I can’t tell you how much I enjoy, no, truly love my original model Petzl Tactika XP headlamp. It is exactly what I want a headlamp to be, But, why am I talking about a Petzl when I am reviewing a Princeton Tec headlamp? Simple, the original model Petzl TactiKa XP is the standard by which I will, must, judge all other headlamps.
Sooooooo right about now you are saying to yourself, “Why doesn’t AH just buy himself another original model Petzl Tactika XP headlamp?”
Well, I would if they still made them. Yup, Petzl (in all their stupidity) discontinued making that little gem a couple years ago. True, they still have a Tactika model but I already did a review on that new model. Yeah, it sucks compared to the original model. So I have been on a quest ever since to find a headlamp that is just as good, maybe even better. The Princeton Tec is the latest contender.
As always…the mission –
“To provide personal lighting capability for night operations in a tactical or camping environment.”
Requirements & Restrictions –
- Must be water resistant.
- Must be rugged.
- Must provide foolproof for “red lens” operations.
- Must operate on AAA batteries.
- Should be camouflage or flat earth color.
- Must have headband operation capability.
- Should have helmet mount capability.
- Should contain the lamp and batteries in the same housing.
With all of that in mind I began searching for an acceptable substitute for my old Petzl. This Princeton Tec EOS model stuck out to me as possibly meeting all my criteria and it looked like it was going to meet my needs at a very reasonable price point as well. What really caught my attention was the red lens that operated similarly to the Petzl, it was the right color, and it is compact in size.
The headlamp arrives and right off the mark I see that the housing is solid and the plastic is very decent quality. I also liked this version of Princeton because it has a slid in-place red lens. The lens moves smoothly and snaps into place nicely.
There is a gasket to protect the inside components from moisture but it requires tightening a thumb screw to secure it. And, there is an option to use a screwdriver, but that might be a problem. What happens when someone tightens it with a screwdriver and you don’t have one when swapping the batteries? And, the headlamp is rated to “waterproof to 1 meter” and that is really nice!
The button function works exactly like the original model Petzl Tactika XP that I already own. Nice! It starts out on the lowest brightness setting, that maintains your low profile when turning on the light. The narrow focused beam is not as good as the original model Petzl Tactika XP but it is very good.
The red lens option is actually better than the original model Petzl Tactika XP that I currently use. The red light is more focused. The brightest of the red light settings will challenge your night vision but could prove very useful when more red light is needed to locate something. The most dim red light setting is plenty good enough for maintaining night vision and seeing what you are doing such as walking.
|LAMP||1 Maxbright LED|
|BURN TIME||150 Hours|
|BATTERIES||3 AAA Alkaline or Lithium|
There is also a feature of this headlamp that beats them all, even beating the original model Petzl Tactika XP, the headband. You can easily remove and replace the headband when needed. It is not permanently attached to the headlamp housing.
I like everything about this headlamp! It is simple to operate with a single button. The lens changing is easy and you can readily verify that you are in red lens mode. I love the waterproof aspect! The only headlamp I tested to be able to make that claim.
Granted, it doesn’t have the “boost” intensity light feature that the original model Petzl Tactika XP, but that is plenty OK with me. This headlamp is one that I would go into battle with. Yup, the case and plastic are military grade.
This is the “best buy” for headlamps that I recommend!! “BUY!”
2016 Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved No reproduction or other use of this content without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com See Content Use Policy for more information.