Having a reliable headlamp is an essential part of any trail runner’s kit. The ability to see the trail ahead makes a significant difference in terms of safety and performance. Trail running often takes place in low-light or dark conditions, making a headlamp a crucial light source to illuminate the path. It’s important to emphasize that having the right headlamp can be a game-changer, particularly for someone like me who frequently tackles technical trails filled with rocks and roots—a veritable minefield of potential tripping hazards. So below is my in-depth review of the Fenix HM65R-T Trail Running Headlamp, after testing it at one of the toughest 100 mile races in the USA I’ve got the inside scoop on everything you need to know.
Let There Be Light: Fenix HM65R-T Trail Running Headlamp Review
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Strength: 1,500 Lumens
Beam Distance: 170 Meters / 230 feet
Light Options: Spotlight & Floodlight
Battery Type: Researchable & Replaceable / Can Carry Backups
Waterproof Rating: IP68
Weight: 3.21oz / 91g
Impact Resistant: 2m
Size: Length: 3.15” (80mm) Width: 1.85” (47mm) Height: 1.54” (39mm)
What’s Included: Headlamp and rechargeable battery.
* Important: The maximum head size the SPORT headband will fit is 24″ (61cm) or hat size 7 5/8.
How Long Do The Battery Last – Battery Chart Based on Mode
- It provides a powerful illumination with a strength of 1,500 Lumens.
- The beam distance reaches up to 170 meters or 230 feet.
- Fenix HM65R-T headlamp’s patented rotary press/pull clasp allows for easy adjustment of the headband with a single hand.
- Dual top switches enable independent control of the spotlight and floodlight settings.
- The headlamp utilizes researchable and replaceable batteries, allowing users to carry backups for extended usage.
- It has a waterproof rating of IP68, ensuring reliable performance even in wet conditions.
- With a weight of 3.21oz or 91g, the headlamp is lightweight and easy to carry during trail running.
- The headlamp utilizes Luminus SST40 white and Cree XP-G2 S3 neutral white LEDs with a lifespan of 50,000 hours.
- Its constant current circuit ensures longer runtimes for extended use.
- The headlamp features reverse polarity protection to safeguard against improper battery insertion.
- It offers a USB Type-C charging port for fast and convenient charging.
- It is constructed with high-quality aluminum, magnesium, and PC materials, providing a balance of lightness and durability.
Runtime & Instructions
Fenix HM65R-T Review:
After using the same headlamp for the past four years and receiving numerous comments about its diminished brightness, I knew it was time to upgrade. After witnessing the impressive performance of Fenix Lights headlamps during my pacer’s participation in the Run Rabbit Run 100 Miler, I decided to give the brand a chance for my second 100-mile race. Ultimately, I chose the HM65R-T model, a trail running headlamp specifically designed for optimal performance.
Several features convinced me to select the Fenix HM65R-T. Apart from its brightness, I was drawn to the thicker yet more breathable single strap headband, in comparison to the HM65 model which has a strap over the top of the head. Additionally, the HM65R-T comes with rechargeable and changeable batteries, as well as a dual button design that makes it easy to set the desired lighting between spotlight and floodlight. Based on positive reviews and witnessing its performance, I believed it was worth the investment. Furthermore, I managed to secure a 20% discount by signing up for the company’s email, making it an obvious choice.
It’s important to note that I also purchased two backup batteries for my headlamp, and I highly recommend others do the same.
Opening the Box – My First Impressions
When I opened the box and held the HM65R-T headlamp for the first time, I immediately noticed its solid build and impressive weight. The headband material is extremely comfortable and more breathable compared to other brands I have tried. Another great feature I discovered was the patented cinch system. Located on the back of the strap, it consists of a dial and two tension bands, allowing for easy tightening and a perfect fit when wearing it. Overall, it’s a remarkably comfortable headlamp.
After briefly testing all the light functions, I fully charged the batteries and packed the headlamp in my gear bag for what would be a true trial by fire – running the Hellbender 100 in the Black Mountains of North Carolina.
Putting the Headlamp to the Test
During the test, the Fenix HM65R-T proved to be highly comfortable to wear, remaining stable during both technical uphill and downhill running sections. The weather was intensely humid, and the headband’s breathability was particularly advantageous. However, the standout feature of the headlamp is its exceptional lighting design.
Note: The above image is using spotlight mode only on high. Perfect for flowy single track
Both the spotlight and floodlight have three settings each, with the highest level combination providing a crystal clear view of the trail. As my pacer remarked, “I don’t even need my headlamp; you’re bright enough for both of us.” While it is possible to adjust the light to a lower level, once you become accustomed to the highest setting, it’s difficult to go back. This is where having a backup battery proves valuable. When using the full power spotlight and floodlight combination, two batteries are required to last through the night. Trust me, it’s well worth it.
During the race, we encountered a major downpour lasting over 45 minutes, and the headlamp continued to function without any flickering. This demonstrates its waterproof design. Overall, I struggle to find any negatives about the headlamp.
Fenix HM65R-T Video
Where to Buy From?
There are a couple of things that might help in making your decision on where to buy the headlamp from.
- Fenix Lights are not sold by the manufacturer and there is no “official” website. Instead there are a few licensed vendors that sell their products online.
- This is the site I ordered my headlamp from so I am confident recommending it. They also offer a 15-20% off for signing up for their newsletter. So make sure to take advantage.
- You can buy the headlamp through Amazon but you won’t be able to get a discount. The advantage of purchasing through Amazon is that returns are much easier.
Hope that helps!
Closing Thoughts on the Fenix Lights Performance Trail Running Headlamp
From start to finish the Fenix HM65R-T headlamp proved to be an outstanding upgrade for my trail running adventures. After four years of using an increasingly dim headlamp, I decided to give Fenix Lights a chance based on its impressive performance at the Run Rabbit Run 100 Miler. The HM65R-T exceeded my expectations with its optimal performance and a range of features that set it apart from other brands. The comfortable and breathable headband, along with the patented cinch system, ensured a perfect fit during my runs. The brightness and versatility of the spotlight and floodlight, with their multiple settings, provided a crystal clear view of the trail, making it hard to settle for anything less. The headlamp’s waterproof design stood up to a downpour during the race without any issues. Overall, I highly recommend the Fenix HM65R-T for anyone seeking a reliable, high-performance headlamp for their outdoor activities. It’s a worthwhile investment that will enhance your running experience and keep you safe in low-light conditions.