Running Headlamps Review
Why Buy a Running Headlamp?
If you run or jog at night, a running headlamp helps you do so safely and efficiently. These hands-free pieces of night running gear fit onto your head to provide a directed light that illuminates the ground in front of you. Running headlights are commonly used by long-distance runners, trail running enthusiasts and triathlon participants, but casual runners and joggers who hit the road after dark can also benefit from a good headlamp. Popular running headlamps include the Petzl Tikka R+, the Petzl Nao 2 Headlamp and the Princeton Tec Fuel Headlamp.
Running Headlamps: What to Look For
Running headlamps range from inexpensive compact models useful for everyday jogging to high-performance night running gear designed for use during races and outdoor adventures. Below are several things you'll want to consider in choosing the best running headlamp for you.
Weight and Fit
When you plan to run for hours at a time, finding a lightweight running headlamp that doesn't pinch or slip midway through your run is essential. Some running headlights are made of a light attached to a simple elastic band, while others offer over-head straps for stability and give you adjustment options that let you customize the fit.
Light Beam Quality
Casual runners who typically traverse regular terrain, such as a well-designed path at the park or a popular beach, often simply need a basic light that lets them see where to step next. More rugged terrain requires better visibility, so the width and depth of the light beam is important. If you frequently run along routes with both dark and partially lit sections, look for reactive lights, which adjust to ambient light. Trails with potential hazards, such as rocks and branches, require a beam that spreads further out so you can assess the condition of the trail long before you arrive at a dangerous section.
Running headlamps with rechargeable batteries ensure that you never need to go buy batteries. Headlamps that use standard alkaline batteries eliminate the downtime necessary for recharging, but they can leave you without use of your gear if you forget to bring extra batteries. If you do choose replaceable batteries, look for a headlamp that uses a common battery type, such as AA or AAA, so you can be assured of finding replacements easily. Also consider how long your running headlight can operate at the lowest and highest light settings with fully charged batteries.
Durability and Performance
The durability and performance features you need will depend on the locations where you plan to run. For example, if you intend to use your running headlamp in challenging outdoor conditions, look for models that offer water-resistant and impact-resistant designs.
Running headlamps come in a wide price range and offer a bevy of potentially useful options. Figure out how you will use yours before starting your search to ensure you choose the best night running gear for your specific needs.