13 Best Headlamps For Hunting, Backpacking, Camping & hiking

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Video brightest led headlamp for hunting

When you are looking for the best headlamp for whatever outdoor adventure you are on, there are a number of things that come into play with your selection: Do you need an extended battery life? How bright of a light do you need? Is having a red or non-game spooking color light a deal breaker? Your activity will likely narrow down the options and help you with the selection process.

Make sure to check out our other backpacking gear reviews to get geared up for the next season!

What Features Do You Need?

When I’m selecting the best headlamp, a number of factors come into play depending on what activity I’m doing. If I’m backpacking, hunting or hiking, I want to have a nice bright light that is lightweight and has a battery lockout to prevent accidentally turning on the light while it’s riding in my pack. If I’m camping, battery locking isn’t a big deal and weight or bulk isn’t a concern.

If I’m hunting, I absolutely want to have a red light, and preferably direct access to the red light so I don’t have to cover the white light while cycling through the light options to get to the red light. This isn’t a deal breaker, but definitely a nice feature to have.

Because it’s super easy to over pack when hunting (at least for me), I also want a headlamp that is as lightweight and compact as possible. I may compromise a bit on this depending on the trip and what features I need, but generally, and especially when backpack hunting, shaving a few extra ounces in a headlamp is nice.

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Rechargable vs Alkaline Batteries

Many of today’s headlamps have moved to rechargeable batteries. Rechargeable batteries have come a long way and now are a fantastic option due to their excellent run times, easy recharging, and weight savings.

One of the benefits of a rechargeable headlamp is that you can recharge it in the field if needed, as long as you have a power source, which many of us take with us anyway. A downside, however, is that replacement or backup batteries are much more expensive than alkaline, however, you rarely need to replace these rechargeable batteries, so they save a TON of money in the long run.

For instance, several of these headlamps can be used with either Alkaline or rechargeable batteries, but the weight difference between them, while minimal, is still there. Of these headlamps we tested, they used a wide variety of rechargeable batteries as shown above.

Now, some companies put the advertised weight on their website without the battery, but I personally weighed each of these, because, well, I don’t care how much it weighs without a battery. May as well carry around a rock at that point. What matters to me is the total weight of what I’ll be carrying around, headband and battery included.

Coast FL1R Review

The first model we are going to look at in our search for the best headlamp is the lightest and most compact that we tested. Using this in the field, we found the rechargeable Coast FL1R headlamp to be the PERFECT backup light for a backpacking or hunting trip. At just 1.5 ounces and a whopping 300 lumens, you get a LOT out of this little headlamp. Not only that, but it also features a fantastic battery lockout, as well as a red light. Pretty much everything you need as a hunter.

Because of its extremely light weight, you don’t get a ton of battery life, only 1.5 hours on high and 3.75 hours on low, but that’s going to be enough to get you back to the truck, or give you time to recharge your primary headlamp if it happened to run out on you. Best of all the Coast FL1R comes in at a very reasonable price, so you don’t feel bad throwing it in your pack, even if you don’t use it much.

What We liked – Coast FL1R headlamp

  • 300 Lumens
  • 1.5 oz
  • Compact
  • Red light
  • Battery lockout
  • High and low settings
  • Rechargeable

What We Didn’t like – Coast FL1R headlamp

  • Poor battery life
  • Flood light only
  • Battery not replaceable

Buy the Coast FL1R Headlamp

511 Tactical Rapid HL 1AA Headlamp Review

Next up in our search for the best headlamp is the 5.11 Tactical Rapid HL 1AA headlamp. This the smaller version of the 5.11 Response HL that we’ll look at a bit later, but it utilizes a standard AA battery rather than a rechargeable one like most of the others in this review. It gives you both a flood light as well a spot light, which is not something you get with some of the others.

Coming in at a 4.3 oz and a nice bright 330 lumens, the 5.11 Tactical Rapid HL 1AA headlamp is a bit on the heavy side, but built like a tank to withstand abuse. Unfortunately, it does not have a battery lockout or a red light, so this isn’t a headlamp that I’d be taking on a hunting trip, but it would be great for work, camping, or even a shorter hiking trip.

