AllOutdoor Review: Petzl TACTIKKA + RGB Headlamp “It’s a No-Brainer”
Patrik Orcutt 10.13.22
In 1930, Fernand Petzl discovered caving at the young age of 17. With his inventions taking up more and more space, he decided to create his own workshop, sparking the growth of his small business. It wouldn’t be until the 1970’s that the company would form into the mountaineering equipment retailer we recognize today. The company offers a staggering amount of gear today with everything from helmets to ice axes, but for the sake of this review, we will be talking about one of their better-illuminated products: a Petzl TACTIKKA plus an RGB Headlamp.
The Tactikka was independently purchased by the reviewer. Petzl did not send a review copy and had no say in this written review.
Testing – Petzl TACTIKKA + RGB Headlamp
The Petzl TACTIKKA +RGB Headlamp is a lightweight multi-color headlamp designed for hunting, fishing, and military applications. I have owned my copy of this headlamp for over three years now and have used it on dozens of night missions as well as camping or hiking expeditions. The two images below was captured while using the Petzl TACTIKKA + RGB Headlamp.
Construction – Petzl TACTIKKA + RGB Headlamp
The band is easily adjustable with a simple plastic clip to allow for easy attachment to helmets or to be looped between your gear. The headlamp is primality constructed of plastic to keep its weight down but don’t let that fool you into thinking this is a flimsy mess because it’s not. If you don’t take my word for it then maybe Petzl’s 5-year limited warranty on this headlamp will change your mind. I love it when a company is willing to put a claim like this behind their products as it means they truly believe it to be true.
I can say that in the three-plus years I have owned the Tactikka It has always turned on when I needed it to regardless of the chilly temperatures outside. I even took this guy out one night onto a ski mountain in Finland above the arctic circle on new years eve with brutal wind conditions but it still performed as expected.
Performance – Petzl TACTIKKA + RGB Headlamp
Petzl reports the high mode of this lamp to be at 350 lumens and that’s pretty impressive considering it can run for 2 hours on that mode. The medium mode gives you 120 lumens for 12 hours and then the low mode offers 5 lumens for an impressive 160 hours. The spill of the light on all of these settings is very wide and soft in comparison to my older Fenix headlamps and works great for tasks within talking distance. The selling point of this headlap for me was its ability to output in red, green, and blue as this is a very useful tool for working at night in military environments.
All of the modes are easy to switch between and simply require one press of the top button to cycle between them all. I appreciate that Petzl keeps everything simple because when it’s dark and you can’t see what you’re doing, you want things to be as simple as possible. I also like that the low mode is just 5 lumens and not 15 or 20 as I find when I’m turning on my light I don’t want to be too bright so as not to kill all of my natural night vision. Speaking of night vision, the red light will allow your eyes to stay in tune with darkness and preserve your natural night vision even when it’s on. For that reason and a few more, it’s quite advantageous to have a red light in military situations.
Battery – Petzl TACTIKKA + RGB Headlamp
The Tactikka is powered by three AAA-type batteries but can also be powered by Petzl’s own proprietary “CORE” battery pack. I did not have a chance to test this headlamp with the Core battery pack but it seems like a good option if you want to go the rechargeable route for this light. Using the AAA batteries I never had an issue with the light running out of juice when I needed it. If your looking for burn times on the different modes just reference the previous paragraph.
Weight – Petzl TACTIKKA + RGB Headlamp
Coming in at 85 grams you will often forget you even have this headlamp on you as it’s just that lite. Compared to some of my other headlamps like my Fenix, there is a noticeable difference in weight, and at the end of the day grams and oz matter.
- Light Weight
- Multiple Color Modes
- Multiple modes can be difficult to switch between
- Not waterproof
Wrap Up – Petzl TACTIKKA + RGB Headlamp
If you are in the Military or enjoy doing outdoor activities at night and require a multicolored lamp, the Petzl TACTIKKA + RGB Headlamp is a no-brainer in my opinion. It’s light, cheap, and packed with features you won’t find on many other laps at this price point and Petzl backs it with a five-year limited warranty. I’ve had mine for years and I plan on using it for years to come.