TOP 10 Best Trail Running Headlamps of 2020 – Don’t Let the Dark Stop You!

Jeff Baldelli
Written by
Last update:

Trail runners go out in the night to apply their passion and their love for running.

As a runner, you usually feel more comfort and confident running at night with a good headlamp.

The lamp can light up a wide area and you may find it more enjoyable each time you go out.

Different people have different requirements for a running lamp. Everyone is looking for an adaptable and durable lamp which meet their needs.

Keeping that said, you might be confused about which one of the lamps will be the best for you.

We are here out to help!

This trail running headlamp guide contains a lot of amazing headlamps that can be lighting up all your trails.

We put our heart and soul in this trail running headlamp buying guide so you can have some moments.

NameCategoryProduct
PETZL – NAO+ HeadlampBest Overall
PETZL - NAO+ Headlamp
Energizer Rechargeable AAA BatteriesBudget Pick
Energizer Rechargeable AAA Batteries
PETZL – REACTIK+ HeadlampUpgrade Pick
PETZL - REACTIK+ Headlamp

1. PETZL – NAO+ Headlamp

Our rating: 9 / 10


PETZL - NAO+ Headlamp

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • No-Rush lighting technology
  • Flexible in terms of lighting
  • Perfect for activities in the dark
  • Good battery life
  • High-quality material
  • Easy to adjust the settings

Cons:

  • It is a bit pricey
  • The setting up and adjusting might put some people off

Rechargeable Headlamp with Power Indication, 1 -100% and 2 – 50% Modes, Waterpro…

This is one of the most popular headlamps for runners in the market. It is a rechargeable headlamp that lasts for a lot of hours and works with pretty effective lighting.

The Petzl are considered to be the best headlamp, a lot of runners did research on it to find out how bright is it.

2. PETZL, Tikka Headlamp

Our rating: 9 / 10


PETZL, Tikka Headlamp

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Very durable.
  • Very bright light.
  • Very reasonably priced.
  • Waterproof.
  • Incredibly lightweight.

Cons:

  • A bit bulky.
  • Optics could be better.
  • Single light source (unless you opt for more expensive model).

This entry-level headlamp from Petzl is big on light, very light on weight, and amazing price. It weighs only 80 grams and is built for the trail running community. It runs on two AA batteries that can last at least 6 hours.

It’s rated for 1.5 meters or around 18 feet and includes a red night vision mode. The headband is adjustable and fits nicely.

Overall, it’s a great headlamp option that is a great deal for the price.

3. Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

Our rating: 9 / 10


Black Diamond Spot Headlamp

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Adjustable beam with spot/flood adjustment
  • Uses familiar AAA batteries, readily available
  • One-button control

Black Diamond is famous for making solid, dependable outdoor gear, so it’s no surprise this headlamp series is going to be a favorite with folks looking for a reason to go for a run in the woods at night.

The spotlight option on this headlamp has a variety of functions, might not make it the best choice for those who are just getting into out door running. If, however, you enjoy hiking and biking long distances at night, this is the headlamp for you. The various brightness settings on the spot beam allow you to illuminate the ground precisely where you want to and range up to a 100-meter throw. There is also a “floodlight” option for a big spread of light that has a very wide area but can be a little less focused than you might need on a difficult trail. Overall, this is a great headlamp for hiking and trail running.

4. Energizer Rechargeable AAA Batteries

Our rating: 9 / 10


Energizer Rechargeable AAA Batteries

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Vivid color makes every object more authentic.
  • Light weight and durable.
  • Water resistant.
  • Easy to use.
  • Efficient and economic to use.
  • Convenient to carry.

Cons:

  • Not very bright.
  • The manual is really hard to understand.

This light is very powerful that it can be used for camping, running and night time reading.

This red colored light can be used to improve the night vision of the driver, so that they can easily see the objects on the side and in front of them. It is also used for hiking and night time hunting, and so many more.

It is small in size and very light in weight that makes it very easy to install.

5. PETZL – ACTIK CORE Headlamp

Our rating: 8 / 10


PETZL - ACTIK CORE Headlamp

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Straightforward design.
  • Has two lighting modes (red light option for night hikes).
  • USB rechargeable.
  • 5-year limited warranty.
  • Can see up to 100 meters.
  • Can be used hands-free or handheld.
  • Has a strobe and red light.
  • Price is very affordable.

