Whether you need to see the path ahead while hiking or be seen from behind while running, these rechargeable headlamps are a must-have. They are powerful, versatile, and easy to use.

Rechargeable Headlamp

When shopping for rechargeable headlamp you’ll want to look at the brightness (lumens) and modes. Read on to find the best one for your needs.

The power of your headlamp is the key to its usefulness on trips, so you’ll want to ensure it has enough battery life to get you through your activities. It is best to bring a backup light if you do any night hiking, pre-dawn climbing or other outdoor adventures where local authorities may prohibit the use of artificial lights (for wildlife conservation or stargazing experiences).

The brightness of your headlamp is measured in lumens and is typically part of its name and emblazoned prominently on its packaging. Brighter headlamps tend to be more expensive and need more batteries or hardware for recharging, but that doesn’t mean they are always better for the job.

Many of the most popular headlamps in our tests use LEDs, which are very powerful but also very energy efficient compared to older bulbs. However, not all LEDs are created equal, and the quality of your headlamp’s lenses is a big factor in how well it performs.

Lastly, headlamps that are rechargeable will save you the weight of bringing a pack of alkaline batteries and will avoid battery waste, but they generally have shorter burn times than models that take regular batteries. For extended backcountry trips, it is often worth the extra expense to upgrade to a rechargeable model that uses lithium batteries, which are less likely to degrade in cold temperatures.

Most headlamps are rechargeable with a micro-USB cable, and while the majority of our favorite models have this connector, some still use the outdated Mini USB port (which is flimsy, non-reversible, only charges at one speed and can leak) or have no connector at all (check out our guide to waterproof headlamps). Some are also starting to adopt the future-proof USB type C connector.

If your headlamp takes regular batteries, be sure to store it with the lid firmly secured and remove it when not in use. Not only will this help to preserve the battery life, but it will prevent leaking electrolyte and prevent corrosion of the metals inside the headlamp. In addition, make sure to recycle used batteries when possible to reduce environmental impact.


The amount of light produced by a headlamp determines how much it illuminates, so you’ll want to look for a model with a high lumen count. This is especially important if you’ll be using your headlamp for outdoor activities such as camping, hiking or mountaineering. The higher the lumens, the brighter the beam and more visibility you’ll have.

Most rechargeable headlamps offer multiple lumen settings so you can adjust the brightness to suit the activity. Some models even have a red light mode that preserves your night vision while still providing illumination. Some lights also have flashing modes for increased visibility when you’re in a pinch or need to signal rescuers.

Rechargeable headlamps are a great choice for outdoor adventures because they’re easy to use and save you money in the long run. They also reduce waste by eliminating the need to buy and dispose of disposable batteries. Additionally, a rechargeable headlamp is lighter than a pack of disposables and takes up less space in your backpack. Some models even come with a battery case that doubles as a power bank to recharge your other devices when you’re on the go.

When looking for a rechargeable headlamp, be sure to check whether it has a USB port for charging. This will allow you to charge it at home or in your car between trips. Some lights, such as those from COAST, also have dual power systems so you can switch to standard alkaline batteries if the rechargeable battery runs out of juice.

The Black Diamond Astro 300-R rechargeable headlamp offers premium performance without sacrificing comfort or durability. It’s equipped with a 1500 mAh Lithium-ion rechargeable battery that delivers up to 6 hours on high and 140 hours on low, plus strobe and dimming modes. Its comfortable fit includes silicone strips and 4 hardhat clips to secure it to your helmet or hat. Its IPX4 rated stormproof design ensures it can handle light rain or sleet.

The NITECORE HC35 is a rechargeable headlamp with plenty of features to keep you going on your next adventure. It comes with a high-performance 21700 Li-ion battery that unlocks the quad LEDs’ max brightness of 2700 lumens, and it can also run on any other >8 high discharge 18650, or pair of CR123 batteries with an included adapter sleeve. With a built-in USB charging port, power indicator and lockout mode, the HC35 is ready for any outdoor adventure.

Beam Distance

Whether setting up your tent at night, trail running at dusk or reading in the backcountry, headlamps provide hands-free lighting convenience that is hard to beat. They are powered by LEDs (light-emitting diodes) which are rugged, energy-efficient and long-lasting. LEDs produce a bright spot light for up-close camp tasks and a broad flood light for general task lighting, trail marking or reading.

Beam distance is a measurement of how far the headlamp’s beam reaches. This factor is especially important when choosing a headlamp for use outdoors. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see the trail or path ahead at least 50 meters (164 feet).

When comparing headlamps, look for how much battery capacity they have. A higher capacity means that you can go for longer trips without having to recharge from a power source.

Many headlamps offer a range of different modes that can be cycled through with the press of a button. Look for headlamps with multiple brightness settings, a red-light mode to preserve night vision and other features that can help you stay safe and be prepared on the trail or in the woods.

Some headlamps feature a tilting function that allows you to position the spotlight or floodlight directly where you need it. This can make a big difference when you are using the headlamp for trail running or for up-close repair work. Other headlamps have a pivot mechanism that lets you adjust the light up or down to focus on a specific task.

Some headlamps come with clips that attach to a hard hat or helmet for hands-free safety lighting in the workplace. These are great for mechanics, electricians and plumbers who need a powerful focused beam or a wide floodlight for work at heights. Look for headlamps with a CLASS 1 safety certification, an extended battery life and an easy-to-use interface. These features can save time and money and keep you safe on the job site or trail.


Whether you’re out hiking, trail running, camping, or working around the house, the right headlamp can throw bright light where you need it. And a rechargeable model lets you eliminate the need to carry extra throw-away batteries in case your lights die, making them one of the most convenient gear upgrades in recent memory.

LED headlamps with multiple modes offer versatile lighting options for any situation. For example, you can cycle through high and low white light modes to adjust brightness or use red mode for visibility and to protect your eyes. You can also select strobe mode to highlight obstacles or alert others of your presence in the dark. Some models can even be controlled with motion sensors to turn on or off the headlamp when it detects movement nearby.

The Black Diamond SPOT-R is another powerful option with proximity and distance modes, a dimming function, red night vision mode, and a digital lock to prevent accidental power drain. With a run time of four hours on high and eight hours on low, it’s a great choice for long hikes or outdoor activities.

Rechargeable headlamps can be powered by a built-in lithium-ion battery or an external power bank, making them more portable than traditional flashlights. Some even come with a dual power system so you can use a fresh supply of AAAs as a backup in case your rechargeables run out.

A rechargeable LED headlamp with a simple interface can make it easier to find the best settings for your needs. A large, glove-friendly switch allows you to quickly and easily cycle through different modes. Some models allow you to double-tap the switch to access three red light modes independently, so you don’t have to cycle through white before getting to red.

Most headlamps that include a built-in battery have an indicator light that tells you how much charge is left. You can check the battery status through a USB port on the headlamp or by using an external power bank. Many of them can also be turned off with a click, which is more convenient than cycling through all the different modes.