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The Petzl TACTIKKA XP is a multi brightness headlamp with several wide angle colors that can be popped in. This allows you to meet the lighting discipline of your mission while going hands free. The TACTIKKA headlamp runs on 3 AAA batteries with a max stated run time of 120 hours on low.

The whole package minus the extra colored filters as I don’t use them

-Robust package that won’t fall apart even when tossed around
-4 brightness modes make it easy to light almost all working conditions
-Comfortable elastic band
-Multiple diffuser colors to choose from
-Diffuser storage spot on the headband

-Green battery status light cannot be turned off
-The tilt function of the headlamp feels loose however it does hold well


The Petzl TACTIKKA XP is a headlamp built with the military or adventurer in mind. It allows you to keep your hands free while giving you a light but capable light source. The headlamp is capable of producing up to 40 lumens in boost mode. This is achieved by pressing the boost button. Due to the power source of 3 AAA batteries and the need for a decent run time the unit isn’t as bright as other lights in the same category.

You can see the only two buttons to operate this unit

The unit only has two buttons an on/mode button and a burst button. The on button when pressed cycles through high, medium, low, strobe and then turns off the light. Both of the buttons operate with a solid click and are hard to accidentally activate. The lamp assembly can be tilted through 10 different angles in the vertical direction. This is my only real complaint about the XP is the way it clicks feels a bit flimsy and like it might wear out. I however have yet to experience this and I use this light all the time.

Here you can see the XP slightly tilted down along with the battery status light

To replace the batteries completely tilt the lamp assembly around and use the tab that says open on it.

Here you can see the XP with the battery cover removed

The battery status light on the side of the unit shows green when your batteries are good to go and changes to red when you should get around to change them. Even once it hits red the headlamp is usable for some time on low setting. It’s the same idea as a car when the gas light comes on.

The headband of the light is a nice one inch thick piece of fabric covered elastic. The Petzl logo is a subdued color and blends well with the rest of the unit. The headband is adjustable to fit a small head all the way up to a massive helmet. The strap can be released to thread through loops on a helmet or other piece of head gear.

Here you can see the clasp that holds the band together and adjusts the fit

This show the clasp separated

Attached to the band is a small plastic housing which holds one extra diffuser. I have yet to actually require the use of this feature but if you are switching to a color better suited for map reading it may be of use.

Here you can see the storage housing with a diffuser in it

With the diffuser popped out of the housing

The diffuser is a small piece of plastic that is either clear, red, green or blue. When you no longer want white light there is a small tab that sticks off the diffuser that you just slide to the left of the unit. This is also handy as it can act as a safety so you don’t accidentally illuminate your position in white light.

Colored diffuser off

Colored diffuser on

All you have to do is check if the tab is to the left to indicate that the diffuser is engaged instead of removing the headlamp. To change the diffuser is super simple. At the bottom of the unit is a small notch that you can hook your fingernail under and it pops the face plate off.

The tab required to remove the face plate

Then you just remove the old diffuser and put the new one in. Make sure to put the new one in with the tab sitting over the light bulb to the outside of the unit.

This is the correct way to put the diffuser in if you want to use both colored light and white

If you do not do this you turn the unit into a single color unit using only the color of the diffuser. This is however useful if the lighting discipline of the mission calls for only red light. You won’t be able to accidentally flip the diffuser over and use white light.


I couldn’t be happier with the TACTIKKA XP headlamp. It makes work around the artillery gun line much easier keeping both hands free. I can now work on ammo or at the sights with the constant threat of dropping my light when I need it. Since owning the light I have managed to use it enough to go through 5 sets of batteries. I purchased mine XP at Bass Pro while in Florida a couple of years ago. The XP is a fairly common headlamp to be seen used by the men and women currently serving in the sandy theaters of war.