I have been in the market for a good, high quality running headlamp for some time now. I consider it to be one of the most important tools a runner should have if they run at night on roads or trails. Luckily, the fine folks at Petzl were awesome enough to send me a NAO to test and run with. What’s cool about this headlamp is that it features a bunch of new lighting technology called “Reactive Lighting”. The light will automatically adjust it’s brightness depending on the distance of objects in front of you. Not only that, but the NAO comes with software that allows you to automatically set a lot of the headlamp’s manual features for your own custom set-up. It’s rad.

Some of the downsides include not adjusting properly in fog or breath, being a bit cumbersome, and a high pricetag, but overall, I have been amazingly happy with the Petzl NAO and look forward to trying out more of Petzl’s awesome, quality gear.

What sort of headlamp do you run with? Let me know in the comments below.

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Loh Sam Loong says:

I’m currently using a Black Diamond Storm which delivers 100 Lumens at Max setting. Think might give Petzl Nao a run for the money….

brendan meyler says:

I love the tikka xp 2

Loh Sam Loong says:

Guess I’ll go check out the NAO!

jblotv says:

тупорылый пиздеж не о чем

Scott Obenhein says:

this headlamp is awesome!  Super bright very comfortable.  The light has an over sized button that can be turned on and off with thick gloves on which is an added bonus.  
I have gotten 3 1-2 day camping trips out of just one charge.  One thing this guy did not mention is that if the battery dies it can be replaced with two AAA batteries (reduced performance) Yes it’s expensive well worth it.  

Kevin Gest says:

I have the Tikka Rxp, and it’s kind of awesome. It’s lighter and cheaper than the NAO, and although 215 lumen doesn’t seem like much on paper, it doesn’t just dim the beam when it senses something directly in front of you, it also senses head motion so it projects the beam further when you look up the trail and widens to beam when you look down in front of you.  I just bought it because it was the only rechargeable headlamp at REI and I was skeptical that all the techno-wizardry wouldn’t live up to the marketing in practice.  I am very impressed by how much this light makes the most of every limen functions like a much brighter light than it actually is.

Jacob Neumann says:

What are some of your other “bread and butter” head lamps you use and find incredible?

William Gustafson says:

Great review! Loved it!

Chris Hemphill says:

Just wore mine last night. This review rings true. Actually lighter than my previous Black Diamond, because that guy used 4 AA size batteries. Didn’t need a buff to make it comfortable, and the brightness is magnificent.

I’ll likely share more thoughts once I hit the trails with it. Snagged mine new for $125.

Conn Guy says:

Awesome. I have an older Petzl headlamp that I use for mountain biking.

Eduan Adams says:

Great insightful review! I bought the Tikka RXP instead, due the price tag and some other things I did not like about the NAO. PLus the Tikka RXP as more than enough Lumens in my opinion. Being a Tech geek and having built a couple of super bright lights for various activities I’m possibly over critical about things, but here’s my thoughts on top of everything you highlighted and agree with:

Dislikes about the NAO is like you mentioned, battery life, what’s the point of all that Lumens if you can’t sustain it? Plus the 18650 battery Petzl uses is very low on mah capacity…only 2300mah!! with 3400mah rated ones on the marked for round $10, then they prevent you from using these higher rated ones by incorporating a PC-chip on the battery with a plug. Why not have the battery compartment so that you can exchange various 18650 batteries? OR ~$50 for a weak spare Petzl battery…really?

Switching modes: another big thing that made me go for the Tikka RXP is the way you cycle through the modes…the light never turns ‘off’ after 1 cycle of the modes/levels as with the NAO…on-levels-off; Tikka RXP…on-levels-levels-levels-…. until you turn the light off on purpose. Which means if you want change to another mode while doing a trail run for example you can do so without stopping. 

But then again you can’t modify the Tikka RXP with the Petzl OS to the same extent as with the NAO, The NAO has MUCH more options you can modify/set.

