Headlamp Review: Petzl Tikka XP

For just over 3 ounces, you get a smart, powerhouse light with all the functions you'll ever need.

Picture this: You’re night-hiking in a deep, boulder-strewn Utah canyon. There’s no moon. It’s so dark the owls are bumping into the canyon walls. Then you snap on your Tikka XP, a tiny, 1-watt LED headlamp powered by three AAAs. Just like that, you’re a human lighthouse, and your beam illuminates detail on a rock face 100 feet away. The Tikka XP wowed five different editors during months of testing from the Berkshires to the Sierra. We loved the clear, razor-sharp light, the snug headstrap, and the secure tilt adjustment that held firm even during trail runs. Switching to a softer beam for camp use is simple; just slide the wide-angle diffuser across the bulb. The light also has three brightness settings and an emergency blinking mode. A separate boost button increases output from any mode to 150 percent of normal for spotlight searching; it also functions as an instant on/off for pot checks and SOS signaling. Battery changes won’t bust your fingernails, and a flashing battery indicator glows orange at 30 percent remaining and red at 10. With fresh alkalines, the Tikka XP shined bright (no detectable light falloff) for 20 hours on high beam at room temperature.

Price: $50

Weight:3.35 oz. with batteries (included)


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