Submitted by Eric Daniel
Well, I have finally joined the 21st century when it comes to flashlights. Gone are all my bent neck D-cell dinosaur GI issue flashlights, AA-minimag lights, and my 4 cell "gold miner" style USFS headlamp. I have replaced all these lights with a single Petzl Tactikka Plus LED headlamp.
There are a number of things I really like about the T-P; it's an LED light, so it doesn't weigh a lot and the lights last forever, as do the batteries (the T-P has 4 LED lights with a battery life (3 x AAA batteries) which will provide power for between 100-150 hours of use, depending on power settings.) Furthermore, light comes with an integrated red/white light filter (in this case the filter is a hinged cover on the front of the light) which enables you to flip it between red and white light on the fly (there is no lens cap to unscrew like there was with the old bent neck flashlights or the minimags, though in the case of the T-P you are limited to just red or white light.) In addition, while the Tactikka-Plus does come with an additional LED light for greater illumination (the T-P has 4 LED lights as opposed to the 3 in the regular Tactikka) what I really liked about the T-P over the regular one was the fact that the mode button (which you use to cycle through the three power settings and the flash mode) is a push button on the top of the light, rather than a sliding switch. This allows for easier one handed operation, and makes it easier to change power settings (you don't have to fight the slide to find the power setting you want, you just push the button on top.)
As with most headlamps today, the Petzl Tactikka Plus is water resistant, and comes with a black elastic headband (actually, I prefer wearing the light around my neck, rather than on my helmet or PC since I'm less likely to lose it if I'm going through brush. Besides, if I'm moving tactically, I'll be using NODs most of the time, so the light will just be needed for a quick bit of light.)
One thing to bear in mind with this light, however. Petzl specifically recommends against using lithium based batteries in the headlamp, as the increased power output from the batteries may burn out the LED lights.