Petzl Actik Core Review

Thorough Actik Core headlamp testing, comparison and review

Petzl Actik Core Review

Petzl Actik Core Review

The Petzl Actik Core headlamp, not to be confused with the Petzl Actik 350 is a multi-beam headlamp developed for various outdoor activities. The head torch will serve any regular camper well. This particularly stands out as an option for use by seasoned hikers.

As the Petzl Actik Core headlamp has been around for a while now, it has shown to be a solid model. In line with its good standing, we’ve had good experiences while testing it.

The headlamp is somewhat above average priced, but we also have found it to possess plenty of strong points. Though equipped with a Core rechargeable battery, you can also fit Alkaline batteries if preferred. It possesses a powerful light and comes equipped with a variety of lighting modes.

This Petzl Actik Core review is written after using, testing and comparing the headlamp. If you’re looking for the summary and verdict only, scroll down for a 3 minutes read. However, for greater detail check out the “In-depth comparison” below our verdict! 

Our experience

To create this review we’ve tested several headlamps to get a view on the good, the bad and the special. The most noticeable specifics are the strong powerful light, robust chassis and the ease of use. We were less satisfied with the battery life when the lamp is used in high mode.

For testing purposes we have made a picture of the beam of light thrown by the Petzl Actik Core headlamp while using both high and low settings.

High light

Petzl Actik Core Review High

Low light

Petzl Actik Core Review Low

The difference between High and Low mode isn’t as significant as with some competing headlamps. This is a good thing as the Actik Core’s battery doesn’t last very long in High mode but won’t let you down at in Low mode.

As visible on the pictures it throws a strong, bright light. Although not the strongest tested we found it to be more than sufficient for activities ranging from reading to hiking.

Key features

Average price:  $69.95 /€59.95

Weight: 2.8 ounces / 82 grams       

Max Lumens: 450 lumens

Max. Beam distance: 295 feet / 90 meters

Battery time: Low mode 130 hours / High mode 2 hours

Weather Resistance: IPX4 /against dust and splashes of water

Pros

Cons

Extra's

Check out the latest price at:

Our Verdict!

We see the Petzl Actik Core headlamp as a good choice for both relaxed campers and active hikers. The weaker points, the battery life in high mode and the maximum distance of the light beam are largely offset by the many strong points. Most importantly the low weight and strength of the chassis.

When buying this lamp we expect you to have a buddy to light your paths for many years to come. So yes, we think this is a good buy!

If you are still in doubt, read further underneath. We will dive deeper into the details of the head torch.

Our verdict is largely based on the comparison section underneath as well as personal experience.

High light mode rating​
80%
Low light mode rating​
80%
Battery life rating
50%
Weight rating
80%
Rough use rating
70%
User friendlyness rating
80%
Our rating:
0 /10
7.4/10

In-depth comparison

To create this Petzl Actik Core review we have tested it against other, comparable headlamps. We will further explore the strong and weak points.

Higher price: Ledlenser MH10

Same price: Black Diamond Storm, Black Diamond Spot

Lower price: Petzl Actik 350 headlamp, Ledlenser MH3

Petzl Actik Core in-depth review​

High light mode rating

Beam distance: Although delivering a decent light-beam distance, the Petzl Actik Core is not a great choice if you want to maximize your view distance. Still, we feel 80 meters/262 feet is definitely enough to find your way in the dark.

Alternatively, the cheaper Ledlenser MH3 scores very high on this test with a range of 130 meters/426 feet.

Beam quality: The beam distance might not be the furthest in its price-class, yet it does have a steady, well illuminating light. Both in High as in Low setting.

Combined score: Although the maximum distance is somewhat limited, the score gets a boost by the beam quality the lamp delivers. Therefore, we conclude this subject with a score of 80%  for the Actik Core in this review.

