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There is no end to the cups offered for outdoor use, but many of them have faults of one sort or another. We will skip the traditional enameled steel ones without comment. The titanium ones are terribly trendy, but at nearly $30 USD each, they are hardly 'lightweight' on the wallet. Their weight is not bad, at 2 ounces (56 g), but despite what they say about the poor conductivity of titanium, I still burn my lips on them.

There are mass-market cups made of hard plastic and sold at supermarkets: lighter and cheaper, but many of them have the standard '1 cup' (250 mL) capacity, and that is not really quite big enough for a walker. I often have to 'top-up' half way through a cup of coffee. The hard plastic can crack if hit hard too, then they leak. Good, but not quite good enough.

The common wisdom has been that the mass-market companies cannot produce anything worthwhile for the lightweight crew. Well, that may have been true in the past, but the times they are a' changing. GSI Outdoors has come out with this Cascadian brand cup: cheap, light, slightly flexible but robust, non-cracking, and with a decent capacity. The handle is quite strong and dead easy to pick up, even with a gloved hand. If you have a couple of them, they stack quite nicely. Cleaning is pretty easy: a rinse and shake works most of the time.

The measurements on the GSI Outdoors website should not be used: the Backpacking Light ones are more accurate! In particular, note that the claimed twelve fluid ounce capacity is nice and generous. You might also like to check the inside of the cup very carefully: there is a faint scale on one side showing cup measurements, up to one and a half cups. For reasons which utterly pass me by, the text on this scale is in mirror image: perhaps someone made a slight mistake here in making the mold?


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