We all have headlamps in collection but, all the headlamps do not suits best for caving. While caving, you need a lamp that gives a wider lightening at best lumen and the battery backup should be more than 4 hours. A waterproof headlamp would offer you the best caving experience. Moreover, having flexibility to switch rechargeable batteries would even be better for caving lovers.
These are our top headlamps for caving
We have reviewed more than 34 headlamps and shortlisted 10 those are appropriate for caving. Our in-depth guide will also help you to decide the best product. Here’s are the top three headlamps among the top ten.
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LHKNL Headlamp Review
LHKNL is the most value for money headlamp for caving. All amazing features are there to bright up your caving & camping experience. During our preliminary evaluation, the motion sensor worked perfectly. Such a heavy motion detection facility helps to protect the battery for longer time and alert in case of any unwanted movements.
The awesome thing was – swiping hands in front of it. If you do that, the standby modes activates and the reverse swipe helps getting back to the earlier condition.
The recharging experience was awesome!
The brightening level is easily changeable by slightly long-pressing the button. You can also easily adjust the bands as needed.
Overall Positive features
- Easily adjustable bands
- Water-resistance (IPX4 Rated)
- Motion sensor gets activated when any unwanted movements are at 60 degrees of sight
- 1500 MAH USB Rechargeable batteries
- 1100 Lumen, its massive for caving and camping
- 8 preset lighting modes that are changeable easily
- Works for 4 to 10 hours in a single charge
- Handwaving feature (Useful for easy activation0
- Easy to carry, weighs 1.76 OZ (Weight is less than of a chicken egg0
- Rotates 60 degrees but you can have as max as 180 degrees by moving your head
- Shake proof that helps to get actual sighting experience in a cave
- Warranty available
- The headband is not Moisture-wicking & Breathable.. For that, you need to look for something like a SureFire headlamp.
- You cannot Enjoy the main strong beam and the side beam simultaneously
- The battery is lithium-ion, but not replaceable. However, this headlamp’s battery is replaceable.
- The battery would not last if somehow exposed below 0 degrees during the ice fishing
- You cannot change or remove the headband. The headband is only adjustable.
GearLight Headlamp Review
GearLight is the another best headlamp for caving. It is a heavy tacticical black type headlamp offers LED technologies and water resistance facilities.
What’s good in GearLight Headlamp?
- This is also a 2 pack headlamp like LHKNL
- The headlamp is really super bright having multiple preset modes
- The headband the light is adjustable up to 45 degrees
- It’s purely weather-resistant, meaning that you have no risks of battery draining possibilities such as LHKNL even if you are under 0 degree.
- The drop-resistant feature also adds value that is not available in this headlamp.
- Lights up to 10 hours
- Delivers 586-lumen brightness depending on what brand’s battery you are using.
What’s bad in GearLight Headlamp?
- Batteries are changeable, but not rechargeable. It’s powered by AAA batteries and that means you need to carry a pack of additional batteries.
- There is no motion sensor facility like LHKNL.
- The headlamp does not come up with batteries
- No separate switching option for red light mode
- Does not have any hand waving feature installed.
Regardless the negative issues the headlamp can your great companion while caving somewhere. Since the batteries last long up to 10 hours, you may need to carry an extra pair of 3 AAA batteries and that would not be a big issue.
We are recommending this headlight for caving just because of the GearLight’s good reputation over the luminaries market. Earlier the company has released so many versions of tactical flashlights (S1000 LED & S1050 LED) and other safety lights (S1 LED) that have been under good review by the users.
In conclusion, you may need to forgo one feature in exchange of the another. The weather resistance feature would be a great unique selling proportion (USP) for this S500 LED headlamp, which was missing on the other headlamp from LHKNL.
COAST Caving Headlamp Review
Coast XPH30R is a very good headlamp suitable for caving and other outdoor activities as well. This is an awesome piece of dust and water resistant headlamp with rechargeable zithion x battery. The headlamp has a twist focusing lense that help you to set the lumen and its focus as per the objective.
There’s a four preset light mood that offers a maximum of 1000 lumen. However, you have the freedom too chose among 40, 150, 490 and 1000 lumen. This particular feature was absent in the GearLight that we have reviewed earlier.
On the other hand, You will also get to see the bulls eyespot with a surrounded soft light that help you to go beyond the sighting limitations.
