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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cook Sets > GSI Outdoors Halulite Boiler > Test Report by Thomas Vickers

GSI Halulite 2 Quart Boiler


Initial Report - June 27, 2007
Field Test Report - August 29, 2007
Long Term Report - November 9, 2007

 

Thomas Vickers

39 years old
Male
5 ft 11 in tall (1.8 m)
175 lb (79 kg)
redroach@pobox.com
Southeast Texas, Houston Area


Tester Background:
I grew up in the piney woods of southeast Texas. Camping was a quick trip into the mosquito-infested woods behind the house. My style has evolved and over the last 4 or 5 years, I have begun to take a lighter weight approach to hiking gear (I still use sleeping bags and tents, just lighter versions). While I have flirted with lightweight hiking, I feel that I am more of a mid-weight hiker now. My philosophy is one of comfort, while carrying the lightest load possible.

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Manufacturer Information:

Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors

Website:http://www.gsioutdoors.com

Year Manufactured: 2007

MSRP: $27.95.00 US

Capacity: 2 quarts

Information From Tester:
(all measurements approximate)



Boiler weight : 9.20 oz (261 g)
Lid weight: 2.65 oz (76 g)

Boiler Measurements:
6 in (15 cm) tall
5.5 in (14 cm) diameter 

Lid Measurements:
1 in (1.5 cm) tall
5.25 in (13 cm) diameter

Capacity: 88 fl oz (2.6 l)


Initial Report
June 27, 2007

Initial tester expectations:
I had to use an internet vendor's website to gather information about this item since it was not available on the GSI website when I applied for this test.  After viewing the Boiler online, I figure I had a good idea of what it was going to; small anodized cooking was what I had my mind wrapped around.  I was hoping that this was going to be a correct assumption.

Description from the manufacturer:
"2 qt. Boiler, Lid/Warming Dish made of LexanŽ resin, Silicone coated, folding handles, Mesh Bag. Halulite's ultra light weight and superior heating characteristics allow it to cook better, faster and more evenly than Titanium. Pot is sized to hold ultralight stoves and butane fuel canisters while fitting optimally in packs. Includes crush-resistant lid made of virtually-unbreakable LexanŽ resin to preserve the integrity of the pots when packed. Lid is invertible for use as a bowl or warming dish. Dual pour spouts and tall sides make pot ideal for melting snow."

Tester's Description:
This is a big pot.  It stands 6 in (15 cm) tall and has nice folding handles.  The lid is clear Lexan and it has a red handle which folds flat against the lid for storage.  The GSI website states that it is designed to store butane fuel cartridges and ultralight stoves, which I think is a great concept.  I am hoping that not only can I cook effectively in the GSI Halulite Boiler, but it will also allow me to store my entire cooking/eating system inside it to save room in my pack.

First impressions:
This pot is big. I was thinking that it was going to be smaller, more of a one person cook pot than something this big.  This isn't a problem for testing because I am going to seriously find out if it is too much pot for just one person and an alcohol stove or if I have to change my cooking habits. The one thing that I did notice is that the GSI website claims that this pot has silicone coated handles, which my pot does not.   I have a lot of experience with hot pot handles and I would have loved to have tested the GSI Halulite Boiler with silicone handles to see how well this feature helped with burned hands and fingers.

Test Strategy:
Here are some questions that I plan on using as a guide for my testing of the GSI Halulite Boiler;

Test Strategy
CONSTRUCTION:


1. How heavy is the GSI Halulite Boiler? The website claims 11.8 ounces (335 grams). Does this include the lid? How much does the lid weigh? 

2. How well do the folding handles work? How much effort does it take to swing/fold them? 

3. How durable is the Lexan lid? 

USE:
1. Can I store my alcohol stove (burner, base, pot stand, wind shield) inside the GSI Halulite Boiler? 

2.  Do the folding handles get too hot to handle barehanded after cooking? 

3. How easy is it to eat out of this pot? 

4. How easy is it to clean this pot? 

5. Does the Lexan lid get hot while cooking? How easy is the lid to remove while hot? 

6. Will I be able to heat enough water for drinks and dinner at the same time? 

7.  How easy is it to cook in this pot? 

8. How well does the lid fit on the GSI Halulite Boiler? 

9. How well do the pour spouts work? Do they allow for easy spills? 

10. Can I use the Lexan lid as an eating dish?

DURABILITY:
1.  Will the GSI Halulite Boiler hold up to pack wear and tear? Will it dent easily? 

