Having a headlamp that illuminates your favorite running path is a good start, but you also want a running headlamp that’s comfortable and fits properly. Most headlamps have an adjustable strap for a more secure and personalized fit. If you plan on running outdoors frequently in inclement weather, consider a headlamp that’s at least water resistant. A handful of models are weather resistant and are built to withstand tough conditions such as rain and sleet.
Headlamp brightness is measured in lumens. Many models on this list offer at least 100 lumens, which is ideal for road running. However, if you’re planning on using the headlamp on trails, consider going up to 200 lumens or higher. A greater output means better visibility even on the darkest trails. Another feature for trail runners to consider is an adjustable light or at least a beam that can alternate between a broad output and a narrow beam.
Some other popular features among runners include available light settings and the ease with which the light modes can be adjusted. Some headlamps have a convenient one-touch feature that lets you quickly reach the maximum light setting, change modes, or turn off the headlamp with ease. Many models also have a combination of steady and strobe modes for your safety. As you search for the right headlamp you should also consider the type of battery and the expected battery life. Some headlamps are USB rechargeable while others use regular household batteries such as AAA. Keep in mind that using the headlamp on its maximum setting will drain the battery much faster than on lower settings.
If you don’t find the right headlamp on this list, check out a wider selection of running headlamps for more options. For more advice on finding the right headlamp, check out Headlamps: How to Choose.
1. Petzl TIKKA + Headlamp
The Petzl TIKKA + is a solid choice for runners who want a reliable headlamp that doesn’t cost a fortune. This Petzl headlamp puts out 160 lumens for enhanced visibility. It also provides constant lighting, meaning that the light won’t fade as the battery drains. An adjustable headband with a top strap keeps the headlamp secure and snug on the head and ensures a more personalized fit. Runners can choose from a variety of modes and colors. Some examples include a boost mode for brief access to maximum power along with strobe and red lighting modes for added safety.
Price: $36.95 – $40.73
- 160 lumens
- Adjustable headband with top strap
- Brightness won’t fade even when battery drains
- Subpar battery life on highest power settings
- Headband can’t be removed for washing
- Those with larger heads find the band a bit tight
2. Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp
Urban runners will particularly appreciate the red taillight strobe with an on/off switch for enhanced safety on the road. This headlamp features an all-weather construction and is designed to hold up against sleet and rain from any angle. Other highlights include constant illumination on every brightness setting and a lithium polymer batter with a five-hour USB charge time. The headlamp puts out 130 lumens on the highest setting and comes with strobe, dimming, and full strength settings.
If you want something brighter, consider the 320 lumens Black Diamond Icon Headlamp.
- Red taillight strobe
- Built to withstand sleet and rain from any angle
- 130 lumens on highest setting
- Power button can be tough to push when wearing gloves
- Some find the power button for the rear light to be awkwardly placed
- Doesn’t have direct USB connectivity
3. Princeton Tec Remix Headlamp
You can find this Princeton Tec headlamp in a variety of colors. It also comes in 70, 100, 125, and 150 lumens to match your personal preference. You can use the Remix as a long distance light or for navigating the terrain just ahead. This running headlamp features a water-resistant construction along with an easily accessible battery door cover. The headlamp uses three AAA batteries and features a burn time of approximately 150 hours. The large push button switch is simple to press even when wearing gloves. The Princeton Tec family also includes the basic Sync, small but dependable Byte, and the powerful 205 lumen Vizz.
Price: $27.83 (5 percent off MSRP)
- Available in a variety of colors and lumen outputs
- Large push button switch
- Approximate 150 hour burn time
- Lacks a strobe setting
- Confusing switch system
- Some complain that the battery cover door breaks easily
4. Coast HL7 Focusing LED Headlamp
This headlamp stands out for its innovative pure beam focusing, which lets runners quickly switch from a wide flood beam to a spot beam with the twist of the bezel. There’s also variable light control technology for a personalized output. The HL7 is also impact and weather-resistant and features up to 285 lumens and a distance of 390 feet on the maximum setting. Run time ranges from 1.5 hours on the highest setting to 70 hours on the lowest setting. This headlamp uses three AAA batteries.
