The Petzl E97 PM Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp is a comfortable, easy to operate, bright LED headlamp that can be used in a variety of situations. With a maximum brightness of 50 lumens, the single LED headlamp can send a beam of light around 100 feet out. It is powered by 3 AAA batteries that will keep it running for 55 hours to 140 hours in high and low power modes respectively.
There is a single rubberized button on the top of the headlamp that serves as the on/off button, as well as the adjustments for the mode of the light. Pressing the button once will turn the white led on to full power. Clicking it again without a delay will bring it to low power, clicking again will enable flashing, strobe mode, and clicking it once more will turn it off. If the button is pushed and held, a red LED that is not nearly as bright will be turned on. These red LED can also be set to strobe mode in the same way as the white LED can be. The red LED is mainly used for preserving night vision, providing a small amount of illumination, and letting others see your location in the dark without being ‘blinded’ by a white light.
The Petzl headlamp also has memory, meaning that when it is next turned on, it will “remember” what setting it was last on, and return to that, which is a nice feature to have, rather than constantly having to cycle through the modes.
All my life I had been a big fan of super bright handheld flashlights until I spent 3 hours in the dark trying to pick pieces of paper off a golf course, and raking with one hand, a flashlight in the other. This particular experience was following a firework show that I had helped to set up and fire for a community just north of Phoenix, Arizona. Following this, I immediately researched headlamps and purchased the Petzl for my next show. Fast forward to July 4th, 2011 at an annual Fourth of July fireworks show in Maricopa, where both hands are required for cleanup of various items. I simply strapped the headlamp on, tightened it up and it worked absolutely brilliantly. The ‘head’ of the lamp can be adjusted in angle such that the beam of light is aimed exactly where your eyes are looking, and the brightness of the single LED provided more than enough illumination in the dark field I happened to be working in. The Petzl E97 is lightweight too, so I quickly forgot I even had it on.Throughout the rest of the night the Petzl headlamp continued to perform flawlessly, never missing a beat. Even after many hours of high powered use I have yet to replace the batteries.
Headlamps are an indispensable tool when both hands are needed for working. Although it certainly doesn’t replace a good handheld flashlight, it is a light that I will continue to use and value. This particular model is priced at approximately $33 USD, which is a bit steep, but well worth the price in the end, especially for a product not made in China.