Hands-on Gear Review
Compare headlamp ratings side-by-side >
Street Price: Varies from $32 - $59 | Compare prices at 12 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.
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. 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.
Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
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 great battery life. This light comes with a red LED mode that few other headlamps have. We never use this feature, but some people swear by it because it doesn't affect your night vision as much as the normal white light mode.
The trail finding score was only slightly above average. 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.
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.
Again, the score is above average but not exceptional. As you can see 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.
The battery life was above average but less than most other Tikka models and the Spot.
This is where the Tikka Plus 2 really comes up short. For its price, it scored very low with only 24 lux. By comparison, the Spot has 76 lux.
This is relatively compact headlamp, but not as small as the Tikkina 2 or the featherweight champ, the Petzl E+lite
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.
This is the ideal all-around light. It doesn't excel in any one category but give above average lighting and battery life in a small package.
There are a lot of other great headlamps that scored a little higher for less money and the Tikinna 2 scored the same for 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.
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.
We tested this side-by-side with the first generation of this light. 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 or save money and get the Tikkina. The Tikka XP 2 was much better for even lighting at close distances. But the real competition comes from the Black Diamond Spot which is less expensive 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
Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: November 20, 2013
Where's the Best Price?
*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Other Gear by Petzl
Recent Best-in-Class Reviews