Well, just a quick update after getting my brand spanking new Fenix HL30 headtorch. I havent had chance to test it out for a trip yet obviously but wanted to record a few initial thoughts. Oh and this is mine as I have bought it with my own money 🙂
So, out of the box?
I have to admit that I was momentarily stumped when I had to “build” the head straps onto the torch body. For some reason I couldn’t get the tensioning right until it just fell into place but I am blaming tiredness not ability on this one 🙂 Having done that, I had a good look at the thing.
It feels solid and the body is part metal unlike most headtorches. It can apparently withstand a drop of 1m onto a hard floor. I reckon it will take a knock or two but I dont want to test that out just yet! It feels heavier than it actually is if you know what I mean. On my scales it is 132g which is not the lightest (no pun intended) but certainly not a heavyweight. Yes its 5 times the weight of the petzl e-lite but I reckon the performance will be 10times as good.
For me, I do like having the skull top retaining strap in addition to the normal headband strap. It makes the headtorch feel more secure and obviously helps with the extra weight over say a Petzl XP type torch. It feels comfy on and the adjustments mean that the torch sits nicely snug on my head. In addition to the impact resistance, it is IPX6 rated which means it will resist the hardest rain hammering although not rated to resist submersion. Having said that, if the headtorch is submerged, I will probably still be attached to it and so I wont be worrying about the lack of IPX7 rating at that precise moment!
With regards to the performance, it has a red LED bulb for preservation of night vision and 4 white light settings. These range from a gentle reading mode up to “my eyes, my eyes, you’ve blinded me you fool!” rating. The high end claims 200 lumens and 40 metres distance for the beam. Not sure how I test that but turning on the highest setting did momentarily make me see spots. I’ll have a play with it when its dark and compare it against one of my other torches. In addition to the normal lighting modes there are the flashing SOS modes. Its also powered by 2 AA batteries not 3 which is nice for a change. Time will tell if 2 batteries gives enough usage time as on the highest setting it is claimed to last for less than 2 hours. Having said that I dont normally have to guide in landing aircraft in the middle of nowhere so probably wont use the highest setting most of the time 🙂
Overall I am pretty pleased with the torch initially and considering it was £38 quid I feel its a very reasonable price for a powerful headtorch. The only thing I am not sure about is the 2 lowest settings. The lowest is a claimed 4 lumens whilst the next setting is supposedly 45 lumens. On testing the torch there only appears to be a very slight difference in intensity between the 2 settings so not sure if one of them is incorrect. The two higher settings (100 lumens and 200 lumens) are significantly higher in intensity than the lowest 2. After testing the torch in the dark I might contact the shop for an opinion about whether my unit is working correctly or not.
Anyway, I will report back after further testing