PETZL TACTIKKA PLUS HEADLAMP
BY MICHAEL MOSACK
September 26, 2009
mosack at earthlink dot net
San Diego, California USA
6' 1" (1.85 m)
236 lb (107.00 kg)
I've been backpacking for over 30 years, doing solo and group trips, with and without kids. I do day trips, weekenders and week long trips throughout the year. I backpack in all climates and seasons, from summer desert trips to Spring/Winter camping in Michigan and Canada to tropical backpacking in the Philippines and rely on my backpacking equipment constantly. I tent, car and RV camp. I prefer to go as light as possible and am always trying new items. Quality and reliability of items I carry are paramount to me over price.
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: www.petzl.com
Listed Weight: 42 g (1.48 oz) or 78 g (2.75 oz) with the three batteries installed.
Measured Weight: 42.52 g (1.5 oz) or 79 g (2.77 oz) with the three batteries installed.
Other details: Three AAA size 1.2 - 1.5 v batteries are included in the package.
There are two color options available which are black (which I own) or camouflage.
Product comes with a 3-year manufacturer's guarantee.
|Image copied from website|
|Image from website with red filter up|
|Image from website is camo version|
The Petzl Tactikka Plus Headlamp (henceforth referred to as the headlamp) is a lightweight, compact headlamp with 4 LEDs, 3 lighting intensity levels, flash mode and an attached red filter that can be flipped up into use when needed.
The package contains the headlamp, instructions and 3 AAA sized batteries. The headlamp is mounted with a pivoting adjustment so that it can be tilted to direct the beam of light where needed. The on/off button switch is located on the top of the headlamp case. This switch is water resistant which provides for greater reliability.
The headlamp has an attached matching elastic headband. The headband has a friction buckle to allow for adjustment and proper fit. The headlamp I purchased is black, but a camouflage version is also available.
This headlamp has been my primary field light and I have kept this with me day and night for the past nine months as I work in Afghanistan, traveling with military combat units and find myself using this constantly. Field conditions include hot dry summer temperatures over 140 F (+60 C) and nightly high temperatures over 121 F (49 C) to winter temperatures below 20 F (-7 C). I have used this from sea level to over 7,000 feet (2100 m) above sea level.
I use this light to move around in darkened areas, to read by, to signal others and to light areas so I can search for the last ridiculous item I set down and now can't find in the dark when I absolutely need it. I have switched between white and red light by flipping the red filter many times throughout the testing period. I use the red filter when in areas where my need to protect my night vision or my personal safety is important, when I am in close proximity to others, when having a white light is overbearing and I want to be courteous to those I am hiking with or even while traveling by air when I wanted more control of the available light on the airplane.
I switch between the different intensity levels and pick the best one for the conditions I am in at the time. I have started hikes at night and begun with the light at its highest setting and then adjusted it to the lowest as my night vision improved or have returned the headlamp to a higher setting to see a difficult pass or to view an area further out. I noticed that with the lowest setting, the light beam reaches out approximately 8-10 feet (2.5 - 3 m) in front of me, depending on the angle adjustment and at the highest setting, the beam reaches out approximately 18-20 feet (5.5 - 6 m), but these measurements are dependent on the darkness level and my sensitivity to night vision prior to turning on the lamp. The beam appears to reach farther and is brighter when my night vision is more sensitive.
I have worn the headlamp pointing backwards and set it to flash mode to warn oncoming traffic of my presence while cycling or walking near roads. I have worn this headlamp on my head as it is designed, let it hang around my neck, held it in my hand or attached to my gear, depending upon the given situation. This headlamp has worked reliably throughout.
|What's in the package|
I have used this headlamp in the following locations...
Afghanistan, to include Mazar-e Sharif, Herat, Kandahar, Kabul, Helmand Province and many remote areas in between; California, to include San Diego, Ocotillo Wells Vehicle Recreation Area, Anza-Borrego State Park and Laguna Mountains; Grand Canyon area of Havasupai Campgrounds and trail; Traveling from Michigan to California, Bangkok, Thailand and Maldives Islands of Male and Helengeli.
I love this headlamp. Its many features show that a lot of thought went into the design of this headlamp and my experience with it has been very rewarding as a result. I like that the body of the headlamp and the battery cover is attached with a strap that is inside the compartment with the batteries. This strap does two things. First is that it keeps the two halves together so I do not lose one when I open the lamp case and am changing batteries and second is that it pushes out the first battery when I open up the case, which makes it easier to remove the rest of the batteries.
The ability to work at night and have the light illuminate the right areas without having someone holding it or me clumsily trying to constantly adjust where it is pointing and remain hands free, is such a convenience.
I use the light whenever I need to and when I do not need the brightest setting, I reduce it to the lowest power and having done so, in the course of the 9 months that I have owned this headlamp, I have not had to change the batteries once.
THINGS I LIKE
The small size, sturdy construction, brightness of light at its highest setting and the choice of 3 different light intensities plus a flash mode.
The option to flip a red filter, without needing to attach one. Having the filter attached to the light means I do not have to look for it.
The angle adjustment and that it operates on three AAA batteries that fit inside the case and it keeps the overall size compact and lightweight.
The LED power consumption as it seems as if the light never needs the batteries replaced!
The included batteries are a name brand and not a cheap substitute.
The headband is constructed of a material that is easily adjustable, comfortable and does not make me itch, even when worn for long periods.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
It is somewhat difficult to see the markings inside the battery compartment to see which direction the batteries need to be installed so that the positive end is touching the positive terminal.
For the price of this higher quality item, I would prefer to see the light offered for purchase with the (currently) optional storage case as an included item. I purchased my case separately and keep my headlamp in it when I am not using it, but I wouldn't know where else to put the headlamp if I didn't have the optional case.
Mike Mosack www.michaelmosack.com
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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