The IKO Core headlamp from Petzl is different than any other model you've seen before. We have taken the new lamp from the French mountain sports outfitter into the field for you. You can find our opinion on the IKO Core in this article and in the corresponding gear talk video following the article.

They are getting brighter, the headlamps from outdoor manufacturers. For a long time, however, it was also true that “the lighter, the heavier”. Headlamps with high light output usually resulted in a heavy battery or accumulator pack on the back of the head and were correspondingly bulky. This is what makes the latest IKO Core by Petzl Enough. Despite 500 lumens of strong lighting, it only weighs 79 grams.

No, this is not a drone. The IKO Core can be folded up for transport.
No, this is not a drone. The IKO Core can be folded up for transport.

High wearing comfort and quick adjustment to the head

Apart from its light-to-weight ratio, the IKO Core is new. Petzl also broke new ground with the carrying concept. A semi-rigid headband, to a certain extent a bracket construction, holds the headlamp optimally on the head, even with jerky movements.

Nice gimmick: the bag supplied transforms the IKO Core into a lantern.
Nice gimmick: the bag supplied transforms the IKO Core into a lantern.

Designed for trail running, used for sport climbing and bouldering

Petzl positions its new lamp primarily in the area of ​​trail running. This becomes clear pretty quickly when you watch the promotional videos. We received a lamp from Petzl Switzerland and took it to the rock.

In terms of weight, the IKO Core reminded us of the model Bindithat we introduced in the past. Compared to the bindi, the IKO Core is significantly lighter and is simply unbeatable in terms of comfort.

Most headlamps have an elastic band as a headband. With dynamic movements it happens again and again that the headband slips upwards. Due to the bracket construction - especially the double guidance at the back of the head - this cannot happen with the IKO Core. The IKO Core even passed our head-bang test with flying colors.

Professional boulderer Daniel Woods is enthusiastic about the IKO Core.

First sessions in sport climbing (more on this in the following video) and in bouldering have confirmed our first impression. The IKO Core is perfect for climbing in the dark or for night bouldering sessions. This opinion is also Daniel Woodswho recently brought the lamp with him. In an Instagram story he wrote:

The IKO Core from Petzl is the best lamp for bouldering.

Daniel Woods
The IKO Core in night use for sport climbing.
The IKO Core in night use for sport climbing.

Suboptimal in the alpine area

While for us the IKO Core is now THE loyal companion for sport climbing and bouldering, we will continue to use a classic model with a common headband (Nao + or Swift RL) for mountaineering or alpine multi-pitch climbing. Because the temple construction of the IKO Core is not or only partially compatible with many helmets from other manufacturers. The headband brackets do not fit under the fastening straps on some helmet models. The IKO Core is compatible with the helmet models from Petzl.

The IKO Core in Gear Talk from Actiontalk TV

Technical data for the IKO Core from Petzl

  • Luminosity: 500 lumens
  • Weight: 79 grams
  • Light cone: wide or combined
  • Operating options: CORE battery 1250 mAh (included)
  • Charging time: 3 hours
  • Operating options: alkaline batteries, lithium batteries or Ni-MH rechargeable batteries
  • Waterproof: IPX4 (weatherproof)

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