These headlamps might actually help keep you safe while you run

Whether you're out for an early-morning jog or hitting the trail after work, the best headlamps for running help you safely exercise in the evenings and other low-light situations. That said, not all head-mounted flashlights are made for movement. Some are better-suited for fix-it projects and tactical uses, so you'll need to take a close look at product specs before buying a headlamp to wear on the go.

The first factor you'll want to consider is the brightness of your headlamp. Brightness is often measured in lumens, which describe the amount of visible light emitted from a source such as a lamp or flashlight. Opt for a light with at least 200 lumens to ensure a bright, far-reaching beam that will keep you visible and illuminate obstructions in your path long before you reach them. While most headlights advertise their brightest setting, some have dimming functions that allow you to customize the brightness to your needs.

Since you'll be on the move, a lightweight headlamp is ideal. Aim for a weight somewhere between 2 and 4 ounces, as this will minimize pressure on your head and prevent bounce while you run.

Finally, consider the overall design and power source. Headlamps intended for use while running typically feature a single, adjustable band made from a stretchy material. This ensures a secure fit without causing discomfort or chafing. In terms of the power source, most will utilize batteries, either replaceable or rechargeable. Rechargeable lights are usually more expensive up front, but they'll save you money in the long run. No matter your preference, one of the four best running headlamps is sure to meet your needs:


The Overall Best Headlamp For Running

This GOFORWILD headlamp is the best overall pick for most runners because it provides illumination, comfort, and convenient features — all for a reasonable price. According to an Amazon reviewer, this 500-lumen unit is "like having a car headlight" to illuminate your path, and the fully-rechargeable battery can run for up to 2.5 hours at a time. It also has a soft adjustable band, a 45-degree tilting design, a flashing SOS mode for emergencies, a motion sensor switch, and a powerful red COB light that's ideal for illuminating the night while keeping your eyes adjusted to seeing in the dark. In addition to the SOS strobe and red light modes, the headlamp also can be set to LED, white COB, or LED and white COB modes to accommodate a variety of lighting needs.

Weight: 3.5 ounces

Brightness: 500 lumens

Power source: USB-rechargeable battery

Reviewers say: "I use my headlamp to run with in the early morning hours so being lightweight is extremely important. This is very light and the brightness it provides is unmatched by my previous headlight, which was name brand. Plus I [love] that this is rechargeable. Would definitely buy again!"


The Best Value Headlamp

If you're looking for something affordable but reasonably well-made, there's the Foxelli headlamp flashlight, which — despite its $13 price tag — has over 4,000 reviews and a 4.6 star rating. This unit is battery-operated, but still compact, versatile, and comfortable. It can be used continuously for up to 45 minutes, is made to handle a little damp weather, and comes in eight different colors. It even has various lighting modes for different environments. At 165 lumens (slightly dimmer than the recommended 200), it might be a tad too dim for the darkest night, but should be just fine if you'll be running in the vicinity of streetlights or at dawn or dusk.

Weight: 3.2 ounces

Brightness: 165 lumens

Power source: AAA batteries

Reviewers say: "I have been using this product for about 2 weeks and am so happy with it! The light is very strong and perfect for early morning or evening running. This morning I passed a fellow runner and he said he was able to see my light from at least 400 meters away. Second best part of the light — the price! A tremendous value."


The Best Headlamp For Trail Running

When you're out on the trail, you need something bright, heavy-duty, and reliable. The Black Diamond Spot headlamp checks all those boxes. This one is IPX8-waterproof for full immersion for up to 30 minutes, and its settings include red night vision, emergency strobe, and full-strength distance beams. It has one quad power LED and one double-power white LED, and the brightness memory allows you to return to your last-used setting each time you turn it on. You can even switch between brightnesses with the tap of a finger, thanks to the touch-sensitive housing.

Weight: 3.1 ounces

Brightness: 300 lumens

Power source: AAA batteries

Reviewers say: "I used mine during a night time running race and it worked really well and lit up the trail perfectly. I like that you can select what type of light (spot vs fill) and then also be able to tap them on/off. [...] Overall I would recommend it, especially for the price!"


The Best Lightweight Headlamp Without Bounce

At just 2.4 ounces, the BioLite HeadLamp is easily one of the most lightweight units available. It features a molded design that sits flat against your forehead so you don't have to worry about bouncing or discomfort. This USB-rechargeable unit lasts for up to 3.5 hours on the highest setting, and the breathable, moisture-wicking band is designed to keep you dry and comfortable during your run.

Weight: 2.4 ounces

Brightness: 330 lumens

Power source: USB-rechargeable battery

Reviewers say: "I've owned several different headlamps over the years (including other claimed 'lightweight' models) and this is by far the slimmest and least intrusive. Haven't used it much, but I look forward to better comfort and visibility during night runs."

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