So 6 months I set out on a “journey” to find the best Headlamp for hunting, so I contacted the tops brands in the industry to perform a headlamp review. My Guides and I tested each of these Headlamps in different conditions and different applications on the following test parameters:
Ease of use
We tested the following headlamps:
Petzl ACTIK CORE
Petzl TACTIKKA +RGB
As with most things in life you get what you pay for however given the price point and the overall performance its hard to beat the Coast units they have the ability to use both rechargeable battery pack or standard AAA and both have adjustable beam tech However I had 3 fail on me the battery pack are is a bit tight so when you remove the rechargeable battery and switch to AAA if you are not careful its easy to mess up the terminals one of with I had to send back the other two I was able to fix in the field and still continue to work today. The Foxelli is a nice unit but is a little lacking in brightness and not great in wet conditions they claim 1 meter of water for 30mins but I can assure you that’s not the case. The BD Revolt however can almost be used for scuba diving.. no but seriously it did very well with our waterproof testing portion of durability however it was lacking for me in brightness and the battery life indicator although useful was brighter than the red LED so when slipping the dark to a stand or blind it messes with you. The Dan Force is bright and has a very focused beam however the adjustment on the light direction wears out quickly and you will find yourself mirco adjusting frequently while hiking. I found this unit to be cumbersome and heavy its not easily stored in the normal hideyholes in my pack its definitely not something I would like to hunt with however, it just became my truck headlamp. The BD 375 Storm again did very well in wet conditions the battery life is good but not where they claim it to be, plus it takes quite a bit longer to charge I still lean more to the Revolt even though I like the extra lumens of the STORM . The Petzl REACTIK is what I have been using for the last few years and the newest version (which we tested) they made some improvements that solved a few of my issues IE: the light turns on very easily by itself in my pack and now they have made it lockable . However, its biggest feature is the one that drives me the most nuts I really cant stand the auto adjusting light I have tried to get use to it but cannot. But i continue to use it because the battery life is excellent and even after two years it hold a charge, its easy to charge in the filed or switch to standard AAA batteries. Petzl TACTIKKA is another great unit bright and has the ability to switch between Green, Red and Blue light which is kinda nice in different terrain it makes it easier to see your footing and still maintain concealment. Great battery Life and I accidentally washed mine and put it in the dryer and its still works fine. Petzl ACTIK CORE is my favorite of the bunch all the cool feature of the REACTIK had the best of all worlds and since i have had a few year experience with the Petzl line I feel more confident to take this unit in the field with me.
Honestly this is one of those reviews where the numbers dont always mean best suited, from an experience stand point I will be carrying the Petzl ACTIK CORE as my main light and the BD Revolt for inclement weather in my pack. Yes I carry two actually 4 different lights but that’s another story