by Roger Caffin | 2006-05-28 03:00:00-06
The GSI Outdoors Hard Anodised Extreme Cookset includes two nesting pots (sizes below), two matching lids which also serve as frying pans, a pot lifter and a string bag. Both pots and lids have a hard anodised finish inside and outside, with an ‘extreme triple-coat non-stick interior’ on the inside. The non-stick finish is actually Teflon, the same as in the GSI Bugaboo set. GSI say that DuPont claim that the Teflon finish can handle up to 600 F (315 C). That’s a bit hotter than I cook my dinner! The ‘hard anodised’ bit in the name applies to both inner and outer surfaces: it is done after the pot is formed, and the Teflon is bonded over the top of it. GSI claim that doing it this way produces a better and more durable result than other processes used by other manufacturers. The base has a spiral pattern on it, created on a lathe. It is meant to make the base grip onto the top of a stove. As noted in the GSI Bugaboo Spotlite Review, it does seem to work fairly well. Unfortunately, you can’t buy individual items from the set.
This cookset is slightly dearer than the GSI Bugaboo cookset, due to the hard-anodising step. From a gentle user’s perspective I can’t see any real difference in performance: both are aluminium with a non-stick lining. However, GSI claim that the hard-anodised version will withstand more punishment.
These pots are relatively wide compared to the beercan mug concept, but this makes for greater heat transfer efficiency on a stove. Aluminium has much better thermal conductivity than stainless steel and titanium, as GSI claim, but when it comes to the rate of heating in the field the thin walls make what metal is used irrelevant. On the other hand, the thick aluminium base does spread the heat better than either stainless or titanium - at a slight weight penalty of course. I found the pot cooked a stew, rice and pasta very well: there was no sticking at all, and the clean-up was extremely easy.
The pot lifter is designed to work with the stainless steel bracket riveted on the side of each item. As explained in the Bugaboo Spotlite, the pot lifter is a bit heavy but can be slimmed right down to about 0.64 ounce (18 g). This is shown above: the ‘hook’ is inserted from underneath and handled the pot very well.
The smaller of the two HAE pots, full of stew, inside my blue tent late in the evening.
A lightweight walker wouldn’t want to carry the whole cookset, but you can easily take just one pot and leave the rest at home. Even the smaller of the two pots may be too big and heavy for a solo walker, but it is about the right size (1 qt or 1 L) when cooking for two. The larger pot is fine for three people. If you share gear like this the weight efficiency becomes quite good, at 75 - 79 grams per person. Compare this to a typical one-man Ti kettle/mug at 4.1 - 4.7 ounces (116 - 135 g). The size and inside coating make cooking very easy.
"GSI Hard Anodised Extreme Cookpot SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Roger Caffin. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/gsi_hae_cookpot_spotlite_review.html, 2006-05-28 03:00:00-06.