The RXP from Petzl packs a punch! It has a 70 meter distance range with an output of 215 lumens. Worried about batteries? Well the RXP has a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery which gives up to ten hours of light depending which settings you have it on. This ties in nicely with the sensor technology you get with the RXP, The sensor picks up how light or dark it is around you which makes the main bulb brighter or dimmer adjusting it to suit you. If you don’t want the sensor on you do have the option to switch it off.
The lithium-ion battery can be charged via a USB making it chargeable anywhere in the world. The sensor technology is a brilliant tool to have in a head torch. It has a comfortable headband which can also be adjusted very quickly.
The RXP can be tricky when getting the right settings (especially when you first get it) so read the instructions first. Although you have a lithium-ion battery you only get ten hours of battery life.
The R Plus from Petzl is a compact but powerful head torch. You get a massive 170 lumens from the LED bulb with a burn time of twelve hours, the LED beam also covers a distance of 65 meters. The R Plus uses Petzl reactive light technology meaning when it gets dark the LED bulb gets brighter and when it gets lighter the LED bulb will dim. You have three light settings in reactive light mode; a dim light, bright light and a brighter light. If you are not a fan of the light reactive mode you can switch it off and just have a constant beam, which again offers you the same three light settings. You also have a red LED bulb, this is for your night vision and has two settings; a constant light and a strobe beam.
Pros: The rechargeable lithium-ion battery is a great touch and the fact you can charge it via USB is a big plus, it means you can pretty much charge it anywhere! You can change between the reactive lighting and the constant light meaning you can personalise this head torch to suit you and your changing environment.
Cons: The battery life is only 12 hours which does let it down and you only get an output of 170 lumens. Now we know 170 lumens is a great output but when you look at the RXP it has 210 lumens with a similar output time, you can't help but wonder if Petzl could have done more with the R Plus. The settings can also be tricky (just like the RXP) so read the instructions before you start playing around with this head torch.
The Tikka XP from Petzl is a classic, you get whooping 160 lumens which can give you up to a hundred hours of burn time. It takes three triple A batteries, the XP can also take the Petzl Ni-MH and Lithium-ion batteries which are rechargeable via USB, this is a big plus for the XP. With this head torch you get four different light modes of constant light, a strobe light, as well as having a red LED for night vision which also has a strobe function. The XP has a distance of 70 meters, and the red LED strobe on the XP is still visible at 400 meters which from a safety aspect is amazing!
Pros: The XP is a great all-rounder, the 160 lumens with the 100 hour battery life is brilliant. The different light settings are great and gives you a wide range of beams. It’s small, light weight (only weighing 85 grams), and to top it off it’s comfortable on your head.
Cons: This is a bit of a struggle, we would say the button system can be a bit tricky. In order to change between the white and red bulb you really have to hold down the button and when winter hiking wearing thicker gloves this could prove to be a bit difficult.
The Zipka is a Petzl classic! It is ultra-compact, making it ideal for proximity lighting and some movement. It packs an awesome 80 lumens, has an overall distance of 50 meters, and has a massive 180 hours of burn time. It has two light settings; a low light and a bright light. What is cool about the Zipka is that when you turn the light off you will see a green glow around the bulb, meaning that the head torch is more visible and will be easier to find in the dark (handy when you're wild camping).
Pros: it's small and light weight it only weighs 68g! It uses a single LED bulb which gives it a longer burn time but you still get a bright light from it. It uses a simple one click button system, this means it’s very easy to change between the light settings.
Cons: As you will know the Zipka doesn't use a standard headband to secure it to your head. This could be uncomfortable for some people. Due to this headband system if you are looking for a head torch that you will want to wear under fast movement like fell running, fast pace hiking or trail running then this might not be the right head torch for you.
The Tikkina from Petzl is another classic. It has been updated over the years to a single bulb LED. The LED is 60 lumens. The total distance the beam can travel is 30 meters which for an “entry level” head torch is pretty good. It has a max burn time of 180 hours. The Tikkina comes with two light settings; a low light and a bright light. The single LED assures you a better burn time and a more controlled light with the Tikkina.
Pros: Nice and simple to use. If you are new to hiking or should we say new to head torches then the Tikkina is something to look at. With it's simple one click set up getting the right light couldn’t be any easier. And to top it off a nice comfortable and adjustable head strap.
Cons: If you are looking to do a lot more hiking or night time navigating then this might not be the best “entry level” head torch to go for, you will soon feel restricted with the lack of functions that the Tikkina has to offer.