Petzl is a world-renowned outdoor equipment manufacturer specialising in climbing and mountaineering gear. Petzl was established in the 1970s by an avid mountaineer and caving enthusiast, Fernand Petzl. Petzl provides a range of products, including the Petzl head torch, which will be the focus of this guide. Petzl is well known for its high-quality, reliable products in extreme conditions. They have been proven repeatedly in challenging environments such as ultra-running races. They are a popular choice for all levels of runners.

Table of Contents: Best Petzl Head Torch For Ultra

Best Petzl Head Torch For Running

Petzl offers a range of top-notch head torches explicitly designed for endurance athletes, ensuring optimal visibility and safety in low-light conditions. In the following sections, we’ll showcase and review our top picks for ultra runners.

Petzl Nao+ Head Torch - Best Main Torch For Ultra Running

Looking for a high-quality head torch for your outdoor adventures? Look no further than the Petzl Nao+! This impressive torch boasts a powerful 750-lumen output, ensuring that you’ll be able to see clearly no matter where your journey takes you. With five different modes you’ll have all the versatility you need to adjust to different lighting conditions. And with a battery life of up to 16 hours in Standard mode, you won’t have to worry about running out of juice mid-trip. It also features a Integrated back light for extra safety.

But the Petzl Nao+ isn’t just powerful and reliable – it’s also designed for maximum comfort. Adjustable straps ensure a secure fit, so you won’t have to worry about any annoying shifting or slipping while you’re on the move. And with a red colour filter included, you can be sure that you’ll be respectful of your fellow runners and animals during nighttime use. So, if you’re looking for a head torch that offers superior performance and convenience, the Petzl Nao+ is the perfect choice!


  • Powerful and reliable illumination on the trail.
  • Adjustable brightness for customised lighting,
  • Very popular amongst experienced ultra runners.
  • Reactive lighting technology for optimal efficiency.


  • Higher price point compared to other head torches.


Petzl Reactik+ Head Torch - Affordable Option

Are you on the hunt for a dependable head torch that will light up your outdoor excursions? Look no further than the Petzl Reactik+! With its maximum brightness of 350 lumens, this head torch effortlessly illuminates even the darkest of terrains, ensuring you can easily navigate.

The Petzl Reactik+ boasts different lighting modes – Boost, High, Low, and Red Light Mode – making it the perfect tool for tackling challenging terrain and exploring low-light environments like dense forests or moonless nights. Additionally, with up to 12 plus hours of battery life on Low mode, you can take this head torch on extended adventures without worrying about running out of power. So, whether you’re embarking on a nighttime hike or camping trip, the Petzl Reactik+ is sure to be a trustworthy companion that you can depend on. On full beam, that battery will not last that long. However, it is important to note that during ultra running races, you won’t need to use it on full power anyway.


  • Lightweight design to provide comfort when worn for extended periods.
  • Multiple mounting options, including headband, helmet mount, and bike mount.
  • Easy-to-use LED panel for adjusting brightness levels.


  • Relatively short battery life on high power mode (about 2 hrs).

Petzl Actik Core Head Torch - Reliability Option

The Petzl Actik Core Head Torch is a lightweight and compact torch explicitly designed for night runs, providing a brilliant 450 lumens of light that ensures exceptional visibility even in low or non-existent lighting conditions. With its versatile lighting modes, including Boost, High, and Low, you can effortlessly adjust the intensity of the light to suit your needs. Comes with the Petzl Core battery, which works out better in the long run. Some ultra runners choose to buy an extra Core battery as backup. However, if the battery dies, you can use standard batteries instead.

One of the standout features of the Petzl Actik Core Head Torch is its impressive battery life. With up to 8 hours of continuous usage available on a medium mode setting, this head torch has enough power to accompany you throughout most ultra-distance races. You can be confident that your path will remain well-illuminated during the entire duration of your run.


  • Great reliability and performance through the night.
  • The package showcased above also features the Petzl Core battery.
  • You can use standard batteries as a backup.
  • Perfect for those of you new to ultra-running races or night runs.


  • It might not be suitable for 100-mile or 24-hour races as a primary head torch.

