This photo shows the Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp.
Chris Maxcer

Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp Review

The Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp is a super ultralight headlamp designed to be stored for up to 10 years with its batteries, ready for use in an emergency. You can put it in a first aid kit, a car survival kit, a backpack, vest or hunting pack. Because it’s so lightweight, it’s a perfect backup headlamp.

Two understand the Petzl e+LITE, it’s particularly important to recognize what it’s good for — and what it’s not good for. What’s really ironic about the Petzl e+LITE is that it’s not great for everyday use, or even weekend use, but it is still awesome for most any outdoor adventurer. Here’s why:

Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp Review: Pros and Cons

This photo shows the Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp with the red led light on.
The Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp is waterproof and weighs just 0.92 ounces.

The Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp is astoundingly lightweight for a headlamp. While most lightweight headlamps weigh in around 3 ounces, the Petzl e+LITE is just 0.92 ounces.

On the other hand, the Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp is a bit underpowered — it only puts out 50 lumens of light on its maximum setting. And while this is plenty of light for close-up tasks, and even enough light to hike out of the woods in the dark, it doesn’t compete with 3-ounce headlamps that put out 250 or more lumens.

What’s more concerning are the batteries. Instead of AAA batteries, the Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp uses two very small CR2032 batteries.

At full power, you’ll get 9 hours of light.  At standard power — 15 lumens — you’ll get 12 hours. Compared to larger headlamps, that’s not a lot of burn time. However, when you consider that the Petzl e+LITE weights less than an ounce . . . and that the batteries will last up to 10 years . . . it’s pretty freaking awesome.

This photo shows a closeup of the Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp.
The controls use a simple lever to select the light mode.

What all of this really means is, the Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp is a fantastic backup headlamp for outdoor adventurers who care about weight and space. In particular, I like the Petzl e+LITE as a backup headlamp for hunters. Why? Hunters head outside in bad-weather conditions and often end up far from vehicles in the dark. At less than an ounce, there is no weight penalty for carrying the Petzl e+LITE.

In addition, the Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp is a great headlamp for first aid kits. If you’re smart, you’ll consider adding the Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp to your camping first aid kit, your backpacking first aid kit, or your hunting first aid kit. Technically, you should have a larger headlamp with you for all of these outdoor activities, but the Petzl e+LITE gives you a backup option. Gear breaks in the backcountry. If it breaks when you have a buddy or family member injured, you’ll want hands-free light while you administer first aid in the dark.

For all of these reasons, we think the Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp makes great gifts for hunters, great gifts for campers, and even great gifts for backpackers.

Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp Review: Usage Specs

The Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp doesn’t have any buttons to learn or worry about — just a dirt-simple lever that lets you dial in the light modes. You get 15 lumens on standard power, 50 lumens on max power, a white strobe, a red strobe and a red light.

The red light will burn for 15 hours. On the red light strobe setting, the red strobe is visible at 100 meters for up to 70 hours.

The Petzl e+LITE has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means it can withstand a 1 meter dunking for up to 30 minutes. It can also shed plenty of rain. It will keep working well below freezing, too.

The Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp also comes with a built-in whistle. The whistle is, I have to say, pretty ingenious: It’s part of the headband toggle adjuster. There is more though: The whistle/toggle is the tool you use to twist open the sealed battery case.

Petzl includes a lightweight plastic carrying case that will fit the headlamp along with a few extra batteries. The case weighs in at .65 ounces.

Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp Review: The Verdict

If you understand why you might want ultralight hands-free light, you should get a Petzl e+LITE Emergency Headlamp. The overall build quality is great. While it doesn’t compete with headlamps that weigh three times as much, it’s perfect for first aid kits and as a backup headlamp for outdoor adventurers who get off the beaten path. If you do buy one, immediately buy a few extra CR2032 batteries. Maybe you won’t need them, but if you do, you’ll have light, which could be useful, comforting, or critical. Very highly recommended.

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In addition to Man Makes Fire buying gear for reviews and guides, gear manufacturers occasionally ship review units to Man Makes Fire. If we like it, we spend some quality time with the gear and review it, noting if it was provided to Man Makes Fire. After the review, we return it, give it away, or work on longer-term review follow-ups when applicable to reader interest.

We do not accept any gear in exchange for coverage. If we do not truly appreciate the gear, we don't write about it at all -- bad gear will fade into obscurity on its own if everyone ignores it. In addition, we focus on gear from reputable companies, reputable brands, and reputable retailers that we trust.

The gear links on Man Makes Fire are focused on what we are willing to recommend to our own family and friends. Many of our specific gear links connect to industry-standard affiliate advertising programs that can result in a small percentage of resulting online sales paid to Man Makes Fire.

Basically, we deliver the advice and insight you need, you get the gear you want, and then everyone wins. Pretty straightforward.

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