Snow Peak SnowMiner Headlamp / Lantern Review

On the Quick:

Weight: 2.3oz (without batteries)
Dimensions: 2.2” D x 2” W
Usage Hours: 140 hrs. on Low, 55 hrs. on Hight, 250 hrs. on Strobe
Brightness: 80 Lumens High, 8 Lumens Low
Power: 3 AAA (included)
MSRP: $49.95
Available From: www.snowpeak.com

 

If there’s one piece of equipment that tends to be in anyone’s arsenal it’s the headlamp.  Whether you’re a diehard mountaineer or a day hiker who’s never gone over three miles, the odds are you own a headlamp.  The market is heavily saturated as you might guess, and selecting the right one can be a challenge.  For my kit I carry the SnowMiner Headlamp / Lantern by Snow Peak.

The SnowMiner, weighing in at 2.3oz (without 3AAA batteries) is an incredibility creative piece of equipment that serves two functions – it is both a headlamp and a lantern.  This is achieved by the silicone diffuser that sits on the front of the light.  Press the silicone in to narrow the beam and have a strong headlamp or pop it back into its dome shape to be a lantern.  It takes seconds to do and is extremely simple.

Headlamp Out

The SnowMiner has three settings: High, which puts off 80 lumens and lasts up to 55 hours; Low, which puts off 8 lumens and lasts up to 140 hours; and Strobe, which lasts up to 250 hours.

Headlamp In

There are also a few additional features.  The headlamp comes with a hook built into its band which allows you to hang the light while in lantern mode.  I’ve found this comes in handy quite often.  While there’s the obvious method of hanging the lantern while in your tent, I’ve found that if you tie up some guy lines above your campsite it can also make an excellent lantern for the whole camp (bearing in mind that it’s bright enough to light up a table or a small area, not the entire campsite).

Headlamp Hook

Secondly, like almost all of its competitors, the lamp section is adjustable up to a 90º angle.  I’ve found this is particularly helpful with the SnowMiner because of glare from the light being worn directly above the eyes.

Headlamp Joint

Lastly, if your batteries are dying you’ll know because of a small red battery indicator inside the light.  It can be tough to see at times, but you can remove the silicone diffuser to see it clearer.

Headlamp Lamp CU

While I love the lamp for the most part, there are two major drawbacks that I have come across.  While the silicone diffuser is designed to be removed so it can be cleaned, I have found that a quick clean just doesn’t do enough to remove all the wear its endured over the years.  As such, my silicone isn’t nearly as clear as it once was.

Headlamp Apart

The second major drawback is the light itself.  In the last four months I have noticed that the bulb probably needs to be changed but there is no obvious way to do this.  I had heard that Snow Peak had a reputation for great customer service but so far all my emails have disappeared into the abyss.  At this point I would say from my experience the lamp will last a good four years before any bulb issues arise.

Pros:

  • Dual purpose (Headlamp & Lantern)
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to wear

Cons:

  • Silicone Diffuser can become permanently dirty
  • Bulb isn’t replaceable

Overall:

It serves a dual purpose, which is something I’m always looking for in gear.  I’m also a fan for how it functions.  If it weren’t for the actual bulb dying, I’d highly recommend this headlamp.  It’s possible I just got a bad one as I have friends whose SnowMiners are still going strong.

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