Tag Archives: outdoors

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Sigg Thermo Mug: Perfect Companion?

I’ve been fan of SIGG bottles since I was a teenager (which was a very long time ago): they’re sturdy; last a lifetime and they look pretty cool too! I’m an outdoorsy, ‘busy’ type of person and my SIGG products have travelled the world with me, turning heads wherever I go. The latest addition to the family is the Thermo, an insulated bottle that keeps drinks hot or cold (depending on what you put in them). This is due to the high-grade 18/8 stainless steel and the vacuum-insulation used to make the Thermo.

I was sent the SIGG Thermo 0.5L mug to review and I wasn’t too sure what to expect. I’ve always used a traditional flask when out for a day and a screw top thermal mug to take a brew away with me in the car. At 0.5L the Thermo certainly has the capacity of a decent sized hill walking flask but I wasn’t sure if it would keep my coffee as hot for as long. The Thermo definitely looks the part: it’s slim, cool to the touch and has a lid which is really easy to hold. I took my Thermo everywhere, and I mean everywhere…

I’m in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) and have just been through all my Basic Training for Seafarers courses. I took my Thermo to lectures, to the lake whilst doing lifeboat training and I also tested the cold properties of the Thermo when doing my firefighting.

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I played around with the thermal properties of the Thermo, following the instructions to the letter (preheat the Thermo with boiling water prior to filling with drink) and also throwing caution to the wind and NOT preheating it. When I did it properly, I made a brew at 0845 and got bored of waiting for it to get cold at 2215. In all fairness I did leave the lid on tight , only opening it occasionally over that time and whilst the coffee wasn’t steaming hot at 2215, it was still a very drinkable brew. When I made my brew maverick style, again at 0845, my coffee was still drinkable at 1500. That’s a better performance than my traditional flask and way better than any thermal screw top mug I’ve ever owned – they usually keep a drink warm for about 2 hours. As for the keeping water cold, it also performed very well indeed – definitely welcome after coming out of a burning container wearing full fire fighting kit!

The Thermo mug has a removable tea strainer, which does what it says on the tin. I made some green tea and it worked pretty well, I didn’t test it with loose leaf tea so I can’t comment on whether the strainer is fine enough for that but it definitely works well for using tea bags. No messy fishing it out of the mug!

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I work hard and like to play equally as hard and I took my SIGG Thermo to Northern Ireland with me to provide a hot, home made brew wherever I went on my road trip. It really was the perfect companion on my trip, slim, unassuming and keeping my drink hot for hours. It was something special to have a coffee on the Giant’s Causeway! My friends who’ve been with me whilst testing the SIGG Thermo have tried to whisk it away on several occasions – it’s definitely a bottle that’ll turn heads!

I’m not sure that I would take the Thermo 0.5L away as a flask on the hills as I like to pour out my coffee and drink it from a mug BUT the larger sized Thermo bottles actually have a mug. Given the performance of the 0.5L I am sure the larger SIGG Thermo’s would be excellent pieces of kit for a day on the hills. I am more than happy to say that the SIGG Thermo 0.5L is the perfect companion for work and play, and I highly recommend it.

The SIGG Thermo is available in 0.3L, 05.L, 0.75L and 1L bottles.

I was sent this product for the purposes of this review, all opinions are my own.

Jetboil Zip: Supreme stove?

The Jetboil. A stove I’ve seen many a military person whip from their webbing, make a brew in record time and then pop it all back nice and neatly in the pouch. It’s fair to say that I’ve been pretty envious of this, I mean – it all seemed so ‘neat’. A mug, burner and gas canister all stored in one super easy to carry package? Whats not to love?!

I’ve finally managed to acquire one to have a play with. I got a Jetboil Zip (retails at approximately £69.99) free with a subscription to Trail Magazine (£49), which I figured was a pretty good deal. It’s smaller than other Jetboils holding 0.8ltrs of water and you need an external source of ignition: I choose to use my Firesteel because it makes me feel rugged and outdoorsy, but you could just use a lighter or matches.

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Inside the Jetboil mug is the burner, a pot/pan support and a tripod. A 100g gas canister will also fit inside, if you fit all the pieces together correctly.

The pot/pan support means that you can use the Jetboil as a normal stove and put pots and pans on the burner. My main misgiving about the whole Jetboil system was that it could only really be used for one thing: to boil water quickly. The addition of a pot/pan support makes it a much more versatile stove – I used it to cook bacon when I went camping last week and was pretty impressed. The tripod massively increases the stability of the cooking system and can fit several different sized gas canisters – there is nothing worse than watching your freshly boiled water tip over in the wind!

When the Jetboil Zip is used to simply boil water, it is the fastest stove I’ve ever used and I had my brew in record time. It didn’t fare so well when I tried to cook boil in the bag meals in the mug, I found the 0.8ltr capacity a tad small to fit my food pouch in let the water boil without overflowing. I’ve mostly used the stove to boil water to make a brew, I’ve found it a nice alternative to taking a flask of coffee out with me. 20130822-134659.jpgPerhaps a larger Jetboil would be better for heating up boil in the bag food as I see plenty of people who use them to do just that. Another selling point of the Jetboil is that you can simply boil the water in the mug and then make the brew straight into it. I did just this a while back and it worked well, saved me packing another cup! The downside to that is that you have to wash the mug before putting your stove back together. Perhaps I’m lazy but I’d prefer to just stick to clean water in my Jetboil mug.

All in all, I’m quite taken with the Jetboil Zip. It does exactly what I need it to do with minimal fuss and doesn’t take up too much room. I’m not sure it’d replace my flask on a walk but it’s a great addition to my kit and means I don’t have to take my trangia with me if I do want to make a fresh brew.