REVIEWED: Petzl Tikka II head torch

Two intensities and a red light mode make this invaluable for hiking, stargazing, night-running and travel through any country with frequent power cuts

Buy the Petzl Tikka II head torch

Price at time of review: £34.99

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Whether you’re traipsing around city streets in India, up before dawn hiking the Inca Trail, or out in a national park looking at the stars, a head torch is one of the few gadgets in your arsenal that many travellers will use every single day.

Powerful & comfortable

Using powerful and efficient LEDs, the Petzl Tikka II head torch is powered by three AAA batteries, though they last for ages. The biggest beam is powerful enough for hiking in darkness (we tried it out in winter on Tenerife’s Mount Teide at 4am) while a less powerful beam – activated by pressing the main button twice – is great for finding your hotel room, or the bathroom, late at night.
Easily adjusted and comfortable to wear for long periods, there’s a a flashing mode, though it’s a bit too easy to activate.

Great for stargazing

Travel and stargazing go hand-in-hand – when else do you find yourself under dark skies? An essential for all stargazers is a head-torch with a red light mode, so as not to damage your night vision. Hold the main button down on the Petzl Tikka II and the white lamp is switched-off in favour of a smaller red lamp on the side. It’s just powerful enough to see star charts, peruse books or fiddle with binoculars and telescopes.

Very bright beam

So many places have no electricity, frequent power cuts or inconvenient lighting, and if you’re camping, a head torch is a must. There are few better than the Petzl Tikka II, which combines a very bright beam (just compare it with others’ weak torches!) ideal for night hikes, and a red mode that’s surprisingly handy if you’re out stargazing while on a trip.