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Petzl Tikka

in Lights - Flashlights & Headlamps

Average Rating
4.20 / 5 (10 reviews)


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Kevin Sawchuk
( ksawchuk - M )

Locale:
Northern California
Petzl Tikka on 08/12/2005 15:39:10 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Although lighter lights exist, the combination of features (three brightness levels and strobe), stability on the head, and ability to use lithium (lightweight, long lasting batteries) make it my favorite.

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paul johnson
( pj )

Locale:
LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Tikka Plus on 08/13/2005 13:12:20 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Tikka Plus is a big improvement over the prev. generation Tikka (which, BTW, was and still is a very fine headlamp). The variable intensity is a very welcome feature, as is the fourth LED. While the PT Aurora (a very fine headlamp, but NOT the subject of this review - mentioned here only for the purposes of comparison) was superior to the original Tikka in both features and brightness (with the Aurora light intensity on high output), the new Tikka Plus surpasses the Aurora in that category - this is as it should be since it has one more LED than the Aurora. Having tried them both side-by-side, so to speak (actually, one-after-the-other), on a dark, relatively indistinct trail (an oxymoron? what i mean is that the trail made sudden turns and in places was easy to walk off the trail if one was not careful) with no star or moonlight apparent, the diff b/t the Aurora and Tikka Plus light output is quite noticeable. The Tikka Plus clearly has a higher maximum light output, probably due to it having four LEDs vs. the Aurora's three LEDs.

On high output the Tikka Plus can be used to slowly navigate somewhat indistinct trails. While the batteries are fresh (<30min use), blazes can be, in some cases, recognized 20' to 30' away (rarely this far) - depending upon the color/contrast of the blaze with the tree bark & the paint's reflectivity (typically related to color and how recently the blaze has been repainted). Switching to medium output allows slow walking of the trails and permits relatively easy visual recognition of objects up to 15' away. Low output is good for task/proximity lighting, but also permits the adventurous at heart to walk very slowly on uneven, though distinct, trails without stumbling too much. Navigation, IMHO, is NOT possible on low output.

The strap and profile of the headlamp unit "team up" to provide a headlamp that is stable when one is moving, i.e. the light doesn't bounce around like some other small headlamps also lacking an over-the-head strap.

This headlamp can be highly recommended for its flexibility due to its adjustable brightness, its light weight, easy to operate control, and maximum brightness on fresh batteries.

If one expects Luxeon/incandescent type output of the type req'd for fast nighttime orienteering, then one will be disappointed. However, it makes a fine backup light for slower nighttime navigation, as well as for task/proximity lighting. It also serves well as a primary light if rapid nightime orienteering is not req'd.

It lacks a regulated light output. Some might feel that this is a drawback. Others might like the fact that it is not regulated so that longer duration light output is achieved.

If one likes this headlamp, then the TacTikka Plus version might be appreciated even more. It is identical to the Tikka Plus, but adds a "flip-up" red lens, intended for preserving one's dark adaptation (i.e. night vision). Personally, since leaving military service, I haven't encountered situations in the field where this is important. Under tree cover it is usually too dark to see by ambient light anyways, so the issue of preserving one's dark adaptation is generally a moot point.

In its "class" (headlamps only employing a small, 2-to-7, array of 5mm LEDs), it is a standout and on that basis probably deserves a very high 4 rating, but given the current rating system, a 5 rating might be more appropriate. However, if it must be compared to other Hybrid-Headlamps (employing either Incandescent+5mm LEDs, or Luxeon+5mm LEDs, or multi-level Luxeon brightness - one example of each being: BD Vectra IQ, PT Yukon HL, Petzl Myo XP, respectively), it would only rate a 3 or 3.5 at best. If distance lighting is of primary importance, then give this baby only a 2 when cp. to Incandescent or Luxeon headlamps. Its chief advantages over these Hybrid/Luxeon types being its lighter weight and compactness. It certainly cannot measure up to any of them in distance lighting. To put it another way, in most cases, I don't think that we should compare a compact, economy car to a high performance sports car. Each has its uses. Pick the right tool for the job.

suggestion for improvement: A combo regulated/unregulated system similar to the PT Corona would be a welcome improvement. While the state of batt charge would permit regulation, the light output should be regulated. Then, as the voltage drops on the batts and current regulation is no longer possible, the light should "auto-magically" switch to unregulated output. This would provide the best of both worlds, i.e. constant light output with relatively fresh batts, and longer batt life/light output as the batts near a more discharged state.

