Best Running Headlamp: Top 6 Choices in 2020

running headlampAre you looking for the best headlamp for running but still don’t know how to choose it? Read this article and find out what is the best running headlamp.

If you like running at nighttime, you definitely need to have the best running headlamp which will become your assistant to illuminate the ground in front of you. Such headlamp may be used not only for running, but also for hiking, mountaineering, camping, backpacking or night reading.

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The Top 6 Running Headlamps Comparison

Black Diamond Sprinter

Black Diamond Sprinter

Black Diamond manufactures excellent headlamps and the Black Diamond Sprinter is not an exception. This headlamp is designed specifically for running when it’s dark. It has a great combination of features for urban runners, but it is probably not the best option for backcountry use because of relatively low battery life. But will be great for urban runners. The Sprinter is a lightweight, user-friendly, bright and waterproof headlamp with a rechargeable battery and it will make your trail runs at night much easier. Its stormproof design ensures reliable light at any weather. Let’s take a closer look at the features of the Black Diamond Sprinter:

  • Weight: 105 g;
  • Maximum brightness: 130 lumens;
  • Beam type: Flood;
  • Max beam distance: 30 meters;
  • 3 lighting modes: full strength, dimming, and strobe;
  • PowerTap technology ensures simple transitioning between full and dimmed power in distance and proximity modes;
  • Built-in rechargeable Lithium-polymer battery;
  • Burn time: from 6 hours on high to 42 hours on low;
  • Battery charge indicator;
  • Recharge time: 5 hours;
  • Universal charging with micro USB;
  • Watertightness: IPX4 rating (weather resistant).

When you open the box, you will see that the Black Diamond Sprinter is a rather compact and robust headlamp. It weighs 105 grams and it is the average weight for a running headlamp, but it is really lightweight and the weight is perfectly distributed between the LED in front and the battery in the back, so you will not get tired wearing it on the head.

Equipped with a DoublePower LED with 130 lumens, the Black Diamond Sprinter projects a wide beam that shines up to 30 meters and it is more than enough for running most trails. The beam is even and bright and it is one of the best compared to other headlamps for running. However, the Sprinter doesn’t feature a spot light. As for the close proximity use, you will hardly need it if you plan to use this headlamp for running, but the Sprinter has a focused and even light which will serve well for this purpose.

The Black Diamond Sprinter features a red taillight strobe mode with on/off switch. This red LED is on the back side and it will let people see you at night. To activate a strobe mode, you need a triple click which is not perfect when you are wearing gloves and it may be difficult to click for three times. To return to the steady mode, you need a double click.

The battery life of the Black Diamond Sprinter is not the best one (but not the worst one) running for 6 hours in high mode. In low mode (strobe) it can work up to 42 hours. But if you are looking for the headlamp for running, you don’t probably need to use the strobe all the time, so you will need to recharge the battery more often. Of course, it also depends on how often you use the headlamp. The battery recharges via USB cable in 5 hours. There is a battery charge indicator which will show you when the battery is charged.

This headlamp is also waterproof with the IPX4 rating. It can withstand harsh weather conditions so don’t worry about its watertightness and durability. But don’t submerge it.

All in all, the Black Diamond Sprinter is highly recommended for those people who are looking for the best running headlamp. This headlamp is mentioned in lots of the best running headlamps reviews and it has high scores from customers. Though the battery runs just for 6 hours (but it is not such a bad figure) its lightweight design, ease of use, bright and even beam make the Black Diamond Sprinter worth your consideration. There are lots of hot offers on Amazon, so you can visit this website and find the best deal for you.


