At the beginning of the previous year, the first information appeared in the internet: Petzl works on an evolutionary version of Tikki XP Atex. It was to be supplied from 2 AA cells (almost 2x more energy than in 3 AAA cells), regulated, waterproof, a dream of each owner of Tikka XP.
Pixa headlamps are now available on the market, but is it what we expected to be ?
Some marketing data
Headlamp with mixed beam, designed for close-range work and for movement
- Headlamp keeps the hands free for work: may be worn on the head with the headband, mounted on a helmet, or placed on the ground.
- Two illumination modes: Low - 30 lumens / 12 hours and High - 40 lumens / 6 hours + the reserve mode for 10 hours.
- Constant lighting, guaranteed lighting performance that does not diminish during its entire lifetime.
- Easy in use : the operating mode selection knob, easy and simple replacement of batteries.
- Battery charge indicator flashes repetitively main led
- Certification: ATEX: CE0080, Ex II 3 GD, Ex nAnL IIB T4 / HAZLOC: class I Groups C & D div II, Class II Group G div II.
- Power supply: 2 batteries of type AA/LR6 (delivered), compatible with alkaline batteries, rechargeable batteries of type NiMH and Ni-Cd, lithium batteries.
- Weight (including batteries): 160 g
Price : $59.95
And where is the external compartment with the rechargeable battery of that Ultra ? Since the new Pixa looks exactly as the already well known in the market head lamp Petzl Ultra with this only that somebody has pressed in the 2 batteries of the AA size. A considerable amount of rubber; literally prepared for frontal collision with a wall ;). And, first of all: the weight; with two rechargeable battery Pixa 2 weighs 181g; for the purpose of a comparison: Petzl Myo RXP with 3 rechargeable batteries weighs 190g, perhaps not so bullet resistant but also regulated and waterproof Princeton Tec EOS 70 weighs 104g only..
The mode selector switch, well known from Ultra, here the 3-position one: off, low, high. This is, probably, the best solution in the market: you may easily switch over of even 3 modes at one tine (in the case of pixa 3). In the background, a solid snap fastener; no chance that the head lamp opens by itself and, even if children get it into their hands, there is a considerable chance that they can not open it – the snap fastener is rigid and you have to use both your hands to open the battery compartment.
Another useful function: after turning the head through 180*, you set it into so called transportation position - the mode selector knob is blocked and the optics is shielded against accidental damage in transportation.
A triple lip gasket at the compartment closure, the +o-ring on the knob axle constitute a sufficient protection against water; I believe that a very little bit of silicone grease and it would resist under water much longer than for half an hour assumed in the IPX7 standard.
What does squeak inside ?
There are not too many parts inside; As a matter of fact, only the battery holder and one pcb board onto which all necessary components have been packed, complete with the Cree XP-E led.
As for myself, it is a very nice and well thought-over structure but you can hardly get at this board in order to measure the led power supply characteristics :(
How does it glow ?
Petzl Pixa 2 - high
Petzl Pixa 2 - low
Waterproof and also atex compatibile competition: Princeton Tec EOS 70 : Princeton Tec EOS 70 - (70 lumens - high)
Waterproof competition only: Black Diamond Storm (100 lumens - high)
For whom this head lamp is ? For a worker caring not to much for its equipment – in fact. For a cave lounger trying to break sometimes a rock with his or her head – why not though I was asked lately: “When a human being discovers a new well, chimney or a big hall, it would be nice to see what has been found” – so, a little bit too low of light. For cool-headed roaming along not too big holes, it should be sufficient: the 2-focus optics enables to gain a not too bad reach and, at the same time, illumination of this what there is under your legs. In general, for anyone who needs a resistant and waterproof headlight and doesn't intend to run with it, this is a nice piece of equipment; for the all rest, it is a little bit too heavy.