Many of my training runs are done very early in the morning. In the colder months of the year this means that I’m usually running in darkness. For many years I’ve relied on the light from a few streetlights on these dark cold runs (with blinkers and reflective gear of course). Last night I decided to change that by purchasing a Petzl Tikka+ headlamp. This is the most basic of the Petzl headlamps, but it fits my needs fully.
I took it out for a test run this morning, and shot a quick 50 second video which I’ll embed below. Overall I am very pleased with this headlamp performance. It is an LED based lamp, with two different lights; a regular white one for use in most conditions, and a red one that can be used when you just need a little bit of discreet light.
Turning the device on is quite simple, you just hold the button (the only button) until the light turns on. If you keep holding the button down it will eventually switch over to the red light. Once the white light is on you can release the button and you’ll find the light starts at it’s lowest setting, around 5 lumens, which gives you roughly 30 feet of light in front of you. This is an ideal setting to preserve battery life, as Petzl states that with this lowest setting, and good batteries, you can get 100 hours of light.
For my run this morning I set the light to this lowest setting and actually found it was mostly sufficient for what I need. I just needed something to help cover the gaps between streetlights and highlight any road issues that I might encounter. If this level of light isn’t sufficient for you then this device has 4 different light modes that span 5-110 lumens (each single click of the button changes to the next mode), and with a double click of the button you get an eye-searing 140 lumens in what they call “Boost” mode. Each of these modes progressively reduces the battery life of the device from the 100 hours at it’s lowest setting to 2 hours at the 110 lumen mode.
The headlamp uses AAA/LR03 batteries, so it’s easy to pick up some rechargeable’s and keep them handy for when you need the light to work. The light is also a constant light that does not dim as your batteries get lower and lower. This is great if you keep up with your battery swapping, but don’t rely on a slowly dimming light to tell you to change your batteries.
The strap for the headlamp is comfortable, although I was wearing it over a hat today, so perhaps that’s not the best time to judge. It also has a hinge so that you can tilt the light downwards to the ground in front of you for running. I found the angle to be perfect for running and didn’t need to adjust it for my height (5’8″) at all. Apart from that, the only other feature is the single button to control all of the headlamp operations (which includes some strobe settings as well).
Based on the run I did this morning I’m very pleased with my purchase. It’s a basic headlamp that does everything I need it to do, and has some options if I need to do just a bit more. It would have been nice to have a USB rechargeable option at this price point, but for $40 I guess I can’t complain.
And now for a horribly produced 50 second video….