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GSI Outdoors Cascadian Cup SPOTLITE REVIEW

Strong polypropylene, will not burn your lips, twelve fluid ounces capacity, 1.7 ounces weight and $1.75 USD: it can't be too bad!

Hightly Recommended

Overall Rating: Highly Recommended

A combination of a light weight, unbreakable construction, good capacity, easy to clean and a low price, plus it is easy to hold and can't burn your lips.

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by Roger Caffin |

GSI Outdoors Cascadian Cup SPOTLITE REVIEW


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 isn't 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, which isn't 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?


  • Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
  • Year/Model: 2007
  • Manufacture: China
  • Material: Polypropylene
  • Capacity: 12 fl oz (340 mL) quoted, but nearly 13 fl oz (460 mL) to the brim
  • Size (diameter x height): 3.75 x 2.95 in, (95 x 75 mm), but the handle is extra (BPL measured)
  • Weight: 1.66 oz (47 g) (BPL measured)
  • Colors: Red, orange, green, and blue
  • MSRP: $1.75 USD

What’s Good

  • Light
  • Cheap
  • Almost unbreakable
  • Easy to pick up, even with gloves
  • Suitable capacity for walkers

What’s Not So Good

  • Cannot be held over a stove

Recommendations for Improvement

  • Fix the lettering on the scale!


"GSI Outdoors Cascadian Cup SPOTLITE REVIEW," by Roger Caffin. (ISSN 1537-0364)., 2008-05-20 21:45:00-06.


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GSI Outdoors Cascadian Cup SPOTLITE REVIEW
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Robert Blean
(blean) - MLife

Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Plastic measuring cup on 05/23/2008 10:37:21 MDT Print View

My plastic 2-cup measuring cup meets all the pro's listed:
* Light -- only 1.5 oz
* Cheap -- at your favorite discount store
* Almost unbreakable -- I still have my original, many years later
* Easy to pick up, even with gloves -- and has a very nice size/shape for holding in your hands to warm them in cold weather
* Suitable capacity for walkers -- 2 cups has always worked out to hold plenty without worrying about slopping over

-- Bob

John Coyle

Locale: NorCal
Thanks Roger on 05/23/2008 13:49:26 MDT Print View

Just wanted to mention that several years ago I bought the GSI Bugaboo cookset for car camping which comes with the Cascadian bowl and cup. My cup and bowl are blue though. I have been very happy with the entire set, although I am a little concerned with the out-gassing situation with plastics, but it is my understanding that this is more of a problem with lexan cups than polypropyline. In any case, I am not concerned enough to stop using it! Not down with the tea though, coffee is my drink.

I appreciate your amazing expertise with stove issues also. Hope to backpack in your wonderfull country some day!

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Light and cheap on the Australian market on 05/23/2008 19:38:17 MDT Print View

The Australians on the list, you might like to check this out. I have also posted this on the bowl thread, but I know I searched hard for a cup.

You might want to check out the Decor range. This is their standard range, not the new microwave range, which is significantly heavier on my "one in each hand" scales.

The original range have good lids for solids, 100ml markings, stack well and let you compact down(stack) as you eat the cereal or crackers you store in them. (10 Weetbix in an 800ml rectangular container)

The 800ml in rectangular or round are about 46g plus 18g for the lid. cost around $3.00 at Coles or Woolies.

They do a nice, short round 350ml one which I think is around 29g plus lid (mine is at work at the moment. I'll edit on Mon) Very tip resistant due to the straight sides and low height. I've drilled a hole in the lid on one side, with a breather opposite, to make a drinking lid. No handle but the reinforcing rib around the seal gives a burn proof way to hold. In reality polypro transmits less heat than even ti.

The practical working temp (ductile, flexible semisolid) is around 160 C, so boiling water has no effect on stability of these containers, like it does on PET. Which leads me to the lightest, cheapest practical bowl I have found so far.......

The Coles brand 1kg honey container. Take the plastic bail handle off this and you have an approx 800ml polypro container with a pretty good lid. The jar is 27g and the lid is 10g. The wall thickness is less than the Decor, but even filled with boiling water, it's still suitably rigid. I haven't tried stacking yet, as I'm only half way through the second jar, but with my kids, I reckon on about ten days until it's ready. (I'm not sure how many of these I put in recycle before I realised how ideal they were.