Review: Petzl CORE

Petzl core battery Review

The Petzl CORE battery

The Petzl CORE has been out for a few months now and it’s a great addition to Petzl’s headlamp accessories.

The CORE is a rechargeable battery that fits TIKKA2 & ZIPKA2 headlamps.

It offers an advantage over standard batteries for frequent or intensive headlamp use.  It is more economical to use  and it pays for itself after four sets of alkaline batteries.

Petzl say that their Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable battery is equivalent to 900 batteries with less weight and better performance.  Lithium Ion batteries also provide better performance at low temperatures (over standard batteries).

You can revert back to normal batteries at any time you want by removing the CORE.  The CORE  does make the headlamp slightly thicker, but this is hardly noticeable.

The CORE comes with software (OS) which is easy to install and use (and has not crashed my computer).  Using the software allows you to set your battery charge by lowering or increasing the amount of battery expenditure / light output.  This is particularly useful if you are operating for long periods in the darkness and do not want to run out of light.

* Note that the power settings only apply to the white LED on your headlamp and that the red LED is set to a fixed brightness.

Petzl CORE Review

CORE OS Software screen shot

The “Regulated” setting gives you the following extremes of brightness / battery life (for the Tikka2):

  • 5 hours at 100% intensity (27m visibility)
  • 110 hours at 4% intensity (5m visibility)

While the Non-Regulated option gives:

  • 12 hours burn time for maximum brightness
  • 65 hours burn time for the “Economic” setting
Petzl CORE Review

The TIKKA2 headlamp with the CORE sandwiched between

Here are a few reasons why you should buy a CORE:

  • Save money on batteries
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Universal charging (via USB)
  • More power
  • Less Weight
  • Customized performance with software
  • Set burn times for longer periods of light
  • Not having to fiddle around with loose batteries

Petzl CORE Review

Installation of the CORE is easy, simply dissemble your headlamp and click the rechargeable battery into place (see the video below for instructions on how to insert the battery).
*Note: There is a correct and incorrect way to dissemble/assemble your headlamp, if you’re forcing it, STOP… work on your technique otherwise you will probably break something (or just pass it over to your girlfriend and have her show you how it’s done).

CORE Specs:

Lithium Ion Polymer 900 mAh rechargeable battery
Sold with 30 cm USB «micro B» type cable

Recharge time: 3 hours
Number of charging cycles: approximately 300
Weight: 30 g
Guarantee: 3 years or 300 charging cycles

The CORE rechargeable battery is compatible with the entire range of TIKKA2 & ZIPKA2 headlamps

Click here to see the CORE on the Petzl website

The CORE battery is available (in SA) as:

  • A single battery – R340.00 – (Includes with USB cable)
  • Whole kit – R999.00 (The ‘Whole Kit’ contains:  Tikka XP 2 Headlamp, CORE Battery, USB Cable & USB wall charger (similar to an iPhone charger) – See image above.

The Tikka XP2 headlamp retails for – R545.00

The Petzl CORE is currently available from the following stores:

Camp and Climb


Petzl CORE review

Petzl CORE Recharge

The CORE is recharged by means of a USB cable Summits

20 Responses to Review: Petzl CORE

  1. Hugo Apr 11, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

    Can you still adjust brightness whilst on the move, or is there only one mode when it has been programmed? It would be rather pointless if the brightness is then only determined by time / your battery charge.

  2. Justin Apr 11, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    Yes, you can adjust the brightness whilst on the move.
    You have the option to switch between your pre-programmed settings and normal (full power) settings.

    Petzl say:
    Choose between regulated lighting (the intensity of light remains constant over the duration of the charge) and non-regulated lighting (light intensity decreases as the battery is used up). Both the maximum and economic can be configured separately.

  3. Jacques Apr 11, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    Its unclear what ‘whole kit’ at R999 means. Whats added to that? Doesn’t price option 2 mean you get the battery and headlamp at R545?

  4. Justin Apr 11, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Thanks for bringing that up Jacques (I have amended my post to avoid confusion)

    The ‘Whole Kit’ contains: Tikka XP 2 Headlamp, CORE Battery, USB Cable & USB wall charger (similar to an iPhone charger) – see the 2nd image above the prices.

    The headlamp alone costs R545.00
    The CORE alone costs R340.00

  5. Alan Apr 11, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    Does that mean that the CORE alone comes without a charger or does it have a non-usb charger?

  6. Justin Apr 12, 2011 at 8:07 am #

    Correct Alan. The Core (alone) comes with no ‘wall charger’.
    The only way to charge the CORE is via the USB cable – inserted into a USB device such as a wall charger, computer, etc

    I’ve added an image at the bottom of the page showing the CORE with its USB cable inserted + the USB wall charger.

