Tikka Plus / Tikka XP alternatives?

fedcas

fedcas

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Hi everyone,
i've done a search and seems like there are only two and quite small threads about that:
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...king-for-Something-to-Replace-my-Petzl-Tikkas
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?255669-Thoughts-on-new-Petzl-Tikka-Series
i'm surprised, i thought there would be plenty of people with my same question... maybe it's just in italy, or in europe, that petzl has nearly the monopole talking about headlamps for outdoor use?

anyway, i'm doing some trekking and mountaineering but i've always been using crappy headlights so far... now i want to buy a better one. Most people I know are using petzl headlamps, such as tikka2 or plus2 or xp2 but I bet that, since tikkas are so famous and mainstream, i can probably find products from other brands wich are are a better value for money.

I'm looking for something at, let's say, the same price or cheaper than the tikka plus 2, so in the 20-40 USD range.
I could go with either AAAs or AAs, but just with small battery pack or even better no battery pack at all. May consider rechargeable lithium if there's any good model in that price range.




I've already had a look around the forum and that's what i've found (EDIT: i've added other models):

- Fenix HL21 could be ok, regulated, waterproof (IPX8) http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?312934-Fenix-HL21
- Princeton Tec EOS could be ok, regulated, waterproof (IPX7), could be brighter http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?294901-Princeton-Tec-EOS-Review
- Led Lenser H7 clone on DX (sku 44500 or 29435) could be ok, pretty cool but i'm worried it might be not very reliable. (btw, is there any other interesting headlamp among the cheap ones on DX, or are them just crap?)
- Princeton Tec Remix could be ok, but not waterproof and not regulated
- Princeton Tec Remix Pro could be ok, but not waterproof. Regulated but uses CR123
- BD Spot could be ok, but i don't like the construction (there's even a gap in the battery cover when using nimhs! http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?310827-Black-Diamond-Spot-Review )
- BD Storm could be ok, regulated, waterproof (IPX7), uses 4xAAAs instead of 3, spot + flood + red... but quite expensive :( http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb...Diamond-Storm-review-gt-Waterproof-100-lumens
- Icon Irix really nice but not very bright and probably not very waterproof http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?276150-New-Icon-Irix-Headlamp/page8
- Ultrafire UF-H2 or UF-H2B zebralight clone, probably not very waterproof http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?256605-UltraFire-UF-H2


DISCARDED:
- any Zebralight too expensive



what do you suggest me?
 
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michman

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I have heard good things about the PT EOS. I opted to go with the Zebralight H51w simply based on the reviews everyone has given it, and the torture tests that they have been able to endure. I am of the mind set that I only want to buy a light once, and then be done with it for a decade, and the H51w looks like it will be able to make it through this period. I have been sporting a Tikka XP for quite a few years now, and have found it to be a great light, but I was getting tired of the 3x AAA, and the output dimming as time went on. The regulation of the Zebra is what finally won me over.

As a back up, have you considered the iTP H01? A single AAA, behaves like a Preon and i3/A3.
 
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Scotch

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I have the EOS and I like it a lot. Carrot did an excellent review. You may want to read it.
 
jcalvert

jcalvert

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My current, favorite, line-up of general-purpose headlamps is the PT Remix series (see here) including the base Remix (not regulated), the Remix MPLS (regulated), and then the Remix Pro (not regulated). The Remix line-up replaced my EOS' (spot beam) and Fuel (confined flood beam), since the Remix offers both of these two distinct beam profiles in one lamp and does so extremely well. My primary lamp is the Remix Pro model which uses a single CR123 and starts off on low, but it's non-regulated, therefore it is a bit of a power hog due to a lack of a low enough low mode. The Remix base model was recently released with a 100 lumen upgrade. Side note: This is where my Zebralight H31 (purchased on the marketplace for $40, but it's like new) really shines relative to the PT, in efficiency. But I hate the ZL lamp holder on the headstrap, so I use the H31 with the included clip. If ZL would just design a simple system to attach/detach their lamps from a pivoting holder like PT and Petzl, they would improve their "headlamp" greatly.

