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The Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp is a high-quality, lightweight headlamp designed for hunting and fishing. It’s very similar to the Petzl Tactikka + headlamp, but it adds green and blue light options to the standard white and red lights found on many headlamps.
Red, green and blue light, of course, drastically reduces the chance of spooking elk or deer as a hunter is walking into an area in the dark before dawn. Better yet, RGB light options preserve your own night vision.
Why is the addition of green and blue light important to hunters? Some hunters see better with a green or blue light. Personally, I tend to see a bit better with green light, so I use green when I’m trying to navigate particularly rough ground before dawn.
Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp Review
The Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp is just a great all-around hunting headlamp. While it’s not the most powerful hunting headlamp in raw lumen output, the quality of the white light beam is fantastic at all brightness levels.
So what do I mean by beam quality?
The Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp puts out 250 lumens. Some of the best hunting headlamps put out more lumens of power, but usable light also has to do with the quality of the bulb and lens around it. A cheap flashlight usually has a dead spot somewhere in its beam, but high-quality flashlights do not. The Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp has a crisp, bright beam that does a great job of illuminating its full path.
Because most hunters are paying attention to a trail from zero to 30 feet in front of them, a high-quality beam lets them pick out rocks, sticks, holes and the path they want to take. The Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp produces one of our favorite beam patterns for what we do most while hunting.
The Tactikka +RGB has three lighting modes: proximity, movement, and distance — basically low, medium and high. All this really means is that you can dial in the brightness and beam pattern to give you the light you need for whatever you’re doing in the dark.
That said, if you’re planning to hunt in truly extreme weather conditions or extreme terrain, you really should look at a larger headlamp like the Cabela’s Alaskan Guide XP Green Headlamp noted in our guide to the best hunting headlamps.
The real key to the Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp is its usability. While some hunting headlamps make you memorize a complicated set of press, taps and button holds to shift colors and intensities, the Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp is simple enough to use without a manual.
A simple press will turn it on to white, low. Another press will bump you to a medium power beam. Another press will take you to the highest power setting. Totally intuitive. If you want a red, green, or blue light, simply hold the button down in a long press and the light will change to red. Keep holding the button and the light will cycle to green, then blue, then white, then red, etc.
If you turn off the Tactikka +RGB in any mode, it remembers the previous mode you were in last and starts there. For instance, if you’re using green and turn it off, it turns back on in green mode, preserving your night vision.
If you’re worried about running out of battery power, you can turn off the headlamp in a color mode then turn it back on with two button presses to launch a strobe mode.
Basically, it’s harder to read the last few paragraphs than it is to actually use the Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp.
The beam distance on high is about 70 meters. The run time on 3 AAA alkaline batteries is about 50 hours on high and about 50 hours on medium, too. A 50-hour runtime on high is respectable and efficient. Many headlamps with higher lumen output run fewer hours on high. On low, the Tactikka +RGB will last 260 hours. Red, green and blue lights last 60 hours and strobe mode will last up to 400 hours.
The weight is 3.1 ounces, which is typical of this lightweight class of headlamp. The Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp has a water-resistance rating of IPX4. This basically means you can drop it in a mud puddle and it’ll keep working if you pick it up and give it a shake. I’ve worn the Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp in the rain with no problems, too.
One nice feature of the Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp is that it is one of Petzl’s “HYBRID” headlamps that can also use Petzl’s CORE Rechargeable Battery. The CORE battery pack comes with its own USB charging cable. While you can run most any headlamp off of discrete rechargeable batteries, the CORE battery pack is handy if you frequently use your headlamp. At hunting camp, you could give your CORE battery pack a boost rather than wonder how much battery you have left in your aging alkaline batteries before you head out.
On the other hand, if you rarely use your headlamp, alkaline batteries will hold their charge over much longer periods of inactivity.
Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp Review: The Verdict
The Petzl Tactikka +RGB Headlamp is one of my favorite headlamps for hunting. If you’re looking for a gift for a hunter or a gift for a bowhunter, it’s pretty much a can’t-go-wrong option. It’s durable, easy-to-use, lightweight and produces a clean beam pattern with excellent overall battery life. In addition, while I could survive with just a red light option, I very much appreciate the green light option when I’m on the trail. Very highly recommended.