Community Spotlight: Snow Peak

Founded in Japan more than 60 years ago as a climbing equipment company, Snow Peak has evolved into a camping and apparel brand with an emphasis on craftsmanship and beautiful design. Family-run since its inception, Snow Peak launched its North American headquarters in Portland in 2020. Today, Snow Peak continues to push its brand forward, expanding into hospitality, food and beverage, and immersive brand experiences.

Nick DeCarlo, store manager at Snow Peak’s Portland flagship, showed us around the space and talked about the brand’s unique vision for the future.

Tell us a bit about Snow Peak’s approach to outdoor living and adventure.

DeCarlo: Snow Peak is a Japanese camping brand with the goal of restoring humanity by helping people spend more time in nature. We focus on helping customers create unique setups catered to their specific needs and wants with our modular gear. We prioritize being functional, stylish, and organized with our campsites. The goal is to inspire people to bring their indoor hobbies and activities outdoors and to spend more time gathering with friends and family.

Is it true that the Snow Peak team goes on camping trips with customers?

DeCarlo: Yes! Going camping with staff members and customers is always a great time, a way to help customers feel more connected with the people behind their favorite brand and for us to feel more connected with our customers. Our products help people create a campsite that is an extension of themselves, reflective of their personalities through creative expression. It’s always fun to see all of the unique campsites. There could be 6 people with the same product and there will be 6 different use cases on display. Those trips are never short of amazing and result in memories we all will cherish for years.

The Snow Peak headquarters on Northwest 23rd was designed to be more than a retail store. Can you tell us about the space?

DeCarlo: This headquarters is called HQ4, as it’s our fourth global headquarters. HQ4 encompasses our Flagship Retail Store, event space, corporate offices, and restaurant, Takibi.

Why is this area of Portland in particular a great space for your headquarters?

DeCarlo: There are a lot of tourists that shop on this street, which is great. We do get a lot of travelers from Japan, and they get excited to see the U.S. expression of the brand that they know and love. So that’s always a fun experience.

When it comes to Northwest 23rd as a whole, it’s a really close-knit community, and it’s really cool because there’s this mix of mom-and-pop shops with large corporations, and we all work well together.

How does Portland shape Snow Peak as a company?

DeCarlo: Portland influences our company in a big way and on a consistent basis. With the Pacific Northwest being a major outdoor market in the U.S., Portland is a great place to get customer feedback on our products and learn more about what the American consumer is looking for in their camping gear. There’s a very high percentage of the population in Portland that camps, so we constantly feel “at home” operating in this city. In addition, our brand is very experience-driven, meaning that we want to interact with our customers through events, activations, and other unique offerings as frequently as possible. At the end of the day, we want to be a vessel to help likeminded individuals connect and thrive together through a common interest in outdoor recreation and appreciating nature.

Does Snow Peak ever collaborate with other companies on products or experiences?

DeCarlo: We always have exclusive collaborations. Every year we do a collaboration with a Japanese technical apparel brand called Mountain of Moods. We also did our third or fourth New Balance collaboration this past year, which is pretty awesome.

There are other cases where we specifically partner with brands that aren’t like us at all to try and see where the intersection is in terms of customer base and interest and how we can coexist. I think we’re in a unique space because we have so much cooking gear that we can really cross spaces with a lot of chef activations and food and beverage.

Are there any exciting upcoming product releases you could tell us about?

DeCarlo: The most notable thing on the horizon is the opening of our first Campfield in the U.S.! The Campfield is a truly unique experience in the outdoor world. It will feature dispersed campsites alongside a camp store (for snacks, drinks, and necessities), an Ofuro (soaking pool, cold plunge, and sauna) and Jyubakos (Japanese mini-homes) for a more luxurious stay. It is located in Long Beach, Washington, and I highly encourage any outdoor enthusiast to follow @snowpeakcampfield on Instagram or visit to learn more and stay up to date on announcements for reservations.

Next up is the Rigel, a large shelter that can accommodate 4-6 sleepers or 10-12 guests. But the most exciting part is the wood stove and chimney setup that comes in the upgraded package. This is the first time we’ve ventured into shelters/tents with internal heating. Other than that, there are a lot of cool little accent items coming out that reflect our commitment to protecting the Earth and being more sustainable, as well as new limited edition Festival product in Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter, which make great collectibles.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start working in the A&O industry?

DeCarlo: Stop thinking and just go for it! If you’re working in a field that you are passionate about, then you are heading in the right direction. The Portland A&O community is amazing and filled with inspiring, creative, and welcoming individuals. The more people that we have in this community, the more impactful we can be as a whole in providing new and accessible ways for everyone to enjoy the outdoors. Your contribution to the community and your voice matter. You won’t just be “another number.” It is a rewarding industry that leads to a positive impact on the planet, on people’s lives, and helps keep you connect with the environment around you.

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Portland A&O powered by Prosper Portland aims to support the success of Oregon’s 800+ Athletic and Outdoor firms through community, peer-to-peer learning, events, and programming.

Prosper Portland/Portland A&O strives to support emerging A&O/Consumer Products brands by providing opportunities such as assistance with attending wholesale trade shows, education and peer support, and networking events.