The best head torch for camping should be one that will stay with you for a very long time. I’ve been using the same head lamp for more than five years and it’s proved to be one of my better investments. Of course, you can use any old head torch for camping on a designated site but better gear is always advised for wild camping.
But what’s the difference?
Power, design and practicality. Some head lamps have a better beam, while others are lighter or fit more comfortably to the head. If you go camping often, this comfort will matter and the quality of the beam etc is something that you will notice.
In this post, we take a look at some of the best head torches for camping.
Here’s the Best Head Torches for Camping
Best Overall Camping Head Torch – Petzl Actik Core
Second Best Head Torch for Camping – Black Diamond Spot 325
Best Affordable Head Torch for camping – Led Lenser MH5
Most Powerful Head Torch for Camping – Led Lenser MH11
Most Comfortable Head Torch – Biolite 330 Head Lamp
But before we take a closer look at each of the above camping head lamps…
Features of the Best Head Torch for Camping
Battery – Does the head torch run on AAA batteries? Maybe it comes with a rechargeable battery? Some head lamps can facilitate both which is highly useful.
Brightness – I wrote a post recently about how many lumens do i need for a headlamp? This refers to the brightness of a camping head torch and the more lumens, the brighter the light. However, batteries also run down faster with brighter lights so this is why “burn time” is something to keep in mind with head lamps.
Beam – Many camping head torches come with different beam settings. You can switch between a spot or flood light setting with the first one being more narrow and defined. This is important in dark areas (think forest) or for when you don’t want to blind your mates around a campfire! There is also a red light mode which is great for reading maps etc after dark because this light does not rebound off the object.
Fit – You want a head torch for camping that fits nicely to the crown. Some campers prefer a light head torch that they barely notice, while others appreciate something a bit more robust and durable. Either way, you want to strike a balance with comfort.
Top 10 Best Head Torch for Camping
Best Overall Head Torch – Petzl Actik Core
Burn Time: 8 hrs on medium setting
The Actik Core is a light headlamp that provides 450 lumens of brightness. There is a multi-beam which can switch from flood light to spot and there is also a red light function too. The reflective headband is comfortable and fits snug to the crown and the lightness (75g) means you don’t really notice it’s even there. You can usee 3 x AAA batteries to power but there is also a rechargeable (by USB) battery that comes with this head torch for camping. It’s my personal favourite which is largely down to the lightness and simplicity of design but also the balance it strikes re price and functionality.
Second Best Camping Head Torch – Black Diamond Spot 325
Lumens: 325 lumens
Burn time: 8 hrs on medium setting
Many thru-hikers think this to be the best head torch for camping and it’s easy to see why. The Black diamond Spot is very light and features many beam settings for a head torch with such a low profile. There is a strobe light to increase visibility and a red light function for night vision. This is also a 325 lumen headlamp which is more than enough when it comes to a camping head torch. The rechargeable battery can also be replaced with 3 x AAA batteries and I see this as a necessity for any headlamp to be honest. With a high waterproof rating and a strong beam, you can’t go wrong with the Black Diamond Spot – no matter what type of camping you do.
Best Affordable Head Torch – Led Lenser MH5
Burn Time: 10 hrs on medium setting
Led Lenser make really good products and most of which are considered the best head torches for camping. The MH5 model provides a very defined beam and rapid focusing and also a red light setting. It also uses a hybrid battery system meaning, as with the Actik Core, you can either recharge the main battery or use 3 x AAA batteries instead. It’s basically an all rounder with a water resistant exterior, strong adjustable headband and a solid build in general. The Led Lenser can feel more front-heavy than a Petzl in my opinion but it’s definitely one of the best head torches for camping.
Most Powerful Head Torch for Camping – Led Lenser MH11
Burn Time: 4 hrs on medium setting
The MH11 is the flagship head torch for Led Lenser which pumps out an incredible 1000 lumens! The beam can reach up to 320 metres which makes this one of the best head lamps for wild camping. There is not only a red light function but also a blue light which is useful for cutting through foggy conditions. You also have strobe light for added visibility (SOS or defense scenario) and the rechargeable battery lasts approx 4 hours. For anyone that appreciates camping apps, there is even an app for this head torch which enables the user to operate the head torch from a phone. It can stand up to heavy rain and comes with a 7 year warranty which speaks volume about the quality. It does come with a price tag but the Led Lenser MH11 is a phenomenal head torch for camping!
Most Comfortable Head Torch – Biolite Headlamp 330
Burn time: 2.7 hrs on medium setting
The design of the Biolite 330 is what really stands out for this headlamp. The headband fits flush to the crown and even hides the tiny cable inside. It features a bright 330 lumen beam that goes from spot light to floor to flash and red light with ease. The light is also dimmable on each mode and it remembers this setting any time you turn the head lamp on and off. It’s also super light and getting back to the headband, many users cite this as being the most comfortable head torch for camping that they have ever come across.
As always, this is just my opinion and you’ve always got to do what’s best for you!