The Snow Peak Collapsible is a nicely made stainless steel dripper perfect for travel. Once you figure out a few quirks, you will be well on your way to a beautiful cup of coffee every morning.
This collapsible dripper is a bit on the heavy side, but its durability and packability make it a solid choice for travel and camping.
The Snow Peak folds from flat to square in both directions and can easily sit on top of a small cup, a 5" wide camping pot, or anything in between. If you have a pointed cone-shaped filter like the ones used for V60 or Chemex, you're good to go. If you have a flat-bottomed filter like those for Melitta products, you will need to do a little folding (diagrammed in the otherwise all-Japanese instructions that come with your purchase). From there, brewing is the same as any other pour-over style dripper: pre-wet your filter, add coffee, brew away, toss the filter, enjoy!
Once you've figured out your filter, this dripper is just like any other. Except for the fact that the legs can move, so don't mess with anything when it's full of hot water!
The Snow Peak produces a nice tasting cup. Of course, as with all pour-over devices, the more you consider your recipe, the coffee used, grind size, and pouring speed, the better final brew you will be rewarded with. With this particular apparatus, the filter used and how it's folded (or not) will also affect how well your water drips through and, ultimately, the final flavor. As with any dripper, there can be a lot of variability. We try to score this category based on the full potential of the brewer — how good it can taste if you do everything "right". In the case of the Snow Peak, the verdict is: pretty darn great.
We always start our pour-over brews by adding just enough water to saturate the grounds and then letting the coffee "bloom" for 30 seconds. This is a key component to a great tasting final cup. Fresh coffee will bubble and puff up - if yours doesn't, it isn't fresh.
Ease of Use
The Snow Peak lost a few points here compared to other similar-styled drippers because of a couple things. First, the legs do not lock into place, so if you bump your cup too hard during brewing or try to move the dripper without grabbing both sides, you'll be in for a very unpleasant hot coffee disaster. Not a huge deal, but something important to pay attention to. Second, there's not a dedicated filter for this device, and this aspect is a little finicky. We were able to use a V60 filter just fine, though the hole on the bottom is large enough that our filter would slip down and, sometimes, hang into our brew. You can also use a basket-shaped filter like the Melitta filters if you do a little origami. The instructions that come with the Snow Peak illustrate how to do this folding, but don't expect to get any more guidance than that: they are completely in Japanese.
The instructions for the Snow Peak are all in Japanese, but at least there's a handy diagram to show you how to fold a basket-shaped filter. We used a Melitta #2 filter as well as a V60 filter.
This isn't really made to accommodate large groups. However, brewing only takes around 3 minutes so, if you have more filters and coffee prepped, you can brew back-to-back quickly.
This size of dripper is optimized for brewing a single serving at a time. But it's super easy to clean (just toss the filter with used grounds) and you can be brewing again in no time.
The Snow Peak is built for portability. It collapses down flat for easy transport and storage, though the legs do stick out making it less compact than something like the GSI Outdoors Collapsible Java Drip or Primula Brew Buddy.
Nice and flat and ready to slide into your backpack and head down the trail.
Many people equate the Snow Peak brand name with titanium and are surprised to learn that this dripper is made out of stainless steel and weighs a whopping 4.8 ounces. For a low profile device optimized for travel and camping, this is on the heavy side. The benefit is that you won't be pouring hot water over plastic and steel is highly durable. Yes, there are quite a few lighter options in our review if you need that, but they are all made of plastic.
This isn't an ultralight brewer but if you're car camping or have a few ounces to spare on a backpacking trip it's durable and easy to pack.
This is not a cheap dripper and you'll also need to purchase filters, but it's durable, compact, and stainless steel. The cheap cone options in our review are all plastic and not everyone likes to brew with that. If you feel more comfortable with a non-toxic device that's easy to transport, then this is a solid option that will pay for itself over time.
While the Snow Peak Collapsible Coffee Drip isn't the lightest dripper or the most stable, it is quite durable, portable, and easy to use. You will need to figure out your preferred filter and be sure to brew on a solid, level surface because the legs don't lock into place and can move while you're brewing. But once you learn the ropes, this is a solid non-plastic option for travel or camping when space is limited that produces a delicious cup of Joe.
The Snow Peak is a solid option for anyone with limited space that doesn't want to brew with plastic.