Petzl ULTRA VARIO Headlamp | Pros and Cons

Petzl Ultra Vario Headlamp, pros and cons.

[Page updated: 1 November 2017]

The Petzl Ultra Vario Headlamp is a powerful unit, but we decided to go with the ULTRA RUSH headlamp 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…

PETZL ULTRA VARIO HEADLAMP | E54H

Ultra Vario Pros

  1. 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. AS WATERPROOF AS THE ULTRA RUSH headlamp – under 1 m. of water for 30 minutes. Great!
  3. FAIRLY STRONG LIGHT, but not in comparison to the Nao+ which has only one 2600 mAh battery (Vario has 2 of these same batteries).
  4. VERY WELL BUILT – the same build as ULTRA RUSH.

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 $60 you can buy the Fenix HP25 which also has a very strong center beam.

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