Gear Review: Petzl Tikka

The Petzl Tikka was probably the first highly successful LED torch when it came out in 2000. Since then, the Tikka range has expanded from the basic unit ($26, 85g powered by three AAA cells) to the RXP version, costing $121, weighing 115g and powered by a USB-rechargeable and offering reactive light. This review will focus on the basic version.

The Tikka is bright enough for basic running at 100lumens on brightest setting, but barely bright enough for technical running or challenging navigation. The dimmer, 20 lumens, setting is only really good for use around the tent. Some versions have a flashing mode, though this is of little use.

The original version the Tikka had four LEDs side by side, in order to be able to get enough light. This made for very diffuse light with poor trail definition. The current version has a single super-bright LED which improves this issue.

The small size and light weight of the Tikka are its most attractive features – you can throw it into the bottom of your running pack or lark-foot it onto your running belt and forget about it until you need it. It is a great open-trail light for short distances, or as a backup light.

Another great feature of the light is its long burn time – advertised as 120hrs on the brightest setting, though it is only really effective for perhaps half this time.

A cute feature on the most recent versions is a phosphorescent patch to help locate the torch in the dark.

The standard headband is easily adjusted and offers stable carry for the tiny body. There was a version with a light-weight string head-band – this saved a little weight and bulk at the expense of a less stable carry.

In conclusion, this classic unit remains an excellent arrow in the runner’s quiver. Its newer variants offer a lot more range of use.

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