Gear Review: Petzl Tikka Headlamps
Our Petzl headlamp is one of the few pieces of gear that we would never consider traveling without. With a whole lineup of Tikka lamps to fit your needs, you’re going to want to collect a few.
If you have never owned a headlamp you might think that they are dorky and something you would never consider owning or wasting money on. If you have ever been spelunking, you are already prejudice to the process and have probably already collected headlamps like a kid would collect Star Wars action figures. The fact of the matter is, if you need a good headlamp, it can be as valuable as gold in the right situation.
Comparing a headlamp to a flashlight is like calling a Leatherman tool a pocket knife. A headlamp can be used in a variety of light rendering ways. When worn on your head, light is shed on a situation with both hands free, unlike a flashlight that is cumbersome to control, while engaging both hands. If needed, a headlamp can easily be carried like a flashlight. It can be strapped to a Nalgene bottle and used as a lantern. The strobe function of a headlamp can also be used to make yourself noticeable to people driving at night or as an added directional light for night biking. Imagine how nice it would be to have a headlamp the next time you’re stranded at night changing a flat tire.
Out of all of the headlamps, the Petzl Tikka XP 2 is the best of all the smaller headlamps we tested. The Tikka line in general was our favorite over all for general use and price point. Petzl does make nicer headlamps, but for the general outdoorsmen the Tikka is a good starting point for the collection. It performed great in every area we used it in, and especially shined in the close proximity tests, casting ample light over close up working conditions.
Pros (options vary between modules):
- We have used the Tikka while night climbing and have enjoyed the selections of optional mounting brackets for helmets.
- The lamps have proven to be amazingly durable. We have been testing 4 lamps now for over 3 years each, and they are all still performing like new.
- Some of the Tikka lamps come with a red LED mode that is great for that midnight run to the latrine or digging through your pack while others are sleeping.
- Most of the Tikka line have three brightness settings and an emergency blinking mode.
- Plenty of light for night biking when paired with regular mounted biking lights.
- Amazing battery life when using AAA batteries. In excess of 20 hours of light.
- Optional core rechargeable battery system is a great green addition that works great.
- It transforms anyone into a human lighthouse.
- Some of the Tikka line can set you back up to $55 and this is among the most expensive small headlamps out there. (you get what you pay for)
- One of the models tested had a switch instead of a button and it flickers sometimes.
When considering what model to get, the more lumens the better!