At the suggestion of the Fonarik company, our instructors evaluated and tested the Fenix HL21 headlamp, and made proposals for improving its design.
Headlamp Fenix HL21, description, specifications, review, test and experience.
The tested flashlight Fenix HL21 is declared by the manufacturer as a headlamp tourist. The test was conducted in the conditions of hiking in the Crimea and the Carpathians. The claimed characteristics of the headlamp.
Power: 1 AA battery.
Case material: aviation aluminum, high-quality plastic
Case color: black, yellow
Moisture protection: IPX-8 (completely waterproof case to 10 m)
Dimensions: 66 x 48.8 x 33.7 mm
Weight: 41.1 g (without battery)
Options: head mount, diffusion lens, o-ring
LED: Cree XM-L (T6) LED, 50,000 hours lifetime
Maximum brightness: 90 lumens
Modes: 3 lumens (53 hours), 43 lumens (5 hours 43 minutes), 90 lumens (2 hours 3 minutes), SOS (no data in the manual)
Options: flashlight, head mount, diffusion lens, spare O-ring, manual in English and Chinese.
The lens gives a smooth, diffused white light without any shading. It is perfectly fixed on the flashlight, however, the lens cap has a flaw that loosens freely and is not fixed in any position. The output is knocked out by the lens mount pin, treated with superglue, let it dry a little, and assemble back. The lid at the same time gets a fairly tight stroke, sufficient to fix it in any position.
I did not like the standard rubber for attaching the Fenix HL21 flashlight to the head. Unreliable fixation of the system of tightenings leads to the fact that with active movement (running, etc.), the fastener loosens and the flashlight begins to slide onto the face. The gum material wears out quickly, sticks strongly to a textile fastener (Velcro), which, as you know, is equipped with a fairly large number of elements of modern equipment and clothing.
The headlamp Fenix HL21 has 4 modes, which are controlled by one button.
The first mode is 3 lumens, the declared operating time is 53 hours. According to the test results, this mode is poorly effective, its use without a diffusion lens is limited to a distance of 3-5 meters. When using a diffuser, the lighting level is generally extremely low and the eyes have to strain excessively. If you use this mode near a fire, the light from the lamp is practically indistinguishable.
More often you have to switch to the next mode of operation at 43 lumens, it is already quite enough for high-quality lighting in the dark. In this mode, the time of continuous operation of the lamp on one battery is 5 hours 43 minutes. However, when using a diffusion lens in this mode, the luminous flux is too strong, and begins to blind people nearby.
The maximum mode of 90 lumens is preferable to use without a diffusion lens to illuminate objects at a distance of up to 50 meters. The fourth mode of operation of the flashlight is the SOS signal. To select this mode, you need to make a double quick click on the power button, which is quite inconvenient (often switching is not the first time, it is easy to get confused when quickly selecting the main light mode). You can see how the Fenix HL21 headlamp shines in various modes, on the fonarik website page
The headlamp Fenix HL21 has protection against improper battery installation, a battery discharge stabilizer (the luminous flux remains the same until the battery is completely discharged), when the battery is discharged, the controller does not allow the lamp to go to maximum mode to save battery power.
The result and general conclusion on the headlamp Fenix HL21.
The Fenix HL21 headlamp is not suitable for long hiking trips due to the fact that the main operating mode of the flashlight is the average mode of 43 lumens (5 hours 43 minutes). This is an excessively high level of light for the headlamp during household work and at the same time an extremely short time without changing the battery for autonomous conditions. However, the lantern is good for fishing trips, hunting, picnic.