Petzl TacTikka Plus
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 35
Good light output. Small, lightweight, reliable, hands-free operation.
- Varying settings to conserve power
- Red filter for night vision
- Light weight
- Headband hard to adjust
This headlamp lives in my pack. and it's saved my butt a couple of times. It's light, reliable, and tough. The way I use it, the batteries last me a couple of years, so it's always handy when I need it and I can be sure it will work. I carry an extra set of batteries (three AAA) but I rarely need to change them.
From going down a trail at night when unexpected delays force a late return, to setting up a tent or cooking a meal after dark, this is my standby. As with any headlamp, one of the biggest advantages is that it's hands-free, so you can move around naturally without having one hand tied up just to see where you're going.
The TacTikka offers three levels of brightness, plus a flashing function if you want to catch attention. The flipdown red filter means you can walk around outside without compromising your night vision, and using it in the tent means you won't wake up your tentmates when you get up in the middle of the night. The beam is broadly focused, so you get a fairly wide angle ahead of you.
The standard 40 lumens is enough for good progress and good illumination at a fast walking pace, and the adjustable angle means you can select a longer distance if you feel like running.
This headlamp is the military standard, and I've seen it worn on a helmet at -40° by soldiers building igloos in the dark, and in dense forest at night using just the red light. It's bright enough, even on red, to read a map in the dark.
All in all, one of those pieces of gear that you can count on, one that does what it's supposed to, and keeps on going.
Price Paid: about $30
This is my second headlamp. The first was a cheap P.O.S. from Walmart. A friend of mine had a Petzl and, after seeing the difference in quality and versatility, I had to have one.
I ordered one online while deployed to Iraq in 2006 and used it alot. After clearing a house or other building using night vision or weapon mounted sure-fire flashlights, I would swith on the Petzl for hands-free light to search for weapons or explosive devices. It also came in very handy on the FOB because we were constantly losing electricity. Now I just use it for camping or if I have to go out to the barn after dark.
It has a small crack between the button and the edge of the housing where the battery compartment is. A small amount of super-glue fixed that.
I would definitely recommend this headlamp to a friend and I will buy another if this one is ever lost or completely broken.
Price Paid: $35
Used for 1.5 years. I REALLY like this headlamp. The 4 different settings, High, Medium, Low, and blinking are great. In and around camp, I use the Low setting. When hiking or walking, I use the high. The Red lens is great for rummaging around inside a tent and not waking up tent mates.
Overall great investment. It is always in my bag/pack when I go car camping or backpacking.
Price Paid: $42.95
I have had 4 other headlamps in the past. I feel this one is the best. Bright flood light beam shines light on all my close up activities and some of my farther stuff as well. I found that it has a really strong diffused beam even about 75-90 feet away. In the woods hiking I don't feel I would need any more light than what this lamp has to offer. I have used it to cook on the grill, let the dog out, search in closets/basement.
The red flip up filter is great and one of the prime reasons I bought this head lamp. I do a lot of night activities camping, hiking, astronomy, and snow shoeing all are great. With the red filtered light now all of those activities will be that much better with the night vision factor involved.
The only complaint I have is in the lower light setting it seems to have a pulse effect to it. The higher settings seem to have this as well but it's not really noticeable. I find it a little troublesome when reading or doing close up work where the high or the optimal settings are too bright for my needs at hand. For maximum flood light, and moderate distance as well this headlamp is great.
Price Paid: $42.95
Petzl is the name I think about when it comes to headlamps. I researched online and found that this model has the right balance of functions and price. The tactical red filter is nice for reading maps and manuals at night where low level light is required. The 3 levels of brightness is a plus, coupled with the tilt adjustment-you just can't beat it!