2. Are there certain types of cleaning devices/substances that should not be used with the GSI Halulite Boiler? 

Final thoughts:
I really thought that this cook pot was going to be a lot smaller. For some reason I didn't realize that 2 quarts (1.89 l) is as large as it turned out to be.  This was bit of a miscalculation on my part, but I am really interested to see how well this item works for just one person.  I am also curious about the fact that the GSI website describes the boiler as having silicone coated handles and as having a 2 liter (68 fl oz) capacity. The box states it is a 2 quart (1.89 l) pot, but by my measure the pot holds somewhere around 88 fl oz (2.6 l). This means that I have even more questions to answer, but nothing that I can not handle during the test period.  The one thing I am happy about is that I will probably be able to store my entire eating/cooking system inside this pot, which means that I may not have to find a 'special' place to store my titanium spoon so that I won't lose it, but there will be more on this in my next report which should be posted some time in August.

Field Test Report
August 29, 2007

Testing Locations:
Sam Houston National Forest
W.G. Jones State Forest
Other spots in Southeast Texas

Testing conditions:
75 - 95 F (42 - 53 C)
Sea level to 250 feet above sea level
Rainy and dry weather
Piney woods

Testing activities:
Dayhiking
Overnight (2-3 night) backpacking trips
Fishing trips (day trips)


Filling it up:
My first impression of the Halulite Boiler was that it was BIG. Actually, I can honestly say that I thought it was too damned big.  The good news is that after a couple of months in my pack, I have decided that it is roomy.

The whole kit and caboodle

Above is a picture of everything that I carried in the GSI Halulite Boiler over the last two months.  This includes my homemade alcohol stove, stove base, fuel measuring cup, pot stand, titanium spoon, titanium mug,  windscreen, and match carrier.  Never in my life have I carried my entire cooking/eating setup in one container. For the first time I have a good place to store my spoon and mug without worrying about something getting bent or dented.  The Boiler is so roomy, I often have to stop myself from stuffing even more stuff in it just to see how much will fit.

Cooking:
I have cooked a variety of meals in the Boiler.  My normal process was to heat water (at least half a pot) and when it boiled, pour some into my mug for a hot beverage and use the rest to cook with.  At first I was extremely worried that my homemade alcohol stove was not going to be big enough to handle the Boiler, but I was wrong, again.  I not only boiled water, but I was also able to pour water off, add food, and cook in the pot with one load of fuel.   Best of all, I can even eat out of it, kind of. The Boiler is a bit too deep for my personal taste, so I often cooked my meal and scooped some of the food into the lid to eat. I had to use a towel/cozy with the lid because it got hot with freshly cooked food in it, but it was still nice to have a plate built into my cooking system.

On other occasions I simply used the Boiler has a beverage pot. I like nothing better than to brew up a huge pot of hot tea and have it available to drink all afternoon while I fish or lounge around camp.  It saved me a lot of fuel because I could make a HUGE pot of tea that would last a long time without restarting my stove. With my other cooking pots I would have to heat water two or three times to make a pot as big as the Boiler does.

The big picture:
The Lexan lid of the Boiler worried me when I first saw it. This worry went away when I found that the lid fits tightly on the Boiler. It doesn't slip off and I can see through it while I cook or heat water.  I have never imagined that I could see if my water is boiling without risking a serious scalding from steam while lifting the lid on my cook pot.  I really have to give GSI kudos on the lid.  The one thing I am not thrilled about is the red flip handle on the lid. It is just barely enough to pull a hot lid off of a hot Boiler and I do wish that there was a bit more of it to grab onto.

Everything packed up

All in all, the GSI Haulite 2 Quart Boiler has really impressed me.  Not only does it hold my entire trail kitchen, but it also is big enough to heat enough water for my meal and drinks at once.   Another little bonus is the mesh storage sack. It cinches down  tightly and keeps the lid on and the contents of the Boiler secure while it is in my pack.  

Despite its size, the Boiler also sits very well on top of my homemade stove.

Complete cook set

 Even when sitting on top of  an uneven post, the Boiler didn't provide me with any worries as far as stability.

