Since 1975, Petzl — the company — has been building products stemming from generations of family exploration and mountaineering experience. While they have developed many product categories such as climbing harnesses, helmets, packs, and countless other devices and accessories — to me they are most known for their affordable and impeccable headlamps. The Petzl TIKKA headlamp offers an affordable headlamp option for camping, climbing, travel, or general everyday use. At a $29.95 MSRP, the TIKKA offers a great compact and versatile lighting option.

My favorite features on the TIKKA are the emergency whistle, phosphorescent reflector, and red lighting mode option.  The emergency whistle is seamlessly embedded into the fastener on the headband and provides a small but potentially important safety and survival feature that doesn’t get in the way. The phosphorescent reflector surrounding the primary LED is intended to help you locate the headlamp in the dark, and as the image below indicates the bright green glow can be very effective. The red lighting mode is great for ensuring your light doesn’t blind members of your group while providing a stealthy light mode for yourself. The red lighting mode also features a strobe option that can be visible at 700 meters for up to 400 hours.

Specifications on the TIKKA> include a maximum lighting output of 200 lumens (lm) at full charge while offering a 100 lm and 5 lm option when less light is required or to conserve batteries. Batteries are included with the purchase of the TIKKA (3x AAA), but there is an option to purchase an additional rechargeable CORE battery pack if you wish. Battery life ranges from 240 hours at 5 lumens (white lighting) to 60 hours for 200 lumens. Lighting modes are operated by a single button and are very easily navigated. At 86 grams, the headlamp is incredibly light and is very comfortable on the head. The adjustable head strap ensures a good fit with or without a hat/helmet. The TIKKA is IP X4 water resistant which essentially means it is splash resistant. I would not recommend submerging it or exposing it to prolonged amounts of heavy rain.

Overall this product is a great option for travel, camping, or emergency scenarios. The only downside to this particular model is the mild water resistance, but it is durable and has a great burn time in regards to battery life. For such a compact accessory, it is no trouble to include one in a pack or vehicle to have when hands-free lighting is required. Petzl is a well-known brand in this space, and they certainly deliver a winner with the affordable TIKKA.

Lighting performance specs from Petzl


Lighting color Lighting modes Brightness Distance Burn time
white MAX AUTONOMY 5 lm 10 m 240 h
STANDARD 100 lm 40 m 60 h
MAX POWER 200 lm 60 m
red proximity 2 lm 5 m
strobe visible at 700 m for 400 h

*All images courtesy of the author