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Petzl Tikkina Review

For $20, the Tikkina offers impressive performance at a great price, that will meet most people's needs
Petzl Tikkina
Photo: Abriah Wofford
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $20 List | $19.75 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Super easy to use, inexpensive, solid performance, compact, and reliable
Cons:  Good but not great spot beam for trail finding, slightly below average flood beam optics
Manufacturer:   Petzl
By RJ Spurrier ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 28, 2018
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 27
  • Trail Finding - 35% 5
  • Close Proximity - 20% 4
  • Battery Life - 15% 7
  • Weight - 15% 6
  • Ease of Use - 15% 10

Our Verdict

The Tikkina is clearly the best value in small headlamps we have seen, and offers performance that will meet or exceed most people's needs. For around $20 you get a a very capable headlamp with an impressive spot beam and incredibly long close-proximity mode battery life. It is super easy to use, with a single button and only three modes to click through (Low, Medium, and High). While many headlamps fell short of battery life claims, this one outperformed what Petzl said it could do for close proximity use (high mode is another story, see below). This headlamp outscored every other headlamp $20 or less, and offered performance that rivals lights costing 50% more. Yes, there are cheaper headlamps out there, like the Energizer Vision HD, but with these less expensive models could not match the Tikkina in quality.

Petzl offers a nifty USB rechargeable battery for the Tikkina, that is worth mentioning. At $30, the Petzl Core Battery provides more power than regular alkaline batteries, yet with the convenience of USB recharging. If you use your headlamp regularly, or if you travel to areas where buying replacement batteries is an issue, consider the Core as a slick solution to get a USB rechargeable light at a good price.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Petzl Tikkina
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Petzl Tikkina
Awards Best Buy Award    Top Pick Award 
Price $19.75 at Amazon
Compare at 3 sellers
$19.95 at REI
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$19.00 List$25 ListCheck Price at Amazon
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Pros Super easy to use, inexpensive, solid performance, compact, and reliableLightweight, small size, excellent flood beam, great priceAttractive price, good flood lighting, easy to useLight, small, relatively inexpensive, good battery lifeThoughtfully designed for use by young kids, child-proof battery area, not too bright, fun color option
Cons Good but not great spot beam for trail finding, slightly below average flood beam opticsToo weak a beam for trail finding or distance viewingBelow average spot beam, below average qualityBelow average lightingNot a great light for grown-ups or even older kids, poor battery life
Bottom Line For $20, the Tikkina offers impressive performance at a great price, that will meet most people's needsOffers great close proximity lighting at a budget priceGood enough performance, at a good price, but the Tikkina is a better long-term valueA good quality & lightweight product, but wedged in between the ultralight e+LITE, and the better TikkinaA reasonably priced light that is our Top Pick for Kids
Rating Categories Petzl Tikkina Black Diamond Astro Energizer Vision HD Black Diamond Ion Black Diamond Wiz
Trail Finding (35%)
5.0
3.0
3.0
3.0
1
Close Proximity (20%)
4.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
6.0
Battery Life (15%)
7.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
2.0
Weight (15%)
6.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
8.0
Ease Of Use (15%)
10.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
Specs Petzl Tikkina Black Diamond Astro Energizer Vision HD Black Diamond Ion Black Diamond Wiz
Measured Beam Distance 62 m 38 m 45 m 44 m 7 m
Claimed Distance 55 m 35 m 40 m 38 m 20 m
Measured High Mode Run-time (ANSI) 3.5 hrs 4.8 hrs 8.7 hrs 7.4 hrs 3.3 hrs
Claimed High Mode Run-time 60 hrs 20 hrs 8 hrs 6 hrs 5 hrs
Measured Low Mode Run-time 223 hrs 95 hrs 74 hrs 115 hrs 3.3 hrs
Claimed Low Mode Run-time 220 hrs 80 hrs 8 hrs 180 hrs 120 hrs
Measured Weight 2.9 oz, 83 g 3 oz, 86 g 3.1 oz, 89 g 1.9 oz, 53 g 2.3 oz, 65 g
Battery Type 3 AAA 3 AAA 3 AAA 2 AAA 2 AAA
Water Resistance IPX4 splash proof IPX4 splash proof water resistant IPX8 waterproof beyond one meter IPX4 splash proof
Manuf Claimed Lumens 150 lumens 150 lumens 180 lumens 100 lumens 30 lumens
Beam Type flood flood, dimmable flood/spot flood/spot flood
Red Light no no no yes kids multi-color
On Switch Lock no yes no no no, 2 hr auto-shutoff

Our Analysis and Test Results

In the past, we considered the Petzl Tikkina to be merely a "budget headlamp" that was a good option to have in the kitchen thingy drawer, for occasional use around the house or camping. But, improvements to LED technology have dramatically increased the lighting firepower offered by the Tikkina, which now delivers double the lighting performance of past models. And, all that while keeping the price the same wallet-friendly $20 list that it used to be.

