Top critical review
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Nice camp cup for the price, better as a backup
on March 11, 2012
Not the greatest quality or performance but at approx 10 dollars it is a nice backup. To help others figure out its size, it fits loosely (1-2 mm gap all around) over the bottom of a 40-ounce Klean Kanteen stainless water bottle and I measured the inside diameter of the cup at 3.7 inches and height at 3.4 inches. Being a relatively "square" dimension the cup is not going to tip easily which is nice when it is sitting on top of a camp stove. It is also a good diameter for most small camp stoves to put a lot of flame under it (although when I turned up the flames on my Coleman exponent multi-fuel stove, a lot of the blue flame wrapped around the cup --not as efficient). The stainless steel does not attract a rare earth magnet at all so it is an alloy with less of the ferrous/iron content.
As for performance, aluminum conducts heat better so it takes longer to heat water in this stainless cup than an aluminum cup. I poured exactly 16 oz of water into this cup and an anodized aluminum cup of almost exactly the same dimensions and the same capacity and tried to keep all conditions the same to perform a credible side-by-side comparison. In the stainless cup it took 7:50 (min:sec) to bring 16 ounces of water to a rolling boil, while it took 6:30 in the anodized aluminum cup. This was with minimum wind and significant blue flame wrapping around the cups.
For the purposes of conserving fuel so you do not have to carry as much, a stainless cup is not a good primary cooking/boiling cup. I relegated these cheap cups to some kits I keep in the vehicles with some cheap (Lifeline Green brand) stainless 40-ounce stainless water bottles (hopefully I will never need them).
+ The sticker on the side peeled off very easy and left no residue; bottom sticker came off easily and left some residue easily removed with alcohol (big pet peeve).
+ Polished stainless steel so cup is super easy to clean.
+ Fits 40-ounce bottles well (1-2 mm gap all around).
+ Relatively tip resistant dimensions.
- Folding handles bow out from the body significantly when folded making the cup's profile much wider. I had to carefully bend the handles on both cups which is a time-consuming annoyance, and worse for someone who does not have the strong little clamps that can hold the wire handles close to the hinge and have an experienced enough hand to bend it at the right places and without over-doing it and weakening the handles... the factory really could have done a much better job with this and this is what is holding me back from rating this at four stars.
- Cooking/boiling is slower in stainless steel.
- Edit later added: Not stamped with ounces/milliliters on the side... that would have been very useful, esp. if readable from inside.
- Tight fit in most water bottle holders (see my reply to comments below).