Best Petzl Headlamp Review 2023
Down and Dirty: Our Petzl Recommendations
These are the headlamps we would buy, given a chance for the situations below. For more information on the decision-making process, see the more detailed descriptions in the chapters to follow. Remember, buying gear is a trade-off, so set your priorities, then find a good headlamp to match.
Best Petzl Headlamp: Petzl TIKKA Review
If there were only one headlamp we would buy, it would be the Petzl TIKKA. We love this headlamp for its versatility, cost, and weight. We don't do a lot of hiking at night, so for us, we mostly use a headlamp around camp.
This is also the headlamp we would recommend for most kids. The only issue is ensuring the headband fits yours under children. Should fit any child aged 5 and older.
We were torn between the Petzl TIKKA and the Petzl ACTIK. Both are great headlamps. They both offer rechargeable batteries and nearly the same weight (ACTIK 86g, TIKKA 83g). The ACTIK has 350 lumens which we thought wasn't overwhelming brighter than the TIKKA's 300 lumens.
At the end of the day, the TIKKA has an MSRP of $30, whereas the ACTIK is $50. The features on the ACTIK don't make up for the nearly 60% increase in cost.
WHEN WOULD WE CHANGE OUR MINDS:
- If multiple colors are needed: Petzl ACTIK offers red lighting.
- If multiple beams are needed: Petzl ACTIK offers a focused beam.
- If camo color is needed: Petzl TACTIKKA offers a camo version, plus Red, Green, Blue lighting.
- If lighter weight is needed: Petzl ZIPKA is the lightest headlamp Petzl offers at 66g.
Best Petzl Running Headlamp: Petzl BINDI Headlamp Review
At TKO, we are weight freaks. The BINDI is a great option for trail running and, at a $45 cost point, is affordable.
The BINDI offers 200 lumens which are also great for camping; unfortunately, the battery will only last 2 hrs at 200 lumens and only last 3 hours at 100 lumens. Great for a run but will need to recharge it often if you are taking it camping.
The headlamp is recharged through a micro USB, so no battery pack—plan on bringing a portable battery pack on longer trips.
WHEN WOULD WE CHANGE OUR MIND:
- If needing longer run time: Petzl ZIPKA, not a running headlamp but small and lightweight. The runtime of 9hrs at 100 lumens.
Best Petzl Headlamp, Hiking: Petzl ACTIK CORE Review
For hiking, we skipped the Petzl ACTIK and went straight to the ACTIK CORE. The main reason for this is the increased lumens (ACTIK 350, ACTIK CORE 450).
For hiking, we felt the increased lumens justified the large price increase from $50 for the ACTIK to $70 for the ACTIK CORE. The other main advantage for the ACTIK CORE is the decreased weight (ACTIK 86g, ACTIK CORE 75g).
Both offer rechargeable or AAA batteries, similar runtimes, offer red light options, and multiple beams to choose from.
WHEN WOULD WE CHANGE OUR MINDS:
Chapter 1: Petzl Headlamp: Camping Overview
Petzl breaks down their headlamps by activity level. This includes headlamps for camping, running, climbing, and specialized use.
Organizing the headlamps helps the buyer understand each headlamp's use case to ensure you get the right light before you buy.
Petzl Headlamp...For Camping
Petzl's camping headlamps are renowned for quality and durability. We use the 'camping' category for headlamps that are general use and fit various use cases. Where you might think that you can use most headlamps in a variety of ways, and you're right, camping headlamps have specific characteristics.
This includes a wider beam, a closer focused beam, and decreased lumens. While this may sound negatives, these are characteristics of a great camping headlamp. If you're working around the campfire, cooking food, or getting ready for bed, you don't want a blindingly bright light. Generally speaking, 50-200 lumens is perfect for camping. You can use these headlamps for other activities but, of course, Petzl has headlamps more specifically designed for hiking, running, or climbing.
The e+Lite headlamp is a very compact headlamp that is meant for emergency use.
Ultra-lightweight and highly compact, the e+LITE emergency Petzl headlamp is the one to always have with you. Thanks to its carry case, it is always ready to use and can be stored with its batteries for ten years in a backpack, a vest, or an emergency kit, or used as a back-up headlamp. Its white or red, continuous 30-lumen lighting or strobe lighting helps you to be seen. The whistle integrated into the elastic headband allows the user to signal an emergency. Weighing only 26 grams, e+LITE is an ideal emergency headlamp.
- WEIGHT: 26g
- LIGHT COLOR: White
- BATTERIES: 2 lithium CR2032 batteries
- RUNTIME: 11.5hrs at 13 lumens