Whether you’re an early riser or you’re out their running after work, at one point or another you simply run out of light in the day. That being said, if you’re truly dedicated to running you will find time to squeeze it in! If you are someone that is struggling with the number of hours of daylight, then I suggest you give night time running a try! Not only will you be able to go for a run after work, you also will be able to avoid some of the heat during summer.
That being said, there are some drawbacks to night running, and the main ones tend to be related to safety. One of the biggest dangers of running at night is related to visibility. Without proper lighting you can easily trip and fall over objects in your path, and you also have to worry about being hit by cars on the road if you don’t have proper visibility on your body. If you are interested in running in low light situations like late at night or in the early morning, then you need the best running headlamp to keep you safe!
What is a Running Headlamp?
You probably have seen a headlamp, they are quite literally a small flashlight that sits on your head, either through a helmet or a headband. These are designed to give you hands free lighting. Similarly, running headlamps also sit on your head and are designed to give you hands free lighting while you go for a run. That being said, running headlamps often comes attached to headbands which give you an extremely comfortable and stable base while you run.
The great thing about running headlamps is that they give you lighting to keep you safe in a comfortable and lightweight design. Along with this, many of these headlamps also come with reflective designs which allow cars to see you easier in low light situation which in turn keeps you safer. Along with this, many of these running headlamps also come with different light settings which allow you to use Strobe settings or different brightness levels. Furthermore, most of these lamps are completely waterproof and extremely durable. That being said, if you are someone that sneaks in a run in the morning or late at night then you need a running lamp for safety.
Below you will find our top reviews for the best running headlamps on the market. These running lamps were chosen for being lightweight and best performing.
Black Diamond Spot Running Headlamp
- One Quad Power LED and one Double Power white LED emit 300 lumens
- Settings include full strength in proximity and distance modes, dimming, strobe, red night-vision and lock mode
- PowerTap Technology allows instant transitioning between full and dimmed power
- Brightness Memory allows you to turn the light on and off at a chosen brightness without reverting back to full power
- Waterproof; Protected against water immersion down to >1m (3.3 ft) for 30 minutes (IPX 8)
The first headlamp on our list is the Black Diamond Spot Running Headlamp. This is considered one of the best running headlamp on the market because of its powerful lighting, and extremely durable design. Black Diamond Equipment started out predominately as a rock climbing equipment company, but they soon have evolved to providing equipment for all types of outdoor activities. Black Diamond Equipment was started by outdoorsman for outdoorsman, and their values are based on providing quality and durable equipment that will keep you safe.
The Black Diamond Spot Running Headlamp is one of the most technologically advanced headlamps on the market. It features a single quad power LED light, and a double power white LED that can emit at 300 lumens. This means it has more than enough power to light up your path as you run, and also to keep you visible and safe to drivers. Along with this, this headlamp features a full strength mode, a distance mode, dimming light mode, a strobe light feature, red night-vision mode, and a lock mode. All of these modes are specifically designed for situations that will not only make your life that much easier, but it also can keep you safer. For example, when I use this Black Diamond headlamp I often find myself using the Strobe feature while crossing busy roads just to give myself a bit more visibility to drivers, and help make sure I’m as safe as I possibly can be.
Furthermore, this headlamp is pretty awesome because of its PowerTap technology. This headlamp allows you to transition between full and dimmed light power by just simply tapping the button the headlamp. This makes it extremely easy to switch lighting modes while on the move. Along with this, this lamp features a Brightness Memory mode which allows you to set a favorite light setting, so you can easily flip between your most used light settings.
As for the craftsmanship of this headlamp, it is extremely well made. This headlamp is encased in an extremely durable hard plastic and aluminum combination. This casing makes this headlamp IPX8 Waterproof and can operate underwater up to 1.1 meters deep for up to 30 minutes. This makes it a great light for running at night in the rain, and also for more extreme activities like hiking and climbing. That being said, the manual states that if the headlamp is fully submerged in water, water might enter the battery compartment and the lamp will still continue to work, but afterwards you should dry out the battery compartment and the headlamp.
