Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Petzl TacTikka Plus 4-LED Headlamp
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on February 10, 2007
A few years ago I thought to get one of these for hikes, night photography, and simply having a lightweight flashlight in my camera bag or for when the power goes out. I read up on them, found Petzl to be the best, and yet the complaints were that the Petzl model at the time had only one brightness setting, didn't tilt, wasn't water resistant, and had no red filter. A year later Petzl came out with this model, and everything had been fixed to perfection.

Needless to say, I got one and loved it. For those new to LED headlamps, what's great about them is they leave your hands free and you never have to think about aiming the light. If the power's out, and you're tying your shoes and then looking under a cupboard and carrying out blankets, the light is always right where you need it.

Also, for walking at night, a flashlight will light up just a pizza-size spot in the middle of the road, but this headlamp casts a wide swath of light completely across a small road, so you don't have to scan for fallen limbs or porcupines - everything is lit up evenly and it's much easier finding your way about.

The only downside to having the lamp right over your eyes is when it's foggy or snowing, since it lights up everything right in front of your face. But simply take it in hand, as a very light flashlight, or attach it to your belt, and all is well again. In fact, it works so that you can press the button in for when you want to check something, and then let it go and it'll go off. Much better than clicking through the four brightness settings time and again.

So I loved using this headlamp, and then I accidentally dropped it in salt water when kayaking. Not recommended. The directions actually say you can wash it out with fresh water and dry it, but I didn't get to it for a couple of days, and it had of course corroded.

Well, I had to order a new one, and what do you know - it came with a little sticker on it that says, "New LED Technology, +80%." What was this about?

I dug out the specs, and sure enough, they boosted the reach from 17m (at Maximum brightness) to 32m. And not only that, but they extended the battery life at Maximum from 80 to 100 hrs. In short, the Maximum setting on my old one is now the Economical setting and lasts twice as long. You can really see the difference - the Maximum setting lights up a yard and the red filter is now bright enough to hike by, when before it was best for reading or up-close work.

Way to go, Petzl.
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on April 17, 2008
I've only had a chance to use the Tactikka Plus on one 6 mile run. So far I like it very much. It's very lightweight, comfortable and stays in place. Some of the roads I run on are very well lit while others are almost completely dark. I wanted a light that was bright enough for me to see in the dark places even after my eyes had adjusted to the street-lit areas. The packaging for mine did not have the "80% Brighter" sticker that I have seen on similar new Petzl equipment so I wondered if it was going to work well for me. It did. Even at the low setting it was bright enough for me to see potholes and dips in the road. The light covers a wide area and reaches far enough in front that I don't "outrun" it. The switch is easy to use. The adjustable angle housing is essential for dialing in exactly where you want the light pointed without having to hold your head at a weird angle.

The headband does soak up sweat and it did take a few hours to dry out. I don't know if anything can be done to improve this.

Overall, I would recommend it to others. I would also check out the Princeton Tec Quad. It looks to be nearly identical but it is cheaper. It trades the flip up red lens on the Petzl for a waterproof housing.

*** UPDATE ***
I've now had this headlamp for 5 months and use it many times per week. Everything I liked about it initially I still like. For no apparent reason the lamp now will not turn off. Instead it goes into an ultra dim mode that you may not notice at first but continues to drain the batteries. I have not dropped or physically damaged the light. I've tried new batteries twice. Then I sent the lamp back to Petzl at my expense for their review. Customer service was excellent and prompt. They sent me a new lamp but unfortunately it is a Tactikka instead of a Tactikka Plus which means it only turns on or off. This is a shame because I use the lamp almost exclusively in the low setting.

While my old lamp was being evaluated I used a Princton Tec Fuel. Unfortunately for Petzl even though this lamp has only three LED's it is an improvement over my Tactikka plus in every way except comfort. It is only slightly less comfortable to wear and the flood pattern is better (it has more of a spotlight in the center with a wider flood light on the sides). I ended up never using the red flip up filter on the Tactikka Plus because I wanted to make sure oncoming traffic could see me easily. I'll be using the Fuel instead of the Tacktikka now.
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on August 12, 2009
overall, this headlamp is designed well and operates well. the only two complaints i have is with the red filter. when the red lens cover is snapped over the white leds, there is a small light gap and not all red light is seen. also, its very challenging to find the tab in which enables you to add/ remove the red lens. if you plan on using this primarily for the red light, i wouldn't recommend this headlamp.
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on September 29, 2007
I have used several other headlamps, incandescent and LED, over the years and this is by far the best.
1. Light dispersion. The light pattern from this very uniform. The center of the pattern is brighter but the transition to the edges is very uniform with no discernable hot-spots. The pattern is wide enough to provide good peripheral visibility. When you are hiking at night there is no need to keep moving your head around to see the edges of the trail. The middle brightness level provides plenty of light for night hiking even for my old eyes. Younger eyes will do fine with the lamp at its lowest brightness level which will really extend the already great battery life.
2. Light weight and compact. The three AAA cells are carried close to your forehead. You hardly notice the presence of the lamp. Other headlamps that I have used have placed the lamp assembly so far out from the head that the lamp tends to bob up and down when you walk. Others with the battery pack at the back of the head or on the belt balance alright but the battery pack and wiring snag on brush, bump on the backpack or prevent you from resting you head on a pillow. The Petzl is compact enough to wear either over or beneath a hat when the rain begins.
3. Tough. I have dropped my Petzl on rock or concrete a couple of times. The worst that happened was the the battery compartment popped open. The headlamp was undamaged and went right back into service.
4. Standard batteries. AAA cells are as common as dirt. When they do finally have to be replaced there is no problem finding new cells.
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on June 26, 2012
Pros:
1. It is bright. It puts out quite a bit of light.
2. It's lightweight.
3. Three name brand batteries are included.
4. The light comes with a three year warranty.