Today's Tikkina is an impressively capable headlamp — one that we consider it a great choice for general use — that will meet or exceed most people's needs.

The main competition for the Tikkina is the Black Diamond Astro that also sells for $20 list and offers similar, but slightly lower, overall performance. The Tikkina scored higher than the Astro for trail finding, battery life, and ease-of-use. The Astro scored better for close proximity use. Their scores are so close you may want to compare their beam photos, ratings and specs using our handy beam comparison pages and see which is best for your needs.

Performance Comparison


Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Trail Finding


A score of 5 is not exceptional when compared to top headlamps, but it is exceptional when compared to most other $20 headlamps such as the Astro that received a 3.


The brighter and better trail finding spot beam on the Tikkina is a key motivator to buy it over the Astro: more brightness as demonstrated by the side-by-side photos below. While neither is as impressive as a top scorer like the BD Spot. However, the Tikkina is pretty darn good, whereas the Astro is underwhelming.

Beam Distance Photos
Beam photo of Petzl Tikkina
Beam photo of Black Diamond Astro

Petzl Tikkina
Black Diamond Astro

Selling for twice the list price of the $20 Tikkina, the $40 BD Spot offers a significant step up in trail finding firepower as can be seen below.

Beam Distance Photos
Beam photo of Petzl Tikkina
Beam photo of Black Diamond Spot

Petzl Tikkina
Black Diamond Spot

Close Proximity


This score is below average at 4 of 10 because the Tikkina does not offer as evenly lit a flood beam is competitors. The flood beam is bright, but it tapers off to the sides. This is where the Astro is much better, earning a 7 of 10. Check out the chart below to see where the Tikkina lands in this metric as compared to the other headlamps in the review.


Battery Life


The battery life of the Tikkina is impressive in low-mode at 223 hours run-time. The high mode run-time is more average, at 3.5 hours, which is not bad when compared to other lights offering similarly performing spot beams.


Petzl markets the high mode run-time of the Tikkina at 60 hours, a figure which we found preposterously exaggerated based on our hands-on testing (we used the industry standard ANSI FL1 lighting spec to guide our run-time measurements, while Petzl ignores that industry standard, despite having helped develop it, and uses their own approach).

The claimed low mode run-time is an impressive 220 hours, which is the kind of claim that we usually roll our eyes at. But in the case of the Tikkina we were amazed to find that our measured low mode run-time was nearly identical at 223 hours! Battery run-time claims are an area where we often find manufacturers stating wildly exaggerated estimates, but in close-proximity mode, we found the Tikkina to do just what they said it would. Impressive.


Photo: Abriah Wofford

Weight


This is a compact but not ultralight headlamp. The Top Pick for Ultralight headlamp, the Petzl e+LITE, is half the weight. That said, at 2.9 ounces or 83 grams, the Tikkina is lighter than most competing lamps, and most people, except for maybe ultralight backpackers, will be happy with the weight.


Ease of Use


This is one of the easiest headlamps in the entire review to use; earning a perfect 10 of 10 score. It has a single button interface that we found simple to operate, even with gloves on. But, unlike the other lights, it has only three modes to cycle through, which makes it quick and easy to find the one you want.


Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Best Applications


At $20, this is the type of headlamp you could justify buying more than one of. Stash one in the glove compartment and one in the kitchen drawer so you will always have access to light if the power goes out or you need to get into the attic. It is also capable when hiking at night or backpacking.

Value


The Tikkina is a terrific value, selling for $20 list, and often found online for $16-18, it delivers a lot of performance for a very attractive price, and earned our Best Buy award.

Photo: Jenna Ammerman

Conclusion


The Tikkina is not just an attractively priced light, but an impressive performer that will meet or exceed most people's needs. It is one of the easiest lights to use, and at a price you can afford to put one in your pack, one in the kitchen drawer, and one in your car's glove box.

While you may want to step up to more lighting power, such as the $40 BD Spot or $50 BD Storm, the $20 Tikkina is likely to offer all the power most people really need in practice, and that is why it is the headlamp we consider to be the best choice for general purpose use.

RJ Spurrier