Fenix HM50R Multipurpose LED Headlamp

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Fenix is on a roll with their high-quality illumination products and today we are looking at the smallest one we’ve had the pleasure of clicking the switch on yet. We've got the HM50R on our bench and strapped to my head to put our thoughts together and share what we think of this little unit. This unit is little. It’s a mere 2.66-inches long (67.5mm) and weighs in at a mere 63 grams (minus the battery).

HM50R

 

Product: Fenix HM50R Multipurpose LED Headlamp
Provided By: Fenix Store
Buy Direct from Fenix Store

 

First Look:

The HM50R can be powered by either a CR123 battery or by a rechargeable 16340. Our sample came with the 16430 which offers better battery life and the option to charge it while it stays in the light thanks to the MicroUSB charge port.

Box

 

The entire package from Fenix includes the light itself - which comes installed in the headband. It is secured to the aforementioned headband via a rubber / silicon mount. Fenix includes an extra mount, o-ring for the battery cover as well as an extra MicroUSB cover. In addition to the extras, you get a charge cable, warranty card and a user manual.

Bundle

 

On the next page we'll cover features and specifications.


Features & Specifications:

The following description and specifications have been pulled from the Fenix Store and posted here for your convenience. Update features and such can be found on their website here.

HM50R Profile

 

Specifications:

  • Utilizes Cree XM-L2 U2 cool white LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
  • Micro USB rechargeable (for 16340 batteries only)
  • 4 output modes
    • Turbo - 500 lumens (262.5 feet/80 meters)
      • 16340 - 2.5 hours
      • CR123 - 2 hours
    • High - 130 lumens
      • 16340 - 10 hours
      • CR123 - 14 hours
    • Med - 30 lumens
      • 16340 - 24 hours
      • CR123 - 48 hours
    • Low - 4 lumens
      • 16340 - 90 hours
      • CR123 - 128 hours
  • Reverse polarity protection to protect from improper battery insertion
  • Easy one switch operation
  • Can be used as a mini flashlight
  • Perfect for rigid environments
  • Sweat-channeling, reflective headband
  • Made of quality aluminum
  • Premium type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
  • Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
  • WITH CR123 - withstands temperatures down to -40º
  • Capable of high altitude climbing, hiking, or running in rigid environments
  • IP68 rating - underwater up to 6.56 feet/2 meters

 

Batteries:

Silicon Holder

 

Size:

  • Length: 2.66 in./67.5mm
  • Width: 1.3 in./33mm
  • Height: 1.1 in./28mm (including the lamp holder)
  • Weight: 2.22 oz./63 grams (excluding battery)

 

Included:

  • Fenix HM50R LED Headlamp
  • Spare O-ring
  • Spare rubber anti-dust cover
  • Spare silicone holder
  • ARB-L16-700 Li-ion battery
  • Charging Cable
  • HM50R User Manual
  • Warranty Card

 

Product Description:

The Fenix HM50R is a rechargeable headlamp, built tough to withstand cold temperatures. The Fenix HM50R has a IP68 rating, cold-resistance, full-metal housing, is compatible with 16340 and CR123A batteries, handy and compact size, plus the headlamp can be used as a mini flashlight as well, all of which make the Fenix HM50R perfect for high altitude climbing and long distance hiking in rigid environments.

On the last page we'll cover our thoughts on using the HM50R and then wrap things up.


General Usage:

Fenix makes quality products and they have continued to impress us with their hand-held torches. The HM50R is the first headlamp we've tested and it lives up to what we've come to expect from Fenix. The build quality of the light itself is phenomenal and the little extras give it more value. Speaking of value, this is the most affordable light we've looked at from them and it even comes with the extra pieces to help this unit last. The extra silicon holder, USB cover and O-Ring should help it provide years and years of reliable service.

Functionality is simple to the point and it just plain works. There is a single button that powers on the unit and also can be used to select different brightness modes. The "low" setting runs at a mere 4 lumens, which seems almost pointless, but in a dark environment for working close-up, it's practically perfect. Another press on the button turns things up to 30 lumens, and this allows you a great clear view of the ground immediately in front of you, but it is a little dim if you are moving quickly. A step up to "high" at 130 lumens allows you to perform just about any task you need to - but it comes at the expense of losing your "night vision". Turbo is more than adequate for any job, and you won't be able to outrun your light.

End View

 

The headband is comfortable stays in place during moderate activity. If you're going wide open, it may not stay in place if used directly on your skin, but for the most part, it works very well.

An impressive feature here is the battery life. As the HM50R is powered by a single 16340 battery (or CR123) and uses a Cree XM-L2 U2 LED, it provides up to 128 hours of constant illumination on low power. The medium setting will last 48 hours of constant illumination while the high setting drops to 14 hours. If you need turbo mode, be prepared to have an extra battery handy as the 500 lumen output will drain the battery in about 2 - 2.5 hours.

Battery

 

Conclusion:

The HM50R is the smallest unit we've seen from Fenix and while it's not big on features, it's pretty large in the value department. Our sample came with a rechargeable battery, cable and enough extras to ensure it works for a long time. It can double as a mini flashlight if you don't want it strapped to your head, but that is where it really shines (pun intended). The way it rotates in the mount to be aimed exactly where needed is simple yet effective. 

There isn't really anything bad to say about the HM50R. In fact, I can't think of anything at all negative to say about the unit. It's not a perfect light for every situation, but when you need your hands free to work on something in the dark, it fits the bill and fills the need. From a mere 4 lumen output that lasts for over 5 days straight, to a super bright 500 lumen that will all but blind everyone you look at and last a mere 2 hours, it does everything in between.

I can easily give the Fenix HM50R a Gold Award as it lives up to everythign Fenix claims, and more.

Gold