Princeton Tec Remix

Princeton Tec Remix

Princeton Tec is another company that specializes in manufacturing headlamps, flashlights, and other gear for lighting. We think that the Remix is one of the best headlamps for running. The Princeton Tec Remix is a bright and durable headlamp with multiple settings. It is extremely lightweight weighing only 83 grams with batteries, so it will be perfect for nighttime running. It has an asymmetrical singe arm bracket, easily accessible battery compartment, and a large intuitive switch button which you can easily push even if you are wearing gloves. The Remix features 4 intensity modes and it comes with 3 Ultrabright LEDs and a single Maxbright LED which will satisfy your demands either for a long distance spotting or close proximity use. Take a look at the features of the Princeton Tec Remix:

  • Weight: 83 g;
  • Lumens: 150;
  • Asymmetrical single arm bracket;
  • 3 Ultrabright LEDs, 1 Maxbright LED;
  • 4 brightness levels;
  • Beam type: Flood / Spot;
  • Max beam distance: 73 m;
  • Burn time: 53 hours (spot mode) and 150 hours (flood mode);
  • 3 AAA alkaline batteries (included);
  • Watertightness: IPX4 rating (weather resistant).

The Princeton Tec Remix is very easy to use featuring an intuitive push button that advances through different lighting settings. You can press this button even when wearing gloves. A single arm bracket securely keeps the headlamp at any angle, so you can easily run even down a rough trail and don’t worry that it can slip.

This headlamp comes with two different types of LED bulbs. A single Maxbright LED throws a 150-lumen spot beam and shines up to 73 meters (it’s more than enough for running). Three Ultrabright LEDs emit a wide beam that is perfect for illuminating the objects in your field of vision. Since the headlamp has 4 brightness levels, you can adjust them for more comfortable running. The Remix also has either red or green light option. You can choose which one you want. Green light uses less battery but the red light version will help you preserve your night vision when you turn on the headlamp.

An average runtime of the Princeton Tec Remix is 53 in spot mode and 150 hours in flood mode. The headlamp doesn’t have a rechargeable battery. It comes with 3 AAA alkaline batteries which you can easily change when needed.

The Remix is waterproof with the IPX4 rating, so you can use it when it in bad weather conditions. We have tested this headlamp in rainy weather and it operated really well.

So the Princeton Tec Remix will serve you well if you need a reliable headlamp for running. It is twice cheaper than the Black Diamond Sprinter, but it is really a good running headlamp which deserves your consideration. It is hard to find a headlamp that will perform much better at this price range. The Princeton Tec Remix has proved its high performance and durability to many customers. You can find lots of reviews of this headlamp on Amazon.


Princeton Tec Sync

Princeton Tec Sync

The Princeton Tec Sync is another headlamp from Princeton Tec. It is a very affordable full-function headlamp that features everything necessary running at night as well as for other outdoor activities. It will be perfect for backpackers, hikers, and other adventurers. It is not as powerful as the Princeton Tec Remix concerning the lighting factor, but it has more than enough to offer for its price. It is an inexpensive headlamp with many lighting modes, lightweight design, and pretty good battery life. This headlamp is loved by many outdoor enthusiasts and it won the 2015 Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice Award. Let’s take a look at the features of this headlamp:

  • Weight: 83 g;
  • Maximum brightness: 90 lumens;
  • Asymmetrical single arm bracket;
  • 2 Maxbright LEDs and 1 Ultrabright red LED;
  • Beam type: Flood / Spot;
  • Max beam distance: 58 meters;
  • 5 lighting modes: spot, high flood, low flood, red, dual beam;
  • Batteries: 3 AAA alkaline batteries (not included);
  • Burn time: from 100 to 200 hours (depending on mode);
  • Watertightness: IPX4 rating (weather resistant).

The Princeton Tex Sync weighs 83 grams, so it is a rather lightweight headlamp which will be perfect for running. This headlamp has a stable asymmetrical singe arm bracket and it firmly stays on the head, so wearing it will be really comfortable. The Sync allows direct access to a red LED, spot beam, and flood beam by a twist of the power dial. It may seem not so easy to switch between modes, but you will need just some practice to understand that this mechanism is even much clearer than the push-button. But keep in mind that this rotating switch is difficult to use with one hand. So you will need both hands: one hand to stabilize and another one to twist the switch. We have also found out that it was a bit difficult to twist the switch when wearing gloves. When you require max output, you can turn the dial to activate a dual-beam mode (spot and flood at the same time).

