An 18650 headlamp!  This could be a good category, mainly falling to whether the light is well balanced against it’s head straps.  This one is, and works great.  It has dual emitters and USB-C charging, which is a nice bonus.  It’s the Fenix HM65R – read on for more thoughts and testing!

Official Specs and Features

Here’s a link to the official product page.


There’s only one version of the HM65R.


MSRP is listed at $120, but the street price looks to be around $94.95.

Short Review

I like this light.  It’s comfortable, and has good output from both emitters.  I like that they can be used concurrently or separately.  USB-C charging is nice.  I also like that the whole light device can be disconnected from the headband fairly easily.

Long Review

The Big Table

Fenix HM65R
Emitter: Cree XM-L2 U2 white, XP-G2 R5 neutral white LED
Price in USD at publication time: $94.95
Cell: 1×18650
Turbo Runtime High Runtime
LVP? Warning
Switch Type: E-Switch
Quiescent Current (A): 0.00001
On-Board Charging? Yes
Power off Charge Port with no Cell? Yes, one mode for each emitter, with or without cell.
Claimed Lumens (lm) 1400 (1000 from throw, 400 from flood)
Measured Lumens (at 30s) 974 (69.4% of claim)*
Claimed Throw (m) 163
Candela (Calculated) in cd (at 30s) 280lux @ 4.307m = 5194cd
Throw (Calculated) (m) 144.1 (88.4% of claim)*
All my Fenix reviews!
  • Measurement disclaimer:  I am an amateur flashlight reviewer.  I don’t have $10,000 or even $1,000 worth of testing equipment.  I test output and such in PVC tubes!!  Please consider claims within 10% of what I measure to be perfectly reasonable (accurate, even).

What’s Included

  • Fenix HM65R Headlamp with strap (attached)
  • Fenix ARB-18-3500 18650
  • Spare o-ring
  • Charge cable (USB to USB-C)
  • Manual and paperwork

Package and Manual

This light has standard Fenix color on the package, but the package itself is plastic – unlike the other Fenix lights I’ve reviewed recently.

Also unlike the others, this little battery indicator must be broken off, it can’t just slide off.

The manual is good.  Plenty of pics, etc.


Build Quality and Disassembly

There won’t be much disassembly of this light, so this is more of a build quality and general commentary on using the light.

Generally build quality is very good.  I like the headband quite a bit.  More on the headband later, though.

Both of the tailcaps seen below have knurling for grip, but only one of them unscrews.  That’s not a problem except it’d be fine to have only one knurled, to differentiate them and make it easy to know which end to unscrew.  Another point on unscrewing the tailcap – it’s difficult, due to how close the headband etc is to the cap.  Hard to grip in there to unscrew it.


The end that does unscrew is very much labeled, though.

The plastic housing has a bit of a cover, which shields the switches when the light is in the fully pushed-back position.  This could be useful.  It only half-covers the switches, though.  They’re still accessible.

On the back of the body is the charge port.  There are no other features here, and no extra heatsinking.

The switches are labeled with flood and throw icons.

Below you can see how covered the switches are by the plastic Fenix logo.

And this is how far the light will rotate downward.

The tailcap threads are short, so don’t require a ton of twisting, but the plastic base for the headmount do get in the way.

Also to note in the photo below: it’s possible to remove the light from the strap.  But kind of specific:  Remove the tailcap, then that little o-ring.  Then the light will slide off the plastic collar.  The other end keeps the collar, and there’s a little part that slides off of the headmount.  Then the light can be used separate from the strap.  From the photo below, the light retains the plastic collar on the left, which includes a bit of a foot of sorts.  Unfortunately the light can’t be positioned with this in a way that it’ll stay at some certain angle- that part rotates freely when disconnected from the strap.

There’s a spring on the tailcap end.

The positive end has only a button.

The body is silk screened with (among other things) a logo indicating cell orientation.  The positive terminal of the cell goes into the light.

Size and Comps


Length: 80.5mm
Width: 55mm
Height: 40mm

Weight: 97g excluding battery

This isn’t a big light, and it rides well on the headband.  Despite coming off the strap fairly well, I doubt it’s one that you’ll carry in your pocket, though.  It’s really very use-specific.  It’s a headlamp.

