Gear Review: Madera Emergency Head Lamp

As a red-clad woman once said, “The night is dark and full of terrors.”

I brought Madera’s Emergency Head Lamp with me car camping at Clear Lake State Park.

That’s why whenever I go camping, I always make sure to bring a headlamp (or two). I recently took a quick overnight camping trip at Clear Lake State Park in California. This is a pretty chill location, which means it is perfect for testing gear.

This time I brought with me one Madera’s Emergency Head Lamp. When I look for a headlamp, I look at four different categories: brightness, weight and bulk, durability, and features.

The Basics

Madera’s Emergency Head Lamp is the starting model for Madera’s headlamps. It is touted for being lightweight and packable. It takes two AAA batteries with a runtime of about 12 hours on high, 48 hours on blink.

Madera Outdoor is a company dedicated to planting trees. The purchase of one emergency head lamp plants two trees. Madera’s Emergency Head Lamp normally retails for $29.95, but at the time of writing this review it is on sale for $14.95.

Check out Madera Outdoor HERE


This headlamp is decently bright. According to Madera’s website, the headlamp is 300 lumens. A lumen is a measure of how bright a light is. To give you an idea, a standard 40-watt lightbulb is about 400 lumens. Madera’s headlamp at 300 lumens is just a bit shy of that. According to Fenix’s website, 300 lumens is “enough for most of usage like searching human or animal at 50 meter distance, can comfortably lighting up a small room, can be used as bicycle headlight.”

The Emergency Head Lamp has three settings: high, low, and strobe. Madera does not say what the low setting lumen count is, but I would estimate that it is around 150 lumens.

In short, this headlamp is more than bright enough for most camping and backpacking purposes. I took it on a night hike across the ridge along the lake and it worked wonderfully. It was bright enough to easily make my way along the trail without too much light being reflected back.

Attaching the headlamp to the gallon of water diffused the light enough to be an excellent lantern.

As a side note, this lamp can also make a great makeshift lantern! I forgot to grab my large lantern as I was running out the door. The main problem with headlamps as a lantern is that their light is focused and intense. Thinking quickly, I set a gallon of water on top of the headlamp. This diffused the light, making a lantern that was more than sufficient to heat water and play cards.

Weight and Bulk

The Emergency Head Lamp is decently lightweight and compact. With batteries, it weighs 2 oz. In comparison, my main headlamp, a Black Diamond Spot, weighs 3 oz and has a max lumen rating of 325.

Madera’s Emergency Head Lamp does not have a rotation feature, allowing you to angle the headlamp. As such, it will always stay at the same angle, but that reduces bulk and weight.


Madera’s Emergency Head Lamp has basic durability. It doesn’t have moving parts to rotate the headlamp, so there is less to break. I have not extensively tested the headlamp’s durability, but I would be cautious before throwing it in the main compartment of a backpacking pack.

This headlamp is water resistant but not waterproof. It will be fine to use in a rainstorm, but don’t take it swimming or submerge it.


This is a very basic headlamp without extraneous features. It has one job: make light. And it does that job well. However, it does not have a rotating hinge nor is it able to lock. My Black Diamond headlamp lets me lock it so that it does not accidentally turn on in my pack and run my batteries.

The Conclusion

I was pleasantly surprised by the Emergency Head Lamp. I was expecting a single-setting flimsy headlamp. However, the lamp has decent light and durability. This is not likely to be a main headlamp for me, especially since it has distinct settings instead of a dimmer feature and no red light. However, it replaced my prior back up headlamp (a Black Diamond Ion). The main think I’ll need to remember is to flip the batteries around so that the headlamp doesn’t run down the batteries.

Interested in the Emergency Head Lamp or other Madera products?

Use this code to get 20% Off: PARROTFISH.ADVENTURES


Disclaimer: As a Madera Outdoor Ambassador, I received the Emergency Head Lamp at great discount to test and review.

Interested in the Emergency Head Lamp? Use my code to get 20% off!


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