By Julie Schoenfeld, a freelance designer and digital marketing expert, and former professional climbing instructor. Julie has spent the last year working as Director of Digital Development of Rock and Ice magazine, while spending her free time sampling the steep limestone of Rifle Canyon Mountain Park.
The Petzl Myo is a powerful headlamp designed to be the ultimate tool to illuminate after-dark endurance adventures. The lamp is easily programmed to strike a preferred balance of intensity and battery life so you won’t run out of power mid-activity. The Constant Lighting technology also keeps brightness at an even level even as battery life fades. The Myo is well balanced and secure, and includes a rear-mounted battery pack and optional top strap.
The gloriously long days of summer in the Pacific Northwest forced me to be creative while testing the Myo. I logged many daylight miles while wearing the headlamp, resulting in some quizzical looks along the trail, but for nighttime testing I stayed up past 10pm for true darkness. Overall I was impressed with the Myo and consider it a great tool for keeping your adventure going after the sun has set.
The fit of the Myo is excellent. The headlamp is very comfortable on a bare head, or over a hat, thanks to the curvature of the battery pack and lamp that cupped my head and didn’t budge. A rear battery pack counter-balances the weight of the lamp in front, so the unit didn’t droop or tilt. The optional top strap is nice but almost overkill, and I was happiest using the Myo with only the single band. The Myo also fit securely onto my Petzl Sirocco helmet, making a great combination for ski touring, climbing, or any other activity where you need the protection of a helmet.
In its full-strength mode, the Myo is an uncompromising darkness slayer. I recently used it while chasing after my dog when he bolted from the house at 2 a.m.. I easily spotted him barking up a tree 100 yards away. The lamp gives off ample light for trail running, backcountry ski touring, hiking, or climbing. I had plenty of light for night runs on uneven single track trails in the dark forests of the Pacific Northwest.
The Constant Lighting mode was my favorite, since it prevented the brightness from fading over time, and in the lowest setting it offers up to 40 hours of burn time. The directions clearly described how to program the different modes so the lamp turned on to my desired setting every time. I found brightness in the middle of the spectrum to be a good fit for most activities.
The lamp didn’t have any noticeable bobbing. I easily adjusted the angle of the beam by tilting the unit, and it stayed put while I ran, hiked and climbed. The power button was easily operated while wearing gloves, which I’ll appreciate come winter.
When the headlamp is tilted back the power button tucks under a plastic tab to prevent it from accidentally turning on inside a pack. I tested this feature by carrying the headlamp in a variety of packs on several different outings and although the light was never turned on inside a pack, the lamp would often rotate so the power button was exposed, especially in a full, heavy load. Carrying the Myo in a lid or outside pocket remedied that problem, and should ensure that you don’t inadvertently drain your batteries.
The Myo runs on three AA batteries and can be used with rechargeable batteries as well, but it lacks a USB charging option. The three batteries provide a lot of power, but they also add a noticeable amount of weight to the unit, so it isn’t the best choice for an emergency light. Also, the Myo doesn’t have an easy way to quickly dim the headlamp, so it’s not my first choice for chores around camp, or reading in the tent.
-Bright, consistent headlamp that won’t leave you in the dark when you need it most
-Replaceable AA batteries allow you to carry an spare set into the backcountry
-Comfortable, secure fit that doesn’t bob
-No USB charging option
-Lacks a quick dimmer function
Bottom Line: Use the Myo as it’s intended, and you’ll love it, but keep in mind that it’s a specialized headlamp and won’t meet all of your lighting needs.