Petzl Zipka (2)
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: ~$25
The Zipka 2 is a great little, and I do mean little, headlamp that will serve hikers who are not prone to find themselves walking long after dusk. And for almost two years my little Zipka has traveled with me every time I've been out.
The Zipka is well suited for around camp chores, late night latrine trips and reading a book in the hammock. When I replace this one it will be with the latest model, I simply love it.
- Size 2.25" x 1.75" x 1.75"
- Light weight 2.2 oz
- Multiple functions/output
- Great battery life
- Not a flame thrower
- No red LEDs
I've carried the Zipka every time out for a year and it's never let me down. It's compact and lives in the left hip pocket of my pack with the camera and a few snacks. Its 40 lumen output is ample for light or minimal walks at night and would get you down the trail if needed, but this is not a light ideally suited for those who churn out the miles after dark.
It's three output levels aid in walking thru campsites with others for minimal disturbance and it has a flash mode. The light can be turned off with a single push of the switch after a 10 second pause between button pushes which I find very convenient.
I don't put in miles after dark so this light suits my hiking style to a tee, and I love it for reading in the hammock. I wear hats and this reveals one of the Zipka's three weaknesses, but if you wear ball caps all you need to do is reverse the hat and you're golden the difficulty is the lamps angle is fixed. Still I find that negligible, but it should be noted as some could see that as a deal breaker.
The second "weakness" could be the lamp's output which is a scant 40 lumens, but again it suits me fine but secretly when I have to replace it I will enjoy the additional brightness. And at this time I do plan to purchase whatever new version is available when this one bites it or I change my hiking style.
The third weakness is the lack of red LED's which Petzl offered a solution in a pack of replacement lenses in red, green, and clear. Wish I'd picked up one of those, but it would be another piece to loose so I'll get over it.
The Zipka 2 is well designed and is in a sturdy enclosure that really functions exceptionally well. The retractable mechanism has never failed and performed flawlessly. The battery cover does however require attention when reinstalling, but with the great battery life you wont need to do that very often unless you remove your batteries between uses.
I did not include pics of it in use or beam patterns since pictures of lights in the dark since this is not the current model and a quick look at the Petzl or your favorite outfitter's site should get you all the information needed to review how it could fit your hiking style.
Overall I think the Zipka 2 find a great balance point of features for the money. The compact size is what got my attention. The total package is what keeps it in my pack.