Our take If brighter is better, Petzl’s new ACTIK CORE is best. It packs 350 lumens into a compact, multi-beam headlamp that cut through the darkness on night runs up Boulder’s Mesa Trail, providing enough power to scope out hazards in the distance. You get steady, strobe, and red light modes. The headlamp can run on either three AAAs or the Petzl CORE, a removable, micro-USB-rechargeable battery that can power the ACTIK for up to 160 hours on low (5 lumens) or 2 hours on full blast. And it does double-duty as a lantern when paired with Petzl’s Noctilight ($20, 3 oz.), a soft case that diffuses the light from any compact headlamp. An elastic cord makes it easy to hang. “It’s like having a streetlamp in your pocket,” says one tester who used it to light up a grove of trees during a break on an after-hours skin up Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin ski area.
Trail cred “If I had to pick one headlamp for a multisport trip, it would be the ACTIK CORE,” says our trail running, night-skiing editor. “It doesn’t take up much room, but it’s powerful enough to let me move fast.”