlamps with higher lumens, 300 or above, are ideal for trail and starless nights. A brighter beam will not only allow better night vision while running but also prevent you from tripping over uneven trails, tree roots, or other obstacles.
Ques6. How much should the headlamps ideally weigh?
Ans. Since you will be wearing the lamp over your head for a considerable duration, you must ensure that you can get a headlamp with more power and less weight. Therefore, the ideal weight of a headlamp should be anywhere near 2 to 4 oz, including batteries. The headlamp should not be heavy that it strains your neck or acts as a dead weight that you need to carry throughout your run. There are certain power-packed and feature-rich headlamps for backpacking, but they weigh approx..10 oz, which is way too much weight to carry on your head for the long run.
The best headlamps for night running and the best running flashlights have a few things in common. They have ample brightness, have a sufficiently long battery life, have a good range, and are comfortable to wear. These are the things one must look for when looking for the best headlamps for night running or the best running headlights in general.
Some headlamps have specifications that are catered to a certain group of runners. For example, the best trail running headlamps are light and have a high brightness so that the runner can run comfortably on harsh terrain. A headlamp that has a low brightness but high battery life, for example, will work great for ultra-runners but won’t be considered the best trail running headlamp. The best running headlamps are often not very cheap, but some companies produce great quality products for an affordable price.
The Petzl MYO RXP is the best running headlight for anyone who wants bright lighting when they’re running. It is quite light and has a good battery life making it a great product for anyone who wants to begin night running. The Black Diamond Spot 325 is an affordable alternative to the MYO RXP since it provides a bright flood and spotlight with a 95-meter range. Its battery life, however, is below average and only lasts about 4 hours on the brightest setting. If you don’t want to spend extra on new sets of batteries every time you run out, then the BioLite Headlamp 200 is the best product for you. It comes with a 700 mAh battery that lasts 3 hours and can be recharged using a micro-USB cable.