10 Best Kids Headlamps and Flashlights For Camping

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My kids are absolutely obsessed with flashlights.  They keep them in their backpacks, stash them under their pillows, and are constantly looking for opportunities to go out after dark so that they can use them.

As soon as we take the kids camping, their lights never leave them once the sun starts to go down.  For kids, the joys of exploration are amplified even more once the world becomes dark and a bit more unfamiliar.  As a parent, I know that my kids love to explore after dark, so investing in the best flashlights for kids is well worth my money.  

best kids headlamps and flashlights

When choosing kids flashlights and headlamps, you want a flashlight for kids that’s a blend of durable and affordable. Truth be told, you need something that won’t be much of a strain if it gets broken or damaged, since the reality is, that’s going to happen at some point.  Though, 2 of my kids have had the same headlamps for over 5 years!

At the same time, choosing the best kids flashlights or kids headlamp that can handle an impact when it falls is important. We’re going to be showcasing the best flashlights and best headlamps for kids that are high quality, but won’t break the bank.  

Best Flashlights and headlamps for kids

Do Kids Need a Kids Specific Headlamp or Flashlight?

No, kids don’t need a kids specific headlamp or flashlight. Just ensure that the headlamp or flashlight for kids isn’t too heavy for them to carry and is bright enough.  However, there are flashlights and headlamps that are specifically designed for kids, that can make using a kids flashlight just a little easier or more fun for little fingers.

Are Headlamps or Flashlights Better For Kids?

little girl with headlamp

For younger kids, we tend to give them flashlights, since they have an easier time of controlling where to shine them.  We typically opt for bright colored and chunkier flashlights for toddlers since they’re pretty prone to losing them, and those kinds are easier to find.  

All of our kids prefer headlamps once they get to about age 4-5.  Headlamps give kids the ability to explore and play hands free, and let’s face it – they look really cool.

On a practical side, kids headlamps are great when camping because it gives them a great hands free way to eat a late night snack, doesn’t slow then down while playing night games AND, is great for visiting the pit toilet at night (ack, a kids headlamp is a necessity in there).  

best kids headlamps

Should I Get my Kids a Battery Powered or Rechargeable Flashlight?

If you are buying a kids flashlight for camping, then you need one to last you the whole period. Our kids are notorious for forgetting to turn their flashlights off and then tucking it away, so we could spend a small fortune on flashlight batteries for kids.  Generally, we try and opt for rechargeable kids flashlights, but if you can’t find one that suits your needs, grab a set of these affordable rechargeable batteries.  

If you do find a rechargeable kids flashlight that you love, just make sure that the power can last for the whole length of your camping trip, so you don’t end up with a dead flashlight on day 2 of a 5 day family camping trip.

kids with headlamp in tent

How Bright Does a Headlamp or Flashlight Need to be For Camping?

Whenever you go camping, you will need to consider the beam distance and brightness of a flashlight or headlamp. A brightness of about 30 lumens is good starting place for a headlamp or flashlight, though you really can go significantly brighter (our kid’s headlamps are closer to 200 lumens) . A beam distance of at least 10 meters is a good place to start.  

Whatever you do, don’t get young kids a super bright flashlight or kids headlamp, since that will come back to haunt you when they shine it in your eyes!

bright kids headlamp

Best Headlamp for Toddlers Review

Headlamps for toddlers are extra durable and have bigger buttons that are easier for their chunky little fingers.

Petzl – TIKKID Headlamp For Young Kids

Planning for hiking or camping with your little one, and wondering which is the best toddler headlamp? You’ll love this one. The TIKKID is the first of Petzl’s headlamps specifically designed for toddlers. Apart from being mom-approved, it is also toddler-friendly headlamp that’s easy to use. It protects your little one’s eyes as it features a brightness of 20 lumens while in high mode, making it a perfect headlamp for little kids.

What I love most about this headlamp for young kids is the headbands security features. To protect your kid’s head, the headband will release whenever yanked. It also features a phosphorescent reflector, so you can always spot your toddler. This TIKKID is a hybrid headlamp that features three batteries that can be used with the core rechargeable battery.

