For all of us who like to go on a bit of an adventure, night running is definitely on the list! And with night running, comes with it the need for a good headlamp. We took a look at the Petzl tikka RXP.
With an impressive 215 Lumens of light power shining a beam of focused light up to a 100m away, this headlamp immediately caught my attention especially since it only weighs around 120g and is powered by a fully rechargeable 1800mAh battery. The adjustable headband adjusts easily by sliding two clasps along the extremely comfortable headband. The biggest selling point for me (yes I’m a bit of a gadget freak) was the use of reactive lighting. The lamp has an integrated light sensor on the front which, in reactive mode, adjusts the lamps brightness from a mere 7 lumen flood to a 215 spot in no time at all. The switch happens gradually allowing for full coverage across the whole range without an immediate switch over as you look forward and up. This means that if you look at an item close by (trail just in front of your feet) you will have a nice flood being thrown on the trail just ahead, illuminating the immediate vicinity. Lifting your head up adjusts the brightness and beam to up to a 215 lumen spot giving you a nice focused and powerful light over a 100m up the trail. I have found the power and speed at which it adjusts works really well and without any delays.
One issue I did pick up on a cold night and morning trail run is that if there is any fog or even the vapour coming from your breathing, it will influence the sensor. The sensor then sees this as brighter and dims and floods the beam. There is however an override setting that can be accessed quickly by pressing the mode button on the right side of the lamp which disables the sensor. The same button is also used for switching to the red led mode, allowing you to look at maps and other close objects without affecting your night vision as much. The lamp comes setup with a base program but once plugged into your computer you can create your own lighting programs with the OS by Petzl software which can be downloaded from their website – pretty impressive stuff. One can specify requirements such as burn time, brightness and the distance of the beam as required for specific applications. When plugged into your computer via the micro USB cable (easily accessible via a plugged port on top of the unit) software updates can also be installed when available and the lamp will charge showing you the percentage charge in the OS app. Alternatively when charging from a wall socket there is a small light on the side of the lamp which indicates charge. The battery recharges in just over 4 hours from completely empty and will last according to your settings and utilisation of the different modes available. This will vary from around 2.5 hours on the highest and 10 hours on the lowest settings. I have not tested it for 10 hours on end but also use this little guy as my normal outdoor and around the house light and it lasts very well.
It is not fully waterproof but has an IPX4 rating which will protect it from most splashes. If you looking for something to withstand the swim through a river or nonstop rain, maybe look at one of the other models available. Overall I love this powerful and versatile little lamp for its technology, convenience, quality and really just its ease of use. The reactive lighting was a top feature and is not a gimmick – it works and it works well. I can recommend this for any outdoor sportsman and enthusiast.