Cons:

  • No red light function when using the white light setting.
  • Uses up batteries quickly.
  • Can only be used hands-free when on the red light setting as well.

This is a great light that is simple, but effective for hiking and other outdoor activities. There are two lighting modes; the red one is great for the night and the white one can light up a trail. You can change between the settings easily using a soft touch button.

The light is super bright and will light up the trail for up to 100 meters away, so you can watch your footing and really focus on your surroundings. It also has a red light for night-time hiking.

6. PETZL – REACTIK+ Headlamp

Our rating: 8 / 10


PETZL - REACTIK+ Headlamp

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Bluetooth enabled.
  • 300 lumens with a maximum beam distance of 110 meters.
  • Quality and durability.

Cons:

  • When on at full brightness, it begin to dim over 45 seconds.
  • The strap is bulky and doesn’t fit well.

Headlamp.

This company is recognized for producing innovative, top-of-the line, state-of-the-art products and lighting is no exception. The Petzl Reactik+ has been revised and reengineered with Bluetooth controls, a waterproof housing, red night vision, and reactive lighting modes.

It can also track your daily progress via the Petzl app to monitor your hikes, distances, calories burnt, and light used. It has an impressive beam of 300 lumens that reaches over 110 meters. It is also lightweight coming in at 3.4 oz and it can handle drops up to 1.2 meters.

7. Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

Our rating: 8 / 10


Black Diamond Storm Headlamp

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Bright enough for the trail
  • Plenty of lighting modes
  • Durable and lightweight

The Black Diamond Storm is a powerful lightweight headlamp with plenty of lighting modes so you can keep your path illuminated no matter what kind of situation you’re in.

The light has a high-powered LED light that can project a beam up to a distance of 162 feet. There are three different light modes, so you can control just how bright you need your light.

There is a dim and a boost option for more general light needs. A red light can be illuminated that’s ideal for nighttime and an LED light can be used for more general nighttime use. There’s an option to have the light come on in whatever mode you prefer, and to automatically adjust to the level of light in the wider area.

8. Princeton Tec Remix LED Headlamp

Our rating: 8 / 10


Princeton Tec Remix LED Headlamp

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • An exceptional illumination that is bright for the price.
  • Easy to fasten around your head.
  • LCD screen that displays the battery life.
  • Three different light modes.
  • Waterproof.
  • Includes AAA Duracell battery.

Cons:

  • Not very bright.
  • Unable to rotate lamp.
  • Not fit for night reading.
  • Not fit for nigh photography.

Being in the nightlife market for the last decade, PARN and TECHNO have specialized in making the best headlamps for trail runners.

The Princeton Tec Remix LED Headlamp, a lightweight and compact product, is equipped with three different levels of light. Its 300 Lumen beam is super bright and conveniently adjustable. It enables trail runners to see where they are going without disturbing their running rhythm. The burn time of this headlamp is also impressive, letting you work out for hours without the hassle of battery replacement. Princeton Tec Remix LED Headlamp sure lives up to its name; it is an excellent blend of performance, affordability, and durability.

9. Black Diamond Icon Headlamp

Our rating: 8 / 10


Black Diamond Icon Headlamp

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Covering all the basics
  • Weight is perfect for trail running
  • 360-degree pivoting head for beam adjustment
  • Brightness
  • 4 AA batteries are easy to replace

Cons:

  • Controls are not that intuitive
  • Brightness is more than enough for general trail running

This one is another great choice for the best running headlamp. It is equipped with a super-bright output that is more than enough for general trail running.

Full-power modes include dimmer settings to conserve battery life, and regulated light output that maintains constant brightness throughout battery life. For the best overall package, this one works great even as your adventure off the beaten path. You cannot go wrong with this one.

10. Fenix HL60R 950 Lumens Headlamp

Our rating: 8 / 10


Fenix HL60R 950 Lumens Headlamp

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Brightness up to 950 Lumens
  • Dual slot for AA/CR123A batteries.
  • Side swipe switch for easy on/off and mode changes.
  • Waterproof, IP68 rated
  • Separate LEDs provide red light
  • Lock mode

Cons:

  • Heavy
  • The brightest level is permanently seared into my retina

Fenix is a new light brand to me, and I am impressed. I got this as a gift, and I think that I can give it five stars. Indeed, it is so bright that I rarely use the highest setting. I like that I can change between brightness levels easily.

