Review: Fenix HP25R great outdoor headlamp (Lot of pics, beamshots, output, runtime)

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Budda's picture
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Location: Italy
Review: Fenix HP25R great outdoor headlamp (Lot of pics, beamshots, output, runtime)

I received the Fenix HP25R from BangGood for the review. Here’s is the purchase link and save 25% with the coupon Coupon: b8816f

The Fenix HP25R is a headlamp that features several emitters in different optics, to provide different kind of beams, suitable for different use. The battery compartment is separated from the head, and it hosts an 18650 or 2 CR123 batteries, and has a micro USB port to charge the 18650 battery.

Fenix specs:

• Light: 2.4 inches x 2.1 inches x 1.3 inches (60mm x 54mm x 32.5mm)
• Weight: 6.5 oz. (183.5 grams) excluding battery
• Battery Case: 3.2 inches x 2.0 inches x 1.4 inches (82.5mm x 50mm x 35mm)
• The spotlight uses Cree XM-L2 U2 white light LED. The floodlight uses Cree XP-G2 R5 neutral white light LED. Both LEDs have a lifespan of 50,000 hours
• Performance Modes:
o Floodlight Mode
 High: 350 Lumens (2.5 hours, 145 feet/44 meters)
 Mid: 130 Lumens (9 hours, 82 feet/25 meters)
 Low: 30 Lumens (40 hours, 43 feet/13 meters)
 Eco: 4 Lumens (150 hours, 20 feet/6 meters)
o Spotlight Mode
 Turbo: 1000 Lumens (1.5 hours, 614 feet/187 meters)
 High: 350 Lumens (4.5 hours, 358 feet/109 meters)
 Mid: 130 Lumens (12 hours, 217 feet/66 meters)
 Low: 30 Lumens (42 hours, 112 feet/34 meters)
o Red Light
 Eco: 0.2 Lumens (96 hours)
 Flash: 0.2 Lumens (192 hours)
• Color: Gray
• Orange-peel reflector for smooth and even spotlight beam
• Maximum spotlight beam distance of 614 feet (187 meters)
• Freezing area operation: Use CR123A batteries to withstand temps down to -40 degrees C
• Separate battery pack to protect battery case from cold weather
• Dual switch controls the spotlight and floodlight separately
• Soft floodlight beam with max beam angle of 90 degrees
• 60-degree tilt mechanism adjusts the beam where needed
• Lamp body made of aluminum alloy provides optimal heat dissipation
• Digitally regulated output maintains constant brightness
• Intelligent over-head protection to avoid high temperatures of the surface
• Intelligent memory circuit automatically memorizes the last-used brightness level
• Reverse polarity protection from improper battery installation
INCLUDES one 2600mAh 18650 Fenix battery
• Micro-USB charging port (5V/1.3A, only available in 18650 batteries)
• Red light for nighttime illumination and alerting
• Battery level indicator
• IP66 Rated. Water resistant—withstands heavy rain and splashing; Dustproof—absolutely prevents the intrusion of dust and other particles

The HP25R comes in this box

In the box: The HP25R, a Fenix 18650 2600mAh Protected battery, spare o-ring, manual, head straps. The HP25R is an uncommon looking lamp, composed by a main body and a separate battery holder.

The HP25R comes with two elastic headbands, one that goes around the head, and the other goes over it. You can remove the one that goes over the head, the light will not move around.

Also on the headband there are a couple of notes

The main body is made out of aluminium, and hosts a 5 mm red LED, an XP-G2 emitter in a small TIR flood optic, a XM-L2 emitter in a traditional reflector, rather big for the size.

They are controlled by these 2 electronic switches at the head.

The body is fit onto the head strap adapter, which is made of plastic, and allows the body of the light to rotate in some fixed position. The head strap adapter also prevents access to the switches when the light is in vertical position.

The body is connected by a thick wire to the battery compartment. The wire is not too long, and it can be moved around the headstrap, but it is too short to put the battery tube anywhere but the headstrap.

The battery tube is made out of plastic, and the internal control point are made out of golden metal. On the outside there is the charging status LED and a couple of reflective adhesives.

It has a rounded shape to better adapt to the head.

The micro USB port is protected by a rubber cover.

User interface

*Beamshot at 0.5 meters from the wall


Gif! of all levels

Output and runtime
Tested with the Fenix 2600mAh 18650 battery that comes with the light.

