Snow Peak Collapsible Coffee Drip Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Packs down flat, produces a good cup, lightweight for non-plastic, works on top of many different-sized vessels
Cons: Can collapse while brewing if not careful, certain filters hang very low due to large bottom hole
Manufacturer: Snow Peak
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Snow Peak Collapsible is a well-crafted stainless steel dripper perfect for travel. Once you learn how to manage a few quirks, you will be well on your way to a beautiful cup of coffee every morning.
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 a V60 or a Chemex, then you're set to go. If you have a flat-bottomed filter like used 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, and enjoy!
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.
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.
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.
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 some of the other products in our review.
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 a number of lighter-weight options in our review if you need that, but they are almost all made of plastic.
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 that produces a delicious cup of Joe.
— Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett