Compact, lightweight and bright are the 3 words that immediately came to mind upon first using the new HM50R headlamp from Fenix. Billed as a high altitude and cold resistant headlamp, this little light can also be removed from the silicone holster and used as a flashlight.
The interface on this headlamp is simple. Hold down the power button for just about 1 second and you have light. With each click thereafter, you rotate through the modes. The HM50R also has mode memory so if you shut it off, once you turn it back on you pick up where you left off.
To check the battery level, all you need to do is quickly depress the power button when the unit is off. By looking at the color of the light and it’s status (solid or blinking), you have an idea of how much juice is left.
The runtimes for this light are:
Low – 4 Lumens (128 Hours)
Medium – 30 Lumens (48 Hours)
High – 130 Lumens (14 Hours)
Turbo – 500 Lumens (2 Hours)
Low – 4 Lumens (90 Hours)
Medium – 30 Lumens (24 Hours)
High – 130 Lumens (10 Hours)
Turbo – 500 Lumens (2.5 Hours)
With an IP68 rating, random bouts of moisture aren’t going to stop it from performing. The unit comes with an extra silicone holder, mini usb rubber dust cover and o-ring. I was concerned that there might be a flaw in these items (especially the silicone holder) upon first opening the packaging because what would the need be to include all of them? After a month’s worth of use from running on roads and rocky trails, I don’t show any wear or tear on any of those parts. The light fits snugly in the silicone holder keeping it securely at the angle you need.
One of the best inclusions with this light is the Fenix ARB-L16-700 Li-ion battery (16340). This is one of the highest rated and recommended 16340 batteries on the market today due to its capacity and protection.
This headlamp also includes a reflective headband with 360 degree coverage. While testing the HL26R, I noticed that the backside of the headband didn’t show the reflectivity as it gets looped through the holder in the opposite direction. They have resolved that issue with this model! They also included the silicone line on the headband to redirect sweat away from your eyes. This line also helps to keep the headband from slipping on your forehead.
Equipped with a white led, this headlamp provides a large hot spot and plenty of fill to offer a broad range of view. Having a more defined hot spot allows you to pick out spots along your route that might need extra attention. Think rocky or rooty patches as you are cruising through the woods.
This unit is set up to be charged via USB (using the provided 16340 battery). To fully charge the provided 16340 battery via usb and your laptop, it will take about 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you are in a pinch and need to use the light while charging, you can still access the medium setting to provide a light source while connected to a power bank.
On the high setting, I was able to get almost 13 hours of light out of 1 charge. Granted for many of those hours, the light was on the medium setting by default as it had stepped down. This is superb for such a small light, considering it’s rated at around 10 hours on high.
There are 2 things worth noting. The runtimes given on this light also include the light stepping down after extended use on the high and turbo settings. You can look for this stepdown to be like dropping to the level below.
The other thing that took getting used to was positioning this light. Depending on your noggin, you might run into issues with the light having a bit of a bounce to it. Granted, its small base and my head shape are probably the reason here but I found that having the light a little lower than normal seemed to alleviate this issue.
Overall, I’m extremely impressed with this light. This is another great headlamp from Fenix! It’s great for runners, especially those spending time on trails. I could see where this would be a nice addition for hikers as well due to the long runtimes and lack of space it will take up in your pack. While I won’t look to this light for long nights or races moving quickly over singletrack, for a few hours at a time, this light more than delivers what you need.