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Petzl Zipka Headlamp - Not just for camping

I originally bought my Petzl Zipka headlamp for a camping trip, but it's also useful in a variety of other situations in which you want portable, hands-free illumination. Unlike most other headlamps, this one is extremely compact, since it has an ingenious retractable band. Note that I didn't say "headband" -- the retraction system maintains constant tension, so you can easily strap it to your wrist, a post (for fixed task lighting), etc.

Petzl Zipka Headlamp

I recently used mine during a scheduled power outage in my computer machine room at work; I had to do some work in the dark, and needed to use both hands, so this was perfect!

There's a newer Plus model, too; it's a bit more expensive, but has an extra LED and some other cool features.

Update: 2005.12 - A friend gave me the Petzl Tikka XP for Christmas. At first I thought, "Cool, but I already have a headlamp." That was before I switched this one on. It's not as compact as the Zipka since it uses a standard headband, but it's really bright, and has a "boost" button that kicks the brightness up a couple notches! Plus, it has a sliding diffuser, various brightness settings, and a blink mode. If I could have only one, the Tikka XP would be it, especially for camping, but the Zipka's compact size is really nice for travel, so I'm glad to have both.

Petzl Tikka XP Headlamp

Update: 2006.08.15 - REI used to carry both the Zipka and the Zipka Plus, but no longer seems to. The Petzl Tikka XP is still available.