Thursday, September 08, 2022

Petzl Actik Core Running Headlamp Review

Article by Jeff Valliere

Petzl Actik Core

84 grams/3 oz.

600 Max Lumens

Available now

$74.95



The Petzl Actik Core model has become one of my favorite headlamps over the past few years, as it is exceptionally lightweight for all the brightness that it offers, is compact, easy to fit in run shorts pocket or run vest pocket, is nearly unnoticeable on the head and with the Core battery option, very easy to recharge.  

The latest version, just released, has a few notable upgrades, primarily more lumens from 450 in the previous version to 600 lumens, a now two way mount articulation (up or down) and a cool phosphorescent reflector for easy location in the dark.


Full spec details below:

Specifications: 

The new Actik Core is amazingly bright for its  size and even though it has gained 7 grams over the previous model (at least by my scale), it is still very light and compact.  

It is a little more slim vertically than the last model, but also slightly wider.


The reflective strap is very comfortable and now has dual sliders for easier adjustment.


Included is a white storage bag, which doubles as a light diffuser making for a nice little lamp around camp.


The phosphorescent reflector is handy for locating your headlamp in the dark.  I found it most useful when camping, where I could easily spot my lamp in the tent when nature called in the middle of the night.


As with the previous versions, the Actik Core still has a red light mode to preserve night vision and is also less bothersome to others trying to sleep when moving about camp.



The Actik Core battery is amazing, tidy, easy to access/remove, quick to charge and can be substituted with 3 AAA batteries or a backup Core battery.  

To access the battery, you simply flip the lamp 180 degrees in the mount and pop open the access door.  You can either pull the battery out to plug into a micro USB cable (included), or plug the cable into the battery while leaving it in the lamp (what I normally do).  I have found battery life to be in line with the specs listed above. It is similar to the previous model (both 2 hours in max brightness, one hour more in medium, yet 30 hours less in low).  I can affirm that it will easily last 2 hours at max brightness and 8 hours on medium, but have not maxed it out the low setting.


The lamp articulates on the mount, rotating a full range up and down.



Like the previous version, the Actik Core features dual beam in the medium and highest settings, combining a proximate and spot beam for a nice and complete range of light.  The single button operation is simple and intuitive, with the button being large and positive enough in response that I never make a mistake and is easy to operate with gloves on.

The dual mode projects a broad, bright and distant beam, again, very impressive for a smaller lamp.  

The hue is a somewhat harsh white and is my only real complaint, as it does not bring out contrast as well as the warmer hued lamps as Kogalla (RTR Review) and Ledlenser (RTR Review) recent lamps do.  

For runs where I will be spending a lot of time in the dark, I’ll typically wear the Kogalla RA somewhere on my torso for a wide, warm, low beam projection that brings out contrast and then add a Petzl Actik, Swift or Nao on my head for spotting far ahead, looking around, etc…  It is also a good idea to have a second lamp just in case one runs out of battery or goes wonky (which has happened to me a few times).


Conclusion: The new Actik Core is a winner, as it is exceptionally bright, light, comfortable, easy to charge, has good battery life and will not break the bank.  


Petzl Actik Core is available at our partner REI below

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors

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