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Petzl e+LITE

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Petzl e+LITE headlamp

The Petzl e+LITE is a great lightweight headlamp that provides more then adequate light for helping you hike along the trail at night or digging something out of your pack in camp.


  • More then adequate light for backpacking
  • Lightweight
  • Small compact size


  • Just an OK lock feature
  • Case can be difficult to open
  • Unknown battery manufacture

I have been working to reduce the weight of my pack for longer trips I take in the summer and have been going through my gear looking for where I can shave a few ounces and switching to the Petzl e+LITE shaved another two ounces! I can feel my pack getting lighter already!

When I am backpacking my lighting needs are really not all that great and I primarily use a headlamp for getting around camp or digging through my pack at night. When I do hike at night I try and hike without a headlamp when I can, and if I do need a light I don't need all that  much to help me get down the trail.

The Petzl e+LITE really fits my needs perfectly given its light weight and small size, and the 50 lumens it is capable of putting out is actually quite a bit of light.

Here are a couple of shots of the e+LITE in its packaging:


nuELm4IFSS-kNsiSJFtT9w.jpgWhat you get in the package is the e+LITE headlamp, a plastic carrying case, and the typical set of Petzl detail instructions.


The basics on the headlamp:

Brightness - 50 lumens on the high power setting and 15 lumens on the lower setting. There is not any information provided on the brightness of the red light included.

With respect to weight, the headlamp, strap and cord lock weigh in at .948 ounces, and the plastic carrying case weighs in at .672 ounces.

The controls on the e+LITE are very basic and consist of a simple lever that rotates counter clockwise as you are looking at the face of the light through eight possible positions.

The positions of the lever are as follows:

1. Locked

2. Off

3. White light, low power - 15 lumens

4. White light, high power - 50 lumens

5. White strobe light

6. Red strobe light

7. Red light, lumens unknown

8. Secondary off position

The lever is held at each position by a detent that works well.  The locked position is not really a lock feature from my perspective, but a lever position where the lever does not protrude out as far as it does in the other positions so it is less likely to be inadvertently moved while it is riding around in your pack.

The lock feature is adequate if you choose to use the plastic storage case included, but I don't plan on using the case myself due to the extra weight ,and I also don't find it all that easy to open.

I made the short video below to show the movement of the lever and the light that is produced at each of the positions.

The headlamp is powered by two 3 volt CR2032 coin style batteries. The information from Petzl indicates that the two batteries should last about 12 hours in the low 15 lumen mode, and 9 hours in the 50 lumen high power mode. I haven't used the light long enough to prove out those numbers yet, and I always carry a spare set of batteries so I don't anticipate and issues having enough light on a week long trip, but I will update this review if it seems like it burns through batteries faster then advertised.

You can adjust the angle of the e+LITE by tilting the e+LITE downward through a small ball joint at the base of the light as shown in the photo below. The tension on the ball joint is not adjustable, but I haven't had any issues with the light changing positions while I have been hiking.

The head band of the e+LITE is a simple elastic band about 3/8 of an inch wide and you adjust the headband by the integral cord lock that is included. 

The cord lock itself has a couple of other functions besides being a cord lock. 

The cord lock is also a whistle and Petal even includes the morse code for SOS so you won't get confused in an emergency between if it's dots or dashes you are whistling for help.

Since we're discussing emergency signals, Petzl also includes SOS and OK hand signals on the side of the included carrying case.

The cord lock also has another important function and that is as a tool to open the battery compartment on the e+LITE. The red button on the cord lock is designed as a key that fits the slot on the battery compartment cover very nicely.

You rotate the battery compartment cover counter clockwise with the cord lock to open it to get access to the two CR2032 batteries inside.

The battery compartment cover has an o-ring seal which is part of what enables the e+LITE to have a IP X7 waterproofness rating which also implies the e+LITE can be submerged to a depth of one meter.

Here is a shot with the batteries removed from the back of the e+LITE. It would have been nice to see a name brand set of batteries included with the headlamp instead of the unknown brand included.

