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Fenix HL60R headlamp review: almost indestructible, this is the choice for more extreme nighttime adventurers

Waterproof, submergible and shockproof, the Fenix HL60R is a rechargeable headlamp for extreme sports with very good battery life and a super-bright turbo mode

Fenix HL60R
(Image: © Fenix)

Our Verdict

The most bombproof, completely waterproof, submersible (to two metres) rugged, durable high-powered headtorch around. Great for runners with a long-distance, rainy, rocky, night-running addiction.

For

  • • Extremely waterproof and durable
  • • Rechargeable via micro USB
  • • Also takes 2 x CR123A lithium batteries
  • • Battery charge indicator
  • • Comfy, wide headband

Against

  • • A little heavy and bulky
  • • All weight on the forehead
  • • Doesn’t take 3 x AAAs
  • • No rear red light

Fenix HL60R: first impressions

The impressive specs of the Fenix HL60R certainly explain why it’s slightly on the heavy side for runners – this is the most bombproof running headlamps you’ll ever meet, and it’s fully waterproof down to two metres, even with the micro-USB side-port housing open. This is one for the most gnarly scramblers or extreme butterfingers amongst us, then! 

The five levels of brightness are excellent too, with a high of 950 lumens (that’s impressively bright!) lasting 48 mins, while the one you’re most likely to use for trail running, the 400 lumen mode, lasts an impressive three hours. This combination of brightness, battery life and ruggedness and will see you for many mountain miles on tough multi-day ultras. 

For road running you’ll be content with 150 lumens no problems and that’s 10 hours of run time. It casts a neutral white beam which lights the way very clearly for running (116m / 381ft long in 150 lumen mode) and makes it easy to pick out navigational features quickly. We also love the large, textured side button – just one button to rule all the light settings; simple and easy. If you like to run a long way in the dark and rain, then this headlamp is your perfect match.

Specifications

• RRP: $75 (US) / £75 (UK)
• Weight (incl. battery): 178g / 6.3oz
• Max light output: 950 lumens
• Average run time: (Low) 100 hours / (High) 48 mins
• Max beam distance: 116m / 381ft
• Water resistance: IPX8 (submersible to 2m)

Fenix HL60R: on the trails

Having thrown this headlamp down the toilet to check it really is waterproof (yes, it still works), run with it in pouring Welsh rain and dropped it by accident (honest) on a Peak District boulder, we can confirm that this head torch is indeed one tough critter. It just Will. Not. Die. Which is pretty darned good for only £75 and a multitude of very well-selected, bright, white lighting levels for emergency reserve, campsite pottering, road running, trail running and night navigation. 

It’s a runner’s dream, apart from the heavier weight – but if you want this kind of performance and durability, you’ve got to accept that it comes with a tad more on the scales. You’d be better to eat one less pie instead. 

Although having said that, it’s more to do with the fact that the whole 178g / 6.3oz sits right on your forehead. A rear battery pack might be more comfortable for runners, which Fenix do use for their higher-powered models of 1,200+ lumens. 

The only other downside (apart from the utilitarian design if you’re at all bothered about aesthetics) seems to be that the rechargeable battery, although interchangeable, requires the less readily available CR123A lithium batteries rather than the easily-sourced triple As like many other headlamps take.

The co-founder and former editor of Trail Running magazine, Claire now runs the YouTube channel Wild Ginger Running, creating films packed with trail- and ultra-running content. An award-winning journalist, writing for outdoor and adventure sports magazines and websites, her first book The Ultimate Guide to Trail Running 5k to 50k is out in January 2021. Claire also speaks and presents at events and races.