Call it serendipity. One of our gear testers had been grumbling about the dark storage closet beneath his apartment, saying the landlord retrofitted the space to hold a washing machine and dryer, but hadn't installed a light fixture. Washing clothes at night in "the cave" was an adventure, to say the least.
Then, Petzl delivered its Adapt Tikka kit, which includes several mounts that can hold the main lamp body of a Tikka headlamp. With these mounts, the Tikka is no longer just a headlamp, but a multi-purpose light source for a wide variety of activities and environments. Use it on the trail, in a tent, for night exercise in the neighborhood, or even to brighten a dark spot in the house or garage.
The Adapt Tikka system includes a plastic cradle that holds the main lamp body of a Tikka XP or Tactikka XP lamp. An additional cradle can hold a Tikka or Zipka model. Once you place the lamp in one of these cradles, you can then attach it to three separate components: a head strap, a belt clip, or a round universal mount that can be placed on a metal or a plastic surface, such as a climbing helmet. Each component is sold separately, or available together as a kit.
We focused on reviewing the Adapt Tikka components, rather than the Tikka lamp itself, because the lamp has been on the market for a while. But we'd like to add note that the lamp is compact, easy to use and provides a variety of light levels, so it adapts well to various uses and is a good fit for the Adapt system of accessories.
Overall, the Adapt Tikka is a well-engineered system. The first thing we noticed was that pieces are made of flexible plastic, so they're not brittle, they absorb shock, and didn't crack or break in the field. We also like that the pieces fit together easily with a well-constructed hub-and-slot system. They lock together and stay secured even when they're knocked about. To release the components from the locked position, simply press a tab.
Each mount was simple to use and effective. For example, a tester attached the lamp to the belt clip mount and then put it on his shorts' waistband for a night run through the neighborhood. It served as a good signal light for approaching cars, and the unit was so light and stable, our tester could hardly feel its presence.
In the backcountry, the Adapt headband proved to be fully adjustable, comfortable, super light and compact. Once we attached the Tikka lamp to the headband, it functioned as well as any other lightweight LED headlamp in our collection.
Of course, people have long dealt with the problem of trying to stretch a headlamp over a climbing helmet -- and prevent it from popping off -- but the Adapt Tikka system addresses this issue. The round universal mount in the kit has adhesive on the back, so you can permanently attach it to your helmet. When it's time to switch from a soft headlamp band to a helmet -- say you've finished your approach and reached the climbing route -- just pop the lamp off the soft headband, stuff the headband in your pocket, and clip the lamp to your helmet. Pretty, cool, we thought. But the round universal mount has other uses, as well.
As Petzl says in its marketing materials for Adapt Tikka: "Use wherever bright, hands-free light is needed, from trails and tents after dark to dimly lit sheds." In our tester's case, it came in pretty handy for the dark utility closet. Actually, the first attempt to use the mount in the closet didn't work so well -- turns out the adhesive won't stick to wood for long. But then our tester put it on a piece of metal above the washer and dryer, and it worked great.
It's nice to see an outdoor company offer a product that's useful outdoors, but also serves us well in our everyday lives.
SNEWS® Rating: 4.5 hands clapping (1 to 5 hands clapping possible, with 5 clapping hands representing functional and design perfection)
Suggested Retail: $13.95 (including all 5 components)
For more information: www.petzl.com