Petzl Tikka vs Tikkina vs Actik: Best Uses & Differences

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There are different fields of application for headlamps*. For example, they are used for simple household use such as searching at night or as reading lamps, for late-night walks or jogging in the dark and, of course, professional outdoor headlamps for camping and hiking trips. 

In the following guide, three successful headlamp models from Petzl are presented and it is explained, which for whom the correct choice is.

Petzl Tikka* vs Tikkina* vs Actik*: Which headlamp for which purpose?

The three headlamps from Petzl are each suitable for different applications. Tikka is ideal for everyday life and leisure activities. The Tikkina is well suited for close-up use (e.g. as a reading lamp). Actik is aimed at outdoor activities like rock climbing.

In this blogpost, everything about the characteristics of the Tikka, the Tikkina and the Actik is explained. It shows what their strengths and weaknesses are and which headlamp performs best.

Petzl Tikka, Tikkina and Actik: Headlamps for various applications

Petzl is a French manufacturer of high altitude rescue and mountaineering equipment and is particularly well known for its headlamps. 

According to their own data, Petzl evolves their headlamps for 30 years again and again. LED technology was first used in the Tikka headlamp in 2001. The LED technology has among other things the advantage that the headlamps shine longer. Petzl’s product range includes the already mentioned models Tikka, Tikkina and Actik. 

But which model is the best and for whom are the different headlamps suitable? 

Tikka* and Tikkina* belong to the CLASSIC headlamp category, while the Actik* model belongs to the ACTIVE headlamps. Models of the CLASSIC version were designed for everyday use and leisure activities such as camping. They are lamps for close range. ACTIVE headlamps, on the other hand, are aimed at outdoor athletes such as runners or mountaineers and have several light cones. This is because both runners and mountaineers need to see close up and look far ahead at the same time. 

In this respect, the Actik with two different light cones is best suited for these activities. It is also the brightest at 350 lumens. Only less bright is the Tikka with 300 lumens. By the way, the Tikka is the bestseller of the CLASSIC headlamps. 

Tikkina, with 250 lumens, is literally the tail light, but it is also better suited for reading than the other two models.


The Tikka* with 300 lumens is Petzl’s classic, which has been updated again and again since then. It weighs 82 g and, according to the manufacturer, can shine for up to 120 hours. 

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It has a phosphorescent, i.e. photoluminescent, reflector and can therefore be found quickly in the dark. Three light levels allow for adjustment to close-up range, locomotion and high beam. 

The Tikka also has a red light, which is even more suitable as night light than white light, because the eye can adapt better. This is due to the so-called dark adaptation of the eye. 

During this process, as the eye gets used to the dark, the pupil dilates and the sensory cells in the eye (rods and cones) become more sensitive. The eye changes from cone to rod vision. It can recognize stimuli better in the dark but is also more sensitive to light. 

So the red light may seem unusual at first, but it makes it easier to find your way around in the dark. Furthermore, the red light does not dazzle other group members. Petzl has applied his HYBRID Concept to this model, which makes it possible to operate the headlamp with one CORE battery or 3 AAA/LR03 batteries. The Tikka has a tightness according to IPX4. 

This means that it is protected against splash water, i.e. it is weatherproof. It is available in the colors black, white, green and blue. It is operated with only one button. The headband is removable and washable. Additional accessories can be purchased for the Tikka, such as attachment systems for attaching it to a helmet or a bicycle. The headlamp itself has a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. 

Among the advantages of the Tikka are the easy handling, the low weight, the long battery life, the practical HYBRID CONCEPT and the different light settings. Customers often also praised the fact that the headband does not wear out even after several years and sits comfortably on the head. One of the disadvantages is that the lamp is not too dense and the illumination could well be wider.


The Tikkina* is a very simple model with 250 lumens. With 81 g it is slightly lighter than the Tikka. It also has three brightness levels, which can be adjusted with a button on the top. 

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Three 3 AAA/LR03 batteries are included. By the HYBRID CONCEPT, it runs alternatively over a rechargeable battery. It also has a tightness according to IPX4. According to the manufacturer, the Tikkina is better suited for activities without movement, such as reading, than the Tikka. 

One of the advantages of this model is that, just like the Tikka, it can be used in many different ways. For example also for camping and hiking trips. Also with this model the headband, the low weight, the HYBRID CONCEPT and the easy handling belong to the strengths. 

