Home / Gear Reviews / Electronic and Headlamps / Petzl e+LITE Headlamp Review (50 Lumens) – 2017

Petzl e+LITE Headlamp Review (50 Lumens) – 2017

The updated Petzl e+LITE (left) is twice as bright as it's predecessor but still only weighs 26 grams including its integrated stand, elastic head strap and plastic whistle.
The updated Petzl e+LITE (left) is twice as bright as its predecessor but still only weighs 26 grams including an integrated swivel stand, elastic head strap and plastic whistle.

The new and improved Petzl e+LITE ultralight, ultra-compact headlamp is twice as bright as the earlier version and comes with a more comfortable elastic head-strap, emergency whistle, swivel stand and plastic protective case, all standard. Still powered by two CR2032 batteries, the upgraded e+LITE provides 50 lumens of light (up from 26 lumens) and improved battery life, making it far more capable around camp and for nighttime hiking than previously.

Weighing just 26 grams (minus the red case), the e+LITE has a regular white light, a max white light, a white strobe, a red light, and a red strobe, making it great to use for the trail in addition to bike-riding, as an emergency light for your car, or at home too!

One of the things I like most about this headlamp is that fact that it has a manual lock that prevents it from accidentally turning on, as well as a self-documenting selector so you never have to guess how many swipes or clicks are needed to move it from one mode to another. Simply move the white selector from one position to another to select the desired light mode, or click it into the off position to lock it. It will never turn on accidentally in a stuff sack and drain before you need it.

 LumensDistance (meters)Battery (hours)
White (Standard)15 lm6 m12 h
White (Max)50 lm10 m9 h
White (Strobe)15 lm>100 m95 h
Red (Standard)2 lm100 m15 h
Red (Strobe)2 lm>100 m70 h

The e+LITE is powered by 2 x coin-sized CR2032 lithium batteries, which I also like, because they’re so lightweight to carry. The back of the e+LITE has a waterproof compartment that stores the batteries: simply unscrew it with a thin coin or fingernail and replace them as needed. The light’s battery power is also regulated, which means that it will maintain the same level of brightness throughout the battery lifetime, without becoming dimmer as the batteries drain.

The Petzl e+LITE has a built-in swizel stand in addition to a head strap and emergency whistle
The Petzl e+LITE has a built-in swivel stand in addition to a head strap and emergency whistle.

This new version of the e+LITE includes a swivel stand, so you can position the light for task-specific lighting, without having to wear it or if you want it to point in a single position while you perform other tasks. The new model also includes a comfortable elastic head strap instead of a retractable string and a separate whistle (plenty loud) is attached to the head strap (so you can’t lose it) that is also used to adjust the headband size.

Recommendation

The Petzl e+LITE headlamp (50 lumens) is one of the best headlamps ever designed with an easy-to-use mode selector that prevents accidental battery drain. Now twice as bright as before, the upgraded e+LITE is a better value than ever for ultralight camping, hiking, and backpacking. As someone who’s been using the previous version of the e+LITE for the past three years, I’m delighted with the improvements that have been made to this new version, without removing any of the value of its predecessor. Strongly recommended.

Disclosure: The author purchased this product with his own funds.

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25 comments

  1. Great to hear! I’ve had a 2010 eLite that I use in summer but it was never very good for anything besides in camp because of the somewhat weak light output. I may have to check this sucker out.

    Funny thing, the “new” strap with whistle is actually the old version from before the retractable cord. And maybe the swivel stand, too, although I haven’t seen how the version with the retractable cord works to tell if the swivel stand is just a different version of the one I have.

    I was thinking of trying the new Black Diamond Ion, but now I’m not so sure :-)

    • From personal experience, I wholeheartedly concur with Guthook’s assessment of the old e+LITE’s shortcomings for anything other than camp chores. I prefer my Black Diamond Ion (the old finger swipe 80 lumen model) to my e+LITE, and now that it has been bumped up to 100 lumens with push button functionality (not that I find the finger swipe process to be particularly vexing), I would opt for the latest iteration of the Ion over the new e+LITE model. Granted, the Ion is twice as heavy, but it’s also less costly. I also like the fact that the Ion takes AAA batteries, which I venture to guess would be more readily available than CR2032s if the need to go off trail to resupply arises.

  2. I got one yesterday at REI. It is a lot brighter. Using it this weekend on a 3 day trip.

  3. One step forward, two steps back. The thing I love most about my e+Lite is the retractable cord that reduces the bulk to, roughly, the size of a walnut. In addition, the old cord works great in my hammock. I just loop around the ridge line for an easily accessible overhead light. Also, do manufacturers have to put a whistle on everything? Really, whats the point? On the plus side, the added brightness means you can use as your only light source. I currently use my e+Lite as backup to a larger Petzl.

  4. Great Review, Philip. I got one when they were first introduced several years ago. I always thought they were good. Now with the added brightness and 9 hour light, I have to get another. I agree with Rex, the whistle is just additional weight. I still plan on two lights, though…an old regulated Impulse and E+light.

    • If you remove the strap and whistle (they can be unattached) – gear weight comes down to 16 grams. The new light itself feels much lighter than the old one, where the retractable cord is not removable.

  5. That’s pretty good battery life from such a tiny headlamp! I can see where this has a place in ultralight backpacking where you are trying to save weight, and those lithium cells are incredibly efficient and work in any temperature.

    I wouldn’t rely on it as my primary light, especially if I plan to go anywhere at dusk or at night, but for around camp this would be perfect. You really don’t need more than 100 lumens for up close work anyway or you get blinded.

    But, for my primary light I much prefer to carry something with a more significant throw beam, with a much larger lithium ion battery that is more easily swapped out quickly. I love lights that use 18650 lithium ion cells, to me they are the most efficient batteries you can buy these days. Even stepping up to a rechargeable CR123A battery can get you a tiny light with 500 lumen output. Check out the Olight S1 baton. It is what I have clipped to my pants pocket every day of the week. Paired with a rechargeable cell, this thing can go several weeks of normal use before needing a recharge. And it only weighs 1.6 ounces at that!

  6. I have the original as well and like it. Ordered the new one just a couple of days ago. I think the brighter light will be a good thing for my older eyes when needed!

  7. Is there a hat clip???

  8. I too prefer the zip version and thought I could swap it out with an old one – unfortunately the male and female parts of the ball and cup are reversed, so to speak.

  9. I had an old e+Lite which worked around camp, but after an emergency night hike three years ago, I tossed it because it was so inadequate. My grandson, who was using my Princeton Tec Aurora, had to turn around at every rough spot on the trail to light it for me, not good since the emergency was his badly spanned ankle.

    I’m glad Petzl has increased the brightness, but I’ll stick to my old Princeton Tec headlamp after this. It may be heavier, but it’s reliable and durable–I use it around home all the time too. The AAA batteries are cheaper (even though I use lithium), too.

    And why does yet another vendor have to add a whistle to an unrelated piece of gear? I want a really loud whistle that can be heard for a long distance, not one that sounds like an asthmatic bird from 10 feet away!

  10. Do you notice any changes to the switch mechanism? I’ve had the old switch mechanism jam because of a tiny amount of dust. I wonder if the new version has made any internal changes to the switch? I emailed Petzl but they haven’t answered my questions.

  11. One thing that always confused me was when people said the old E+Lite wasn’t any good for night hiking. I’ve had to get up in the middle of the night, pack up, and bail out on a trip before with nothing but that light and it worked fine. I am interested in the new version though, and will probably be buying one to check it out. Thanks for the review.

  12. I would never rely on a light that did not have significantly higher output than this one, with enough battery capacity to sustain that for hours – I consider this a safety issue. If I need to hike out in the dark for some reason, I need something with enough throw to be able to spot tiny plastic trail markers tens of metres away, usually through dense undergrowth (NZ forest).

    Losing the trail in the dark is much more dangerous, as many navigation landmarks cannot be seen – I’d rather carry a few more grams and not end up having to find the trail again in the dark. Yes, I know GPS is a thing, but relying on it seems unwise.

    My primary light of choice is a warm-tint ArmyTek Prime C2. It takes either one 18650 or two CR123s, has a good selection of modes, and is extremely durable. This is a handheld torch, not a headset – I prefer them for most purposes – but I do have a basic headband for it around camp.

  13. I like the improvements but it does seem to have a shorter battery life, which is understandable given the higher lumens. This is the battery chart I found for the old 26 lumen version:

    Economic white: 70 hours
    Maximum white: 55 hours
    Flashing white: 75 hours
    Flashing red: 30h
    Red: 30 hours

    Although I’ve never timed mine in the real world to see how much battery life I get. Good review.

  14. Hello,

    I find confusing what model I should buy.
    I want the new one, but I see a model on amazon with a retractable small cord (like a ski-pass holder) and I do not know if it is newer than the one in the article, or older.
    I really want the lightest light, I can hack the headband/whistle by miself if I really want to, but I cannot pimp the light.

    Do you think a paracord + “The small plastic thing with a small spring inside you use to singe the end of a quilt” (sorry, eng is not my 1st language) is lighter or heavier than the headband provided?

    Thanks!

  15. How do you recharge the battery? I just got my Petzl today and I anticipated a charging cord.

  16. Jakes Gurrutxaga

    Just for information, the red part of the whistle (which allows to adjust the elastic band) is made with this shape so that it can also be used to open the battery compartment, without a coin or a long enough fingernail…

    Regards.

  17. Is the new e+lite 3 really regulated? I can’t find any definitive info on it….

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