(Admin note: The Running and Rambling holiday giveaway train keeps on rolling! The MoodBoost drawing is still open for entry until 7PM Friday, and today begins another drawing for a Wilderness Running Company gift card. Oh, there’s also a product review today – but it’s a bit unorthodox compared to previous versions. Read on.)
** I appear to be outgrowing my website.
Over the past several months I’ve been incredibly fortunate to receive an overwhelming amount of gear to review – so much that it’s gradually crowding out the other content (read: random nonsense) I like to present here. And since I’m not inclined to turn this blog into a 100% product review site (although I hope it’s a reliable resource for that purpose), another outlet to post the reviews seemed like an outstanding proposition.
Luckily, that’s exactly what happened. This fall I began contributing product reviews to FeedTheHabit.com, a large outdoor gear review site based in Utah. Given their physical location, they test a lot of skiing and winter sports equipment, as well as gear for camping, hiking, and mountain biking. The owner of FTH also does a fair amount of trail running, and I’ll be contributing content in that area along with him. So if you don’t already know about the site, be sure to check it out – and today’s post is something of an incentive to go there.
My first post for FTH was back in October, with a review of the Petzl Tikka XP2 headlamp – it’s Petzl’s equivalent model to Black Diamond’s Spot, which I reviewed here earlier this week. Instead of reprinting the XP2 review, I’m just going to link to it, and ask you to come back here for the head-to-head comparison from both reviews. And to make sure you return, I’m making this post the entry point for my next $15 WRC gift card giveaway.
Are you back? I’ll take your word for it that you read the FTH review. So which compact headlamp is better – the Petzl Tikka XP2 or the Black Diamond Spot? They’re both very solid options, and each has its advantages over the other. Here’s the tale of the tape:
Bulb Type: Spot: separate LEDs for spot and flood modes, no red LED XP2: single LED, 1 red LED Advantage: If you like red LEDs, advantage XP2. Otherwise, the type of bulb doesn’t really matter as much as …
Brightness: Spot: 47 lumens XP2: 60 lumens Advantage: XP2. The difference is certainly noticeable.
Beam types: Spot: spot (well, duh …), flood, and strobe XP2: spot, flood, and strobe Advantage: XP2, because you can switch from flood to spot modes by flipping a diffuser lid up or down, instead of cycling through the “power off” mode with the Spot.
(Boy, it doesn’t seem like much of a contest so far, huh? Keep reading ... )
Maximum beam distance: Spot: 70m XP2: 60m Advantage: Spot. Black Diamond’s entry has lower candle power, but shoots its beam farther. If you tend to use the spot mode more than the flood mode, this is the lamp for you.
Weight (with batteries): Spot: 85g XP2: 88g Advantage: Spot, but just barely – because I’d be surprised if you can actually feel the 3 grams difference.
Battery type and lifespan: Spot: 3AAA, 100 hour lifespan on high setting. Rechargeable batteries not recommended. XP2: 3AAA, 80 hour lifespan. Compatible with rechargeable batteries. Advantage: XP2, mainly because of my bias towards using rechargeables. We should all make an effort to be greener this way, shouldn’t we?
Price: Spot: $40 XP2: $55 Advantage: Spot, in a big way. When I said this was the most affordable option for trail runners, I wasn’t kidding around. Wilderness Running Company offers a 10% discount (coupon code R&R10) on both of these lamps, but doesn’t currently have the XP2 in stock. It’s coming soon, I’m told.
So which one’s right for you? If you want something basic, efficient, and very affordable with adequate brightness for roads and groomed trails, go with the Spot. If you’re willing to pay 37% more for 28% more candle power and a few more features (red LED, spot/flood diffuser and rechargeable battery capability), then the XP2 is your lamp.
Congratulations - you made it to part 3! Either that, or you just scrolled here after reading the first paragraph. Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter to me – just leave a comment below to be entered for a $15 Wilderness Running Company gift card. Good luck!
*Tikka XP2 headlamp provided by Petzl America **See other product reviews on sidebar at right. If you have a product you'd like reviewed, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.