Note that in all test except the turbo, the test ended with light remaining on at a very low output for several hours more.
My thoughts.
There’s a lot to say.
During the years of collecting and using lights, I tried many headlamps.
Few headlamps answers to the need of different beams types, and they often do it in a very simple way, either adding a diffuser that simply smoothens the beam (an effective but not 100% reliable technique); or using a focusing system (that has several limitations, as I previously discussed in my Fenix FD40 review). The Fenix HP25R instead does this in a more technological way: adds other emitters with another circuit and switch. The extra circuits and extra heatsink needed, explain why the main body does not include the battery compartment, and is made of metal.
The separate battery tube is large for hosting just a single 18650 battery, but it offers the micro USB charging capability at good speed (up to 1.3A). The 2 reflective inserts on the battery tube will be welcomed by all runners and people who like to increase their visibility. If you don’t like them I suggest you to simply put some black tape on them.
The wire that connects the two parts is thick and rigid. Among the accessories there are a couple of tie that can be used to keep it fit to the edge of the headband. A longer cable would have allowed to put the battery compartment inside your jacket, making the battery less susceptible to the cold temperature that can be experienced in the outdoor… but it would have also made everything bulkier also in the summer.
How do the different beams work? As you could see in the beamshot above, the XM-L2 emitter provides a great beam: not super narrow, with a wide and vivid spill, maintaining a respectable throw for a headlamp; while the XP-G2 emitter gives a very flood neutral beam. The red LED I believe it is too dim for any general applications, being very dim and very narrow; I found useful only as a locator. Before using the light, I thought it would be better to have the smaller XP-G2 emitter in the big reflector and the bigger XM-L2 emitter in the flood optic… but the XP-G2 emitter in the big reflector will probably give a narrower and more dedicated throw beam (while the actual one works very well in general purposes); and the XP-G2 that actually is in the flood optic, give a great flood beam.
The interface is fine in practice once you become accustomed to a long press for each switch, because with a single click you will turn either the dim red light on, or the flashing battery indicator.
The battery indicator has an uncommon pattern (floodlight flashes for above 70%, red and floodlight flashes for between 30 and 70%, and red flashed below 30%), and it’s very hard to see when the red flash blinks: since it blinks with a very dim red light and may be alternated to flashes of the bright flood light.
I like the separate memory for each emitter.
The levels are well spaced, but I’d like to see another level between the 350 and 1000 lumens of the turbo spot mode. I like the lower eco mode on the flood beam, and I don’t feel the lack of an higher output mode on the flood beam.
The regulation is well done, with only one stepdown at the turbo mode and the other when it’s needed to tell the user that the battery is running low and to save some brightness. This light will not leave you suddenly in the dark.

The HP25R is bulkier than other headlamps and requires a proprietary headband mount, but IMHO these limits are well compensated by the 2 beams, that normally would require to buy and bring 2 flashlights with 2 separate batteries. In the outdoor, the HP25R suited my needs very well.
The HP25R also comes with a 2600mAh protected 18650 battery, which I used for the runtime tests, so keep in mind that using a 3400mAh battery will provide roughly 30% more runtime.

I’d like to see this light come with both XP-G2 and XM-L2 emitters in neutral tint, with a more powerful red LED output.
I’d like to see a bigger battery compartment that allows to run 2 18650 cells in parallel, and maybe will allow to run both the XP-G2 and XM-L2 emitters at the same time.
Ideally, the cable would be removable from both ends to be exchanged with a longer cable, that will allow to move the battery to improve its efficiency shielding it from the cold temperatures and reducing the weight on the head. I know this thing and the one above could be considered “extreme modification”, and will add weight and cost to a reasonable compact and priced lamp. yet, this is how i would improve the lamp.
Also, I’d like to see a battery reading system that is easier to remember (something like 4 flashes for nearly full charge%, 3 flashes for above 75%, 2 flashes for less than 30%, 1 flash for less than 10%; also visible flashes, and not red dime flashes).

Thanks to: AntoLed for the luxmeter, the camera advices and P.P. for the beamshot location.

Here are all my reviews on BLF

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:28
electricjelly's picture
Last seen: 4 days 8 hours ago
Joined: 08/23/2012 - 03:39
Posts: 600
Location: Los Angeles

Interesting headlight. Thank you for the very thorough review.

Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 07/30/2016 - 03:01
Posts: 111
Location: Texas

I grew up with dual beam headlamps like the incandescent/halogen Petzl Duo being the standard for caving and outdoor rescue, so it’s interesting to see that we’re getting solid, high performance LED options on that same philosophy 15-20 years later. What’s old is new again!

stephenk's picture
Last seen: 12 hours 42 min ago
Joined: 01/30/2016 - 05:09
Posts: 1548
Location: Australia

Thanks for the review!

Last seen: 1 month 3 weeks ago
Joined: 08/31/2013 - 17:04
Posts: 4
Location: St.Petersburg, Russia

Could someone please confirm the existence of the ECO mode (4 lumen) in this headlamp (floodlight, right?)
Mine does cycle through 4 modes but the lowest one is I think around 30 lumens, definitely not 4.
I have Fenix E01 light that is supposed to be 13 lumen – the lowest mode on my HP25R is so much brighter…
The red LED on the other hand is way to dull.

Is there a way to make the white low a bit lower or the red one a bit brighter?