Which headlamp for spelunking is best?

Wearing a headlamp on your forehead can free up your hands for projects and tasks, like cleaning your basement, walking your dog at night or jogging in the evening. You can also use a headlamp for sports like spelunking and rock climbing, as well as close-up hobbies like knitting and needlework. This Coast XPH30R Rechargeable Headlamp is a stellar choice for spelunking.

What to know before you buy a headlamp for spelunking


There are several different uses for headlamps, including spelunking, camping, cleaning dark areas, nighttime emergencies, conducting home repairs, vehicle repair and running, cycling or walking your dog in the evening. Headlamps are essentially hands-free flashlights with plenty of uses in spelunking and camping scenarios, as well as around your home. 


Manufacturers for headlamps tell you the brightness of the headlamp lights in lumens, which is meant to indicate the brightness in various types of lighting, including flashlights and light bulbs. For spelunking, you need a headlamp with a brightness of at least 100-250 lumens, but ideally more than 250 lumens. Some headlamps provide more than one brightness setting.

Battery type

There are a few different kinds of batteries for headlamps, including watch batteries, rechargeable batteries and alkaline batteries. A few headlamps run on watch batteries, which are round and flat and look similar to coins, but they’re less common than those that run on rechargeable or alkaline battery power.

Rechargeable batteries for headlamps are similar to the ones found in digital cameras and smartphones. You can plug your headlamp for spelunking into a USB cable when you’re not using it to properly charge the battery. 

These rechargeable batteries keep working through several dozen charges, but you might need to buy a replacement battery at some point. Many headlamps run on alkaline batteries, including small-diameter AAA and AA batteries. Most of these headlamps need about three or four AAA or AA alkaline batteries at the same time. 

What to look for in a quality headlamp for spelunking


Headlamps for spelunking with more lumens tend to cost more than headlamps with fewer lumens. Headlamps with at least 500 lumens are the most expensive, but they also tend to be the best headlamps.

Battery life

You’ll end up paying more for headlamps with more battery life. Headlamps for spelunking with rechargeable batteries are more cost effective in the long run than headlamps that take alkaline batteries, but they also tend to cost more upfront.


Even a slight difference in weight can change the comfort level of your headlamp for spelunking. Heavier headlamps become fairly noticeable the longer you wear them.

The most common headlamps weigh about 3-5 ounces, but some headlamps weigh at least 9 ounces and others weigh about 1 ounce. It’s more likely that heavy headlamps will bounce up and down on your head while you’re hiking or running.

Maximum light-beam length

Some headlamps for spelunking offer much longer light beams than other headlamps, but they also tend to be more expensive.

How much you can expect to spend on a headlamp for spelunking

Headlamps for spelunking range in price from less than $35 to more than $75. The most basic headlamps for spelunking cost less than $35, while midrange headlamps vary in price from about $35-$75 and high-end headlamps go for more than $75.

Headlamp for spelunking FAQ

Which kinds of lighting do headlamps for spelunking provide?

A. Modern headlamps include LED light bulbs, and the headlamp offers various kinds of light within the LED. Most headlamps for spelunking provide narrow beams of light that work over long distances, but some provide floodlight settings where the headlamp spreads light over wider areas. Some headlamps for spelunking also feature red LEDs, which work well for when you want a light that’s easier on the eyes.

What are some of the top brand names in headlamps for spelunking?

A. You’re more likely to get a high-quality headlamp for spelunking when you choose a well-known brand. It’s also simpler to locate replacement parts. The top headlamp manufacturers include Wsky, Princeton Tec, Petzl, Northbound Train, InnoGear, GRDE, Fenix and Black Diamond.

What’s the best headlamp for spelunking to buy?

Top headlamp for spelunking

Coast XPH30R Rechargeable Headlamp

Coast XPH30R Rechargeable Headlamp

What you need to know: This headlamp for spelunking from Coast has plenty of features to light up your surroundings when needed.

What you’ll love: This headlamp includes a twist focus system that enables two beams to shine through the same source of light. The turbo mode shines with 1,000 lumens and lights up objects that are up to 165 meters away.

What you should consider: This headlamp can start to feel heavy on your head.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top headlamp for spelunking for the money

Everbeam H6 LED Headlamp

Everbeam H6 LED Headlamp

What you need to know: This headlamp is a bright choice with multiple lighting options.

What you’ll love: The Everbeam headlamp features a rechargeable battery that you can swap for AAA batteries if necessary. The headlamp also has motion-detection and multiple light settings.

What you should consider: The rechargeable battery on this headlamp has to be checked every five to six months.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Princeton Tec Byte Tactical Headlamp

Princeton Tec Byte Tactical Headlamp

What you need to know: This headlamp from Princeton Tec provides two different light settings, with white light for a bright view and a red light for night vision.

What you’ll love: This headlamp is perfect for hunters and cyclists who want to see in the dark. It’s one of the best choices for a basic headlamp.

What you should consider: This headlamp doesn’t provide long-range vision and works best for lighting up your immediate surroundings.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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