Petzl ULTRA VARIO Headlamp – 9 Pros and Cons

[Page updated: 19 April 2022]

The Petzl Ultra Vario Headlamp is a powerful unit, but we decided to go with the ULTRA RUSH headlamp and the DUO S instead. In our Pros and Cons lists below, we compare the Vario to the Ultra Rush and Nao Plus headlamps. Want to know why we chose the same-priced Ultra Rush? Read on…


Ultra Vario Pros

  1. Good lighting mode choices. Has SPECIFIC LIGHTING MODES that might be good for some applications. The long-range spotlight beam at high power enables viewing for 220 meters. Some people might need that.
  2. High water-resistance. AS WATERPROOF AS THE ULTRA RUSH headlamp – under 1 m. of water for 30 minutes. Great!
  3. Strong and light.
  4. Very well built. The same sturdy build quality as the ULTRA RUSH headlamp.

Ultra Vario Cons

  1. HEAVY, COMPARED TO PETZL NAO+ PLUS, and many people will like the functionality of the Nao+ better.
  2. Same weight as the Ultra Rush headlamp, and yet it DOESN’T OFFER ANY ADVANTAGES.
  3. Same price (around $420 USD) as the Ultra Rush headlamp, and DOES NOT OFFER MUCH MORE FUNCTIONALITY.
  4. The Ultra Vario headlamp’s MAX LUMENS of 520 for 2.5 hours IS NOT GREAT compared with the Nao Plus, at 530 lumens for 1.5 hours. Ultra Vario has twice the battery power.
  5. NAO+ PLUS IS ONLY $185 and probably OFFERS MUCH MORE than the Ultra Vario headlamp for most people.

Seems like Petzl should have made either the Ultra Rush headlamp or the Ultra Vario. They have both.

The Ultra Rush beats the Vario in every category and function, except that the Vario has the single spotlight beam which is quite strong and goes for 220 m. If you need that function, grab one, or, better yet… for around $60 you can buy the Fenix HP25 which also has a very strong center beam.

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