Overall I like the Petzl e+LITE headlamp and think its a great headlamp for the ultralight hiker or someone looking to carry a back-up headlamp without adding very much weight to their pack.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $29.95

When you use this headlamp over time, its shortcomings really stand out: A fairly expensive, lightweight headlamp with low lumens and short battery life.


  • Lightweight (27grams)
  • Handy carrying case (adds weight)
  • Red light preserves night vision


  • Only 26 Lumens for the first 30 minutes on high setting
  • Short battery life
  • Expensive, hard-to-find battery replacement

I have had this headlamp for several years now. Most of the reviews on this light seemed to have been written following short-term uses—thus the high ratings. Yes, it's well-made, and I like the design, but the cons make it an item best left at home. The "e" stands for "emergency." If you are looking for a light to use in a cave or on the trail, this is not the light to buy. Given its limited usage, I feel it is significantly overpriced.

The carrying case is a nice touch. It adds weight to the unit (without the case, the light weighs in at .95 oz or 2 7grams). Ounces aside, it provides 1) waterproof protection to the light, 2) protection from the light being turned on accidentally, and 3) a place to store it.

The case provides a place to slip your belt through. This "ring" is completely solid, making it useless if you are wearing hiking shorts with a built-in belt, or if your belt is larger. Truthfully, in 10 years of owning this light, I've never even thought of using this feature.

Out of the box you can see the entire unit. The latest version of the e+Lite features a retractable zip cord, rather than the adjustable neoprene cord on my older version.

A definite "pro" of this light is the swivel base of the e+Lite. As pictured below, you can sit it up as a table light. You have a 360-degree swivel. Another pro—if you look closely at the wire running over top the red base, you'll note this allows the light to be clipped to the visor of a baseball cap or a hammock ridgeline.

This view of the faceplate shows all of the lighting options. Working counter-clockwise you have: OFF, Low Beam, High Beam, Flashing White, Flashing Red, Red Beam, and a second OFF.

There are three white LED bulbs with a high and low setting. Having looked in multiple locations, including the technical manual, I have not seen any listings for the lumens on low setting. All that is advertised is the high setting at 26 lumens.


A single LED is used in red mode. Again, lumens are not reported.

THE CONS: There are two chief cons to this light that make it a poor choice in the outdoors: lumens and battery life.


As mentioned previously, lumens are only mentioned for the highest setting. While the highest setting is 26 Lumens, this number quickly diminishes with use. From the e+Light tech manual, this is what a person can expect in terms of distance:

  • FRESH BATTERIES: High-- 29 meters; Low-- 15 meters; Red (not listed)
  • AFTER 30 MINUTES: High-- 13 meters; Low-- 12 meters; Red (not listed)
  • AFTER 10 HOURS: High-- 6 meters; Low-- 6 meters; Red (not listed)
  • AFTER 30 HOURS: High-- 4 meters; Low-- 4 meters; Red (not listed)

So, as you can clearly see, the "high" setting is practically useless after the first 30 minutes. At first, I thought I had a damaged headlamp because I couldn't visually see a difference between high and low after a couple of uses.

One can also see how spending an hour reading in your tent greatly diminishes the usefulness of this light.


The above chart already shows the diminishing use of battery life after a mere 30 minutes. The tech manual lists battery life as follows:

  • HIGH--55 hours
  • LOW--70 hours (BTW, all the marketing outside of the tech manual says "75 hours.")
  • RED--30 hours

Add to this a hard-to-find, specialized battery (two Lithium CR2032), and you have a light that does not belong on any kind of extended trip.


The pros to this attractive little light can't compensate for the cons.

Source: received it as a personal gift

The Petzl e+LITE is designed as a emergency head-torch and at a mere 27g, it is something that I carry with everywhere. With two different settings for white light, a red LED and the ability for both the red and white to flash, it packs a good deal of functionality into something the size of a boiled sweet.