The battery life is just okay with the Rapid HL 1AA lasting just over an hour on high, but over 6 hours while using the flood light. It can also be detached from the headband and clipped to your shirt or pants pocket if needed. A nice benefit.

The aluminum body of the 5.11 Tactical Rapid 1AA makes this headlamp able to take a beating and keep on ticking. When you hold the Rapid 1AA in your hand, you can tell it’s made extremely well and will last.

What We liked – 5.11 Rapid HL 1AA

  • 330 Lumens
  • Spot and flood lights
  • High and low settings
  • Super durable
  • Robust build

What We Didn’t like – 5.11 Rapid HL 1AA

  • Heavy for what it is
  • 1.5oz
  • No battery lockout
  • No red light
  • No rechargeable battery

Buy the 5.11 Rapid HL Headlamp

Petzl Tactikka RBG Headlamp Review

Next in our search for the best headlamp for hunting, backpacking and camping is the Petzl Tactikka RGB. Petzl has a long history of making fantastic headlamps, and for good reason. The Petzl Tactikka has been one of the best headlamps out there for the outdoor enthusiast because of their extremely light weight, great battery life, and dependability. The Tactikka comes in at just 2.6 oz, gives you a red, green and blue light in addition to the standard white light, and has a low, medium and high setting for the white light.

At an impressive 350 lumens (especially for its weight), you still get 2 hours of run time on high and up to a crazy 160 hours of run time on low. The rechargeable CORE battery gives you some impressive run times for how small and light it is. The other super nice thing about the Petzl Tactikka is that it also can be used with 3 standard AAA batteries if needed. This makes carrying a set of extra batteries much easier than buying an extra CORE battery that will run you just under $30. I’ll gladly throw in a couple AAA batteries just in case.

One other super cool thing about the Petzl Tactikka is that it is meant to be paired with the the Petzl Noctilight, which turns it into a lantern inside your tent. I used this a TON when doing some late season hot tent camping in my Seek Outside Cimarron hot tent with the titanium wood stove. It was so nice to just hang the light from the top of the tent and not worry about shining my headlamp in other people’s eyes.

What We liked – Petzl Tactikka RGB

  • 350 Lumen
  • Red light (direct access)
  • High, medium, and low settings
  • Great run time, especially on medium and low
  • Compatible with the Noctilight and Shell

What We Didn’t like – Petzl Tactikka RGB

  • No battery lockout
  • No spot light

Buy the Petzl Tactikka

Black Diamond Revolt Headlamp Review

If you’ve ever searched for a headlamp for backpacking, hiking or camping, you’ve no doubt come across Black Diamond. In recent years headlamps have made a move to rechargeable batteries, which is where the Black Diamond Revolt comes in. Coming in at just 3.2 oz, the Revolt is not only one of the lightest ones we tested, it also gives you some of the most unique features.

One of the features that makes the Black Diamond ReVOLT one of the best headlamps for hunting, hiking and backpacking is the incredibly effective battery lockout. Of all the headlamps we tested, these Black Diamond headlamps give you the most secure battery lockout. It takes two hands to unlock these units, so it’s nearly impossible to accidentally turn these on. The one “issue” I could find with this is that it’s so good, it could even be frustrating having to use two hands and would be hard to do with gloves on.

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The Black Diamond ReVOLT offers you a spot light, flood light, and red light and gives you a unique dimmable main beam, flood light and red light. It’s pretty sweet to have the option to dim all three of the light options. The ReVOLT also remembers the last setting you used, so you can get direct access to the red light if that’s what you last used. Most headlamps don’t come close to this kind of versatility.

The ReVOLT gives you 350 lumens with the spot light and a respectable 3 hours of burn time on high and an impressive 120 hours on low beam. Another cool feature is that you can use either the included rechargeable battery or 3 AAA batteries. This is nice as you can throw the AAA batteries in your pack as a backup, which makes having a backup battery a bit less expensive.

The downside to this much versatility is that it is a bit more complicated to learn how to use. It is much easier than some of their older models (I’ve used one of their older models, and that one was frustrating at times to figure out). This new two-button model is much better, but still takes a bit to get use to.

