More and more people are jumping on the ‘live healthy’ train, which means healthier meals, a proper diet, and a good fitness routine. A busy schedule is one factor that could keep many from working out in the daytime when there’s enough light to see the way. This leaves the evening or night time to put on those joggers and hit the road. As convenient as this may seem, running at night could be very dangerous for obvious reasons. It’s darker and a lot harder to see the trails and things around you when running in dim light. This is especially true when running on off-road tracks, with probably just the moonlight to guide the way.
Well, there’s one safety gear that would easily take care of the light issue; headlamps. As the name implies, these compact nightlights will shine more light on the trail and your surroundings, making it easier to see any impending danger on the trails. We have put together a list of some of the best running headlamps on the market that has proven to be reliable, functional and long-lasting.
Best Running Headlights
The Black diamond Storm Headlamp was crafted for the fitness junkie who would stop at nothing to achieve their goals. Designed as a sleek and compact headlamp, it’s one of the lightest there are. The slim headband fits perfectly around the head with an adjustability option that ensures an incredible fit. It’s perfect for those late evening runs or early morning sprints, thanks to the vast lighting options available. What’s more, there’s red, green and blue LEDs for personalized night vision as well as strobe settings.
Navigate through the different light and power options by simply swiping up-or-down the sensors to change brightness levels, light settings, and power options. The headlamp claims to run for two hours on high-light; this may not exactly be accurate in practice, but it does promise a sufficient amount of run-time for a headlamp with rechargeable batteries. If you are a passionate runner, make sure you also check our guide to the best Running Shoes For Flat Feet.
Emits up to 350 lumens
Multiple lighting and brightness modes
Water-proof and dust-proof
Easy transitioning between power modes
- BrandBlack Diamond
Light on the head
Solid construction and feel
Extremely bright light
May be complicated to use at first
High-power dims a bit too quickly
Some trainers can’t wait for the light, even though it would be a lot safer to run in the daylight. The moment is seized, and they go sprinting into the quiet of the night. That’s why headlamps like the PETZL-Tikka Headlamp are such a gem, it sports a really sleek and slim body with an adjustable band which promises a snug fit, with sturdy buckles that make adjustments quite easy. In use, it comes with three different light modes for night running; a floodlight, spot beam, and a red light which is great for running after dinner-hours; what’s more, it’s still bright but won’t blind others passing or driving by.
Additionally, there’s a single power button that navigates through the different light settings which may sound a bit annoying. On the plus side, it remembers saves and remembers the last mode it was on when switched off. The lamp equally comes with a photoluminescent function that makes it easy to identify in the dark. It glows green a few minutes after use before dimming out; this makes it easy to identify in pitch darkness if anything goes wrong. You can combine it with one of the best Zero Drop Running Shoes from our list.
Rechargeable and AAA battery powered
In-built micro-USB charging port
Three lighting modes
360-degree reflective accents
Both AAA battery and rechargeable options
Easily adjustable headband
Poor durability reported
Burns through batteries quickly
The Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight provides great lighting options when running at night, although it’s better for an area that is not pitch black. With a max of 165 lumens, it’s not as bright as other headlamps with higher lumens. This isn’t really a downer, as long as you are running on trails that have at least some kind of lighting that makes the surroundings a bit visible. It’s equally a good option for running because of its non-binding effect, which means the lamp won’t blind people passing by or on-coming cars.
Additionally, the maximum light setting allows you to see up to 50m ahead and has quite a decent area of coverage; the lowest light setting covers about 15m. There’s even a red light mode for night running which is more subtle on the eyes and an SOS mode in case of impending danger. Overall, the lamp and band are comfortable on the head, lightweight and compact enough to be used on those long-distance runs. And if you need comfortable footwear for your runs, check out our guide to the best Motion Control Running Shoes.
Lightweight and comfortable
165 lumens max
Clear and bright light
Easy to use controls
Batteries drain when left in the lamp
Light spills low to eye-level
The GearLightHeadlamp Flashlight is powered by 3AAA batteries and comes in a suitable compact and lightweight form. It’s a great choice for night runners and adventurers alike. And geared with an adjustable headband that could fit both kids and adults, the lamp weighs about 3oz with batteries included. There’s no doubt this headlamp was made for running; it’s water-resistant which is great for running in all weather conditions and shock resistant in case of any unexpected falls.
What’s even better is how the lamp puts the control in your hands; with a 45° adjustable feature, the light can be re-focused exactly where it’s needed. In addition to that, there are seven lighting modes to choose from as well as a white light with a high, medium and low settings. In addition, there is a red light with low, s.o.s as well as strobe settings. As if we didn’t have enough, the GearLight puts the icing on the cake; two headlamps that could be shared with a partner or kept for backup in the car or house.
