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Fenix HP20 Headlamp Review

Editor rating

+ 9/10 All-around amzing gear


+ Extremely tough

+ Powerful output

+ Excellent runtime


– Company advertising claims


Once again, a heartfelt thanks to Vitus for allowing me to test the HP20 for a short time. Vitus works for an oil pipeline company and his job, amongst lots of other things, involves going into the pipeline and identifying faults, whether potential or actual, and getting them repaired. In such a job, as you can imagine, a reliable and bright headlamp with a long runtime is of major importance.

The Fenix HP20 headlamp

The HP20 runs on four AA alkaline batteries or NiMH rechargeable batteries. The battery pack is far too heavy to carry on your head so the batteries are housed in a separate case which you can attach to your belt. The headlamp is connected to the batteries with a cable. The cable has an illuminated switch so you don’t need to reach up to your head or down to the battery case to fumble through the different modes.

Fenix claims that the HP20 ‘can effectively satisfy various high-intensity demands when cycling, searching and caving.’


The Fenix HP20 has the following dimensions:


  • Length: 7cm (2.75”)
  • Width: 5.7cm (2.24”)
  • Height: 5.6cm (2.20”)
  • Weight (without batteries): 260g (9.17oz)

Battery Case:

  • Length: 10.8cm (4.25”)
  • Width: 7.9cm (3.11”)
  • Height: 3cm (1.18”)

First Impressions

Everything about this lamp makes a rugged impression.The battery case is rock-solid and sealed with a thick o-ring. It is easy to open and close.

The headlamp also looks like it will stand the test of time. It is allegedly impact-resistant from a height of 1.5 metres. It is also submersible to a depth of 2 metres for more than 30 minutes, which, if true, makes it extremely waterproof.

Even the cable, the flimsiest part of the device, looks very durable. The switches on the cable look like a dimmer switch on a normal table lamp.

The operation was self-explanatory. You press the main switch on the battery case. This activates the cable switches. The yellow switch is for turning on and off. The blue switch is for turning on the different modes.

  • The headlamp comes with a heavy-duty plastic box, similar to a small toolbox.
  • There are two modes and seven different output levels. The headlamp memorises the last output used.

The HP20 outside

The lighting distance on max is advertised as 167 metres on the Fenix website. Do me a favour! This is a small headlamp, not a prison floodlight! As many torch companies make such wild claims, I tried to approach this aspect of the headlamp with an open mind.

I tested the output in some nearby fields under light snowfall and was very impressed. The HP20 is easily good for 80 metres on maximum. This is exceptional performance when you consider the size of the lamp and the battery configuration. The lamp has a good combination of spill and spot beam and illuminated much wider than I expected it to.

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The battery case can be attached to your belt or trouser pocket, or even stowed inside your rucksack or inside jacket pocket. I found mounting it on my belt the best variation. It is comfortable to wear and stays in place. After turning on the main switch, you won’t need to use it again. This is good, because in caves or mines you will probably be wearing it under a jacket.

The cable switches are a revelation. The yellow and blue switches are illuminated and ingeniously simple to use. Furthermore, I had no problems whatsoever flicking through the different modes wearing very thick gloves.


The HP20 has the following advertised output and runtimes:

  • Turbo: 230 lumens, 3 hours 29 minutes
  • High: 125 lumens, 8 hours 24 minutes
  • Mid: 51 lumens, 24 hours
  • Low: 6 lumens, 296 hours
  • Strobe: 230 lumens
  • Slow flash: 51 lumens
  • SOS: 51 lumens

I find these outputs to be well spaced out, both in theory and practice.


I only tested the turbo runtime. For this test I used rechargeable 2700mAh batteries. The light becomes very hot just after 75 minutes. In fact, you cannot touch it for more than a few seconds as it will burn your fingers. Fortunately, you can still wear it on your head, as the headband fully protects your forehead. It feels slightly warm, but it is not uncomfortable.

After 90 minutes I took the lamp outside to see what it was still capable of doing. I went back to the same fields (no snow this time) and was rather surprised to see that it still easily lit up to 60 metres away.

After 3 hours the lamp was still incredibly bright, completely flooding my small back garden, but shortly after became noticeably dimmer until it died after 3 hours and 40 minutes.

Some Issues

I checked the headlamp on the Fenix website. The excellent graphics and the features, listed in easy-to-understand bullet points, are very impressive. But let’s ignore the gloss and focus on the facts.

The company mentions the word ‘freezing’ or ‘anti-freezing’ eight times in its presentation of the HP20. Of course, with such overkill, some gullible souls may already be planning their Christmas holiday in Alaska. Unfortunately, there is no indication anywhere of the minimum temperature under which the torch will operate. This is an unforgivable omission in my view.

In addition, the website and the manual extol the HP20 as a useful light when cycling. This is downright nonsense.