Retention and Carry

The main thing this light is, is a headlamp.  There’s a band around the head, and one over, which I don’t believe is removable.  The forehead strap has some grippy parts that keep it in place, and the over-the-head part is fairly adjustable.

I wore this light fairly extensively, and found it to be very comfortable.  The strap is soft and stretchy.  I did not run in it, and I wouldn’t be inclined to call it a running headlamp.

Power and Runtime

The HM65R is powered by a single 18650 cell, and one is included in the package.  It’s a 3500mAh button top 18650.

There’s really only one “short” runtime, and that’s the highest output of the throwy emitter.  It’s claimed as 2 hours, and that seems to be for only the throw.  I performed a runtime with both running on their highest mode.  Even then the output falls quite short of the 1000 lumen claim.  (The 1000 lumen claim is for just the throw emitter, I measured 974 total, using both emitters, which should be 1400 lumens total.)  Temperature faulted during this (and the other) run, but it was at a point when the temperature had already settled anyway.

When the voltage gets low while running the throw emitter (or both) the throw emitter switches off and the flood emitter switches to low.

This was a long runtime, and the light still never shut off.

The light does have a LVP warning.  Between the switches is a blue voltage indicator.  When the voltage hits 2.9, the warning begins.  The light does eventually shut off, but lower than I’d like (2.4ish V on bench power.)

The HM65R also has built-in charging.  This is via USB-C.

A cable is include – USB to USB-C.

The charge graph looks good – CC phase is over 1.2A consistently, so charging will be fairly quick for the 3500mAh cell.

Modes and Currents

Mode Mode Claimed Output (lm) Claimed Runtime Measured Lumens Tailcap Amps
Turbo (Spotlight) 1000 4h 2.48
High (Spotlight) 400 22h 0.67
 Med (Spotlight) 130 42h 0.20
Low (Spotlight) 50 97h 0.10
High (Floodlight) 400 21h 0.90
Med (Floodlight) 130 50h 0.22
Low (Floodlight) 8 300h 0.04
Highest (Floodlight+Spotlight) 1400 3.44

Pulse Width Modulation

No PWM is noticed on any mode.  First is the throw emitter.  (Low to Turbo)

And then the flood emitter.  The ripple seen on the higher two modes isn’t PWM, and can’t be seen by my eye.

For reference, here’s a baseline shot, with all the room lights off and almost nothing hitting the sensor.  And here’s the worst PWM light I have ever owned.  Also one of the very first lights I ordered directly from China!

User Interface and Operation

There are two switches on the HM65R.  They’re built into the top of the light, and share a rubber cover.  They have icons, which of course can’t be seen when wearing the light, and are indistinguishable by feel.  When the light is on your head, the rightmost button is throw, and leftmost is flood.  The emitter is directly below the corresponding switch.

These switches operate in the same way – it’s practically like having two lights on one headlamp.  So consider that for the table below.  It’s one table but essentially the same result for the emitter corresponding to that switch.

Here’s the UI table!

State Action Result
Off Hold On (Medium, unless the light was on very recently, then Mode memory)
On Hold Off
On Click Mode advance (LMH or LMHT)
Off Hold 5s On (Medium, or mode memory) then lockout (indicated by 4 blinks of flood)
Lockout Hold both 3s 4 blinks of flood, then low of flood
Off Click Battery indicator*
  • Battery is indicated by the 4 blue LED between the switches:
    4 on = 100%-81%
    3 on = 80%-61%
    2 on = 60%-41%
    1 on = 40%-21%
    1 flashing = 20%-0%

There are no strobes, beacons, etc.

LED and Beam

There are two emitters here.  The emitter in the bigger opening below is the throw emitter, and is a Cree XM-L2 U2.  The temperature isn’t mentioned, but it’s clearly cool (or cooler) white.

On the right below is the flood emitter, behind a dimpled TIR.  This is a Cree XP-G2 R5, and again no temperature is mentioned.  It’s much warmer than the throw, though.

These beamshots are always with the following settings:  f8, ISO100, 0.3s shutter, and manual 5000K exposure.  Firs the 4-mode throw emitter.

Then the 3 mode flood emitter.

And finally a mix of the two.

Tint vs BLF-348 (Killzone 219b version)

I compare everything to the Killzone 219b BLF-348, because it’s inexpensive and has the best tint!

Random Comparisons and Competitive Options….

