illuminates one’s whole field of vision. No more following a small beam of light through the night, trying to keep it trained exactly on the rocky ground in front of you. This ultra-wide headlamp illuminates a very large field with its powerful beam and it’s durable enough to survive the most rugged expeditions.
First and foremost, the Petzl Ultra-Wide Headlamp is bright; coming equipped with four settings: 1) around-camp dim, 2) bright, 3) only-temporarily-blind-you bright and 4) what?-it’s-night-out? bright. The nob which toggles between the four settings is large enough that even with heavy alpine gloves on it’s easy to rotate. This is key for mountaineering and makes the headlamp very attractive for cold alpine and expedition climbs where the climber will be wearing large, warm gloves.
In addition to being ultra-bright, the Ultra-Wide Headlamp is also durable, has a long battery life has a detachable battery pack to lighten the load one carry’s on the head, and, as the name indicates, has a beam that covers a wide area. This is no flimsy headlamp. Petzl constructed it with some heft and a scratch resistant plastic in front of the 6 mega-watt bulbs. The battery pack, which does weigh a bit for alpine climbing, is detachable from the back of the headlamp, so a climber could carry the battery on their shoulder instead of putting the strain on their neck.
The light body can be tilted 90 degrees; from pointing straight ahead to straight downward. And again is easy to do so with large gloves on. This is a great feature for when one needs to quickly shift from looking straight ahead to shining light on one’s body to fix a buckle or drink from a bladder to shining the headlamp back straight ahead.
The Ultra-Wide Headlamp is a workhorse, not necessarily designed for the ultra-light alpine climb where it’s all about minimalism and shaving ounces. It’s not light-weight or small. But would make an excellent headlamp for around basecamp or on climbs were weight is not an issue.
It will though take a beating and keep on shining brightly, helping you march up that mountain. Short of it’s weight, this is one great headlamp. And would be quite an asset on climbs where weight and size of gear is not a concern.
Disclaimer: The Ultra-Wide Headlamp was provided by Petzl to be tested.
Genevieve Hathaway is the Editor of Alpine Athena. See her bio in the “Editor” section.