Cleaning and other things:
I use my normal camp soap and wash cloth to clean the Boiler. Of course I am a careful cook and have never scorched any food onto the Boiler so it has been very easy to clean. I really enjoy the fact that the diameter of the Boiler is large enough for me to get a hand inside of it and clean the bottom. What else can I ask for? Easy to pack, easy to cook with, and easy to clean. This is almost the pot made in heaven.  At this point I am almost ready to burn something on purpose just to see if I can ruin my growing enthusiasm for the GSI Halulite Boiler.

Final thoughts:
I have done everything from boil water to cook hiking meals in this pot.  I have left tea in it for several hours and let my chili set over night and there are no permanent stains, odors, or tastes left in the Boiler.  I haven't really abused the Boiler and don't plan on it, but it has held up rather well.  I have a lot more cooking to do in the Boiler, so I will see just how much I like it by the end of the test.  I will also be interested to see if the Boiler holds up to being used as a storage compartment. So far I don't see any scratches or dings on the interior and I really hope that I never do.

Long Term Report
November 9, 2007

Testing Locations:
Sam Houston National Forest
W.G. Jones State Forest
Other spots in Southeast Texas

Testing conditions:
70 - 90 F (21 - 32 C)
Sea level to 250 feet (76 meters) above sea level
Rainy and dry weather
Piney woods

Testing activities:
Dayhiking
Overnight (1-3 night) backpacking trips
Fishing trips (day trips)

Coleman cannister inside boiler


Does it fit:
I had to include the photo above just for fun. The GSI website claims that a fuel canister can fit inside the GSI Halulite Boiler and I just had to try and see if it really did. The good news is that it does. Since the storage capacity of the Boiler is a huge selling point in my view, I figured that I should see how it held up to some of GSI's claims.  I use an alcohol stove and my entire set up except for my fuel bottle goes into this pot when I travel.  If I used a canister stove it would be a huge plus to have a good place to store my fuel canister as well. 

Overall, I have been very happily surprised by this pot.  I still stand by my initial statement that it is big, but big isn't always bad. Despite its size, I was able to cook very easily on the Boiler. It is a bit large to be cooking for one person, but when I used it to heat water for drinks and a meal at the same time it was just about the perfect capacity.  I never got to try it, but I do worry that the Boiler may be a bit small for two people to cook with. If I were to use it with multiple people I would make sure that it was my water boiler for hot drinks and not worry about cooking in it. The Boiler seems to be just the perfect size for a groups drink needs while on the trail.

Besides being big and roomy for cooking and storage, it was nice that the Boiler was large enough for my hands to reach the bottom for cleaning. Some smaller diameter pots are difficult for me to clean, but not the GSI Halulite Boiler.  Every now and then I would cook something a bit too long and extra scrubbing was required, but being able to get my hands into the bottom and use a scouring pad make removing any burnt on food fairly easy.

My one concern/gripe with this pot are the handles. They fold away nicely for storage, but they swing open very easily.  When I had the Boiler full of hot water and I lifted it by the handles (wrapped in a bandanna of course) and tried to pour water, the Boiler usually swung to one side and burned my hand. The more mass there was in the pot, the more likely it was to swing. If the handles had a little less play in the hinges (stiffer hinges) and the handles were a bit longer, this might not be happening.

Test Strategy
CONSTRUCTION:


1. How heavy is the GSI Halulite Boiler? The website claims 11.8 ounces (335 grams). Does this include the lid? How much does the lid weigh? By my scale the
Boiler wieghs 9.20 oz (261 g) and the the Lid weighs 2.65 oz (76 g). This gives me a grand total of 11.85 oz (336 g) which is pretty much right on target. I can easily live with a measure that is only 0.05 oz (1.5 g) off the target.

2. How well do the folding handles work? How much effort does it take to swing/fold them?
I am going to have to say that the folding handles don't work too well. They open and close quite easily, but the more weight there is in the Boiler, the harder it is to hold it without the handles swing to one side or another. The more I think about it, the more mass in in the Boiler, the more likely the body of the Boiler is to swing towards one of the handles.

3. How durable is the Lexan lid?
Really, really, really durable. I have not crushed, cracked, or really scratched it. I didn't go easy on it either, so it has held up to me for four months without any major damage.  

