Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp Review
Runner: Andrew G. LawrenceRunners are physically limited. The natural world poses many obstacles and threats to our heroic running endeavors. The heat. The cold. Even wild animals present dangers, but because of our often heroic spirit, we find ways to overcome or adapt to our challenging surroundings. It is almost as if these hindrances were criminals and we runners are the superheroes. Maybe this is why our predecessors felt the need to create superheroes like Batman and Ironman in comic books so that we could have more control, albeit vicariously, over our environments despite our human limitations.
Regardless of our vicarious nature, running makes us feel like superheroes. While we are not necessarily fighting crime, we are continually doing battle with the elements. One characteristic common with many superheroes is their gadgets used to fight crime. Batman has his utility belt loaded with a bevy of tools to thwart the bad guys. We runners have our hydration packs loaded with water, gels and band-aids to conquer the trails. Ironman has his armored suit creating an outer shell of near invincibility. We runners have our dry-fit shirts to whisk away perspiration. And one of the most challenging obstacles, or perceived criminals, for runners in our quest to be heroic, is Darkness.Enter the Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp, which does for runners what the gadgets do for superheroes; it gives us an advantage or the ability to be more than we are alone; especially when faced with nightfall. Initially, I was worried about the fit of the Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp. Would wearing something around my head be cumbersome or even an annoyance? And would I have to wear the headlamp too tight to avoid slippage while out running trails? But this fear was easily assuaged as the readily adjustable headband made finding the perfect fit as effortless as Ironman rescuing a kitten from a tree.
The Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp is also adjustable to compensate for a runner’s height. The lamp itself has four settings, and goes up and down, depending on where you want its beam to shine. Batman’s utility belt should be so convenient. The headlamp also has three settings in terms of brightness; a max bright setting for when darkness is especially criminal. There is also an economy setting for when darkness’ criminality is inhibited by moonlight. And finally, a flashing mode for possible night runs on city streets to let motorists know more readily of your superhero status.
It is very surreal to run at night this way. It’s like running in a bubble of light and there is a feeling of invincibility that I imagine is how Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark feel once they don their respective superhero attire. But from my experience, this superhero awareness isn’t without a nemesis. After a few hours of running with the Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp, it felt like I was wearing very large sunglasses. The demarcation between light and dark became very profound and I found myself several times touching my face just below my eyes in an attempt to adjust this sensation, but to no avail. And because headlamps are often used for trail running, the finesse and dexterous acumen that is needed is vital. Basically, while the headlamp enables runners to embrace their inner superhero at night, it requires a huge mental commitment to be cognizant of every step along the trail.
The Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp retails for $37 and comes with batteries included. Depending on the brightness setting used, about 90 hours of superhero luminescence can be obtained before the batteries need to be replaced. If crime fighting during daylight hours has become routine, lace up your sneakers (and cape) and become a running superhero with a few night runs with the Petzl Tikka Plus 2 Headlamp.