Editors' Choice 2012: Snow Peak SnowMiner

Get the right light on trail and in camp with this 2-in-1 lamp.

Who says there’s no such thing as a free lunch? This headlamp performs just fine on trail, and it becomes a lantern in camp—at virtually no extra weight or cost. The key is an ingenious design that uses a tiny magnet to let you instantly switch between headlamp and lantern. Squeeze the silicone globe to pop it out into lantern mode; push the center back in against the lens to return to headlamp.

On trail, it shoots a tiltable, 80-lumen beam bright enough for night hiking (about 100 feet on high). Retiring to the tent for cards? Convert the SnowMiner to lantern, then hang it from the included strap hook. The globe disperses a pool of ambient light that’s big enough to reach the far corners of a four-person tent and lacks the dark spots we’ve seen in some mini lanterns. “The light is warm and even, and you can fade it all the way to two lumens, which creates a candlelit feel,” says one tester. Three AAAs last 45 hours on high. $50; 3.5 oz.; snowpeak.com

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