Ledlenser-MH10 ($$$)
80%
Black Diamond Storm 400 ($$)
80%
Petzl Actik Core 450 ($$)
80%
Black Diamond Spot 350 ($$)
70%
Ledlenser MH3 ($)
90%

Low light mode rating

Beam Quality: The low setting is most useful when walking around a tent or reading a book. Luckily the Petzl Actik Core scores well when used for proximity lightning.

The lamp provides sufficient light to find the way to the toilet. It is also strong enough to use while hiking. However, it is important to note the limited 130-hour battery life when using the lamp in low mode.

Score:  The quality of the light-beam itself is generally better than its competitors. It also supplies plenty of light when set to Low mode. Therefore, we rate the head torch at 80%.

Ledlenser mh10 ($$$)
70%
Black Diamond Storm 400 ($$)
70%
Petzl Actik Core 450 ($$)
80%
Black Diamond Spot 350 ($$)
90%
Ledlenser MH3 ($)
50%

Battery life rating

Low mode: In low mode it scores decently well when compared to competitors. The 130-hour battery life isn’t great and can be limiting when hiking for multiple days. The lamp is rechargeable, but to do this you will have to bring a power source.

High mode: The Actik Core scores below average when used in high mode as shown in our test. The headlamp has a hard time lasting two hours when on full blast. This is worse than similar priced and even certain cheaper alternatives.

Combined score: We rate the battery life at 50%. We feel the lamp is somewhat saved by being rechargeable.

Ledlenser mh10 ($$$)
60%
Black Diamond Storm 400 ($$)
70%
Petzl Actik Core 450 ($$)
50%
Black Diamond Spot 350 ($$)
80%
Ledlenser MH3 ($)
50%

Weight rating

Weight: The Petzl Actik Core is nicely lightweight while packing a good punch. This is one of the main advantages we personally like a lot. When compared with the Black Diamond Storm, which is in the same price class, you’ll see the Actik Core has a clear advantage in the weight department. (Storm 4.2 oz / 120 grams vs Actik Core 2.6 / 75 grams)

Score: A score of 80/100 seems fair based on its low weight. Because you’ll possibly need to bring additional batteries or a powerbank in your bag, we are reluctant to rate it higher than this as you may or may not add this to its mass.

Ledlenser mh10 ($$$)
60%
Black Diamond Storm 400 ($$)
50%
Petzl Actik Core 450 ($$)
80%
Black Diamond Spot 350 ($$)
70%
Ledlenser MH3 ($)
70%

Rough use rating

Resistances: The Petzl Actik Core headlamp has been tested as being IPX4-class weather resistant. This means the lamp is resistant against splashes of water. This is a reasonable rating but try not to get it too wet. There are better alternatives in its price class if you need higher weather resistances, though. The Black Diamond Storm being a good example of this.

Chassis strength: The lamp is built to last and feels strong enough to join you on multiple adventures as a reliable partner in the dark.

Combined score: The resistances are sufficient, although not the best. In addition, the chassis is strong. As such we rate the Rough use score at 70/100.

Ledlenser mh10 ($$$)
80%
Black Diamond Storm 400 ($$)
90%
Petzl Actik Core 450 ($$)
70%
Black Diamond Spot 350 ($$)
80%
Ledlenser MH3 ($)
60%

User friendliness rating

Controls: The headlamp provides a simple one button system for control. Replacing the battery is easy and straight forward.

Looks: The design is basic, durable and looks decent. No more, no less. It is built to last.

Feel: The elastic band fits fine around the head, with some weight pulling a bit on your brow caused by the lamp. The lamp feels well build and dependable.

Combined score: The Actik Core headlamp is well-built, and we think it will be easy to use even in the dark when turning it on. 80/100.

Ledlenser mh10 ($$$)
80%
Black Diamond Storm 400 ($$)
70%
Petzl Actik Core 450 ($$)
80%
Black Diamond Spot 350 ($$)
70%
Ledlenser MH3 ($)
60%

Thank you for reading. Lets us know if you liked our Petzl Actik Core Review! Please leave a comment below!

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