It’s hard to top the utility value of a durable headlamp that’s bright enough to light your way on dark morning trails, but small enough to conveniently tuck away in a pocket after the sun comes up. For the past two years, my go-to lamp was the Petzl Tikka XP – so when Petzl revamped the product line and introduced the Tikka XP2, I was eager to take it for a test spin.

Petzl Tikka XP2 Specs:

  • Bulb type: 1 high-output LED and 1 red LED
  • Beam type: Flood or spot
  • Brightness (high setting): 60 lumens
  • Weight (with alkaline batteries): 88g/3.10 oz
  • Dimensions: 2.5” x 2.25” x 1.5”
  • Maximum beam distance (high setting): 60m
  • Brightness levels: 2
  • Strobe: yes
  • Battery type: 3 AAA, compatible with lithium batteries
  • Battery life (high setting, at 70 degrees): 80 hours
  • Retail price: $54.95

Petzl Tikka XP2 Review

The XP2 is the brightest of Petzl’s Tikka series of compact headlamps. Compared to its predecessor, the XP2 is brighter (60 lumens vs 40) and shines farther (60m vs 35), in a package that is 7g lighter – so the performance upgrades are apparent right off the bat.

top view; single multi-function button

top view; single multi-function button

Petzl improved the ergonomics with a single multi-function button on the top casing, and a hinged battery compartment that’s much easier to open and close than the previous model. Other new features include a red LED with optional blinking mode to help preserve night vision, and an emergency whistle integrated into the headband. The battery charge indicator has been moved from the side of the older XP model to the front of the XP2.

L to R: battery indicator, white LED in spot mode, red light bulb

L to R: battery indicator, white LED in spot mode, red LED bulb

Switching from spot mode to flood mode is as easy as flipping the diffuser up or down. Toggling between brightness modes (high-low-flashing-off) or changing from red to white light mode is easily done via the single top button. Water resistance is rated IPX4, so the lamp shines normally even in a driving rainstorm. This lamp is also compatible with Petzl’s Adapt2 system (not included), which allows you to attach the light elsewhere when it’s not strapped around your head.

diffuser up in floodlight mode

diffuser up in floodlight mode

The Tikka XP2’s strength is in providing an even distribution of light throughout your field of vision from a single high-output LED. The ratcheted tilt mechanism targets the light exactly where you need it, and holds the angle firmly in place even with heavy activity. Its candle power is ideal for running on wide trails or fire roads, but somewhat lacking for navigating extremely technical trails in the dark.

side view with forward tilt

side view with forward tilt

Good Tikka XP2

  • Compact size – small enough to tuck in a pocket on the run
  • Even distribution of light through wide field of vision
  • Reliable in inclement weather
  • Much improved ergonomics

Bad Tikka XP2

  • Headband is difficult to detach from lamp casing.
  • Brightness slightly inadequate for highly technical trails
  • Higher retail price than other lamps in this category

Bottom Line: Petzl Tikka XP2 Headlamp

The Petzl Tikka XP2 is a noticeable improvement on what was already a very solid little headlamp. It makes a valuable, dependable companion if you’re logging a lot of mileage in the dark.

Buy Now: Petzl Headlamps at

About Author

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.


  1. Excellent review! And I’ve read dozens trying to decide between petzl, black diamond, and princeton tec. I just bought a petzl tikka XP 2 based on this review and I can’t wait to try it out.

  2. It should be mentioned that the housing is clear and causes glare for some people. It also should be noted that it only has two settings 60 lumens and 30 lumens and therefore lacks a true low setting such as 5 lumens.

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