Up to 45 hours run-time
Lightweight and comfortable
Weather and shock-resistant
Fits both adults and kids alike
Sturdy, comfortable strap
Reportedly not water-resistant as claimed
Plastic light fixture
The Black Diamond Cosmo produces a generous amount of light, for what appears as a very compact product. Whether your running on dark, remote routes, dim-lit tracks or out in the wilderness, the brightness this lamp allows is over-sufficient. One can easily and confidently navigate a way through both tough and plain terrain because of the coverage this headlamp allows. And with the generous run-time this headlamp allows, you could run through the tracks and back and still have enough time to rummage through the dark attic without blackout.
The batteries last for a really long time without having to change them out, we’re talking about a good 2-3 months here. And with up to eight different light settings for different running tracks, there’s a decent amount of brightness/color options to choose from. There are even strobe and power-saving settings,l in case that ever crosses your mind. No doubt, this is one, dynamic and sturdy headlamp for running that claims to weather through any storm or weather condition. And if you need some quality, but affordable running footwear, check out our guide to the best Running Shoes For Under $100.
Emits 200 lumens
Water-proof up to 3.3ft
Red night vision
- BrandBlack Diamond
Batteries last a long time
A bit complicated to figure out at first
Reportedly not water-resistant as claimed
The distracting yellow spot in the middle of whitebeam
The Foxelli USB Rechargeable Headlamp promises a run-time of up to forty hours of uninterrupted light. It’s tough, sturdy yet very lightweight which makes it suitably comfortable on the head. It weighs just 2.4 ounces; it’s not the lightest out there but it’s undoubtedly light enough. What’s more, the ergonomic band makes this headlamp even more comfortable, as it adjusts easily and won’t cause pain or irritation during and after use. And powered by a rechargeable battery function; it charges fully for just four hours and supports 180 lumens while allowing up to 300-feet beam coverage.
With different light and power options to choose from, including white and red lights, it’s great for running in both dark and dimly-lit areas. The best part is how the innovative tilt not only allows the light to be re-focused but also allows 45-degree angling for personalized repositioning. No doubt, you can take this headlamp anywhere, as it was crafted for all sorts of environments, cold, hot or rocky. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best Running Shoes For Metatarsalgia.
Cold and impact resistant
Water-resistant against splashing
Wide range of light modes
Superb red light
Clear bright lights
Charge doesn’t last
Don’t let the fear of the dark keep you from achieving those set-out goals; there’s now an even more convenient and safe way of making it work. The Energiser Vision LED Headlamp Flashlight is one of the brightest headlamps, it’s equally compact and easy to put on with the promise of providing an almost unnoticeable feel. The band is adjustable to ensure the perfect fit for prolonged use. It’s almost like wearing a super-bright flashlight on the head, except it’s a lot sleeker and lightweight than that. It requires a 4-hour charge time to be used on high-light, and once it’s fully charged the light produced isn’t only super bright but massive.
Additionally, the coverage is great for running at night, allowing you a good view of the surroundings. There’s equally the option of dimming the light available for areas that don’t need such bright light. And with other light modes like red, green, high, low, spot and emergency lights, there are many options to choose from. Take control of the tracks with this bright, high-lumen light that’s easy to use and promises a comfortable fit. You may also like our guide to the best running lights, so check it out.
7 light modes
Breathable, washable band
Loses charge fast
No proper operational instructions
The avid runner takes advantage of the time; it doesn’t really matter if it’s dusk or dawn. However, without a proper headlamp to light up the way, there’s no arguing that night-running is a bit of a risky venture. For a safer venture into the night, the Princeton Tec Remix LED Headlamp provides excellent design, suitable light modes, and comfortable wear. It’s lightweight making it easy to run with and maneuver your way through trails without feeling uncomfortable.
There’s also the support the batteries provide; they don’t run down easily and won’t have you squirming the way back because the batteries died on you. In addition to that, the light modes it provides are absolutely amazing with the red light standing out the most. The red beam equally shines bright with the option of re-focusing the lamp, choosing the flood or spot mode. It may not be the sturdiest night headlamp, but thanks to it’s a secure fit, that may not really be an issue. Make sure you also check our guide to the best Running Shoes For Shin Splints.
Single Maxbright LED
150-hour burn time
- BrandPrinceton Tec
Lightweight and comfortable
Easy to operate
Clear bright light
Switches trip off unexpectedly
Doesn’t angle downwards
Looking for a comfortable headlamp that would get you through those low-lit terrains? Well get ready, get set and go! The Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp is one of the best running headlamps you’d find. It’s pretty sleek but still manages to be robust enough to allow a comfortable fit. There’s no doubt a lot of thought was put into the design, the band fits suitably on the head promising a comfortable fit.
It’s equally very sturdy to run within practically any environment, promising to stay functional through different weather conditions. And with 200 lumens to offer, it provides a wide oval beam for the white, red and strobe light settings. What’s more, it comes powered by a lithium polymer rechargeable battery that promises less stress when it comes to power. So, there’s no need to constantly change out the batteries, just charge and go. Providing ample light on the tracks ahead, it’s a great gear for runners that love versatility, comfort, and top-notch performance.