Perhaps a review on the Tikka RXP is in order…? hint..hint..wink!?

Adam Gibbs says:

When it comes to headlamps I’m a bit of a gear freak. I have a bit of a collection stemming back to models from the 80’s. The NAO is a great headlamp not only for running but all outdoor pursuits. The only other problem that I have (actually it’s more of an annoyance for other people than problem) the light is so bright that if you are behind someone with a weaker headlamp they can’t see in front of themselves with their own light because of the shadow that the NAO creates.

CJ and her Fam says:

As the review was progressing I popped on Amazon to check the price… Heh, ya , oh boy, ITS A FLASHLIGHT ON YOUR HEAD!! $140-150? No thanks. I’m newer to running (again, 7yr break), and I mainly run early morning around 3am. But I have to say, the simple Petzl headlamp I have from 8-9 years ago that I got for $20 will be just fine. Black diamond has the Revolt for around $50 that has USB charging. About the fanciest I’m willing to try. Regardless, keep up the greatness. And if you don’t mind, the wife got me a Road ID and tagged it with the train-race-beer motto. 😉

iBug says:

_”Ok __-Google-__ Petzl, give me a back massage.”_

The _Reactive Lighting_ sounds cool, but also like it could need some tweaking. If your own breath is dimming the light in the complete dark, then that’s just not optimal yet.
Is it a cool feature ? Yes ! Do I need it ? No, a switch to change luminosity works fine for me. Especially if that reduces the price to half.

David Preti says:

Which wrist ID do you have ? The slim or the elite ? 
Thanks for your videos ! Just awesome ! 

mitch muehlenfeld says:

I love my nao made a lower setting because I don’t need it that bright and have gotten more than 8

Marjon Dokkjorp says:

What expression, and your face! Thanks for making me laugh, and of course the good review. Must become an actor!!

Placeholder says:

Petzl Myo rxp. Love that thing, only headlamp I ever had where I turn down the brightness because there is too much light.

fdesaman says:

I have the Nao and I love it!!
It is not that fair to talk about pricing being such an important piece of equipment.
If you compare this to a pair of shoes, the lamp will last you more than a year…How much you spend on shoes each year??
Plus, due to its brightness it can prevent you to have really bad falls during your night runs…180USD vs. a broken bone, because you didn’t see a root or a stone on the trails is not that bad, is it?

My feeling using this headlamp is that you really forget you’re running on the night time, which helps your eyes a lot since they don’t get that tired if you have to run 8+ hours in the dark. Last september I did my first 100mi (Run Rabbit Run 100mi) with this headlamp and I was thankful on every single step I made during the night. You definitely need to buy an extra battery for these kind of events, though.

Thank you for the review GR, it is always very much appreciated…

Andreu Parés says:

Aaand it gives you a nice red circle in the face when you take it off! haha Anyway, awesome reviews Ethan! Reeaaallyy helpfull! 🙂

theMarshebrum says:

Will Black Diamond Storm be good for running?

Bart van Gelder says:

First of all great review. I just bought the Nao one of the cons for me was the weight. Petzl has fixed this by providing an optional belt kit. The kit allows you to put the battery  on your belt or in your pack reducing the weight of the lamp to 131 gr. Still not the lightest lamp but an good improvement.

Frank Cosme-Arroyo says:

Princeton Tech, I use the Remix and I think is wonderful, and last forever… and is cheap.

teamdutch1627 says:

Ya man I’ve had mine for a year I do a lot of over nigth hiking I love it

Guillet jean-jacques says:

ARMYTEK WIZARD is better than this Petzl nao .