Here’s a link to a relevantly filtered page on  I use that site a lot!  The only other comparable light looks to be a JETBeam – the HR30.  That’s a light with just one emitter, though.  This Fenix is very compelling!


What I like

  • USB-C charging
  • Full package including cell
  • Comfortable as a headlamp

What I don’t like

  • Hard to unscrew tailcap
  • UI seems underdeveloped


  • This light was provided by Fenix for review. I was not paid to write this review.
  • This content originally appeared at  Please visit there for the best experience!
  • Whether or not I have a coupon for this light, I do have a bunch of coupons!!  Have a look at my spreadsheet for BangGood and GearBest coupons. Please subscribe and get notifications when the sheet is edited!!

12 thoughts on “Fenix HM65R Headlamp Review”

  1. I’d like to see your tests on the european version (super raptor). They claim it doesn’t have stepdowns. Also declared run times are much lower than in the US version.

    1. I’d love to. I can’t get Fenix to consistently support reviewing though, and that’s not a light I’d buy for review… so… maybe sometime? But I’m certainly willing.

      1. Actually, after researching for days and cancelling already ordered flashlights twice I decided to go for it. Unfortunately, I don’t have any measuring equipment to verify the statement about no stepdowns.

    2. I´d like to know that review (SUPERAPTOR model) as well. It would be very interesting

  2. Hello,

    Did you notice any noise coming from this light? Some users have noticed hearing a high pitched electrical whine when the flashlight is in the turbo mode, or when it gets hot from extended usage. I am very sensitive to such sounds and want to know if they have defective units, or is this a common problem with the flashlight?


    1. I never noticed it, and it’s still one of my go-to headlamps. That’s not to say it’s not present. But I don’t notice it in use, and I also didn’t notice it during testing.

  3. timucin pusat

    Two days ago I bought Fenix HM65R. When I checked the battery level, one indicator light was on which shows that the battery level is %21-%40 according to Fenix operating instructions page. After trying different combination of lighting for a while the battery level dropped below %20, one indicator was flashing which means it’s almost empty.

    So I started charging headlamp using my original Samsung phone charger . While getting charged three lights were on constantly and the fourth indicator was flashing as in this video:

    This situation didn’t change for 4 hours. After 4 hours four indicators were on constantly which means it full get charged.

    It took 4 hours to fully charge even it’s said it takes two hours in its user manual and on its official web page. But what’s more interesting is that it started to get charged with three indicators on and one flashes constantly till it get fully charged. Why it didn’t act as it’s said on its official web page “In charging process, one indicator flashes: below 20%, one constant-on and one flashes: 21%-50%, two constant-on and one flashes: 51%-80%, three constant-on and one flashes: 81% – 95%, four constant-on: charging complete.”?

    Is there anything wrong with my headlamp?

    Another issue is that Is Fenix lying about run time of this headlamp hm65r? I thought so after reading BrightLight and 71k5’ threads and reviews like

    “ 1,400 lumens for 2 hours, false and not true – reduces to lower lumen after 15 mins
    Reviewed in the United States on November 1, 2019
    Verified Purchase
    Just got this in the mail 2 days ago. I was testing the 1,400 lumen stage on both of the lamps to see if it would last 2 hours as the website described. Didnt last 15 mins before the housing got too hot. I think there’s a fail switch that if it gets too hot than it has to drop to the lower lumen setting. I’m not sure if this is like for all high lumen head light or if its because the battery is right next to the housing causing it to be too hot. Either way, be aware of the 2 hour setting at 1,400 – not true. Also did it with full battery and same thing. I’m really disappointed, also fenix said they made this particular brand in China. Not impressed! Item was returned due to false advertising. I tried looking at the manual that came with it, nothing in there says that the mechanism in the housing would reset after 15 mins if it gets too hot. I understand it gets hot in there but if your going to mention that you can hold 1,400 lumens at 2 hours than you need to make sure you can do that with the correct housing to handle the heat. False adv.”.

    If so I’ll return it.

    1. You can see my runtime tests above, for the performance. No the light would not provide 1000 lumens for 2 hours.

      I am unsure what to say about your cell charging issue.

      1. timucin pusat

        I don’t understand graphs, tests. My English isn’t sufficient either . How long it works in 1000 lumens? Fenix says it burns 22 hours in 400 lumens for instance. Doesn’t this true? Can you explain it with a few sentences so that I can understand.

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