February 20, 2023
Let’s face it, as hunters a lot of our time afield takes place in the dark. Whether it’s a long walk to a stand predawn, butchering a downed animal after the last bit of light has faded, working around camp or making that long pack out of the backcountry after a successful hunt, we spend a lot of time in the dark and heavily rely on our flashlights and headlamps to help us finish the mission.
A good light needs to be easy on batteries, have plenty of lumens to light the way and is comfortable. We all hate it when our headlamps die—usually at the most inopportune times—and leave us stranded to work with nothing but star or moonlight. Avoid being stuck in the dark this coming season with these five headlamps.
Streamlight Protac 2.0 Headlamp
The trusted light company Streamlight released an impeccable new headlamp in 2023. The Protac 2.0 boasts an astonishing 2,000 lumens when running on high—with maximum beam distance of 241 meters. It runs off one Streamlight SL-B50 Li Ion battery that is USB rechargeable. The Ten-Tap power switch allows the user to choose between different settings on the light which includes a low-beam option that will greatly increase the run time of the lamp. When operated on high, the battery will last for 2.25 hours of constant use where on low, it can operate for 25 uninterrupted hours.
$120 | Streamlight.com
LED Lenser MH8 Outdoor Headlamp
The MH8 Outdoor Headlamp from LED Lenser features a maximum of 600 lumens of white light but also has a multicolor LED bulb for specific applications. The light features both flood and spot beams and has a max distance of 200 meters. The most impressive feature of this light is the astonishing battery. On high power, the user can expect 7 hours of run time while on low power you can get up to 60 hours before needing to recharge. The light runs off a USB-rechargeable battery pack.
$75 | Ledlenserusa.com
Peax Backcountry Duo Headlamp
This lightweight package from Peax weighs in at 2.64 ounces without the battery. The Backcountry Duo Headlamp features both a white and red lens to fit any situation that the hunter needs. Each lens features Ultra, High and Low settings. At maximum output, the light produces 1,000 lumens and has a range of nearly 500 feet. Using a reachargeable 18650 3.7v battery, this light can function for a minimum of 6 hours with a maximum run time of 69 hours depending on the settings used.
$85 | Peaxequipment.com
5.11 Tactical Response XR1 Headlamp
Designed to fit the needs of LEOs and military, the 5.11 Tactical Response XR1 Headlamp is right at home in the hands of hunters. The light features independently controllable LED Spot and COB flood lights to have the right amount of lighting for any situation. The light is IP54 water resistant and impact resistant up to 1 meter. With either a CR123 or 18650 battery on board the light will run for 6 hours on the flood setting. At maximum output, the light pushes out 1,000 lumens with a peak beam distance of 135 meters. The COB light also features a read element for a light that is easier on the eyes.
$84 | 511tactical.com
Browning Blackout Elite Headlamp
The Blackout Elite from Browning features a durable aluminum housing to ensure it stands up to abuse in the field. The powerful LED lens has three white-light modes and one low green-light mode to snure you have the optimum amount of light in any situation. With maximum output of 860 lumens and a beam range of 190 yards, you can run this lamp at high output for 5 hours. When running the lamp on low settings you can get up to 36 hours on a single charge. The lithium-ion battery is USB-C rechargeable for easy use and doubles as a power bank to recharge valuable electronics while afield. The lamp also features Dual Fuel which allows you to swap over to two CR123 batteries if you run out of charge before you’re back to the truck.