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Tweet Friday 2nd March 2018

PETZL Head Torch Review

Review and photos by Graham Gristwood, 2018 British Night Orienteering Championships male winner.

Graham Gristwood
Forth Valley Orienteers

2017 British Number 1
2014 - 2018 British Night Orienteering Championships male winner
Elite GB Senior Squad athlete

Graham Gristwood (Forth Valley Orienteers) kindly agreed to review Petzl’s latest head torch.


Graham Gristwood (Forth Valley Orienteers), says:

“As well as doing a lot of night orienteering, I also often run in the dark – daylight being in short supply during the Scottish winters! Over the last couple of weeks I have tested out the new Petzl Actik Core head torch a number of times. 

My first impressions were that it is an elegant lamp – very lightweight (82g) and comfortable to wear. The (reflective) strap was easy to adjust, and holds the lamp firmly in the correct position (it also has a built in whistle which is handy for many British orienteering events!). It was easy to fit the battery, and it can be charged either whilst installed, or if you take it out. The battery is charged using a USB cable, and it was no problem to charge it from my laptop. It is also possible to use 3 AAA batteries instead of the rechargeable battery provided – but I didn't test that.

The paperwork confirms a Petzl's guarantee for the CORE battery. The lamp itself is guaranteed for 5 years and the CORE battery for 1 year. It only took a couple of hours to charge up fully.

There are 3 different strengths of white light beam (as well as red light and red strobe). These are selected by using the only button – pressing or holding scrolls between the different options. The website claims that on the 'standard' setting (the middle option), the battery will last for 7 hours, and on the 'full power' setting it will last for 2 hours – my experience was that with a brand new battery it actually lasted longer than that. The lamp will drop to reserve mode after its main burn time.

I took the lamp out on several runs, around the streets and on small paths through the forest. I found that I only really used the lamp on the strongest setting, as this gives the combination of longest beam, and also the brightest light by your feet so you can see where you are about to step. Running around the streets I think that the 'standard' setting would be fine.

I have used other Petzl lamps over the last few years, and in comparison I would say that this one is slightly smaller and more stylish, and the battery seems to be slightly easier to charge. There is a small increase in the brightness as well. For some people, being able to use 'normal' batteries instead of the rechargeable one would be an advantage as well.

In conclusion, I wouldn't personally use this lamp for orienteering, but I will use it for normal running training after dark, and I will use it as a reserve lamp for orienteering – it is small and light enough to fit in my main head torch pouch, but powerful enough to be able to complete the race if it is required for any reason. For many orienteers this would be an ideal head torch for training runs, and street/park style orienteering events held after dark.”

"Thank you to Graham for providing this review and our best wishes to all British Orienteering members with their night orienteering. For further information on Petzl products visit or join us on social media. #accesstheinaccessible"


Further information about this Petzl head torch can be found here.

Watch a video to find out more here