PETZL TIKKA PLUS 2 with PETZL CORE Rechargeable Battery

 

I generally find myself happy with any Petzl product I use and this efficient, highly functional headlamp is no exception.  When shopping for headlamps I found that the TIKKA PLUS 2 has one of the longest battery life-expectancies while being light-weight and still boasting 70 lumens which is plenty for most situations.  I have used this headlamp at night, in the rain, for several hours on many different occasions without a worry about it getting wet or running out of juice.

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All photos courtesy of Petzl

The Tikka Plus 2 has a 40m light beam with a broad pattern.  This may not be as far as some of the other headlamps out there, however I find it to be more than sufficient.   When I am on a trail at night I prefer a broader shorter beam pattern when compared to a ultra-bright spotlight pattern, it enables me to see the terrain I’m trying to walk on better without having to move my head around to aim the light.  The Tikka Plus 2 has three different settings for its white LED, which include High, Low, and a Strobe function.  It also has a red LED which has two different settings including Low, and Strobe.  All of these different settings allow for a wide variety of uses all with the simplicity of one easy to find in the dark button located in the center-top of the headlamp.  Push briefly to rotate through the different light settings and push and hold to switch between white and red.  The low white setting is what I use most, it is usually sufficient for most applications while night hiking/camping while extending the battery life for a ridiculous amount of time.  When I need a little extra I just switch to the High setting which is quite adequate for everything I have ever needed it for.  I really like the strobe function, I have used the strobe to signal people several miles away and I know it works because I have gotten a response every time I have tried.  If you ever find yourself in that unfortunate situation of needing to signal to a rescue of any type from airplane to helicopter, this is an invaluable tool.  The red LED mode is also great for everything from low light needs such as astronomy to trying to locate something inside the tent during the middle of the night without waking your partner.  The red Strobe is also great for use as a marker on a public road while hiking, biking, running, walking, or anything else you would ever need a red blinky for.

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The headband is easy to adjust and the headlamp rotates up and down to adjust the height of the light.  It takes 3 AAA batteries and has a low battery warning indicated by a small red LED on the front which comes on when the batteries are low.  It takes a lot of use to run out the batteries, no joke.  There are several different accessories available, which is another benefit of a high quality company like Petzl.

 

Now for the CORE Rechargeable Battery:  While there are some ups and downs, this is a really cool concept with some neat features.  Petzl claims at least 300 charges before any diminished performance, and that saves a lot of batteries.  The battery plugs into any USB and charges in a few hours.  What is really neat, in my opinion, is that it can be charged with a solar panel in the field, which is handy for extended trips without having to come back to civilization to resupply or carry extra batteries.  You also have the option to select how the battery discharges.  Most batteries gradually lose their luster the longer they are used.  With the CORE battery you have the option to regulate the discharge so that you get consistent light throughout the life of the battery until it is dead, or if you prefer you can keep the traditional curve which lasts a bit longer and gradually tapers off over time.  Petzl offers a free downloadable program which is easy to use that you can customize your battery for your individual headlamp and needs, pretty cool.   One drawback, while the battery duration varies depending on how you choose to set it up, generally the battery life is less than a traditional alkaline battery, about half as long.  For those of you who count grams, the CORE battery is about 6 grams lighter than traditional batteries. And the Tikka will take 3 AAA batteries if you’d rather go that route.

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CORE and USB cord

Pros

  • Durable
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • 70 lumens of light output
  • Long battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Multi-functional
  • Weather resistant
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons

  • No ability to change light beam pattern
  • Installing/removing the rechargeable battery is a little cumbersome
  • Rechargeable battery life is shorter than traditional alkaline

At about $40 the bang you get for your buck is hard to beat.  You will get a compact, lightweight, durable, reliable headlamp which can fit anywhere and serve a wide array of functions.   As one of the ten essentials, this is the one that I personally put in my pack no matter where I go.  There are some other headlamps which excel in different areas, but this one has found a healthy balance of being pretty good at everything.

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Technical Info

Weight- 2.9oz

Light Type- LED

Light Power- 70 lumens on High

Battery- 3 AAA or CORE Rechargeable Li-Ion battery

Battery life- up to 185 hours on low

Light Beam Distance- 40m

Light modes- 5 (3- white, 2- red)

Dimensions- 2.4 x 2.3 x 1.7 inches

Headlamp Price- $39.95,

Rechargeable Battery Price- $39.95

Website: Petzl

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