Best Backpacking Headlamp

We’ve all been in those tricky situations where you are trying to hold a flashlight as you work on something that requires the use of both hands. You probably also got pretty creative trying to hold the flashlight in your neck, thighs, under your arm or even in your mouth but in the end, it never does work.

A headlamp is a true revelation for anyone who has to do odd tasks in the dark. These lamps are fixed to a strap around your head and offer instant lighting wherever you look. A headlamp is one of the top must-haves to include in your backpack if you are traveling or taking on an adventure.

Today you can shop from a variety of quality headlamp styles and designs. They all look a lot similar because they are all fixed to a strap around the head but they can greatly vary in terms of quality, price, functionality, battery life and brightness. 

Here is a quick look at the two best backpacking headlamps to consider for your next big trip.

The Black Diamond Storm Headlamp


This headlamp is just as impressive as its name. The Black Diamond Storm Headlamp is available in a variety of colors which include octane, dark olive, black and gray. The colors don’t show much when wearing the headlamp since the colors are fitted to the inside of the band. 

This is a very powerful headlamp. It has red, green and blue single power LED lamps that deliver a power output of up to 350 lumens. The headlamps various colors are preferable for enhancing your vision during different light phases such as dawn, dusk and night time. It has 8 different lighting positions and a variety of lighting modes which include full strength, proximity, distance modes, dimming, strobe, red, green, blue night-vision, and lock mode.   The max light distance of the headlamp is 11m on low and 80m on high. 

The headlamp is very durable. It is water and dustproof and can be submerged up to 1meter deep in water for up to 30 minutes without getting any damage. 

The light is powered with 3 AAA batteries that offer a burning time of up to 120 minutes. It fits snug around your head thanks to an adjustable strap and is light in weight at just 3.2 oz. 


  • Weight - 3.2 oz
  • Batteries - 1C or 4AAA batteries and can burn up to 120 minutes
  • Waterproofing - Submerge up to 1m for 30 minutes
  • Dustproofing - yes
  • Light modes - dimming, strobe, red, green, blue night-vision, lock mode. 
  • Light distance - 11m on low and 80m on high setting
  • Colors - octane, dark olive, black and grey inner band
  • Bulb Type - LED
  • Light output - 350 lumens


  • The headlamp is very easy to use
  • It fits snug and comfortable on your head
  • It is relatively affordable
  • The headlamp is available in various colors
  • It is made of high-quality materials
  • The headlamp is waterproof up to 1m for 30 minutes
  • The headlamp is dustproof
  • The lightweight makes it suitable for children
  • Offers a very long battery life


  • No top band to keep the headlamp from sliding down
  • Many find the different colors annoying 
  • The head strap can become hot and sweaty
  • Tends to be heavy when you include 4 AAA batteries


This is one of the toughest headlamps you can possibly buy.  It is also very functional for a variety of tasks thanks to various light modes and a very powerful light output.  

The Shining Buddy LED Headlamp


This little headlamp is a true buddy if you find yourself in a pickle after dark. The headlamp is available in various colors which include black/black, black/orange, white/green and white/orange.   

This little headlamp is very functional for a variety of tasks that range from reading to work. It has 4 powerful LED lights that deliver up to 160 / 110 lumens and can last up to 100.000 hours. The headlamp has three light modes that include high, low and strobe mode. 

It is a pretty tough little headlamp since it is shock and water-resistant with an IPX5 waterproof rating. The headband is fitted with a non-slip strap and functions with 3 AAA batteries that are included in the set. 

This is a good little headlamp for all sorts of adventures. It weighs only 2.6Oz and has an adjustable strap which makes it suitable for people of all ages including children. The water and shock resistance capabilities of this headlamp are also preferable for those action-packed adventures where you never know what might be waiting around the next corner.


  • Weight - 2.24 oz
  • Batteries - 3 AAA included
  • Light output - 160/110 lumens
  • Bulb type - LED and lasts up to 100.000 hours
  • Water-resistant - IPX5 rating
  • Shock-resistant - Yes
  • Light modes - High, low and strobe mode
  • Ages - Suited for children to adults
  • Application - all sorts of activities including camping, hiking, dog walking and more


  • The headlamp is very easy to use
  • Fits snug around your head
  • Perfect for people of all ages
  • Offers ample light at 110/160 lumens
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Doesn’t move when you tilt your head
  • Affordable price
  • Great overall look with lots of colors to choose from
  • Perfect for all sorts of night time activities
  • Very easy to use


  • One button system only
  • Can be small for large adults
  • No top band to keep the lamp from sliding down your face
  • The bam can become warm


This is a pretty good headlamp if you are looking for something sturdy and functional. The headlamp has all of the main features you would look for in a quality headband and is perfect for lots of outdoorsy activities such as mountain biking, hiking, cycling, camping, backpacking and even for home use.

Final Verdict

These are both pretty fantastic headbands and we are quite certain that you will get lots of functionality from either one of these. If you still find it hard to decide on the best headlamp then perhaps this quick guide can help;

The budget-friendly - The Shining Buddy is more than half the price of the Black Diamond and as such is the most affordable pick.

The most durable - The Black Diamond Headband is by far the more durable. It is waterproof and dustproof which means you can dunk it into the pool without having to worry.

The most light functions - The Black Diamond, once again, has the most light functions. It can be used in various light settings so you can be perfectly comfortable as you read or work. 

The most user-friendly - Both of these headlamps are about as straightforward as these lamps get. They are both very easy to use and as such we really cannot recommend one in terms of user-friendliness.

The most powerful - The Black Diamond is the right one to pick if you need a whole lot of light. This headlamp offers a powerful 350 lumens output which is far superior compared to the 110/160 lumen output of the previous headbands. 

We hope that this product review helped you find the right headlamp for your backpacking adventures. Either one of these is a good pick. If you want to find out more about other quality backpacking tools and gear then please hop over to some of our other product reviews where you can learn a lot more about our other products so you can find what you are looking for with ease. 

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