  • At 27g, it is something that can be carried with you at all times
  • Up to 30 hours usage on lower intensity light and red setting, make this an extremely useful and versatile piece of kit
  • Simple pivot mechanism allows for precise direction control of the beam


  • The retractable strap appears a little weak, but after a year of daily use, it's still fine.
  • Your "friends" will want to steal it...

At 27g (less than one ounce) the Petzl e+Lite is an extremely ultralight weight head torch that punches well above its weight. It is designed as a backup or emergency piece of kit and performs extremely well.

The e+Lite has three white LED's and one red, with a total of five light settings and is powered by two small CR2032 batteries, which are included. It is IPV6 rated, which means it is waterproof and can be submersed in up to 1 meter of water for around 30 minutes — I've used in the rain, but am loathe to throw it in the bath to fully check its IPV6 rating :)

It has two different intensity settings for the white light, with the brighter of the two projecting to around 30 metres. The red LED is very effective and allows you to check maps etc., without losing night-vision. With the ability to also select flashing white or flashing red (visible up to 300 meters), make this a very useful little thing to have in your pocket at all times.  Despite not being able to focus the beam, the simple, yet effective, pivot allows you to position the light beam to where you need it most. 

Extremely simple to operate, even with gloves, it is a great backup device or addition to anyone's emergency kit and I would recommend it to anyone. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 26 GBP

A brilliant design..even the barrel tie serves a double funtion as a whistle.


  • Light
  • Functional
  • Compact


  • Uses cell batteries that may be hard or expensive to replace

I have owned many headlamps by now, but all the best and longest-lasting have come from Petzl. When I saw this innovative design, I knew I had to have one (or two or three). Now I see that the design comes with a zip-cord instead of a headband, so I will probably be getting another for Christmas.

Switching from one beam to the next is very easy, intuitive and unlike any other headlamps. It can not be turned on by accident as easily as other headlamps either, so stuff it in your pack with no worries.

The fact that it also has a red light was a must for me, since I work on a ship and need to preserve my night vision during watches. And since you can set the lever to the off position at the bottom, you don't have to run through the white light to get to the red light each time. Brilliant. Even the barrel-tie pulls double-duty as a whistle. If only they could make these fully waterproof, Petzl could sell thousands as essential maritime survival equipment. 

The only downside I can see is the battery...more expensive to replace and not as easy to come by as AAA's...however, use of a button battery is what keeps the weight and size down, so it's just what it is. Buy and carry some spares, no big deal.

Love it, love it, love it, Petzl!

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $24

The perfect union of form and function. This little guy is one of the most value-packed items you can stash in your pack, car, or anywhere you may end up needing hands-free lighting. Super lightweight, very bright on max white setting, easy to operate, and just plain cool to have on you.

The hat clip is durable, stiff and will aggressively grab onto any thin material (you can even clip it to clothing, cardboard, or paper). The plastic gimble is also pretty stiff, so it will remain in a particular position while you wear it on your head. Note the flat "base" is wide enough to set on a flat surface for lighting a cooking area, etc.

Petzl has pretty much covered every base with this light- even the battery cover has been designed so that you can unscrew it with the spring loaded "barrel" lock on the strap. Although the case isn't 100% waterproof, it is still very well designed. It is light, rugged, capable of being run onto a belt, and just perfectly sized to hold the light and strap.

I should add that brutes who like to manhandle things should probably avoid buying this light (not that I think it couldn't take your abuse, I just think you wouldn't be interested in something so small and refined).

Price Paid: $22

A functional headlamp for weight-conscious backpackers, who don't do a lot of night hiking.


  • Lightweight
  • Retractable band
  • Easy to use, locking switch
  • Several modes, including white and red strobes
  • Can be worn on the wrist


  • Dim
  • Uncommon, expensive batteries

This lamp has been my go-to backpacking light for a few years. It isn't without its flaws, but it has functioned well for me in the field. At 0.9oz (27g), you'd be very hard pressed to find a lighter full-featured headlamp.

