A good headlamp can make all the difference during an elk hunting trip.
We know how difficult it can be spending days or even weeks setting up camps and hiking miles every day to find the right elk to hunt. A headlamp can be a complete game-changer, as you’ll be able to navigate and set up camp much easier when the sunlight begins to dim.
In this article, we will break down the best headlamps for elk hunting on the market today. If you are in a hurry, you can check out our table right below.
Top 6 Headlamps for Hunting Comparison Chart
Elk Hunting Headlamp Buyers Guide
Before we jump right into the reviews of our top picks, let’s take some time to look through the key points that need to be considered before you buy a headlamp.
The headlamps on the market today range massively not only in price but also features and materials.
In order to find the right pair for you, you need to consider lots of different factors. It’s also important to know that everybody has a personal preference when it comes to hunting gear, so if our top pick isn’t right for you then it’s worth looking at some of the other picks if they appeal to you more.
Below we’ve listed the main things to think about when it comes to headlamps specifically for elk hunting.
You may be hiking through snow and rain to get to your camping position, so your headlamp needs to be able to withstand various weather conditions. It’s also important for the headlamp to be strong and sturdy, the last thing anybody needs while hunting elk is to be worried about breaking your headlamp.
Most headlamps tend to be pretty durable and are pretty good in terms of being thrown around a bit while you’re out in nature.
Another crucial factor is the weight of the headlamp. As we’ve mentioned an elk hunting trip can take more than a week in total so the less weight you have to carry around with you the better.
This is especially important considering all the other items you’ll be carrying such as tents, food and other key supplies. Thankfully most headlamps that we’ve researched weigh well under a pound so shouldn’t cause you any problems.
There are a few different options when it comes to choosing the type of light you want on your headlamp. The main options are white, green and red light.
- White Light – White light is typically going to be your central LED and provides the bulk of your vision in the dark. It’s great for improving visibility at a distance but is very bright for other people to look at.
- Green Light – Green light is easier on the eye than white light and has great contrast in the dark, meaning you will be able to see most dim things in the dark.
- Red Light – Red has the least effect on straining your eyes or anybody else’s and is known to be the least noticeable for the animals you’re hunting – in this case, elk.
There are three main technical specifications that should be considered when you’re looking for a headlamp for elk hunting. These are the beam distance, the lumen rating and the battery life.
- Beam Distance. The beam distance is a combination of the brightness of the light as well as the ability of the lens to focus the beam. You should consider a higher beam distance if you want better light.
- Lumens. This is the number that measures the light energy being emitted by the headlamp in any direction. While the lumens are important, the quality of the beam and the width are even more important for performance. Lumens should be considered in conjunction with the beam distance.
- Battery Run-Time. For hunters and hikers especially, this battery run-time can mean the difference between getting stuck in the dark and missing the catch of a lifetime and getting your prize with ease.
When looking for the best headlamp, you should first consider the beam distance and then reflect on the lumens and battery-run time in relation to that.
Reviews of the Top 6 Elk Hunting Headlamps
Best Value – VEKKIA Ultra Bright CREE LED Headlamp
The first headlamp in our roundup is the VEKKIA Ultra Bright Headlamp which is the best all-round option we could find.
Not only is this headlamp on the lower end of the price range for these types of headlamps but it has loads of features packed into it.
It has built-in water resistance which is great for elk hunting, as well as 160 lumens at the brightest setting to give you good vision in the dark. We particularly like the red lights that are built into it, as these are much better for not spooking elk when you’re nearby.
Alongside these technical features is the fact that the whole thing weighs just 2.6 ounces including 3 triple A batteries, which is incredible. This is definitely a great option if you aren’t too fussy about what headlamp you buy and just want a pair that works without any stress.
Best for Brightness – IKAAMA Headlamp 6000
Next on our list is an option for those of you looking for an extremely bright elk hunting headlamp. Now, we get it, why would you want a pair that is super bright?
Well, the thing is, you aren’t always going to be wearing your headlamp whilst hunting, there are plenty of other tasks that require a headlamp as well such as making camp or simply navigating in the dark.
So, it does actually make sense that you might be interested in having a pair with a very high brightness setting – and this IKAAMA headlamp is sure to impress. Its got a whopping 6000-lumen rating which is very, very high. It’s also fully waterproof and has 4 different modes so that you aren’t blinding anybody nearby.
The only issue you might have is that even on the lowest setting you want to be careful with looking directly at your friends.
Best for Budget – Foxelli Headlamp Flashlight
If you’re on a tight budget, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this Foxelli Headlamp.
Weighing only 3.2 ounces with batteries, this headlamp comes with white and red light settings which your hunting buddies are sure to appreciate. Its also waterproof, which is always handy in the outdoors.
We also liked the fit of this headlamp. Its designed for runners, so its built to last over long distances which is perfect during the hiking part of hunting.
Its definitely not the highest quality headlamp out there, but for the price there really is no complaining.
Best for Green Light – BORUiT RJ-3000 LED
Many hunters tend to prefer either red or green lights both for being less obnoxious to your fellow campmates but also for being less noticeable to animals, and in this case elk.
There’s a lot of conflicting arguments out there, but the one thing that’s for sure is that red or green light does tend to be better for getting nearer to elk. This is why we’ve included a green light option from BORUiT.
Its got 3 lighting modes up to 5000 lumens which gives you plenty of vision during the night, with a micro USB interface for easy charging out on your hunt.
It is a little more on the bulky side, but still barely noticeable on your head.We know this headlamp won’t be for everyone, but it’s a great option if you prefer to use green light on your elk hunting trips.
Best for Comfort – TINMIU Rechargeable Headlamp
Headlamps are notorious for being uncomfortable. We’ve made every effort to ensure the other options in the list aren’t uncomfortable by any means, but if comfort is your top priority then look no further than this TINMIU rechargeable headlamp.
The band fits perfectly around your head and makes for a great fit. It has quite a few other features as well, such as waterproofing, shock resistance and 6 different light modes.
The only reason we didn’t choose this for all round value is that the charging cable that it comes with is very small. This means you need to buy an adapter to easily use it which is quite the inconvenience.
Best for 180 Degree Light – hurkins Orbit
Last but certainly not least is a 180 degree headlamp from Orbit. It has a unique design that gives a huge field of vision with 30 metres of visible distance, there really is nothing quite like it on the market.
Although this headlamp is by far the most expensive on the list, it does have the build quality to match. All the components are top tier and the battery life is great even for such a large light display. It also has a lumen rating up to 1000 which is plenty for the night time.
Its a little bit on the bulky side at 4.6 ounces but this is to be expected with such a large light bar.
Frequently Asked Questions
To further help you to learn about the best headlamps for elk hunting, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions alongside in-depth answers. Please let us know if there are any others that we have missed!
How many lumens do I need for a hunting headlamp?
You’ll want to aim for a minimum of 200 lumens, as anything above this will be more than enough to give you good visibility in the dark.
Most of the options on our list are well above this but remember that they also tend to have lots of different modes that you can use depending on the conditions.
Do headlights spook elk?
It’s very difficult to know if lights do spook elk, as there have been very little studies done in this area.
The only thing that the hunting community can agree on is that red light, as found in many hunting headlamps, tends to be less noticeable than your typical white/yellow light.
You’ll usually be hunting during sunlight hours though, so this isn’t too much of an issue to worry about. If you are worried about this then you are much better using red light over white or even green light.