The Best Tactical Headlamps on the Market in 2017
Headlamps have been around for many years. With people looking for the ultimate in comfort. Whilst providing enough light for your activity, and enough battery to keep your subjects illuminated throughout.
Since the early days of duct tape and a hand torch. A Headlamp has become an essential piece of equipment for anybody outdoors after dark. Providing a hands free solution to the problem of darkness.
For tactical users, a headlamp is much more than a simple lamp to light the footpath, whilst out jogging. The headlamp must to be tough and durable, and able to withstand the harshest conditions. Whilst giving maximum output for maximum duration.
People who are looking for a tactical headlamp want a product they can use and trust with confidence.Here we have compiled a list of 10 of the best rated tactical headlamps currently available on the market. We have researched both output and battery life, as well as extra features that sets the products apart.
Headlamp vs Hand Held Lamp
Over the past 10 years with the introduction of LED technology. It has become much more accessible for users to purchase a headlamp with the same output and weight as a regular hand held torch.
A headlamp is designed to be mounted to either a helmet or worn on the head. So the light will follow where you are looking, offering an almost hands free operation.This is the main advantage of a headlamp over a handheld torch as it allows you to continue working with both hands without having to hold a torch.
The Top 10 Tactical Headlamps
Here are the tactical headlamps best rated by features and brightness, Our tactical headlamp reviews, are designed to be help explore the headlamp mystery, and assist customers to select the best headlamp for their usage.
Top 10 Best Tactical Headlamp
3: GRDE Zoomable Headlamp
5: Petzl Tactikka Headlamp
8: GloryFire Tactical Headlamp
10: Black Diamond Storm Headlamp
If you are looking for some serious luminosity then look no further.
The Smiling Shark is one of the brightest and best headlamps on the market punching 5000 Lumens through 3 LED units.
The Smiling Shark has a number of really useful features. Including 3 different brightness's, a separate strobe function, and a 90 degree tilt action. Are just a few of the features that gives this unit its prominent position.
The rechargeable battery units makes recharging at home easy, and the adjustable headband is both comfortable and practical for any user.
The unit is water resistant and perfect for any activity.
We really love this unit, for sheer brightness. The option to really turn night into day with this 5000 lumen output means whatever your mission it won't be held back by darkness.
The Zglon Tactical Headlamp is a close second on our list.
Trading brightness for functionality. With 7 different lighting modes, the unit offers the biggest variety of lighting options we have found.
The headlamp offers both 90 degree tilt and a beam focus options. To really illuminate exactly what you need to see.
The Unit comes with a rechargeable battery, which can be charged at home. A really nice addition to this unit, is the option of a USB charger. So the unit can be recharged on the go from your car or truck.
The headband offers comfort with plenty of adjustment, its well balanced. So will be stable whilst moving.
This is certainly one of the best headlamps on the market for both functionality and output.
3. GRDE Zoomable Headlamp
The third headlamp on our list is rated at 1800 lumens, through a single zoomable Led unit. This headlamp offers just 3 lighting functions, High, Low and Strobe outputs. But with just the single Cree Led it offers both superior weight and battery life to the two higher powered units.
The additional USB charging option is something we really find useful, to charge on the go. The comfortable head band offers good all round comfort.
The single button control is fast and simple to use, with no confusion as to which mode the unit is in.
This is also very similar to the tactical TL 900 headlamp from Primitive Survivors both are great options and certainly one of the best headlamps, because it is both user friendly, bright and long lasting.
4. Princeton Tec Quad Tactical Headlamp
The Priceton Tec Quad Tactical is a 4 Led headlamp. Weighing in, at just 101 grammes, it is certainly one of the lighter weight options.
Pushing out 78 lumens, it is not the brightest in our collection. But the 105 hour battery life will see you through even the longest nights.
The Quad Tactical is taken from the same design as the Princeton Tec Quad. One of their best selling units. The Quad tactical shares many of the same features but adds some of its own. The Quad Tactical is both durable and waterproof to IPX7. Making it one of the Best waterproof headlamps on our list.
The unit comes in a selection of tactical colour ways, including Camo, Olive, Sand and black. The Headlight runs on 3AAA Batteries, which is perfect for a quick battery change in the field.
One of the specialist features offered by this headlamp is the option of 3 interchangeable lens covers, this allows the output light to be changed between blue, red or white for whatever the mission.
This is one of our favourite headlamps. Being such a small unit, it is easy to pocket and offers a host of features.
5. Petzl Tactikka Headlamp
We couldn't leave the top 5 without including a headlamp from Petzl.
Petzl have been in the Outdoor industry for over 40 years, with a huge history. Every product is imagined and designed in the field. Designed to best meet the needs of its users.
The Tactikka is no exception. Designed for activities where stealth is key. Taking on board the design of the ever successful Tikka headtorch and improving it, for tactical use.
