[Review] Nitecore HC68 (Dual customizable beam, red light, USB-C, 18650)

1 post / 0 new
Budda's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 01/18/2012 - 14:57
Posts: 657
Location: Italy
[Review] Nitecore HC68 (Dual customizable beam, red light, USB-C, 18650)

I received the Nitecore HC68 from Nitecore for the Review.

The HC68 is an 18650 powered headlamp, with 2 SST-40-W LEDs: one under a flood optic, and the other under a spot optic. Both beams can be used individually, with each its separate levels; or a combination of both beams. There’s also 2 red LEDs for a red beam.
The HC68 comes with a 3500mAh 18650 protected Nitecore battery, that can be charged with the built in USB C port on the Headlamp body.

The HC68 comes in this box.

The content of the box: manual, 2 Nitecore Velcro Patch, Headlamp, Headband, USB-C Cable.

The 18650 battery is already inside the light

The HC68 with the dual emitters and the red LEDs. The HC68 weights 119 grams, with the headband and without battery; from end to end it measures 91 mm, is 27 mm high and 34 mm deep.

The body of the headlamp is secured to the headband via 2 silicone rings, allowing you to orient the light vertically to fit your needs

The back of the strap of the HC68 has a silicone grip that helps the headband to grip on your forehead, as well as avoid the passage of sweat on your eyes.

A novelty on the headband of the HC68 consists of a silicone insert that connects the horizontal and vertical band, making the flashlight more stable and comfortable on your head when you wear it.

Peeling away the protective coating on the optic

A closeup

On the body of the HC68 there are 2 upper electronic switches, used to change the settings of the output.

And on the side, there is a lateral switch, used to turn the light on and off.

On one side of the body there’s a regular tailcap, that you can unscrew to remove the battery and to activate physical lockout, since the threads are anodized

On the other side of the body, where the switch is located, there’s a bezel that you can unscrew to expose the USB-C port. The USB-C port is protected by 2 or-rings, so it’s waterproof.

The bezel will not come off, so you will not have to worry about losing it.

Remember to take away the battery insulator before the activation

The UI

Output and runtime

Both measured with the provided 3500mAh 18650 Nitecore Battery


Video Beamshots

My thoughts
The light is well built and finished.
I like the memory, as well as the shortcuts to minimum and max mode.
The levels are overall ok spaced, although there’s kind of a jump from 200ish lumens to 900ish lumens on both modes.
The regulation after the ATR system acts is flat, and the ATR system works well changing the brightness depending on the temperature of the light.
The way the USB-C is protected is really well engineered and executed: a bit less easy to access compared to the classic USB rubber port, but definitely sturdier and more robust, both in terms of water resistance and of long-term longevity. It’s also a plus that the HC68 does not feature a proprietary battery (all the 18650 with a button top will work) or a proprietary charging system (standard USB-C).
I really like the two different beams; they are quite different between each other. The flood beam is very wide and homogeneous, while maintaining a sufficient amount of throw capability; the same goes for the spot beam: throw focused, but maintaining a good spill, both in terms of brightness and width.
The ability to combine both beams to a level that fit your needs is what makes the HC68 a special headlamp.

I wish the HC68 came with a neutral white or warm white LED color.

Thanks to: AntoLed, Won, Zampa.

Here are all my reviews on BLF

Edited by: Budda on 05/31/2022 - 16:11