Petzl Nao

petzl nao

The Petzl Nao is Petzl's offering in the high end segment of the headlamp world and has the usual high build quality that you would expect from Petzl. It is crammed full of high tech features, has a number of configuration options and is one of the brightest LED headlamps suitable for running/adventure sports around.  If you would like to see the full Petzl range see our review Petzl headlamp


The Petzl Nao's strap is in a half cord half elastic configuration which gives really great support and comes with the added bonus of an optional top strap for over the head if needed. When worn directly on the head without the padding of a hat or helmet the strap remains comfortable even for an extended time. The headband can be adjusted via a simple draw cord system that the battery pack clips over and is super simple to adjust even with gloves on. If needed the rechargeable battery pack can be attached to a belt using the Petzl Nao belt kit, see here

The Nao headlamp is controlled by a very easy to use rotating switch that is located on the side of the lighting unit, the switch can be locked so as to avoid accidental usage when the headlamp is stowed in a bag or pocket.

  • 575 Lumens
  • Reactive lighting technology
  • Rechargeable lithium battery(included) via USB
  • Water resistant
  • Optional top strap included
  • Battery release a little awkward
  • Battery life on full power could be better

The Petzl Nao implements Petzl's Reactive Lighting technology which adapts to the current lighting environment by analysing the amount of ambient light that a sensor on the top of the headlamp reads. The Nao headlamp will then adjust the current light beam accordingly to one of three possible modes: Proximity lighting, Movement and Distance. Proximity for focusing on objects close up, Movement is a mix of beams suitable for during an activity and Distance is a more focused beam for long range sight.

The Petzl Nao comes with a 2600mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery which is rechargeable(5 hours) via USB, the Nao can also use two AAA batteries if no charging point is available. It has two modes of lighting Reactive Lighting as explained above and Constant Lighting which has a low and high power setting. The battery level is represented as three red lights at the back of the battery pack which is a nice addition as the majority of headlamps do not have this feature however you must remove the headlamp to view it.

In terms of brightness at 575 lumens the Nao has enough to cover pretty much any scenario with the reactive lighting working so great that you barely even notice it adjusting, however its not perfect ad we wouldn't expect it to be either but for the majority of cases it's great. 


‚ÄčThe Petzl Nao although at the pricey end of the spectrum packs a big punch in terms of features and performance. It's perfect for both trail running and around a camp. Combined with Petzl's legendary build quality it is a great investment worth making.

Petzl Nao Plus

petzl nao plus

The Petzl Nao plus steps things up a notch in terms of both power and features over the standard Nao. Power has been upped to 750 lumens and the standard modes are customizable via Petzl App.


You get the same great build quality and comfort of the base model described above. The Nap plus can also be paired with the Nap belt kit as before.

  • 750 lumens
  • Bluetooth integration for customization
  • Battery indicator
  • Can only take rechargeable battery pack

The first change over the standard model is upping the power to 750 lumens(on max setting). This should really be more than enough for even the darkest trails out there. The main feature change is the ability to fully customize the four standard settings, this done by pairing the Nao plus over bluetooth with the Petzl "MyPetzl" App which is available for free download from both the App store and Google play, and should pair to most modern cell/mobile phones and tablets.


‚ÄčThe Nao plus should satisfy the most enthusiastic gadget freaks out there with the mode customization. If you are looking for a real high end headlamp for running then the Petzl Nao plus is a solid contender.

Petzl Nao Belt Kit

Petzl nao belt kit

The Petzl Nao belt kit/extension cable gives the ability to move the weight of the battery pack from the back of the head to the waist or onto a backpack. The chord is 106.5cm in length and comes with a clip that can attach to a belt easily and securely or to a backpack/camel pack. This means the weight on your head can be reduced by 131g which on excessively long night runs can mean a big difference in neck stiffness and general freshness. Moving the battery pack out of the elements to somewhere warm a may also result in a slight increase in efficiency. 

Petzl Nao plus battery pack

The Nao plus has the option of a separate rechargeable battery pack. So if you are planning on extended night trail runs or hikes it might be a good thing to consider. For the average runner who is doing night training it shouldn't really be necessary.

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