Best lightweight headlamps with long low run time, good medium and a high burst mode for backpacking and hiking

Hope headlamps are not blasphemy on this forum. I find them super useful when I need to use my hands. I include in the definition flashlights that can be held in a good head band, though true headlamps that can center on your forehead are nice. Which models are the current best lightweight headlamps, from single AAA and AA to max 3AAA and 2AA, that have:

- a long low run time, good medium and a high burst mode for backpacking and hiking

- preference for natural color temp (not blue and not yellow but in between)

- good beam mix of wide throw + strong center beam (or adjustable).

- weatherproof in rain (and if possible quick dunking in shallow water)

  • Not absolutely necessary but also nice if there are models with red and green lenses that can be changed on the fly (as the changeable slide lens on some military models).

Also, which models can use Lithium batteries which are preferable in winter?

Zebralight H51, has been on many a backpacking trip with me. Other than the price, it is perfect. I do not know of any color filters that are an easy swap over the lens though.

Make sure you order an extra headband, it is nice to have one to go over the top of your head as well so the light doesn’t slide down your forehead when you jump/land.

+1 on H51.

+2 on the Zebralight. Get the H51W for the neutral white version.

+3 Zebralight

+4 Zebralight H51w.

vive la zebra

Zebralight H502c. It’s good for close-up tasks and lighting up the path up to 10 metres away from you. If you need to see further than 10 metres ahead of you, use a torch. I also have the H51c, but found it lacking in the close-up task department and I tend to grab the H502c in most cases.

Note that I also have an SC51w and found the colour rendition of the “c” models to be better than the “w” varieties. On paper, you do lose out on lumens, but I have not found that to be the case in real life usage.

Not NW, but the ultrafire UF-H6 isn’t bad.