Fenix PD32 Flashlight
There are a few items besides my hammock that help make my camp more enjoyable, and light is one near the top. I don’t mind hiking at night, or even setting up camp in darkness, but it goes a lot smoother when I can see what I’m doing (in all honesty, I don’t like hiking at night unless I have at least two light sources!). The Fenix PD32 has been fun to test and has more power and lumens than I’ve ever used. If you’re afraid of the dark, or simply don’t like hiking in the shadows, this light will do the trick.
Fenix PD32 2016 model is a small, handheld, high-intensity flashlight. It boasts five brightness levels (5, 50, 150, 400, and 900 lumen) as well as a strobe and hidden SOS function by pressing the side switch. The light is powered by two CR123A lithium batteries or one high-capacity 18650 Li-ion battery.
The PD32 delivers it’s maximum 900 lumens for just under two hours of runtime. The 5-lumen “eco” mode will last a remarkable 260 hours. It is impact-resistent and waterproof to IPX-8 standard. The light also includes a low voltage warning and a protection to prevent overheating. The flashlight is programmed to switch to a lower brightness level if it detects a low voltage. The flashlight will also blink three times every five minutes to remind you to replace the battery.
Overall Impressions and Updates
I’ve owned a few Fenix lights in the past and still use them. They are super durable–military grade even–and have superior features. The PD32 has lived up to my expectations and has been my in-demand flashlight all month for my family who’ve each gone on different week-long camps. We’ve used the same set of batteries and the light is still going strong after weeks of use.
The light came with a belt clip but that has seen very little use. I’ve mostly thrown the light into a pack pocket and used the lanyard to attach it to my hammock at night. The metal clip is a nice feature, but it also has seen little use during the testing period.
The one feature that has taken some getting used to is the dual button feature. When I shared the light with my family, they instinctively tried using the side switch to turn the light on. Unfortunately, this does not work. The only want to activate the light is to use the “tactical” switch on the tail of the light. Like all the Fenix lights I’ve used, the PD32 has hidden features like the strobe and SOS pattern that is accessible by pressing and holding the side switch for a short time.
I took a series of photos in broad daylight with the same ISO and metering settings with the flashlight set in a stationary location to take the following photo series showing the different lumen settings. The 5-lumen setting is barely visible and the 900 lumen washes out the photo.
This light is BRIGHT! I very rarely used the 900 lumen “turbo” mode because it is just too bright. I can light up an entire camp with that mode. I usually find myself using the first two low-lumen modes most often–even the lowest 5-lumen mode is enough for most camp chores.
Fenix also has some accessories that I may consider adding, like the defuser tip, that can transform the flashlight into a lamp for reading.
- Manufacturer: Fenix Lighting LLC, made in USA
- MSRP: US$82.00 (batteries not included)
- Cree XP-G2 (R5) LED with a lifespan of 50,000 hours
- Uses two 3V CR123A batteries (Lithium) or one 18650 rechargeable battery (Li-ion)
- Digitally regulated output – maintains constant brightness
- Reverse polarity protection, to protect from improper battery installation
- Over heat protection to avoid high-temperature of the surface
- Anti-roll, slip-resistant body design
- Tactical tail switch with momentary-on function
- Side switch on the head
- Made of durable aircraft-grade aluminum
- Premium Type III hard-anodized anti-abrasive finish
- Toughened ultra-clear glass lens with anti-reflective coating
- Weight: 2.7 oz (76.5 g) (excluding batteries and battery holder)
- IPX-8, underwater 2m rating
- Length: 5.1 in (129.5 mm)
- Holster, body clip, lanyard, spare O-ring, spare rubber switch boot included
Disclosure of material connection: The author (Derek Hansen) was provided with a free sample from the manufacturer for testing and evaluation purposes. The comments in this post (written & spoken) are of my own opinion, which I formed after personally handling the gear.