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Backpacker Magazine – January 2009

Petzl Ultra Headlamp

The Petzl Ultra uses LED's for brightest, and most costly, headlamp.

by: The Backpacker Editors & Contributors

Petzl Ultra Headlamp (Courtesy Photos)
Petzl Ultra Headlamp (Courtesy Photos)

If you were the first kid on the block to buy a JetBoil, a SPOT, and a folding titanium spork–and your money wasn't invested in AIG–check out the Ultra. This insanely bright and comically expensive searchlight employs the most advanced outdoor LED circuitry currently available, quadrupling the effective distance of standard headlamps. It's easily the brightest lamp we've tested, rivaling the power of some HID mountain-biking lights; even on the lowest of its three settings, you'll flood your tent or kitchen area with brilliant, shadow-free light. Which begs the question: If you're going to drop $430 on a headlamp–a headlamp!–shouldn't it come with mounts for your helmet and handlebars? It's more illumination than most people need for hiking and mountaineering, and it's too expensive not to offer more versatility. It's not light, either, and burn time on the rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack ranges from just two to 15 hours. But if money is no object, go ahead–be brilliant. $430; 12.2 oz.; petzl.com. Reader service #119

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Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

NDD
Aug 22, 2011

Well it may be over priced, it may be more than yer average bod needs BUT if I've just been given one and it rocks.... Makes night nav a walk in the park ;-P

Pascal
Apr 30, 2010

This lamp is original not build for sport its coming out from the Industrial Climbing part from Petzl, and is a workingtool!!!!

Hung Hoang
Apr 18, 2010

Backpacker has nothing else to do ?

Can Not HelpMySelf
Dec 21, 2009

If you are traveling at 65 MPH, one might be a tad better off with Auto style Headlights

Bush.....wacker
Dec 18, 2009

Maybe the new administration is in charge of marketing. Sounds like a great way to spend some stimulus money !

PetzlIdid
Jun 28, 2009

This is a very useful tool for a very small niche of alpine night skiers. You need to have as much light as possible when skiing down a mountain at night. Even with this light I have to make many last minute adjustments and must know the terrain very well. Even the ULTRA does not compare to the sun.

Anonymous
Jun 13, 2009

Out of my price range, but love to have it.
Way over priced.

Jay
May 27, 2009

The Ultra was inspired by cross country ski trips in the dark Nordic countries where a large footprint of light is required for someone travelling at speed. The same applies to cycling in the dark through the woods. It is popular with very serious adventure racing athletes as it gives them an advantage.
If you want to use it for camping/hiking then it is a complete waste.

Jay
May 27, 2009

The Ultra was inspired by cross country ski trips in the dark Nordic countries where a large footprint of light is required for someone travelling at speed. The same applies to cycling in the dark through the woods. It is popular with very serious adventure racing athletes as it gives them an advantage.
If you want to use it for camping/hiking then it is a complete waste.

Grant Wiltse
Mar 13, 2009


All these ridiculous headlamps are a scam at those prices. Go to Costco and buy a pack of 3 watt led flashlights that come with duracell batteries for less than $20.

Gary the new gear tester!
Mar 09, 2009

I have a Mammut TX1 and thats more than enough at 1/5th the price!

Gary
Mar 09, 2009

Unless your traveling at 65 mph theres no need for a light that strong!!!

tangent
Mar 09, 2009

you can get a tactical, super-bright Sure-fire lights for $150 (and I thought that was expensive). So why? now if it boiled your water and set your tent up for you, then maybe...

Anonymous
Mar 08, 2009

WHY?

Larry
Feb 26, 2009

Let me check my 401k first.....

scarzo
Feb 19, 2009

Perfect for hunting wolves.

Red Hot Lava
Feb 17, 2009

Camp Bama... lol

trail ape
Feb 17, 2009

This would be a perfect present for a Trail Ape hiking in the Montana Wilderness!

Schlitzy
Feb 16, 2009

Who is the Marketing Nimrod that came up with this price, in this economy? For 30-50 bucks, you can get an average bright, battery lasting head lamp. Maybe 130 or 150 for a "Super Bright" head lamp I'd consider, but this is completely ridiculous. Not good for more than a few days of overnight camping/backpacking, unless you want to carry 4 x the amount of batteries, which defeats the purpose of trying to shed ounces and pounds when hiking.

It's a cool gadget, but what market are they pushing for? Uneducated money burning camp noobs? Ninja please.

Schlitzy
Feb 16, 2009

Who is the Marketing Nimrod that came up with this price, in this economy? For 30-50 bucks, you can get an average bright, battery lasting head lamp. Maybe 130 or 150 for a "Super Bright" head lamp I'd consider, but this is completely ridiculous. Not good for more than a few days of overnight camping/backpacking, unless you want to carry 4 x the amount of batteries, which defeats the purpose of trying to shed ounces and pounds when hiking.

It's a cool gadget, but what market are they pushing for? Uneducated money burning camp noobs? Ninja please.

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