The Best Running Headtorches
It takes a hardy person to not only head out for a run at night, but to do so in a place without street lights. If you are one of those runners, we salute you. Your bravery and commitment to the sport know no bounds.
We also heartily encourage you to get a good headtorch, because running in pitch-black conditions is a recipe for disaster even if you stick to the flattest asphalt. And if you are heading off-road then only the very brightest of headlights will do, if only because tripping over a root in the woods while running in the dark sounds like the start of a horror film.
Avoid unexpected pitfalls on your night runs with one of these hyper-bright headlights.
Best Budget Option: Kalenji ONNIGHT 710
While it’s not as bright and long-lasting as some of our other picks, the ONNIGHT 710 is an excellent cheap option that will more than suffice for runners who aren’t looking to log all-nighters on the trails. The rechargeable battery lasts three hours at the highest 300-lumen light setting, which is bright enough provide around 75m of visibility, and there are two lower lumen settings (120 and 30) when you’re looking to conserve juice.
Buy from Decathlon | £24.99
Best For City Runners: Black Diamond Iota
The Iota is a very lightweight headlamp that’s great for short runs in dark urban areas rather than complete wilderness. The max output is only 150 lumens and the battery powers that level of brightness for just two hours, but the Iota’s very comfortable to wear. The battery is rechargeable and there’s a three-level gauge that shows how much you have left when you turn the light on.
Buy from Amazon | £36.69
Best Budget Smart Headtorch: Petzl Reactik+
This smart headlight is the ideal option for those who hate having to adjust their lamp during a run. The Reactik+ takes in the ambient light around you and automatically adjusts its beam to suit the conditions, although you can override the automatic lighting whenever you like. It also links with an app so you can set up the light profile you want and get details on how much battery life you have left – on the brightest setting of 300 lumens the rechargeable battery will last 2½hours.
Buy from Amazon | £67.74
Best For Ultramarathon Runners: Petzl Nao+
An altogether more extreme option for those who frequently run through the night on technical terrain. The Nao+ has a 750-lumen front light which reacts to ambient light like the Reactik+ does, and also a back light which is often a requirement for entering through-the-night ultramarathons. The rechargeable battery will last 6½ hours on the highest setting, and you can move the battery pack from the headband to a belt accessory to make the Nao+ more comfortable to wear for long periods.
Buy from Amazon | £124.37
Best For Battery Life: Black Diamond Icon
By opting for four AA batteries rather than a rechargeable unit, the Icon offers a monster 70 hours of juice on its highest 500-lumen setting. You might be thinking that strapping four AA batteries to your noggin will make the Icon uncomfortable and you’d be right, but fortunately the pack can be moved to waist pack or pocket easily.
Buy from Amazon | £69.50