Some might be surprised to know that there are headlamps one can wear when running at night or early in the morning, during which time the outside lighting condition is not that clear or favorable to runners. One of the greatest tips for running at night is to make sure the trail you’re following is well illuminated, or get your own headlight to help illuminate your pathway.
A running headlamp might not make sense to the average runner, but to fitness enthusiast that only have time in the early morning or late night hours, it is an indispensable tool for safety while running at night.
Before we get to the reviews of the headlamps for trail running, a brief explanation of the benefits of running on a regular basis will help those still on the fence about the effects of this type of physical activity.
What Can Running do for You
Running is one of the convenient ways to fortify your cardiovascular health. Even if you run at slow speeds for just 15 to 20 minutes daily, your chances of suffering a heart attack will be substantially reduced.
This physical activity that can be done for free on public roads, and it is one of the most effective ways to lose weight.
Regular running will increase your leg strength, which means you’ll be able to walk around with less pain even in old age.
It is one of the key fitness activities that engage all your core muscles, while also helping one to burn those extra calories.
It is a physical activity one can use to strengthen the joints. You can find more benefits that can accrue when you run on a daily basis from this article written for Runners World magazine.
Running Headlamps Review
This is a highly competitive niche industry and the wild claims by manufacturers must be matched by the experience and feedbacks of actual users of the headlight for running.
If you enjoy trail running, sometimes you might be caught in the dark or you just might prefer to start early in the morning, whichever the case maybe, the following running headlamps from vetted manufacturers should provide all the light you need to simulate daylight condition as you run.
Some of the highly coveted headlamps for trail running are:
1 – Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp
The name of this brand is often mentioned when people talk about the top 10 headlamps for running with high-performance metrics. While the Black Diamond Sprinter headlamp is lightweight, the oval shaped beam light that it can generate is powerful enough to illuminate your path while running.
It is the ultimate headlight that can help you spot both the hazards in front and around you while increasing your running strides. The headlamp for running from Black Diamond is capable of producing max 75-lumens, which is powerful enough to provide daylight condition on your running path.
The bright illumination for this headlamp uses LED technology, and it is waterproof up to certain depths. Simply means, regular rainfall on your running path will not impact the brightness of the lights or the functionality of the product.
This unit is powered by a built-in lithium polymer battery that is also rechargeable. It takes about five hours to fully charge the battery, which can deliver up to six hours of bright lights when used in high power settings, and up to 42 hours of running lights when used on low power settings.
It is one of my favorite brands due to its design and fine features, and it should give you many years of running lights with minimal care. The Sprinter headlamp from Black Diamond is covered by a three-year warranty from the manufacturer.
2 – Northbound Train Bright LED Headlamp
Another brand with a highly sought after headlamp is called Northbound Train. Despite the affordable pricing of the Northbound Train bright LED headlamp, what makes it stand out from other brands is the inclusion of a lifetime warranty, which is quite impressive by industry standards.
It might not have all the features like the headlamp from Black Diamond, but it is capable of giving you different light intensity, which includes white, red, and strobe lights, all with dimmer settings.
This is a hands-free personal headlamp with battery saving features. It is available for purchase in three different colors including black, blue, and gray. This product is both RoHS and Energy Star certified.
You get a waterproof hard case that has a clip with your purchase of the Northbound Train Bright LED headlamp. It is designed to use three AAA batteries, and it is one of the most beloved LED headlamps online, and you can read some of the feedbacks on Amazon.com.
3 – Luxolite Waterproof CREE Work Headlamp
The Luxolite headlamp is another product with excellent feedbacks from most of the current users. It is not only suitable for running, but can also be used for hiking, fishing, hunting, and other outdoor activities.
It is available for purchase in five different colors including white, blue, orange, black, and green. It has four light modes, which includes low, medium, high, and SOS flashing. This headlamp is capable of outputting up to 168 lumens, which is among the brightest running lights from a headlamp within the industry.
Since the Luxolite bright LED headlamp only weighs about three ounces you will not know it also comes with waterproof features, which makes it suitable for use in all weather conditions.
The RoHS and CE certification for the headlamp was surprising, but the biggest surprise of all is the inclusion of a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty. The initial supply of the 3 AAA required for the unit to operate is included with your purchase.
Buying Guide for the Best Headlight for Running at Night
While it is okay to wear reflective clothing while running in poorly lit conditions, you get better metrics out of wearing a headlamp. A good brand will light your path, which allows you to increase your strides just like in daylight.
While searching for a durable running headlight, the following factors should be kept in mind:
The Intensity of the Lights
The light beam from the headlamp should be able to clearly illuminate your running pathway. The headlamp you select might be designed to use LED or incandescent bulbs, but what matter is the ability of the product to create daylight condition so you can clearly see your running trail and all the environmental hazards that might be in front or around you.
The Type of Battery
The type of battery used by the running headlamp is also important. The power of the battery will determine the brightness of the light generated. Most of the running headlamps will be designed to use disposable batteries.
The more expensive and durable brands of headlamps might come with built-in rechargeable batteries, which can be replenished using the USB port of your computer.
Fit and Weight of the Headlamp
The look of a running headlamp is quite similar to what coal miners wear while working underground. Most will be designed to fit around the head, and the most durable brands will have an adjustable mechanism so it fits snugly tight while you run.
You know the size of your head, so pay careful attention to the headlamp dimensions as you shop online.
Other Jazzy Features to Consider
The performance and durability of your chosen headlamp might be enhanced if it comes with some additional features like the use of impact and water resistant materials.
Running outdoors do pose a few challenges and one of them might be an occasional rain while you’re running. So you see, water resistant running headlamps should not be discounted due to higher pricing, for they do offer certain advantages.
Lastly, this is not a running tool you want to buy based on price alone, for it is safe to say you do get what you pay for. Pay close attention to the reputation of the manufacturer by going through some of the feedbacks from current users.
The length of the warranty for the headlamp for running at night should also be taking into consideration. The industry standard is at least one-year coverage, but I have seen a few highly rated brands with longer warranty terms.
4 – Foxelli USB Rechargeable Headlamp Flashlight
The Foxelli USB rechargeable running headlamp is capable of outputting 100 hours of bright lights on just a single full charge. Not only is this headlamp for running lightweight and comfortable, it is also made to be waterproof and impact resistant.
This headlight you can use to run any trail at night comes in four separate colors. It can output bright lights up to 280 lumens, which will illuminate your running trail, thus exposing any potential hazards both in front and around you.
You get a free USB cable you can use to charge the battery through your computer. The provided money back guarantee for this headlamp from Foxelli is only 4-months. To guard against any factory defects the Foxelli USB rechargeable headlamp is protected by a one-year limited warranty.
5 – Vitchelo V800 LED Headlamp Flashlight
Another elite running headlamp with impressive current user feedbacks is the Vitchelo LED headlamp. It uses a push button mechanism to switch from white light to red. You can buy this headlamp in six unique color choices.
The Vitchelo headlamp has the right RoHS and CE certification like some of the brands reviewed above. It requires the use of 3 AAA batteries to function and the initial supply is included with your purchase.
This headlight for those that like to run at night or early morning is capable of outputting bright lights up to 168 lumens, and it has the right waterproof features.
From other running headlamps review, the Vitchelo V800 LED is quite impressive, with thousands of feedbacks from current users. You’re not limited to using this headlight for running alone, for the brightness of the enabled lights can come in handy during any outdoor activity.