Help/suggestions for a budget/lightweight AAA headlight?

Hi guys, I hope someone has some ideas for this little man.

I want to spend max 20 USD (shipping inc.) on a headlight. I’m in Europe, so usual chinese places preferred (if not p&p makes it difficult. I already own two, and i’m pretty happy with them, but i’m interested on a backup for those when hiking which i can use as main when climbing/bouldering in the park at night, so my difficult-to-fulfill requirements are:

-max 20 usd
-battery holder on the back (AAA)
-multiple mode/ low mode (normally my head is very close to the wall, so to bright lights blind me and offer no contrast).
-for the same reason zoom function would be desirable
-not picky about emitter (nothing fancy, anyway i’m not looking for anything over 80 lumens)

Does anyone have any idea? i’ve been researching, but i’d like to know opinions of people owning similar lamps.

Thanks in advance!! :slight_smile:

I'm can't think of any AAA headlamps with a battery box on the back, but if you're willing to move up to AA then there are lots of very bright ones.

This maybe:

Fenix HL10. Out soon. 70 lumen on one AAA, extremely lightweight at 42 grams, 3 levels with good UI.

Nice! That's almost exactly the headlamp that I've been waiting for someone to make. Thanks for the heads-up.

I have been pleased with the iTP H01, purchased for $16, plus shipping.


The Alpkit is okay, but I dislike it because the main (bright) led is very throw-y and so puts a small spot with very little spill in front of you. When you’re on the 5mm leds, there’s a lot of spill down into the tops of my eyeglasses, which is annoying. It’s not regulated, as you’d expect in this price range.

On the plus side, it has a red led on the battery case that can be solid or blinking. And it’s pretty cheap, though probably not quite your $20 target after postage.

Only cheap AAA headlamps that I know of are 3xAAA zoomies with high, med(or low, depends how you look on it) and strobe.
Will definitely blind you if youre close to wall and the lights shining on its med, too much light might get reflected back towards your face.

That Fenix looks interested, but it will most likely cost alot since its Fenix.
Also, I wonder how high was the capacity of batteries that this thing was tested with?
Will that be doable to achieve their rated battery life with regular 900mAh NiMh rechargeable AAA battery?
Either way, I wish it was 70lm for at least an hour and 5 minutes in real life with 900mAh.
Lets see how this one turns out!

Looking at the ITP H1 again, beside form factor, it looks like its still better than Fenix runtime-wise, eh?
Pitty there is no way to get H1 for cheap outside USA.

BTW, Fenix site advertises this as having only 35min runtime on high(70lm), 2h 15min on medium(27lm)…
Nevermind, its with alkies…

Are these still available anywhere?

The new fenix will retail at $30.

Most of them have been clearanced out already. The lowest price I saw for one was $12 last summer.

The few that I still see are full price - $30.

well, still not decided but, as always, delighted to see how helpful you are. :wink:
The Alpkit looks promising, too bad it’s sold out. Do you think it might be a rebranded chinese one? The price seems lower than the usual petzl’s,… And the ITP, nice too, but out of my budget.

Checking today on ebay, i found this, but not sure if the dimming system is really effective

I think i’ve already seen this model or another clone likely DX but again, not decided yet…… :expressionless:

Alpkit Gamma = Rayovac Sportsman 5 led 3AAA

(Rayovac specs it at 22 lumens on high… either it’s a version different from the alpkit, or they’re just mistaken, as I’m sure the alpkit is brighter than that. Alpkit says 88 lumens, which isn’t too far off.)

Thanks Ruffles, :slight_smile:
i find it weird too… only 22 for a high mode? Too bad i can’t get that one here… but at least it seems to prove it’s a chinese “generic” one rebranded by different western companies. I’ll keep searching for the same model because it looks promising indeed.

Check out the led lenser H7 clone at fasttech for $10.36US

Overall: I would buy again

Some good:

  • Inexpensive compared to $35 or so for the real one
  • 3xAAA and rear battery pack
  • Zoom function is near the quality of my H5, but not quite (does have more artifacts on a white wall/none in real-world use) Led Lenser’s zoom is patented
  • Brightness infinitely variable

Some bad:

  • Compared to my H5 the build quality is not as good, e.g. the rubber cover for the battery pack is not as tight (might worry in heavy rain: no official FL1 IP rating)
  • Full zoom is the square emitter, not a circle like lenser
  • Headband is very tight with a hat and too small with my climbing helmet
  • “Unnecessary” strobe
  • Light output lever can be bumped… same is true of H7 (I may cut/shorten the lever) Much better output design here with the Pop Lite H3 (but more expensive $28)


I’ve been thinking about this one 1x18650 OR 3xAAA $25


Hope this helps!

Sure it helps, Flash.light. I think i checked one like this, but on ebay. I wasn’t sure if the brightness adjustment was good enough and effective, but i do like it being so compact.
Thanks again :slight_smile:

You might also want to check this one at fasttech for $14.78US

It basically is another H7 clone, but from the description it would seem to be without strobe function (if interested you may want to check with their customer service about this)

Good luck with your search Flacomuchacho

Thanks for this. I’ve been wondering about the adjusting the angle on this one and how firmly it’s held in the holder.