If you are buying common cylindrical batteries, such as AAA, AA, C or D, you have the choice between disposable or rechargeable batteries. Both have advantages and disadvantages related to the conditions of use. We have analyzed the main aspects to consider, especially for those who run ultra trail races and must combine lightness, performance and reliability. You don’t know how many times it happens to meet athletes on the race track who have remained without light and find themselves in difficulty!

But let’s now analyze the different technical characteristics of the batteries.

Disposable batteries can be of two types: alkaline or lithium. Lithium batteries are a little more expensive but also lighter and able to store more energy than alkaline batteries and perform excellently in extreme temperatures, both hot and cold.

Main positive features of disposable batteries:

  • lower initial cost than rechargeable batteries
  • less power loss when not in use
  • widely available.


  • They require disposal after complete discharge.

Rechargeable batteries, as you can guess from the word itself, are designed to be recharged over and over again, in some cases, for the top of the range, up to 500 times or more. The two main types of rechargeable batteries are nickel-metal hydride, preferable in cold climates, and lithium-ion.

Main positive features of rechargeable batteries:

  • since they are rechargeable, they generate less waste than single-use batteries
  • they have a better long-term life-to-price ratio than single-use batteries (you use them for longer).


  • Initial cost more expensive than single-use batteries

In summary, beyond the various pros and cons, the best strategy is to have different types of lamps and batteries to alternate according to the type of race, the track, the duration of the night sections, the possibility of having an assistance or not at the aid station. 

Do you need more in-depth advice about buying a headlamp or battery? Contact our Coaches: info@trailrunningmovement.com

disposable batteries