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Petzl Tikka Plus or Princeton Tec Quad?
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(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Petzl Tikka Plus or Princeton Tec Quad? on 10/23/2006 19:20:42 MDT Print View

Has anyone tested the Petzl Tikka Plus side by side with the Princeton Tec Quad?

- Which is brighter?
- Which lasts longer on low, medium and high light?
- Which has a whiter light? Does one have a bluer light than the other?

Thanks for any and all info, need to replace an LED headlamp for my wife, deciding between one of these two models and the Princeton Tec EOS. Looking especially for ability to really stretch out batteries and provide brighter light when necessary. We've used our headlamps more than we ever imagined and they've been a lifesaver. Have only used the Tikka Plus up to now.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Petzl Tikka Plus or Princeton Tec Quad? on 10/23/2006 19:51:29 MDT Print View

Love the EOS. Have 2 and so does a buddy. Head to head with the Tikka Plus it blows it away. Low is good for the majority of hiking plus biking uphill. Going down fast the high isn't quite enough by itself but that's not something you'll worry about when using it hiking. 3 extra AAA lithiums weigh very little and stretch your battery life to 80 hours (40 hours on low X 2) IIRC.

Jason Ham
(jasonham) - MLife

Locale: Sierra Nevada
EOS on 10/23/2006 20:01:03 MDT Print View

My experience with tikka/spot/tikka plus/tikka xp/eos has led me to the conclusion that the EOS is the best value for the battery.

The regulated output makes it a solid performer throughout its life and the multiple settings are truly useful.

I've used mine on 30 day trips in the Sierra (30 mins - 1 hour of use per night) without ever changing the batteries! I stopped bringing backup batteries at all during summer trips.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
Run-time chart for the EOS on 10/23/2006 21:11:13 MDT Print View

..but the author did not put a scale on the 'y' axis! Ineresting how well the regulator maintains a constant output. However, there is something to be said for a light which provides unregulated light for a much longer time. Overnight trip = regulated EOS; Longer trip = unregulated light?

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Regulated output on 10/23/2006 21:58:08 MDT Print View

Looking at some of the other runtime graphs on CPF's doesn't the EOS kick down to unregulated output after it can no longer maintain it's desired constant current?

Pretty impressive runtimes on lithiums. 5+ regulated hours on high, 15-20hours on medium (depending on source) and who knows how long on low. And low is usually plenty for hiking for me!

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Re: Petzl Tikka Plus or Princeton Tec Quad? on 10/24/2006 01:27:44 MDT Print View

First off, i have a collection of headlamps (ok, it's an addiction for headlamps). So, i own all of the ones you mentioned and those mentioned by others in this Thread.

All of the ones mentioned primarily break down, IMHO, into two broad categories - 5mm LED units and Luxeon units. This breakdown is independent of regulated vs. unregulated output.

I think you must first answer the question of usage. What do you want to use the headlamp for - nighttime navigation or merely as a task/proximity light in camp. Or Both functions?

Clearly, the Luxeon LED units (Eos, TikkaXP, Spot) will outperform the 4x5mm LED (Quad, Tikka, TikkaPlus, Zipkam, ZipkaPlus, TacTikka, TacTikkaPlus) in terms of light produced, but at a cost. The cost is battery life. The 4x5mm units can produce light for a longer period of time from the same 3xAAA battery source since they draw less current when they are operating.

If you decide to go with a 4x5mm unit, make sure that you buy a 2006 or later model year unit. Why? I believe it was only in the 2006 model year units that the new twice-as-bright 5mm LEDs were introduced. These really make a difference. In my side-by-side comparison testing with identical units from previous years (pre-twice-as-bright LEDs), with all units using fresh batteries within 0.05volts of each other in beginning of life no-load voltage, the newer units appeared to be easily twice as bright - the difference was really quite impressive.

Of all of the units mentioned, IME, i would stay away from the Spot. I had a first production run unit and it drained the batteries much, much faster than the Mfr figures stated. It had a better beam pattern than the Eos (the bright center "spot" had a larger diameter). IMHO, the TikkaXP had the best beam pattern of these three Luxeon LED units.

Search the Forums, i have posted several side-by-side qualitative evaluations of all of these units over the last couple of years. My "old-timers" is acting up so i hesitate to try to repeat all of my impressions purely from memory.

I like the Quad and Eos, but unlike the younger(???) Poster(s) to this Thread, i need to use medium, not low, to navigate a trail on a moonless night, but i'm old and so low-light vision is naturally degraded versus a younger person.

My favorites are the ZipkaPlus (same as TikkaPlus but with a retractable elastic cord instead of an elastic headband - makes for a nice tidy package - i have one with me at all times, even at work), and the TikkaXP (which i found superior to both the Eos and Spot). I really like the Eos too, but it's beam pattern is too small, making one resort to "chicken walking" with the head bobbing about trying to place the "spot" on rocks and trees, attempting to locate trail blazes. Still, there's something about the Eos i still like. The Quad is also a good choice for a 4x5mm headlamp, though side-by-side, my ZipkaPlus2006 is brighter than my Quad.

Regulated vs. unregulated: well, that's a personal preference. I like PTec's approach to use regulated output for as long as possible and then automagically switch to unregulated output. However, if you use alkaline batts, you don't get as long regulated output as you might hope for - particularly if you use high output (like only one hour regulated HIGH output if alkaline batts are usedm IIRC), which generally isn't necessary as medium suffices even for my old eyes. Li batts in the Quad and Eos produce much better results.

The BD Spot is unique among all of these units since it has both a Luxeon LED and 5mm LEDs, but my personal experience with it has shown it to be a "batt hawg" - otherwise nice, except for the sequential switch operation which is just a personal annoyance (some, however, do like BD's on-off-on-off switching sequence). For me, too much switching to get to the mode that i might want at a particular time - a lot of lighting mode choices though.

If i could have only one, i'd pick the TikkaXP AND the ZipkaPlus2006 or later model year. Wait, that's two, so...

TikkaPlus if nighttime hiking/biking was its primary use with some around camp proximity tasks thrown in,


ZipkaPlus if task lighting was the primary use with little nightime hiking. I don't think either would be appropriate for biking as 5mm LED units generally don't have much "throw" and if collimating optics are used with them, they make a relatively small "spot".

This is not to disparage the Eos or Quad. If you decide on one of those, you have also made a good choice.

My two shekels.

[Note: Please, don't anyone think from these comments that i'm an "all things" Petzl fan. Personally, for AA batt powered headlamps (not AAA powered as is being discussed here), i prefer the PT Corona (or the bike version, 8xAA batts like in the YukonExtreme which i've dubbed the "CoronaExtreme") and the PT Apex versus Petzl's offerings.]