With an output of 1500 lumens and a total weight of just 145 grams, the Nao RL is a real spotlight. We took a closer look at the new headlamp from Petzl on a late-evening mountain tour.

Petzl brings with the Nao RL a headlamp on the market that is not only extremely powerful with 1500 lumens, but also knows how to use the existing luminosity economically. Thanks to the so-called reactive lighting technology, the headlamp automatically adjusts the intensity to the environment and thus optimizes the lighting duration without you having to do anything. This makes the Nao RL particularly interesting for trails and ultra trails.

The impressive luminosity of the Nao RL favors orientation in the field

A test with all senses

Today, however, we are not winding up the kilometer, but treating ourselves to a simple after-work duathlon: With the bike from Lehmen to the Schwizerälpli and from there on foot via the nostrils on the Oehrlikopf. A field test with all senses, so to speak.

Since the ascent is still taking place in the glow of the last golden rays of autumn sun, the Nao RL has to wait a little longer before it can be used. On the Öhrlikopf the time has come and we let the 145 gram light miracle out of the bag.

Thanks to the Reactive Lighting technology, the Nao RL adapts the light intensity of the environment and thus extends the operating time.
Thanks to the Reactive Lighting technology, the Nao RL adapts the light intensity of the environment and thus extends the operating time.

Once adjusted, the Nao RL won't let up, even in the event of major shocks.

In terms of comfort, the Nao RL is more comfortable than it looks. The wide headband, in combination with the narrow, double-guided drawstring at the back of the head, where the narrow battery is also located, can seem a bit unstable before you wear it for the first time. However, the headlamp can be put on effortlessly and adjusted to your own head shape with a flick of the wrist. And once adjusted, the Nao RL won't let up, even in the event of major shocks.

When night becomes day

As darkness falls, we retreat. The light cone of the Nao RL generously illuminates the white-grey limestone on the Öhrlikopf, so that the descent is a real pleasure apart from the biting wind. At the point where the narrow path meanders down to the Öhrligrueb, we attempted a small running sequence. The result is similar to the legendary 80s commercial by Drei Wetter Taft: Alpstein, 21 p.m., strong wind, holding a headlamp.

Nao-RL-Field-Test-1
The combination of comfort, lightness and power make the Nao RL an interesting choice for trail runners.

But not only does the lamp hold up well, the view also fits. The Nao RL, which is still not running at full capacity, illuminates the rock-strewn trail so well that the trail is easily negotiated on foot.

The light cone can be set in two stages: wide and homogeneous for a comfortable field of vision in the immediate vicinity, as well as wide and focused.

The light cone can be set in two stages: wide and homogeneous for a comfortable field of vision in the immediate vicinity, as well as wide and focused. The latter mode is advantageous if you want to illuminate the immediate surroundings and occasionally want to illuminate the distance for orientation. This benefits us in steeper terrain. The descent is not particularly demanding, but it is very pleasant when the upcoming passages and the course of the path - especially in stony terrain - can be illuminated in advance.

Light, powerful and pretty well thought out

Let's throw a few numbers around: the Petzl Nao RL headlamp promises a range of 1500 meters in max mode (200 lumens) and 250 meters in economy mode (70 lumens). At this point it should be mentioned that we did not measure the result. What is certain is that the light range was more than sufficient at all points on our tour and is very impressive, especially in relation to the weight of the lamp.

As far as the burn time is concerned, the times given are probably pretty good. We played around quite often in max mode, so at the end of our tour it was more or less over. Should this happen on a tour, the Nao RL still has a reserve light of 10 lumens for two hours. In the Reactive Lighting mode, Petzl even guarantees a burn time of 5 hours.

Nice feature for everyone who starts their tour by bike: The rear light is independent of the main light.
Nice feature for everyone who starts or ends their tour on the bike: The rear light is independent of the main light.

We were able to savor a pretty cool feature of the Nao RL at the end of our tour when we got back on our bikes: the Petzl headlamp has a red light on the back of the lamp, which lights up either continuously or flashing.

The Nao RL battery can be used as an emergency battery for other devices such as smartphones.

The battery can be conveniently charged via a USB-C port. The complete charging process takes three and a half hours. Also a small but fine detail: The battery of the Nao RL can be used as an emergency battery for other devices such as the smartphone.

Summary

Our conclusion: With the Nao RL, Petzl has developed a comfortable headlamp that can be used in a wide range of applications. If you rely on optimized burn time (Max Burn Time), it is a faithful companion on tours of up to ten hours. At the same time, the maximum power of 1500 lumens ensures that the Nao RL can also be used on night bike or trail running tours or on ski tours in winter.

An overview of the Petzl Nao RL headlamp

petzl-headlamp-nao-rl
  • Luminosity: 1500 lumens
  • Weight: 145 g
  • Technology: REACTIVE LIGHTING® or STANDARD LIGHTING 
  • Light cone: wide or combined 
  • Operating options: 3200 mAh lithium-ion battery, rechargeable via USB type C connection
  • Charging time: 3 hours 30 minutes 
  • Waterproof: IPX4 (weatherproof)
  • Red steady or flashing light on the back

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