Home > Dog Park, Pet Product Reviews, Pet Products > Walking dogs in the dark? Get a headlamp.

Walking dogs in the dark? Get a headlamp.


CoastHL7After the big FALL BACK, I’ve been trying to find ways to keep walking the dogs (in the dark). It’s not easy walking three leashed dogs on a street without any sidewalks, especially when one has to deal with speeding cars. Add walking in the dark to the mix and… well, now you see why we walk at the dog park most nights.

Unfortunately, the great FALL BACK has also made the dog park too dark for walking dogs, unless of course, you have a head lamp.

I’ve tried head lamps before, but none of them seemed to offer much in the way of illumination. I am not keen on tripping over tree roots or twisting my ankle in a hole, so I often ended up supplementing my headlamp with my iPhone, or relying on my friend Sara’s light, to make up for from my measly one. (She got hers at Kohl’s just like I did, but for some reason, hers was ten times brighter than mine.)

This year I wanted a headlamp that would give me enough light on my own, whether Sara was with or not. So, I went looking online. (What did we ever do without Google?)

Fortunately, a great little website called Outdoor Gear Lab had already done some detailed research and testing on headlamps and had come up with the best and worst. They tested 28 headlamps in both the field and the lab. Each one was rated on such specifics as beam strength, length and endurance, and price and value. The side-by-side images comparing the beams of comparable headlamps was especially helpful in making my decision.

In the end, I decided to get the Coast HL7. It was the best value for the size and weight of the device, and the beam was especially good (196 lumens). An added bonus was that  I was able to find it at a store close by (Walmart).

I thought about going to REI to get the Black Diamond ReVolt (2nd best on Outdoor Gear Lab’s s list), but that would have required a separate side trip and I was impatient to get started walking. I also found the price a little more than I wanted to pay. The HL7 was only $34 at Walmart. I may still go get the Black Diamond ReVolt, but for now I’m going to give the HL7 a try.

HL7 compare

The HL7 has an adjusting lever on the battery pack that allows you to go from complete darkness to bright beam or something in-between.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that when I got to Walmart, the only one they had in stock was the Coast HL7 with 285 lumens. It is even brighter than the one in the review, but the downside is it lasts only 1 1/2 hours at full strength. I have yet to change the batteries, butI am not using it at full-strength most of the time, so we’ll see how long it really lasts. Who knows? Maybe that ReVolt may be in my future after all.

So do you have a favorite headlamp for walking in the dark? If not, what do you use to guide your way?

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  1. Keri
    November 8, 2015 at 9:13 PM

    I used a headlamp ….. Best thing ever! You should also get a reflective safety vest. Best price I found was at an Army Surplus Store…. And of course collar lights for the pups!

    • Mel
      November 11, 2015 at 5:54 AM

      Keri – That is a GREAT idea! Thank you for the suggestion. I would feel safer if I had that on. I’ve been turning my headlamp on when cars start coming my way just so they see me and that has worked, but a vest is a good idea. Thanks for telling me where to get one!

  2. November 9, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    We love to just walk in the dark with no light. It takes a while for our eyes to adjust but we like the peacefulness of it. We have a head lamp, but never use it. It’s amazing how much you can see in the complete darkness.

    • Mel
      November 11, 2015 at 5:56 AM

      I don’t mind it near home (when cars are not an issue), but at the dog park it is a little creepy because there is only the light in the parking lot and the coyotes how close to the fence. It freaks me out.

  3. November 10, 2015 at 2:50 PM

    A headlamp is a definite need for me, between October and March. I’ve found a quite a few products designed for runners to be useful in this business.

    • Mel
      November 11, 2015 at 5:50 AM

      That is funny you say that April, because that is where I first saw them being used. I would be walking my dog clients in the morning and see runners with really bright headlamps on and would wish I had one.

  4. November 10, 2015 at 8:51 PM

    This is a brilliant idea.

    • Mel
      November 11, 2015 at 5:48 AM

      LOL! No pun intended of course. 🙂

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