It seems like I write a post at least twice a year about new Petzl headtorches; they certainly don’t sit back and let their headtorch range go out of date. The other thing that struck me is that each time I do write a blog about the Petzl headtorches there’s always a considerable improvement to the products, not just adding a few lumens and changing the casing. The fact that we’ve twice had to raise the defining lumens for each of our headtorch categories in the last year shows how much innovation has been going on, and I think it’s fair to say it’s mainly being driven by Petzl.
This latest round of updates mainly focuses on Petzl’s new Core battery and the options for lighting that this gives with their new range of low and medium power torches. I say ‘low power’ and ‘medium power’ as this is where we categorize them now, but 2 years ago they would have easily been in the ‘medium power’ and ‘high power’ ranges.
Petzl are calling the new torches ‘Hybrid’, this is because they are now compatible with both standard AAA batteries and the new Core rechargeable battery without needing any additional battery pack. This not only adds versatility and improved reliability to your headtorch but by using either AAAs or the Core battery the performance of the torch significantly changes.
New Hybrid Range
Previously Petzl have stated that their torches were either regulated or unregulated. In a nutshell, a regulated torch (usually running on a custom rechargeable Lithium battery) would run at the chosen power setting for the given battery length and then die (usually with a short warning and low power backup mode). Unregulated torches (usually standard AAA or AA battery power) give the power output when batteries are new but slowly dim until the light is unusable and the user changes the batteries.
The new Hybrid torches are technically unregulated, however the new Core battery effectively gives the performance of a regulated torch. For example the new Petzl Tikka can be powered with 3 AAAs and the given burn time on max power (200 lumens) is 60 hours, but the light will start at 200 luments and gradually diminish as battery power decreases. This is ideal for uses where it doesn’t really matter if the light dims a bit with use eg: camping, or as an emergency torch which sits at the bottom of your pack most of the time. However, install the Core battery in the Tikka and you’ll get 4 hours of use at max power (200 lumens). This is ideal for uses where you need a constant light source which doesn’t gradually dim and want to be able to manage how long you’ve got left on the battery before you can recharge.
The other advantage is that the Core battery is much more efficient than using AAAs, particularly as when using AAAs users are likely to change the battery before the given burn time is up as the output is dimming. This saves you money on batteries – ideal for frequent users.
Petzl have summed up the differences below:
- AAA/LR03 batteries = for occasional use (no self-discharge, very long storage time)
- The CORE rechargeable battery = most economical for frequent and intensive use:
- Economical solution over time: 1 CORE battery = 900 AAA/LR03 batteries
- Small and lightweight: 23 g (against 33 g for the three AAA/LR03 batteries)
- Lithium-Ion battery: very high performance, even at low temperatures with simple USB charging
The New Actik and Actik Core
The Actik is a brand new torch which comes in two versions. The standard Actik comes with AAA batteries and is optimised for their use, it has a slightly lower maximum output than the other version the Actik Core. The Actik Core comes with the Core battery and gets more out of it than the standard Actik as well as having a higher power maximumn output.
Both are versatile all rounders, you can just pick the relevant one depending on whether you’re more likely to want the Core battery performance or the AAA battery performance. What is really striking is the fact that you get an easy to use, versatile and reliable headtorch with a 300 lumen output for just £36 (Actik) or 350 lumens and a Core rechargeable battery for £45!
THE NEW Reactik and Reactik Plus
Ok, these aren’t brand new as they have been available since October – you can see the blog I did about them HERE. They’re worth mentioning again as they are the next model up from the Actik. They feature similar power levels but have Reactive lighting technology, can be heavily customised and have a dedicated Li-ion rechargeable battery.
The Updated Tikka, Zipka, Tactikka
As with the previous versios of these torches they are all the same in terms of the actual lamp functions, it’s just the outer design which is different: The standard Tikka, the compact Zipka and the camo/military Tactikka. They now give an excellent 200 lumens max output and are, of course, compatible with the Core battery.
The Updated Tactikka Plus and Tactikka Plus RGB
Now 250 lumens and compatible with the Core batteries, both are available in 3 colour schemes – desert, camo and black. As with the previous version the RGB has a red, green and blue, LED for coloured lighting. Perfect for hunting and fishing use.
The Updated Tikkina
Essentially a smaller, lower power and cheaper version of the Tikka it makes a great compact torch which is ideal for camping, walking and as a backup. 150 lumens output and it’s compatible with Core or AAA batteries.
Click to view the Tikkina.
The Updated e+Lite
Great backup torch which comes with its own hard case. Super tough and able to work in extreme temperatures. Can be left with batteries in for up to 10 years, once you’ve got one it can sit in your pack or kitchen drawer until it’s needed. 50 lumens, plus it has a strobe function, locking on/off switch and is waterproof to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
Click to view the e+Lite.