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Petzl Myo RXP £65

by on Sep.26, 2009, under Kit Reviews

If your thinking of doing any night runs your going to need a head torch of some sort, they range in price from about £5 to over £250. I needed one for training on the moors at night and the night sections in ultras so this review is based on the research I did to find a suitable light. Most lights these days are L.E.D.’s as they give a very bright light which is also very efficient on batteries. The Petzl Myo RXP at around £65 is the one I went for as it gives a very bright light but has very little weight on the head which is essential when running. If your buying a head torch try to find one with a loop over the head which means you don’t have to have the band around your head too tight, this can give you a headache after a while. You also need to decide on a power source, some have their own battery pack & others use

AA or AAA batteries. The beauty of the latter is you can buy replacement batteries anywhere and wont get stuck with no light. The Petzl Myo uses three AA batteries which gives you enough light to run all night if you need to. It also has another trick up it’s sleeve, with most lights as the battery begins to lose power the light goes from being fully bright to dim over the time you use the light. With the Myo RXP the “R” stands for regulated which means the light is maintained at a very bright level over a longer time before dipping into being unusable.
You also get a very good choice of programmable light settings with 10 in all, even on the dimmest setting the light is pretty bright and will last before dimming due to battery drain about 35 hours. You don’t lose the light even after this time it will stay on at a lesser brightness until 95 hours. On the brightest setting you get around 1 hour and up to 50 hours as the light dims. I generally go for setting 5 or 6 which gives a good compromise between brightness and battery power whilst still lasting the distance. I found the dim setting worked really well for map reading & when at checkpoints so you don’t blind other people. The Myo RXP also has a S.O.S. Setting if you get into trouble, which could be a life saver.
If your going to use the light more than occasionally your going to need to invest in some re-chargeable batteries. The ones I use are from Maplin’s and are 2500mAh Ni-MH. These cost about £22 for 8. These can give you double the suggested burn times for the light as they’re much more powerful than standard batteries. It’s a good idea to always carry a spare set of batteries especially in winter as the cold can cut the power stored in them. Another good feature of this light is the flip down light diffuser which is handy as the spot light can be too intense for running and you sometimes need a more even beam of light. I found this much less tiring than the spot light. Petzl also do a belt version of this light which removes the batteries from the head to a belt to cut the weight on your head, I didn’t get this one as the weight of the batteries on your head is hardly noticeable and most of the time you forget it’s there. The one with the batteries in the head-torch is also lighter and smaller, easier to pack away. I leave mine in my Camelback all the time & hardly know it’s there it’s so light.
The Myo has a battery charge indicator to with 3 L.E.D.’s red, amber, and green telling you how much charge you have left. When the charge goes from one light to the other the main light flashes 3 times also, so you’re in no doubt the batteries are fading. I found it a good idea to mark your light and batteries with a fluorescent pen so you don’t put them in the wrong way round, an easy mistake to make especially when your running all night and you get tired! The light also swivels so you can find the right angle for the speed your running at, when you’re not using it the light swings up and locks the switches so it can’t be accidentally switched on whilst in your bag. It’s also waterproof, though if you do get any water in the battery compartment it can be left to dry and all’s well. It’s not cheap for what is basically a torch but it can make the difference between having to run on the road in the winter & being able to carry on running on the moors! Of course the purists will say why do you need such things but they do give you more options & more chance to keep running when the light fades.

Petzl website

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