5/5 | Overall Rating
The Petzl Reactik+ is a headlamp that is ahead of its time because of its reactive lighting mode and Bluetooth connection to the MYPetzl Light. It supplies a maximum of 300 lumens and the beam can reach up to 110m.
The Reactik+ is comfortable, versatile and durable (IPX4). For these reasons, it was awarded a five-star rating and the award for the best overall headlamp in our Best Headlamps for Hiking review.
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The defining feature of this headlamp is the reactive lighting mode, which sets the Petzl headlamps apart. This innovative piece of technology adjusts the amount and type of light to provide optimal light levels and get the most out of the batteries. It uses a sensor to measure the ambient light and the proximity of objects and adjusts the beam accordingly.
For example, if you are looking down a dark trail the lamp will employ its bright spotlight function, but when you look down to check your watch or read a map the lamp will switch to a softer floodlight. When hiking in a large group your lamp will react to the light produced by the headlamps around you and will in turn increase your battery-life. The only conditions in which the reactive lighting mode does not operate ideally is in snowy, foggy or cloudy conditions. This is because the light is reflected confusing the sensor.
Like all the newer Petzl models, the Petzl Reactik Plus can connect to the MYPetzl Light app on your phone using a Bluetooth chip. The app allows you to adjust the brightness and beam type from your phone rather than the buttons on the lamp. It also allows you to adjust the brightness to levels other than the main low, medium and high settings. You can also create different profiles so that the headlamps will react differently during activities such as cycling or running.
The main advantage of the app, however, is to do with the battery life. Unlike the primitive 3-bar battery-life indicators found on some headlamps, the app tells you exactly what percentage of the battery is left. You can also set the beams brightness to correlate to the battery-life you require. For example, if you require ten hours of use at the maximum brightness possible the headlamp will calculate and adjust the number of lumens that can be sustained for that duration. The only downside to this headlamp is that the Bluetooth can be unreliable at times.
This headlamp is in a league of its own when you consider the lighting options. It comes standard with five different lighting profiles. The multi-activity profile provides lighting for close- and long-range vision whereas the mountaineering profile provides a powerful spotlight. The trail running profile provides an extremely bright light for long-distance vision as well as avoiding obstacles and the trekking profile is excellent for trail finding. Lastly, the bivouac profile provides a floodlight that is perfect for camping. You can also create your own profiles on the MYPetzl Light app as mentioned before.
In each profile, you can choose between three reactive lighting settings and three constant beam settings, which can be selected using the buttons on the headlamp or the app. The three lighting settings include, Max Autonomy, Standard and Max Power. There is a lock function to prevent the lamp turning on in your bag that can be activated by holding in both buttons. The manual does not bring much attention to this fact so it is something to remember.
The Reactik+ runs on Lithium-Ion batteries that can be recharged using a micro-USB. The battery life is between 3 and 30 hours depending on the profile, mode and light setting you are using.
For longer trips we recommend purchasing extra rechargeable packs or, if you are not going be near easily accessible charging points, purchasing regular AAA batteries. The battery life can be checked on the app or a rough indication is given by an LED on the side of the headlamp.
The Petzl Reactik+ has a single strap that splits into two at the back of the head. The strap can be adjusted using one of two buckles situated where the strap splits. The buckles are extremely easy to adjust even whilst on the head and are very secure resulting in little slippage during use.
The batteries are situated behind the light itself, in the front of the headlamp, but the strap design ensures optimal comfort and the light does not feel unbalanced. The strap widens at the front of the torch offering increased comfort and sweat absorption. There are two buttons on the Reactik+ which are easy to operate but could be more prominent for use with gloves.