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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cook Sets > REI Ti Ware 0.4 L Mug > Owner Review by Steven M Kidd

REI TI WARE MUG - 0.4 LITER
BY STEVEN M. KIDD
OWNER REVIEW

February 18, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Steven M. Kidd
EMAIL: ftroop94ATgmailDOTcom
AGE: 37
LOCATION: Franklin, Tennessee, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 220 lb (99.80 kg)

Backpacking Background: I've been a backpacker on and off for over 25 years. I backpacked as a Boy Scout, and then again almost every month in my twenties, while packing an average weight of 50+ lbs (23+ kg). In the last two years I have gained a renewed enthusiasm for the back country. I generally go on one or two night outings and now try to average a 30 lb (14 kg) pack. However, a comfortable riding pack is more important to me than the overall weight I'm carrying. I occasionally sleep in the open air, but most often sleep in a lightweight free standing tent.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated)
Cup 1
REI Ti WARE Mug

Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: www.rei.com
MSRP: US $24.50
Listed Weight: 2.4 oz (68 g)
Measured Weight: 1.9 oz (54 g)
Listed Capacity: 13.5 fl oz (0.4 L)
Measured Capacity: 14.1 fl oz (0.42 L)
Listed Diameter: 3 in (76 mm) - Accurate
Listed Height: 3.25 in (83 mm) - Accurate




PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The REI Ti WARE Mug (hereafter referred to as the mug or cup) is an ultra lightweight drinking vessel with silicone covered wire folding handles. The 1.75 in x 1.5 in (44 mm x 38 mm) hinged handles are curved to hug the body of the mug when folded for storage. The silicone covering on the handles allows for a burn free grip. It has a rolled lip and a flat bottom which add stability to the mug.

REI has both their corporate and the Ti WARE logo screen printed on the mug's side. Both these logos are also stamped on the cup's bottom along with 'Made in Japan'.

FIELD CONDITIONS

The mug has been used at elevations as high 4000 ft (1219 m) along the Appalachian Trail in east Tennessee. Temperatures averaged 79 F (26 C) on the mornings I used it in the Cherokee National Forest. I've also sipped from it at an elevation as low as 1200 ft (366 m) next to Foster Falls, in a gulf of middle Tennessee's South Cumberland Recreation Area. One balmy morning I savored coffee at 13 F (-11 C) using the mug near the Stone Door on the Cumberland Plateau. In a little over a year I have religiously used the mug every morning that I've been in the wilderness, roughly eighteen days.

OBSERVATIONS

As I was jumping back into backpacking around two years ago, my mid-thirties body couldn't keep up with the weight I'd been rucking over the last decade and a half. I decided it was time shed some weight, and I felt replacing my heavy stainless steel cookware was a perfect place to start. I purchased a REI Ti WARE Pot (see that review) for cooking, but no matter what the weight, I had to have a mug for my morning cup of Joe. Figuring my double-walled stainless steel mug was archaic I decided a titanium cup would be perfect for me. Being so fond of my old cup, I debated between the REI double-walled titanium mug and this one. In the end I chose this mug, as it weighed 1.5 oz (43 g) less than the aforementioned one. I have only used the mug with coffee or other hot drinks, so I have no experience as to whether or not cooked food sticks to its interior.

On my first trip to the backcountry with the mug I nearly seared my lip when eagerly sipping my coffee one morning. The silicone coated handles worked great for protecting my fingers from the heat, but I had to be careful not to burn my lips when drinking extremely hot liquid. I also found the titanium appeared to displace heat more quickly than stainless steel, so I had to drink my coffee a little more quickly than I desired if I wanted a warm drink. After dealing with both these minor inconveniences I immediately decided I would buy an optional plastic lid for $1 US.

Cup 2
Optional Lid


The lid (pictured on left) resembles one that would come with any disposable cup from a coffee shop or convenience store. It snaps securely to rolled lip, and now that my lip does not actually touch the metal cup I don't tend to burn myself. I also find by covering the cup, the lid also allows the liquid to stay warmer for longer time periods. Finally, concerning this handy little lid, I can store plenty of stuff for transport. My Snow Peak Giga Power stove nests perfectly inside before snapping the lid to the mug.


I have a MSR coffee filter that I use in conjunction with the cup. The filter allows coffee to steep inside the cup and has 'wings' that rest on the mug's rim. Once when running short on coffee grounds I heated the cup on my stove in hopes of making a stronger brew. The cup handled the flame fine; however, one of the plastic wings on the filter began to melt. Even after coming directly off the flame, once again the silicone coated handles worked perfectly.
Cup 3
Handles Folded with Lid Attached





While measuring the cup for report specification purposes, I found it interesting that it actually holds more liquid than a typical ceramic coffee mug intended for home use. The average ceramic mug in my home only holds 12 fl oz (0.35 L), and as stated earlier when filled to the rim the titanium mug holds just over 14 fl oz (0.41 L). This will be handy for measuring some newer dehydrated meals I have began using that call for exactly that amount of water.






Cup 4
Compared to a Ceramic Mug the Ti WARE Cup Holds More Liquid
In conclusion I must admit, for me, this is a very lightweight, durable and versatile mug. It has become an essential part of my backcountry gear. If REI were to offer the plastic lid standard on this single-walled mug, as they do with their double-walled one I might consider it nearly perfect. They could also change the silicone grips from the current pinkish hue to a more gender neutral color. However, pink handles and all I plan on faithfully carrying this cup into the field regularly.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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