Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A (slow) Freight Train Coming At'cha: PETZL TIKKA RXP review)

I don’t know about you guys, but I have a difficult time running in the dark – even with a headlamp and glasses. I prefer not to run with my glasses, but the reality is I need them. Glasses along with a good headlamp is a must.
A while back, the Valley Running Co.. guru, German Madrazo, told me of a new Petzl headlamp he'd received in his store. He spoke about it with a passion (but then again, German, speaks of anything running with a passion) and that I just had to try it.
Having several Captain Karl's night races coming up within the next couple of months, I was in the market for better lighting.
After being intrigued with the specs of the TIKKA RXP, I gave in and purchased it. My 60 lumen Petzl headlamp was still good enough, but it probably was time to upgrade after several years with it. Besides, you can't really compare 60 to 215 lumen. It's no competition. 
So I gave in and purchased it.  
I used it a couple of time during several miles in the dark and was instantly convinced it was a great deal.
It features REACTIVE LIGHTING technology. Reactive what, you ask? It has a light sensor that allows the light output to adjust automatically. When I first saw this in an ad for the headlamp, I was skeptical. Who better than myself to determine how much light output I need? I was wrong. Sometimes when I’m  running, I just don’t want to turn this knob/button to adjust this, adust that or the other. If this is you, this headlamp is for you. Or should I say, it does it for you. Really. It does.  
It comes with a USB Rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery, but if you are out running for hours and hours like myself and a couple of my friends, you may want to invest in extra battery packs (my plan is to have a couple charged battery packs in my vest to switch out). This would allow to for having it on max all the time. I'm not a big on having it on a lower setting to extend battery life -  I need the max light and that’s all there is to it.  
 The highest setting offers 215 lumen lasting 2.5 hours. The medium setting offers 160 lumens at 5 hours, and the lowest setting offers 70 lumens for 10 hours. Even at the lowest setting, it is an improvement over my previous headlamp.
Last night, I truly saw it at work. I had a somewhat long workout to complete. Although I started early in the afternoon, I knew the possibility of ending up running in the dark was high, so I took my headlamp with me. Just in case. I’m glad I did because I ended up running along a darkened canal and street for about an hour.
Part of my run went through a shopping center, by the way.
As I started running through the canal, I had a huge spotlight lighting the way. As I turned towards the trees, my spotlight followed.
As soon as I hit the shopping center parking lot, the light dimmed. Just as advertised…it sensed that I didn’t need the huge spotlight. Nice.
Less than ½ mile later, I was going down a tiny darkened road. There was no side walk, and as I crossed the street, I noticed that incoming cars were slowing down before they even came close to me. I guess I looked like an incoming vehicle to them. A slow incoming vehicle, of course.
I'd strongly recommend getting a good headlamp with adequate lighting. In the summer time, we all tend to start running later because of the heat and inevitably end up running in the dark. Plus, we all know that it's just us runners against the vehicles out there. Always assume a driver doesn't see you. With the TIKKA RXP, they won't be able to miss the freight train that is you coming.
To my running friends considering running the local night racing series such as the Red White & Glow 10k, Rock the Night 10k or Firefly 10k, I suggest you seriously run to VRC and consider your choice of lighting. When you're running a darkened trail alone and think you heard a noise behind'll thank me. Trust me.


  1. Nice review. The Petzl Tikka RXP and R+ both exceeded my expectations.

    1. Thank you. Being almost as blind as a bat, I'm really pleased with how its performed. I need to stock up on extra battery packs - I love using it on max power.

  2. Gosh, I've been thinking of a new Petzl and you may have made up my mind. I like that it's made in USA

    1. Good eye, Fawn. I didn't notice that. I've never been around 200+ lumens in the dark in a trail. It's the best!!! See you soon at a trail.

  3. thanks! that is a great review. i have been looking at another light, my only concern has been comments about the reactive lighting reacting with your breath in the winter, but probably this is not an issue running at night in Texas. while the Nao looks awesome i think that this tikka rxp would be great for my needs, even with the light dimming a little w winter running.

    1. Interesting. I had never heard about the light dimming w/ your breath in cold, but you are correct: not really an issue in South Texas. Other than this possible glitch, I've been really happy with the reactive lighting.