Price: $33.81 (15 percent off MSRP)
- Twisting bezel gives users full control
- Up to 285 lumens on max setting
- Variable control technology
- Battery life could be better
- A bit heavy for its size
- On/off switch can be tough to operate
5. yalumi Spark Pro
This budget-friendly headlamp stands out for its 120 lumen output, which is more than enough to light up your path during early morning and late night runs. You can expect outputs of 120 lumens on the wide flood beam setting and 90 lumens via the focused spot beam. Burn time is approximately 110 hours on the lower light setting. High-quality Cree LED bulbs are used for the wide beam and focused spot beam. Other features include an adjustable headband, angle tilt for the light, and a lock mode. If you don’t need such a bright light, consider the lower priced yalumi Spark.
- Up to 120 lumen output
- Angle tilt light
- Have to cycle through all modes to turn it off
- Some wish there was more padding behind the light
- No dimming function
6. Nathan Neutron Fire Headlamp
The Neutron Fire Runner’s Headlamp is the latest addition to the Nathan running headlamp family. This headlamp is the least expensive and has basic features that the average runner will appreciate. Some examples include a bright 115 spotlight and two side strobes that put out red, blue, and green LED lights for enhanced safety and visibility on the road. It’s also rechargeable and features five distinct lighting modes. When a car’s headlights hit the headlamp, the light automatically begins to strobe to ensure the runner is fully visible to the driver. A combined spotlight and floodlight makes it easier to see close up as well as far away. If you need something brighter, consider the 192 lumen Nebula Fire Runners’ Headlamp or the 280 lumen Halo Fire Runners’ Headlamp.
If you prefer a handheld device, check out the Nathan Zephyr Fire 100 Hand Torch.
Price: $27.65 (16 percent off MSRP)
- Two side strobes with LED lights
- Rechargeable battery
- Auto-strobe feature makes runners more visible to drivers
- Some runners may prefer a brighter light
- Can’t disable auto-strobe feature
- Headlamp can’t be angled
7. UltrAspire – Lumen Ultraviz Lighted Waistpack
If you want to run with a light but are looking for an alternative to the traditional running headlamp, consider this illuminated waistpack. The light is mounted at waist level so that runners can clearly see the road or trail ahead. It can also be rotated 180 degrees and can be adjusted 90 degrees up or down for enhanced visibility. Other highlights include a water and impact-resistant aluminum housing and a tempered glass lens. The light can also be recharged using a USB charging cord. The belt comes with a handy rear zippered back pocket with enough space to store a phone. Two versions are available, the lumen 170 and lumen 600.
- Ideal for trail runners
- Light can be rotated for 180 degrees
- USB rechargeable
- Waistband material could be thicker
- Some wish it was brighter
- A handful of runners complain that the belt bounces around when running
8. Vitchelo V800 Headlamp
The Vitchelo V800 Headlamp is an appealing choice for runners with features such a boost mode that turns on maximum light power with one touch along with a wide angle light for enhanced visibility up close. The headlamp is compatible with rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries and has a red LED light for optimal night vision. There’s also a lockout feature to keep batteries from draining when the headlamp isn’t in use. Separate buttons are available for the red and white lights.
Price: $19.97 (26 percent off MSRP)
- One-touch boost mode
- Waterproof construction
- Has an emergency “SOS” red and white light
- Poor battery life in maximum mode
- Some wish there was better angle adjustment
- A bit heavy
9. Olympia EX550
This Olympia headlamp caters to trail runners with an output of 550 lumens and waterproof construction. A total of five light settings lets runners choose between low, medium, high, and maximum light output in addition to a strobe setting. The headlamp is impact resistant and corrosion proof for dependable use during vigorous outdoor activities. A lock-out function keeps the battery from draining if the headlamp is accidentally turned on. Other features include a pivoting head and powerful Cree LED bulb.
Price: $55.72 (20 percent off MSRP)
- 550 lumens
- Pivoting head
- Waterproof and impact resistant
- A bit heavy
- Replacement batteries can be tough to find
- Poor battery life on highest settings
10. Amphipod Swift-Clip Cap Light
If you want to brighten up your path during early morning or late night runs but don’t want to deal with a cumbersome headband, consider this cap light. Just fasten the Swift-Clip directly to your cap or visor to begin. A constant beam offers precise visibility in front. There’s also flashing strobe modes for added safety. The cap light weighs just .5 ounce and comes with a rubberized housing that’s easy to grip. Long-lasting coin batteries are included. This light is available in a variety of colors.
- Easy to clip on to a hat or visor
- Includes constant beam and strobe illumination modes
- Coin batteries are included
- Some wish the light was brighter
- Light can’t be angled or adjusted
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