PETZL NAO 575 Review

Powerful, compact and reliable. These are words to describe the Petzl Nao 575, the direct predecessor of the Nao+. This headlamp has been around for two years, and there is a reason it is still a top selling device. The quality and build of this device is surpassed only by its performance. A must have for any serious hiker, camper or runner the Nao 575 delivers quality and performance together in the same package. The 2600 mAh Battery is rechargeable through  USB connection, and can be replaced with AAA batteries if the need arises. And thanks to the pure white light from the headlamp, all colours seen at night will be true to life. With a maximum setting of 575 Lumens, this lamp is super bright. And with the Nao 575 you customize your headlamp even further with OS by Petzl software.

A sleek light design coupled with REACTIVE LIGHTING gives any runner or climber maximal brightness and a longer burn time. With REACTIVE LIGHTING, the sensor senses ambient light and adjusts to each task. It will dim while glancing down at a map and immediately return to its original setting as you look back up. This will lead to more visual comfort and less strain on the eyes. This type of lighting will give you optimal energy and burn time while giving the user a better hands free experience.

A stable white light is a MUST when using a headlamp. The athlete needs that light to burn at the same strength all the time. The CONSTANT LIGHTING mode guarantees that your light will not fade during the chosen burn time. The two LEDs provide a flood or a spot or a combination light that meshes together to create a perfect blend of spot and flood that looks like one full light rather than two unique lights. 

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  • Rechargeable:  The 2600 mAh battery is rechargeable eliminating the need to carry around countless extra batteries with you. The USB port allows for convenient charging anywhere you go. The battery can charge in less than five hours from empty to full. There is also an option to replace your rechargeable battery if needed with two AAA Batteries (at a reduced level of performance). Battery level indicator shows remaining battery power.
  • Two modes of lighting: MAX POWER is the setting to prioritize brightness while MAX AUTONOMY prioritizes burn time.
  • REACTIVE Lighting mode:  The Petzl NAO 575 Headlamp adjusts brightness based on the user’s need allowing for a more hands free experience. Light changes according to your needs once again keeping visual comfort as the most important factor in this mode.
  • Constant lighting mode:  Stable lighting will never diminish during entire burn time.
  • Comfortable design: Large square knob allows to change light modes easy with a lock feature to prevent the lamp from turning on in transit. Lightweight, stable and strong the nylon head strap is durable and comes with an optional top strap for more technical activities.
  • Max Lumens and Beam distance: 575 lumens and a maximum distance of 135 metres. Device also has a reserve mode when on low power of 20 lumens for one hour.
  • Customizable: Petzl OS Software can customize the performance of the Nao 575 even further according to your activity.
  • Water Resistant: IPX 4 rating, which can withstand rainfall, but not a full dunking
  • Design: Lightweight at 168 grams, the NAO 575 is light and strong with a sleek design that is built to last.


The Petzl Nao 575 is lightweight, durable and comfortable to wear. The compact device weighs in at 187 grams and its nylon cord fits snug on the head without sacrificing comfort. There is an extra top strap that can be added for an even better fit during more technical activities such as climbing. The adaptable REACTIVE LIGHTING makes sure of quick changing light depending on your view, without sacrificing performance or vision. The  NAO 575 is designed to help you increase your overall performance as the REACTIVE LIGHTING provides an unique hands-free experience. CONSTANT LIGHTING ensures that your light remains at same level of brightness from beginning to the end with no dimming! The rechargeable Lithium Ion battery charges fast and performs well even at low temperatures. The USB plug is compatible with all USB chargers making charging the battery on the go easy. The device has an IPX 4 rating with snub rubber fastening, making it water resistant in the rain. The amazing 575 Lumens light with brilliant white lamp has a solid burn time of 6 hours in REACTIVE mode, making it one of the more powerful compact headlamps out on the market today.


Once again PETZL has designed a lamp that is well built and powerful. I can only find two real flaws with the device. While the rechargeable battery can be replaced with Alkaline AAA batteries in an emergency, it is at a reduced performance level and the batteries will drain very fast. The best thing to do in this case is buy a spare rechargeable battery from PETZL to swap out when needed. Which brings us to the next disadvantage, the burn time in CONTSTANT LIGHTING at the max lumens. With a burn time of only 90 minutes at this setting, it seems a little short for a high end device to have.  

Since the PETZL NAO 575 has been around for a few years, there are approximately 100 reviews on Amazon with a strong four out of five star rating.  Overall most users has been extremely satisfied with this device, specifically with the power of the light. One buyer stated that “Having the NAO 575 on my head is like having car headlamps on your head!” The even weight distribution and the REACTIVE LIGHT are mentioned in most reviews with most genuinely content with both.

The most critical review by a customer examined the learning curve of cycling through the control levels as the switch takes a turn than a pause. He proposed spending time to to understand how to cycle the levels at home before going it out in the field. This would allow you to make certain you know how to get the level of light that you need quickly.


Q. How many levels can be assigned for quick cycling through the modes?

A: There are up to five levels for quick cycling in both modes. Two profiles can be uploaded with two modes of REACTIVE and CONSTANT. Each mode has up to 5 levels.

Q. Can this headlamp be mounted to a helmet?

A. The Nao 575 is a headlamp meant for running or mountain activities. It can only mount to mountaineering helmets that have special headlamp clips.

Q. Can you use this for night running? I am comparing this lamp to other lightweight minimalist headlamps.

A.  The NAO 575 is optimized for night running. The REACTIVE lighting makes it optimal for runners as the light changes according to your view. This creates a brilliant yet comfortable experience for you on even the darkest nights. It has twice the power of some its closest competitors, making it the go to choice for most ultra-runners.

Q. Does the NAO 575 have a red light feature?

A. Unfortunately no.

Q. What is the burn time for this lamp?

A Burn time in REACTIVE mode is up to 6 hours, and with CONSTANT it has a burn time of 1 hour 30 minutes at the MAX setting of 430 lumens. However at the MAX Autonomy setting in constant at 120 Lumens the burn time is about 8 hours. It depends on the brightness setting and the mode the lamp is in.

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The PETZL Nao 575 was voted as one of the top devices in 2016 and still is a fantastic device for ultra-runners and night owls who love to hike and climb in the dark. The REACTIVE LIGHTING will last for hours giving you the perfect amount of light when and where you need it. It will burn at the same strength, and can shine brighter than a car headlamp at 135 metres!  PETZL has proven that a sleek compact light can shine through the dark giving you that edge on a dark night to finish that climb or race. And at a reasonable price point, this lamp is an investment that you need to make.

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