I have used this on many things, from walking the dog to seeing things in my garage at night. I keep the light in my car for when I need to change a tire in the evening. I haven’t dropped it yet, but it is not a light that I worry about.

11. Rechargeable Battery Charger by Energizer

Our rating: 8 / 10


Rechargeable Battery Charger by Energizer

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Easy and safe to charge batteries
  • Large capacity charging station
  • Included LED indicator lights
  • High capacity batteries for increased runtime
  • Charge AA, 9V, and AAA batteries at the same time
  • Overcharge protection, Duralock battery technology
  • Auto-off charging after no batteries detected
  • Ultra-thin design to save valuable space
  • High capacity Rechargable Batteries
  • Lightweight rechargable batteries with long usage

As one of the best LED headlamps, the Fenix is incredibly bright and I am sure, that you will appreciate its outstanding brightness.

Among its most useful features is the fact, that it includes a strobe mode, which comes in handy in case of emergency and requires hands-free lighting. Furthermore, it features a red light filter, which allows you to preserve your night vision, while also being able to read the map, or enjoy a candlelight dinner!

In addition, this tactical flashlight is also waterproof, so you can use it in heavy rain and not worry.

12. Black Diamond Sprinter Rechargeable Headlamp

Our rating: 7 / 10


Black Diamond Sprinter Rechargeable Headlamp

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Weatherproof
  • Waterproof
  • Long lasting battery life
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • Not rechargeable with regular outlet
  • Battery life used to be better

This rechargeable headlamp is a decent option for running, hiking, climbing, backpacking, cycling, and pretty much anything else you can think of. The only reason this did not end up at the top of our list is because of the price. Headlamps in this price range have been known to last more than 20 hours on a single charge and we are not seeing that here. The Black Diamond Sprinter actually only provides about 12 hours on a single charge.

However, this is much brighter than many of the more expensive headlamps, with 100 lumens of light in a 120-degree beam. And, the Black Diamond Sprinter is made from water resistant materials with a water resistant rating of IPX 8. You won’t have to worry about water getting into the mechanism.

What’s nice about this headlamp is the variety of settings. You have a red LED setting, different brightness levels, a strobe mode, and a setting to lock the light onto the white LED so you can read your map easily.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How many lumens do you need for trail running?

50-300 lumens are what most trail running headlamps have. You don’t want anything too bright because it may lead you to trip or animals to flee.

1-5 lumens are for reading/mock-up and can be handled with a low-budget option.

What is the most powerful headlamp?

Battery capacity can range from 1 AA to 4 AA batteries or 2 CR123A rechargeables. The higher the battery capacity the more light you get. Understand that the further you use your headlamp the more batteries you need and the more you will cost. The maximum beam distance will also decrease as the battery capacity goes lower, so you will be getting less light the further you use the headlamp.

What is the best running headlamp?

As running becomes more popular, there are many styles of running headlamps on the market. Some are designed for specific uses like trail running or nighttime running. We reviewed many of these and chose the following as the best of the best for 4 different categories.

Which is better Petzl or Black Diamond?

What about running headlamps? As most of these models cost around the same money, it’s hard distinguishing them. Both Black Diamond and Petzl make excellent gear. If you’re on a budget, Petzl tends to be the more affordable option.

Conclusion

The average runner spends close to 100 hours a year on their running exercises. Most of those individuals are facing one constant challenge which is to have that perfect night running or climbing workout. This can only be possible with a quality and comfortable running headlamp.

By the time you complete reading this review, you will be able to choose the best quality headlamp to use as you engage in your running exercises. You need to understand that the headlamp’s must be powerful enough to ensure that you don’t miss out on any workout because of the dark.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
PETZL – NAO+ HeadlampBest Overall
PETZL - NAO+ Headlamp
Energizer Rechargeable AAA BatteriesBudget Pick
Energizer Rechargeable AAA Batteries
PETZL – REACTIK+ HeadlampUpgrade Pick
PETZL - REACTIK+ Headlamp