by | Dec 29, 2020 | Outdoor Fun, Reviews, Z

Last Updated: Oct 19, 2021 @ 11:22 am.

What's the best rechargeable headlamp? We love headlamps—but if you use one frequently, a rechargeable headlamp saves in the long run. Plus if you use a headlamp for running or work, having a fully charged headlamp is reassuring . . . and you don't have to worry about running out of juice in the middle of a run or project. We tried out 11 different rechargeable headlamps, checking for ease of use and battery life. Here are the winners we'd recommend.

FYI: We've been reviewing and rating products for the home and families since 1994. To keep things independent, we don't take money or freebies from brands we review! Our work is 100% reader-supported!


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Best Budget-Friendly Headlamp

Bright (up to 800 lumens)
Loved this lamp for light-duty tasks around the house. Comfortable to wear, we liked the weight (6 ounces) and multiple light modes. Caveat: no memory function. And battery only ran about 2 hrs.
$24.99

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Best Budget-Friendly Headlamp: Soft Digits Headlamp Flashlight

Yes, rechargeable headlamps can get rather pricey. Good news: we found one in our testing that had excellent performance, but at a price that didn’t break the bank.

The Soft Digits Headlamp hit the right notes with comfort and light weight—plus it has up to 800 lumens of brightness. (Note some fancy brands top out at 200 lumens).

We realize there are different levels of use when it comes to headlamps . . . from occasional use around the house to more serious headlamps for construction workers, runners or hikers. We’d put the Soft Digits in the first camp (occasional use). 

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Lots of lighting options. There are 8 modes of lighting, including red light and red SOS.

• Bright! 300-800 lumens.

• Comfortable to wear.

• Lightweight (6 ounces).

• Affordable (two pack).

What Needs Work

• No memory function. It doesn’t remember the last setting.

• To shut off the unit, you have to cycle through all the modes.

• Battery life could be better. We got about two hours of use (it takes about six hours to charge it). Two hours is good enough for most household use, but probably will disappoint campers or hikers. For those folks, we’d recommend this next pick.

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Best Camping Headlamp

Rugged and very bright
We got five hours of light from this impressive headlamp, with a bright 12,000 lumens. Loved the 90 degree swivel adjustment. Caveat: a bit heavy at 8.8 ounces.
$18.98

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Best Camping Headlamp: Elmchee Rechargeable Headlamp

As Coloradans, we know a thing or two about camping. And a good rechargeable headlamp that lasts for four or five hours is a must. 

Brightness is another factor—we’re amazed at some fancy-pants headlamp brands that pitch themselves as great for camping, yet offer only 300 lumens of light. That might be great for other uses, but you need more light for camping (gotta get to the restroom in the dark, dodging the bears!).

After testing out several headlamps, we liked Elmche’s headlamp with 12,000 lumens. Yes, 12,000. It was most impressive in terms of the amount of light and overall construction. Here’s more:

What We Liked

 Bright!

• Tilts to 90 degrees. That’s most helpful when camping!

• Good light beam spread.

• Four hours of light in our testing. We see the maker claims five to six, but we got four when set to maximum brightness.

• 8 light modes, including two high beam options. We liked these strobe, red light and red SOS strobe light. 

• Red safety tail light on the battery box.

• Waterproof.

What Needs Work

• Heavy. At 8.8 ounces, no one would consider this a light weight option!

• Strap too small for some folks.

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Best Hard Hat Headlamp

Dust and water proof rating
Yes, this headlamp remembers its last setting—most helpful if you use a headlamp frequently around the house. We liked the two beam angles, although motion activation feature has its fans and critics.
$89.93

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Best Hard Hat Headlamp: Milwaukee Electric Tools 2111-21 USB Rechargeable Headlamp

If you need a rechargeable headlamp for a hard hat or construction-type job, those affordable headlamps are nice . . . but you need something much more rugged and reliable. 

After trying out three well-known brands of headlamps, we think Milwaukee Electric Tools 2111-21 is the best hard hat rechargeable headlamp. Yes, it is pricey . . . but this thing can take a licking. It performed well in our battery life test (about four hours), roughly twice the life of cheaper headlamps that are best for home use.

Here’s more:

What We Liked

• Tough. 

• Bright at 475 lumens.

• Rubber grip for attaching to a hard hat.

• Four hours of run time on high. The maker claims up to 10 hours on lower light mode. When set to medium, we got just under eight hours of use . . . almost an all-day charge!

• Head has seven positions—can tilt to 90 degrees.

• IP54 rating for water and dust damage.

What Needs Work

• Heavy. This headlamps weighs 8 ounces 

• Pricey.

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Best Memory Function Headlamp

Easy on the wallet
Yes, this headlamp remembers its last setting—most helpful if you use a headlamp frequently around the house. We liked the two beam angles, although motion activation feature has its fans and critics.
$22.99

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Best Memory Function Headlamp: TINMIU Rechargeable LED Headlamp Flashlight

If you frequently use a headlamp for work or a hobby, you’ve probably discovered one big flaw with some brands: no memory function.

That is, when you turn off the headlamp, it forgets the last setting. And that can be annoying if you prefer one setting and don’t like wasting your time cycling through multiple modes to get there.

If that’s important, we’d recommend TINMIUM’s Rechargeable LED headlamp. Yes, it is more pricey than others, but it does have several useful features . . . including a memory mode that remembers the last setting. 

What We Liked

• Comfortable to wear.

• Easy to use.

• Memory function remembers last setting.

• Motion activated. You can turn it on or off by waving a hand in front the the headlamp.

• Six light modes.

• Two beam angles.

• Affordable two-pack.

• Up to 1000 lumens brightness.

What Needs Work

• Motion activation features has its fans and detractors.

• Short battery life. We got about 90 minutes out of one charge when set to high (the maker claims four hours when on low). That run time is fine for light use around a house. But if you want something more rugged and longer lasting for camping, this may not be the best bet.

Why Trust Us

We’ve been rating and reviewing products for the home and families since 1994. We do hands-on testing—we buy the products with our own money and evaluate with an eye toward quality, ease of use and affordability.

Here’s another key point: we don’t take money from the brands we review. No free samples, no sponsors, no “partnerships.” Our work is 100% reader-supported!

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