Shoes & Gear

Petzl Tikka XP®2 versus Petzl MYO® RXP

Petzl Tikka XP®2 versus Petzl MYO® RXP

Warning: If your name is Liza Howard do not read this!

I live in Arizona, the sunniest state in America. They don’t call it the Valley of the Sun for nothing, Phoenix has an 85% average possible sunshine, nearly 300 days. In June it gets light at 4:45 a.m., seriously. So why do I need a headlamp? Because along with the sun in the summer months it’s not uncommon for it to be over 90° by 8 a.m. on it’s way to 115°. I typically wake up between 2 a.m.–3 a.m. to start my run, in fact training for Javelina Jundred last summer I started 110 training runs in the dark trying to beat the heat, several of them ended in the dark also.

For the past two years I relied on my Petzl Tikka XP®2 to get me down the trail. I was perfectly happy with my Tikka XP®2…until that day I met MYO® RXP.

With the possibility of having my wife pace me the last 9.4 miles of Javelina Jundred and knowing it would be 2 a.m.-3 a.m. when her turn to pace started it was time to purchase an additional headlamp. It was also the perfect time to spend more money on an upgrade over my Tikka XP®2, no way could she question the extra expense when it was for her (hers for all 9.4 miles of her pacing duties, the rest of the year it’s mine).

I’d gotten used to the light weight and simplicity of the Petzl Tikka XP®2. Weighing in at 88g with 3-AAA rechargeable batteries the Petzl Tikka XP®2 rests comfortably on the bill of my visor and I never think about it being there. What I never got used to was the darkness in my peripheral vision on the trails. I could see ok straight in front of me during a 2 a.m. run through the desert, but it wasn’t uncommon to be spooked by a shadowy dark spot off to one side of the trail or the other. It never turned out to be an animal, just my imagination running wild not being able to see the unknown.

When I got my Petzl MYO® RXP home and opened the box my first thought was, “oh crap”. I work on the Internet all day long, I write code, develop websites, set up databases and like what I do…but I’m not a gadget guy. The Petzl MYO® RXP looked like a gadget. When I saw words like “regulated and programmable, 4 lighting levels, Boost mode” my heart sank and that sudden feeling of buyer’s remorse kicked in. Yes, I did my research before making this purchase and had read those words before but the act of actually holding the Petzl MYO® RXP in my hands made those words sink in all too clearly. So like I do with most gadgets I purchase I sat it on my desk and walked away until I built up the nerve to tackle the set up instructions.

With bed time closing in on me I knew I had to get my new Petzl MYO® RXP ready for the next morning. I took a deep breathe, opened the instructions and started reading. Two minutes later I was done! Programming was a snap (you don’t have to actually do anything unless you want to change the factory preset levels). I lowered the brightest level down two steps to save battery life (even though I wasn’t sure how long the batteries would last on either setting I felt this was what a real gadget guy would do), adjusted the headband straps which actually took longer than changing the programmable settings and was ready to go boast to my wife how smart I was to have it ready so fast.

Packing 160 lumens (I have no idea what that means, I just know it must be better) compared to only 60 lumens for Tikka XP®2 running with the Petzl MYO® RXP was like running with a Wrigley Field stadium light strapped to my head, it felt like it weighed about as much too. My Tikka XP®2 was light enough in weight having the strap perfectly adjusted wasn’t a big deal as it would just rest on the bill of my visor and not move. Not so with the Petzl MYO® RXP, at 175g including 3-AA batteries all the weight felt like it was in the battery pack which quickly decided to slide down the back of my head with each bouncing step. Stopping on the trail at 3 a.m. to adjust the strap did not set my run off on a good foot, but I finally got it and was back on the trail. At that point all I could think of was “WOW”. It was as close to running in the daylight as I’d done in over a month. The clarity of the rocks on the trails was incredible, no phantom shadows jumping out of my peripheral vision to scare the recently consumed cup of coffee out of me, just pure night running at it’s very best.

I split time between my Tikka XP®2 and MYO® RXP for a while but I’m now in an almost exclusive relationship with the MYO® RXP. Oh, I use the Tikka XP®2 some times if I do track work and don’t have to worry about the running surface, but the guilt I feel when I come home and see my MYO® RXP waiting for me gets stronger every time. With the strap adjusted correctly the weight isn’t an issue any more and the added light is worth every extra gram.

Here are some pictures I took trying to illustrate the lighting difference. This is meant only to compare the brightness between the Petzl Tikka XP®2 and Petzl MYO® RXP. Due to limitations of my digital camera these pictures are all darker than the actual amount of light put off by these headlamps.

Petzl Tikka XP®2
Petzl MYO® RXP
88 g
175 g
AAA x3
AA x3
60 m
77 m (97 m Boost)
80 h
50 h
60 lm (maximum)
140 lm (160 lm Boost)

Note: I highly recommend investing in rechargeable batteries, in fact it’s really not even an investment any more. The last time I purchased batteries at my local Target store the package of 4-AAA and 4-AA rechargeable Energizer batteries were the exact same price as their regular counterparts. Each morning I throw the batteries on the charger and they’re fully charged and ready to go by time the water heats up for my instant coffee. It’s amazing how many times someone in my running group shows up with dead batteries in their headlamps. Not me! Of course I’m too caring to let them stumble along in the dark so I run beside or just behind the offending knucklehead and help light the way for them with my Petzl MYO® RXP.

Oh, I almost forgot. Why don’t I want Liza Howard, record setting ultra marathon phenom to read this? Here’s a short excerpt from Liza’s Javelina Jundred (run on 15.4 mile washing machine loops) race report where I so proudly wore my Petzl MYO® RXP…

“I pretty much wallowed in feeling pooped and the rest of the race. I definitely didn’t uphold my end of the conversation with Paulette. And I got inordinately grumpy about the 9 million lumen headlamps and flashlights people were using. (It’s hard to be good humored when you’re both pooped and blinded.) “

Uh, that was me…sorry Liza.

I’ll review more headlamps in the near future as they arrive. Until the next time…be safe and have fun.



Powered by Facebook Comments

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Wordpress Googlebuzz Myspace Gmail Newsvine Favorites More

This post was written by:

- who has written 4 posts on Trail Running Club.

John is a former VP of Operations for Go Daddy Group, Inc. The largest domain name seller and hosting provider in the world. John currently consults with clients on their internet marketing strategies and manages client website projects from conception to completion.

Born and raised in a small eastern Iowa town John received his BBA from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa before escaping the cold winters for Arizona over 17 years ago.

John has completed several trail races including:
• Javelina Jundred 100 mile
• Man Against Horse 50 mile
• Flagstaff Trail Marathon
• Mesquite Canyon 50K
• Old Pueblo 50 Mile Endurance Run
• Just Another Mad Dog 50K

Email This Author | John V's RSS | More about John V: