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Running Accessories • July 19, 2021

Fenix HM65R-T Headlamp Performance Review

fenix headlamp feature

What You Need To Know

  • 1,500 lumens a full blast is unheard of
  • New adjustable band using Boa-esque technology
  • Custom light settings for any adventure
  • Is this thing legal for civilians to own?

TAYLOR: There are some facts in life, one being that light brings comfort in most situations. I’m pretty sure no one would want to go spelunking or darting through the backwoods without a light. 

Headlamps solve that problem, and some companies do it better than others. As a whole, Fenix Lights are famous for their incredibly high-powered and durable designs. The HM65R-T Rechargeable is a prime example. It’s a high-functioning headlamp meant for trail running experiences. After receiving and testing out the lamp, I now refer to it as the Night Slicer.

fenix headlamp headon


TAYLOR: 1,500 lumens. Enough said. According to Fenix, the light can blast further than 150 meters. I can confirm that the HM65R-T breathes light like a dragon breathes fire.

To achieve this type of illumination Fenix utilizes two different lights. One is a direct beam of light (far-reaching) and the other is a flood beam (broad-reaching). Each operates independently via a singular click to toggle through the different powers. When you have both lights burning on full power, that’s when you see 1,500 lumens.  

The fully custom lighting is a huge plus for this lamp as you can strategically turn the brightness up and down. Save battery by keeping it low during the night portions of your race. When needing to move a little faster or find a trail sign, blast that baby like there’s no tomorrow.

Shop HM65R-T HM65R-T-Headlamp-sporlight-floodlight


TAYLOR: 1,500 lumens is great and all, but how long can it last? Looking at the chart, Fenix puts an asterisk next to the 4 hours allotted for the max output beam, which is about average for athletic-style headlamps. You’ll get that full blast for 90 minutes to 2 hours before you notice the light start to diminish. 

On other settings, lumens depend on what combination of lights you use. If you’re only using the floodlight, expect anywhere from 12 (at 400 lumens) to 300 (at 5 lumens) hours of use. Spotlight mode will get you 4 (at 1,300 lumens) to 24 (at 130 lumens) hours. 

In the dark of night, I like going full power, but it certainly isn’t necessary. A mix of lights in the medium settings gives me plenty of comfort out on the trails. 

The HM65R-T comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Plug it in at least a few hours prior to an adventure to be able to get the full benefits of this light. An LED battery level indicator lets you know when you’re ready to go.

Shop HM65R-T fenix headlamp buttons


TAYLOR: A dialed-in fit is part of the package….literally. The biggest update from the previous model is the adjustable headband. 

A traditional monoband wraps around the circumference of your noggin. What’s different is the multi-layered mesh/elastic band with a dial to adjust fit, similar to the Boa system. It’s a simple job to reach back, pull the dial out to loosen or push in and turn to tighten. The band itself has a very comfortable feeling around the head. A wider-than-typical width makes it feel a little more like wearing a sweatband rather than a headlamp.

One of the curses of being such a powerful compact light is that it does weigh considerably more than other headlamps its size. The whole package weighs in at 4.9 ounces, a full ounce plus more than the Petzl Swift RL. Weight isn’t much of an issue when hiking, but the lamp bounces a ton on the run. Without an overtop band, this wouldn’t be my first choice as a pure running headlamp. That being said, the HM65R-T is super durable and dependable for longer, slower expeditions. 

Shop HM65R-T HM65R-T-headlamp-side

Fenix HM65R-T Conclusion

TAYLOR: If you’re looking for an absolute flood of light, here it is. The Fenix HM65R-T delivers 1,500 lumens, which is rarely seen in the headlamp game. It’s easy to use, easy to adjust, has customizable lighting, and is one of the most durable compact headlamps available. I’d suggest wearing something underneath to minimize bouncing as much as possible. Check it out on the Fenix website for $99.95

Shop HM65R-T

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