Fenix HL32R – Light as a feather. As powerful as the Sun!
Light! (pardon the pun) That was my first thought when I removed the headlamp from the package. I was concerned initially; I have owned multiple headlamps in the past all with a 2-strap band. This was my first single band headlamp. After holding it for a minute and even before putting it on, I realized it was not going to be an issue, this was one of the lightest headlamps I ever held. It was also the least protruding headlamp out of any I owned. This is due to the integrated battery. I had recently switched to 18650 single cell style headlamps, which makes the front of the headlamp jut out a bit more. For most people this would probably not be an issue, but I work on vehicles and other tight area’s where a half an inch means the difference between knocking the headlamp off and it not getting hit.
I appreciate the separating of the special modes and main function buttons, I rarely if never use the modes, so it’s nice I don’t have to remember not to accidently fire one off when I’m simply trying to change light levels.
The optics on the unit are very very nice. I’m a HUGE fan of no hotspots in headlamp beams, not that it’s a huge deal, its just randomly noticeable from time to time. With the optics on this unit, the hotspot is almost not even there. I think that’s amazing for this price point and style of headlamp. No, you’re not going to be spotting deer 100 yards out, but headlamps really were never meant for this in the first place if you ask me.
The battery meter again is one of my favorites, a simple 4 dot led indication percentage of battery remaining. No need to remember blinking sequences to remember what percentage that is, or the ridiculous Nitecore version which breaks it down to .1 v (which takes almost 20 seconds to watch).
After wearing the unit for a couple days, you QUICKLY forget you’re even wearing it, I never use to think much of headlamp weight as long as the unit was balanced, but you do truly forget its there after a while, whereas with the heavier units a couple hours in, you want to take the unit off. Headlamp angle is adjustable and is solid clicking, which I find better than some models that use a friction fit which requires two hands to adjust. This unit can be flicked into position with 2 fingers, that’s nice when you’re trying to concentrate on work and not on the headlamp.
Overall, it’s a great headlamp, it does everything well, it’s functions very simply and allows you to focus on your work and not trying to figure out what mode to get into. The lightness allows you to wear it all day and not want to take it off, for people who don’t need replaceable batteries (I sometimes use my headlamp 8 hours, which is rare for most people) the unit works great. If I had one con, and it’s a small one, I would like to see the USB charge port on the side instead of on the back of the unit, it takes a couple extra seconds to line up the port, it’s a small issue, not remotely enough to ding the unit.
Buy it, the single strap makes its perfect for women with long hair as the top strap drives them nuts, no matter how many times you adjust it.