The e+Lite has five lighting modes (high white, low white, white strobe, red, and red strobe), which are controlled by a simple selector dial with a lock position. The controls are very simple to use and have a "lock" position to prevent accidental activation in your pack or pocket. I use this mainly for camp chores and late night potty trips. I try not to carry this lamp if I know that I will be hiking any distance at night because this 26 lumen lamp just isn't bright enough. It works great around camp though.

This lamp has a retractable cord, which I love. You can put it on your head, around your wrist, on a trekking pole, or around a branch without the hassle of adjusting an elastic headband.

The biggest "con" is the batteries. This lamp uses CR2032 coin-style batteries. These usually only last a few weekend trips and aren't the cheapest to replace. They can also be difficult to find compared to AA or AAA, which makes this lamp unsuitable for long-distance hikers who may not have the ability to scour stores for batteries on resupply days. The batteries are very light, though. So you can carry a set for almost no weight penalty.

With the exception of brightness and the batteries, this is a solid little lamp that takes a beating. I plan to continue using it for backpacking trips.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: ~$25

A very light headlamp, but with some durability issues.


  • Low weight
  • Good price


  • Questionable durability
  • Dimish light

There are already a number of reviews of this light, and I will not repeat that information. I write only to say that having used both the older and newer versions of this light on extended trips (14+ days, each), there is durability problem I've not seen mentioned in the other posts.

Specifically, dust and grit gets into the lever mechanism. This makes turning the light on and off, or switching between settings, either impossible or done only a great risk of breaking off the lever entirely. It is a chore to be very careful to never set this light on the ground, or put it into a dirty pant pocket. Forget leaving it in the hipbelt pocket of your pack—it will never survive the dust (I killed one that way).

That being said, I still carry this light. I can get the batteries easily and cheaply from Amazon, and the replacement batteries are light if you want to carry backups. Reading every night before bed, I never burned through a single set of batteries on either of my JMT hikes (about 16 nights). True, I use the light on the lowest setting, but that is more than enough to work around camp by or read by. I do not hike at night (and it would not be bright enough for that).  The red light is wonderful for alburgues (hostels) on walking routes in Europe (to avoid waking fellow pilgrims).

I am eagerly await a redesign to go away from the lever and go with a sealed push button as on so many other lights. Until then, I will baby this light along as best I can.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $30, more or less

This is an excellent headlamp. I picked it out because it was the lightest one that I found at such a reasonable price. This is its greatest virtue, it is the lightest headlamp I have ever worn, so light in fact that I sometimes forget that I am wearing it.

Every time that I go out on a trip with new people they end up gushing over it and wishing it that they had purchased this light. So far I have worn it through about 10 nights of camping and the battery has not died yet. Unlike most headlamps, it uses CR2032 lithium batteries which seem to work well, but I don't know if they will be expensive to replace.

The headlamp features red and white lights which can be set to run steadily or to blink. The headlamp also comes with a small carrying case, which I appreciate as it prevents me from losing the headlamp and it protects it.

Price Paid: $30

The e+Lite is exactly what the light backpacker has been waiting for. This versatile lamp weighs about an ounce and is impressively bright! It has multiple mounting features that include being able to attach securely to any strap on your pack, or you can wear it as a watch. The construction of the light itself feels very solid and well built - not to mention it's waterproof to 1m! Battery life is not so great (about 35 hrs), but given the weight of replacement batteries, it would not be difficult to keep several changes available. After testing I have decided that this will be my primary light on the AT this summer!!

Price Paid: $30

When I first saw the e+lite it was so beautiful I almost shed a tear. Then I used it and I wept openly. It is perfect. Absolutely perfect. I love the design, weight, functionality and everything else about this little fella. I keep an extra battery in the case with the light and it still is the lightest light I have ever come across in my wanderings. Get this light and bask in its beautiful warm glow.

