I consider this headlamp to be the best for my requirements. I’ve had the Fenix HP25 for several months and it is used daily. I would still buy it again today.
When I was looking for the best headlamp for my present needs, I decided to narrow down the search by listing criteria (since there are so many headlamps out there to pick from). Here’s what I was looking for, and why I chose this particular headlamp:
FLOOD AND SPOT LIGHT
I have several older headlamps – all of which are spotlights. Most all headlamps are spotlights which deliver a beam of light in a fairly concentrated cone (like a typical flashlight and a fairly narrow focused beam). I wanted a headlamp with BOTH a flood and a spot beam.
A flood light will cover a wide area and provide good general vision at night, albeit fairly close up. This headlamp had to do both at the same time (or either one separately). Once you’ve worn a headlamp with flood and spot on at the same time, you’ll see what I mean. The best of both worlds.
Multiple Brightness Levels
This headlamp needed a variety of brightness (lumen) output levels and the spot and flood lights needed to have independently adjustable output levels. In other words, I might choose to have the flood light set to high while the spot light is set to medium..
The headlamp brightness level switches needed to be smart such that they will remember the last brightness level setting that was used and power up the same way next time. This is convenient because most often I will enjoy one particular combination and I don’t want to have to switch through the brightness level combinations each time I turn on the headlamp.
I wanted a headlamp which had a very bright setting for each of the flood and spot lights. For this headlamp, the combined brightness level of the highest flood and spot happens to be 360 lumens – which is very effective and bright.
I also wanted a very low setting and good intermediate brightness levels too. VERY long battery life can be attained on low and medium levels.
AA batteries are the most common consumer batteries in the world. I also wanted AA (not AAA) for their increased capacity and longer life. The headlamp needs to be designed to operate with AA NiMH rechargeable batteries – since this is what I use in all my consumer devices.
Quality and Reputation
You get what you pay for. A quality headlamp will just be better. It will last longer and presumably have a much better build quality. If a headlamp offers a good warranty, that’s a good sign that it’s built well. This particular headlamp has a limited lifetime warranty. Not bad…
My Use-Case Scenario
My most often use for this headlamp is while taking the dog out for nighttime potty. Since we live in an area with coyotes, and since my dog is a territorial little mini-Dachshund (who sometimes thinks he’s a German Shepard), if he’s not leashed (during a time when the coyotes might be near) then he would most certainly chase after one if he saw one (would not be good). In any event, having my hands free to hold the leash is a requirement.
Other uses could be anything imaginable, but I use this every night with the dog. The flood light illuminates the immediate area (so the dog can see too) and the spot will enable me to scan around by simply turning my head while looking for potential critters…