As someone who lives by the premise that you can never have too many head torches, this Petzl Aria 2R headtorch has been put through its paces for a few weeks of hard graft
Petzl Aria 2R headtorch
The Petzl Aria 2R and Aria RGB headtorches share the same name but they’re distinctly different functioning.
• The Petzl Aia 2R comes with the core rechargeable cell as standard and has white only light up to 350lumens
• The Aria 2 RGB looks very similar to the 2R but has Red, Green and Blue filter lights for night work. This one doesn’t come as standard with the rechargeable core cell but is compatible.
This review is for the Aria 2R headtorch.
For the Aria 2 RGB headtorch head over to my other review of that model.
The Aria 2R headtorch looks quite chunky from the outset. It certainly isn’t a low profile torch like some of the other Petzl head torches currently available. But with the yellow housing I’m guessing this wasn’t designed to be subtle.
There’s very few frills to the Aria 2R, it simply lights the way. Click once for low power which is enough to just illuminate a modest area such as a low level cabin light in the dark. Useful if you are wanting to avoid dazzling those around you trying to sleep if you’re getting up to use the heads.
Then there’s the second lighting level which is xxx lumens. I found this to be the best balance for battery life and sufficient amount of light to see well enough in a confined space.
With a third press of the power button we get the brightest setting at xxx lumens. This was too bright for a confined workspace but ideal for illuminating a sail at night, though beware you’ll lose your night vision if you do this. I used the highest power setting when antifouling my boat with black antifoul in the dark. It really helped me pick out where I had and hadn’t covered and meant I could keep working after sunset.
Whilst usually I steer clear of headtorches that lack a red light function, I have found myself going back to this one time and time again. The battery life is impressive and when it’s getting ready for charging it gives a single flash on and off warning to let you know which is handy as it doesn’t have a power level check light as other models of head torch I own have.
I used this head torch almost exclusively while I worked for a week in a tight confined cupboard doing a dirty cutting, grinding and epoxying job for a new rudder tube. The battery life lasted the whole day, meaning I could just plug the core in to charge at the end of the day, ready to go again within a couple of hours.
Two niggles on this torch worthy of note: after an hour of wearing it, I got a bit of a ache in my forehead from where it was pressing. I had to adjust the torch regularly to avoid this becoming more painful. There was a tendency for the head strap to feel a bit snug.
The second niggle is that I often picked it up, put it on then realised it was upside down. The power button isn’t as tactile as some other head torches so knowing which was is up requires a visual check rather than just by feel.
It handled everything I threw at it. Clouds of fibreglass dust, a wet bilge, rain, accidentally dropping it on the floor, accidentally getting epoxy on it and scraping that off when it set. It’s been through the wringer and I still keep reaching for it. So much so that I’ve repacked it in my kit bag ready for a race to France. Whilst I might not use it on night watch, as I prefer a red light for that, the Aria 2R being as chunky as it is, works really nicely as a portable cabin light too.
Petzl Aria 2R headtorch
Functions: white light low, mid, high
battery level indicator
Power source: Petzl Hybrid Concept
Luminosity: 6000 lumens
Range (max.): 100 m
Burn time (max. Lumen): 100 h
Protection against water: IP67
Weight: 106 g
Includes: petzl core cell (can also use 3 x AAA batteries not supplied)
to read more about other headtorches, there’s my buyers guide with a range of some of the best head torches on the market: Best head torch for sailing – Gear Test