The Princeton Tec Sync offers a nice combination of Maxbright white and red LEDs. Two white are bright and versatile. You can choose either a wide beam or narrow-focused spot beam for distance or even both modes simultaneously. Red LED optimizes night vision and minimizes eyes fatigue. It also seems that it doesn’t attract bugs the way the white LED does. The Sync offers a fairly good brightness for nighttime running but it is not great for serious hikers who may need a headlamp with better brightness for trail finding. This headlamp outputs 90 lumens and throws a beam up to 58 meters on high and 20 lumens and 24 meters on low.

The Syn operates on 3 AAA batteries and depending on the mode it runs from 100 hours (high) up to 200 hours (low). So the battery life of this headlamp is rather long. According to the manufacturer, the Princeton Tec Sync features the IPX4 rating, so it is weather resistant. We haven’t tested it in harsh conditions, but the headlamp operated well in the rain. But the IPX4 rating implies that it is not allowed to submerge the headlamp.

All in all, we think that the Princeton Tec Sync is a good option for those who are looking for the best running headlamp. It is a versatile headlamp with a set of features that are necessary not only for running. Its compact and lightweight design, multiple modes, adequate brightness and long battery life make the Princeton Tec Sync one of the leaders in the category. You will be pleased with the price of this headlamp. Furthermore, you can get it on sale on Amazon.


Petzl Tikkina

Petzl Tikkina

If you have any ideas about the best manufacturers of headlamps, then you have probably heard about Petzl. This well-known company specializes in technical gear that helps people in vertical or dark environments. Petzl has a wide range of headlamps both for amateurs and professionals. People who choose their headlamps hardly ever regret. So if you are looking for the best running headlamp, we recommend you to take a closer look at the Petzl Tikkina. It is simple and compact headlamp that provides a wide beam and ensures a reliable performance and solid battery life for around $20. There are cheaper headlamps, but none of them can compete with the Tikkina in quality. If you want something easy to use and lightweight for running, then this headlamp may become your solution. Here are the features of the Petzl Tikkina:

  • Weight: 85 g;
  • Maximum brightness: 80 lumens;
  • Beam type: Flood;
  • Beam pattern: wide;
  • Max beam distance: 35 meters;
  • 2 lighting modes: ambient and proximity;
  • Burn time: from 120 hours in proximity mode to 180 hours in ambient mode;
  • 3 AAA / LR03 batteries (included);
  • Battery compatibility: rechargeable Ni-Mh;
  • Watertightness: IPX4 rating (weather resistant).

Weighing just 85 grams with batteries and thanks to its compact size and a wide beam that illuminates a distance up to 35 meters, the Petzl Tikkina is ideal for close proximity use. This headlamp uses standard lighting technology and has 2 lighting modes: ambient mode (20 lumens) shines up to 20 meters and proximity mode (80 lumens) blasts out beams up to 35 meters. The ambient mode ensures longer use of the headlamp (up to 180 hours) and the proximity mode which favors brightness has a runtime of about 120 hours. So the battery life of the Tikkina is great. Since the Tikkina features only flood beam and it doesn’t have a spot mode, it is not perfect for trail finding though it is not so bad. The beam is wide and even, so it will be excellent for camping or running in urban areas.

The Petzl Tikkina is extremely easy to use. It has one push-button that switches between 2 modes rather quickly. We have also tested that it’s pretty easy to press the button in gloves even while running. As for the headband, it fits comfortable on the head and you can also adjust and wash it.

This headlamp runs with 3 AAA / LR03 batteries that are included. Since the burn time of the Petzl Tikkina is from 120 to 180 hours, you can forget about changing the batteries for days or weeks (it depends on how often you are going to use the headlamp).

With it’s the IPX4 rating, the Tikkina also allows you to run in bad weather. It is weather resistant and can withstand harsh conditions. However, it is not allowed to submerge it.

So our verdict is that the Petzl Tikkina should be regarded as one of the best running headlamps. Wide and rather bright beam, ease of use, weather resistance and impressive battery life are the benefits of the Tikkina. Taking into account that it costs just around $20 on Amazon, the Tikkina becomes a good buy. The Petzl Tikkina is a high performer that has already proved its quality. So consider this headlamp if you are looking for a reliable and durable headlamp for running or camping. However, if you are a dedicated hiker, you should probably check out some other headlamps that have better distance illumination. Anyway, the Petzl Tikkina is a good value.


