Petzl Actic Core Review

Within the Petzl Actik Core Review, we check out a great light with a proven track record that works extremely well. This research shows an amazing, powerful lightweight, and rechargeable headlamp suitable for all occasions.

This Article Was Last Updated On January 2, 2021

The first Petzl mountaineering headlamp was invented in 1973 and since then technology and time have allowed products to be improved remarkably.

We are the beneficiaries or years of research and development by companies like Petzl that present us with products like this.   

                                             The Key Features.

Light Settings.

The Petzl Actik Core comes with three different light settings, making it usable for a number of situations. The brightest setting is 350 lumens, the medium is 100 lumens, and the minimum is 5 lumens.

The brightest setting is ideal for outdoor activities such as running, hiking, mountaineering, and backpacking. The medium brightness of 100 lumens is bright enough for any activities around the campsite.

You can stick with the medium when you can get away with it, to save on power, and switch to 350 lumens only when the need arises. It is enough to see across a campsite in the dark.

The minimum brightness of 5 lumens is not meant for lighting up your outdoor activities, as it is designed more for gentle light inside the tent and great for reading, playing a game, or just to rummage around to find something within your tent or personal gear.

Modes and Output.

The Petzl Actik Core Review has a lot of good points in terms of output for its weight and size. There are also three light modes available: 10, 50, and 95 meters.

The minimum output is for close-proximity jobs such as working around the campsite. The medium delivers a pretty useful range for activities such as walking in a level and clear terrain.

It saves a lot of power compared to the maximum output, the maximum range comes in handy when negotiating complex terrain at night.

That extra reach is very useful for things such as finding your tent at night, navigating off-trail routes, or looking for rappel anchors.

It also makes some serious situations a bit more comfortable – think abseiling at night, getting across a pre-dawn glacier, or descending crumbly rocky slopes, what about cross country running or high-speed cycling.


Holding down the power button for two seconds switches the light from white to red. This red-light has one brightness level and will not drain the battery quickly, in fact, on strobe mode it may last up to 350 hours.

It is visible for up to 700m. You can use this blinking strobe mode for safety. This light is useful if you are part of a group and don’t want to blind the others.

In my opinion, the red light can more usefully be used as a rear-light indicator while cycling. Actik Core also allows you to choose between a focused or proximity beam.

The focused beam is for seeing straight ahead, while the proximity beam is suitable for illuminating wide areas at a time. The wider field of view has a more natural feel and is less blinkered.

Long-Lasting Battery.

Given the relatively small size of the power cells, the burn time on the Actik Core is quite respectable. It comes with a rechargeable 1250 mA Petzl Actik Core Battery that is charged via a standard USB port. 

This is actually among its main selling points. It takes around 2 -3 hours to fully charge and the battery compartment can be accessed by lifting a tab at the back of the headlamp.

At the highest range and maximum brightness a full battery can last up to 2 hours, and 7 hours on medium settings. The minimum range and brightness can last you up to 160 hours. It has a power indicator that lights green when fully charged and red when charging.

Its CORE lithium battery is quite useful as it has a different mechanism of draining. Standard batteries steadily minimize their brightness as the batteries drain.

CORE batteries, however, maintain the high brightness over the charge duration, then drop abruptly. You will really appreciate this on a long hike after dark.


A real feature of any headlamp is its weight and while it’s sitting upon your head you don’t want a brick or something that is going to totally distract you because it’s so uncomfortably heavy.

At a very light 2.9oz if this headlamp is worn on a helmet you won’t even know it’s on your head.

It has a nice wide soft comfortable strap that holds the lamp steady on your head for complete comfort. This headlight can be used while running, hiking, fishing, or any pursuit that requires hands-free lighting. 

Hybrid Technology.

One of the main features of the Petzl Core is its Hybrid Technology that allows the use of not only the supplied CORE batteries but also has battery compatibility with alkaline, lithium, and ni-mh rechargeable or store-bought AAA batteries.

Performance specifications: White and Red 

  • White – 5 lm visible distance 32 feet will last around 160 hours
  • 100 lm visible distance 160 feet will last around 7 hours
  • 350 lm visible distance 300 feet will last around 2 hours
  • Red – 2 lm visible distance 20 feet will last around 40 hours
  • Red Strobe – visible for over 2,000 feet will last for over 300 hours

What Are The Benefits You Can Expect From This Headlamp?petzl actik core headlamp


Having two types of battery choices, rechargeable or standard AAA alkaline batteries, gives you the flexibility of working with either option which in turn makes it very convenient.

With the Petzl Actik Core, you don’t have to choose – just use the battery ideal for your situation.

For example, if you are out for a short run, and you forgot to charge your battery, then the Petzl gives you the benefit of being able to use the standard primary or alkaline batteries.

These come in handy, particularly if your charging source malfunctions or if the charge simply runs out. Keep three AAA batteries in your pack as a backup power supply and you will always have light.

Look and feel.

Similar to all Petzl headlamps, the Actik Core is very comfortable. It has broad elastic straps that feel soft and gives a secure, snug fit. It comes in two different colors to meet personal needs and includes a reflective detail. 

The adjustment buckle is easy to use, and it includes a small whistle broad snug straps, together with its lightweight, prevent it from bouncing around on your head when running.

The reflective detail is very handy for spotting a member of your group from a distance, while the small whistle may be beneficial if you find yourself in an emergency situation.