Price Paid: $29.95

I have carried this headlamp for a few years, it is always in my pack. The light is bright enough to replace a full size but the weight can't be beat. So whether my batt dies or someone forgets a light or breakage this has always been there.   

One small problem is that the swivel seems to lose its hold and the lamp does not stay in one position, but this is after a lot of use.

Price Paid: $28.95

Light as a feather and performed flawlessly for me on my morning pack into Tennet Mtn. North Carolina in the Pisgah National Forest on a 20º April morning at 5 o clock.

The red led is just enough to light your way while saving battery and night vision. The white led's on high will illuminate anything within 20 ft. Be careful with the lock feature...I had a hard time unlocking mine!

Price Paid: 30$

Wonderful design and build quality. Can be a little tricky at times to attach to straps but other then that gets the job done nicely. Great to have around camp or light up the trail at night. Comes with a nice case you can attach to a belt or strap keeping it at your disposal and the adjustments couldn't be any simpler! Great product.

Price Paid: $25

What a great little light. The e+LITE is the answer to question “why can’t I have a light that is bright, easy to use even with gloves, and light weight.” This light is perfect for backpacking due to its size, weight and versatility. This light can be clipped or attached practically anywhere making the perfect light for any use.

Price Paid: $25

Great light for first aid kits and as a backup for my Icon headlamp, bright and light with good battery longevity.

Price Paid: $29

I bought this, because it seemed like the most functional for my money. Its a nice bright lamp, but I've found mine to be temperamental! I've gone thru 2 now! But I still love them to death and don't go camping without it!!!

Price Paid: $24.99

This is a great headlamp for backpacking and camping. Petzl’s e+Lite ultra-compact emergency headlamp offers lightweight, compact packaging, and a 10-year battery. This headlamp should be in every disaster kit.


  • Long battery life
  • Super lightweight
  • Emergency flasher functions


  • Could be brighter

Petzl has a long history of manufacturing quality headlamps and they have really hit the mark with the e+Lite. Two lithium 2032 batteries have enabled Petzl to offer a 10-year stored battery life, perfect for a disaster kit.

Measuring 1- 1/2 inches by 1 inch, the one-ounce headlamp comes with a retractable head-string. The e+Lite features an articulated ball mount for precise aiming of the light beam and offers a variety of lighting options in two colors.

Three white LEDs provide lighting at two levels of brightness as well as an emergency flashing function. The white emergency flasher can be seen from over a mile away and will last for up to 75 hours. The single red LED offers a steady light for night vision and a flashing emergency light visible for 1000 feet with a 30-hour battery life. A lock feature on the revolving selector switch prevents unintended use.

I am always looking for ways to lighten my load while backpacking; I tested the Petzl e+Lite during several backpacking trips. Using the e+Lite is easy. Pull out the retractable head-string, insert head. The ball mount allows the light to aim at an area up to 180 degrees.

The long battery storage life is perfect for backpacking, where use is intermittent. It’s good to know you can lock the rotating switch and store the e+Lite between uses. While the light only produces 26 lumens at its brightest, it provided me with plenty of light for reading on either the high or low setting.

While the e-Lite may not be appropriate for extended night hiking it worked quite well for quick trips into the woods when nature called.

The red light came in handy when I got up in the night as it’s easier on the eyes than white light. The red light was also great when star gazing or shooting night photography as it didn’t make my pupils change in the same manner as white light would.

I tested both emergency flashers and they can be seen from quite a distance and could be a lifesaver. The Petzl e+Lite’s 10-year battery life alone is reason enough for its inclusion in my disaster kit.

Product details:

  • Battery- 2 Lithium 2032 batteries included
  • Color- Black with red switch
  • Price- $29.95



Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (I kept the product after testing.)

Disclosure: The author of this review received a sample of the product from the brand or its representative in exchange for a review.

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Price MSRP: $29.95
Current Retail: $29.95-$34.95
Historic Range: $3.96-$34.95
Reviewers Paid: $22.00-$30.00
Weight 27 g

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