After spending time this weekend with this little kettle, it’s clear that kettles are pretty critical for car camping. You need the for tea or coffee or soup/instant noodles or to warm a bucket of water for cleaning…. Can you survive without one on a car camping trip? sure. Would you want to? Heeeeeck no. The compact nature of this unit makes it a little more convenient to pack, but what I’ve learned this trip is, if you’re running really low on space and need to go uber compact, take this kettle. If you can load up the car and afford to take a larger kettle, do so. a kettle is worth the space and weight cost.
That said, the likelihood of me bringing this on my next solo backpacking trip is pretty low. when hiking solo, 1 GSI cup for heating and drinking is enough, a kettle, no matter how compact, just isn’t worth the weight and space resources.
As long as you’re drinking from 8 oz cups, this little kettle is good for about 4 cups of coffee.
If you’re alone, this may be a bit of a luxury, but if you’re two people, this is perfect. And if you don’t mind making morning coffee in batches, then this will do just fine.
I’ve done two survival test backpacking trips this year. It’d really nothing more than a simple test to see if I can stay out and about for a few days and still make it back without getting sick. On both of these trips, I went alone. This kettle would be overkill on such one person backpacking trips, but if you’re a couple backpacking together or two friends, this would just about be perfect.
Given the silicone overlay on the handles, this kettle is not well suited for campfires, but a small alcohol, gas stove, or a small coal or fire, this should be okay.
The biggest shocker is how light it is. It’s hard to believe. It feels solid, it looks solid, but it weighs less than the uber thin mess kits I’ve used as a kid. Hard to believe but this is more durable than those kits. I did a little test today and it worked just fine. And with a car camping trip planned for this weekend, I can’t wait to test this out with some cowboy coffee in the mornings.
Some other little notes. While this little kettle seems very sturdy, certainly sturdier than any plain aluminium mess kits, it’s still based on aluminum, and therefore not immune to dents. Also, there must be some kind of coating on it because the first test yielded quite a bit of smoke. The second test was much less, so there’s some burnoff that needs to happen before you can really use this.
Another note, as you can tell from the image, there is a little notch in the main kettle handle. And this is well balanced for hanging off a tripod. Again, though, the silicone will probably melt fairly early on in usage, though it shouldn’t be hard to re-coat with something if you’re so inclined.
It heats very fast, but also cools very fast, so I’d imagine that you would want to drink as soon as the water is boiling. As an owner of the GSI cup, I did notice that the cup is thicker and heavier than the kettle despite being smaller.
All in all, though, I truly like this cool little kettle and as it’s ideal for a compact alcohol or gas stove, it will likely be a stable part of my 3 day emergency bug-out bag when not in use as a car camping essential.