Last year we posted a review of the innovative Petzl NAO headlamp, and loved the Reactive technology, but noted it was a bit heavy, and expensive (retail $175.00). So, after they added two more headlamps to their Performance Series with Reactive technology we knew we had to take a look. We ended up testing out the Petzl Tikka RXP (retail $89.95).
This headlamp utilizes the Reactive technology, which automatically senses and changes the output of light as necessary (up to 215 lumens). It has a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that can be connected to any USB port, and in addition to the Reactive lighting setting also has three lighting levels: max power, standard and max autonomy. There is also a red lighting mode, which preserves night vision.
While the bulky NAO headlamp seems ideal for rescue or caving, this headlamp weighs similarly to a standard compact model (115g) and is perfect for climbing. Like the NAO it has an incredible reach (up to 110 meters). Be sure to keep it at a lower (or red) setting around the campfire or you might just burn your climbing partners eyeballs.
One accessory I will pick up for this headlamp is the AAA battery pack when it is available in March of 2014. We all know climbing in the mountains, or on big walls, everything that can go wrong will, including having your batteries run out. I’ve gotten lucky and never had that happen with my Tikka RXP, but it’s only a matter of time. So I’ll spend the extra money and get this feature when it becomes available.
One other cool feature of this headlamp: it can be locked by holding down the two major buttons so it won’t waste valuable battery life should it come on while in your pack.
Overall a job well done by Petzl to further innovate their Performance series, to bring the weight and price down and still keep all the excellent features.