A disadvantage is the lack of some functions which can be found on the Tikka. Especially if you consider that the purchase price is not really far apart. There are also accessories available for the Tikkina. There is also the manufacturer’s warranty of five years.


The Actik* is the outdoor headlamp among the models presented here. It is the brightest at 350 lumens and still a lightweight at 86 g. 

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Like the Tikka it has three light modes and a red light mode. Again, you can switch between the modes with a button located on the top of the unit. The two light cones can be set wide or focused depending on the illumination requirements. This model also features the HYBRID CONCEPT. 

The removable and washable headband reflects in the dark. There is a lock function to prevent the lamp from being accidentally switched on. Like the other two models, it has an IPX4 seal. 

Otherwise, the 5-year manufacturer’s warranty also applies to the Actik model. It is available in the colors black, blue and green. Advantageous in any case is the brightness, the low weight, the easy handling, the headband and the different modes and adjustable light cone. 

Not to be underestimated is the lock function, which is particularly practical on tours lasting several days when the headlamp is stowed in the backpack during the day. Another disadvantage is the tightness of IPX4, which can withstand normal rain but could reach its limits in heavy rain. So the outdoor version in particular should offer a little more than the two everyday and leisure models.

Further Information

If you want to buy a headlamp for at home or on the road, there are several things to consider.

Weight and Headband

The headlamp rests on the forehead during wearing. Therefore, it is important to ensure that it weighs as little as possible and that the headband is pleasant and comfortable to wear. 

The weight depends not only on the workmanship but also on the light-emitting diodes and the accumulator or batteries. A comfortable weight is between 70 and 90 g. The headband should also be adjustable and adaptable to the head.

Running Time

The running time of the headlamp depends on how much luminous flux is obtained. With an LED lamp like the models from Petzl, it depends on the mode, how long it shines. 

The weakest mode consumes less energy than the brightest. The manufacturer’s specifications are usually ambiguous in this respect, so the consumer does not know which mode the runtime specifications apply to. 

If you are taking a tour for several days, please make sure that the duration of the tour corresponds to the planned time. If necessary, you should have a spare battery or a spare accumulator in your luggage.

Rechargeable or Not?

Rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries each have advantages and disadvantages. Batteries provide for a longer running time, but the luminosity of the headlamp gradually decreases. Rechargeable batteries discharge more quickly, but guarantee a constant luminosity and can be recharged, which also makes them more sustainable. 

Batteries discharge faster than rechargeable batteries, even at low temperatures. On the other hand, batteries do not discharge as quickly when not in use. A concept like the HYBRID Concept by Petzl offers the possibility to use rechargeable batteries and spare batteries. If you don’t need the batteries, you don’t have the problem of discharging, as is the case with rechargeable batteries.

Brightness and Light Range

A headlamp should be particularly bright. The brightness depends on the lumen rating: the higher, the brighter. The light range is measured in meters. Sufficient brightness and light range are especially important when moving fast. 

Here, sufficient forward visibility must be ensured. A good headlamp should have at least 80 lumens. A sufficient view is achieved at 80 meters light range.

Related Questions

What Does Lumen Mean?

Lumen (lm) is the unit for luminous flux. This indicates how much light is emitted per side. The higher the value, the brighter the lamp.

What Does IPX Mean?

IP stands for International Protection. The value indicates how waterproof an object is.


The three Petzl models are all high-quality headlamps. Which model to choose depends on the desired field of application. 

The Tikka* and the Tikkina* are very similar to each other, but the Tikka has some additional features and thus also advantages over the Tikkina. 

The Tikkina is said to be the better reading lamp for this purpose. Both models come from the CLASSIC line and are recommended for normal use. 

The Actik* is aimed more at people who climb or jog in the dark. The fast movement or the given situation requires a well lit and wide forward view. 

Both Tikka and Actik have a red light mode, which ensures better vision for long distances in the dark due to the dark adaptation of the eye. The advantages that all three models have in common are the easy operation at the touch of a button, the low weight of around 80 g, the HYBRID Concept, which allows the insertion of rechargeable batteries or batteries and the washable and adjustable headband. 

The tightness of IPX4 should normally be sufficient when traveling in the rain. For an outdoor model like Actik, however, it should also be a little more waterproof, as there are now even completely waterproof headlamps on the market. 

Altogether however all three headlamps can convince.

Attention: You have to take care of your safety when climbing! The information on only helps you to learn. Before you climb, you should make sure that you have been properly instructed by an expert and that you follow all safety precautions.

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