Petzl Tikka 2 Core 2011

Gone are the days when you would have to carry a spare bulb for your headtorch and be a master at replacing it with freezing fingers in a blizzard during a night descent off the hill. But while LEDs (light-emitting diodes) have transformed the need to replace bulbs, the need to change batteries remains the Achilles heel of most headtorches that pump out a lot of power. But now, thanks to Petzl, even battery changing could be a thing of the past.
The new Petzl Tikka 2 Core headtorch, which comes with a three year guarantee, features a rechargeable battery that can be pre-programmed to last as long as you need it to. Simply load the Petzl OS software onto your computer, plug in the Core battery to your PC, and preset the output power and battery life you need for your trip.
I actually had problems loading a working version of the software onto my PC and Mac, so I had to talk to Petzl to get it to work. But once loaded, using the program is simple – and for short evening walks when you know you need 3 hours of light for example this is an ideal solution.
It takes around 3 hours to charge the battery from a mains power supply, and the lithium Core battery has a lifetime of 300 charging cycles or the equivalent of 900 disposable AAA batteries. So there is a real environmental bonus here too. If you want to save some cash then the Core battery is a great choice too as it works out at around the same price as just seven regular batteries, and yet it has a life equivalent to 900 batteries.
The use of a lithium battery cell also brings better performance at lower temperatures; and if you are interested in saving weight then the Core battery weighs 14 per cent lighter than conventional batteries. But most importantly you can still use conventional AAA batteries if needed in emergencies.

Verdict
Just as LEDs transformed a headtorch’s light source, so the Core battery will transform its power source. With the Petzl Tikka 2 Core the future’s bright – assuming you can get the software to work!

Price £65 for Tikka 2 headtorch and Core battery set; £30 Core battery and USB lead for PC; £80 for Tikka XP headtorch, Core battery set 
Bulbs 4 x white LED
Brightness 35 lumens maximum
Burn time 23 hours maximum
Beam length 28 metres maximum
Batteries Core battery (included) or 3xAAA
Battery charge indicator yes
Weight with Core battery 74g
Made in China
Stockist details – tel. (015396) 25493; www.petzl.com

 

Just as LEDs transformed a headtorch’s light source, so the Core battery will transform its power source. With the Petzl Tikka 2 Core the future’s bright – assuming you can get the software to work!

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine February 2011