OR - Petzl Tikka Plus - AB
I've been meaning to get this uploaded for a while now. I hope there aren't
too many errors.
REPOST: Forgot a few edits and the HTML below.
The HTML can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/yq9fbz
Owner Review - Petzl Tikka Plus
January 23, 2007
Tester Biographical Information
Name: Andrew Buskov
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 218 lbs (99 kg)
City, State Zip Madisonville, Kentucky USA
I started backpacking when I was 8 and quickly became hooked on the
outdoors. During my sophomore year I took a trip to Mt. Katahdin where I
realized that I enjoyed the colder weather and solitude of deep backcountry
hiking more than anything else. I have hiked a lot of different environments
ranging from the lush green mountains of the Appalachians to the dry, barren
desert of Arizona. I have found that my ideal hiking season starts late
August or early September and runs through early June. Im usually a
moderate weight hiker and dont mind carrying the weight for my own comfort.
As an Emergency Medical Technician Ive been trained to be prepared. Because
of this my pack weight tends to be between 30 to 40 lbs (13 and 18 kg) for
solo trips, and up to 60 lbs (27 kg) when leading. Additional information
about the author can be fount at http://www.corridor9.net.
Item: Petzl Tikka Plus
Year of Manufacture: 2006
Actual Weight: 2.75 oz (78 g)
Listed Weight: 2.7 oz (77 g)
The Petzl Tikka Plus is a light weight headlamp that provides 3 levels of
lighting in addition to the strobe function. There are 4 LEDs that provide
long lasting, white light. The headband provides a pivot point for the user
to aim the light. In addition, it is water resistant for all weather use.
(Information from the Website)
Adjustable proximity lighting with long burn time.
* 4 LEDs produces a long-lasting and even, white light.
* 3 lighting levels (maximum, optimum, economic) and strobe mode, to
adapt the light to the activity and at and light duration needs.
* Produces diffuse, proximity lighting.
* Light beam can be easily aimed where desired.
* Adjustable and comfortable elastic headband.
* Water resistant for all-weather use.
Here are the light duration statistics from the website:
Test 20°C - alkaline batteries
100 h t0 = 32 m
t30mn = 25 m
t10h = 15 m
t30h = 5 m
120 h t0 = 23 m
t30mn = 20 m
t10h = 13 m
t30h = 6 m
150 h t0 = 15 m
t30mn = 14 m
t10h = 11 m
t30h = 9 m
Description and Performance:
I initially bought this product to replace a cheaper headlamp which had a
slider style switch that kept turning on while inside my pack. When I went
to the store I was looking for something that was fairly inexpensive, yet
durable enough to take repeatedly being stuffed inside my pack, being bashed
against rocks when carried in my thigh pocket on my pants, could provide
many hours of use on a single set of batteries, yet be light enough that my
head wasn't bobbing back and forth all night when I was wearing it.
I settled on the Petzl Tikka Plus due to its relatively light weight, its
three brightness levels, the fact that it offered 150 hours of light on a
single set of batteries when in low light mode, and the fact that it was
made by Petzl. Having a good quality name to back up your product doesn't
usually mean a lot to me, but when shopping for an item like this, with so
many alternatives out there, the name just helped tip the balance of choice
a bit more easily to the Tikka Plus.
Immediately after opening the package, I was impressed. Inside was a very
well designed headlamp that offered a number of additional features I wasn't
even considering when making my purchasing decisions. One of the things that
struck me as ingenious was the fact that when the battery cover was removed,
there was a small rubber strip holding the front of the headlamp to the
battery plate. This makes it virtually impossible to lose the battery cover
unless the rubber piece breaks completely. In addition, battery replacement
is done relatively easily without the need for coins or other prying items
to remove the battery cover. While it is plenty tough to get the battery
plate off without meaning to, a firm push against the battery retention clip
lets the user remove the battery cover without additional tools.
After inserting the batteries into the cover, I tried out the light and near
blinded myself. The light from the 4 LEDs are quite bright, and can easily
cause discomfort if looked at directly, even at a low light setting. The
battery case does a great job of holding the batteries in place even if the
cover isn't securely placed.
The Tikka is designed to rotate up and down through a number of positions
making it easy for the wearer to position the light at the best angle to see
with. I found it very helpful to position the light more toward my feet to
avoid blinding the people I was talking to while cooking my food or other
operations that required me to use the headlamp. The radiant light from the
Tikka Plus is sufficient to light an area, thus limiting the need to rotate
the headlamp often to illuminate an area directly.
Even on the lowest setting it was very bright and allowed me to see roughly
15 m (50 ft) down the trail. I found that only a few times did I need the
brightest setting as most of the time my eyes were adjusted to the dark
enough that the low light setting worked perfectly. In addition the four
light settings (economic, optimum, maximum, and strobe) the Tikka Plus also
offers a push-and-hold feature that will illuminate the LEDs for only as
long as the user is holding the button. This feature was wonderful for those
nights when I needed a simple flash of light to see the shelter doors or the
zipper of a tent without wanting to totally obliterate my night vision.
I was completely surprised at the cleaning of this headlamp. The
instructions state that: "After use in a humid environment, remove the
batteries and dry out. If sea-water gets into the lamp, remove the
batteries, rinse thoroughly in fresh water and dry." It was surprising to me
that the instructions would say to rinse the headlamp in water. I would
assume that this would allow washing of mud or sand off the headlamp without
problems. In addition, although it isn't specifically stated in the
instructions, I would also assume that this headlamp is somewhat water
resistant. Although I'm sure this isn't a very good situation for the
batteries, during an emergency situation I won't hesitate to use this lamp
Another item that struck me as weird was the fact that the instructions
state NOT to use Lithium batteries. Using such batteries can cause the
headlamp to overheat and possibly damage the LEDs. Someone who doesn't'
fully read the instruction manual wouldn't find this information. While I'm
not sure if using Lithium batteries would void the warranty, I feel this is
something that should be more visible on the packaging since it isn't
something that would normally be thought of as a damaging action.
One of the things that has bothered me with the operation of the Tikka Plus
is the sequence of lighting that is designed into its electronics. I've
found that my usual brightness level is the lowest setting. As it stands now
though, I must click through the maximum and optimal setting to reach this
lowest brightness level. I feel that the operating levels should be reversed
and post an unnecessary drain on the battery, as well as additional strain
on the switch as it is now. The light should start off at the lowest level,
then progress to the highest light level before reaching the strobe
function. Not only would this save battery life, but it would also limit the
decline in night vision adjustment.
I have used this headlamp in a number of conditions ranging from semi-warm,
dry 70 F (21 C) weather, to cold wet 20 F (-7 C) weather. All the while the
light from this headlamp stayed steady and true. At no point in time have I
noticed any sort of dropping in light intensity while wearing this. I'm sure
that it happens over time due to battery drainage, but my point is that it
is nearly imperceptible and at no time did it hinder my operations or views
while hiking the trail at night.
I am very pleased with the quality, durability, and ease of use that the
Petzl Tikka Plus provides. The band was comfortable on my head and didn't
scratch, nor was the weight heavy in my opinion. I would recommend this
light to any who are searching out a light weight headlamp for their
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