The Gear Junkie Scoop: Petzl’s MYO RXP Headlamp
By STEPHEN REGENOLD
The bright beam of a forehead-mounted LED cutting black night has opened worlds to outdoorsy types who grew up running about with a flashlight gripped in hand. Indeed, illumination innovations in the post-Maglite era have helped bolster whole new athletic genres the likes of 24-hour adventure racing, nighttime orienteering and trail running under the stars
Petzl’s latest headlamp offering, a $100 LED model due out in January, promises to further advance the product category with a circuitry upgrade that adds light-level customization. In short, the MYO RXP lets users tweak and finely tune the brightness setting of their own personal window of artificial daylight.
Press and simultaneously hold this MYO’s two buttons and you’ll enter a program mode where each of the lamp’s three light settings can be turned up or dimmed down as per the wearer’s needs. You balance battery life considerations with brightness output, the dimmest light option misting just a pale eight lumens that’s tested to glow for more than three days straight.
Need to torch the trail for maximum visibility? Crank the MYO to its top setting and you get a blazing 140 lumens that Petzl purports can cut a beam 20 stories up the face of El Capitan. A Boost mode stretches the beam even further, blasting at a max of 160 lumens. Battery life is highly compromised at this output, however, lasting 20 minutes or less before the batteries run dry.
In between the candle and the torch there are eight levels of brightness and three preset modes on the headlamp to configure. Each brightness setting up the ladder adds lumens of light while inversely decreasing power output from the batteries locked in the back of the case.
Sound confusing? Petzl (http://en.petzl.com) will provide a chart with the new MYO that lists light output versus battery requirement, letting you adjust settings to balance available light with your anticipated time on the nighttime trail.
An additional flashing mode can be set for emergencies to strobe an SOS signal — dit-dit-dit, dah-dah-dah, dit-dit-dit — via a visual Morse code.
Other upgrades to this MYO model include compatibility with lithium and rechargeable batteries as well as a circuit that regulates light levels no matter the battery life left. Your lamp won’t get dimmer and dimmer as the energy is used. Instead, the Petzl design regulates power from its three AA batteries, pumping out a constant beam and then reverting a step to a dimmer reserve mode when it’s time to open a new package of Duracells.
The MYO RXP is not a revolutionary product. It does not change headlamps as we know them. But the light’s customization feature is a neat upgrade and a nice tool for discerning diurnal creatures in need of nighttime release.
Turn it on. Customize your beam. And now go forth into the night.