What We liked – Black Diamond ReVOLT

  • 350 Lumens
  • Red light
  • Dimmable (spot, flood & red)
  • Best battery lockout
  • 3.2 oz

What We Didn’t like – Black Diamond ReVOLT

  • Could be brighter
  • Complicated operation

Buy the Black Diamond ReVOLT

Black Diamond Storm Headlamp Review

Next up in our search for the best headlamp is the Black Diamond Storm. A tried and true performer, the Storm is a classic AAA battery headlamp that gives a nice 400 lumen brightness. It’s a little brighter than its rechargeable twin, the ReVOLT, but almost an ounce heavier. That extra ounce comes from the 4 AAA batteries vs the lighter rechargeable battery.

Like the ReVOLT, one of the features that makes the Black Diamond Storm one of the best headlamps for hunting, hiking and backpacking is the incredibly effective battery lockout. Of all the headlamps tested, these Black Diamond headlamps give you the most secure battery lockout.

It takes two hands to unlock these units, so it’s nearly impossible to accidentally turn these on. The one “issue” I could find with this is that its so good, it could even be frustrating having to use two hand, and would be hard to do with gloves on.

The Black Diamond Storm gives you a spot light, flood light, and red light, and allows you to dim all of the various lights (red, spot, and flood). This can be a very useful and versatile tool for some applications. The Storm remembers what light you last used as well, so you can have direct access to the red light if needed, as long as you remember to turn the light off in red mode. Both of these Black Diamond headlamps are some of the most versatile we tested.

The Black Diamond Storm comes in at 400 lumens, 50 more than the ReVOLT. Its battery life is also better than the ReVolt in every setting, but that comes at the cost of an extra ounce and the lack of a rechargeable battery option. This is a great headlamp for those that want to stick with a classic alkaline battery setup and not mess with recharging.

Both this Storm and the ReVOLT operate identically, so the versatility comes at the price of a bit more complicated operation. Again, it is much easier than some of their older models (I’ve used one of their older models, and that one was frustrating at times to figure out). This new two-button model is much better, but still takes a bit to get used to.

What We liked – Black Diamond Storm

  • 400 Lumens
  • Red light
  • Dimmable (spot, flood & red)
  • Best battery lockout

What We Didn’t like – Black Diamond Storm

  • Alkaline only batteries
  • Heavier
  • Complicated operation

Buy the Black Diamond Storm

Coast FL78R Headlamp Review

Next in our lineup of some of the best headlamp options for hunting, hiking, camping and backpacking is the Coast FL78R. The Coast FL78R headlamp is nice and light weight at just 3.2 oz, offering a robust 530 lumens with respectable burn times and the option to use either a rechargeable battery (included) or AAA batteries. It’s kinda nice to have the option to throw in a few AAA batteries for backup since most of us don’t have a spare rechargeable ZX350 battery lying around.

The Coast FL78R offers their signature twist style lens which allows you to have both a spot light or a flood light simply by twisting the lens. Pretty cool feature! You also have direct and completely separate access to the red and green lights via a separate button that controls those lights. It’s nice not to have to cycle through the white light options to get to the red light. I wasn’t a fan, though, of having to cycle through all of the white light options to power off the unit. It would be nice if you didn’t have to push the button multiple times to turn it off.

One of the only reasons we wouldn’t classify the Coast FL78R headlamp as one of the best headlamps for hunting or backpacking is the lack of battery lockout. If it had that, this little gem would be in the running for sure! It is a fantastic headlamp for camping though or, if measures are taken to make sure it doesn’t accidentally get turned on in your pack, it would be just fine as your primary hunting or backpacking headlamp.

What We liked – Coast FL78R

  • 530 Lumens
  • Direct access to red and green light
  • Twist style lens (flood and spot)
  • 3.2 oz
  • Rechargeable or alkaline battery use

What We Didn’t like – Coast FL78R

  • No battery lockout
  • Have to cycle through lights to turn off
  • Moderate run times

Buy the Coast FL78R

Coast FL85R Headlamp Review

The Coast FL85R headlamp is the big brother to the FL78R we just looked at, offering an additional 170 lumens for a total of 700 lumens with this bad boy. It is a bit bulkier as you’d expect, but only 0.7 oz heavier. The larger unit gives you more run time at that 700 lumen output (1 hr 45 min), but gives you less run time at the medium and low settings. You do get more output at the medium and low settings, however.

