The best headlamps for hunting

Keep your hands free with a headlamp worth hunting for.

Best Overall

Black Diamond Storm 500-R

Black Diamond Storm 500-R

Best Value

5.11 Tactical Rapid

5.11 Tactical Rapid

Honorable Mention

Petzl Tactikka +RGB

Petzl Tactikka +RGB

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.

It’s easy to get tunnel vision on rifles, binoculars, and UTVs, but don’t forget that the best headlamps for hunting can make your favorite hobby significantly more enjoyable. We saved you the trouble of searching through endless products by picking the best headlamps available for this gear guide.

Most hunting begins with a dark walk through trees and underbrush. Don’t get me wrong — I like tripping over roots and stubbing my toes on rocks as much as anybody — but using a flashlight can certainly get you to the stand or blind in one piece more often than your natural night vision can. Keeping your hands free has obvious advantages of your own. By using a headlamp, you’ll always have light where you need it and still be able to carry and move whatever you want.

A lot of gear guides will phone it in with a list of the first headlamps the writer found in some kind of camouflage pattern. Camo is cool, but there are other things that make a great headlamp for hunting. That’s where I focused my attention, and the result is a list of solid gear that can walk the walk, not just talk the talk.


As is the case with all of my gear guides, I first put myself in the mindset of someone who needs the best headlamp for hunting they can possibly get. That can mean a few different things, but everyone deserves a quality item from a reputable manufacturer. That’s where I began my search; companies that have a proven track record of building reliable gear. Next, I filtered out products that aren’t able to work in bad weather. Not every hunting headlamp needs to be totally waterproof, but some degree of weather protection is essential. Finally, I gave preference to headlights that feature multiple power output settings so you can have the right amount of light for every job. This wasn’t a make-or-break criterion, but it was a consideration. To learn more about Task & Purpose’s testing protocols, click here.

Best Overall

Black Diamond Storm 500-R

Best Value

5.11 Tactical Rapid

Honorable Mention

Petzl Tactikka +RGB

HIghest Output

SureFire Maximus

Best Hat Brim Clip-On

Bushnell TRKR

Our verdict on headlamps for hunting

Black Diamond is one of the best brands for backcountry gear, and the Storm 500-R is the best headlamp for hunting (and all kinds of other adventures). You can also save some money and get 5.11 Tactical’s versatile Rapid detachable headlamp. Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments section and share the wealth.

What to consider when buying headlamps for hunting

Finding the best headlamp for hunting is more straightforward than buying a pair of hunting boots or a great hunting knife, but there are still a few features you should keep an eye on to make sure you get the best headlight for you. Pay special attention to the colors and power settings available, as well as weather resistance and camouflage patterns.

Key features of a headlamp

Variable power output and color modes

What kind of hunting gear do you already own? You probably have half a dozen backpacks, a few pairs of boots, and all kinds of camouflage. That’s because different problems call for different solutions. Having a headlamp that can provide soft light or a powerful beam is incredibly valuable. Multiple power modes can deliver the right amount of light, whether you’re navigating a rough trail or rummaging through your pack.

White light is the most common color because it’s what our eyes are used to and allows us to access the most visual information. When we see white light, the cones in our retinas perceive the world around us in great detail. Red and green lights are popular because they’re gentler on the rods in our retinas that get used in darkness. These colors also don’t tend to carry as far, so you’re less likely to give away your position.

Weather resistance

It would be great if every hunt got beautiful weather, but that’s not the case. You’re going to get caught in a rainstorm at one point or another, so having gear that’s up to the challenge is important. Weather-resistant headlamps can handle rain and the occasional splash so you don’t have to baby them.

Waterproof headlamps go a step further, with enough protection to handle temporary submersion. If you’re concerned about dropping your headlamp off a boat or dunking it during a stream crossing, pay attention to each product’s IP rating.


Having camouflage on your headlamp certainly isn’t essential, but it can be nice to have. If you primarily use a headlamp to unload gear from your truck, load a boat, or get your blind organized, you can use any headlamp you want because it’ll be put away by the time any game animals come around.

On the other hand, some people might not want to deal with stashing a headlamp when not in use. If you want to wear it or keep it in the open, a splash of camouflage will be a valuable feature.


Most of the best headlamps for hunting cost between $50 and $75, with a range of features and capabilities. The most expensive premium option we recommend is the SureFire Maximus, which costs $270 and provides significantly more light than the rest of the top hunting headlamps on the market. At the other end of the spectrum, the Bushnell TRKR can be clipped to your hat brim for just $20.

FAQs about headlamps for hunting

You’ve got questions, Task & Purpose has answers.

Q: What is the brightest headlamp for hunting?

A: How much light do you need? You could get a headlamp with a claimed 10,000 lumens, but the brightest headlamp may not be the best headlamp for hunting.

Q: What is a red light used for on headlamps?

A: Red light creates less glare than white light. It’s also easier on your eyes, so they can adapt more quickly to the darkness when you’re done using your light.

Q: Can deer see red or green light?

A: There is evidence to suggest that, because of a condition called protanopia, deer cannot detect red or green lights.

Q: How many lumens do I need for hunting?

A: That depends on what kind of hunting you have in mind. If you just need to get situated in your blind, a 50-lumen glow is adequate. If you’re trying to spot hogs across an open field, you’ll need an actual spotlight.


Scott Murdock Avatar

Scott Murdock

Commerce Reporter

Scott Murdock is a Task & Purpose commerce writer and Marine Corps veteran. Since 2020, he’s selflessly committed himself to experiencing the best gear, gadgets, stories, and alcoholic beverages in the service of you, the reader.