Mail Call: Snow Peak Mini Hozuki

Today’s mail call brings us the Mini Hozuki LED lantern from Snow Peak. This was a bit of an impulse buy, after seeing only a couple of these remaining on the shelves at REI. For those folks not already familiar with the brand, Snow Peak is based in Japan and makes higher-end camping and outdoors gear.

The Mini Hozuki is one of those gadgets that entices you to pick it up when you first see it. Without a doubt, that has a large part to do with Snow Peak’s design influence. The big draw is the warmer tint to its LED emitter; many LEDs have a harsh white/bluish light output, but not this one! (Think of an incandescent bulb, or around 3,000K.) Overall, it’s roughly two-thirds the size of a tennis ball — and is constructed with a rubber diffuser and plastic body, complete with an attached magnet on top.

And once you do pick up the lantern, the next thing you wonder is, “How the heck do I turn this on?!” There is no obvious switch, button, or knob. When I first saw a Mini Hozuki on display, I stood there for probably five minutes, sheepishly trying to figure it out. I asked a store associate, and they couldn’t figure it out, either. We both figured maybe the batteries were just dead. Snow Peak 1 – Me 0.

Finally, after looking up a couple of videos online, it all made sense. You firmly press the bottom of the plastic body (where the LED is located) to work the built-in switch. *Tip: Press and hold until the LED momentarily blinks, then immediately let go, and the lantern turns on.

The Mini Hozuki has four modes:

  • High
  • Low
  • Strobe
  • (Candle Flicker – hidden mode)

Additionally, once the lantern is on, and you are in the mode you want, you can press and hold the switch to dim the LED even more. To reach the Candle Flicker mode, simply double click the switch once the lantern is on. Click again for off.

The Mini Hozuki looks to be a great companion with all sorts of uses — camping, traveling, reading, power outages, etc. (Just take care to keep the magnetized hanging strap away from anything computer or electronics-related.)

Snow Peak MiniHozuki 2