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Ultralight Headlamps – 8 of the Best Headlamps for Backpacking in 2024

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The perfect headlamp is a thing of beauty: It should be bright, comfortable, not too heavy, and small enough to stash in your pocket or backpack for a quick trip. So we rounded up the best of the best. Here are our favorite ultralight headlamps; the 8 best headlamps for backpacking, climbing, late-night kayaking, you name it, all under 3 ounces.

Ultralight Headlamps – Best Headlamps for Backpacking

biolite ultralight headlamp
BioLite Headlamp 200 (photo provided by BioLite)

BioLite Headlamp 200

This shiny new model from sustainability-minded (and carbon neutral) company BioLite has it all: a tiltable face, simple construction, a bright 200-lumen beam, even a red light to preserve your night vision. And it weighs in at only 50 grams. *Mic drop* Plus, the snug, low-profile fit is heavenly and it’s USB rechargeable and there are no cables required (!). Just slid the light body out of the silicone and plug it directly in, so no more AAA’s in the landfill and no cables to keep track of. Order your own here.

Knog Bandicoot 250 Headlamp (photo provided by Knog)

Knog Bandicoot 250

At just 2.1 ounces, this 250-lumen headlamp still packs a pretty powerful punch. The stretchy and adjustable silicone band is comfortable to wear, the actual rechargeable light module pops out of the band and plugs directly into a USB outlet for charging (which means is doesn’t require a charging cable–huzzah for more weight savings!), and it has bright, broad, reading (!), and red light modes. Snag one here.

ultralight headlamps petzl bindi
Petzl Bindi Headlamp (photo provided by Petzl)

Petzl Bindi Ultralight Headlamp

With thin bungee cords in place of traditional straps, this Petzl headlamp is certainly light. Three lighting modes let you adjust the brightness of white light, it’s water-resistant, can be tilted up or down, and has a red light function. It goes as bright as 200 lumens, has lock functions so it won’t turn on accidentally, and weighs only 35 grams. It’s also rechargeable and comes in several colors. Order a Petzl Bindi Ultralight Headlamp here.

ultralight headlamps black diamond sprint
Black Diamond Sprint 225 Headlamp (Photo provided by Black Diamond)

Black Diamond Sprint 225 Headlamp

Weighing in at just 2 ounces, this headlamp is rechargeable with a battery meter built-in, which is handy, but doesn’t have a red light, so it’s best for pursuits that don’t involve stargazing or preserving your night vision. It does have a low, high, and strobe setting, though. As the name might imply, brightness is rated at 225 lumens. Find the Black Diamond Sprint 225 at Black Diamond.

ultralight headlamps biolite 330
BioLite Headlamp 330 (photo provided by BioLite)

BioLite Headlamp 330

Just a smidge heavier than the BioLite 200, the BioLite 330 is a bit brighter (330 lumens), weighs in at 2.43 ounces, and includes a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 40 hours. It has 5 light functions, including two red light functions, and even has a small, tiltable face so you can direct the light while the straps stays flush with your forehead. Order the BioLite Headlamp 330 here.

Petzl IKO Core ultralight Headlamp
Petzl IKO Core Headlamp (photo provided by Petzl)

Petzl IKO Core Headlamp

This uniquely designed hyper light headlamp features an AirFit headband that’s ultra-thin and packable, 500 lumens and three lighting levels, a battery that charges via micro-USB (but can also run on three standard batteries), and even comes with a storage pouch that transforms the headlamp into a lantern. What?! It’s also weather resistant and only weighs 2.7 ounces. Find the Petzl IKO Core Headlamp here.

The Nite Ize Raidant RH2 Headlamp

Nite Ize Radiant RH2 Headlamp

One of the most versatile headlamps on this list (as far as power is concerned, anyway) is the Nite Ize Raidant RH2. Not only is it waterproof, stupid bright (700 lumens makes it the brightest on this list), has spot, flood and red light modes, tilts 90º, and stays put during activity, but the included battery is rechargeable AND it takes AAA batteries. That means if the lights go out when recharging isn’t feasible but grabbing a pack of batteries on the go is, this headlamp can still light their way. All for 2.65 ounces. Find the Radiant here.

Sandmarc Pro Headlamp
The Sandmarc Pro Headlamp (photo courtesy of Sandmarc)

Sandmarc Pro Headlamp

You might not expect such a feature-rich headlamp to also be a lightweight headlamp, but in the case of the Sandmarc Pro Headlamp, you’d be wrong. Because not only toes it have four brightness modes that range from 100-500 lumens plus a red light function, it tilts and in fact rotates a full 360º (so you’ll never blind your hiking buddies again) AND hinges outward for full dual-axis rotation. Bonus: You can easily remove the light body from the head strap. Why do this? The body has a magnet on the back so you can attach it to magnetic surfaces like your car hatchback or the bear locker at your campsite. It weighs in at just 1.9oz, so it’s pretty light. Plus it’s rechargeable via USB-C. Find the Sandmarc Pro Headlamp HERE.

Ultralight Headlamps Bottom Line

That enough ultralight headlamps to get you started? We thought so. Looking for more gear reviews and recommendations? Check ’em out here! Or check out our three fave sustainable camp lanterns here.

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