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Headtorches aren't always the most sociable lighting, so we grabbed one of these Fenix CL25R lanterns to test just how it could bring us all together in camp.

Best for...
Communal lighting to keep camp sociable
Overall Score
The warm light, long battery life and USB recharging
Heavy, but worth it as a communal item

Generally when bikepacking everything is cut down to the bone for reduced weight and bulk, and in terms of lighting that means a minimalist headtorch. This neat little lantern has been worming its way into our packs for a few trips now, however, and has earned the label of 'worthwhile luxury' on our dark winter trips.


Burning for over 2 hours at 350 lumens with warm white LEDs it can comfortably light up a cooking table from above, render a large tent bright enough for everyone to read and perk up a campfire area for trip planning chats. Everything gets a little more 'communal' when you are sharing one light source, rather than hunched around in individual head torch glows, so we are using it more and more. Multiple power levels can also reduce down as far as 0.8 lumens - handy for a dim night light that will burn for 600 hours - and there is even a red steady/flashing option to maintain night vision or act as a warning beacon.


The interchangeable 18650 lithium battery means you can carry spares but, and this is a big bonus, it also has a micro-usb plug in the top to recharge the battery in situ from any USB outlet or external battery. Very neat indeed.


At 180g it isn't feathery light but when considered as a communal item it doesn't add much to the mix, especially when considering its compact size - about the same as a mini drinks can.


The IPX6 rating seems to cover it for pretty much any rain or splashing short of full submersion, and it has plenty of hanging options from the loop on top to a hugely powerful magnetic base with tripod thread. Just a fantastic little light with a multitude of uses.



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