Saturday, October 13, 2012

GSI Halulite Tea Kettle - Review

This puppy is not just for boiling tea water - this has become the centerpiece one of my most go-to cooksets.  I have to say though, that one of the reasons I like this kettle so much is the look.  It is a small, traditional styled kettle that somehow just looks perfect when brewing some tea on the trail or at camp - and sometimes style counts for helping to set the mood or atmosphere when out backpacking.  This kettle just seems plush or indulgent; although at only 5.5 oz, this kettle is very lightweight.

The kettle holds 32 oz of water, and because it is lower and wider (3.2" high x 6" diameter) than many pots it boils very quickly.  It is constructed of Halulite, which is GSI's proprietary aluminum alloy, with a hard anodized surface to resist scratches.  It has an aluminum bail handle, as well as a small lifting ring on the lid - both of which are covered with orange silicon tubing for insulation.  The lid fits well, but not very only real complaint with this piece is that the bail handle makes it awkward to remove the lid when the handle is upright (you need to tilt the lid to get it on or off), but you get used to it.  

The mouth of the kettle is 4" diameter, which makes it easy to store or pack things inside when traveling.  I like to carry a spork, X-mug, small titanium pot (from my Snow Peak Mini Solo), Trangia stove, and firesteel inside the kettle, to make a complete cookset.  That whole package adds up to around a hefty 1 pound, but I can cook just about anything I want to with this setup and can even make do for two campers if needed.  If just boiling water for rehydrated meals, then I can just bring a soda-can stove and windscreen for a total weight of less than 7 oz.

With the wide mouth, it is possible to cook or boil meals in the kettle, although I only like to cook up the occasional soup, because I like to keep the kettle really clean and avoid burning any food in it (although the aluminum heats very evenly and I have not noticed hot spots when boiling).  I have to confess that with all of my cooksets I almost always carry a small thermos, too, for slow cooking meals.  I'll wite a separate post regarding the thermos cooking, but it does allow me to save a lot of fuel when cooking and prevents me from putting anything messy in the kettle.

I find it hard to beat the versatility, low weight, and good looks of the GSI kettle; and for a cost of less than $20 it is very reasonable.   

1 comment:

  1. This is almost identical to my set-up. The X-Mug fits into the kettle perfectly leaving enough room for the odds and ends that make up a full set. For me, that includes a trangia with stand, hankerchief, spare esbit cubes, spork, seasonings/condiments/tea/coffee, bio-soap, and the kettle's handle (which I remove to avoid tears to gear when in the backpack). I removed the silicon handle coating on the first trip out. I also use the X-Bowl as my plate, which is the same diameter as the kettle and nests underneath the kettle in the small carry sack provided in the Ketalist system by GSI.