I’ve seen a few posts about headlamps that briefly mention or recommend Fenix headlamps but never anything much beyond that. What I’m super keen to hear about is people’s specific thoughts on models like the HM65R, HM65R-T and HL18R-T. In particular the HM65R(-T) seems very powerful for the weight.
How do these models compare in performance to something like a black diamond storm? Run time? Brightness? Helmet compatibility? Is an 18650 battery powered lamp like the HM65R worth the extra weight vs something like a storm or HL18R-T?
What would your pick be for climbing, general outdoors or other uses?
I have the HM65R and, for what it's worth, I rate it. Good run time, the spotlight/flood/both combo I found initially fiddly but soon got used to it. Easy enough to use with gloves on. Weighty yes, but very powerful. I like the rechargeable/swap battery element too - although I don't actually have a spare battery for it yet. Stretches well enough and fits securely on my helmet. I also like the ability to lock it as it were so that it can't be accidentally turned on.
That's my tuppence
HM65R. I’ve got two. I flooded one diving through a sump with it by leaving the charging port open. It stopped working but it works again after I dried it out. The other one has been fine. I run with it too, seems stable and light enough. I took off the top strap that goes over the top of the head. The T version may be better but never tried it.
The only problem I’ve had is when running with it in max spot mode I blinded a chav and he wanted to try and fight me about it.
A friend had a faulty one. It was discharging even when off. The cell then dropped below a minimum voltage and wouldn’t charge on the internal usb c charging circuit. The cell would charge on a proper charger. Inglesport replaced it after a return to fenix.
There are two cell sizes available in 18650 size from fenix - 2600mah & 3500mah. Get the bigger one.
> A friend had a faulty one. It was discharging even when off. The cell then dropped below a minimum voltage and wouldn’t charge on the internal usb c charging circuit. The cell would charge on a proper charger. Inglesport replaced it after a return to fenix.
I've read some similar reviews when I was looking to purchase one. Have to say it put me off buying.
I have the Fenix hp15 ult edit, Wouldnt swap it for any other lamp. Its a little heavier than the modern lamps that are coming out. But it has never left me in the dark, used it for everything from caving, climbing, hiking and mtb. Bloody bomb proof lamps.
the hm65r is a great light. robust, bright and flexible. It has been taken up quite widely by cavers (along with it's predecessor), and no one I know regrets that.
Obv 18650 batteries are not as 'universal' as AA's, (it will take cr123a's). It takes a slightly long 18650 (the Fenix one is about a mm longer than say amr's, so some battery won't work (without fiddling with the spring etc), so check spare batteries before committing to them (or just buy Fenix ones, which are decent).
the T version is aimed at runners and does not fit so easily on helmets, so I think the ordinary version is best (and, really, no less bright).
Make sure you understand how to deactivate the lockout (which is a good feature) before you go out in the dark!
> Is it normal for them to get realy hot? My Fenix does.
When they are on high power, yes
> Obv 18650 batteries are not as 'universal' as AA's
Agree but look at the watt hours (Wh). mAh/1000 (to become Ah) then multiply by voltage
e.g. rechargeable AA enloop (standard not pro) 1900 mAh has a nominal 1.2v so is rated as 2.28 Wh. A decent 18500 battery is up to 2000 mAh or so and nominal 3.7v so is rated at 7.4Wh
You can see right away just how much more you will get out of using 18650 batteries. IMHO they're definitely worth investing in, even if that means people having to buy a charger
A word of warning about rechargeable AA batteries. Some torches do not work correctly with rechargeables and some do. Several Fenix models that take AA and AAA do not "like" rechargeable batteries. Read the instructions!
Rechargeable AA and AAA run at 1.2v, compare that to Alkaline at 1.5v or lithium AA/AAA at 1.6v. When you have them in series that difference is multiplied. I have a little Fenix wf05e on the side of my helmet (as an emergency light in case main light problem). Timed this the other day... If I put in 2 x AAA rechargeables (Bonai 1110 mAh), on full power setting the torch starts to warning flash at 44 minutes. If I use 2 x AAA Alkali (Energizer Max) it starts to warning flash at 3hrs 24 mins (at 18 deg C). The instructions say to use Alkaline batteries.
It might also be worth looking at Zebra Light 18650 range,
Model - H600W
Narrower hot spot (still enough spill for close up work) neutral-warm hue.
Model - H600C
Wider 'hot spot' higher CRI (colour rendering index?) warmer hue (easier on the eyes at night).
I have H600w for 8 years, when it broke they asked me to send it in for repair (free) and then sent me out a brand new unit and only asked for postage costs. Whilst it was in for repair I grabbed a H600C (gave the old to to my gf) which Is probably better for climbing and most tasks imo, though I prefer the H600W for walking.
They can be removed from the head strap and used like a normal torch, I also grabbed the glow in the dark holder/strap which is pretty uuseful You can use 'unprotected' 18650 batteries with this torches as well providing you have a decent charger.
Xtar SV2 Rocket (faster charging) or VC2S (simple plug and play)
Another vote for the HM65R here.
I've used mine on over120 underground trips this year, of 5-8 hours each.
No real problems unless I abuse it by having the high power beam on for too much of the time (in which case it drops to a reliable low-light battery saving mode and I just change the battery - easy to do in the dark and without taking lamp/helmet off your head)
Hi Ron, sorry to bombard you with questions but .. In cave/mine temperatures, how long are you getting it on medium (130lm) before it starts flashing and downgrading to lower settings?
Can you easily helmet mount it (screws etc) if you don't want the elastic?
How does the beam shape work, can you use spot and still see your feet or do you have to use flood for that?
I abuse the high power spot, so often run the battery down after 5-6 hours. If I'm disciplined and don't use spot the medium flood will give 10 hours from a 3500mah.
No idea about screws. I'm happy with the elastics (and they hold up pretty well when regularly bashed on sharp slate).
You can walk with the spot.
The only problem I've had has been it occasionally getting some moisture inside (prob while changing battery with damp gloves on) which interferes with the battery sensors so it cuts out sooner than expected - needs to spend a night in some rice every now and then.