Open main menu

Petzl Actik

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Petzl Actik headlamp

It's your definitive all-purpose headlamp, plus two red modes (solid and strobe).


  • 300 Lumens
  • Multiple intensity modes
  • Red light
  • Red emergency strobe
  • Efficient battery usage


  • Not waterproof

20181011_233607.jpgThe manufacturer specs are as follows:



Range: I think the manufacturer overstated the high-power distances. I'm going from the following baseline: back-country camping far away from urban light pollution, on a dark night without much moonlight, in a dense area with forest canopy above, and no campfire or other lights... so pretty dark.

At the lowest setting (5 lm), I'd say it's similar to the 10m (30 ft) advertised. At the highest setting, it would light up a small clearing, but not 90 m (300 ft). As for the red light (2 lm), it actually has about 50% longer visible range than the white mode at 5 lm, because the red light is not diffused.

Beam & Brightness: The lowest setting (5 lm) is spread horizontally, and the 100 and 300 lm modes are spread both horizontally and vertically, giving you a decent focal point in the middle, but with enough peripheral lighting to not have to pan left and right with your head all the time. the red light's lens does not have spreaders, so you only get a bright spot immediately ahead. I like the brightness modes. The 5 lm is excellent for in the tent, and the 300 lm is excellent for hiking at night. 

Burn Time: I have not quantified this with a test, but to say the least: I was very impressed with the run time!! I lost track of how much usage I put on the original batteries before I finally had to replace them.

Power Source: Ready to use with 3x AAA batteries immediately out of the box, but can also be reconfigured to use Petzl's own CORE rechargeable battery pack.

Ease of Use: Very easy. There is only one button on this lamp, which cycles through the modes by short or long presses. the headband adjusts easily and is stretchy to fit any head size. The lamp body pivots down in its bracket to direct the light more towards the ground.

Weather: It is rated "Water resistant IP X4"... In real words, this lamp will do fine in all varieties of weather, but it may cease operation if submersed. I noticed the battery compartment is not gasketted. I'm a little disappointed in that one little aspect. For the tiny extra upfront cost, I would much rather have a headlamp with a sealed battery compartment.

Features: Nothing to do with the light itself, but there's a whistle integrated into the headstrap buckle, and the headstrap itself has retro-reflective lettering to help you be seen in the dark even when your light is not lit.

Modes: When in WHITE mode, short taps will cycle through OFF-LOW-MED-HIGH. When lit in any mode, a long press will switch between WHITE-RED. When in RED mode, short taps will cycle through OFF-ON-STROBE.

Construction & Durability: Excellent quality in everything but the water-permeable battery compartment. In build quality, it definitely lives up to Petzl's rock solid reputation.

Conditions: I got this two years ago, and I would buy it again! I take it camping, snowshoeing in the dark, I even strapped it to my hardhat for work during power outages on construction sites! Comes in a variety of colours, but I got the all-black model.

Best For: From reading in your tent, to nighttime trail running, it's your definitive all-purpose headlamp!! But if I was shopping for a headlamp to ride MTB trails at night, I would want something brighter.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $53 CAD

Your Review

Where to Buy

Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support Trailspace's independent gear reviews.

You May Like


Price Current Retail: $49.95-$59.95
Historic Range: $27.47-$69.95
Product Details from Petzl »

Recently on Trailspace

Patagonia Light Farrier's Shirt Review

Patagonia Iron Forge Hemp 5-Pocket Pants Review