When hiking there will be times when you could find yourself walking beyond nightfall, and if you’ve done this before, you know how important it is to have a headlamp on hand to ensure you get to your destination both safely and without getting lost.
In this article, we are going to reveal our best headlamp for hiking and camping and explain what you need to look for before buying a headlamp of your own.
To save you some time, our top pick is the Storm Head Lamp by Black Diamond which scores a 4.6 /5 stars from our experts.
Typically when people think of torches and headlamps they think brighter is better and in some cases they are right. For emergencies, hunting and for kids to see how high their beam of light go, this is true.
However, when it comes to a hiking headlamp, you don’t necessarily need the brightest, since most of us will be hiking into the dark and as day changes to night, so will your ability to see better in the dark.
Typically, it takes around 45 minutes to get your full night vision, after that ambient light and the sheer brightness of the moon is often enough to get by. Yes, sometimes it’s darker when the there are clouds overhead, so a headlamp is a must.
Which is why we’ve chosen the Black Diamond Storm which has 160 Lumens, which is far from the brightest, but for good reason.
You are out there to enjoy nature, not to light up your surroundings like a Christmas tree! So, as long as you can see the ground in front of you and several feet ahead you’re going to have a nicer, happier hike.
Red LED for Night Vision
I spoke a little about night vision in the previous paragraph and I will continue that here. Maintaining your night vision is important when night hiking and it will also save your batteries which is crucial if you are on a long or multi-day hike. This is why we’ve chosen the ‘Storm’ for its night vision preserving Red LED light capabilities.
You can activate this setting without going through any white light modes, which is a rare feature many manufacturers overlook. You see most of the cheaper brands may add a red light feature as a novelty to sell torches. Not in the case of Blank Diamond.
This company has been around for years and understands the importance of a good reliable and useable red-light. So accessing the red light option without ruining your night vision with white-light is an important feature to look for.
Let’s face it, when hiking in the wilderness there is always a risk you could become lost, injured or attacked by an animal in some cases. It’s what makes hiking so popular for those who simply ‘get it’.
Having the ability to attract attention is one of the first things you should consider before you set off…having multiple ways to call for help is even better. Now, I’d hope that you all have some for of whistle on your person at all times, so we won’t get into that.
What we will discuss is the 2nd option which is being able to flash an SOS signal to passers-by or potential rescue teams. The ‘Storm Headlamp’ has a strobe mode which does just that. Whilst most effective at night for obvious reasons, the strong flashing LED bulbs will be seen in daylight and could mean the difference between being found and not.
Features and Specifications
- Super bright Quad Power main LED for the darkest of places.
- Two single powered LED’s which are situated to the side of the main LED and provide light for your peripheral vision.
- An additional 2 single RED LED’s for that all important night-vision preservation.
- Battery Life meter for quick and easy battery level checks.
Touch sensitive casing to allow for quick and easy changing of brightness
What Customers Are Saying
With 4x AAA you are sure to get a longer battery life which makes adding a little extra weight for a much more functional headlamp well worth it.
Out of all the headlamps we’ve used over the years, we’ve put this one through its paces and it is our go to hiking lamp 9 times out of 10.
Who Should Buy This Product?
For Hikers and Campers, this headlamp meets all of the standard requirements with a few additional features to boot. For camp chores, getting in and out of a tent or hiking your way across a narrow trail after dark, the Black Diamon Storm ticks all of those boxes.
Who Shouldn’t Buy This Product?
If you expect to be submerged under water for any period I would avoid this lamp and opt for a purpose built dive watch instead. Whilst waterproof up to 1m, I wouldn’t want to rely on that for too long.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the weight of the headlamp?
With batteries, you are looking at 4oz.
Is this headlamp waterproof?
Yes, up to a depth of 1m for 30 minutes.
Do all the LED’s provide strobe mode?
Yes, they are all capable of signaling for help should you need it.
The Black Diamond Storm is, in our opinion the best headlamp for hiking, camping, climbing and even surfing, since it is waterproof to 1m, therefore heavy downpours when in the outdoors will not pose a problem.