For evening runs, especially in the winter, a headtorch is an essential piece of a runners kit, both to see and also be seen. When I was looking at the different headtorches available the most important thing to take into account was how much light (lumens) I’d need for my use. In general more lumens means a higher cost.
I needed the headtorch for use on both on lit and unlit roads, but also for completely dark locations such as woodland trails. After checking out what was available (this was in 2015) I finally decided on the Petzl Tikka RXP.
Based on my usage I decided that I wanted a headtorch with somewhere in the region of 200 lumens. The RXP has 220 so fitted the bill nicely and similar to a lot of other headtorches you can select different lumen (brightness) levels based on your requirements at the time. Once switched on, the power button on the top cycles through high, medium and low modes. An infrared mode is also available, although I haven’t had any use for this yet.
The RXP goes a step further than most other headtorches and for each of the high, medium and low levels you can customise the lumen level by plugging the headtorch into a computer. After a bit of use at the default settings, I was able to set these up to give me optimal light for each of my usage scenarios which in turn gave me a longer battery life.
Speaking of battery life, I didn’t want to be spending a fortune on batteries, so another of my requirements was that the headtorch was rechargeable. The RXP comes with a li-ion battery which can easily be recharged in a few hours with the supplied compact USB cable. The battery life obviously varies based on your light output, but I probably get on average around 8 hours of use per charge. An optional extra which I brought ‘just in case’ is a battery casing which accepts AAA batteries. This then clips into the torch just like the supplied battery pack, giving the best of both worlds.
My favourite feature of the RXP however is the reactive lighting mode. Available on each of the lighting levels, the reactive lighting adjusts the light level based on the amount of light coming back into the headtorch. This means that when you look at your watch for example, the lighting is automatically dimmed, to then brighten back up when you look back to the road. It also means that oncoming car drivers won’t be blinded by your light as it reacts to the car headlights, reducing the output down to a level where you can still be seen. I was a little dubious as to how well this would work in practice but it’s so good that I hardly notice it doing it’s thing unless I actively think about it.
As you’d expect, the headstrap is very comfortable and allows you to manually tilt the beam to where you require it. It doesn’t feel too heavy on your head and the strap is easily adjustable and generally doesn’t require adjusting once you’ve got it set to where you want it.
I really love this headtorch and it performs excellently every time I use it. I’m trying to think of some negatives to give this review balance, but for me, I can’t think of any. I suppose the cost is higher than some simpler models with non-rechargeable batteries, but the cost of batteries would rack up pretty quickly. For the features you get I feel the slightly higher initial cost is justified.
If you’re interested in picking up the Petzl REACTIK or Petzl REACTIK+ then please think about using the Amazon links below. You get the normal great Amazon service and this site receives a small referral fee which helps keep the lights on.