A headlamp is a major upgrade to night time adventures. Whether you’re hiking, climbing, camping or glamping, the convenience of being able to see while keeping your hands free make them an essential tool for night time outings.
I picked up my first Petzl headlamp at a bike shop in Moab on a road trip years ago. It accompanied me on many adventures in the years that followed, primarily living in the glove box in my vehicle. Though it was a low powered halogen model, it was reliable and bright enough for basic hiking, as well as doing mundane tasks in the dark.
Since then, LED technology has taken over, and lights are considerably brighter than they used to be. These days I own quite a few different bike lights but, but I never replaced that headlamp.
When the new Ultra Rush arrived, I was blown away.
I had expected a contemporary version of the classic headlamp I once used for hiking and camping. Petzl still produces them, and they’re considerably brighter, more durable and compact than they used to be.
In comparison to my previous headlamp, the Ultra Rush a completely different beast. While it’ll certainly do the job while camping and hiking, the Ultra Rush is a high powered head mounted light that takes full advantage of current technology. Intended for trail running, skiing, mountain biking (with the optional helmet adapter) or any fast-paced activities, it utilizes 6 LEDs to project 760 lumens of usable light.
The headlamp and battery are both solidly constructed with an eye on durability. In your hand, the unit just feels tough. It’s also waterproof; Petzl claims it can be immersed for up to 30 minutes without issue.
The light features 4 different lighting modes, ranging from low to high with burn times ranging from 2 to 38 hours, and the battery pack features a bar graph that indicates the level of charge remaining. When it does need to be recharged, it only requires three hours before it’s back to full power.
The four position knob takes a bit of effort to turn on to prevent accidental power ups; a feature I wish more bike had. Often I’ll toss a bike light in my pack only to find later that it’s been all day, activated by movement in my pack.
On the trail
It is more than suitable for camping, running spelunking or whatever you can think of at night; quite simply, this headlamp is a nice piece of kit. We’ve used it for camping, traveling, hiking, casual biking, (mostly campsite to campsite without a helmet as we didn’t have the necessary mount) around the house and taken it bike packing.
The high capacity battery has proved to be the highlight of the unit. It seems to always have plenty of power left, and the push button battery gauge means its easy to verify it’s good to go. It is easy to tote and includes a carrying case, which makes it easy to locate the charger and top it off a few hours before heading off. I used the light every night this spring on a weeklong trip without any issues and had a few bars left. That said, I rarely used the high power modes during this time, aside from a short ride. I would have taken it on some longer rides, but mounting it to a helmet requires an additional accessory. Which leads to what could be a major sticky point for many: it’s not an inexpensive light.
It’s also way more light the typical enthusiast may need. The list price of $430.00 puts it out of the price range of casual adventurers, especially since you still need to add a helmet mount, which if you’re reading this site and looking to add a high powered light to your arsenal is something you’ll want.
So why spring for the Ultra Rush?
Durability, reliability and dependability. If you’re a multi-sport adventurer looking to invest in a powerful light, the Petzl is an extremely versatile light worth taking a close look at.
The Petzl Ultra Rush headlamp lists for $430.00. Check it out at Petzl.com
Need one now? Buy the Petzl Ultra Rush Headlamp at Amazon.com