Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Italian Army Olive Oil Canteen - Review

Okay, I admit it, this was an impulse buy. But, you have to agree that this is pretty cool. I have a soft spot for vintage WWII military surplus; and I saw this canteen listed on Sportsman’s Guide for only $19, so I ordered one.

It is New Old Stock (NOS), and arrived in decent condition. The aluminum was a little dirty and oxidized from sitting in storage for probably 60+ years; but nothing that a little Brillo pad didn’t cure. It actually cleaned up real nice.

The dimensions are about 7.5” wide x 14” tall x 4.5” deep. All aluminum, with a double cap that includes a pouring spout. The gaskets were still in fine shape, and the caps have retaining chains so that they don’t get misplaced. I measured the volume as 6.3 liters. Supposedly, the Italian army used these to transport olive oil; but they would be convenient for just about any liquid. I have seen these listed on other sites with a wool sleeve (maybe to prevent reflection off the aluminum, or to insulate your hands in cold weather); but mine did not come with one. I haven’t gotten a good weight for it; but it feels like about 2 lbs - not the heaviest, but not super light.

The canteen has a bail handle for carrying; and has two attachment loops to aid in strapping to your pack. I plan to use this canteen in a couple of situations:
  • When traveling solo with my 35L pack on trips with limited water stops; and,
  • When traveling in a larger group, where a lot of water is needed in camp for cooking.

My Sleeka Force pack only has room for a 1.5 to 2.0 L hydration reservoir; so, if I am on a hike where water is scarce, then I need extra volume. This canteen is held securely when empty using just the bungie-cord on my pack; and when full, the two attachment loops allow it to be strapped to the pack’s D-rings.

At a group camp, where water is nearby, this will provide plenty of capacity for cooking and cleaning without having to make numerous trips. I’ll run it through the paces very soon, and report back.

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