Petzl Tikka Head Torch - Best Backup Option

The Petzl Tikka head torch is a practical and economical choice for ultra runners seeking a reliable backup light source. It’s lightweight and compact, making it easy to carry, even over long distances. This head torch offers a dependable illumination with its 300-lumen output, sufficiently bright for most trail running needs. The versatile lighting modes, including proximity, movement, and distance vision, allow for customisable use based on your specific requirements. Its long battery life ensures you’re never left in the dark, while its water resistance adds to its durability.


  • Lightweight and compact for easy portability.
  • It is an affordable option as a secondary head torch for running at night.
  • Versatile lighting modes for tailored usage.
  • Water-resistant design.


  • It’s not the brightest option available on the market.
  • Lacks advanced features found in more expensive models.

Why Ultra Runners Need A Reliable Head Torch

Ultra Runners Head Torches On Trail

For ultrarunners participating in events that take place in the dark, a dependable head torch is necessary. Certain ultramarathons, including 24-hour races like Endure 24, mandate that runners have a head torch as part of their required equipment in case they need to run in low-light conditions. It’s crucial to have access to a reliable light source for safety. It can assist in spotting where you’re stepping and making yourself visible to others. When running on rural roads, it can also aid vehicles in seeing and avoiding you.

What Light Setting To Use When Ultra Running

Running At Night With A Head Torch

When you run at night, it’s crucial to think about the light settings on your head torch. It’s not always best to use the highest light setting. Instead, ultra runners should adjust the light to fit their immediate surroundings. For example, if you’re running in a familiar area with plenty of ambient light, a lower light setting may be more suitable. This will help you save on battery power while still providing enough light to see clearly. However, if you’re running in an unfamiliar area with minimal lighting, it’s important to use a higher light setting for safety reasons. This will help you see any obstacles or hazards ahead of you. In addition to your running head torch, grab a lightweight power bank for running so you can recharge in an emergency.

Main Head Torch For Ultra Running: What To Look For

When selecting a head torch for ultramarathon events, you should consider the following factors: 

  • Battery life: Look for torches that can last at least one night of running, even if it’s an emergency backup. 
  • Weight & Comfort: Find a light and comfortable design to minimise fatigue during your run. 
  • Versatility: Look for torches with adjustable lighting modes to suit different light requirements. 
  • Rechargeable batteries: Select head torches that offer both standard and rechargeable battery options for convenience. 
  • Durability: Ensure the torch is made from durable materials that can withstand rugged terrains and weather conditions during long ultra events and races.

Backup Head Torch: What To Look For

Just as you need a reliable main head torch for ultra-running events, it is also essential to have a backup torch in case of unforeseen problems. When selecting a backup head torch, consider the following factors: 

  • Price: Select a budget-friendly alternative if you use the torch sparingly. 
  • Weight: Find a lightweight backup that will be manageable when carrying in your ultra running vest
  • Reliability: Make sure the backup torch is reliable and provides consistent illumination for safety. 
  • Easy To Use: Select a torch that is easy to use so you can quickly switch it on should your main head torch fail. 
  • Durability: Ensure the backup torch can withstand rugged terrains and any weather conditions encountered during trail runs. 

Final Thoughts

As an avid ultra runner, Petzl head torches are a fantastic choice for anyone needing a reliable, durable, high-performance lighting solution. What really sets Petzl head torches apart is their reliability. They are designed and built to withstand even the most demanding conditions, with rugged construction and high-quality materials that ensure they can stand up to whatever you throw at them. Whether you’re running through the rain, snow, or mud, you can trust your Petzl head torch to keep working, no matter what.

In addition to their reliability, Petzl head torches are also incredibly suitable for ultra runners. They are lightweight and comfortable to wear, making them easy to wear for extended periods. They also have a range of features that make them ideal for trail running, including adjustable brightness settings, long battery life, and multiple beam patterns. Overall, I recommend Petzl head torches to any ultra runner looking for a reliable, high-performance lighting solution. However, If you want to look at an option by a different brand, go and read our Fenix HM65R-T review – a fantastic choice for runners.

Disclaimer: This guide contains affiliate links, and I earn a small commission from any sale that occurs via my links. This, however, does not change my opinion; I always do my best to provide the facts and suggest products that will benefit my users. You pay no more and no less for using these links. It does, however, help to sustain my blog.

Disclosure: "As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases." We earn commissions (at no additional cost to you) if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site. We do our very best to offer comprehensive and detailed reviews and guides, regardless of the links placed.