The “low” setting is still a robust 90 lumens, and the medium pushes out an impressive 360 lumens, so even at the lower settings, you are still getting a lot of light. Like the FL78R, I wasn’t a huge fan of having to cycle through the different settings to turn the unit off, and also like the FL78R, I wish it had a battery lockout. In fact, the very first trip I used this light on, it got bumped in the side pouch of my pack and turned on without me knowing it. After a day of hunting, I pulled it out as we hiked back to the truck in the dark, only to find a dead headlamp. Ugh.

This Coast FL85R headlamp is BRIGHT though. It almost borders on too much if you are wanting to tone down your light on your walk out back to the truck or camp. At 90 lumens on low, it’s still quite bright and much brighter on the low setting than any other headlamp we tested.

The Coast FL85R offers their signature twist style lens, which allows you to have both a spot light or a flood light simply by twisting the lens! The lens on the FL85R is quite a bit larger than the FL78R, so you get a wider flood light when in flood mode. You also have direct and completely separate access to the red light via a separate button that controls that light. It’s nice to not have to cycle through the white light options to get to the red light.

The Coast FL85R headlamp makes a strong bid for the best headlamp for hunting, but the lack of battery lockout and run times that aren’t the most ideal for a week long trip in the backcountry are the only things holding this powerful light back. Now, if we are talking about the best headlamp for camping or for work, this Coast FL85R is absolutely in the discussion.

What We liked – Coast FL85R

  • 700 Lumens
  • Direct access to red light
  • Twist style lens (flood and spot)
  • 4 oz
  • Rechargeable or alkaline battery use
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What We Didn’t like – Coast FL85R

  • No battery lockout
  • Have to cycle through lights to turn off
  • Shorter run times

Buy the Coast FL85R

Fenix HM50R Headlamp – Best headlamp for Hunting

The Fenix HM50R is one outstanding little headlamp. In fact, this little guy takes our award for best headlamp for hunting overall. In our humble opinion, when weight and size are things you are trying to keep to a minimum but you aren’t willing to sacrifice on performance, this Fenix HM50R is the best headlamp for hunting and backpacking of this group. Why you might ask? There are a number of reasons that it checks all of the boxes for us.

First, the Fenix HM50R comes in at a mere 2.7 ounces- basically the same weight as the Petzl Tactikka RBG, but has a turbo mode that is twice as bright at 700 lumens. On high, it gives you 1/3 more run than the Petzl time while putting out an extra 100 lumens. The Petzl has a much longer run time on low, however, which is nice.

The Black Diamond headlamps were both comparable in run times/brightness, but don’t offer that turbo mode with higher output, but both offer much longer run times on low. So, if you are one who uses your low setting a lot, the HM50R isn’t the best performer there.

This little powerhouse puts out a massive 700 lumens in turbo mode, while still maintaining a very respectable run time of 1 hour on turbo (700 lumens), 3 hours on high (400 lumens), 8 hours on medium (130 lumens), and 42 hours on low (30 lumens). All this is powered by a rechargeable 16340 battery. I personally carry an extra in my pack at all times, just in case. I typically have a way to charge my headlamp as well, and make sure to bring the appropriate cable to do so.

Solely being a bright headlamp doesn’t make it the best headlamp though. The Fenix HM50R also features a battery lockout, direct access to your red lamp (with a simple double tap of the power button), and a super compact setup. This light has plenty of power and run time to be used as a primary headlamp due to its light weight, but could also be a backup if you wanted something more powerful with better run time.

What We liked – Fenix HM50R

  • 700 Lumens
  • Direct access to red light
  • 2.7 oz – super lightweight
  • Compact size
  • Battery lockout

What We Didn’t like – Fenix HM50R

  • Battery lockout could be more robust
  • Run times could be better overall

Buy the Fenix HM50R

Coast XPH30R Headlamp – Best headlamp for Camping

The Coast XPH30R is a new headlamp from Coast, and it’s one we’d consider to be one of the best headlamps for camping, working or general use. It’s one of our favorites if you don’t need a red light or battery lockout. Extremely simple operation makes this a breeze to use, while the insane 1000 lumens in turbo mode gives you enough light for pretty much anything you’d want.