Other awesome features of this headlamp
COAST XPH30R is the first among the other headlamps that offers multiple usage freedom. That means you can carry this headlamp while going into a cave or attach to anywhere or even on the side of your car through its magnetic base. Such amazing feature helped this headlamp to stand against its competitors such as LHKNL & GEARLIGHT.
This headlamp is a pure beam optic that comes with turbo mode. Such feature helps to focus into two points without compromising one. That means, at the same time you will have clear vision into short length and as well in the far.
However, the COAST XPH30R is the only version with pure beam. All other version they offer (advanced) is the pure beam focusing with a premium price.
This headlamp will keep lighting till 7.5 hours, which is considerably lower than the one from LHKNL. Additionally you can boost the power timing up to 41 hours at the low lumen. Such power boosting facility was absent on the other two headlamps we have reviewed.
Also, the zithion-x rechargeable battery will offer you a QUICK CHARGING facility through USB type C. In our opinion, this is a strong feature that is merely available on other similar products.
Negative Sides of COAST XPH30R
- Capacity is less than 10 hours at the maximum lumen.
- Does not have any motion sensor to detect sudden movement.
- Not fully weather proof like GearLight meaning that you have possibility of battery drainage in a temperature below o degree.
Other headlamps from COAST
To summarize, which headlamp to accompany you during a caving journey is completely up to your priority. Here’s a quick comparison so that you can get the best headlamps for caving, fishing and outdoor camping.
We have already reviewed the COAST XPH30R that offers 1000 lumen at max but actually, it’s a 490-lumen headlamp. XPH30R’s beam distance is 112 meter that is okay for caving, but if you need more than that there’s another version of headlamp COAST HL8R (Offers 214-meter max distance).
If your priority is battery backup in case of any long journey, COAST XPH30R has a dual rechargeable battery. However, COAST FL75R (an advanced version of the headlamp) dual rechargeable battery as well as capacity to run on 3 AAA batteries.
If you have budget – This one would be the best as caving headlamp.
COAST FL8FR Dual Focus LED Headlamp Review
This is another premium headlamp from COAST. Earlier we have reviewed the XPH30R version of COAST. This headlamp is a pure beam version with capacity to focus in tow points at a time. Currently COAST’s headlamp focusing technology is mostly advanced compared to the other brands.
This headlamp has a flexible dual power mechanism that allows you to choose either the rechargeable batteries or 3 AAA batteries. Such flexibility comes into a great attention when there’s difficulties of recharging or you are not willing to carry a heavy charging unit.
This one can light up to 700 lumen with dual focus but not have any magnetic strip like the COAST XPH30R.
- A reflective strip is a great feature of this headlamp. It looks amazing inside the cave and can help others to spot it even if the light is turned off.
- USB type C cable helps to get a faster charging experience.
- It runs up to 13.5 hours in high charge
- 100% water resistance (IPX4 Rated)
- COAST offers a lifetime warranty for that headlamp
- This headlamp drain battery too fast within 2.75 hours if continuously run on maximum lumen
- Does not have any metal strap to attach anywhere else like the other one from COAST.
- Does not have any motion detection feature like LHKNL.
- Not 100% weather resist like GearLight.
Surefire Headlamp Review
Surefire is the most premium headlamp for caving and adventure lovers. It solves all of the mid-budget headlamps’ problem. Surfeit does not heat up while wearing the headband. Also, it gives you a maximum recharging experience within the best possible time. Also, Surefire offers you to choose between the one to a thousand-lumen experience as per the requirement.
The Amazing features of Surefire Headlamp
- This headlamp can rotate up to a maximum of 90 degrees on both upward and downwards.
- For the brightness adjustment while walking into the cave, you just only one hand to adjust all the features. Such flexibility really helps a lot when you are carrying something or you need to grab for grip inside the cave.
- Its headband is moisture-wicking that offers you the ultimate wearing comfort. As per our assessment, we did not notice any moisture-wicking and breathable headband for all LHKNL, GearLight and COAST.
- It’s very light to wear.
- An in-built custom reflector creates a wider brightness even on the lowest lumen.
- Rechargeable lithium-Ion battery supports both AC & DC adopter.
- Unlike the other headlamp, this one shows you the charge level so that you can plan your caving accordingly
- For an extra safety feature, this headlamp has an installed SOS Beacon so that you have a personal locator to be used in any danger or for a rescue purpose.