The Tactikka has the best battery life of any of our top 10 with 260 hours. The unit is lightweight and easy to store, with quick release clip to attach easily to a helmet or onto your head. The use of AAA batteries or the rechargeable battery pack keeps your subjects illuminated all night.
This is one of the best rated tactical head torches. Offering 250 lumens and an additional red light. This headtorch is one of the lightest on our list at just 85 grammes. It really is perfect for any adventure.
The Luxolite Led Headlamp is really lightweight, offering 168 Lumens and the addition of a red light option to preserve night vision.
The average battery life is 30 hours with 3 x AAA batteries.
This unit is sold with a lifetime guarantee, something not found on many other models. The headlamp is available in a really wide range of colour ways both camo and bright so ideal for any outfit.
Another great piece from Petzl, The Strix VL has been designed with tactical use in mind.
Offering extended battery life and a host of features. With a double rotation lense option to put the light right where you need it for your task. The Strix features White/ Red/ Blue / Green light options as well as a second edition Strix IR featuring a special IR option.
At 40 lumens it is not the most powerful but with just one AA battery its lightweight and easy to change. This is one of the best waterproof headlamps. Waterproof to 1m for 30 minutes and the optional extra of a second helmet mounting plate for quick changes from helmet to head. This host of features certainly makes this one of the best tactical headlamps.
A simple headlamp, with a big single button perfect for gloved hands.
This is one of the cheapest in the list but don't let the price put you off. Still throwing 110 Lumens for an impressive 96 hours. This unit is lightweight, and has a red light option.
The Elasticized non-slip headband is both comfortable and easy to use over a helmet or hat.
A simple 4 led design, with 3 white LEDs providing 45 Lumens, and the single red LED to preserve your night vision.
With a battery life of up to 180 hours. Giving you plenty of illumination options without battery fears.
One really nice feature of this headtorch is, that on each operation it will automatically default to the red light mode. This is so not to give away your location whilst stalking, or to blind anyone close by. This headtorch is built in a variety of colourways.
This is perfect for any operation.
No list would be complete without the Black Diamond storm Headlamp.
This has been a best selling headtorch for a long time. It is certainly worth looking at the original black diamond storm headlamp reviews.
But now we introduce the NEW version. Loaded with all the best features, but now sending 350 Lumens with the addition of 3 colour lights Blue/ Red/ Green and white.
This is one of the best waterproof headlamps available. Rated at IP67 both waterproof and dustproof. This is one of the most heavy hitting headlamps on the market and the perfect headtorch to complete our list.
With so many headlamps currently on the market there are a huge number of options.
So to help you choose, we have identified some of the main considerations when purchasing a tactical head lamp.
The size of the headlamp is really important factor, depending on your usage.
If you want something sleek and compact that can be easily pocketed and used in close quarters. Or if you need something that provides maximum output that fits into a rucksack.
This is something you need to think about before purchasing, as your own usage will dictate the size of headlamp you require.
The weight of the unit is important as it needs to be comfortable whilst being worn for extended periods of time.
The higher output headlamps are usually larger and heavier. So depending if you are using with a helmet or on its own will also dictate the comfort of the headlamp on your head.
The output has seen drastic improvements over the past 10 years. With many lamps now moving from traditional bulbs on to halogen bulbs and now into LED (light emitting diode) technology.
This newest breed of headlamps are lighter, brighter and longer lasting than anything before. With most of the output now measured in Lumens we can vary between 40 -5000 lumens.
The higher lumen output the brighter the lamp will be but potentially also potentially the least battery duration.
There is no point having the brightest headlamp that can light up the moon IF it only lasts for 8 seconds.
Battery life is really important. In Norway for example the Polar Night lasts for 6 month at a time. Whereas on average most countries experience 12 hours of night time.
So think about how many hours of activity you will be doing, and how many recharges / spare batteries you might need.
The maximum beam is usually measured on the spotlight mode at maximum output. It will measure the maximum distance illuminated by the headtorch.
This can be really important, as for faster moving activities it is more important to see further ahead.
It is also worth noting here the different beam options available can be another consideration when buying.
Most headlights will have a user function to alter the output of the headlamp between a full output, mid output and usually a flashing option. It is also worth looking at headlamps that can provide a flood function to illuminate a broader areas as opposed to a spot that only illuminates a narrow band.
The additional function of red light is really important for tactical users as it allows minimum distortion to your night vision when working in darkened environments.
Buying a headlight can be a real task, with so many currently on the market.
It is important to get the best headlamp for your own needs. Not everyone needs a super bright light when the other functions are more important.
Look at the environment you will be using the headtorch and what exactly you are trying to illuminate.
It is worth thinking about the battery life and how long you will be in the field. If you will be out for extended periods of time something with changeable batteries will be a better option and more beneficial than a single rechargeable unit.
The right headlamp for you is the one that best suits your individual needs of illumination.