The Best Lights of 2018

(Inga Hendrickson)
Photo: Inga Hendrickson gear

Headlamps and torches to light the way.

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(Courtesy Monoprice)

Monoprice Pure Outdoor Select Series Headlamp ($10)

The Select Series is a killer value that deserves a double take. The 215-lumen lamp weighs just 2.2 ounces, and its rechargeable battery is good for 2.5 hours. It has everything a headlamp needs—red and white settings, water resistance, three brightness levels—and nothing it doesn’t.

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(Courtesy VSSL)

VSSL Mini Cache Suunto Edition Flashlight ($120)

We already loved VSSL’s cache lights—LED flashlights with a hollow space for storing snacks, tools, and even whiskey. Now VSSL trims down its survival edition and adds a superaccurate Suunto compass to create the ultimate emergency kit housed in a six-inch, military-grade aluminum cylinder.

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(Courtesy 5.11 Tactical)

5.11 Tactical XBT D3 Flashlight ($130)

The indestructible XBT D3 uses a trio of LEDs for efficiency, redundancy, and a monstrous 1,231 lumens. It’ll run for two hours at full shine or up to 72 hours at 100 lumens. With a hard polycarbonate lens and bomber aluminum body, it’s the kind of tool you can count on.

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(Courtesy Ledlenser)

Ledlenser MH10 Headlamp ($80)

The MH10 is one of the best-designed headlamps we’ve seen. The potent 600-lumen light sits behind a rotating bezel that focuses the beam, and the rechargeable battery runs for ten hours on high or a whopping 250 hours on low. And while some headlamps with separate battery compartments can be unwieldy, Ledlenser’s is lightweight and smartly integrated into the strap.

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(Courtesy Black Diamond)

Black Diamond Stride Headlamp ($30)

The 25-lumen Stride is a low-powered lamp with versatility in mind. Combine it with Black Diamond’s Iota headlamp ($40) and it becomes a rear-facing safety strobe, or attach it to your dog’s collar as a beacon. Superlight hikers who need only 40 feet of range will love its feathery 1.2-ounce weight.

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(Courtesy Nite Ize)

Nite Ize Radiant 200 Collapsible Lantern and Flashlight ($30)

A simple tug transforms the Radiant 200 from a snub-nosed flashlight into a tabletop lantern. For a 360-degree dome of illumination, switch on both beams and hang it up using the integrated clip. With so many uses, it’s no wonder this 9.8-ounce wonder finds its way into our pack every time.

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