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PETZL Actik Core Headlamp - SS21

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You can use either three AAA batteries, or the Petzl Actik Core High-capacity 1250 mAh Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery. (Image credit: Tantse Walter) The Nitecore NU31 is a traditional-looking, affordable headlamp with enough features to satisfy most stargazers. We found a lot to like about the design in our Nitecore NU31 review, right down to the reflective band that will help your campmates to spot you in the dark. This headlamp is particularly noteworthy for its robust aluminum casing whereas many other models are plastic. This adds to its durability, making it resistant to impacts up to a meter. It also has the added bonus of helping to dissipate heat. Although the Nitecore comes with IP66 waterproofing, which is sufficient for most weather conditions, it won't stand up to being fully submerged in water like some of the other models on this list.

Reduced environmental impact: the entire lifespan of a CORE rechargeable battery is equivalent to that of 900 standard batteries The Vont Spark has seven different lighting settings, activated by cycling through them. The red light is activated by holding the button down for three seconds, and again, cycling between low, strobe or SOS mode. Once the selection has been made and left on for an extended period, the headlamp will allow the user to turn it off with one touch, meaning you don't have to cycle through all of the modes just to power down. Several lighting modes are present such as a red lighting mode to preserve night vision, an economy mode which reduces the light to 5 lumens and will run for 160 hours and a strobe light which is visible at 700m for 350 hours. On maximum brightness the light will travel 95 metres, ideal for mountaineering, trail running and mountain biking. A wide beam or a mixed beam allow you to change the lighting patterns according to your activity. A smaller circle of light will travel further in a smaller area, however a larger area of light will light up a larger area but travel less distance. Three white lighting levels: MAX BURN TIME, STANDARD (better power/burn time balance) and MAX POWERThe Petzl Actik Core 450 is a bright, well-built and versatile headlamp that comes from a highly reputable brand. They offer a two-year (or 300 charges) battery warranty and a five-year lamp warranty on this product, so you can be sure you're making a safe investment. In our Petzl Actik Core 450 review we were so impressed by this headlamp that we awarded it four and a half stars, with only half a star missing for the Micro-USB charge port; we'd prefer USB-C. In line with current health and safety guidelines, we reserve the right to refuse any items that are (for whatever reason) not returned to us in a clean and hygienic condition. For safety purposes, the headband is reflective when another light is shone on it and is equipped with an emergency whistle for rescue situations if the time ever comes. If you get caught out in a shower, the Actik is rated IPX4, therefore it'll resist light to medium showers of rain before anything begins to pass through. It's water resistant, basically. We will keep customer information safe and secure and will not distribute or sell this information to a third party.

In keeping with its flashlight design, the Olight Perun 2 is the brightest light on our list at an impressive 2500 lumens. However, this is extremely bright and may be overkill for your purposes. If you're looking for a more traditional headlamp design and you require a red light as well as a white light, then the Nitecore NU31 headlamp is the brightest option. It offers 550 lumens on Turbo mode whilst still maintaining a five-hour runtime thanks to its 1,800 mAh rechargeable battery. What makes a good headlamp? These different features help in different scenarios — for example, you'll need the extra straps if you're running or climbing. It takes a while for our eyes to adapt to seeing in the dark but even a millisecond of white light can stimulate the rods and ruin your night vision, so the red light allows you to see but doesn't affect your ability to see in the dark once you turn it off.The quality of this headlamp is no different from what you'd expect from Petzl, they have long offered some of the best headlamps on the market, and this model is no different. Any of these headlamps can be used as an excellent skywatching or astrophotography companion, as each of them has red lights and dimmable modes. The other features and specifications come down to personal preference and budget, although our chosen models aren't miles apart in these respects. Personally, we'd insist on rechargeable batteries because they are environmentally and economically better. HYBRID CONCEPT design: ACTIK® CORE comes with the CORE rechargeable battery and also works with three AAA/LR03 batteries (not included); it automatically detects the energy source and adjusts lighting performance This powerful headtorch is the result of endless testing and research from Petzl. At full power the Actik will pump out 350 lumens and will run for two hours before it requires a charge. If battery life is more of a priority, the Actik can run for a massive 160 hours on Petzl's Max Autonomy mode.

To guarantee you're getting honest, up-to-date recommendations on the best headlamps to buy here at Space.com we make sure to put every headlamp through a rigorous review to fully test each device. Each headlamp is reviewed based on a multitude of aspects, from its construction and design to how well it functions and its performance in the field.


A lightweight and powerful, rechargeable headlamp, with 3 light settings, and an impressive 600 lumens of power in a torch that weighs less than 100 grams. Petzl says:

For minimalists and true ounce-counters, our favorite ultralight headlamp of 2023 is the Nitecore NU25 400 UL. At just 1.6 ounces, the Nitecore secures via a streamlined elastic headband, is surprisingly bright with a 400-lumen max output, and is rechargeable via micro USB. We’ve also found it incredibly easy to operate (cryptic toggling between modes is a common issue with headlamps), with one button for the white beam and one for red, and the battery seemingly lasts forever. All told, as a high-powered emergency light or for those trying to keep their load as light as possible, the NU25 UL is a bright and relatively cheap option. Olight Perun 2: A robust and versatile flashlight that can be used in a multitude of situations thanks to it's three mounting options including occasionally being worn as a headlamp. The average headlamp features a range of lighting modes, including spot, flood, colored, and strobe lights. The default setting for most lamps is their powerful LED spot beam, which focuses the light at a distance rather than casting it wide around you (the max distance these can reach is listed in the "max beam" section of our comparison table). While not necessary in all circumstances, a long-distance beam can be helpful for looking far down a trail, trying to spot an anchor while rappelling, or even for extreme uses like caving. A proximity beam illuminates the area right in front of you While the fact that the Petzl Actik Core can crank out 450 lumens of light is impressive, what truly makes this headlamp special is that it can achieve that brightness while still weighing just 2.6 ounces (75 grams). That puts it amongst the brightest and lightest head torches on the market, offering outstanding performance with little bulk. The headlamp includes multiple illumination levels and offers both a flood pattern for illuminating a wider area and a “mixed” option for a narrower–but still dispersed–beam. The unit comes with a red-light (both continuous and strobe) for night vision as well, which comes in handy when using the headlamp around others. In a festival environment, we used the max brightness mode to find our way across the field to the portaloos and the standard beam to do the camp cooking. We used the dimmest mode to sort out our messy tent after dusk, and the red light while chatting and socializing. It's perfect for all scenarios, except one. The Petzl Actik Core has a water resistance rating of IP X4. This means it is acceptable for light rain but should you find yourself out in a storm with lots of driving rain, you'd probably want to put it away, and it definitely isn't submersible. Petzl ACTIK CORE 450: FunctionalityThe Olight Perun 2 is a true multi-tasker and is likely to appeal to people who want to use it for camping, late-night dog walking, fishing or carrying lots of kit around in the dark. But for those looking for a lightweight headlamp with a red light function, this may not be the one for you.

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