- Its an expensive device but a very good one
Best Caving Head Torch with Bluetooth
It is the best caving head torch for those who are looking for the best combination under $100. It delivers a maximum of 750 lumens and reaches up to 140 meters. You can connect this head torch with Petzl mobile app and and do whatever the app allows you to personalize.
This is a smart head torch for caving comes with automatic light sense technology. You do not need to adjust the brightness level since the device will do itself.
What experts say about this head torch
After assessing this caving head torch I had a very good experience. The rear red light will stay, flash continuously, or every 1-3 seconds approximately. The main bulb on the front is outrageously bright, and therefore the auto-adjust works seamlessly.
it’ll definitely reduce wasted battery. Bluetooth connection to my iPhone 11 is lightning fast and also seamless I work on construction with high angle ropes and rescue also.
This caving head torch is perfectly bright and lasts longer. After operating for 7 hours I have experienced the FREAKING SWITCH is amazing. This product is hard, designed alright, and definitely well worth the money that I paid. Batteries are well made and are available with the USB where you’ll plug them in to charge.
The battery takes an extended time to charge, so I highly recommend getting a spare if you are going to be counting on it for long periods of your time. The external battery level indicator on the battery pack is great, alongside the app which runs seamlessly and reacts to changes you create instantaneously. I definitely recommend a 1 and done purchase.
Negative side of this caving head torch
- The strap of this caving head torch is not breathable like SureFire.
- Weighs 185 gram. You may need some time to get comfortable with it.
- Does not have a motion sensor technology
- Does not have a GPS tracker if your phone is not with you
Caving Headlamp Buying Guide
Like we said that choosing a headlamp for caving is very critical. Not all other features suits for caving but you need to look for additional aspects for choosing the right headlamp for you. Here’s a quick buying guide for you
look for the comfort
When you are going for an adventure tour like caving or camping in a forest or fishing in an extremely cold area, you need a headlamp that offers you comfort. You won’t be willing to wear something that irritates you after 2 hours. Comfort only comes when the headband of a headlamp has a moisture-wicking breathable pad. The only one we found such a feature was the SureFire headlamp.
What is Moisture Wicking?
If you need to get warm in winter or inside the cave, you need to get away of the wet. If you sweat after wearing a headband then it will irritate and also it will resist yourself from getting warm.
Study suggest that a cotton can hold 7% of the wet and a polyester holds up to 0.4% (Source).
For getting comfortable you need a wicking part on bottom (that gets closely with the skin) and breathable part in middle or outer area. As a result your sweat wont drop off and you will be comfortable while wearing a headband.
An SOS Beacon helps emergency rescue mission
Most of the mid budget headlamps such as LHKNL & COAST does not comes with an SOS because it drain the battery and its expensive. However, such GPS locator is really helpful if you expose to any danger inside the cave.
But, Surefire is the one comes with an SOS beacon inside.
Obviously you will look for a headlamp that offers maximum battery backup. Irrespective of the battery, the lumen also plays a vital role for good battery back up.
A headlamp becomes very useful when it can rotate properly. A minimum 60 degrees of rotation helps you to explore the things without rotating the neck. As we have seen earlier Surefire has an ability to rotate up to 90 degrees, but the GearLight cannot rotate.
You need to be aware of what are you buying. Not all headlamps are the same in the charging mechanism. As you have already seen that LHKNL has a rechargeable battery inside. On the other hand, the GearLight only supports AAA batteries. COAST has also the flexibility to run on both rechargeable lithium-ion and AAA batteries. Moreover, the Surefire supports both AC & DC charging whereas others do not.
Weather and Water Resistance
Be very careful to discriminate between headlamps for caving and headlamps for ice fishing. Your headlamps are may be water resistant by IPX4 rating.
But, IPX4 does not represent that it will survive under below 0-degree temperature. In our opinion, you need to have a higher budget for such a headlamp.
Look for the Beam Type
For caving a round flooded beam is suitable when consider the best headlamp. However, you may find an hybrid beam type products that both offer a bulls eye or a rounded beam with dual exposure such as COAST. If you buy that product, it will be helpful for you to carry anywhere.
Its an important factor. Not all headlamp has an adjustable headband. There are some headlamps that can only be used by mounting on your helmet.
However, the lights like COAST has magnetic strip attached that fits both in helmet and headbands.