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Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Review

   

Headlamps

  • Currently 3.5/5
Overall avg rating 3.5 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: January 14, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $28 - $40 | Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, compact, good battery life.
Cons:  Not the best value considering the competition, low brightness score.
Best Uses:  Day climbs with limited risk of epic, backpacking, camping.
User Rating:     
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 (2.0 of 5) based on 2 reviews
Manufacturer:   Petzl
Review by: RJ Spurrier ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ January 14, 2014  
Overview
The Petzl Tikka Plus was a solid but not exceptional performer in most of our headlamp tests. Like every Tikka headlamp, it comes in a compact and durable package with good battery life. While it is a solid lamp, it falls a little awkwardly between the Petzl Tikka XP 2, which scored much higher, and the Petzl Tikkina 2, which scored the same for half the price. For the same price or less, we recommend looking at the two Editors' Choice winners: The Coast HL7, which scored much higher on everything except battery life and weight, or the Black Diamond Spot, which scored higher in every category except ease-of-use.

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  • Photos
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Designed to meet the many proximity lighting needs encountered when trekking over many days and bivouacking, the Tikka Plus 2 has three lighting modes to adapt the power and burn time of the light to the activity: to locate a cairn (maximum mode), to follow a tricky path (optimum mode) or to read a map (economic mode). The flashing mode can be used to signal the user’s location, if necessary. The lighting mode is selected using an easy-to-use button, adjusting quickly and easily to the situation by favoring either brightness or burn time.

Performance Comparison
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Credit: Shellay Glatz
Trail Finding
The trail finding score was only slightly above average: 6 of 10. As you can see below, it does not show many of the fence posts clearly on the right, especially compared to the Black Diamond Spot (8 of 10).

Beam Distance Photos


Black Diamond Spot Petzl Tikka Plus 2

And as you can see below, the beam is a little spotty; it concentrates light in the middle making it less ideal for scanning in the 20-50 foot range.

Spot-mode Beam Pattern


Black Diamond Spot Petzl Tikka Plus 2

Close Proximity
Again, the score is above average but not exceptional. In the photo below, the beam is much more focused than the Spot, which is not ideal. For close proximity, you want broad even light.

Close-proximity Beam Pattern


Black Diamond Spot Petzl Tikka Plus 2

Battery Life
The battery life was above average but less than most other Tikka models and the Spot. In our ANSI measured high mode runtime test, it lasted 7.2 hours, best the Spots 5.2 hours and the Coast's 3.3 hours (learn more about ANSI in the Headlamp Review ). But when compared to the $12 Energizer 3 LED, it comes up way short as shown in this battery life versus beam distance graph.

Also, even though the Plus 2's ANSI time is longer than the Spot's, both lights end up in the same place: shining 8 meters after 7.5 hours. During the first 5 of those hours, the Spot usually shines a beam 20 meters (50%) further as shown here.

Brightness
This is where the Tikka Plus 2 really comes up short. For its price, it scored very low with a measured max beam distance of only 39 meters. The Spot shined 70 meters and the Coast went 128 meters.

On our light meters, it measured only 24 lux to the Spot's 76 lux.

Weight
This is a relatively compact headlamp at 84 grams but not a featherweight champ like the Petzl E+lite at 26 grams.

Ease of Use
Both ease of use and gloved use scores were high. Like all the Tikka models, it uses a simple and intuitive one button click system.

Best Applications
This is the ideal all-around light. It doesn't excel in any one category but give above average lighting in a small package.

Value
There are a lot of other great headlamps that scored higher for less money and the Tikinna 2 scored better for about half the cost. There are just so many great headlamps now for under $45 that it is hard to call the Tikka Plus 2 a great value.

Conclusion
Perhaps the biggest competition for the Tikka Plus is its sibling, the Petzl Tikkina 2. While the Tikkina scored slightly lower in most tests related to beam power and light quality, it outperformed the Tikka Plus (and nearly every other headlamp) in battery life. But more importantly, at $20 the Tikkina is half the price. An even better value is the Energizer 3 LED which is a third the cost of the Plus 2 and has a much longer battery life.

As an aside, we tested this side-by-side with the first generation Tikka Plus. We found the new Tikka Plus did perform better, but not so dramatically that you need to toss the old one.

Compared to the Petzl Tikka XP 2, we would rather spend the extra money to get the diffuser on the Tikka XP. The XP 2 was much better for even lighting at close distances. But the real competition comes from the Black Diamond Spot which is about the same price and scored higher in just about every category. We would get the Spot if battery life and a compact package are important and the Coast HL7 if you don't mind burning through batteries and want the best lighting power and quality for the money.

RJ Spurrier and Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: January 14, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (2.0)

100% of 1 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
2 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 50%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 50%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Mar 7, 2012 - 02:52pm
This headlamp works fine, although it is expensive for what you get. My big pet peeve about this headlamp is the clear housing allows light to reflect off of my glasses which makes it hard to see as well as with other headlamps (the old Petzl XP was a much better lamp, although not very durable).

Pros: Comfortable
Simple to use, only one button!
Uses AAA batteries (easy to find)
Red light for using at night and not disturbing your partner

Cons: Expensive
clear plastic housing causes light to shine onto my glasses!
cheap plastic housing has been a problem in my previous petzl lamps, I don't see this being any more durable.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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Oct 24, 2010 - 02:25pm
 
Mighty Hiker · Climber · Vancouver, B.C.
I have one, and like it. Its beam is somewhat stronger than the Tikka Plus.

Perhaps the headlight reviews could include the key bits of information about each light - how many lumens it puts out, battery life in 'bright' mode, etc? Most manufacturers now seem to include this.
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Petzl Tikka Plus 2
Credit: Petzl
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