Best Product: Petzl Zipka Plus Headlamp

The first time we donned a headlamp was during a camping trip. A kind co-worker gave us a Petzl for a gift and we thanked them and thought, "headlamp=total dork". And then we found out how important the two-hand rule is when carrying boiling hot water around your campsite in the total dark. Or when reaching in to dark corners in the basement. Or for fumbling for keys on the ground when you forgot to leave the porchlight on. Now our headlamp lives on our bedside table when it's not stashed in our purse or strapped to our forehead...





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We've since re-gifted our original headlamp to a friend who works with pyrotechnics and found it better than a lighter for mid-show in-the-dark searches (yikes). We recently picked up a newer and flashier version at REI. This one has 4 settings to select from: low, medium, high and strobe (for those campfire dance parties).

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We like the retractable band that makes it easy to wear on your head or wrist; we've attached it to our bike and our bag...

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But our favorite uses?

1. As a mini light when someone next to us zonks out earlier and our book is too good to put down.

2. On the plane when our reading light inevitably doesn't work.

3. In the middle of the night when the earth starts quaking and you need two hands to find your shoes.

4. For working in some dark place where you need two hands to hold the nail, screw or hammer. This one has proved particularly handy and we're considering adding a second Petlz to our hardware kit...

Get your own Petzl here, $39.95 includes batteries.