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  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Best Lights

    User-friendly features make it easier than ever to illuminate your next adventure.

    —Sam Moulton

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Olight H15S Wave

    Grubby fingers? A quick swipe of your hand in front of the light triggers the Wave’s ($50) infrared sensor, allowing you to turn it on and off like a magician. We also liked the flip-down diffuser, which lets you soften the light for reading or in-camp tasks. The rear battery pack makes for nice weight distribution. Our one gripe: the battery-case closure seemed a bit undercooked.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Light and Motion GoBe

    Hardcore adventurers, this one’s for you. With six interchangeable light heads (from an ultrabright 700 lumens to a special blue Nightsea beam) and a bevy of mounts available, the waterproof-to-300-feet GoBe (from $199) is up for everything from after-hours singletrack to serious scuba diving. Hands down the most versatile flashlight we’ve ever tested.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Snowpeak Mola

    Whereas Petzl’s Tikka RXP uses a fancy sensor to adjust the light beam, Snowpeak’s Mola ($60) relies on a mechanical system (gravity and a counterweight). It works great, though it changes only the angle of the light, not the width of the beam. Even so, we found it handy: tilt your head up or down and the light essentially follows your gaze.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Petzl Tikka RXP

    The new Tikka RXP ($95) is smaller, lighter, and almost half the price of the company’s game-changing NAO. A built-in sensor automatically adjusts the light’s intensity and beam width depending on how far away the object you’re looking at is. The technology works astonishingly well. Bonus points for having the easiest-adjusting strap we’ve ever seen on a headlamp.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Bright Medic FireFly

    Weighing less than a Gu packet, the FireFly ($35) throws off an impressive amount of light (40 lumens) for its size. The bungee-like straps initially rubbed some scalps the wrong way, but they’re actually quite comfy. Testers liked that they could cinch the cords down and affix the FireFly to a tree branch or remove them entirely and attach it to a hat brim with the integrated clip.

  • Photo: Inga Hendrickson

    Next Up:The Best Watches of 2014

    Black Diamond Storm

    The only waterproof headlamp here ($50) is also the most versatile, thanks to its array of LEDs (one big, two small white, and two small red). Its trick feature? To dim or brighten the light, simply tap on the right side of the Storm’s touch-sensitive housing. Also smart: a lockout function that keeps it from accidentally turning on in your pack.