I've used this headlamp for over 4 years and it has been quite durable. The straps are easily adjustable and the ability to change the beam from narrow to wide is great.
But with the beam set wide, you get that "darker" spot between the center and the ring of the beam. The newer LED headlamps remove that although you can't adjust the beam on those to focus in on one object. The new LED ones are much lighter too. After trying out a new Black Diamond LED lamp and a Petzl one as well, the Micro feels a lot heavier on my head.
I like the Micro a lot and it will be a solid backup for me as it has served me well but plan on buying a new LED type for the lighter weight and longer battery life. If you need a narrow beam to focus in on something ahead of you though, the Micro works great.
I found my Petzl Micro hanging on a bush in the middle of a dense thicket in Cochise Stronghold, AZ -- a very lucky find because the Micro has served me fairly well for two years. It's not the brightest headlamp out there, but I've always found it sufficient for basic night hiking. If you're going to be trail-running or climbing, you might want something a little more powerful. The only gripe I have is that the it has turned on inside my pack several times. There should be some sort of locking device on it so this doesn't happen.
I've had a Micro for about 5 years and recently replaced it with a Princeton Matrix. The micro is well constructed, it survived much abuse. I also like the ability to focus or widen the beam. However, I found the battery life to be terrible, especially considering the mediocre brightness of the bulb. On warm nights ( above 50 deg F) a set of alkaline baterries only lasted for 3 or 4 hours. On a climb of Shasta when the temp was 15 deg F at 3:00 A.M. the batteries went dead in 90 minutes.
Not a very good headlamp, it doesn't light too much with its 2 AA batteries. Micro's weight without batteries is 100 g / 3.5 oz nor 141 g / 5 oz, its lighter than Zoom but I think it's not comfortable enough. Also I think its elastics will become wide in the medium term.
Good for around camp or trail hiking. Not bright enough for route finding. I don't like the dark area in the center when widening the beam. Also, it can come on accidently in your pack, so make sure it is tightly closed.
When I bought the Petzl Micro I was looking for a lighter ,yet durable substitute for my Petzl Zoom. I was looking for a headlamp that would be in my climbing pack continuously, for those times when sunset ran us over. I reasoned that the smaller light would provide sufficient brightness for familiar terrain and give me longer battery life without discounting reliability. I was ready to accept a reduction in the amount of light that the Micro would put out ( as compared to the Zoom).
I have come to realize that the reduction in the amount of light is the only one of those features that the Micro delivers. It has proven itself to be unreliable (with the lamp or batteries or contact points endlessly needing attention, retightening or filing). It is certainly NOT water-proof, which I believe adds to the corrosion that seems to eternally grow on the contact points. It is a BATTERY EATER DELUXE!!!! I have yet to figure out how such a small dim light can sap High Quality Energizer or Duracell batteries sooo fast.....As has been noted by others, there is a very annoying dark spot, in the cone of illumination, when you zoom out, and I am confident that you will find it disgruntling also.
I have happily replaced this light in my climbing pack ( yes, the light that has let me down soo many times) with a much more reliable and long lasting LED (happens to be the Princeton-Tec Matrix, but there are many others). I guess that an LED was what I was looking for in the first place; easy on the batteries, light weight, reliable and yes, a reduced, but acceptable, light out put. If you are looking for a reliable, lightwaeight alternative to your Petzl Zoom, I'd suggest that you look in the same direction !!!!
This headlamp has served me well, especially for the price I paid, but it has some shortcomings and is not comparable to LED lamps.
It has gone on several expeditions, and the light weight is appreciated. However, LED lamps light up a comparable area and last umpteen times as long. Some are even lighter in weight, so I really can't recommend this lamp to anyone, unless cost is a HUGE factor. I have tried the halogen bulb, and found that it still does not do the trick for distance (night climbing/route-finding). So, I just use the regular bulb now, and that generally for auto-repair and stuff around the house. The plastic near the ratchet-area split the other day, making the click-positioning unusable.
I bought this headlamp a couple year ago when cost was consideration and looking back I have to say that "you get what you pay for" is sooo true... It's done the job when setting a tent or cooking at night but anything beyond that - forget it. Very unreliable - sometimes just would not turn on, the contacts get easily rusty, battery life is very short. Prices on LEDs have come down recently so if you want a cheap headlamp for around camp, go for them! I am now looking to buy MYO5 for cold environment.