Overall, the Black Diamond Spot Running Headlamp is a great running headlamp for someone that is looking for an extremely technologically advanced and durable headlamp. This lamp is also extremely comfortable; it features a lightweight design that is powered by 3 AAA batteries. Furthermore, this headlamp features a single elastic strap as opposed to a 3-way strap like many other designs. This single strap allows you to greater comfort and it allows you to angle the light just how you like it. Overall, if you are looking for a running headlamp that is powerful enough to light up your running path, and has the features to keep yourself, all in an extremely comfortable design, then the Black Diamond Spot Running Headlamp is for you!
VITCHELO V800 Running Headlamp
- The VITCHELO V800 headlamp flashlight is SUPER BRIGHT, you can see up to 360 ft (110m), and unlike most headlamps, it has 2 SEPARATE BUTTONS FOR THE WHITE and RED LIGHTS so you don't have to cycle through one to get to the other. It's critical to have a red light (and 2 provide more output than one) to PRESERVE YOUR NIGHT VISION. Make Reading more practical. Perfect for alerting drivers without blinding them. Super convenient, this CREE headlamp TURNS OFF WITH JUST ONE PUSH of the button.
- COMPACT, COMFORTABLE & LIGHTWEIGHT head light for your head. The elastic headband strap is soft, wide, fully adjustable, stays put, very good quality and comfortable to wear for long periods thanks to the cushion in the back of the head flashlight against your forehead. It weighs only 4 ounces (with batteries) YOU WON'T EVEN NOTICE WEARING IT. Can be tilted up or down to avoid blinding people. Great hands-free headlamp led, well made and highly recommend!
- LONGER BATTERY LIFE & WATERPROOF - Because we use leading CREE technology, you get more light with less power consumption. Unlike many other head lamps for adults and kids that drain batteries quite fast even when not in use, you can count on our headlamp with red light in case of emergencies. The 3 AAA batteries included will run up to 120 hours on low light settings. Plus our headband light is WATERPROOF IPX6, it will survive rain and cold temperatures (avoid submerging underwater though).
- A BIG HELP WHEN THINGS GO WRONG - Considering the possibility of being caught out after dark in the backcountry with an injury or failed gear, our headlamp red light will make a significant difference. Best headlamp for running (long distance runner), jogging, reading, camping, hiking, backpacking, astronomy, walking your dog, hunting (since deer can't see red), DIY work around the house, or any outdoor activities. Better than flashlight since the light goes right where you turn your head at.
- TRY IT FOR 60 DAYS - Your flashlight headlamp is covered by our LIFETIME limited WARRANTY and 60-DAY, no-questions-asked, MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE. Well built, great craftsmanship, lightweight, good battery life, attractive... Our red light headlamp will meet or exceed your expectations. Get and/or gift one today!
The next running headlamp on our list is the VITCHELO V800 running headlamp. This is a great choice for those who are looking for a budget headlamp that is comfortable and still has some great features. This lightweight and reliable headlamp provides you with a pretty powerful light that is great for early morning walks or late night runs. Along with this, all of this comes in a budget friendly price.
This headlamp features a pretty powerful headlamp, this light is 168 lumens which gives you enough power to light up your path, and it runs on only 3 AAA batteries which helps to keep the weight down. Along with this, this headlamp features a battery life of 120 hours which makes it a great choice for not only running but also for hiking and camping. This amount of light allows you to see up to 360 feet down the path! Along with this, this headlamp features two light choices, white lights and red lights, and features two separate and easy to use buttons for each light choice. If you have never used red lighting before, you should definitely give it a try when looking for a subtle night vision light that doesn’t attract bugs, and actually is better for your eyes when out looking at small font like a map at night.
That being said, although this headlamp can still pack some serious power, it still is in an extremely comfortable design. This headlamp is made out of lightweight but sturdy hard plastic that makes it feel like you’re wearing nothing at all on your head. Along with this, there is no heating of the back of the headlamp, so you don’t have to worry about your forehead getting hot or being burned. Along with this, the back of the headlamp is lined with a soft rubber material that makes it more comfortable and it also helps to keep the lamp from sliding around on your forehead. Along with this, this headlamp features IPX6 Waterproof ability that allows it to withstand heavy rains during your run without an issue!
Overall, if you are looking for a budget running headlamp that features enough features and functions to keep you safe, while not breaking the bank, then I definitely suggest the VITCHEL0 V800 Running Headlamp. This headlamp features a 168 lumen light that gives you a pretty powerful light that makes it competent at lighting up your path and keeping you out of harms way. Along with this, it is extremely lightweight and comfortable enough to wear on extended walks or runs. That being said, the VITCHELO V800 is an extremely competent running headlamp that won’t break the bank!