Cons:
1. Light bleeds out through the edges of the red filter quite badly.
2. Feels very cheap. Definitely doesn't feel like a $37 light, let alone the higher priced $45 color.
3. Red lens? Nope. It might look red at first, but you're getting pure orange light. I compared it against another red tactical light I have and it's not red at all.
4. It claims to be water resistant, but there are no soft-touch sealing materials or rubber edges that would possibly keep water out of the battery chamber.

Overall, I am very disappointed with this light. Yes, it's brighter than the $10 headlamp at your hardware store, and the red flip up lens is convenient, but it does not put out red light. I purchased this to use in some upcoming night land navigation courses I'm going through as part of my military training. This will not work at all. It bleeds out enough white light on the edges to disqualify me with that alone, but the fact that the light doesn't even look remotely red, rather orange, will make me stand out like a sore thumb on the course. This light will not work in the least for the course I need it on. I have used several different brands of headlamps now, and the feel and look of this lamp is much more akin to the $10 cheapos than the more expensive "tactical lights" that are in this price range. I would steer completely clear of this model, especially if you actually need quality RED light in tactical, camping, or training situations.

I would NOT recommend this lamp to anyone, honestly. Better alternatives are to be had for what you pay. It gets two starts because it is bright and comes with quality Duracell batteries.

Update: Now that I have a similarly priced Princeton Tec EOS Tactical light in hand to compare, I can safely say that I am glad to be returning this light. The Princeton is brighter (45 lumens, and it does look noticeably brighter in practical use), it actually puts out real red light when you flip up the lens, and is waterPROOF, not just water resistant. The Princeton Tec also feels to be of a much higher build quality. It's a night and day difference. It also has a rubber seal and screws shut tightly, rather than just snapping shut like this light. In addition, no white light leaks out of the Princeton Tec. And that's still not the end of the differences between the two. The Princeton light has a 10 year international warranty, and a lifetime US warranty, vs only three years, and it's made in the U.S.A., for those concerned with that.

Bottom line: DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT. Buy the Princeton Tec EOS Tactical instead, for roughly the same price. I don't know how this light has gotten so many positive reviews, unless they've recently started making it cheaper and slipping in quality.
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on February 25, 2007
This headlamp is identical to the E49P except it's camoflauge instead of black. The brightness of this headlamp is amazing. I love the red filter for night hikes or just so I don't blind other people (or myself when trying to save night vision). The headlamp is light (only 78 grams w/ batteries) and also extremely comfortable and stable on my head. The battery life is unbeatable, ranging from 100-150 hours on 3 AAA batteries. I can't find a thing wrong with this headlamp other than it's not 100% waterproof, but it is water resistant. For this price, I think the Tac Tikka Plus is easily the best.
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on September 15, 2007
I'm an Electrician and I just used this light on a service replacement job. It worked great. The fact that it's on my head is perfect, the fact that the battery life is phenomenal, is perfect and the fact that it's super bright makes this a winner for the professional. I have 2; one for me and one for my helper. Don't bother with handheld flashlights if you need to use your hands. I'm going to get one for my Nephew as a gift, he's also in the Trade.
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on November 15, 2006
I used this for my early morning (2am) hike on Mt Whitney. It was pretty good going by brightness level. Fitting was also good. I think the battery life is long compared with some of the others, as I saw many hikers who battery died after 4-5 hours and were following me on the hike. Hope my review helps you in buying this product.
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on September 12, 2007
This headlamp came just in time for me to do a 4-mile run in the dark. I needed something to provide light so I could see the road and drivers could see me. Getting a headlamp seemed like a really good option (carrying a flashlight while running is a pain), and I was very curious about the TacTikka Plus after reading all the rave reviews.

I was really concerned, though about the comfort. I usually get headaches from headbands or hats--but not this. It was very ergonomic and stayed on my head without bouncing off. It also provided me with amazing visibility which made me feel very safe on my run. My husband works on electrical equipment and is now very interested in obtaining more of these lamps for his work.
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on November 29, 2007
This headlamp is a great little headlamp to have stowed away in your hunting or camping gear. Very comfortable, light, and bright enough to see where you are hiking. The red filter is very handy when looking at maps or near work in camp. This is not the lamp to use if you need alot of light out ahead of you and the red filter does decrease some of the light emitted from the lamp, making it not produce as wide a beam or as distant. Overall this is a very effecient, handy headlamp that will fit the needs of almost all outdoor enthusiasts.
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