Best Kid Specific Headlamp Review

We love kid specific headlamps, since they’re easy to operate and give kids a hands free way to explore after dark. Here are some of the best kids headlamps you can buy!

best kids headlamps

Black Diamond Wiz Kids’ Headlamp For Camping

This headlamp is virtually kid-proof. It features a breakaway strap and a child-safe closure. My kids adore this headlamp and always have it on when we go camping with kids. I bet you’ll love it too as it offers a light output of up to 30 lumens with a maximum beam distance of 20 meters.

The Black Diamond Wiz Headlamp’s battery is an in-the-front design and uses 2AAA batteries. It’s perfect for kids due to its IPX4 water-resistant system. I’ve watched my kids literally testing its waterproofness and can confidently vouch for it. This system means it’s protected against splashing or sprayed water from any angle, and it works great in a light rainstorm.

Its lamp tilts in both directions allowing it to work when put on upside down. For prevention of accidental battery drain, it powers off automatically after 2 hours (PARENTS REJOICE!!).

Energizer LED Headlamp For Kids Camping

If you love LED headlamps for kids, then you have to try this Energizer LED headlamp, which is fully designed for kids. It comes with a pair of Energizer CR2032 batteries to ensure your kids have enough power and light right out of the box. 

My kids love the interchangeable color face-plates featured on this headlamp that allow them to customize the light to the color that they like. If you’re looking for a toy headlamp for kids, this is the one that I’d choose. It’s not crazy bright, so it’s perfect for play and would make an excellent kids toy headlamp.

Its bright LED light gives a perfect vision, and they are great headlamps for outdoor and indoor play. Cleaning the band is just easy and comfortable. Your kid will not have to worry about making this LED headlamp dirty as you can clean it easily by hand or just throw it in the wash. This is one of the best kid specific headlamps for play and camping alike.

Best Headlamp Reviews

The camping headlamps below aren’t kid specific headlamps, but they work great for kids nonetheless.  Our kids use adult headlamps regularly (often because they’ve “borrowed” mine), and most of them can adjust all the way down to toddler size.  These headlamps are all a bit brighter, so keep that in mind when giving them to really young kids, or opt for one with different beam settings.

Black Diamond Astro 175 Headlamp

This is the absolute best headlamp for kids, and has been our family go to for a few years.  I love that it comes in several different colors so every kid can have their own designated color, which helps us keep things organized and sorted out.  

This headlamp for camping with kids offers a bright beam that helps your child find their way in low light. Its settings include strobe, dimming, and full-strength. The best feature of this headlamp is that you can turn on and off the light at your preferred brightness without having to go back to full light because of its brightness memory.

The Black Diamond Astro 175 camping headlamp has light waterproofing so it’s great for most camping activities and we’ve often found our kids out playing in the rain with it on, without any problems. Boasting a 175-lumen beam, this headlamp is a great alternative for your kids as it is sleek, simple, and affordable.  We’ve owned at least 8 of these headlamps and they’re our favorite headlamp for kids.  

Petzl Tikka Headlamp for Camping

If your kid is heading out with you for a predawn hike, be sure to carry a Petzl Tikka headlamp. This is because it features 3vwhite lighting levels: a single-button adjustment that allows for quick and easy brightness and color selection, proximity level, distance, and movement level.

Its red lighting option preserves night vision, and its phosphorescent reflector will help you and your kid find your headlamp in low light.

If your kid loves to ride bikes early in the morning, he for sure will love this headlamp as it has compatible Petzl mounting accessories that can be attached to most helmets.

Hoxida LED Rechargable Headlamp for Camping

This headlamp is super bright and 5 mode, giving you a 100,000 hours lifespan with a super bright 500 lumen light. It also features a built-in rechargeable 1200 mAh lithium battery. 

