A headlamp is indispensable for any camping trip! Having both your hands free to pitch a tent, braai, cook makes all these tasks less of an effort. It is also a great idea to pop one into your pack for an emergency situation. I use mine when I run at night, regardless of whether I am on trail or tar.

Petzl Tikkina² Headlamp
Petzl Tikkina² Headlamp

I originally bought my Petzl Tikkina² Headlamp for trail running. It has the ideal weight to light ratio, meaning it sits comfortably on my head and does not shift or slip off even when moving fast over very rough terrain. I have had no problem with it in light rain. It is 23 lumens which has proven plenty for all the night running I have done, however, I have just upgraded to a Black Diamond Icon which is rated 200 Lumens.

I also have an old Energizer 6 LED headlamp which is seriously bright, with a flood mode, a spot mode, full mode (both together) as well as a red mode. It is a bit heavy for trail running, but it is great around the campsite. The cover of the button has broken off, so if it ever was water-resistant in any way, it no longer is (neither unit have a waterproof rating). I think the new models have better switches on them.

I use my Black Diamond Icon both on and off-road: it lights up the trail perfectly, and the strobe mode is great for road running at night.

I normally wear a Buff as a headband under the headlamp strap for comfort and to keep the light in place.


  • the strength of the beam in lumens
  • different modes, such as flashing / strobe, red, high beam / low beam
  • overall weight (include batteries!)
  • waterproof rating
  • type of battery: standard / rechargeable, easily replaceable (such as AAA)
  • battery life
  • position of battery: mostly the batteries are enclosed in the headlamp unit, but some are separate and either on the back of the headband or even on a belt or in your pack
Brand / ModelLumensBatteriesModesWaterproofAdditional
Union Mart
Mail Order
'n' Pay
Black Diamond Gizmo 3352 x AAAStrobeIP X4225.00289.00249.00
Black Diamond Cosmo703 x AAAStrobe | RedIP X4399.00399.00
Black Diamond Sprinter75USB RechargeableStrobe | RedIP X7Separate battery pack with red "tail light"899.00
Black Diamond Spot903 x AAAStrobe | RedIP X4499.00510.00
Black Diamond Storm1004 x AAAStrobe | RedIP X7599.00
Black Diamond Icon2004 x AAStrobe | RedIPX 7895.00999.00
Energizer 6 LED563 x AAARed230.00199.95
Energizer 3 LED303 x AAA2 Modes | Red120.00129.95129.95159.00119.99
Petzl Tikkina²233 x AAA IP X4Tiltable175.00189.95190.00182.00199.00
Petzl Tikka²403 x AAA329.00
Petzl Tikka Plus²703 x AAAStrobe | RedIP X4425.00399.95454.00479.00
Petzl Tikka XP²803 x AAAStrobe | RedIP X4Tiltable575.00595.00
Petzl Myo RXP2053 x AAAIP X4Programmable999.00875.00899.00
Petzl NaoLithium-Ion rechargeable
or 2 x AAA / LR03
IP X4Programmable, sensor1799.00
Petzl Ultra Rush Belt760Lithium-IonIP X7Battery pack on belt

Watertight / proof ratings (IP = Ingress Protection):

  1. IP X8: Immersion beyond 1 m (The equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions which shall be specified by the manufacturer. Normally, this will mean that the equipment is hermetically sealed. However, with certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects)
  2. IP X7: Immersion up to 1 m (Ingress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time – up to 1 m of submersion
  3. IP X4: Splashing water (Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect)
  4. IP X1: Dripping water (Dripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no harmful effect)

To learn more about the lumen, lux and candela, head on over to Wikipedia.

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Outdoor adventure enthusiast living on the Garden Route.

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