Petzl Tikka R+ Review

20th Nov 2013

I was lucky enough to receive one of Petzl's brand new Tikka R+ headtorches for testing some months ago (I received the torch for a group test that appears in the latest Trek & Mountain Magazine).  The R+ is one of Petzl's second cohort of torches featuring the revolutionary Reactive Lighting Technology and follows the success of it's original big brother, the Petzl Nao (I reviewed the Nao in detail for UKClimbing last year and that piece also contains a lot of general information about reactive lighting which potential R+ buyers will find very useful.  It can be found here).  Due to space limitations the Trek and Mountain review had to be briefer but, as the R+ (along with it's partner model which is called the RXP) has just been released on general sale we thought Peak Mountaineers might find it useful....

Petzl’s Tikka R+

RRP £70

Weight 115 gms

Features

A couple of years ago Petzl introduced a headtorch featuring a system called ‘Reactive Lighting’.  A sensor positioned next to the lighting LED measures the amount of reflected light and adjusts the headlamp's beam pattern and light output to the user's needs.  The Tikka R+ is a brand new model featuring the same system.

The Tikka R+ has a single high-power LED offering 170 lumens of output.  The torch comes with 3 factory-set lighting modes which can be customised using free downloadable software. Standard static lighting can also be selected.  The torch can also be used with a guaranteed minimum burn time. Charge time is 4.5hrs and, although burn times vary according to how much variety there is in the use of close up or long distance lighting and the mode used, 6 hours on the medium setting is realistic.

The R+ comes with a lithium ion battery that is charged via mains or USB although a separate battery compartment allowing the torch to run off 3 AAA’s is also available. It is rated IP X4 for waterproofness and also has red LEDs which can help preserve night vision.

In Use

Petzl’s reactive lighting system is brilliant!  The change in light output is so quick you don’t notice the adjustment – you just notice that you haven’t got a dazzling beam when you are trying to read your map and that the way ahead is lit up when you look at the trail ahead.  The R+ features a double headband that is very comfortable and the controls are very intuitive.  The ability to use non rechargeables is also great for expedition use.  The only drawback is the fiddly buttons that make operation tricky with thick gloves on. 

Score 9/10 (would have been a 10/10 if those buttons were a bit bigger!)

Verdict

An innovative and fully featured torch that is versatile enough for all outdoor activities and expedition use.

Want to find out more?

Full details are available on the Petzl website here.

Posted by Paul