Other excellent features of the Coast XPH30R is that it is non-directional in the way you put it on. It rotates a full 180 degrees, so you can’t put this headlamp on “upside down” like many out there. I also really like the twist style lens, which allows you to have both incredible spot and flood beams, all in one light. It also features a magnetic end on one of the end caps, which is super useful as a work lamp.

Coming in at just 5.1 oz, it’s a headlight that could easily be packed around on a hiking or backpacking trip, but you’d want to be extra careful not to have it turn on in your pack. The rechargeable Cost ZX850 18650 battery gives this headlamp a good burn time, with just under 8 hours on high (490 lumens), 10 hours on medium (150 lumens) and 41 hours on low (40 lumens). I wasn’t able to find how long it would last on turbo mode, but I’d guess between one and two hours.

The simplicity of the operation makes the Coast XPH30R super user friendly, however, it’s also a bummer that you don’t have a battery lockout or a red lamp. If it did, this powerhouse would make a run for not only one of the best headlamps for camping, but also one of the best headlamps for hunting, hiking and backpacking.

What We liked – Coast XPH30R

  • 1000 Lumens
  • Good battery life
  • 5.1 oz
  • Compact size
  • Non-directional (can’t put it on upside down)
  • Great headband
  • Magnetic end

What We Didn’t like – Coast XPH30R

  • No battery lockout
  • No red light

Buy the Coast XPH30R

5.11 Response HL-XR1 Review

Now that we are into some of the “serious” headlamps when it comes to brightness, the 5.11 Response HL-XR1 is next up in our search for the best headlamp. A brand I can say I wasn’t all that familiar with prior to this, I can now say that these are some of the best headlamps we tested as far as their build and durability. While it is certainly not the lightest of the bunch, the trade off is that you get extra durability. At 6.1 ounces, the Response HL-XR1 is certainly getting on the heavy side for hunting, hiking and backpacking, but it’s still doable if you really want the extra brightness.

The 5.11 Response HL-XR1 headlamp is crazy bright at 1021 lumens and has a red light with direct access, as well as a dedicated flood and spot light. Run time at that 1021 lumens is just 2 hours, but you won’t need that much light most of the time. I wasn’t able to find how many lumens or how long it lasts at low and medium, but on high flood you get almost 6.5 hours of use. Given that is uses a hefty 18650 rechargeable battery, or two CR123 alkaline batteries, it should have good run times on the lower settings.

The stout headlamp also has a built in clip, so you can clip it to a pocket if you prefer and still be able to use it hands free. It’s sturdy aluminum housing is robust and can take a beating. I also like that you get a red light with this headlamp, and you have direct access to that red light. Not only that, but it’s a brighter red light than others we’ve tested.

Now, the only real things that kept the 5.11 Response HL-XR1 from rising to the top of our list for one of the best headlamps for backpacking or hunting was the lack of a battery lockout and the weight. The 2 button use takes a bit of getting used to, and until you memorize which button is for the flood and which is for the spot, you might find yourself accidentally turning on the wrong one. However, if weight and battery lockout aren’t a big deal to you, this thing is a beast of a light and will serve you well.

What We liked – 5.11 Response HL-XR1

  • 1021 Lumens
  • Sturdy and well built
  • Built in clip
  • Direct access to red light
  • Flood and spot lights
  • Non-directional (can’t put it on upside down)

What We Didn’t like – 5.11 Response HL-XR1

  • Not the best battery life
  • 2 button use
  • No battery lockout
  • Heavier (6.1 oz)

Buy the 5.11 Response HL-XR1

Fenix HM61R – Best Headlamp For Hunting

Of all the larger headlamps, the Fenix HM61R headlamp checks all the boxes as the best headlamp for hunting among the larger units we tested with just a couple small exceptions.

