Petzl MYO RXP Headlamp

, November 24, 2011

Though most of us do our sports during the day, leaving evenings to rest and relax with friends, for the rare breed of person a piece of gear that caters for a more active kind of ‘nightlife’. It might not be the typical dance scene but ladies, gentlemen and made adrenaline-seekers, I bring you the Petzl MYO RXP, a headlamp that will bring light to your darkness, show these new night scenes and unlock an oppressed nocturnal instinct inside of us all.

Petzl has been around for more than forty years, producing top of the range lighting-gear not only for explorers and outdoor-enthusiasts, but for any person seeking a handy light for everyday use. I’ve been testing their esteemed MYO RXP model on trail runs and hiking-trips in and around Cape Town over the last two months to see what all the fuss is about.

The headlamp weighs 175 grams, which is a hefty weight for a headlamp and the cause of some concern in weight-conscious running circles. For me the extra load was significant but soon balance as the dynamism and pleasure of running in the night-time forced me to forget about any sort of additional weight. Further, the light is fitted with an adjustable strap that can be fine-tuned for any size and shape so can be set to sit very comfortably on the head.


The light offers two beam modes: one being the focused beam, where the light is focused on a certain (smaller) spot in front of you, and the other being the flood beam, where it gives you a wider enlightened area at lower intensity. These two functions are tried and tested in the product but what sets this light apart from the rest is the easy-to-use, programmable-function that allows you to regulate lighting.

The light allows you to program it between 10 power levels. The “regulated lighting” capability means that through program levels 1 to 8 the MYO RXP regulates the light output so that the light stays at a constant intensity. Output-level 8 provides 54 hours of light so you can be sure that there won’t be the problem of fading effectiveness through ultra marathons or multi-day camping expeditions.

On the lowest battery life, you will get a staggering 95 hours of enjoyment out of this gadget. Although the light gives you these power-saving options, the battery life will not disappoint you when using the highest levels of power either. While I was using output-levels 8 to 10 for running/hiking, the light was shining for about 45-50 hours – a satisfying statistic.

What’s more, the  MYO RXP can also be programmed to send out an SOS-signal, as well as (fast or slow) flashes. It seems like this waterproof machine has it all, so I was out to see whether it lives up to expectations. I did a couple of hikes with this, for example the full moon hike up Lion’s Head right next to Table Mountain. The MYO RXP provided excess light, even for two people. However, I believed it was designed for something more than walking, so I tried running.

As expected, it did require more adaptation as the heights of some rock-obstacles were difficult to judge, but using the focused beam I was soon running in light so bright it felt the sun was shining. Going downhill was a problem at first. The strap around my head was dragged downward while I was playing with gravity on the hills. I wanted the strap to stay still, as the continuous readjusting of it was irritating me. Very conveniently Petzl provides an overhead-strap that cures this problem. The tiltable head was also very easy to adjust, and made it possible to do a fast switch between the trail in front of you, and to focus on something further ahead. “Further ahead”, as in 100m away! A crazy (and maybe unnecessary) distance to be looking ahead, but when you are dealing with mountains full of wildlife, or hanging on cliffs and need to decide the critical next line you have to climb, this seems essential. This did in fact make things much more convenient, as Petzl is characteristically known for.

The Petzl is a versatile headlamp suitable for just about any mountain activity during the festive season, or any season for that matter. This highly recommended gear comes at a good price so go do your Christmas shopping early this year.

The MYO comes in at around $100. Use their dealer locator and learn more about their social and environmental efforts through the Petzl Foundation.