Yalumi LED Headlamp Spark Professional

Yalumi LED Headlamp Spark Professional

The Yalumi LED Headlamp Spark Pro is another headlamp which we consider to be one of the best for running, especially taking into account the price and brightness. For around $30 you will get a 120-lumen headlamp that is brighter than any other headlamp in this price range. The Yalumi Spark Pro has a sophisticated optical lens that operates in 7 lighting modes. This headlamp is easy to use and it operates with 3 AAA batteries and it is very convenient because they can be found in any store and you can always replace them when needed. So here are the features of the Yalumi Spark Professional:

  • Weight: 115 g;
  • Maximum brightness: 120 lumens;
  • Beam type: Flood / Spot;
  • Max beam distance: 90 meters;
  • 2 white LEDs and 1 red LED;
  • 7 lighting modes;
  • White LEDs provide 120-lumen wide flood beam up to 20 meters, 90-lumen focused spot beam up to 90 meters;
  • High-quality Cree MX-6 LED for wide beam and Cree XP-E for focused spot beam;
  • Red LED provides strobe for safety signaling;
  • Lock mode to avoid accidentally turning the headlamp on;
  • Burn time: up to 110 hours of economy mode burn time;
  • Batteries: 3 AAA batteries (included);
  • Watertightness: IPX4 rating (weather resistant).

The Yalumi Spark Professional weighs 115 grams, so it is not the most lightweight headlamp in the category of running headlamps. It is not heavy, but after long hours of wear, it may become noticeable. This headlamp has an adjustable headband with lamp-angle tilt that allows you aim the beam and illuminate your way. The headlamp stays well on the head and doesn’t slip. However, we have noticed that the headband doesn’t fit runners with larger sized heads. To switch the mode, you need to press the button on top. You can do it even in gloves. But keep in mind that in order to turn off the headlamp, you need to cycle through all modes, so you cannot do it just with one click. The Yalumi Spark Pro has a lock mode that prevents you from accidentally turning the headlamp on.

A sophisticated optical lens of the Yalumi Spark Pro offers 7 red / white lighting modes, including maximum, economy, and strobe modes. The headlamp comes with 3 AAA batteries that power 1 high-output Cree white MX-6 LED for wide-angle flood illumination, 1 high-power Cree white XP-E LED for long-distance focused spot illumination, and 1 red LED for night vision that provides a strobe light for safety signaling and spare lighting to minimize eyes fatigue. The high-output Cree white LED provides 120-lumen wide flood beam illuminating the distance up to 20 meters. A 90-lumen focused spot beam throws light up to 90 meters. The maximum burn time of this headlamp is 110 hours in economy mode and 48 hours on high.

The Yalumi Spark Professional features the IPX4 rating that means that this headlamp is water resistant, so you can wear it in damp conditions. But it won’t withstand submersion in the water.

Overall, the Yalumi Spark Professional LED Headlamp is one of the best headlamps for running. It offers enough adjustability, has a serious powerful LED light, water resistance, quite a long burn time, and a very affordable price. It is one of the brightest headlamps under $30. The Yalumi Spark Professional has pretty high scores in many running headlamps reviews. So it fairly deserves to be in included in the list of the best headlamps for running. You can find the best offers for this headlamp on Amazon.


Energizer Vision HD LED Headlamp

Energizer Vision HD LED Headlamp

The Energizer Vision HD LED Headlamp is a rather inexpensive headlamp that costs around $20 on Amazon. You can also get it there at a special price (less than $15). Sounds impressive and unbelievable? Yes, this headlamp is really cheap and you will probably expect its low performance. But it’s not so. The Energizer Vision HD is surprisingly usable and functional. It is even brighter than some expensive headlamps with 3 LEDs that offer different lighting modes to control brightness and runtime. The Energizer Vision HD is very comfortable to wear. It has an adjustable elastic headband with silicone backing, so it stays on the head and doesn’t slip if you are wearing a helmet or hat. The headlamp also pivots to direct light where you need it. So what does this headlamp offer? Let’s discover it at a glance:

  • Weight: 85 g;
  • Maximum brightness: 150 lumens;
  • Beam type: Flood / Spot;
  • Max beam distance: 40 meters;
  • 5 lighting modes: high and low, white spot, white flood, spot & flood together, dimming (only in spot and flood together);
  • Pivots to direct light where you need it;
  • Easy to operate push button switch;
  • Shatterproof lens;
  • Burn time: up to 8 hours on maximum setting and 50 hours on low setting;
  • Batteries: 3 AAA Energizer Max batteries (included);
  • Watertightness: IPX4 rating (weather resistant).