  7. Richard Apr 12, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    Hi, my watchmen at my lodge have cores with Tikkinas. They are excellent, we used to spend a fortune on batteries each month, since starting to use the cores – saved lots of cash!

  8. Warren G Apr 12, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    why should we buy this rechargeable unit over a set of rechargable batteries? this would allow you to use those batteries on other devices you own. it is simply that you don’t have to take the batteries out to charge them?

    Could you not control the efficency of the headlamp by simply using the button on top- as you would with regular batteries?

    Justin, are you still sponsored by Petzl?

  9. Justin Apr 12, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Answer: Convenience and performance.

    Personally I prefer fixed batteries over removable/rechargeable batteries (e.g. AA’s / AAA’s) – I think I’ve gotten used to it from using a cell phone all these years (imagine you had to remove/replace batteries in your cell phone!) And it charges via USB.
    Removable batteries always seem to go missing, they get mixed up with old batteries and it is not easy to see to what level they are charged.

    Other than my tv/media remotes (I swap the batteries out every 2 years or so) and cordless phones (which charge their batteries via a cradle), I don’t use removable batteries for anything else.

    Yes, you can still control the efficiency of your headlamp by using the main power button. The OS light settings become useful if you want to know 100% that you will have light for a set amount of hours e.g. a competition that runs during the night, a long weekend away, reading or perhaps access work.

    I’m not sponsored by Petzl. Petzl SA has on occasion provided me with prototype gear for testing purposes e.g. GRIGRI 2.

    FYI: All Climb ZA sponsors are welcome to submit gear for review.

  10. Jacques Apr 12, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    Hmmm, works on Tikkina too? Thats great!

  11. Pierre Joubert Apr 12, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Q: why should we buy this rechargeable unit over a set of rechargable batteries?
    A: This battery pack is made up of Lithium Ion Polymer (Li-Poly) battery stacks, where ‘normal’ (as in what you can buy in shops in SA) rechargeable batteries are made of Nickel Metal Hydride stacks (Ni-Mh)

    Check out for a summary of pros/cons of each

  12. Willem Boshoff Apr 12, 2011 at 8:01 pm #

    nice!!! makes economic & environmental sense 🙂

    the yankess are paying USD40 (R269 @ todays ex-rate) – we are getting closer to parity . thanks petzl dudes!

  13. Mathieu Apr 13, 2011 at 8:25 am #

    You can get rechargable LiPo AAA’s but using them in a Petzl headlamp would destroy the unit. The voltage of a LiPo cell is about 4.3volts, so if you put three in series you would get almost 13volts! The real challenge would be to re-wire the battery holder circuitry to run three quality LiPo AAA’s in parallel, providing the correct voltage.

  14. Jacques Apr 13, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Works on: Tikkina2, Tikka2, Zipka2, Tikka Plus2, Zipka Plus2, Tikka XP2

  15. Hugo Apr 19, 2011 at 11:29 am #

    As far as I am concerned there are two reasons for getting the Core. Firstly, I dont have any rechangeble AAAs, since I haveno other devices which use them. And more importantly, it ads current regulation, something that has prevented me from buying a Petzl headlamp, until yesterday. The fact that you can get a constant light source over your entire battery life is great. The core gives you two regulation levels, or you can decide that either “high” or “economic” mode is not regulated. In addition, as far as I can tell, setting your output via your PC and not on the unit as other adjustable, regulated light do, means you do not have a constant (tiny) current drain to “remember” your selected output levels. If this is the case, you will have much less battery drain form it lying in the cupboard. I will still test this.

    So in short, it is not perfect (i would have like to be able to switch to unregulated mode in the field) but I would say definitely worth while, especially if gradually fading light irritates you half as much as it does me.

  16. Hugo Apr 19, 2011 at 11:31 am #

    Oh yes, getting the Core off your light is a bit of a mission. but i guess rather that than have it fall apart by itself. Unless off-course I am missing something.

  17. John Apr 19, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    mmm It should not be a mission. Lift the clear tab on the top of the lamp and pull the headband away and down – if that makes sense…

  18. Justin Apr 19, 2011 at 11:45 am #

    As mentioned above:
    *Note: There is a correct and incorrect way to dissemble/assemble your headlamp, if you’re forcing it, STOP… work on your technique otherwise you will probably break something (or just pass it over to your girlfriend and have her show you how it’s done).

  19. Hugo Apr 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    the issue is not getting the back piece from the battery, but rather the battery from the front. i have not tried particularly hard to see where the clips are (and thus where to pull) but there is very little to hold on to. Unless, as mentioned earlier, I am missing something.

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