Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $32 - $45 | Compare prices at 7 resellers
Pros: Lightweight, compact, good battery life
Cons: Not the best value
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 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 signaling the user’s location, if necessary. The lighting mode is selected using the easy-to-use button, adjusting quickly and easily to the situation by favoring either brightness or burn time (up to 150 hours). The TIKKA PLUS headlamp offers an ideal balance between ease of use, power and burn time.
The Petzl Tikka Plus was a solid 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 only downside to this headlamp is the price. At $40 there are a lot of other great headlamps that scored a little higher. The Princeton Tec Fuel scored higher than the Tikka Plus and is slightly lighter and more compact. The Fuel does not have the red LED mode but it scored higher in most tests and costs $13 less.
For same price you can get the Black Diamond Spot that scored a little higher for beam distance and gloved use.
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. Considering you can nearly buy three Tikkinas for the price of a Tikka XP, you really need to want the Tikka XP's diffuser and slighter better performance.
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. For another $15, the Tikka XP 2 was much better for even lighting at close distances.
The Bottom Line
Yes, the Tikka Plus 2 is a solid headlamp but at $40 it is not the best value. If you want the best, get the Tikka XP 2. If you want the best value, get the Tikkina 2 or Princeton Tec Fuel.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
— RJ Spurrier
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: December 7, 2012
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