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Petzl TIKKID Children's Headtorch Review

The TIKKID is a headtorch designed specifically for children. But what does that even mean? Well it's small, light and simple to operate. The battery compartment is not easy for a child to access. It's not too bright, and to help a young wearer avoid dazzling themselves and others the beam is diffuse and soft, instead of being tightly focused. In addition the head band is of a design that will just continue to open if a child gets it caught around their neck. With all these features in mind, this is clearly a well-thought-out bit of kit with real benefits for kids, not just a clever way for Petzl to sell more headtorches to families.

A wild night out in Storm Callum, 168 kb
A wild night out in Storm Callum
© Dan Bailey

Size and weight

A small front-mounted unit similar to the ACTIK and other Petzl models, the TIKKID is more compact than adult alternatives since it lacks a tilting head mechanism. At just 83g, batteries included, it's light enough for children to wear comfortably.

It's a neat, compact unit that suits smaller heads, 149 kb
It's a neat, compact unit that suits smaller heads
© Dan Bailey

Output

Give a child a torch and they'll shine it straight away into their own face, or their sister's. With an output of just 20 lumens the TIKKID is a nice kid-friendly little torch that won't risk serious dazzling or damage to sensitive young eyes. To help in this regard it has a soft flood beam rather than a focused spot, so it gives a faint and fuzzy pool of light but lacks a certain precision. Of course its range is extremely limited as a result. For most uses with kids, short night walks or hanging about in a tent for instance, this is fine. If your kids are old enough to be into serious night time hill walking, alpine starts or abbing off routes in the dark then they're mature enough to have a proper adult headtorch.

It's easily outshone by other light sources, 234 kb
It's easily outshone by other light sources
© Dan Bailey

However there's a difference between what what kids desperately want, and what they actually need. If we're out in the dark with a selection of torches, the under-powered TIKKID is always their least favourite option. It's much more fun to startle rabbits from 100m and temporarily blind your parents with an arc welder of a headtorch from Dad's gear stash. Far from it being a treat to have their own dedicated torch, the TIKKID is considered a bit of a wooden spoon. Kids these days, eh. Speaking as a boring killjoy parent, I like that they can't do any serous damage when wearing it, and for me it's more important that I can see them - for which the TIKKID works well - than that they can cast a lighthouse of a beam that distracts pilots on the nearby flightpath.

The single button switches between three modes. With a 3m range, Low is bright enough for reading but not much else; Standard is good for a heady 7m beam; Flashing (because every kid likes a disco) is said to be visible from 1000m. The TIKKID also glows in the dark to make it easier to find when dropped in bushes.

Tikkid 1, 110 kb

Tikkid 2, 98 kb

Tikkid 3, 104 kb

Batteries and burn time

The battery compartment can only be opened with a flathead screwdriver, making it less likely that the batteries will end up in the wrong hands. Taking three standard AAAs, the TIKKID is also compatible with Petzl's rechargable CORE battery (though I'd be reluctant to trust something that's worth a fair bit to these particular users).

Being so low-powered, the TIKKID naturally has a very long battery life: up to 160 hours in low mode and about 60 hours in high. We're still going strong on our first set of batteries. Children aren't the most reliable, so to help preserve the batteries the torch automatically cuts off after one hour.

Light painting 1, 88 kb

Light painting 3, 94 kb

Strap

The wide elastic headband seems to give a comfy and secure fit - we've certainly heard no complaints. It adjusts for size via a little catch on one side, and when under tension the strap releases fully to reduce the danger of strangulation. Owners of smaller kids may find this feature particularly reassuring.

Summary

Compact, simple, and deliberately under-powered, the TIKKID is a very sensible head torch for young children. You've just got to persuade them to use it in preference to a more exciting full-powered model.

Light painting 2, 116 kb

Petzl say:

Easy to use and compact, TIKKID is the first Petzl headlamp designed for children. It has a flood beam that offers comfortable vision for reading or playing, inside the house or out. The headband, releasable under tension, and the protected battery pack make it especially suitable for young children.

TIKKID prod shot, 157 kb

  • 20 lumens of power in high mode to limit photo-biological risk and protect sensitive young eyes
  • Easy to use, with a single button
  • Headband is adjustable and releasable under tension
  • Access to battery pack is protected by a flat-head screw
  • Phosphorescent reflector is useful for locating the lamp in the dark
  • Automatic shut-off after one hour
  • TIKKID is a HYBRID headlamp: it comes with three standard batteries, and is also compatible with the CORE rechargeable battery
  • Weight: 80g
  • Beam pattern: flood
  • Energy: Three AAA/LR03 batteries (included) or CORE rechargeable battery (available as accessory)
  • Battery compatibility: rechargeable Ni-MH or lithium
  • Certification(s): CE, CPSIA
  • Watertightness: IP X4 (weather resistant)

For more info see petzl.com



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