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Petzl Actik Core | Head Torch Review

By Morgan Cvetkovic-Jones

Have you been eating enough carrots? No? Well fear not, the Petzl Actik Core headtorch is on hand to ensure you rip up the fells and carve through the darkness with the brightness of a small lighthouse.

Spotting a ‘do it all’ gap in the head torch market, Petzl have moulded lightweight, high power output and a rechargeable Core battery into one wallet-friendly head lamp that simply does it all. Petzl pride themselves on crafting the most innovative and practical equipment for any situation and the Actik Core embodies this in its purest form.

What makes the Actik Core tik?

Simplicity, reliability and clout. Boasting an updated maximum power output of 450 Lumens, the Actik Core stands on a pedestal compared to other torches in its price range. The output from the Actik Core really is fantastic, comfortably lighting up the fell sides and providing outstanding clarity on fast-paced missions in the mountains.

It’s not just about how big your lumens are though, it’s how long you can keep them shining that sorts the good from the great. Thanks to the rechargeable Core battery unit, the AC consistently delivers its maximum output for 2 hours, making it the perfect companion for my evening fell running club outings. When max power isn’t a necessity, the Actik Core offers mid and low range lighting modes, chucking out 100 lumens (8 hours) and 8 lumens (130 hours) respectively. I found these alternative modes to be perfect for everything, from those après-work dog walks, climbing night sessions and even sneaking off for a covert wee!

The Core battery is USB rechargeable and takes around 3 hours to charge fully. If you’re worried about your Actik Core dying on your night-time adventures then worry not, the AC is also 3xAAA battery compatible with the Core battery unit easily removed and replaced. I would personally recommend purchasing a spare Core battery; for around 22 quid it's a worthwhile upgrade on batteries (and wallet in the long-term) and a planet friendly decision too!

An alternate red lighting mode is a neat feature, this helps preserve night vision (over white light), is handy for reading maps and stops you from blinding your running companions.

But is it comfortable?

Coming in at a mere 75g, the Actik Core is barely noticeable and its minimal weight and compact, one-piece chassis means it doesn’t move around whilst you’re on the run or jolting down a steep gully. The headband is robust and comfy, securing nicely with simple adjustment – just make sure it’s positioned off the top of the ear as it can rub after extended use. Reflective Petzl logos are also a nice touch.


After months of abuse my Actik Core is still performing brilliantly, enduring hideous winds, pounding rain and biting cold far better than I have! This winter the Actik Core has been my most essential piece of kit on the hill, enabling adventures long after sun-down. The AC certainly has its own niche, suiting fell runners, dog walkers and campers perfectly; sure, it won’t be your go-to ultra-marathon lamp, but for its price point and target market, this isn’t the expectation. The Actik Core is the most fantastically well-rounded head torch on the market. Whether it’s making sure you capitalise on those night time conditions or ensuring you get out for that evening run, the Petzl Actik Core will ensure you crush it with consummate ease.

Purchase a Petzl Actik Core