Notes (to aid in interpreting the above Review):
0. For testing, fresh, alkaline Kodak brand batteries were used in all headlamps. I use Kodak, Duracell, or Energizer - depending on what I have on hand and can purchase in bulk at discount prices. Haven't done any controlled testing of any of these batts, so can't comment on how one cp. to another.
1. Testing was actually done with the Zipka Plus (headstrap differs; lighting unit identical) and TacTikka Plus versions of the Tikka Plus which has, once again, an identical light generating unit to that found in the TikkaPlus. The addition of a red "flip-up" lens is the only functional difference b/t the two headlamps.
2. Tester is gettin' on in years ("downhill" to 100), so low light vision perception has already begun to degrade.
3. For comparision purposes (helpful, perhaps, to those familiar with these other headlamps), the aforementioned PT Aurora would get a 4 rating due to its lower maximum light output from its three LEDs and somewhat overly difficult to operate button/control; and, the original Tikka/Zipka would get a 3 due to its lack of features, viz. variable intensity light output, and lower maximal light output cp. to the Aurora (both the original Tikka and the Aurora have 3 LEDs).
4. Visual perception in low light is a highly individual matter, involving both physiology and psychology. What one individual considers adequate light for perception in low light conditions, another individual may feel is totally inadequate light. Therefore, your "mileage may vary".
5. This rating is useful for comparison to other similar types of headlamps, and should not be used to compare this headlamp to dissimilar headlamps employing newer 1W and 3W Luxeon/Luxeon-type LEDs. These higher power LED technologies are far superior for distance lighting.

Note: some of my edits were made after reading the 3rd reviewer's comments. these edits were intended to clarify my thoughts, not to discredit the 3rd reviewer's observations - most of which i would concur with wholeheartedly. since our ratings differed somewhat, i wanted to clarify the reasons for my very high rating of this headlamp. i should also add that, depending upon how much nighttime navigation i will be doing, and over what terrain i will be traversing, i may use a higher power Luxeon type of headlamp, of the type mentioned by the third reviewer, weighing 4 to 6 oz more than the Tikka Plus. Also, since, as the third reviewer states, the Tikka Plus has a "light" switch action, i carry it in a thigh pocket of my trail cargo pants. This, thus far, has prevented it from accidentally turning on. Hopefully, if it ever does turn on, I will more readily notice it when it is in a pocket of my pants than if it were in my pack.

Edited by pj on 08/14/2005 04:02:19 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Energizer Alkaline priced at: $12.94
Energizer Batteries priced at: $2.99
Petzl Myo XP priced at: $64.97 - $85.99
Petzl Tactikka Plus priced at: $43.95 - $45.99
Shop 3RD, Kodak, These, Tikka, Yukon products at GearBuyer
kevin davidson
( kdesign )

Locale:
Mythical State of Jefferson
Tikka plus has been surpassed on 08/13/2005 19:12:44 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I have liked the Tikka Plus,for many of the same reasons as PJ described before me.But I do find that it's soft touch switch will accidently turn on in my pack -- which makes me wonder if Princeton Tec was perhaps wiser in using a stiffer switch on their Aurora.

However, technology advances and the newer Luxeon based lights (EOS,etc.)have really begun to fulfill the potential of LED lighting for backcountry use to a fuller degree than the 5mm LED's we have learned to love( but felt frustrated by their limited throw ).Regulation,too, is becoming de rigueur for squeezing the most useful amount of light over the life of the batteries.

Too bulky/heavy for uber UL packing, relatively (a Photon does quite nicely for task lighting,thank you, and is a far lighter back-up light behind, say,the PT EOS), and not bright enough for real night hiking, and lacking regulation-- the Tikkas and Auroras are now jacks of Some trades and masters of none.

In my rating system,the Tikka + would receive a 3.5--as would the Aurora.

PJ--that's an impressive tome you've written--- time to hit the trail, guy ! hee,hee.
note--the Luxeon PT EOS weighs .8 oz. more than Tikka plus--not 4-6 oz. more as was described in the last review.

