Scopes & Optics

Fenix HM65R Headlamp – A Power House |Survival-Mastery

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The Fenix HM65R Headlamp is a powerhouse, which is no surprise. I’m a Fenix fan already, and my HM50R currently goes with me on all of my backpacking trips.

Recently, I needed something to use when working in more rugged off-trail conditions. As a result, and based on recommendations I trust, I decided to give this light a shot.

If you want a headlamp in an emergency, then this is your light!

This light is rugged, holds a charge longer than I expected, and lights up the night like no other headlamp I currently own!

Fenix HM65R Headlamp on Survival-Mastery

This headlamp is a beast! I purchased it for work and cross-country backpacking trips. The light is rugged, light for all its features, and incredibly bright. I find myself grabbing this headlamp more and more often.

Online Review Ranking: 4.7/5

Survival-Mastery Rating

Lumens
Weight and Dimensions
Price
Performance

4.8

Pros

  • Durability & quality construction
  • Comfortable fit
  • Brightness and dual Spot & Flood beams

Cons

  • Have to tilt to use top switches easily
  • Low lumens or red light for camp

Fenix HM65R – Summary & Specs

SpecificationsFenix HM65R
Lumens1400lm
RuntimeUp to 300h in Floodlight mode
Weight3.4oz (w/out battery)
DistanceUp to 535 ft. in Spotlight mode
cd6,677cd in Spotlight Turbo mode
Water Resistance/ProofIP68, Up to 2m underwater
Size3.2 x 2.2 x 1.6
BatteryRechargeable li-ion 3500Ah
Price$94.95

Fenix HM65R Headlamp – Competitors

The HM65R has a few competitors, but none are as bright or straightforward as this light.

I like the dual lamps and that there is no separate battery pack or extra bothersome cords.

BrandLumensWeight
Black Diamond – Icon 700700lm10.6 oz
Princeton – Apex650lm9.8 oz
Petzl – NAO750lm6.5 oz
Nitecore – HC60V21200lm2.4 oz (not a typo but hard to believe.)

Personal Headlamp Preferences

My reviews are not as technical as a site like Zeroair or some other technical lighting sites, but I put my lights through their paces and then provide unbiased feedback based on real-life experiences.

Everybody has their own needs when using a flashlight, headlamp, tactical light, etc. My preferences work for me and have not changed much.

  • Weight – I don’t want a heavy light to distract me and become uncomfortable.
  • Comfort – My headlamps can be worn for hours so a comfortable strap and lamp is important.
  • Price – There is “get what you pay for” and “stupid expensive.” I try to find a balance, but don’t want to risk my lights letting me down in tight spots.
  • Bright – I night hike and can get caught climbing at night. I also like a good “camp light.”

I’ll briefly touch on candela vs. lumens since this is one of my priorities.

Candela (cd) vs Lumens (L)

I’m relatively visual, so I’ll explain it as it makes sense to me.

Think about a general bulb vs. a light beam. The beam concentrates the light on a small point or location, which means it has a high candela value. The light is condensed into a single point and projected in a single direction.

A bulb has high lumens, and the light is spread over a greater area than the spotlight.

Fenix HM65R Headlamp Package Contents

Fenix HM65R Headlamp components in package

The HM65R packaging is plastic – not my favorite since I always try to reduce the packaging and plastic I use.

The components included with the light are pretty standard.

  • ARB-L 18-3500 Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
  • Headband and headband mount
  • Spare Ring
  • USB-C Charging Cord
  • Users Manual (Sheet)

The Users Manual is a single laminated sheet, providing the essential information and specifications you need to use the headlamp.

If more information is needed, the company website always provides good additional information on operating instructions.

Fenix HM65R Headlamp – Materials/Components

Fenix is well-known for its durable construction, and this ruggedly built headlamp is no exception.

In a nutshell, the lamp uses a hard, durable magnesium casing, toughened glass lenses with anti-reflective coating, and is impact resistant up to 2m.

Lamp Exterior

Indicator lights on the headlamp

The casing is primarily magnesium and very durable. The lamp itself is mounted in a thick plastic mount and can be tilted down via seven adjustments.

There are two lights (Cree XM-L2 U2 white & XP-G2 R5 neutral white LED), giving you the ability to use both a floodlight and spotlight simultaneously or separately. This is why they claim 1400 lumens.

Two light switches on the top of the lamp allow you to quickly turn on and off the lights. Unfortunately, if you have large fingers, you may have to tilt down the light since the switches are halfway under the top of the mount. This is a little irritating.

The battery indicator is a series of blue lights between the switches. They worked fine when charging and indicated a full charge, but when clicking them once to check the status of the light, they only showed one bar instead of the four bars indicating a full charge.

Power

Battery on cap for the HM65R Headlamp

The 18650 rechargeable Li-ion battery is included with the headlamp, and the battery compartment is under the lamp.

There is a small tab over the battery, so make sure you open the battery compartment and remove it.

There are what looks like two caps with knurling. The one on the right (facing the lamp) is marked “Open” with an arrow. The threads are well-milled, and the O-Ring and threads provide a smooth tight fit for the cap.

When you tilt down the light, you will see the port for the USB-C charging cord on the back of the light. There is a thick rubber seal with a good fit.

Headband

HM65R headlamp strap and lamp

The headband is one of the features I like. It is very comfortable, even after a couple of hours of night hiking.

The band is made from perforated material to keep your head cool and has a clear sweatband around the inside front of the band. This funnels sweat away from your eyes.

The headband is adjustable, and the top band can be removed if you prefer the headlamp without it.

Fenix HM65R Headlamp – Performance

High and Turbo lights on the HM65R

After hiking and working with the HM65R for two weeks, I can say that I had more than enough light for my needs.

Highlights included…

  • I really appreciated the Floodlight when hiking at night, and 21 hours at night really ended up being more like 17 hours, which was still more than enough.
  • Lumens are still a little too bright around camp. I prefer 2 or 3 lumens, or a red light, so I don’t blind everyone.
  • Turbo lasted for 3.5 hours and not the 4 stated.
  • Charging only takes about two hours which is good.
HM65R headlamp specifications on packaging

Floodlight Emitter

The Floodlight Emitter is what I find myself using most often around camp since 8 lumens is about all I need in close quarters. Below is the low beam on the right and High on the left.

Spotlight Emitter

The Spotlight emitter provides more than enough light when I’m night hiking or chasing critters around the back of the property. Below is Turbo on the left and low on the right.

Fenix HM65R Headlamp – Final Thoughts

While this is a lightweight headlamp, it is still too heavy to take for a run unless you want a bruise on your forehead. I don’t often run in the dark unless being chased, though, so that’s not a problem for me.

What this headlamp is, is a workhorse. The Fenix HM65R provides plenty of run-time and lumen options for working, camping, hiking, or hunting.

Fenix provided this headlamp in exchange for an unbiased review. I was not paid to write this review and do not write sponsored posts. If you find this review helpful in making a decision, please consider purchasing through the links above. Thank you

About the author

Ellie Thomas

I grew up in the southeast camping, hunting, fishing, etc. Over the last 30 years, I have backpacked over 15,000 miles in the US and spent as much time in the outdoors as possible. My career has been spent in operations, construction, and supply chain learning and building. The outdoors is where I love spending my time tromping around and learning how to survive successfully on my own.

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