Anyway, for trekking and mountaineering, the Remix line-up lacks an adequate battery compartment seal (IPX4), so precipitation "could" be an issue, although I've worn mine while walking in very thick, heavy snow without any problem.

But I still also use or have available my three 70 lumen EOS lamps, two of which I keep in each of our vehicles, since they use 3x AAA lithiums and are regulated. Lithium primaries used in the EOS are advantageous while being stored in the glove compartment for long periods during cold Michigan winters. My third EOS is kept in our garage to use when grilling at night, in order to put a concentrated beam of light on the meats I'm grilling, ensuring they are cooking properly. In this application, I would prefer a neutral/warm tinted beam, but PT does not offer anything but cool whites. So I'm looking for a good used ZL H31w or H51w on the Marketplace.

Last, if your seriously considering an EOS, and if you prefer your lamp to come on in low mode first, as I do (think middle of the night urges), and if you could benefit from having the option to slide-up an integrated red lens (night reading for instance), then I would recommend the EOS Tactical. Additionally, the EOS line seems to be sufficiently water-resistant to IPX7 standards.

Personal observation: I find the switches on the Remix and EOS lines to be sufficiently large enough to even operate while wearing gloves, and they also provide the user positive tactile feedback. Too many of PT's headlamps have terrible switches which I cannot understand, when they make decent switches on these two product lines.

Honestly though, if you don't want to pay more than $40 USD, you're going to have difficulty (though not impossible) in finding a headlamp with quality features, reliability and durability. Having a high quality headlamp when mountaineering in particular, where having two hands free could be vital, IMO, I would not be looking at any product line without a long history of reported durability & reliability. Personally, my next multi-purpose headlamp may likely be the Petzl Tactikka XP Adapt at ~$55 shipped from here. The multiple mounting options available on an already wonderful lamp, IMO, would make this a ideal choice for trekking & mountaineering. If not Petzl, then the PT EOS Tactical for $44 USD from here.

OK, so that's my input based only on my personal experience, thus I will never be one of these types that claim, or overly persuade anyone who is asking for input and feedback, that the products I use are the absolute best for your needs, because I haven't tried the others, and most importantly, I'm not you. I just hope the information I provided proves to be helpful in making a qualified choice. Hopefully you will get more feedback from Fenix and LED Lensor users.

All the best in your search,
John
 
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Szemhazai

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Similar to tikka XP :
BD Spot - 90 lumen version
BD Storm - 100 lumen version

But some of my friends / customers after receiving XP-G upgrade for theirs Tikka XP they prefer it over new XP2 and Spot.
 
NoFair

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Jcalvert; does the Remix MPLS have visible PWM on the lower brightness levels?
 
R

robostudent5000

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one thing i'll say about the PT Remix is that the web is littered with reviews from owners whose Remix's have become inoperable because the battery door latch broke due to the force required to open it. the plastic there is relatively thin, but the force required to open it is really high. i tried one myself recently and almost broke a finger nail trying to open it. it has to be one of the worst battery door designs i've seen. it's a breakage waiting to happen.

as for recommendations, i really don't know what's available in Italy and what kind of deals you can get there. here in the US, the PT Eos is $30-35 and is still a very good all around performer for the price IMO. it doesn't have a red light and doesn't have an ideal beam for up close use, but it is reliable and efficient. and it's waterproof and regulated, which is nice. i would think that regulation would be an important thing to have in the mountains as it would allow you to use batteries that perform better in the cold (Eneloops or Lithium primaries) without the brightness of the output levels being affected or the circuit being burned out.
 
Last edited:
jcalvert

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Jcalvert; does the Remix MPLS have visible PWM on the lower brightness levels?

