Remember when head-mounted lights were only worn by coal miners and coon hunters (who were often one and the same group of people)?
That antiquated image seems like it comes from way back when, but in reality, modern headlamps for everyday hunters aren’t that old of a concept, and though they’ve come a long way since those first-generation bulbs, the goal is still the same: to provide bright, reliable light while leaving hands free to carry all that other equipment we lug into the woods.
Today, achieving that goal takes many forms, and it seems like every company out there, from dedicated light manufacturers to rinky-dink importers, is marketing more than one model of headlamp. The selection on store shelves is so mind-boggling, you’d almost be forgiven for grasping in the dark when it comes to which to wear on your head this hunting season.
Luckily, I’m here to light the path to picking the perfect headlamp with these six favorites.
- The son of Cabela’s popular RGB headlamp, this gen-2 model is a downsized, single-strap version of the original. When loaded with three AAA batteries, it weighs just under three ounces but the Maxbright Cree white LED produces 125 lumens. As the acronym suggests, the lamp is also fitted with three colored LEDs: red preserves night vision; non-spooking game green; and blood trailing blue. Note the white LED is also switchable between low and high settings. This headlamp really shines in the battery life department, giving up 53 hours on low, 28 on high, or up to 200 hours using just a colored LED. Though the waterproof housing is made from a tough ABS plastic material, I have my suspicions about its overall durability, particularly at the door hinge and pivoting mount. Bottom Line: Lightweight, powerful, full of features without breaking the bank. Price: $45