Customer Review

101 of 117 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK Cup - Could Be Better, March 9, 2011
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This review is from: GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Bottle Cup/Pot (Automotive)
Of all my backpacking gear, one of the things that give me the most fits is the lowly cup. I just can't seem to find the perfect cup, or even one that comes close enough for me to be happy and give up the search. Plastic cups/mugs have cracked and don't do temperature extremes well; single-wall stainless steel cups are versatile and tough but in the cold will take your coffee from scalding to tepid in about 4 seconds flat; titanium cups are nice, save you a gram or two over stainless, and cost about as much as your kid's braces. So, I gave this GSI single-wall stainless cup (see above) a try...

Size and Shape: are good. As described, a 32 oz. Nalgene bottle will nest nicely into this cup. That's a potential space saver, but only if you carry your bottle in your pack (probably not) or if you can fit the cup at the bottom of your bottle holder. The cup easily holds 16 fl. oz. with about 1/2 inch of space left at the top. That's pretty good capacity, to me, and allows for small ramen noodle meals on the go as well as extra large sizes of morning java or evening hot cocoa. The size also means a decent bottom, which is slightly indented, that will fit on most backpack or camp-stove burners. (I would have preferred a perfectly flat bottom without indent, but this is a nit-pick) So, this cup can double as a tiny pot, too, and that's nice.

Handles: Meh. It comes with curved handles that do a pretty good job of hugging the cup when stored and can be folded out to hold when the cup's too hot. They are not spring loaded, which I suppose is fine, but when folded out they do not meet cleanly or 'lock' together, so when you are holding the cup, the two sides of the handle are constantly shifting in your grip. While it doesn't make the cup unusable, it is certainly annoying. Every time. It puzzles me that GSI, maker of such well-designed campware, could put their name on such clumsy and ill-conceived handles.

Quality and Construction: The cup is bright and smooth on the outside and has a brushed finish on the inside. The lip is curled over and smooth. Weight and thickness are typical of a stainless camp cup and this one is plenty strong. Going back to the handles: Each curved handle is basically bent wire, hooked into a bracket that is tack welded onto the cup. I tend to prefer rivets over tack welds even though I know in my heart that I'm more likely to win the lottery than have my cup fail due to tack welds. Still. If you really, truly, hate the handles - as I do - you can simply spread them apart and take them out of the brackets.

So would I recommend this cup? Well, I'm not sure. I really like the size and shape of it, but I HATE the handles. Honestly, I like it a lot better after I've taken the handles off, though now I've got to use gloves, or a multitool, or a pot-grabber to deal with the thing when it's hot. Also, it's still single wall stainless steel, making it problematic when it's cold. I think I'll put a neoprene sleeve over it, salvaged from my Nalgene bottle holder when it gives out Cool Stuff Neoprene Carrier - 32oz, which would make it better still. Really this is between three and four stars, for me, for a product that has potential but ultimately misses the mark.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 23, 2011 3:14:30 AM PST
flnana says:
wrap the cup with paracord and you can hold it than with bare hands. or buy some carbon felt and wrap your cup. we use paracord cause I have it. carbon felt would be better. hope this helps

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 26, 2011 5:17:39 PM PST
M. Ross says:
Hi Mary,

Great tip! I've got a whole spool of the stuff, so that will work out great. It should add a touch of insulation to keep coffee freezing on cold mornings, too - that's the only thing about single wall metal cups: they just suck the heat right out of your hot drink when it's near freezing. Cheers!

Posted on Mar 2, 2012 9:44:15 AM PST
justafan says:
The handles are great. People just love to complain.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2012 10:08:22 AM PST
M. Ross says:
Glad the handles work for you! Actually, I rather prefer to review than complain, and if in my use of a particular item I find areas that could use improvement I try to point those out constructively. I'm not sure if you've never found fault with a product that you think could have been done better? I know it's always tough to see someone criticize a product you love... Fact is, I've come to appreciate this cup as part of my kit.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 5, 2012 8:35:46 PM PST
Mike says:
M. Ross, why are we sharing the same name?

Posted on Dec 27, 2012 10:02:56 AM PST
Yasunori-San says:
The minor criticism about the folding handle design is legitimate. Under load (filled with hot liquid say), it is both unstable and uncomfortable. It quickly becomes stressful to hold (not from the heat) but by the gauge of the wire and the unergonomic lateral position required to hold it. Because it doesn't have a rolled lip with air pocket, like a Sierra cup, you must use caution not to get burned. As a cup design, it's pretty much like drinking out of a kitchen pot (sauce pan).

I do agree it's a good product and it's part of my nesting system (hexamine stove, cup, glowing Nalgene, splashguard, Guyot bottle lantern, water purification tablets, hexamine bars, and my just-add-water food packets) all inside a 5.11 Molle bottle holder. My complete food and water module.

Posted on Jun 7, 2013 7:26:18 AM PDT
The reason it has tack welds and not rivets is because rivets would scratch the water bottle and make it more difficult to clean food off of the inside of the cup. Compare to "Olicamp Hard Anodized Space Saver Mug". Likewise stainless steel or aluminum heats up faster than titanium and thus saves on fuel for a week+ trip. Fits inside Snow Peak 900 Ti if not super weight restricted.

Posted on Aug 18, 2014 7:16:07 PM PDT
Instead of intermeshing the handles like the product image shows, I shove both sides of one handle into the other, and push until they lock together. It creates a pretty stable handle, although it still gets pretty hot on a fire.
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