I don't have this model as it's fairly new, but after looking it over on PT's website, I still think I'll prefer the Petzl Tactikka XP Adapt's multi-mounting options better. However, other than the the MPLS's mounting system, I'm sure the Remix lamp itself is simply the base model. With that considered, I do not detect any PWM on either of the 2 low levels of any of my Remixes (Pro included), but then maybe I'm not sensitive to it.

one thing i'll say about the PT Remix is that the web is littered with reviews from owners whose Remix's have become inoperable because the battery door latch broke due to the force required to open it. the plastic there is relatively thin, but the force required to open it is really high. i tried one myself recently and almost broke a finger nail trying to open it. it has to be one of the worst battery door designs i've seen. it's a breakage waiting to happen.

This is problem that should have been resolved long ago! I've been fortunate in that I cut my PT teeth on the cheaper Fuel with a similar battery compartment door design, and after breaking one door I learned the best way for me to open the Remix's door w/o issue. PT claimed after that incident that they were introducing a stronger plastic for the doors. In 2+ years of use and 4 Remixes, I haven't had any feeling that I was coming close to breaking the door on the Remix & Pro. I would try to describe exactly how I get away with it if I could adequately put it in words. All I can say is that I use the palm-side of my right thumb and wedge open slowly and deliberately.

All the best guys,
John
 
NoFair

NoFair

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Thank you. Appreciate it:thumbsup:
 
carrot

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The only headlamps I'd put head to head against the Petzl Tikka 2 Plus and XP2 are the Black Diamond Spot and Storm as Szemhazai mentioned. They have the closest feature parity and match Petzl pretty evenly.
- long runtimes
- good track record for reliability
- offers both flood and spot modes (XP2 v. Spot/Storm)
- offers red output

However, I will note that both Petzls have better water resistance than the Spot but worse than the Storm, and the Petzls seem to be constructed more solidly.

I have the EOS, XP2, Spot, H31Fw and Saint, but personally, the headlamp that I use on 90% of my adventures is the Petzl Tikka XP2, equipped with the rechargeable CORE li-ion battery. It is lightweight, offers plenty of runtime, rechargeable and extremely well made. It is all-around very versatile and is hassle-free to deal with: just plug it in to recharge when I get home.
 
fedcas

fedcas

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thank you guys for all the info! :) i've added the models you mentione to my first post ;)


as for recommendations, i really don't know what's available in Italy and what kind of deals you can get there.
not that much unfortunately... it's quite difficult to find well stocked outdoor shops and prices are quite high. So i'll buy anything apart from petzl (the only brand i can find easily here) directly from ebay.

i would think that regulation would be an important thing to have in the mountains as it would allow you to use batteries that perform better in the cold (Eneloops or Lithium primaries) without the brightness of the output levels being affected or the circuit being burned out.
uh? what do you mean? I always use eneloops batteries on my flashlights... you mean that i could have lower light output due to the lower voltage in comparison with alkalines? and what about the burning out?




but... googling around i've found two other interestings model, what do you think about them?

Icon Irix
http://www.myiconlight.com/myiconlight/content/templates/main/main/products.html

Ultrafire UF-H2 o UF-H2B (looks like a zebralight clone)
http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?256605-UltraFire-UF-H2
 
Last edited:
R

robostudent5000

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uh? what do you mean? I always use eneloops batteries on my flashlights... you mean that i could have lower light output due to the lower voltage in comparison with alkalines? and what about the burning out?

it seems to be that most of the time, using Eneloops in a non-regulated light will give you about 20% less output than the claimed maximum. non-regulated lights drive current directly dependent on input voltage, and since Eneloops have a lower starting voltage than alkalines, you won't get the maximum claimed output from a non-regulated lamp if you use it with Eneloops. Lithium primaries have higher voltage than alkalines and can burn out some lights if they're not designed to handle the extra voltage. regulated lights drive current somewhat independent of input voltage and will give the maximum stated output with pretty much all battery types within the specified voltage range.

for example, the Tikka Plus 2 is rated at 50 lumens. if you use it with alkalines, it probably starts at 50 lumens and in half an hour dims to 40 lumens and steadily declines from there. if you use it with Eneloops, it probably starts around 40 lumens and hovers around there for a while, but will never give you the claimed maximum of 50 lumens. if you use it with lithiums, i'm not sure exactly what happens as i've never tried it myself. the Tikka Plus 2 is supposed to be compatible with lithiums so it should work, but some older non-regulated lights will actually burn out.

in comparison, a PT Eos is regulated, is rated at 70 lumens. and will give you 70 lumens for as long as the batteries are able whether you use alkaline, Eneloop, or lithium batteries.
 
