Snow Peak is one of those gear companies that you don't hear a lot about, but when you do it is because they've introduced a new product that is innovative, interesting and fun. Take for example their awesome SnowMiner headlamp, which I reviewed awhile back and absolutely fell in love with. That product is an example of how the gear designers at Snow Peak can take a product that has been around forever – in this case a headlamp – and put their own unique spin on it. The result is a product that is simple, easy to use and yet has features that you don't find anywhere else.
That same approach has been brought to the new Mini Hozuki Lantern as well, and the result is a lamp for backpacking and camping that is elegant in its simplicity. This light perfect for those evenings around the campfire or in the tent, and like a number of other Snow Peak products, you probably won't even realize that you need it until after you own one.
As the name implies, the Mini Hozuki takes a number of its design cues from the full-suze Hozuki Lantern. The larger model gives off as much as 100 lumens of light and tips the scales at 5.6 ounces (158 grams), which truly is a great deal of light from such a small package. The Mini on the other hand slims down to a mere 1.9 ounces (54 grams) while still managing to crank out 60 lumens of light on its highest setting. That's a surprising amount of light from such a small package.
The Mini Hozuki also boasts incredible battery life, which is always a major plus when you want to use it on an extended trip. On its highest settings, the little lamp can get as much as 40 hours on a single set of AAA batteries. Drop the setting down to lowest level and the battery life jumps up to 70 hours. In that mode it still manages to put off plenty of light while conserving energy. And when the batteries do start to run low, the Snow Peak logo on the front of the lamp begins to blink red, giving you plenty of notice before it runs out of juice.
As I mentioned at the start of this review, Snow Peak always brings some level of fun and innovation to their products and the Mini Hozuki is no different. For instance, the lantern features a rubber loop on the top with an embedded magnet that adheres firmly to the light itself. The loop is perfect for hanging the Mini from a branch while outside or from a loop inside your tent. The magnet has a surprising amount of strength, which means it won't accidentally come undone when you least expect it. The lantern also includes candle mode, which dims the light significantly and randomly flickers like a real candle. This mode is great for setting a romantic mood, in a tent or even just just around the home.
In case you couldn't tell, I love this little light. Its bright, small, and weighs next to nothing. Add in long battery life and you have a wonderful little travel companion for all of your outdoor adventures. At just $39.95, the Mini also happens to be very affordable too, making it an excellent gift for the holidays. Buy two, one for yourself and one for a friend.