2008 Petzl Myo XP Tested

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Price: £55

(£65 for Myo XP Belt)

Weight: 170 grammes (including 3 AA

batteries)

Features: Uprated

2008 versiion of Petzl's proven Myo XP headtorch, single

high-powered LED powered by three AA batteries, three light

levels plus flash and boost mode, battery charge indicator,

tiltable head and optional top-strap fitting supplied. Also

available as Myo XP Belt with remote battery holder for

extreme cold weather use.


What's It For?

The Myo XP is Petzl's all-round, high spec' head torch designed to

be powerful enough for night navigation and climbing route spotting,

but also to provide lower light modes for campsite and general use.

The big change for 2008 is simply that the light is brighter, some

three times brighter according to Petzls own figures - with new

batteries, the light output measured in lumens is increased from 50

to 150 lumens.

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You can spot the difference between old and new versions by the

grey with snot green buttons colour scheme on the new one compared to

the old blue/yellow original.


The Techy Bits

LED efficiency has improved since the original Myo XP was

introduced allowing Petzl to upgrade the performance of the light by

fitting an uprated LED. Otherwise the light is pretty much identical

to before even down to the three light levels plus boost and flash

settings and handy built-in battery charge indicator.

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The result of the upgrade is impressive on paper. On boost mode

for example, maximum beam length increases from 65m to 97m with the

equivalent figures at the more usual maxmum setting being 72m

compared to 45m for the old timer. That means the new torch on normal

high setting is actually brighter than the old one using boost.

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It also means that the new torch is brighter than the old even as

the batteries fade - after 30 hours of use, for example, one the

minimum 'economic' setting, beam length is 24m as opposed to 14m.


How It Performs

We were very impressed with the original Petzl Myo XP for its

combination of well thought out features, sturdy build quality and

decent light performance, but it lagged behind, say, Silva's L1 when

it came to really throwing out the lumens.

The latest version puts that right with a vengeance and makes the

torch more useable for fast-moving stuff like running and biking.

Side by side with the older version, it's simply much brighter.

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In some situations that's a real boon, for night navigation in

some situations for example, or trying to pick out a route on a dark

crag, but it also means that you're getting more performance even on

lower settings with no energy penalty. In fact Petzl says maximum

battery life is extended from 170 to 180 hours in 'economic' or

campsite mode, as we call it.

One thing being aware of is that the power drops off quite rapidly

with use, so after ten hours the maximum beam range falls from 72

metres when fresh, to a mere 39 metres. That's still better than last

year's 25-metre beam though.

With the diffuser flipped up it's great around camp and for

general use, with it down you get a more focussed beam for long

distance work.

Otherwise the XP is a nicely thought through bit of kit. The

headband is comfortable in use and easy to adjust. The light-housing

angle is adjustable for optimum vision and the on/off switch is

shielded so it won't turn on accidentally inside your pack.

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The torch is water resistant rather than waterproof, but in our

experience that seems to be enough for general use, though we'd

suggest drying the battery pack after wet days to minimise terminal

corrosion.

Finally while at a real life 170 grammes it's not as light as

Petzl's more minimalist offeriings, it's very reasonable given the

light output. For a lighter option, have a look at the Tikka XP or if

you only need a little light the Tikka or even the e+LITE.

If you're out a lot in sub-zero conditions, check out the Myo XP

Belt which has a remote battery pack which can be housed inside your

clothing for improved warmth and battery performance.


Initial Verdict

Same great build quality and well considered features, but a

load more light right through the battery's lifespan. We still find

the buttons a little fiddly with big, fat winter gloves, but then

most are. Other than that, the Myo XP is hard to fault and the extra

light output ups its versatility in some situations.

The same's true of the boost setting, which gives you a temporary,

well, boost, as long as you hold down the secondary button - handy if

you just need that little bit of extra range to pick out a

feature.

All in all, one of the best all-round torches on the market with a

versatile spread from campsite glow right up to piercing alpine beam.

The extra brightness only makes it better.


Pros

Ripping light outpur, good built quality, thoughtful

design.

Cons

Buttons can be fiddly with big gloves and cold

fingers.