V

vinatok

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The only headlamps I'd put head to head against the Petzl Tikka 2 Plus and XP2 are the Black Diamond Spot and Storm as Szemhazai mentioned.

Hi, I posted my experience with a new BD Spot on the wrong forum (LED flashlights), sorry a newbie mistake. Anyway, the new Spot has an entirely different reflector/lens design that results in a "dark hole" (lack of light) in the center of the main beam. My old Spots have a very high quality uniform beam and consequently a different reflector/lens. I don't know why BD would even bother with the new Spot design unless it's just to dazzle consumers with it's brightness. I even checked a second one out in the store just to make sure it wasn't my particular purchase, it looked the same -dark hole. I did notice the Storm's beam profile and uniformity seems like the old Spots. That hole in the middle of the beam drives me crazy. The new Spot would be OK for a runner I guess, it is bright, but I don't think it would illuminate any object with any distinction in the wilderness night -say a bear moving in the scrub.
I did find a youtube review that compares the Petzl xp2 and the new BD Spot main beam here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGM4qxGf8jU
Look at the beam output at ~6:20; you can clearly see the "hole" in the Spot's beam.
just my 2c
 
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fedcas

fedcas

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i tried a BD spot from a friend yesterday, not very impressive...


So, i would have gone for the icon irix I if only it was brighter and ipx7/8... but it's not, so i have to discard it :(
i think the only 3 products which are a real alternative to tikkas (and which seem much better than them, for my needs at least) are (all of them are regulated and are at least IPX7)

- Princeton Tec EOS

pros:
cons: 70 lumen it's not bad but could be better, no way to attach a diffuser without heavy modifications
price: about 36 USD shipped to italy on ebay

- Fenix HL21
pros: IPX8, 97 lumen, maybe supports 14500?, AD401 diffuser available as optional, seems very sturdy
cons: maybe doesn't support 14500?
price: about 38 USD shipped to italy on ebay (+ 5 shipping included for the AD401 diffuser)

- Black Diamond Storm
pros: 100 lumen, uses 4xAAAs instead of 3, spot+flood+red
cons: expensive
price: about 60 USD shipped to italy on ebay
 
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robostudent5000

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- Fenix HL21
pros: IPX8, 97 lumen, maybe supports 14500?, AD401 diffuser available as optional, seems very sturdy
cons: maybe doesn't support 14500?
price: about 38 USD shipped to italy on ebay (+ 5 shipping included for the AD401 diffuser)

additional cons: the bracket legs have been known to break. the diffuser is kind of useless - it's better at creating glare than at diffusing the beam. the runtime on the mid mode on an Eneloop is only about 5 hours. and since the low mode is really only bright enough for use inside a tent, the medium mode ends up getting used a lot to the detriment of battery life. it really needs another mode, one in the 10-20 lumen range.
 
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fedcas

fedcas

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i see... thank you ;)
the fenix was the one that i was more thinking about buying... mut now i have more doubts...

do you know whether it supports 14500 or not?
 
J

Jeffa

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I have this one, Energizer TUFHD31PE Hard Case Professional 70 Lumen LED Headlight 3xAA Batteries. It is really durable and versatile, it is not the brightest either 70 or 100 lumens depending which write up you believe. I think it is 70 lumens but it throws fairly well and has a lower setting and green and red leds, with a nice diffuser. You can pick it up for around $35.
 

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