Fenix HM50R Review – Handy, Compact, Lightweight Headlamp

After 3 months with the HM50R headlamp, I have found the lamp to be a very handy, compact, lightweight and rugged device capable of meeting most headlamp needs.

I tested this headlamp through my normal usage of headlamps over these three months: As an emergency in-vehicle light; as a handyman work lamp; and to use when camping, walking the dogs, and while setting up or tearing down competitive shooting stages. It did very well in each of these tasks, with only a few drawbacks which are VERY outweighed by the features offered (see below).

My first impression of this lamp was that it was extremely tiny and lightweight. I was impressed by a few features right off the bat. The headband is adjustable, and has rubber inserts that make it very grippy without super-tightening down onto your head or hat, the light can be removed from the headlamp, and it came with a decent assortment of spare parts/accessories.

In the end, I found the following pros/cons:

Pros:

  • Very lightweight
  • Small
  • Bright for a 1×123 sized light
  • Adjustability of headband
  • Modular – Can be used as handheld or headlamp
  • Included spare parts – I won’t be out of luck if I do manage to break it.
  • Durability – I froze it in a cup of water and it kept on trucking, then left it in a truck through an Arizona summer. Still going strong.
  • Long – Press to turn on (also a con), which prevents accidental activation when kept in a vehicle.
  • Long battery life – Have only had to charge it twice in these 3 months.
  • Integrated charging – Highly convenient, just plug it into a micro USB and it charges. No battery swaps or external charger required. 🙂

Cons:

  • Long-press to turn on – Can be inconvenient when not in storage
  • Not as bright as some headlamps, such as the HL55/HL60R, but those also weigh twice as much and are much bulkier.
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