After testing the Energizer Vision HD LED Headlamp, we have come to the conclusion that it should be included in our list of the best headlamps for running. For its very reasonable price, it performs excellently. The Energizer Vision HD features 3 white LEDs and offers 5 lighting modes (high and low, spot, flood, spot and flood together) as well as a dimming function to control brightness and runtime. The dimming is only available in the full brightness mode (spot and flood together). The headlamp offers up to 150 lumens light output and it throws a beam up to 40 meters.

The headlamp is pretty easy to use with a large switch button. You have to press once to access flood+spot mode (and hold it for dimming). If you want a spot mode, you have to press the button for 2 times, for flood you do it for 3 times and then to turn the headlamp off, you have to press it again.

The Energizer Vision HD has a durable design and it is water resistant with the IPX4 rating (submersion is not allowed). Furthermore, it has a shatterproof lens and can withstand a 1-meter drop.

The battery life is not really great. The headlamp can operate up to 8 hours on high and up to 50 hours on low. So if you are going to use the headlamp intensively, you need to have extra batteries. As for the batteries, the Energizer Vision HD is powered by 3 AAA Energizer Max batteries. You can easily purchase the batteries when needed.

Taking into account its performance and very reasonable price, the Energizer Vision HD LED headlamp can be recommended as one of the best running headlamps.


There are dozens of companies that produce headlamps, so the array of headlamps is really wide. However, not all of them are suitable for running. The price range of running headlamps is rather wide. There are lots of cheap headlamps as well as some expensive models. But how to choose the best one for you? Here are some points you should consider if you want to get the best running headlamps.

  • It is essential to have a lightweight headlamp, especially if you plan to run for hours. Choose the headlamp with minimal weight.
  • If you are going to use the headlamp just for running, then you don’t need an extremely bright model. 70 lumens will be more than enough. But of course, you can buy a headlamp with better brightness. It will be also nice if you can adjust the beam. Reactive lighting will be useful if you run along routes with dark and partially lit places, so the headlamp will automatically adjust the beam for you.
  • Lighting modes. Good running headlamps have at least 2-3 modes which help you extend battery life by choosing the most appropriate mode for running. To preserve a night vision you can choose a headlamp with red LED. Strobe or flashing mode can be also useful for signaling.
  • Battery life. There are different types of batteries. You can buy a headlamp with rechargeable batteries and you will never need to buy the batteries. Or you may purchase a headlamp with standard alkaline batteries, but in this case, don’t forget to take extra batteries because they may die unexpectedly. You should also consider runtime of the headlamp in different modes.
  • Durability and performance. Think about the place where you are going to use the headlamp. For instance, if you plan to run in challenging outdoor conditions, consider water-resistant and impact-resistant models.

These are the main things you should consider while choosing the best running headlamp. There are lots of running headlamps reviews on the internet but it is not so easy to find the best headlamp. So we have tested lots of headlamps to determine which ones are the best. And here are our top picks.

The Bottom Line

All the headlamps reviewed above were thoroughly tested. We have picked out the best running headlamps of the best available on the market. All of them are lightweight and have features that are really useful for running at night. Furthermore, all the models have a warranty and if there is an inherent defect, the manufacturer will either replace the product or refund.

The headlamps that were included in our list got high scores from customers for their performance, ease of use and durability in running headlamps reviews. These headlamps can be found at most physical or online stores. You can purchase them from many online retailers. We believe that Amazon is the best place where you can choose the best model for you. In addition, it often offers good discounts.

We hope that our article will help you not to get lost on the market of headlamps and you will find out the best running headlamp that meets your needs. Happy headlamp hunting!

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