Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Great battery life, solid close proximity score in a small package
Cons: Expensive for its brightness
Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking and camping
The XP 2 delivers a great close proximity beam quality in a compact package. It represents a nice progression for the Tikka line, one of the first compact LED headlamps, that has been steadily improving for over a decade. The Tikka XP 2 has recently been replaced by the Tikka XP, which is currently being reviewed by our testers.
As exceptional as it is, it now faces tough competition. The Black Diamond Spot scored higher for trail finding and brightness and costs $15 less. The Coast HL7 has a much more powerful beam with better beam control for $20 less.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The trail finding score is good, but below its less expensive competitors. The beam comparison photo below shows how the Spot casts a more distant beam.
The score here is an excellent 9 of 10, matching the less expensive Spot.
This has a solid but not exceptional battery life. It lasted 5.8 hours in the measured high mode runtime ANSI test (read the Headlamp Review for more info on ANSI). The Spot not that far behind with a measured high mode runtime of 5.2 hours.
We did not measure low mode run time, but Petzl claims the Tikka will go for 190 hours which is on par with the Spot's 200 hours.
All Tikka headlamps come with the option of adding the Core rechargeable battery for another $25.
The brightness score is good but not up there with the competition. It's measured max beam distance is 59 meters compared to the Spot with 70 meters and the Coast with 128 meters. The image below shows just how much more powerful the Coast is.
This light delivers a lot of performance for its weight: 88 grams. It is not a featherweight like the Petzl e+LITE (26 grams). But it fits easily in a pocket.
Ease of Use
Like all Tikka lights, this is very easy to use. It has one intuitive button on top which scrolls through the intuitive lighting modes. It scored above average for gloves use.
The Tikka is $15 more than two headlamps that scored higher, the Coast and the Spot.
The Petzl e+LITE, $30, is the size of a small stack of quarters and is the lightest headlamp we know, by a large margin. It wins our Top Pick award as the best lightweight headlamp and does so by a good margin.
The Petzl Tikka RXP, $95, is rechargeable and scores an 8 out of 10, which is well above average and edges out its main competitor for "best compact rechargeable".
The Petzl MYO RXP, $95, delivers great close proximity lighting and has more beam power levels than any light we tested. The extra "R" in RXP stands for "regulated" as you there are three lighting modes, for each of which the user can select the power from among ten possible levels, from 8 to 140 lumens.
This is the best light in the Tikka line. It delivers solid battery life and great close proximity illumination. If you are a die hard Tikka fan, then this is the one to get unless you want the latest and greatest Petzl Tikka RXP. It would be a contender for Editors' Choice if it weren't for the Black Diamond Spot which is brighter, has almost as a high a battery life and is $15 less expensive. The Coast HL7 is nearly $20 less expensive and has a much more powerful beam but much less battery life.
— RJ Spurrier and Chris McNamara
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: February 2, 2014
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