By pictures alone, you’d think this light would weigh more than 3 ounces with the battery. But, you’d be incorrect! Meet the minuscule, yet mighty Fenix HM50R.
I ask a lot of my lights. If I’m out in the backcountry for days on end, I demand a lot from them, I expect it. Thus far, I’m very far from disappointed in this light.
Here are the stats on this little fury:
Based on the excellent HL26R I reviewed, and the slew of new headlamps coming out by Fenix, it would suggest (with about 16 models) that Fenix is VERY serious about their headlamps being a solid choice in outdoors lighting, particularly in the US, where the market is locked up with the likes of Princeton Tec, Black Diamond, Petzl, to name a few. The Fenix has held it’s edge with pure power, incredible runtimes, and a nearly indestructible form factor. In terms of those three things alone, I’d put my lights up against any of those three. Anyday. Anytime.
*Feel free to send me lights for battle arena type tests! Unless, you know, you’re scared 🙂
Moving on to what comes with your new HM50R:
- User manual
- Warranty card
- Spare O rings
- Spare USB port dust cover
- Charging Cable
- Spare silicone holder
- Also included is a Fenix ARB-L16-700 Li-ion battery. Note that a lithium Tenergy CR123a is also available from Fenix. Referencing the above chart a ways back up, you can see the very big differences between the rechargeable vs the standard CR123. Although the standard CR123 is not rechargeable, it’s extra runtime and cold weather performance should absolutely be noted.
- They’re both very solid batteries, but it’s nice to able to use a battery, and have a choice to do so, to help adapt your light more to the environment you’re going to be in.
The HM50R can recharge via micro USB cable from my battery brick I take out backpacking. This is exactly why I love rechargeable lights! I can recharge this little light about 7-8 times off that Anker charger!
With the light off you can press once on the button to reveal battery levels.
- Green constant on means more than 80%
- Green flashes 50% – 80%
- Blue constant 20% – 50%
- Blue flashes less than 20%
The beam profile:
Notice the purplish hue. This likely is from the Anti reflective coating on the lens.
It’s punchy for its size, a nice compliment of throw vs flood. It’s fairly neutral in tint. But the spill seems a tad cooler, perhaps it’s the AR coating, but it’s a very pleasant light to use color wise. Easy on the eyes with excellent color renditioning!
- First is 4 lumens. This was surprisingly bright, very usable light
- Next setting is 30 lumens. I can hike to this, move around camp, do chores, etc.
- And this one is 130 lumens. Perfect! Great spill and throw. Using this when the trail gets a bit more technical, or my speed increases.
- And finally, 500 lumens. Always fun setting on ANY Fenix light! This little guy punches way above its weight! Again, a great combo of spill and flood. Very bright!
- Great fit and finish, typical Fenix! The body is crafted from aircraft type alloy.
- The threading is impeccable.
- The headband seems to be the new standard from Fenix. It has a bead of silicone to help keep the light on your noggin. I first saw this type of band on the HL26R and absolutely love it. Hot, cold, wet or dry, it just works. The silicone holder for the light works better than I expected. Rotating the light up and down presents no issues. Typically, on most headlamps it’s a hard plastic piece that attaches the light to the headband. The silicone is a welcome change, it fits your head better.
- I love the idea that I can use this as a pocket-able flashlight minus headband, again, in the backcountry. I LOVE items that have multiple uses.
- Uses a Cree XM-L2 U2 LED
- IP68 rated. This is the standard I am starting to demand for a light that travels in the boonies with me. I can go swimming with this headlamp on. In the dark, probably naked, don’t judge me. Anything less than this rating and I’m not swimming, just that simple.
- It’s rechargeable! I always carry at least a 10,000 mAh battery brick with me. I can charge this light on-the-go.
- It’s capable of -40f with CR123’s. I hike and backpack in the winter, huge win here. Try that kind of cold with a light with AA alkalines in it, and you’re gonna have a bad time.
- Lightweight! 2.2 ounces or 63 grams. Include the battery it comes with for another 20(ish) grams, that gives me a total weight of under 3 ounces. For reasons of comparison, the HL26R with built-in battery is 86 grams @ 3.03 ounces.
It’s everything it claims to be. Tiny, powerful and tough. It’s the HM50R from Fenix!