Petzl TACTIKKA CORE and e+LIGHT Headlamps – Review


U.S.A.-( I could be considered a prepper. Now that doesn’t mean I am sitting around my house waiting for the world to end, but it does say I like to be prepared for anything that can come my way. One of the things a prepper can never have too many of is flashlights.

When working in the dark, you need usually needs both hands. The best solution is to this issue is to get a headlamp that the operator wears like a headband. Petzl contacted me and offered me the opportunity to try out a couple of their headlamps.

The first headlamp I got to try out is the TACTIKKA CORE. This light is the big daddy of headlamps. Petzl designed the light to be a real workhorse.

The TACTIKKA CORE has multiple brightness settings. The low setting is just five lumens. The light is only good out to around seven yards. In this setting, you would not go exploring at night with the headlamp, but it is perfect for reading. In this, lowest setting the headlamp will supply the wearer with an incredible 160 hours of light.


The second brightness setting Petzl added to the TACTIKKA CORE is rated at 100 lumens. This setting is great for indoors. It was easy to see around my dark house. When going outside with the light, I was able to see out to around 50 yards. Although this is pretty good for a lot of outside applications, it doesn’t work too well for night hunting. It does give you seven hours of light according to Petzl. I was able to get just below that with a total of six hours 45 minutes of light.

To own the night, you need the brightest setting of the TACTIKKA CORE. In this setting, the Petzl headlamp puts out 350 lumens of light. I was able to illuminate targets out to around 100 yards. This setting is perfect for night hunting or hiking at night.

The TACTIKKA CORE is very bright in this setting. The trade-off is that the light doesn’t last as long. Petzl claims that it will last 2 hours. I was able to squeeze it out to two hours 10 minutes. I was happy with the time.

There is a couple of other modes of the Petzl TACTIKKA CORE. The first mode is a constant red light. By using red light, it saves your night vision. In this setting, you would not go on a night hike since headlamp is only useful up to 6 yards, but is great for inside a tent.

The final setting of the TACTIKKA CORE is a red strobe. This setting is your “oh crap I am lost” setting. You will be visible to rescuers for up to 700 yards for 350 hours. If the rescuers don’t see your strobe light, you could always use the whistle that Petzl built into the headband. That is a really cool touch.

The TACTIKKA CORE does have a couple of different light patterns. The first is a flood light setting. The second setting is a mixed setting. It is easy to switch modes by using its single button design

What sets the TACTIKKA CORE apart is its hybrid technology. The headlamp comes with the Petzl CORE battery which is a USB rechargeable battery. It uses a simple micro USB cable for recharging. I keep a solar charger with USB ports in my bag, so that is great for me.

The operator doesn’t have to use the CORE battery though. Petzl designed the TACTIKKA CORE to also run on three AAA batteries. I like that it runs on both. It gives the users options if for some reason they couldn’t charge their CORE battery.

The thing I didn’t like about the TACTIKKA CORE is the water tightness of the light. The headlamp has a rating of IP X4. This rating means the light is weather resistance, so it is safe if it is rained on, but the light isn’t waterproof. It shouldn’t be submerged. I would have loved to see a rating of IP X7.

The second light Petzl sent me, which after testing I placed in my wife’s car, was the e+LIGHT. I love this little light. It is indeed an emergency light. It is small, but it gets the job done.


The light itself is only 50 lumens, but this isn’t a light that you would take night hunting or camping. It is a light that you throw in your car and forget you have it until you need it.

Just like the TACTIKKA CORE, Petzl designed the light with multiple settings. The first setting gives the operator 15 lumens of light for 6 hours. This setting is the one you would want to use if you are looking at your car manual for a solution to why it broke down stranding you on the side of the road.

The second setting of the e+LIGHT is the 50-lumen setting. The gain in the distances of the beam over the standard 15 lumens setting isn’t that noticeable. I was able to see only about five yards farther than the standard settings. I would love to see Petzl offer this headlamp in 100 lumens, but I do understand that to go brighter the light would need to be bigger.

The next setting for the e+LIGHT is the two lumens red light setting. Just like the with the TACTIKKA CORE, it saves the operator’s night vision. The batteries lasted around 15 hours in this setting.

The e+LIGHT does a couple of different strobe options. The first is a white light strobe that is visible for 100 yards for 15 hours. There is also a red strobe feature that lasts 70 hours and is visible for 100 yards as well. It also contains a built-in whistle much it’s big brother.


The e+LIGHT runs on two lithium CR 2032. It is a battery that is found in most stores. The operator can store the headlamp with the batteries inserted for up to ten years. It is excellent for the car or just thrown into a bag until needed.

Petzl designed the e+LIGHT with a water tightness rating of IP X7. This rating means that the operator can submerge the light in water without fear of damaging the headlamp. That is a big selling point of an emergency headlamp for me.

Another cool thing about the e+LIGHT is that it comes in its own container. The container is a bright red pill shaped case. The light fits perfectly into the container and is great for throwing the light into a bag or glove box. The e+LIGHT will be my go-to emergency light from now on.

Both lights are great, and operators will use them for different purposes. The TACTIKKA CORE is excellent for camping and other planned events. The e+LIGHT is for those “oh crap” moments. Both lights are entering my survival gear setups.

At the time of this writing, the TACTIKKA CORE sells for $69.95 although the customer can find it cheaper online. The e+LIGHT sells for $29.95 so you aren’t going to break the bank on the headlamp, and I think it is well worth the investment.

Readers can find Petzl online.

About John CrumpJohn Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%’ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at

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Bad Dancer

Thank you for your illuminating reviews on an often overlooked piece of gear. I’m not the brightest bulb in the box when it comes to deciphering an advertisers statements about a product I’m always excited when someone sheds light onto the market with a down to earth honest review of what I can expect from a product.

Thanks for the heads up.


I own a Petzl headlamp and it drains batteries with the switch off. I went through a lot of batteries before I realized what was happening. I could not get my money back, so I was stuck with the worst light I have ever owned. Never again will I buy a Petzl.

James Weaks

The e+LIGHT is my favorite headlamp for backpacking.

O. M.

I started using Petzl headlamps in 1993 with a Petzl Micro that used AA batteries and a *gasp* incandescent bulb. In addition to spare batteries you used to need to carry a spare BULB! I’ve upgraded many times throughout the years and I’ve tried headlamps from nearly every brand out there. Petzl is, hands down, the very best! Their Nao + model is the pinnacle of what a headlamp should be. A bit pricey at $160 but you won’t be disappointed. I have an original eLite or e+Lite in every car, EDC bag, travel bag, and even the kids’ school… Read more »