It gives you a monster 1200 lumens in turbo mode, 8 different modes to choose from, a robust battery lockout, and all in all a package that weighs in at 5.1 oz. Now, that’s double what you get with the smaller Fenix HM50R, which we felt like was the best headlamp for hunting of the small headlamps, but for one that has such a high output and all the extra features, 5.1 ounces is pretty darn good.

Being non-directional like most of these larger headlamps is nice. It takes the worry out of putting it on wrong. Another super cool feature of the Fenix HM61R is one that isn’t listed on their website. Even if you forget to activate the battery lockout (simply done by double tapping the power button), it still takes holding down the power button for 1 second to turn the unit on, so it gives you that small protection even if you forget to set the battery lockout.

The run time for the Fenix HM61R is some of the best in its class:

  • Turbo (1200 lumens) 2 hrs
  • High (400 lumens): 4 hrs
  • Med (150 lumens): 12 hrs
  • Low (50 lumens): 35 hrs
  • Eco (5 lumens): 300 hrs
  • Red Low (5 lumens): 400 hrs
  • Red med (5 lumens) 8 hrs
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Lots of options for no matter what you are doing, but it’s nice to have that Eco mode for times when you don’t need much light or if you find yourself in a pinch and need to conserve the battery. You don’t have a dedicated flood light, but the primary light is kind of a blend of a spot light and flood light.

For hunting and backpacking purposes, I wasn’t a huge fan of the rubber retaining piece, but it didn’t really bother me either. It looks a bit odd, but does keep the light from accidentally rotating on you. While l really like the magnetic charging feature, it’s far less universal than a standard micro USA, so you really have to remember to bring that cable or you are up the creek when it comes to charging this unit.

Another feature that makes the Fenix HM61R the best headlamp for hunting of the larger ones we tested, is its versatility. It has a built in clip and a magnetic end cap which gives you the ability to take the light off and clip it to a pocket if you prefer and still be able to use it hands free, or let it stick to anything metal for a work light. Its sturdy aluminum housing is robust and can take a beating, like all of the Fenix headlamps. I also like that you get a red light that has both low and medium modes with this headlamp.

There are only two things I could point to that would be a knock to this being the best headlamp for hunting and backpacking; you don’t have direct access to the red light (it cycles past a flash of white light to get to the red light), and its weight. It’s a touch on the heavy side at 5.1 oz, but for all that you get with this light, most folks would be willing to carry the extra couple ounces. I love the battery lockout in this unit as well. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to accidentally turn on this headlamp.

What We liked – Fenix HM61R

  • 1200 Lumens
  • 5.1 oz (for its class)
  • Compact size (for its class)
  • Non-directional (can’t put it on upside down)
  • Good battery life
  • 8 lighting modes (2 red modes)
  • Awesome battery lockout

What We Didn’t like – Fenix HM61R

  • No direct access to red light
  • Unique magnetic charging (love/hate kind of thing)

The Fenix HM61R really was the best blend of all the right features of the larger headlamps we tested, making this one of our top picks for the best headlamp for hunting and backpacking if you tend to want a brighter, longer lasting headlamp.

Buy the Fenix HM61R

Fenix HM65R – Best Headlamp For Camping & Backpacking

The Fenix HM65R headlamp is the lightest in the large, high output headlamp class coming in at just 4.9 oz, while still pushing out an incredible 1500 lumens. The Fenix HM65R makes its case as the best headlamp for camping, backpacking, and hiking because of its feature-rich design and being the lightest weight headlamp of its class.

The Fenix HM65R gives you a dedicated spot light and flood light, each with their own separate controls. You can run just the spot light, just flood light, or both together to maximize the output. The HM65R also features a great battery lockout function and a battery indicator to help you know when you need to recharge the unit. It comes with a high quality Fenix Rechargeable 3500mAh 18650 battery that provides this headlamp with impressive run times:

  • Spotlight Turbo (1000 lumens) 4 hrs
  • Spotlight High (400 lumens): 22 hrs
  • Spotlight Med (130 lumens): 42 hrs
  • Spotlight Low (50 lumens): 90 hrs
  • Flood High (400 lumens): 20 hrs
  • Flood Med (130 lumens): 48 hrs
  • Flood Low (8 lumens) 280 hrs

Of all the headlamps we tested for this review, this was the best headlamp in the battery life department. This thing has an all around great battery life and gives you a great battery lockout, is incredibly light weight for its output, and has a super durable construction. Man, I wish this had a red light! If it did, THIS would be the best headlamp for hunting and backpacking.

