Separating this headlamp from the already prolific Ultra-compact Tactikka line is the new CORE rechargeable battery pack. Packing enough juice to emit up to 350 lumens, the new headlamp has a clear leg-up on the competition. Petzl has been a major innovator since Ferdinand Petzlln (Petzl) discovered the world of caving at the age of 17. In the 1940’s Ferdinand designed and hand built lights to assist the setting of several world records in cave exploration.

Petzl TACTIKKA CORE Headlamp | First Look
CORE battery pack with micro USB plug

Continuing that innovative philosophy is the compact and lightweight CORE battery pack. What’s nice is the ability to recharge the battery with a micro USB plug, common to many phones and small electronic devices. Not some proprietary plug and cord that you’ll inevitability misplace. Furthermore, the Tactikka Core headlamp features a Hybrid concept. Without the need for an adapter, the Tactikka Core can operate using (3) AAA batteries as well. Additional features include a lightweight elastic headband and a built-in emergency whistle. Finally, a ratcheting hinge allows the user to fine-tune the aim of the headlamp.

Petzl TACTIKKA CORE Headlamp | First Look
Built-in emergency whistle

Featuring a multi-beam headlamp design, the Tactikka Core offers a wide array of lighting possibilities. All accessed from a single top mounted button. One push of the button offers proximity lighting. This is provided by the 5 lumen LED lamp offering a diffused beam perfect for a quick map check. Another push of the button offers up 100 lumens via an additional LED which is perfect for moving out. A third press of the button unleashes the full 350 lumens of power from this compact headlamp. Able to illuminate out to 95 meters, this power setting should be used sparingly as it will drain the battery in 2 hours. Push and hold the single button and the headlamp will switch to the ultra stealthy 2 lumen red LED. Finally, a red strobe can be accessed with an additional push of the button.

Petzl TACTIKKA CORE Headlamp | First Look
Single button 3 LED Lamp array

Tactikka Core specs courtesy of petzl.com

Lighting color Lighting modes Brightness Distance Burn time Reserve mode
white MAX AUTONOMY 5 lm 7 m 160 h
STANDARD 100 lm 50 m 7 h 3 h at 5 lm
MAX POWER 350 lm 95 m 2 h
red proximity 2 lm 6 m 40 h
strobe visible at 700 m for 350 h

Ultra compact headlamps are best suited for outdoor sportsman searching for a headlamp with a max output to weight ratio. At 2.8 oz. (including battery) and a maximum output of 350 lumens, the Tactikka Core is sure to meet the demands of such discriminating outdoorsman. I find that the Tactikka Core headlamp is a little lighter and much more powerful than my Princeton Tec Sync. For this reason, the Tactikka Core is inside the top flap of my backpack, ready for my next backcountry adventure.