Edited by kdesign on 08/14/2005 08:43:30 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Princeton Tec EOS priced at: $33.74 - $44.99
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Patrick Young
( lightingboy )

Locale:
Southwest
Does what it needs to. on 11/15/2006 13:31:01 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I find that this light works great for night hiking and snowboarding.
I like the three light settings and find I can do most of my camp chores on the lowest setting.
I like that it uses standard AAA's so I can use rechargables.
The headband is comfortable and the tilt mechanism works well though my only concern is the longevity of the tilt adjustment.

A J Price
( JOHNPRICE )

Locale:
England
Useful Headwear on 04/10/2007 15:31:28 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

The Petzl Tikka does exactly what it says on the tin. That is that it provides light in 3 different levels of intensity from a neat little package. The ability to vary the beam intensity allows you to manage the battery life better than when using a conventional headtorch. Even at its lowest setting it is adequate for most camp/cooking tasks.

Overall a worthwhile and good value addition to the contents of anyones pack.

Edited by JOHNPRICE on 04/10/2007 15:34:09 MDT.

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William Webber
( micwebbpl )
Excellent for Reading on 04/11/2007 11:05:43 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I use my orginal Tikka for reading at night while my wife is sleeping. It's much better than any "clamp-on" style book light.

Actually since we are too cheap (!) to have installed lights in our bedroom, I pretty much have to use it if I want to read before bedtime as well.

The fact that it takes AAA batteries is terrific - those 2016 lithium batteries used by some headlamps and by the ubiquitous Photons are awfully expensive for their size and weight (about $3.00 per battery, vs. $0.50 for for AAA's).

HOWEVER I find the Tikka useless for hiking. In a pinch, the Photon light is plenty bright enough for trail hiking at night (you can even get a little clamp to put it on the brim of a hat), and even the tiny Photon is almost overkill for camp use and midnight bathroom runs (have you seen how bright their second generation LED's are?).

So at the end of the day, for hiking and camping I'd rather carry two small, light, bright Photon lights (one fresh, one user) than a Tikka.

Also, my Tikka's latch won't stay closed, because the AAA's won't seat properly and put pressure on the case.

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Ryan Hutchins
( ryan_hutchins - M )

Locale:
Somewhere out there
it works... on 04/12/2007 12:56:25 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I have used a number of tikka headlamps since they came out, from the original to the plus. They work well and are, in my opinion, the new classic, much as the behemouth old school petzl headlamps were in thier day.
I have not been pleased with the latching mechinism on this lamp however. It is difficult to change batteries if neccessary, and the batteries will often unseat in the lamp, causing it to flicker and not engage when turned on. This requires that the lamp is opened up and the batteries are reset. My last Tikka plus did this every time I turned it on. I have since retired my Tikkas, axcept for household use and moved on to a BD headlamp of similar design (can't recall the model right now, sorry!) I have been please with this change so far.

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David Chenault
( DaveC - M )

Locale:
Crown of the Continent
Still going strong on 12/06/2008 19:14:25 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have a first gen Tikka, bought in October of 2000. I change batteries when needed (hardly ever compared to my old Petzl Micro!), and replaced the stretched out elastic band several years ago (Petzl sells new ones). I still use it daily.

'Nuf said.

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James Lee
( JLeephoto - M )

Locale:
Triad
Get the Tactikka! on 12/02/2009 20:45:12 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Agree with what all the other reviewers said BUT, get the Tactikka version which has the red flip down filter. This makes a huge difference when you don't want to disturb camp mates or would like to preserve your own night vision. I've used mine for everything from blackout conditions in Iraq to taking the dog out without waking the spouse. It seems there are few headlamps with red filters but that's OK as I've found this one nearly perfect.

Mike McHenry
( mtmche2 )
A light is a light... right? on 03/31/2010 03:52:42 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Overall this headlamp does what I need it to do. I wouldn't call myself a gram weenie, but my base weight is under 10 lbs. I just don't see the need to sacrifice a solid headlamp for a small, inefficient, expensive (those little watch batteries add up quick) photon in the name of saving an once or two.

Anyways, the Tikka Plus as well as other headlamps in its class can be used with rechargeable batts which is a nice feature. The strap is comfortable and I find the button on top not to be too sensitive as to turn on while in your pack. Has been very reliable over the years.

I give it a 4 because its just a light. Push the button and it turns on. Nothing too fancy about it.

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