We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Hey there, Don't forget to log in and join the conversation Log in

Photo credit: Steve Diederich.

Petzl Reactik+ Smart Bluetooth Head Torch review

08-Aug-16

Last updated: 24-Oct-18

By Steve Diederich

In advance of a roundup of all the best head torches on the market that we will be publishing in November, we thought we would whet your appetite with news of the release of the latest offering from Petzl.

Now, you would think that Petzl would know a thing or two about head torches. With a heritage in putting together safety equipment for cavers and climbers, they have had to produce some tough, reliable kit to meet some extremely demanding situations. Roll forward exactly 35 years since Mr Petzl created his first torches and you have to be impressed at how far they have come. The REACTIK+ series has gone all digital on us with the advent of the REACTIK+ and before you run for the hills shouting something about bandwagon… hold up! This lamp has its roots buried in solid technology and seemingly bulletproof construction.

Let’s call out the elephant in the room straight away – this is not a minimalist head torch. Rather than have a remote battery pack, Petzl have kept the rechargeable battery in the lighting unit. The unit comes in at 115gms but frankly when it is on your head, because of the good band design and padding you struggle to notice any weight or bulk. I wore the head torch for a couple of hours whilst bouncing around on the trails and after a few minutes was unaware of any bulk. This is also due to the clever “REACTIK+” bit of tech, which means that you do not have to constantly touch the unit to regulate light intensity or spread, this is taken care for you. In practice this means that that running through my local trails, the beam altered its beam distance and spread as I passed trees and entered open space. In urban environments the light “dims” with oncoming lights and headlights, thus not dazzling oncoming traffic. Pretty clever, eh?

Then there is the Bluetooth bit. Whilst I have never thought I needed to control a head torch remotely, in reality there are some useful elements to this. The most important one for me is the battery life indicator which gives you a real time readout as to how much light time you have available when out at night. I did use this several times when I had gone out further than I had originally anticipated and when I was using the torch at maximum output.

You can also set up profiles as to how you want it to perform. For instance, in Bivouac mode you get a choice of three power settings that can give you a lower, but broader beam of light that preserves battery life. You can also set the torch to be ‘reactive’ or constant or set on red light (which is a more considerate type of lighting when there are other people around). In addition, you can add in your own bespoke profiles to optimise your requirements from the three separate lighting modules on the torch.

I can’t be scientific about the light output. It has a claimed 300 Lumens (110mtre range), and I don’t doubt it, as once all the lighting modules are fired up, it provided more than adequate lighting. Battery life was good enough for me. The claimed maximum battery life using the 110 lumens output is 10-23hrs runtime, whilst blasting out the full 300 lumens would bring that figure right down to 2.5 hrs use. We will be doing a full technical comparison of the top lights in the autumn – watch out for the battle of the brightest!

PROS: What is good about the Petzl REACTIK+

The tech bit really works – it is a “real world” light that sorts itself out to meet conditions.

It allows you to optimise the lighting according to performance and battery life.

It is robust, I took it out in torrential rain and it performed well and whilst I haven’t mistreated it the construction looks and feels solid.

Buttons are easy to reach and you only really need to use the main button once the unit is set up.

It is really comfortable when fitted properly and adjusted.

CONS: What is not so good about the Petzl REACTIK+

Its size. If it were smaller that would be nice, but in reality its size was not a big issue.

Conclusion

The Petzl REACTIK+ is undoubtedly a capable, robust torch that I feel I could trust to take with me on a multi-day event (subject to charging being available). If you don’t have access to power, you can get a 3 AAA battery pack to extend your lighting time. It is eminently practical with adaptive lighting function. It is neither the cheapest nor the smallest piece of kit, however as compromises go, this sits well amongst the competition. Whilst not the right size and weight for the competitive ultra runner, as an all round light that you can use for pretty much everything, this is an excellent choice. Price RRP - £85 Online price £72

Score  
Design 8/10
Features 9/10
Performance 9/10
Value 7/10
Total 8.25/10


Other similar head torches to consider:

Mammut x-shot headtorch
LED Lenser H7R.2
Fenix HP25

Have you used the Petzl REACTIK+ Smarth Bluetooth head torch? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.

Not a member yet? Sign up here to be part of the RunUltra community and share tips and stories with thousands of fellow runners around the world.

All images: Steve Diederich.

We are a professional review site and our reviewers receive free products for testing from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are by the reviewer’s name shown.

Disclosure:

We use affiliate links in some of our reviews and articles. This means that if you purchase an item through one of these links we will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through our links but the income will help us to keep bringing you our free training guides, reviews and other content to enjoy. Thank you in advance for your support.

Review Petzl Reactik+ Smart Bluetooth Head Torch review

You must be logged in to add your review, click here to login or click here to register

Avatar
Comment Arrow

Stergskiy

04:04 10-09-16

I love mine! I needed something that would be reliable for a run through the Grand Canyon - no street lights out there, just the moon and a steep fall if you miss a step. The light is unwavering and bright enough to light the full path. It was also comfortable over my headband or over the brim of my hat. It was light and did not jump around when running.

Avatar
Comment Arrow

MikeyUltra

08:02 16-08-16

I love my Petzl Reactik Head Torch so much so I nicknamed it "the lighthouse". Ive owned my torch for a while now and totally agree with the review as the "tech bit" does work. I wanted a torch that was durable and hard-working. After purchasing afew cheaper torches prior to this,I decided the "buy cheap,buy twice" moto which still stands. I think the price is fair due to it does what it says. It feels light and comfortable when on. I would really recommend purchasing if your an avid runner. Infact my friends have now both got them. Easy 5 stars