Other than the Fenix HM65R not having a red light, some folks may not like that it has two different controls; one for the flood light and one for spot light. It can be a blessing and a curse. It requires more button pushes to turn them both on and off if you do end up wanting to run them both together. Also, the headband, while nice that you can customize the fit with the ratchet style adjustment, is a bit of a pain to put on and off than a traditional headband.

For hunting and backpacking purposes, I wasn’t a huge fan of the rubber retaining piece, but it didn’t really bother me either. It looks a bit odd, but does keep the light from accidentally rotating on you. While I really like the magnetic charging feature, it’s far less universal than a standard micro USA, so you really have to remember to bring that cable or you are up the creek when it comes to charging this unit.

What We liked – Fenix HM65R

  • 1500 Lumens
  • 4.9 oz (best in class)
  • Compact size (best in class)
  • Exceptional battery life
  • 7 lighting modes
  • Dedicated flood and spot lights
  • Awesome battery lockout

What We Didn’t like – Fenix HM61R

  • No red light
  • Cumbersome head band

Buy the Fenix HM65R

Fenix HM70R – Best Headlamp For Camping, Hunting & Backpacking

The Fenix HM70R headlamp is the largest and heaviest of the group, but also one of the best headlamps that we tested. It puts out an incredible 1600 lumens. The Fenix HM70R is an absolute beast of a headlamp, and is one of the best headlamps in regards to battery life and brightness. I like that you have just one button to control the unit, and the operation is surprisingly simple for having 8 different lighting modes controlled by one button.

The Fenix HM70R comes with and runs on a monster 5000mAh 27100 rechargeable battery, making this thing hands down the most powerful. It’s the best headlamp for general purpose use, but it’s also nearly perfect for the backcountry hunter or backpacking trip if you aren’t too concerned about the extra weight. The Fenix HM70R is the heaviest of all the headlamps we tested at 7.27 oz, so it’s definitely on the heavy and bulky side for a backpacking and hunting headlamp.

Here are the run time specs for this headlamp:

  • Spotlight Turbo (1600 lumens) 2 hrs
  • Spotlight High (500 lumens): 2 hrs
  • Spotlight Med (150 lumens): 30 hrs
  • Spotlight Low (30 lumens): 100 hrs
  • Flood High (400 lumens): 8 hrs
  • Flood Med (70 lumens): 48 hrs
  • Red (5 lumens) 400 hrs

Of all the headlamps we tested for this review, this was one of the best headlamps in the battery life department. Powered by its hefty 21700 rechargeable battery, you get extra power and extra battery life in exchange for the extra size and weight. It still gives you a great battery lockout, direct access to the red light, flood and spot light modes, and a non-directional setup so you can’t put it on upside down.

For hunting and backpacking purposes, the Fenix HM70R is most definitely on the large and heavy side, but at the same time, you may be just fine with a few extra ounces in exchange for a high powered, super durable headlamp that’ll light up the world if you need it to. It can also dim down to a very usable hiking headlamp when you only need that, and it gives you a red light with direct access. Really the only thing negative to say about this light is its size and weight. A deal breaker for some, but for others it isn’t a big deal.

What We liked – Fenix HM70R

  • 1600 Lumens
  • Super bright or very low light
  • Compact size (best in class)
  • Exceptional battery life
  • 8 lighting modes
  • Direct access to red light
  • Flood and spot lights
  • Battery lockout

What We Didn’t like – Fenix HM61R

  • 7.27 oz (heaviest in class)
  • Large/bulky

Buy the Fenix HM70R

Our Picks For Each category

Best Headlamp For Hunting (ultralight):

Best Headlamp For Camping:

Best Headlamp For Hiking, Backpacking & Hunting:

Best Headlamp For A Backup Light:

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>