“The Fenix HM65R – My New Favorite Headlamp”
Outdoor Ambassador Stan. L
Have you ever lost something? Recently as I was grabbing camera equipment from the myriad of bags and crates full of mismatched gear preparing for another outdoor adventure, I couldn’t find my Fenix HP25R. This was my favorite headlamp and it’s always in one of two places, the console in my truck or in the outside pouch of my camera bag. It wasn’t in either place. I was frantic and may or may not have had a little bit of a meltdown tearing apart every camera bag and box sifting through flashes and lenses and other accessories to only come up empty. Rats!
I took the missing headlamp as a sign that it was time to upgrade (even though that light is nearly perfect) and that’s when I went to the Fenix Lighting USA website and looked for a comparable replacement and that’s when I saw the Fenix HM65R Rechargeable Headlamp. Oh man! When I saw this headlamp had a 1400 max lumen output with a relatively small form factor I thought to myself “this one will do.” If you’ve read my other reviews you may be expecting me to write about the strobing effect calling down aliens or possibly clawing my way out of a nocturnal marsh only to fight off deranged feral wilderness people, well this isn’t that kind of review.
Anyway, my first test with this light landed me on the blue ridge parkway with a good friend as we creeped at a slow pace looking for salamanders and other wildlife along the scenic pathways after dark. This is one of the darkest areas in our neck of the woods and what a perfect place to test out this light. The only complaint I have with the light is that I didn’t get one sooner and maybe a tiny issue of still needing to break it in and adjust the head band to better fit my giant cabesa. The first time I wore the light for a few hours I got a mild headache just because I had it on too tight, my issue, not a design flaw. Once I adjusted the elastic band it was a much better experience.
I was actually impressed with some of the little nuanced things on this light that may go unnoticed, like the little silicon strip on the back of the lights so that the headlamp fits a bit more comfortably on your forehead. The light does get a little warm after continued use which is to be expected with ANY light with this high of a lumen count. One word of caution is that if you’re in areas with lots of flying insects be prepared to swallow a few. This light seems to draw in insects and the feeling of a moth flying full speed into the back of your throat as you inhale is an experience I don’t wish on any of you.
I primarily used the spot light feature on this light but it also has the option to use it as a flood light, both are impressively bright and I can’t imagine you needing much more light than what this headlamp will provide for almost all activities. The batteries last quite a while and I only really charged it as a matter of habit between trips but never really HAD to charge it, meaning it never died while I wore it and I used this thing intermittently for hours at a time. It’s easy enough to charge with the USB-C cable and as per the tech specs this light can run on full power continuously for 2 hours. I love how durable this light is with the types of situations I get into while hiking and filming/photographing wildlife I find myself in uneven terrain and often wet and marshy areas which is no problem for this light. The HM65R has an impact resistance of around six and a half feet and it’s rated waterproof (IP68) to around the same depth.
All in all, if you’re looking for a good, rugged light for your outdoor adventures I highly recommend this light. Also, as a side note, as soon as I hit the “order” button on the Fenix Lighting USA website, I found my old HP25R headlamp. I guess that’s how it works sometimes. I absolutely don’t regret this purchase and to be honest I haven’t used my old favorite headlamp since the purchase of this one. I have now relegated my HP25R as the “guest light” for friends that accompany me on adventures. It looks like I’ve got a new favorite headlamp in the HM65R.