Chris Townsend looks at Petzl’s latest head torch. Find out why he awarded it his ‘Best Buy’…

The Tikka XP has been my favourite torch for years and has been on two multi-month walks and many shorter ones. It’s proved reliable and durable. The latest version is very different to my old one however.

Instead of a single LED with a plastic sliding diffuser to change the beam from fl ood, to spot the new Tikka XP has two LEDs. It’s more powerful too, throwing a spot beam 15m further. One press of the soft button, which is easy to do with gloves on, switches on the smaller floodlight LED. A second press and the larger spot LED comes on as well at low power. A third press and it becomes much brighter. Just three main modes is fewer than many headtorches but I find it perfectly adequate.

There also a red LED and a flash mode. The power is regulated and so stays constant for almost the life of a set of batteries, unlike the old version which was unregulated. Lithium batteries can be used too. The water-resistant Tikka XP has a comfortable easily adjusted headstrap. Flipping open the lamp housing so the batteries can be changed can be done with gloves on. The lamp pivots around 45°. The new Tikka XP is lightweight (a fraction lighter than the previous version) and reasonably priced. I think it’s the best compromise of power, weight and cost of the headtorches tested. I just hope it proves as durable as my old model.