Review: Fenix HP05 - XP-G - 3xAA

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Chicken Drumstick
Last seen: 4 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/27/2012 - 05:00
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Location: UK
Review: Fenix HP05 - XP-G - 3xAA

Review: Fenix HP05

Item supplied for review from Fenix


Claimed specs:

Nichia Red Light
Turbo = 350 Lumens
High = 150 Lumens
Mid = 50 Lumens
Low = 4 Lumens
Red Light Mode
80 degree beam angle
Light unit: 54.3mm (Length) ×48.9mm (Width) ×32.9mm (Height)
Battery box: 87.6mm (Length) ×58.5mm (Width) ×33.8mm (Height)
Weight (excluding batteries): 161grams
60 degree tilt mechanism
Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating

First thoughts:

The headlight is presented in a simple plastic and card display packet. It arrived in pristine condition.

All of the vital stats are included on the package and are easy and clear to read.

You’ll note Fenix also include a set of alkaline AA batteries to get you started, although my preference would be to run this headlight on some low self-discharge NiMh batteries such as Sanyo Eneloops.

In the box:

My first impressions are, the bright yellow body looks great and makes it easy to find the headlight when it’s buried in with your other gear and items. But that the battery box looks like it’ll be heavy and uncomfortable (more on this in a bit).

Getting started:

To start using the HP05 you need to insert the batteries into the very sturdy and well designed battery holder. It has a quick release latch and only allows you to put the batteries in the correct way round.

The other thing you need to do is attach the headlight and battery holder to the actual headstrap. This was a little fiddly and some of the sharper edges on the clips did pull a few threads in the straps, but once on they fit very well. Once you’ve adjusted the straps to fit your head you are ready to go.

Construction & features

The light is made up of durable plastics and aluminium. It feels chunky in the hand, but once on your head is actually very well balanced and comfortable, even for long durations.

A very handy feature of the HP05 is the tilt function. The headlight has 60 degrees of movement. This is useful as you can tailor were you want the light orientated, either for close up use or for longer distance when outside.

The HP05 has a well centred XP-G emitter and a SMO reflector and as an added bonus a glass lens with anti-reflective coating.

The actual light unit itself is compact with a low profile. Here you can see how much bigger an AA battery is compared to the light itself.


The HP05 consists of two switches, both on top of the unit and easy to locate by touch.

When wearing the headlight the right hand switch simply goes through the 4 main output modes. In Low-Med-High-Turbo ordering. The HP05 comes with mode memory that works very well and will turn on in the mode you used last.

To turn the light off you simply hold the switch down for 1-2 seconds and it’ll turn the light off. From off a single click will bring the light on in your last used mode.

The left hand switch operates the small red LED. This only has on or off and works by clicking from one to the other. Oddly there is nothing to stop you having the red light on and the main LED at the same time. Which can be easily done as the main white LED will completely obscurer the red light, so that while wearing the headlight you won’t realise you have both on.

I found the modes to be very well spaced and a clear distinction between all of them when used with new batteries. However alkaline cells do appear to restrict the Turbo mode performance once they have been used a bit. On NiMh this is less of an issue.

Run times:

I have no direct way of measuring runtimes, however having used the headlamp for many hours I am very impressed with its performance. I have found I use the High output mode for approx. 80% of my usage.

Beam & Performance:

The HP05 produces a nice large clean hot spot with clean spill. It has pretty good throw on Turbo mode, but nice enough flood for close up work. I particularly like the size of the hotspot for this. The tint is fairly standard for a light from a maker like this. It’s CW, but not overly cool and doesn’t appear to have any nasty colour tint to it. So colour rendition is nice and easy on the eye.

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve used the HP05 for various tasks and uses. It excels at close up work and I’ve found it to be very useful while working on technical items such as RC cars. Being able to angle the light and have it stay there is a huge benefit over headlights not offering this feature.

It works well for reading too:

The red light is a more specialist feature and something you will either have a use for or not. In my case I have no actual use for this feature, despite the fact that it works for its intended use.

If you need to preserve your night vision and need a very low output light, then the Nicha red light works wonderfully, albeit with a range of no more than 2 or 3 feet away. Or you could use it a subtle beacon to highlight your location without needing to output large quantities of light.

Outside I’ve used the headlight for various tasks also, be it just general use in the garden/front yard at night. But also working on and under vehicles (Land Rovers). And some distance use out in the fields.

The HP05 is no long distance champion, but in Turbo mode it does illuminate objects well at a useful distance.









Overall I’m very impressed with this headlight and one thing surprised me the most was just how comfortable it is to wear for extended time (3-4 hours) and how well balanced it feels while wearing it.

The good spread of modes and intuitive UI are icing on the cake really.


+ Modes
+ Comfort for long term use
+ Adjustable light angle
+ Runtime

- Turbo mode suffers on part used alkaline cells (recommend NiMh used)
- Uses a now outdated emitter

Edited by: sb56637 on 09/02/2017 - 12:28
vēer's picture
Last seen: 5 months 1 day ago
Joined: 01/07/2012 - 14:23
Posts: 2828
Location: N Europe

Thanks for your review, ChickenDrumstick ;)!

Outdated emitters and lower water rating is what Im not happy about all these battery-packs yielding headlamps :)!

But the red LED should be a mandatory in all advanced headlamps just like in HP-05, thats what I like the most about its specs!

Last seen: 7 years 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/20/2012 - 03:25
Posts: 21

vēer wrote:
Thanks for your review, ChickenDrumstick ;)!

Outdated emitters and lower water rating is what Im not happy about all these battery-packs yielding headlamps :)!

But the red LED should be a mandatory in all advanced headlamps just like in HP-05, thats what I like the most about its specs!

IPX-6 waterproofness is enough for me.

djozz's picture
Last seen: 2 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 09/07/2012 - 17:04
Posts: 17864
Location: Amsterdam

thanks for the review, looks like a sturdy headlamp for daily use. Myself, I don't like battery-packs with headlamps, and the yellow colour is not my favorite.