Snow Peak Reinvents the Camp Lantern
Bottom Line: We know the Hozuki LED Lantern has no business being in our ultralight pack but we don't care, we love it!
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Snow Peak Hozuki LED Lantern Review
Every hiker I’ve ever met either on the trail or over a cold brew has had a “guilty pleasure” item they carry in their pack. You know the kind I’m talking about. It’s that little item that has no business in your ultralight entourage but nevertheless ends up finding its way into your pack. For some this item might be an iPod loaded up with Johnny Cash to get you through a day of rain, for others it might be a log of delicious Italian Capocollo. For me, it’s the Snow Peak Hozuki LED Lantern.
At first glance the Hozuki looks like something that NASA may have left behind on their last mission to the space station. The maker of the lantern, Snow Peak, is a Japanese company known for their innovation and reinvention of backpacking tools from titanium mugs with built-in “Hot Lips” lip-burn protection to an award winning camp stove that packs up less than 2oz. Snow Peak has taken their novel approach to product design and applied it to reinventing the camp lantern.
The Hozuki LED Lantern features a bulbous design to diffuse and distribute light. Rather than use a rigid plastic for the diffuser as most LED lanterns utilize, the Hozuki sports a silicone rubber diffuser which allows the lantern to pack up small in your pack. The diffuser can also be removed and washed which comes in handy after a long trip to the back country. A plastic hook and cord comes off the bulbous lantern which we used to hang in our REI Kingdom 6 Tent and also allows you to place the hook flat on a table which cradles the lantern in an upside down position at which point the Hozuki becomes a candle.
Speaking of candle, this is where you can have some fun with the Hozuki LED Lantern. The lantern sports a single on/off button which is actually a multi-function button in disguise. Here’s a breakdown of how the button works.
- Click once and the candle fades up into full brightness.
- Click again and the candle fades to 50% brightness
- Click again and the candle fades to 25% brightness
- Click one last time and the candle is off.
- Hold down the button at any brightness level and the candle fades to your desired custom brightness level.
- And here’s the fun one… Click the button twice fast and you enter “candle mode”.
So what is candle mode? It’s a fun feature that turns your Hozuki Lantern into a flickering candle, but this isn’t just any typical led candle. The Hozuki can be “blown out” if you’re not careful. While this would probably drive some people nuts during a windy day, it’s one of those features that make everyone around camp smile. You’ll find the Hozuki being passed around the campfire with everyone trying to figure out the fastest way to blow it out, shaking it and yelling at it.
Another nice feature for when you’re not in the woods is an integrated USB plug hidden in the hook so you can power the lantern while working on your computer at home. The Lantern runs on 4 AA batteries and will last for 80hrs on low, 20 hrs on medium and 8 hrs on high to get you through a week long trek.
Spring, Summer and Fall Family Camping/Car Camping (although we use it on hikes of all flavors)
Why We Throw it in the Car:
- We like that you can dim the light to your desired custom setting which saves on battery life
- Obviously this isn’t an ultralight item but it packs up small for the amount of lumens it puts out.
- It’s fun! Whether you want to put it in candle mode and crack a bottle of wine at the campground or read by the Hozuki in your ultralight shelter.
- Although advertised as having the “Warm glow of a candle” the light of the Hozuki still has a bit of that “White light” glow that LED’s are known for.