Petzl has updated much of their extensive headlamp line this year. We tested two from opposite (lumen) ends of the spectrum: Petzl Myo and the classic Petzl TIKKA.
The Petzl MYO headlamp has been around for a few years but has been refined to provide even more use when your adventures keep going past bedtime. The Petzl MYO has 370 lumens in boost mode and 280 lumens in maximum mode. I’ll be honest, I can’t tell from the Petzl lumens/hours table how long its supposed to work on full 280 lumen power with the 3 AA batteries, but on one recent trip it was used for about 6 hours and was still going strong. We replaced the batteries after that, not wanting to be stuck on some nasty downclimb or rappel after dark with the reserve 3 lumens that it reverts to after the batteries are 90L% discharged. So, I’ll just say that I’m pretty content with any headlamp that can give me at least 6 hours of 280 lumens with periodic boosts of 370. And, if you use lithium batteries you’ll get double the time, so 12 hours. I’ll take that any day. We used the Petzl MYO around camp, heading out early for alpine climbs and on an extended descent of the Grand Teton when we took the wrong trail and cliffed out again, and again, and a couple more times after that. The MYO made it possible for us to see the bottom of one long cliff which enabled us to sling a horn and rappel down which us both safe and free from stumping back up the mountain in search of another trail to get back down.
The Petzl MYO headlamp along with being a lumens monster, is also smartly designed. The 3 AA batteries are located on the back of the headband with a spring cord that allows you use on your head or helmet, without any problems. The battery pack is curved such that it is both very comfortable and snugs up on your head enough that it doesn’t ever feel like it’s going to fall down. If you want the added security there is a top strap that you can connect on, though be warned. I tried to hook it on very carefully, using the Petzl instructions, and broke both the front and rear plastic connectors. I’m quite sure I did it right, so I’m not sure where the problem lies. The issue was easily resolved with a couple of small black zip-ties, though it mean that you are kind of stuck with the top strap on unless you want to cut the zip-ties off. The use and functionality of the Petzl MYO are great. Easy to use buttons, though they are a tad small for accessing with gloves on. Easy to cycle through brightness settings and the light diffuser lens that folds up and down is fantastic; maybe my favorite feature of the headlamp. Instead of clicking back and forth through buttons you can just pop the diffuser lens up or down for spot light or flood light, piece of cake. I do a lot of climbing at night and I am kind of a lumens hog, the brighter the better. For me, the Petzl MYO is just one awesome headlamp that I won’t go anywhere without.
The Petzl TIKKA is about as classic as headlamps come. The fact that it remains in the product line is a testament to how solid it is. The updated Petzl TIKKA headlamp has 100 lumens and retails for $29.95. That is an awesome price for a 100 lumen headlamp. The TIKKA is a lightweight take everywhere with you sort of headlamp. It is only 85 g (without batteries) and is always in my pack with me, always. If you read the review above of the Petzl MYO you can tell that I like the MYO a lot. Even though it is my go to lamp, the TIKKA is always in a pack or pockets as a backup in case something breaks or batteries die. I often use the TIKKA around camp and/or lend it to friends who bring a flashlight to hike with instead of a headlamp (seriously, a flashlight?). The strap is comfortable and easy to adjust. It fits nicely around a head or helmet. The buttons are easy to push with gloves on and it even looks cool with the new clear plastic that lets you see the electronic guts of the TIKKA. Everyone should have at least one Petzl TIKKA, if not a coffee can full of them to lend to less fortunate friends and family. Power comes by way of 3 AAA batteries, included. But, do yourself a favor. Replace the included batteries with Lithium batteries and you’ll get twice the burn time from the TIKKA. There are a few categories of gear out there that I feel passionate about and a good headlamp is one of them (if you couldn’t tell). So, if you don’t have one of the new Petzl TIKKA headlamps, go get one. They have 22% more lumens for the same price and you can use your old TIKKA as your loaner.
More information on Petzl headlamps at – petzl.com/us