First of all, why clutter your body with headlamp, cable and battery pack? Surely it’s much simpler (and cheaper) to fix a decent bike light or torch to your handlebars.

Secondly, this is certainly not the kind of lamp you can simply stash in your jacket after dismounting, as it is both heavy and bulky. To give you an idea of what I mean, the box provided to transport the torch measures 19cm x 13.5cm.


More importantly, when switching on or off or changing modes, you automatically look down towards your waist while fumbling for the switch. This is not only annoying, but also very dangerous.

I tried cycling with the HP20 twice in complete darkness. Believe me, this is no bike light.


Despite the claims of the manufacturer, I gave the Fenix HP20 a very good rating because it is a very good lamp for the speciality user.

For those, like Vitus, working in confined spaces (potholers, cavers, miners), or even people working in the search and rescue sector, this headlamp could be the ideal companion.

The beam has a good mixture of flood and throw, so it is not just ideal for narrow passages, but also wide open spaces. The runtime is outstanding. The switch mechanism is absolutely fool-proof. In addition, the light also contains the functions (SOS, slow blinking) required in an emergency situation. The HP20 is tough, durable, waterproof and runs on readily-available household batteries. What is there not to like?

I was going to downgrade the rating of the lamp because of the misleading marketing of this product, but in the end I decided against it. After all, it is not the lamp’s fault if its producer is economical with the truth.

What makes some Guitars so Expensive than Others?

What makes some acoustic guitars so expensive? In this article, I hope you can get the answer.

First, we have to define that guitars are not item which mass-produced as phones, cars, or television, etc. They are really work of art that created by craftsmanship of artisans. That why we are hard to determine the exact its worth. However, I try to find out some main factors that effected to values of guitars for you. I will sort guitars out as below:

  • Level A: That is perfect guitar.
  • Level B: This is best guitar.
  • Level C: It is good acoustic guitars with cheap price.

The price in each of level is so different in different places, for instance with the same level A guitar but the price at Japan is just $500 but at USA is $2000. So why? It is very simple because in that level A you would be pay more for some “intangible values” such as brand belief, service, warranty, guaranty and so on.

MORE: Best Acoustic Guitars under $500 for Beginners

Now, I show you some main factors effect to value of your guitar.


The woods are most easy to determine and measure its value in many factors of manufacture guitar.

Woods for Topside:

According quality of wood, we have (personal classification) :

  • Level A1: quality is relatively good, wood grain/ texture is not too large (young woods), less irregular texture patches.
  • Level A2: that hasn’t got any knot woods across wood grain/ texture, the grain of the wood is parallel.
  • Level A3: it hasn’t got any knot woods, the grain of the wood is parallel and are aligned.

In addition, there are many special wood have A4, A5 that is perfect woods. Of course, there are some guitars which has topside wood is low quality than A1.

The popular woods for topside are: Spruce, Cedar

Woods for Back and Side:

The woods for back and side have to harder woods for Topside. The popular woods to used:

  • Mahogany: the price is cheap
  • Indian Rosewood: it is a standard wood for back and side, the price is expensive.
  • Maple: give a special tone, the price is higher rosewoods.

The guitar with level A that have to get level A3 of wood and using premium woods as India Rosewood, Maple…


When you are concerned with woods, you just get about 30% quality of guitar. With just 30%, it like “cooking ingredient” and last 70% will depend on the way that you “cook”.

The workers who made guitars called artisans. Each artisan has special ways to produce guitars. Their feelings, experiences, technical skills will provide real value bigger than value of woods.

The level A3 of woods become perfect guitar when it is in artisan’s hands because only artisans understand and change A3 materials become masterpiece level A3.


The brand sometimes is a guarantee for value of guitar, it is hard to measured, but remember a guitar not only an item but also a works of art. As you known works of art always associated with famous brands.

Don’t be confused that just Yamaha, Fender, Taylor, Epiphone, etc called “BRANDING” because there are many guitar with personal branding in the world which has the price is higher than guitars of Yamaha, Fender, Taylor… Sometimes the value of guitars is not out of proportion to their famous branding.

When you decide to purchase a guitar, you not just get a real quality guitar but also get guarantee of branding with its prestige, heart and quality put in to every works of art.

Most of guitars with level A are always associated with famous brands or it is a works of art of artisan who put all their heart into it.

Technology for Manufacturing

This is a indispensable part of making guitars, if you have best woods and best skilled craftsman but the tools set of craftsman is only had the bare minimum of equipment, I’m sure that you just only get a guitar with level B.

However, when we called man who making guitars is craftsman that meant they have all best tools, best equipments and best technology for manufacture high quality guitars, if they are not, they just called skilled-workers.


You maybe have to spend a little of money for the services that you get when buying guitar. That is assurance have really put your mind at rest.


If you want to buy and looking for a guitar with the price under $100, you will have a guitar with level C. That is all because you can’t get a high quality guitars with that budget.

The guitar not just a device produce sounds but also a real works of art!