I am going to preface this review by saying that it’s been more than a hot minute since I last purchased a headlamp and wow has the game changed! At the time of my last purchase, I was excited just to get an LED headlamp that had multiple functions and now that feels like pretty standard issue anymore. So to say that the HM50R by Fenix was impressive out of the package was a bit of an understatement! I’m going to go through all the features and explain the versatile functions of this below, but to sum it all up: this is a serious headlamp that doesn’t mess around.
Right out of the box, my first impressions were: durable, lightweight, and USB-RECHARGEABLE! Let’s start with durable. This is an all-metal aluminum housing instead of the typical plastic body. Why? It’s built tough to withstand cold temperatures! How cold? How about -40º F? Okay, but what if you got it wet or dropped it in the water? No worries! Its IP68 rated protection is good for six feet or two meters! Like I said, durable.
Now let’s talk about the weight. Typical, heavier duty construction comes with a cost of being heavy. At 6 oz., this headlamp isn’t going to be a burden in your pack or your pocket, especially considering how versatile this light is. Able to be used as a headlamp or a mini flashlight. Just slide the light out of the holder and you can use it just as you would any other mini flashlight. I use the word “mini” lightly, though. How many mini flashlights have you found that put out 500 lumens?! This might have been my favorite surprise of all trying out the Fenix HM50R. With four LED light settings, you’ll have no shortage of illumination even in the darkest of places. Low, medium, high… and TURBO! Yeah. T-U-R-B-O. Turbo is freaking awesome. Here’s the breakdown:
- Low – 4 lumens
- Medium – 30 lumens
- High – 130 lumens
- Turbo – 500 lumens
Now let’s talk battery. As you already read, I was stoked that this thing was USB-rechargeable. Anymore, that’s become very common in flashlights and headlamps and for good reason. With solar panels or wall-plugs, you can keep recharging your lights again and again for adventures. Fenix took it up another notch… by making the HM50R compatible with both a rechargeable 16340 or CR123A battery! Amazing. How does that affect battery life? Here you go (rechargeable 16340/CR123A):
- Low – 128 hours/90 hours
- Medium – 48h/24h
- High – 14h/10h
- Turbo – 2h/2.5h
I am really pleased with the power options and being able to carry an extra battery if for any reason you’re not able to recharge. Add in a super comfortable and easily adjustable head strap and a lifetime warranty with 5 years of free repairs and you’ve got yourself a fantastic headlamp that is ready for whatever you can throw at it. Time to get out there and light the world!