Being rechargeable provides you up to 7 hours of uninterrupted lighting in high mode and 15 hours in low mode, meaning that this will last several days while camping (hopefully)

What I love most about this headlamp for camping is that it is comfortable and lightweight, meaning my kids won’t get tired of carrying it around. It also doesn’t slip or bounce with impact. 

Best Flashlight for Toddlers Review

Melissa & Doug Pretty Petals Flashlight for Toddlers

This is the best toddler flashlight with it’s lightweight design, and easy to hold chunky shape.  It’s not specifically designed for camping, but is a fun accessory for toddlers to take camping and is the perfet toy flashlight for kids.

It’s seriously one of the cutest flashlights for toddlers. This toddler toy flashlight offers you the perfect grip, with an on and off switch at the top of the grip. Its beam is perfect for both indoor and outdoor use. It is also really durable so it will work well for camping with kids of all ages. If you want a toddler flashlight that’s perfect for camping and is also a good toy flashlight for kids at home, this is an excellent choice.

Best Kids Flashlights Review

Below you’ll find a list of the best flashlights for kids, which are all perfect for your next family camping trip.  None of these are kid specific, so they whole family can use all of them, but they all have a compact design and are lightweight flashlights, so they’re perfect for handing over to your kids.  

Nite Ize Radiant 3-in-1 LED Mini Flashlight for Kids Camping

When choosing flashlights for kids, you mostly check for compactness, durability, and brightness. The Nite Ize Radiant flashlight is perfect for camping as it has a durable machined aluminum body and a compact size. It fits easily into your kid’s pocket and can illuminate the night as a flashlight, safety light, or lantern.

This kid’s flashlight runs on 1 AA battery, and its light stands vertically on the head or tail end. You can convert this camping flashlight into lantern mode by a simple sliding motion.

It boasts 80 lumens and a run time between 2-15 hours, depending on the level of brightness.

LED Waterproof Rechargeable Flashlight For Camping

This waterproof flashlight is versatile and durable, making it perfect for kids. We love that it can fully charge in 3 hours and that it’s waterproof since you never know what kids will throw at it. The compact size makes it easy for kids to hold and the 2000lumen light means that they’ll be able to see anything they want!

It features a wide to narrow zoom that makes it perfect for outdoor use. You have multiple LED settings at your disposal for convenience, High brightness, medium, low, and strobe light functions.

LUXPRO LED Flashlight For Camping

Any adventurous child will surely appreciate this one. I got my son The LUXPRO Glow in the Dark flashlight three years ago as a birthday present, and he’s still not over it.

It’s still intact, just as I bought it, and you can be assured of durability when you buy it. This flashlight for kids is made for adventure and comes with 3 AAA batteries so your kids can start playing and exploring right away. They are perfect for emergency lighting, DIY projects, and night games. With 40 lumens and a run time of 20 hours, your child will definitely love this flashlight for kids.

At the end of the day, the best flashlight for camping all comes down to having some spare batteries, and not losing them. We give all of our kids a designated spot to keep their flashlights so they don’t get lost (a mesh pocket near the door of the tent), but we always have a spare flashlight or headlamp just in case someone misplaces theirs (which always seems to happen).

What is the best kids headlamp?

If you want a headlamp that will grow with your kids beyond their early years, get the Black Diamond Astro headlamp. It’s got excellent features, and although it’s designed for adults, the headband can easily adjust for kids, and they’ll love all the bright colors it comes in.

Are headlamps or flashlights better for camping?

While both will do the job, headlamps are better for camping. When you’re camping, you’re doing a lot of activities that you need both hands for and a headlamp allows you to do that hands free. Also, a headlamp is an absolute necessity if visiting a pit toilet at night.

Are headlamps or flashlights more affordable?

Generally, flashlights are more affordable than headlamps and can even be found at your local dollar store.

Are flashlights or headlamps better for reading kids?

Headlamps are so much easier for kids who like to read in bed. In fact, when we’re camping we always encourage our older kids to bring a book and headlamp into bed with them so they can stay up later while their younger siblings go to sleep.

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

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