The Tikka XP is the next generation of the Tikka series
of headlamps from Petzl. It has a Luxeon LED for light,
a sliding diffuser lens, multiple output levels, and
a battery level indicator.
The Tikka XP headlamp has the lamp and the battery
compartment all together at the front of the headlamp.
3 AAA cells power the lamp for a good number of hours.
The entire assembly is attached to a forehead plate
with a thin forehead pad and a ratcheting pivot point
so the light from the unit may be directed where needed.
The elastic headband strap is a 2-point headband with
no top strap. As a result of the light weight of the
unit a top strap is not needed at all. The strap is
very easily adjustable via a single slider - no fumbling
The bezel/head is very small and looks a little odd
at first glance. The lens for the LED is off to one
side to make room for the sliding diffuser lens which
rests in a slot on the opposite side. Hook the diffuser
with your fingernail and slide it across to get a smooth
diffuse beam. The diffuser can be easily removed and
replaced by removing the entire front cover of the housing.
As an accessory, replacement white, blue, green, or
red lenses are available. On the side of the bezel there
is an LED battery indicator which blinks green to 30%,
orange to 10%, red below 10%. Additionally, the lamp
blinks momentarily to let the user know it has changed
from one indicator level to another.
Output: Output is in the form of a very nice spot.
Sliding the diffuser across gives a very smooth flood
of light. Very nice. There is no noticeable tinting
to the beam at all.
throw readings are in Lux
at one meter. The numbers in parenthesis are for comparison
in the Comparison
Beam at one meter at target center without and with
Runtime Plot: Petzl uses a very low level of light
output from their products to calculate their advertised
runtimes (High: 60 hrs, Med: 80 hrs, Low: 120 hrs).
I would suggest that their runtime numbers listed on
the package be considered "hours of usable output for
emergencies where batteries are not available". You
will want to change the cells well before the listed
runtimes if you have access to spares. Here is the runtime
graph on HIGH.
completed with Energizer alkaline batteries. More information
on runtime plots is available HERE.
Switch: On top of the bezel/head are two switches which
are protected to some degree inside of a molded recess.
The main switch can be cycled through 4 output types:
high, med, low, and blink. Pressing quickly allows for
movement between the various output modes. Leaving the
light at any particular mode for about 2-3 seconds causes
the next press to turn the light off. Next to this switch
is a boost switch which is momentary only and gives
much more output than "high". This option can only be
used for short periods due to heat issues and will only
operate for 20 seconds continuously before internal
limiting circuitry forces the LED to drop to a lower
level. Thermal detection circuits also reduce the LED
output whenever the lamp starts to get too hot.
Seals: The lamp is described as "water resistant" but
it seems pretty "waterproof" to me. Water
resistance seems to be mostly the result of the tight
fit of the components, rubber switch covers, and a rubber
seal between the halves of the battery compartment.
I'd call it "splashable" at a minimum, probably
"dunkable". If it gets wet inside, disassemble
as much as possible without tools and let it dry before
Ergonomics: Small, lightweight, and easy to use. The
switches are necessarily very small and are close together.
Use it a few times in controlled conditions to get used
to it before venturing out into the wilderness. It is
very comfortable thanks to the wide elastic headband.
Batteries: Three AAA cells power the light for a number
of hours, but remember the Petzl runtime numbers include
long periods of exceptionally weak light. To change
out the cells, Tip the light all the way forward on
the pivot point. Hook the catch on the side of the light
with a fingernail and gently lift. The rear of the battery
compartment light will separate. Replace the cells and
snap the cover back into place. Rotate the lamp back
to its original position.
Accessories: None included, but several items are available
from Petzl including carry pouches, replacement battery
compartment seal, interchangeable colored lenses, replacement
What I Liked: Water resistant,
Impact resistant, Very good battery life, Bright, Easy
battery change, Lightweight, Comfortable, Multiple output
What I Didn't Like: Not regulated.
Other Things I Noticed: Boost is
Conclusions: An excellent upgrade
by Petzl to the original Tikka. I'm very impressed by
this little light. Actual runtime is very good considering
the use of AAA cells, plus the smaller cells keep the
headlamp very lightweight and compact. Everything seems
well executed in its design.
UPDATE: PETZL TIKKA XP with rechargeables?
Here is a notice from a reader. FlashlightReviews.com
does not guarantee the accuracy of this information
as we have not tested the Tikka XP with rechargeables.
"I found with a Petzl Tikka XP which I recently
bought that it performs very well with rechargables,
the output curve is very flat (in contrast to batteries)
due to discharge curve of the rechargables. Above
all the LED battery indicator in the light may serve
as a valuable discharge protection for the rechargables.
The indicator switches from green to yellow (and
the light blinks three times) when the battery voltage
drops below 3.25V which is about 3x the lowest voltage,
a single rechargable NiMh cell should be discharged
to (approx. 1,05-1,06 V per cell). Therefore, the
Petzl Tikka XP is perfect for the use with rechargable
batts in my opinion."
UPDATE: Petzl Tikka XP with lithium AAA? No!
Petzel has stated quite specifically on their website
that this light is not to be used with Lithium cells.