Pack Essentials: Petzl TacTikka* Headtorch

I am creating a growing list of useful and affordable items that I can recommend from my own personal experience. Anything I post up will have spent time in my pack; joining me for specific trips or being carried with me every day.

I picked up this headtorch a few years ago as it appeared on the GORUCK store and I thought if it’s good enough for a GORUCK Challenge it would be more than enough for what I needed. I’ve used it on many occasions for extended periods of time, including two full nights where I walked through the night navigating across the British South Downs which tested out the good run time. Despite not being the highest powered LED out there, it’s compact in size and doesn’t have an awkward or heavy separate battery pack like others on the market. I generally combine it with a torch/flashlight with a longer ‘throw’ to see things in the distance. It’s easy to adjust and is comfortable enough to wear.

The red light filter slides up easily to help preserve your night vision and I also found the red light doesn’t attract as many bugs which is really handy when walking among the human-skin-hungry wonders of creation. On other models this red light is activated by scrolling through the lighting modes, often meaning the bright white light clicks on before reaching the red light. The principle of “less moving parts means less can go wrong” should be considered here but, in my opinion, the trade off for the manually controlled filter is worth it.

*The TacTikka range has been updated since I purchased this headtorch around 2 years ago. After a little research I found the Tikka XP2 is the best match to the one I have, specifically it includes the manual filter. I highly recommend picking up a headtorch of some kind to have in your pack, or even to keep in your car – just in case. Sometimes having hands free lumination can be indispensable.

Nat Wagstaff Editor-in-Chief

While I was researching packs for a 100km endurance hiking challenge, my interest in how we organise our gear gave birth to Pack Config, a place that inspires its readers to improve their own packs. What I carry, either daily or out on a hike, is constantly being refined as I discover new methods and products. More…


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