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Snow Peak Mini Hozuki Review

Posted by on November 30, 2013

Overview:

“Light up your world with this innovative led light. Latch it on a tree to collect fire wood; magnetize it to your fridge to create a romantic setting. Lighting has never been so easy or so fun!” – Snow Peak

Mini Hozuki Lantern (Image Courtesy of Snow Peak)

Mini Hozuki Lantern (Image Courtesy of Snow Peak)

The Deets:

  • Style: Hanging Lantern
  • Lighting Modes: High, Low, Dimmer, Strobe, Candle
  • Maximum Battery Life: 70 hours (low), 40 hours (high)
  • Maximum Brightness: 60 Lumens
  • Waterproofness: IPX4 (drip proof or “storm proof”)
  • Weight: 2.01oz. (57g)
  • Batteries: 3x AAA
  • Color Options: Orange on white, Green on Grey, Black on White (Limited Edition)

The Review:

Meet the Japanese-inspired Mini Hozuki lantern by Snow Peak! This compact, lightweight lantern was named after the Japanese Hozuki flower (Physalis alkekengi) also known as the Japanese Lantern (makes sense, right??). It’s the perfect light source for backpackers and kayak campers interested in bringing some ambiance to their campsite. The Mini Hozuki features a number of lighting modes including high, low, dimmer, strobe, and candle. It’s rated to run for up to 40 hours on high and 70 hours on low using only 3 AAA batteries! This hip little lantern features a flexible, silicon hanging loop with a magnet latch that allows for excellent versatility in mounting positions and a silicon globe to prevent damage in transit. The mini-Hozuki comes in a number of color options including the limited-edition Black on white for the 2013 Holiday season!

Mini Hozuki 1

The thing that drew me to the Mini Hozuki was its promise to provide a warm mood at the campsite. I’m pleased to report that its soft glow provided that while the many different lighting modes provided so much more. This lantern produces more than enough light at maximum power (60 lumens) to brighten up your tent or hammock for reading while the low power setting provides a nice, night-light effect. I really like the dimming feature that lets you select power settings between the extremes to better tune the lighting to the moment and your desire. Better yet, the mini Hozuki out-performed its rated run time on both high and low settings lasting about 60 hours on one set of batteries using a mixture of high, low, and candle settings. I’ve yet to use the strobe mode (it’s been too cold for a proper campsite dance party J around here) but the candle mode has been put through its paces with much fanfare especially when placed on a table on the low setting. Cycling through these many modes is made easy thanks to the integrated globe switch. Just be sure to read the directions or what this video so that you know how to access all of these great lighting modes!

There are a few functional items that the Mini Hozuki could do better. The first relates to the “candle mode” which produces a rather rough flicker making it look a little less than realistic, especially at high power. I’ve designed a few “flickering” LED circuits in my time and it seems that the frequency mixing may be a bit off. The second item relates to the function of the magnetic clasp. Granted, this was a cool feature but I’m not sure that it’s really all that functional in practice. I see myself hanging this lantern mostly from the ceiling of my tent or the bug-net on my hammock neither of which would require a magnet. Furthermore, most tent poles (aluminum, composite) aren’t ferromagnetic which makes the magnet a little impractical. It also makes me a bit nervous having a magnet in close proximity to certain electronic devices such as radios, cell phones, and GPS units as it could damage screens and other sensitive components. This all begs the question: why not go with a simple, and lighter-weight plastic clasp like the one on Snow Peak’s larger Hozuki Lantern??

Mini Hozuki 2

Overall, I’ve found the Mini Hozuki to be a neat and flashy (pun-intended) campsite gadget. The soft glow of this light, the way it swings from its hanger, and the option to switch to “candle mode” all combine to provide that campsite ambiance that I so desired. The mini Hozuki is a great size for backpack camping but I would recommend the full-sized Hozuki Lantern to those who are interested in setting a chill mood at base camp.

-Kayak Dave

Pros: Provides warm light, Many lighting modes, Good on batteries.

Cons: Candle mode could be improved. Not a huge fan of magnetic clasp.

Kayak Dave Rating:

3 paddles

 

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