Why We Chose The Petzl Iko Core Head Lamp Lightweight, compact, bright and extremely comfortable to wear
For extended outdoor adventures that take place under cover of darkness, you need a head torch that packs plenty of power. The problem is that any lamp with serious lumens almost always means carrying added weight and bulk. And while that’s not necessarily a major problem when it’s stashed in your pack, hefty headlamps get uncomfortable if you’re forced to wear them for hours on end, especially if they’re bouncing around while you’re trying to cross rough terrain.
“The lamp is IPX4-rated”
Which is exactly why we are so impressed with the Petzl Iko Core. It doesn’t look like most other head torches – there’s no bulky light unit at the front, no overhead strap and no chunky elastic headband. Given that it can emit up to 500 lumens, it’s also a lot lighter than most head torches of comparable brightness, weighing in at just under 90g.
Who Is The Petzl Iko Core Head Lamp For?
As the minimalist construction suggests, this is a head lamp designed for ‘fast and light’ night hikers. If you’re taking on something like the National 3 Peaks Challenge, when lots of your ascent and descent will necessarily be undertaken between dusk and dawn, the Iko Core is a great option.
It’ll also work well for sneaky wild camps and spontaneous evening trail runs, if you’re the sort of person who relishes a 5-9 adventure after finishing the daily grind.
Of course, the headband design means it is less well suited to climbers or bikers, as it isn’t compatible with a helmet, and nor is it ideal for road runners, since it lacks a red rear light.
The lamp is IPX4-rated, so it is splash-proof, but not submersible.
The key to the design is Petzl’s Airfit headband, which foregoes elastic straps in favour of an ultra-thin, semi-rigid frame that is contoured to sit comfortably around your head. It looks something like a crown or even a tiara but feels far better balanced. This slimline frame also reduces contact area with your skin, meaning a less sweaty forehead and fewer pressure points. It’s also hydrophobic to repel sweat and rain, soaking up a lot less moisture than an elastic strap. And despite the fact that the front LED light array is separate from the battery unit, there are no exposed wires to snag or break. This design also makes for more even weight distribution, aiding overall comfort. Rear adjustment consists of a single elasticated pull cord, which works very effectively with minimal fuss (no more fiddling with strap buckles and the like).