I know that I am somewhat of an outlier on this one. But I REALLY like Zebralight headlamps. I am still using my three year old H600Fc III
. Yet despite its age and the fact that Zebralight has a newer model, it is still LIGHT YEARS ahead of all the other stuff that people typically use (ie Black Diamond, Petzl, etc). It uses a rechargeable 18650 battery, which may not be to many people’s liking. But the battery lasts long, is rechargeable, and is probably the most weight efficient way out there to store energy for a light (a single 18650 stores the energy of FOUR AA batteries!). It has many modes, from barely visible moonlight mode right on up through a car headlight bright 800 lumens (probably more than most will EVER need). And unlike those ugly blue lights that everyone seems to use, this one is a nice 4000K warm/neutral white that renders colors REALLY nicely. Best of all, it is on clearance on the Zebralight site.
There is also the newer Zebralight H600Fc IV, which takes things a step forward with something like a maximum brightness of 1500 lumens (ie insanely bright) and a more efficient LED. It DOES cost more. But whether or not you need the extra features (or will ever use 1500 lumens on a trail) is up to you.
Zebralight also makes some single AA headlamps. These are cheaper than the 18650 lamps, but not as bright (which shouldn’t be a problem for most, as they are still brighter than other options here). They also don’t operate optimally with alkaline batteries (NiMH is needed for the brighter modes). But you might not want to risk destroying a pricier headlamp with an alkaline battery leak.
In any case, if you want a headlamp that is well-built and exceeds the norm by light years, Zebralight is THE way to go!