AkaDaOne says:

petzl tikka rxp awesome

Matthieu Williams says:

Great review of a great headlamp. Apart from the price (quality has its price) i’m extremely happy with that lamp. Whether it is only to be seen in town whilst running at night or to to see around you in a night trail race, this lamp has always that extra brightness compared to the other ones. You have to see that beam adjusting automatically to understand how efficient it is.
The only problem I encountered (apart from the breath problem) is running behind another guy, his reflective vest did give some problems to the lamp… Only one solution : overtake him 🙂

Yootjoob says:

Dude thanks for your review, and man you are funny

Perdomot says:

I’d like to see you do a demo of how bright the lamp is, maybe on an evening run?

matnorth1990 says:

Thanks for continuing to make quality videos. You’re in part one of the reasons I will be running my first marathon this year. Keep ’em coming!

Alyssa Cheung says:

I have the Petzl Tikka 2, not nearly bright enough for anything. I can barely see the light shine on my hand when I place it in front of it. Only 40 lumens 🙁 I didn’t expect id need/use a headlamp so often. Since I’m running at night almost 5 days a week I’m on the market for a brighter one.

The nao would be an overkill for me, it’s $180 in Canada. Ever try Princeton headlamps? 100 lumens for $40. Need something just for road running at night, don’t need the technology or fancy features.

Mrdeluca666 says:

Is this lamp what you are using now? If not, what product do you like the most?

Kasper F says:

Just got my NAO 2 and I love it… But runners coming towards me don’t.

Erik Kåberg says:

Quality wise, money no issues, I would be hard pressed to find better lamps the Silva. I think they are miles ahead of Petzel or black diamond.  The top end model offers 1030lum at 190g and a beautiful wide beam, also has attachments for bikes and helmets. Then there a model down the line at 660lum at 64g. at low settings they run for 20 and 10 h respectively… although you could use a bigger battery for the 660lum light and get really long burn time. they also feel extremely well crafted. But then there is the price.. somewhere around 450$ and 270$ respectively. 
On a side note, to me it seams like the amount of lumen that is considered to be a lot, varies a lot from different continents and different sports. I could never consider a headlamp weaker then 500lum, but then again I live in a place that is robbed of light almost the hole winter.

Chris Rusch says:

I got the Petzl Tikka RXP for Christmas and love it. It has the same reactive lighting technology as the NAO and and has the PETZl OS but costs half as much. The maximum output from the Tikka RXP is 215 lumens, not as bright as the NAO, but more than bright enough. I have used it on all of my night and early morning runs since Christmas and have absolutely no complaints about this headlamp. Oh, it also costs almost half as much as the NAO. If you want a super bright headlamp and are willing to throw down $80-$90 than you should check out the Tikka RXP from Petzl.

theMarshebrum says:

You got red mark on your forehead)

juan silva says:

Just bought the Petzl Tikka R+, Can’t wait to try it out.

z.browning says:

Have you used the Black Diamond Sprinter lamp? That’s my go-to, with the Black Diamond Spot as my back-up. I’d like to get your thoughts on how those two compare to this one. I feel like the Sprinter has similar features at a much lower price point (about half the price), and much less weight (80 grams less). Granted it doesn’t have the same horsepower as far as the brightness goes, but I’ve found that on the max setting I can get plenty of light. It also doesn’t have the reactive lighting.

SpikeXtreme says:

I have owned one for 14 months and overall I like it but there are a few niggles..
1. the light dims when you point it anything reflective 
2. there is no where to put a red blinky light on the back ..all the other Petzl headlamps have a fabric elastic where you can clip one.
3 there is a black plastic tab release for the battery .. it feels a little it might break.

But overall I use it in trail os mode and its a great bit of kit home for solo runs across fields.

Kristers Komarovs says:

+TheGingerRunner  Have you tested Silva trail speed elite?

John Pownall says:

I spy a RoadID – Good man 😉 

Coco Li says:

this is headlamp is lightweight too,suit for runners

giff74 says:

Great review, however sometimes overkill is just overkill. 

I saw Salomon is FINALLY doing an update on the venerable XA’s. Think they will find their way into your review queue? 

william steele says:

Where did you find it for 140$? Or where is it the cheapest? Thank you

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