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Fenix CL25R lantern Review ( White/Red leds, micro-usb,350 lumens) Review—kj2, CPF

Publish Time:2015-07-06

Last year, Fenix released their first lantern light, the CL20. The CL25R is their newest lantern in the Fenix CL-series. The CL25R runs on 1x 18650 (included) or 2x CR123A batteries, with a max output of 350 lumens.

One of the smart things on this lantern is, that you can charge it via micro-usb. 
This is my first lantern light, so I'd no idea really, what to expect. 

The packaging:
The CL25R comes in a partially clear box, with features and specifications printed on.
Inside you'll find; the CL25R, a included Fenix ARB-L2 2300 mAh 18650 battery, micro-usb charging cable, extra o-ring, user manual and warranty card.

The included battery is already inside the light. Make sure to remove the insulation sheet, before using the light.

Features and Specifications: (given by Fenix)
·Utilizes white LEDs and red LEDs with 350-lumen maximum output
·Powered by one 18650 Li-ion rechargeable battery or two CR123A Lithium batteries
·52mm (diameter) ×99mm (height) (2.0’’×3.9’’)
·130 grams (4.5 oz) excluding battery
·Excellent cold-resistant design
·Micro-USB rechargeable, charging indicator and low voltage warning function
·25-meter beam diameter
·Waterproof to IPX-6 standard
·White light with four output options and red light with two output options
·Built-in protective circuit protects users from overcharging, over discharging, overheating and improper battery installation
·Moonlight mode satisfies users’ demand for lower output with extended runtime.
·Built-in magnet and tripod socket for easy attachment
·Luminous single button switch for easy and fast operation

The CL25R is available in two colors: black or Olive Green.

MSRP: 59.95USD

The manual gives information on specs, user interface and more. Always handy to read before usage 

The CL25R has a hanging loop at the top, and a magnet in the tailcap at the bottom. The tailcap also has a tripod socket. And of course, it can head or tailstand 

So there are plenty enough ways to use the lantern.

Little battery polarity indication on the side of the tailcap. Included Fenix is a flat-top battery, so be sure the positive-end goes in first. 

User Interface:

To turn On the light, press and hold the button. When On, click to cycle between Moonlight/Low > Mid > High > Turbo. The CL25R has mode memory for the White leds.
When On, click twice fast to enter the Red-mode. Red mode will always turn On in constant Red. When the Red led is On, press once to switch to Flashing Red.
A single click will get you back, in the last White led mode used.
Press and Hold to Turn Off.

The switch cover has a Glow In The Dark (GITD) feature, so you can easier spot the switch at night. 

Underneath this cover is also a red/green led. During charging it will show you the charging-status. Red = Charging, Green = Fully charged. The CL25R also has a Low-power warning function. The red-led at the switch, will blink to let
you know, you've to charge or replace the battery. During charging, it's possible to use the lantern. Modes available during charging are Low, Med and Red/Flashing Red. These modes are also available when attached to a external power source.
The micro-usb port is covered by a rubber-cover. Make sure it's fully covering the port, so insure the IPX6 rating. 

Although the CL25R has a plastic exterior, the main core is metal. This helps with the strength as well heat dissipation. It also helps to keep in the lantern working, in cold weather.

Dual spring design helps with shock absorption. 

Threads are well cut, but came with little to no lube on my sample.

Size comparison:

Keep in mind this is my first lantern, so I'd to improvise to compare sizes. 

Panasonic NCR18650B, Zebralight SC5, Fenix CL25R, Olight R20.

Together with the big TK61 

Indoor Beamshots/ Outdoor Beamshots:

ISO400, 1.6 sec, f/5.6, auto WB - Canon 500D. Lantern approx 5 meters away from camera.These picture are taken on-scene, where the CL25R feels at home. The caravan awning, in total, is about 25/30 square meter.
Sorry, for the mess 


The CL25R is my first lantern light, so I didn't know what to expect, really. But it showed me, it's a great light. Small sized, lightweight but yet sturdy. UI is simple and the in-light charging capability is great to have.
And since it comes with a battery, it's ready to be used straight out of the box. It has a nice neutral white tint, which is great for my eyes. The various ways to hang it, makes it a multi functional light. Specially the magnet is a nice touch. The magnet is strong enough to hold the light, even on a small strip of metal. The included battery is a flat-top, so be sure you've the polarity correct before using. The light has a reverse polarity feature,
so you should be safe. Fenix finally added a Moonlight mode, to their light. Many have asked for it, and it great to see they listen. This mode is great when your eyes are adapted to the dark, or when you want to spot the lantern at night. I hope Fenix will release more lights, with a Moonlight mode.
I do wish the red-mode was available from Off. Specially at night times, it could be handy. But since it has mode-memory, I turn it Off in Moonlight mode.
A location beacon flash at the switch would make in easier to find at night. The switch-cover has the GITD feature, but fades quite quickly. 
Bottom line, it's a great little lantern, which will get a lot of use. At least, mine will 

Fenix CL25R was supplied by Knives and Tools for review.

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