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Energizer 3 LED Review

Energizer Trailfinder 3 LED
Price:   $18 List | $16.87 at Amazon
Pros:  Great price, good trail finding, easy to use
Cons:  Short battery life, not the most even beam at close range
Bottom line:  A cheaper option, this light has a shorter battery life than other options.
Editors' Rating:   
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Measured Max Beam Distance:  33 m
Measured High Mode Run-time (ANSI):  10.3 hrs
Manufacturer:   Energizer

Our Verdict

This headlamp from Energizer performed surprisingly well, especially considering you might find it at a supermarket. It isn't to be confused with a high performing light, but it's only $18 and scored reasonably well for beam quality. The Petzl Tikkina however, edges out the Energizer for the Best Buy award with a recently lowered price, and overall better construction quality.

RELATED REVIEW: The Hunt for the Best Headlamps

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Jediah Porter and RJ Spurrier

Last Updated:
May 10, 2015

In a competitive field, this product, which almost seems like an afterthought from a huge battery manufacturer, actually has some attributes to offer potential customers.

Performance Comparison

The budget friendly Energizer 3 LED is a surprisingly decent headlamp for the price.
The budget friendly Energizer 3 LED is a surprisingly decent headlamp for the price.

Trail Finding

The trail finding score for this headlamp is surprisingly high. As you can see in this beam comparison photo, the Energizer shines slightly ahead of its closest competitor, the Best Buy winning Petzl Tikkina. (This is likey not the case with the 2017 Tikkina which was updated to boast 150 lumens)

Beam Distance Photos

Energizer 3 LEDPetzl Tikkina

Close Proximity

The Energizer's close proximity score falls right in the middle of the pack because it casts an even beam; it's just not very wide. If close proximity is very important to you, check out the Black Diamond Gizmo ($20), which scored very high in this metric and has a long battery life.

Close-proximity Beam Pattern

Energizer 3 LEDBlack Diamond Gizmo

For such an inexpensive offering, it's impressive that the Energizer also comes with a red light mode. This saves battery life and doesn't blind your friends around camp.

Battery Life

The battery life score is surprisingly good. It has an ANSI measured high mode run time of 10.3 hours which puts it in the top five of all headlamps tested. Learn more about ANSI in our Headlamp Review. We originally thought the Petzl Tikkina would blow the Energizer out of the water, but the two were essentially neck and neck, as you can see in this battery life versus beam distance graph.

Remember, with battery life and our objective testing, the absolute time the light shines in our test box is just part of the story. Both the Tikkina and Energizer score nearly the longest times in the light coffin test, where we test all lights in their highest mode. These lights have a relatively dim max mode. Other lights burn less time, but do so much brighter. We did not test other lights in their respective lower modes that would better compare to the highest modes in these budget lamps. Our final battery life scores are an attempt to adjust for brightness.

The Energizer 3 LED take 3 (you guessed it) Energizer AAA batteries.
The Energizer 3 LED take 3 (you guessed it) Energizer AAA batteries.


The Energizer's brightness score is pretty low. We measured a max beam distance of 33 m compared to the Spot with 71 m, and the Editors' Choice winner Coast with 131 m.


At 78 grams, this is lamp is toward the lighter end of the spectrum, and lighter than most Tikka headlamps. It is not to be confused with a featherweight like the 28 gram, Top Pick winning Petzl e+LITE.

Ease of Use

This headlamp earned one of the highest ease-of-use scores. For infrequent headlamp users, it's nice to have a light that is intuitive and does't require learning the various features. This is also easy to use with gloves. It could be noted here, or up in battery life, but it must be pointed out that this light is by far the most troublesome when it comes to inadvertently turning on. Almost more often than not, we'd find it turned on in our pack. The switch has no lock mode and is more vulnerable than most to bumping and jostling.

Meagan Buck Porter prepares a camping dessert by the light of the Energizer 3 LED in Indian Creek  Utah.
Meagan Buck Porter prepares a camping dessert by the light of the Energizer 3 LED in Indian Creek, Utah.

Best Applications

This is the ideal lamp to keep around the house, in the glove compartment, or around camp for infrequent use. It is not necessarily the best headlamp for heavy use, backpacking, or running on trails.


This is one of the least expensive headlamps we tested, so is a good budget option.


If you're on a budget, this is a very functional headlamp and is apt to be readily available, perhaps even found on sale.
Jediah Porter and RJ Spurrier

Where to Buy?

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: October 27, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:   
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100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (1)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 33%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Oct 27, 2016 - 04:16pm
FortMental · Climber · Albuquerque, NM
Just look at Outdoor Gear Labs Beam Test Graph for a comparison of this light's longevity vs. high end brands; why would you want a super-bright light that craps out after only a few hours? For a lot of night time bushwhacking back through approaches where your view is already pretty limited, this light can't be beat, especially in winter. The low output red nite-lite is a plus too.

….and if you lose it? It's only 12 bucks!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

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   Jul 1, 2015 - 04:21pm
Value, period. This is what I recommend to all my Scouts (11-17 years old) and their parents. You can easily find these for under $10. And at that price who cares if they get lost on the trail or broken in a backpack? Buy two so you have a backup during your outing. Replacing batteries might be the only difficult thing for kids.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

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