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Old 27 Dec 2005
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Victoria, Australia
Posts: 35
Petzl Headlamp

(Cross posted on TriumphRat.net also, hope that's ok).

Petzl Tactikka Plus LED Headlamp
A headlamp to sit on your head, not on your bike ;-)

.This product is a revelation to me & would be a great addition to any toolkit.

It sits on my head securely without the need for the strap to be too tight, meaning it's comfortable enough to forget that you're wearing it. At 78 grams (including batteries) in weight & with a close profile to the head there is zero bouncing around.

The 4 leds give a phenomenally clear white light. They won't spot a bear in the woods at 100 metres, but for anything you want to do around a campsite (for example) it's perfect. For working on a dead bike , at night by the side of the road it would be hard to buy better in regards the quality/brightness of the light. At arms length it's like daylight, (better than a 12v fluro inspection light). There is also sufficient light to run in unfamiliar territory at night, should you feel the need to, (maybe if that bear came charging! ;-)

This model has 4 light settings (bright, brighter & brightest & flashing) equating to between 80 & 120 hours usage on 3 AAA batteries. The vertical 'click-stop' adjustment of light direction has a 'solid' feel to it, & is suprisingly useful, depending upon what you are doing. One aspect I particularly liked was the ability to stand face to face in conversation with another person , with both able to see the other's face, but no dazzling. The flashing (red or white) is good enough to provide a useful roadside breakdown warning light at night, or could just as easily be used to quickly piss your mates off, around the campfire. ;-)

It's design & construction is very good & shouldn't have any problem standing up to the rigours of being stuffed into panniers etc over time. (I have heard tell of cheaper headlamps having battery contacts come loose, from vibration on a bike). The on off button won't accidentally get switched on when stuffed into a pocket/bag.

I wondered if the flip up red 'visor' might be a bit of a gimmick, but no, it is indeed very useful. Sometimes, depending on what the wearer is facing, there can be quite a bright reflection. I found that the red light was much easier on my eyes, whilst still giving sufficient illumination on these occasions. Apparently red light doesn't stuff up your night vision in the way white light does.

Initially I bought it (rrp Aus$129....Ebay Aus$50) to carry in my bike jacket for 'emergencies' & rallies/camping trips. For years I've carried a little 'Mini Maglite' & it's served me well, but the quality of this Petzl led unit, huge battery life, compactness, light weight, & comfy hands-free usage are truly a revelation to me, a new generation of 'torchlight'. I think I might have to get another one for around the farm. :-)

There is a cheaper version of the Tactikka Plus, the TacTikka that just has on/off, & no vertical adjustment or flip up red lens. A mate had one had one at a rally & this was the reason I decided it was time to 'upgrade' my Mini Maglite. I only got the 'Plus', because that was what was available on ebay at the time. Having got it, whilst I was very impressed with the Tactikka, the Tactikka Plus is a lot more versatile.


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Old 28 Dec 2005
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: in Samaipata, Boliva
Posts: 578
The tikka has one downside.
The plastic "dry,s out" after some time (about a year) and then the tinny lock (to open and close it for batery exchange) breaks.
You can still use it with some cello-tape though. (bit of a hassle to change the battery,s)

The "plus" seems to be made of different plastic, so maybe Petz has recognized the problem... Time will tell.

For the rest, it,s a superb light!


- www.maartensworld.com -
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