Actik Core headlamp is front mounted. This means that it has all its weight at the front, instead of a separate battery pack at the rear. It is lightweight and has a compact design that doesn’t feel obtrusive on the head.

Petzl Core weighs about 2.9oz with the CORE battery or a little less with three AAAs. Its weight is very commendable considering the amount of power it offers. 


 In terms of storage, it is small enough to fit in a jacket pocket and takes up very little room in your backpack. This simple design eliminates the extra components that may easily be damaged and simplifies its storage.

Thanks to its compact construction this headlamp is very portable and when space is a premium consideration this light comes into its own and carrying it around won’t be an inconvenience.

While hiking or any task, this is simply a very portable and convenient instrument that won’t overload the backpack.

Weather Resistance.

This headlamp has a water-resistant rating of IP X4, this is not a waterproof lamp and will not tolerate being submerged underwater for any length of time so care should be taken in wet environments.

Can resist light rainwater or splashing, however, if moisture enters the battery hold remove the battery dry the components and leave it air dry completely before reuse.


Versatility in a product means its uses and benefits can be many in the case of this Petzl headlamp the power supply offers great value. I just love the fact this lamp is rechargeable I think it’s a game-changer.

If you are unable to recharge, or simply forgot to recharge your CORE battery, you will always have the AAA option.

This in itself is a terrific feature as you are always assured of light while outdoors. As soon as you unpack the headlamp you can charge your Actik Core with a standard USB charger, or with a power bank without needing an adapter.


Another real winning benefit of owning a Petzl Actik headlamp is the very lightweight of it put it on your head and be comfortable without the pain in the neck from sitting a brick on your head.

protective case for petzl actik headlamp

This is so light that at less than 3 ounces  you won’t know you’re wearing it and include it in your other essential camping equipment without loading you with too much weight


A protective carrying case for the Petzl compact Headlamp that diffuses light into lantern mode.

If you place the light into the protective case the light becomes just like a lantern and lights up the whole tent

Outside or inside a tent in the dark, this allows you to use it to find your way around inside the tent.

Here’s A Tip or Two.

  1. Always fully charge the rechargeable battery before first use
  2. Never submerge a rechargeable battery in water
  3. After use, lock your lamp to avoid accidental switching on
  4. Remove the batteries for long-term storage.


  • Being rechargeable today is always my first requirement
  • Super lightweight  
  • Reflective detail on the headband
  • Very Compact
  • Nice bright 350 lumens
  • It is water-resistant 


  • Non-adjustable brightness (No dimmer switch)
  • Weather-resistant to IPX4 means don’t drop it in the creek (Not Waterproof)



With the Actik Core batteries, you will be able to enjoy sharp bright light for long hours while outdoors before they drain. Additionally, CORE rechargeable batteries are more compact and lighter than standard AAA batteries and perform much better in cold temperatures. 

Good light for camping hiking fishing and backpacking doesn’t have to be 1000 lumens,  a bright 350 lumens that this light produces is quite sufficient for nearly all everyday situations. 

One of the real features of the Petzl Actik core is its rechargeable design which makes it an extremely useful and versatile headlamp. For just under $70 it is definitely one of my top picks for a headlamp for every occasion.

I highly recommend this headlamp for anyone who enjoys good quality reliable equipment. I hope this Petzl Actik Core 350 Review gave you enough information to conclude that the Actik Core is one of the best headlamps available on the market today. 

Check The Price On Amazon

If You Want Further Information Click On My Article Best Headlamps 

If you have any more questions about the Petzl Actik Core, I’ll be more than happy to answer them in the comments section below.

Remember! Leave it cleaner than you found it, only footprints not rubbish

Thanks, Shane.

4 thoughts on “Petzl Actic Core Review”

  1. Thanks for the great review of the Petzl Actik Core. 

    I currently use a Chinese made head-lamp, but it’s near its end, as i have dropped it a couple times and some parts are broken at all. For me, a hands-free lamp is an essential fishing accessory. At this time of year it gets dark fast but flounder fishing is becoming better after sunset.

     After reading your post, I think that Petzl Actik Core Headlamp is just what I need and the price is okay. The only drawback is water resistance, but I have never dropped my old lamp in water at all just water splashes and raindrops. 

    What about the cold, does it work in the  lower temperature range?

    • Hi Andre, For me a headlamp is a must and i have found the better quality always outshines the cheap ones. Yes the Petzl Core is IPX4 weather resistant and will not tolerate being submerged.

      However, a few drops of water should not compromise the unit, and if water gets inside just remove the battery and wipe dry then let the headlamp air-dry completely before reuse. 

      If you require a more waterproof headlamp, take the time to check out our Best Headlamps of 2018 article, this will give you a variety of choices.

      Thanks for your comment, Shane.

  2. In love with the Actic Core Shane!

    I’m into hiking early in the morning and I usually bring flashlights, but it’s really bothersome when you start climbing hills because you’ll need to use both hands for that. I mostly hike in Malaysia where it rains a lot this time of the year, does the water resistance still apply or is it advisable not to wear it?

    • Hi Riaz, hands free is great when hiking, i don’t really like to have anything in my hands and that is why its good to have a good headlamp. If you feel this one is not suitable because of the rain, take a look at my article on Best Headlamps of 2018 where you will find a good range of excellent headlamps, you will surely find one there.

      All the best thanks, Shane.


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