PathBrite Trail Running Headlamp Flashlight
- 2 kinds of headlamp in 1! Newest special feature: IR Sensor Control - Press and hold a button to activate it and easily switch lighting mode just a hand's wave! Afraid of accidentally turning the light on/off? Just simple deactivate the sensor by 1 press on any button, and it becomes regular Manual Control headlamp again!
- One of The Brightest Headlamps on Amazon with 168 Lumens that can illuminate up to 110 meters away. Perfect used to figure out a trail in twilight, or when running at night. Running time is MUCH LONGER than expected, up to 120 HOURS with only 3 AAA batteries (Duracell, included). Especially helpful when vehicle or camping equipment has broken
- S.O.S flash light or red strobe, which is visible from long distance (1 kilometer on average). And a red heads light that will not disturb night vision
- Steady construction and waterproof, rating at least IPX6, 2 EASY-TO-USE buttons and an adjustable elastic headband to easily conform to any head/hat size/shape
- FREE Convenient Pouch -Your Best Deals Today. Perfect Gift Idea - 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Lifetime Warranty!
The last headlamp on our list is the PathBrite Headlamp Flashlight. This is another extremely advanced headlamp, that uses its innovative features to keep you safe. PathBrite is a reasonably new company, but they focus mainly on headlamps and flashlights, and they have made quite the rave in the outdoors industry.
This headlamp boasts a handful of features and functions that are designed to keep you safe on your runs. This lamp features a light that is 168 lumens strong, which allows you to see at around 350 feet down the path. Along with this, this headlamp boasts a battery life of 120 hours, and runs on 3 AAA batteries. This makes it a great choice for running because it allows you to focus on your workouts and not have to worry about whether your battery was going to run out mid run.
Along with this, this headlamp features 2 buttons on the side of your headlamp that control the lighting color mode you want, either white light or red mode. Along with this, this lamp also features a touch sensor to change the lighting, so all you have to do is activate the sensor feature and you just place your finger in front of the button, and it will switch lighting modes. This is awesome because when you’re running it can be hard to firmly press a button, but with the sensor function all you have to do is put your finger near the light sensor, and it will change the lighting mode! Another great thing about this sensor is that it works when you are wearing gloves!
Along with having some great features and functions, this headlamp also is extremely comfortable and quite durable. This headlamp only weighs 3.1 ounces with batteries, so I often find myself forgetting that I’m wearing it because of how lightweight it is. The plastic design of the headlamp casing as keeps it nice and safe while keeping it comfortable on your head. This headlamp is IPX6 Waterproof which means it can withstand heavy rains on your runs and you won’t have to worry about the headlamp getting damaged.
Overall this is another extremely advanced and innovative running headlamp, that will keep you safe on your low visibility runs! This lamp is designed to combine advanced functions and comfort to give you the best of both worlds. If you are looking for a highly advanced headlamp that is also extremely lightweight, then I suggest you take a look at the PathBrite Running Headlamp!
Final Thoughts on Running Headlamps
If you are someone that enjoys running when the sun is down, whether that’s in the early morning or late at night, you need to make sure you are safe! One of the biggest dangers to running with low light visibility is tripping over things in your path, and looking out of drivers who can’t see you. To prevent both of these issues and to help keep you safe on your low visibility runs, you need a running head lamp.
Above we talked about my 3 top picks for the best running headlamps. Each of these headlamps are slightly different and they vary in terms of functions and lumen level, and they also vary in price and overall comfort level. When you are looking for a running headlamp you need to take a look at your needs in a headlamp. If you are planning on taking your headlamp on rugged mountain runs, than you will want the Black Diamond Running Headlamp because it has the highest lumen rate and it is the most durable out of these headlamps. But that being said, if you are looking for a more budget option, than the VITCHELO V800 is a great budget running headlamp that still is extremely comfortable and provides a powerful lumen stream. That being said, if you are looking for a running headlamp, make sure you take into account what your needs are as a runner, and then you can select which is the best running lamp for you!
Brett is a running junkie & fitness blogger based Raleigh, NC. Brett loves traveling the World to run marathons and is currently training to run a desert marathon in 2019.