Nitecore HC65 – Full product review

Nitecore HC65

Introduction of Nitecore HC65

Nitecore as a company is well known for their rock-solid and premium quality products. They manufacture all kinds of different lamps (headlamps, flashlights, bike lights, lanterns, etc). Their new Nitecore HC65 headlamp is no different in that sense. It is not a cheap Chinese knockoff, which we all have seen and used. When you hold it in your hands, you can really feel the quality. If you are thinking about buying a headlamp, this one is definitely a top contender!


Inside the box you’ll find:


  1. Headlamp (including Nitecore 3400 mAh rechargeable battery)
  2. Headband (three-point)
  3. Spare seals/o-rings
  4. Charging cable
  5. Warranty card
  6. Manual

Inside the box

How is Nitecore HC65 different from their previous products?

The main difference is that compared to other Nitecore headlamps it has a secondary white light (with High color rendering index) and red LEDs. These features add a lot of value to the Nitecore HC65 headlamp. You can read about it in the next sections.

Nitecore HC 65 white lite

Is Nitecore HC65 for you?

This product is perfect to use in activities where mid-range illumination is needed. Its up to 1000 lumen beam is powerful enough to satisfy even the most demanding user. Whether you go camping, hiking, biking, hunting, etc – it is perfect for you. This headlamp is specially designed for outdoor use. It’s extremely durable and can sustain a fall from 1,5 meters. So, when you drop it, you don’t have to buy a new one! In addition, it is waterproof (IPX8 – up to 2 meters) which means that if you drop it accidentally into a stream or a puddle, you don’t have to worry about it.  Max beam distance is 110 meters, which is really powerful and it’s sure to meet the needs of even the most adventurous outdoorsman.


Nitecore HC65 – The experience

We tested the Nitecore HC65 headlamp and were completely satisfied with it. Since we have used several Nitecore products in the past, we expected that this model would be at least as good as the ones before. The HC65 did not disappoint us. To be honest, it even exceeded our expectations a little.

Built quality

As we said before, the built quality of Nitecore HC65 headlamp is fantastic. It’s strong, light and powerful. It weighs 2,21 oz (62,7 g). Although it might not be the best option for outdoor running (e.g. night-time orienteering competitions), due to its weight and size, but in all other occasions, it’s perfect.

User interface

If you’ve never used this kind of lamp before, operating it might at first be a bit of a headache. It has a dual-stage button which is a bit different from other headlamps. The learning curve for that is not too long and it takes a little time to get used to the button system. But don’t worry! As soon as you get a hang of it, it’s easy. In the end, you will use it with one hand.



What we really liked, was that Nitecore included the rechargeable battery. Some rival companies don’t do it and it leaves a cheap impression about them. In addition, buying an extra battery separately is a hassle and adds up price-wise. The included battery is really powerful: 3400 mAh 18650. Also, it’s Nitecore’s own battery which means the quality is top-notch and it lasts a long time

Using it with the headband was also very comfortable. It is worth mentioning that you have to assemble before using it, but this is easy.

The headband does not feel loose or unstable when wearing it. But here we have to clarify that it was tested for only a short amount of time (max 2 – 3 hours at once). So, if you plan on using it for a longer period of time at once, then there is always a risk that it might get a bit uncomfortable J

One tiny shortage we didn’t like, was that it needs to be charged with micro USB. Since all the new gadgets and computers have USB type C, then we would have loved it, if the NiteCore HC65 did too. You can charge faster with that and it’s more common. But this is actually a small downside. If you do not own USB type C devices then it won’t bother you.

When you insert the battery and screw on the cap, the headlamp blinks 4 times. This indicates the voltage/battery level. The lamp also has a locator beacon function, which is awesome. This means that once it is turned on, there is a small LED that blinks after every couple of seconds. This is very useful when you need to find the lamp in a dark environment (E.g. tent, dark room, etc).


Brightness outputs

The Nitecore HC65 has several different brightness and auxiliary outputs and special modes. You can always choose the most suitable one for you depending on the environment and situation.

There are five brightness levels, ranging from 1 lumen to 1000 lumens. So, depending on the situation, whether you are walking in the forest, reading, etc, you can select the perfect level for the job. The high, 550-lumen brightness level, is probably enough for most cases. But I must say that 1000 lumens is awesomely bright. This brightness level will scare off everybody who approaches you (e.g. dogs, wild animals, other people).

Nitecore HC-65 brightness outputs

Auxiliary outputs

The headlamp has two auxiliary outputs: white light and red light.

HC65 red light is 11 lumens. This output is very useful when working at night. Our eyes are less sensitive to longer wavelengths. So this helps to preserve our night vision. We must say, it worked well and I know that hunters have praised this feature. So, if you are a hunter, the Nitecore HC65 might be perfect for you.

White light is also known as warm light. HC65 white light is 26 lumens. It is really good to use to look at objects at closer distances (e.g. while reading) because the beam spreads out widely.

Special modes

The Nitecore HC65 has also four special modes: Beacon, SOS, Strobe, Red caution light. The first three modes are 1000 lumens. I think that speaks for itself. When you need somebody to notice your blinking light, then 1000 lumens definitely gets the job done.

Red caution light is 11 lumens. This is perfect for showing somebody hazards but at the same time don’t want to degrade his/her night vision capability/eyesight in the dark.



HC65 runtime varies depending on the mode/output. The brighter the light the shorter the runtime. To illustrate this we made a table where you can see the runtime of different modes. It’s important to point out that turbo mode (1000 lumens) will automatically turn off when the lamp gets too hot. So you can’t use this mode for a long time at once.

Mode Brightness level Runtime
Ultra low 1 lumen 800 hours
Low 80 lumen 16 hours
Medium 280 lumen 4,45 hours
High 550 lumen 2,45 hours
Turbo 1000 lumen 1 hour
Strobe 1000 lumen 2 hours
Auxilary 26 lumen 25 hours
Red light 11 lumen 20 hours


Pros and cons


Charing cable should be USB- type C instead of micro USB

A bit expensive


Impeccable built quality

Different types of reflectors on the lamp


Smart battery indicator

Locator beacon

5-year warranty


Approximately 75$

Our rating


Final verdict

We are very satisfied with Nitecore HC65 headlamp. Its built quality is excellent, the runtime is fantastic and it has tons of practical and useful features for different situations. If you need a reliable and multifunctional headlamp this is one of the best ones in the market. Although it’s a bit more expensive than other headlamps, you really get what you pay for – so it is worth the money!

We hope this review was helpful. But if you need further information, then we also suggest watching some reviews on Youtube. And since we do those reviews for you, you can always leave us a comment below!


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