1 triple power LED
- BrandBlack Diamond
Light and comfortable
Provides excellent illumination
Rear button is too small
A true adventurer doesn’t care whether it’s day or night, the passion for speed, thrill, and drive go beyond that. With a jogging headlight, there are fewer concerns about stepping in potholes or stepping on scary creatures. The Petzl NAO 575 Lumens Headlamp is a lightweight headlamp that provides suitable lighting when running on trails. It’s compact, sturdy and rechargeable, ruling out the stress of constantly buying new batteries. Just charge, run and charge again after use; it’s that simple. It goes beyond and above to make you’re run more convenient; few manual interventions are needed to run this running headlamp.
The lamp innovatively adapts to the lighting depending on the environment your running through. Brighter in low-light areas and dimming in environments with more lighting. It keeps the hands as free as possible, making a better, hassle-free run. It’s no doubt a high lumen headlamp, offering a raging 575 lumens for extreme brightness on very dark routes. This is not your regular LED headlamp, it’s smart, comfortable and extremely functional.
2600 mAh Lithium-Ion battery
Incorporated USB port
Reactive lighting technology
5-hour charge time
Lightweight and comfortable
Smart, easy-to-use headlamp
Clear, wide-range lighting
A bit pricey
The light sensor easily gets fooled by factors like street lights
OS software is a bit complicated
Best Running Headlamps Buying Guide & FAQ
The times have changed, and almost everyone is looking to stay fit, look great and feel great as well. Sometimes, a busy schedule keeps us swamped from getting an actual gym membership and staying true and dedicated to a healthy cause. While figuring that out, running is a pretty good way to stay fit, shake off worries and develop discipline and focus. However, as healthy and therapeutic as this is, running at night could be a lot more dangerous than running in the day time.
Getting a headlamp is one of the major safety guidelines for running at night. That being said, it’s not so easy to just sit back and buy one, certain things have to be put into consideration. First, consider where you’ll be running; more urban or remote trails? The Headlamp must suit the purpose and your lifestyle. We’ll look at some of the important features to consider when buying a running headlamp right now.
Features To Look For In Running Headlamps
Lumens: Running through more urban trails that have adequate lighting is quite different from more off-road tracks where lighting is a lot more limited. There are really different options when it comes to the amount of brightness you need. Are you running through tree-shaded tracks or depending on the moonlight? They all require different lighting options.
This may all seem like a dilemma but it’s not that serious, to hit a fair and sensible middle point, go for a headlamp that’s able to produce up to 200 lumens. Lumens measure the amount of brightness the light-lamp is able to deliver. Lamps that deliver 300 lumens and above are obviously brighter and more suitable dark and poorly lit tracks.
Run Time: When considering the run time on a headlamp, there’s a simple fact to have in mind. Headlamps that run longer have bigger batteries, bigger batteries generally mean a heavier headlamp. This wouldn’t really be an issue if it were another type of gear or stationery device, a headlamp should be as light as possible on the head.
A weighty or bulky headlight won’t just cause discomfort but may mean an additional bounce off when running. If your training for long hours at night or run really long distances, then a bigger battery is needed. The good thing is that some headlamps actually have a more convenient design that separates the battery from the front-facing lamp. Placing the batteries at the back makes for an evener distribution of weight, making it easier to run with.
Single-Use Battery / Rechargeable: We’re in an age where there are several or in this case at least two power options to choose from. AA or AAA battery-powered headlamps provide a more definite assurance when it comes to run-time as opposed to rechargeable lamps. They are more liable to run uninterrupted until they need to be replaced. If your not a fan of constantly buying and replacing these ‘finger-batteries’, then rechargeable ones would be the next option. Charging the lamp with a USB cord would power it for a certain run-time.
Comfort: Headlamps are great for safety, but at the end of the day, you have to sit down and think about how convenient it would be when running. Whether on bright trails or lonelier, less-lit ones, you need to feel your best. This highly depends on the weight of the headlamp, the types of straps, the size and placement of the batteries and probably some other personal factors. Running already takes up a lot of energy and drive, so getting one that doesn’t spoil the fun is what would take you through those challenging runs that are totally worth it.
Weight: After considering the brightness of the lamp, the next thing you’ll probably have to consider is the weight. The lighter the headlamp, the more comfortable and convenient the headlamp is most likely to be. At the end of the day, it all boils down to personal preference and what you're ready to bear for more performance or battery life. Heavy lamps that have an overhead strap prove to be relatively stable on the head; the weight bears down on the head and pretty much stays there.
Lighterlamps are unquestionably more comfortable, but may not be as stable on the head. Weigh the options out and figure out what would work best for you, however, from what we know, most people go for an option that would make the run a lot more comfortable.