What's It For?
The Tikka XP2 is the revamped version of Petzl's compact and versatile all-round head torch. With a mazimum beam length of 60-metres coupled with a neat slide-up diffuser, the company says it can be used for pretty much everything from walking through to mountaineering, trail-running or mountain biking. For more general use see our review of the standard Tikka 2.
The Techy Bits
Like the other models in the Tikka 2 range, the XP features new, higher-powered LEDs for better light output. The XP's single white LED puts out 60 lumens which is enough for a 60-metre beam with fresh batteries. On low, batteries will last for 160 hours.
There's also a red LED with lower output in the same housing which can be used to preserve night vision when necessary and also has a flashing mode, so at a pinch could be used as an emergency rear light if cycling on the road.
There's also a neat fuel gauge which comes on when the beam range drops below 5 metres and there is only a 50% burn time remaining for proximity lighting.
Speaking of batteries, the TIKKA 2 and other TIKKA models bar the entry level TIKKINA, can now be used with alkaline, rechargeable and lithium batteries, whereas in the past, it was confined to alkalines. That's good news for cold weather use where lithium cells are more efficient. The batteries are AAA cells, three of them.
Finally, the the standard Tikka 2, the torch is water resistant to the IP X4 standard and stood up fine to normal use in wet conditions.
How It Performed
For general walking and camping use, the Tikka XP is arguably overkill, but if you're a climber who might need to spy out a route or check abseil stations from above, the piercing 60-metre beam is a real boon. It also works well for running - the wide angle diffuser helps here - and as an ermergency bike torch, though it's not bright enough for fast technical riding.
The XP 2 is comfortable on the head an easy to use, even with gloved hands. The electronic switch is pretty much unmissable and the big tab on the diffuser makes it easy to find and operate. Angle adjustment is easy and the torch stays where you put it. At high power you get as much light as most users will need, but the lower level means it's also useable as a general walking and camping torch.
The red light you'll either appreciate or not, but for some users - the military for example - it's a big plus and is activated by holding down the switch for two seconds. Once in red mode, it stays in red mode until you switch it back, even after the torch has been turned off.
Two other improvements - the battery case is now easy to open and the torch can use lithium batteries for great burn time and better performance in cold conditions.
The one thing the XP lacks is a regulated output. That means the light output falls as the batteries lose power. There's a battery charge gauge to tell you when your battery is on the way out, but if you want constant high output throughout the life of the batteries, take a look at the regulated Myo RXP instead, though you'll pay an extra £30 for the facility, though it's also considerably brighter and programmable too.
The improved Tikka XP 2 is hard to fault. It's comfortable, reliable and brighter than its predecessor. Controls are easy to use, even with gloved hands, build quality is classic Petzl and niggles like the hard-to-use battery compartment have been ironed out. The combination of high and low settings and the handy wide beam diffuser means you can use the XP 2 for anything from camping through to picking out a route on a crag at night. And the weight penalty over the standard Tikka 2 is just seven grammes. You even get a red LED for night vision preservation. Regulated output would make it even better but a lot more expensive we suspect.
Buy if you're looking for a light, compact, top quality head torch for a wide range of uses including running and climbing and don't need a regulated output.