Headlamps are easy insurance when ski touring and downright indispensable when it comes to general camping. They have also have come a long way thanks to LED technology. LED’s burn brighter, longer and use less power – a perfect combination for small headlamps. The next best thing to happen to headlamps is rechargeable battery systems.
Hands down one of the best small headlamps on the market is the Petzl Tikka XP2 with the CORE rechargeable battery. The XP2 is small enough to take anywhere and bright enough to facilitate real activity. With a single button, the XP2 offers two beam intensities, one high and one low, and a wide angle diffuser that turns either beam into a broad light beam for map reading or general use. In addition, the light offers a strobe mode and can toggle to a red LED (strobe or continuous).
Petzl’s new CORE rechargeable battery system uses a small Lithium Ion Polymer battery and is compatible with the Tikka headlamps. The CORE battery snaps into place on the back of the headlamp and can be charged via any standard USB charger. The unique piece of the CORE battery is that, when charged with a computer, the battery can be programmed with Petzl’s free software, Petzl OS, to perform as you like. The software lets you regulate power based on burn time. You can set it for regulated light intensity for the life of the charge or go for the slow fade to maximize battery life. The software is super easy to use, and you can save different battery profiles. For example, you can have a dawn patrol setting where you get full intensity for a short period. For longer adventures, you can maximize burn time at a moderate brightness level. Each profile can be saved for future use.
The CORE battery retains full functionality for 300 charge cycles (beyond that, its capacity is approximately 30% lower than its initial capacity). It is equivalent to more than 900 AAA batteries!