Petzl e+LITE Review
Cons: Not well suited for distance viewing, expensive
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|Price||$29.95 at Amazon||$39.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Unmatched for ultralight weight and size, outstanding for close-proximity use, durable||Excellent spot light capability, wide evenly lit flood beam, above average in most ways||Good performance for the price, 94 meter beam throw, easy to use||Super easy to use, inexpensive, solid performance, compact, and reliable||Lightweight, small size, excellent flood beam, great price|
|Cons||Not well suited for distance viewing, expensive||Below average battery life, claimed battery life is wildly misleading, single button hard to use, lame waterproofing||Average in most ways||Good but not great spot beam for trail finding, slightly below average flood beam optics||Too weak a beam for trail finding or distance viewing|
|Bottom Line||For those ultralight-fans who cut their toothbrush in half to save weight and size, this is the perfect light||A quality, durable, and bright light that hits the sweet spot for most people's needs, despite dubious marketing claims||The Yalumi is a good light, at a good price, that provides basic functionality||For $20, the Tikkina offers impressive performance at a great price, that will meet most people's needs||Offers great close proximity lighting at a budget price|
|Rating Categories||Petzl e+LITE||Black Diamond Spot||Yalumi LED 140-Lumen||Petzl Tikkina||Black Diamond Astro|
|Trail Finding (35%)|
|Close Proximity (20%)|
|Battery Life (15%)|
|Ease Of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Petzl e+LITE||Black Diamond Spot||Yalumi LED 140-Lumen||Petzl Tikkina||Black Diamond Astro|
|Measured Beam Distance||31 m||94 m||94 m||62 m||38 m|
|Claimed Distance||10 m||80 m||90 m||55 m||35 m|
|Measured High Mode Run-time (ANSI)||9.4 hrs||2.9 hrs||4.3 hrs||3.5 hrs||4.8 hrs|
|Claimed High Mode Run-time||9 hrs||30 hrs||Not specified||60 hrs||20 hrs|
|Measured Low Mode Run-time||18 hrs||9.7 hrs||47 hrs||223 hrs||95 hrs|
|Claimed Low Mode Run-time||12 hrs||175 hrs||100 hrs||220 hrs||80 hrs|
|Measured Weight||1 oz, 27 g||3.1 oz, 89 g||2.7 oz, 77 g||2.9 oz, 83 g||3 oz, 86 g|
|Battery Type||2 CR2032 Lithium||3 AAA||3 AAA||3 AAA||3 AAA|
|Water Resistance||IPX7 waterproof to one meter||Splash proof (dubious IPX8 claim)||IPX4 splash proof||IPX4 splash proof||IPX4 splash proof|
|Manuf Claimed Lumens||50 lumens||300 lumens||140 lumens||150 lumens||150 lumens|
|Beam Type||flood||flood/spot||flood/spot||flood||flood, dimmable|
|On Switch Lock||yes||yes||no||no||yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Petzl E+LITE is a compact powerhouse for emergency back up lighting, or, put another way, the regular lighting for the Ultralight enthusiast.
The trail finding score of 1 is the lowest of all lights we tested, but it isn't really in the e+LITE's wheelhouse. It is about small and lightweight. With good planning, you will seldom use this light for extended trail finding. Predominantly, a light like this is for emergencies, occasional use around camp, or for the occasional unexpected late exit from a day trip.
That being said, you will do well to see the difference between this tiny emergency light and a proper, good trail finding the light. For example, in the beam comparison photo below observe how it differs from Best Buy winner, the Petzl Tikkina.
There is no way around the fact that this is not a trail finding powerhouse. It will get you out of a jam, but if you plan on hiking long distances at night, get a true trail finding specialist like the Petzl Zipka, which is also fairly small and light, or even better, the Tikkina or the Black Diamond Spot.
Working around camp or in the tent is where the e+LITE shines and a big reason we like this headlamp so much. It casts a nice even beam around you and is surprisingly effective for how small it is. It compares favorably in close brightness and beam shape to the most expensive lights available, and earned an impressive score of 9 out of 10.
This is an area where the e+LITE falls short. We feel it is essential that an emergency light give you prolonged performance, and the e+LITE offers acceptable performance with 9.4 hours on high, and 18 hours on low. Competing lightweight options tend to do no better on high, such as the BD Ion which is small and light, but only lasts 7.4 hours on high. However, the Ion offers an impressive 115 hours of lighting on low, which is 6 times longer than the e+LITE in the type of use we consider most typical for the e+LITE.
On the positive side, the e+LITE batteries are really small and light too, so it is painless to pack extras. It takes tiny 3v lithium batteries, CR2032, that are a little hard to find at a gas station or a backcountry area supermarket (and also expensive). So, order them before you head out for an adventure. You can find a 10-pack of these on Amazon for about $7, which will give you enough battery power for months of regular use.
At 1 ounce, or 27 grams, this is by far the lightest headlamp in our review.
Even more impressive is the size. Because it uses a retractable string headband, it is in the most compact package imaginable. The string headband is surprisingly sturdy and keeps the light steady even when jogging. However, we recommend being careful when using it with a helmet. In this context it is more prone to both slippage and improper installation than standard elastic headbands.
Ease of Use
This uses a different light selection button than any other product tested. Instead of a button, it uses a type of lever/dial. This is a little harder to figure out at first and is nearly impossible to use with gloves. Once accustomed to it, however, every user found it a simple and clear way to activate the different modes. Notably, the e+LITE has a red mode which preserves your night vision, great for star gazing, and also extends battery life.
This is the ultimate emergency headlamp, and great for ultralight fans. It is so light that you can toss it in your daypack (or even in your running sock) and not notice it. Since it weighs less than 3 AAA or AA batteries, it can serve as an alternative to bringing spare batteries and gives you the option of having two headlamps (for your friends who forget theirs. Our lead tester has used it in this capacity countless times). Because of its micro size, it is also nice to just have around. It takes up almost no space in a glove box, kitchen drawer, or pocket.
The Petzl e+LITE is our highest rated micro headlamp. At one ounce, it is by far the lightest and most compact headlamp we tested. It is durable (we put it through the washing machine by accident and it still works) and it scored surprisingly well for beam quality and close proximity, considering how small it is. Even though this headlamp (understandably) scores very poorly for beam distance and trail finding, we are still impressed with it. It comes with three different lighting modes, including a red light mode. It comes with a handy waterproof case that will ensure it stays dry. However, the best part of this light is how small it is so we never used the case. It is small enough to put in a sock or keep anywhere.
— RJ Spurrier