After I’d finished scalding my fingers repairing a swing-check valve that I couldn’t completely isolate from the hot supply I decided to nip into the nearby Silverburn shopping centre to sooth my nerves by looking at amusing fashion and desperate shoppers. On the agenda was the Cotswold store, which is quite a nice one as these things go. It’s crammed with stuff and actually makes you want to browse in case you find something.
So I’m poking away at the trail shoes and I hears a voice behind me “Mister Macfarlane…”. It was familiar face Si from Lyon Equipment, with a big bag of kit doing some staff training. Note the “training” word there, he was running through the new Petzl range with the staff so they know what the score is. Good job, kinda reassuring that I think?
The staff foolishly left him unattended for a moment so we got to blethering, and one interesting thing is that the LaSportiva Gandalf shoes are in the UK right now, and the boots are coming in next year (see the link above). That will make some folks I’ve been speaking to very happy.
But, his visit was all about Petzl so we had a look through the kit and it’s the first time I’ve really had a proper look at the new Petzl Tikka XP². It’s been comprehensively redesigned, from the strap to the housing to the performance. The thing that got me smiling was the new wee red LED. Brilliant, and about time too. It’s the one thing about other torches I’ve had on test that make me pick them first for overnighters, a red light in a tent is brilliant for general tent life, nipping out for a pee, and keeping your night vision intact.
Operation is simplified from the old XP, one button does all. The settings are bright, not bright and flashing on the big LED, on or flashing with the red. magic. It’s easier to fit the batteries this time round, the plastic mouldings and finish are top-notch, even the headband feels softer.
I did like the look and the feel off it, and one arrived this morning for test as promised to see if it lives up to its first impressions.
The old XP worked fine for me through winter as well as year-round, so the XP²’s got a high benchmark to reach. And, I can guarantee that the fact that it’s purple won’t get it a free pass into my good-books!
More soon. Well, when the rain stops anyway.