USE:
1. Can I store my alcohol stove (burner, base, pot stand, wind shield) inside the GSI Halulite Boiler? 
Yes, I can get my entire cook system, including my spoon (minus fuel bottle) into the Boiler. This makes packing and storing my cooking/eating untensils very easy and handy.

2.  Do the folding handles get too hot to handle barehanded after cooking? 
Yes. When boiling or cooking for a prolonged time period, I have to use a shirt or bandanda to grasp the handles. This can get annoying when I have to deal with the issue (above) of the swinging pot/pot handles when everything is extra hot.

3. How easy is it to eat out of this pot? 
It depends. If for some reason I have made a gianormous pot of something, it is easy, for a while. Realistically, any dish that only fills up the bottom 1/2 to 1/3 of the Boiler (which is easily 95% of what I cook), can be difficult to scoop out with a spoon. I found that it was really easier to cook my food, then spoon it into another dish (or the lid) for easy eating.

4. How easy is it to clean this pot?
Do people really clean their pots? All joking aside, this is one easy pot to clean.   Despite being deep (tall) its diameter allows me to get my hand and a cleaning pad into the bottom with ease. I used a scouring pad and camp soap and it came clean very easily.  

5. Does the Lexan lid get hot while cooking? How easy is the lid to remove while hot? 
The lid can get a bit hot for my fingers if left on a pot that is cooking, but the flip up handle makes it easy to pull off and drop on the ground so that it can easily cool. 

6. Will I be able to heat enough water for drinks and dinner at the same time?
Yes. I liked to heat enough water to pour a large amount into my cup for tea or cocoa and then use the rest to cook with.  

7.  How easy is it to cook in this pot?
Even on my tiny alcohol stove set up, the Boiler was stable and easy to cook with. The only issue I encountered was trying to reach too deeply into the Boiler with my spoon and burning my knuckles against the sides. A longer stirring spoon (like I use when cooking for groups) would have worked better or when I was really creative, I taped my eating spoon to a stick to stir with. Other than that issue, this was an easy pot to cook with.  

8. How well does the lid fit on the GSI Halulite Boiler?
The fit of the lid is excellent. It snaps in place and stays until I pull it off. It isn't going to accidentlally fall off either.   

9. How well do the pour spouts work? Do they allow for easy spills?
The pour spouts worked well, but as I stated above, the heavier the pot the harder it was to pour. This was the fault of the handles, not the pour spouts.  

10. Can I use the Lexan lid as an eating dish?

Yes. I can and did on several occasions. It makes the Boiler a complete system in my book. It cooks, it stores my cooking stuff, and I eat off/out of it.

DURABILITY:
1.  Will the GSI Halulite Boiler hold up to pack wear and tear? Will it dent easily? 
I have had no durability or construction issues with the Boiler. Despite being carried, banged around in a pack, and kicked on occasion, it has not dented yet.

2. Are there certain types of cleaning devices/substances that should not be used with the GSI Halulite Boiler? 
There was no restirctions how to clean the GSI Halulite Boiler on the website, so I went with scouring pad and camp suds. 

Final thoughts:
I really like the GSI Halulite Boiler. It is a good sized pot for one person to cook out of and it makes a great pot for making a large batch of hot drinks for a crowd.   While the size was an initial concern of mine, it was the size that actually won me over in the end. I can store my cookin gear in it (without fear of crushing my stove) and my hands fit far enough inside of it to clean it.

The Lexan lid is also another good part of this pot.  The lid is tough, light weight, and fits well. I was able to use it as an eating dish while on the trail and I was also happy that it had a foldable plastic handle that I could pull it off the Boiler with.   That meant no burned fingers because of a hot lid or hot lid handle. 

I am leaning toward being a lighter weight hiker and I think that the GSI Halulite Boiler is an excellent addition to my way of thinking and hiking.  The size does not mean too much weight and the other benefits of the Boiler far out weigh the extra ounces it puts in my pack.  There is nothing better than lazing around camp all day, fishing or reading, while sipping on that huge pot of tea I made in the morning.  The GSI Halulite Boiler makes relaxing on the trail much easier for me.



Read more reviews of GSI Outdoors gear
Read more gear reviews by Thomas Vickers

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