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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > AntiGravityGear Caldera Caddy Sack > Test Report by Andrew Preece

AntiGravityGear Caldera Caddy Sack
by
Andrew Preece

Initial Report April 16th  2009
Long Term Report due August 2009
 
Contents
Initial Report
Description
My Details

Long Term Report
The%20Caldera%20Caddy%20Sack%20by%20AntiGravityGear

 

Personal Details
Name: Andrew Preece
Age: 46
Gender: Male
Height: 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight: 188 lb (85 kg)
Waist: 39 in (100 cm)
Sleeve Length:  20 in(53 cm)
Chest: 42.5 in (108 cm)
Neck:  16 in (40 cm)
Email: andrew_at_teamgunnparker_dot_com
Website: www.teamgunnparker.com
City: Perth.
Western Australia.
Australia.
Backpacking Background
I have done a lot of hiking over the years but now carry a hammock and gear for over night stays of one to two nights. I normally carry approximately 35 lb (16 kg) which includes food and water. My trips are usually between one to two days duration mainly over weekends. I hike all seasons with winter temperatures ranging from 39 F (4 C) to 64 F (18 C) including periods of heavy rain at times to summer conditions with the temperature ranging from 68 F (20 C) to 95 F (35 C) and very dry.
Testing Locations
Bibbulmun Track: Sea level to 1,920 ft (585 m). Within this region I backpack along old forestry roads, sandy tracks, and purpose built walking tracks. The south-west of Western Australia allows for hiking and backpacking from coastal plains to forested ranges. I hike in varying conditions from forestry tracks, to sandy tracks to single purpose walking trails, from rock hopping, to beach walking to completely off-track through open and dense bush country.
Testing Conditions
It is now the start of our winter. Though we are still experiencing some unseasonably warm days, and yet some mornings with lows of 50 F (10 C) and highs of 88 F (31 C). In another few months it will be middle of winter and the cold will set in. Daytime temperatures will range during the testing period, from a minimum of  57 F (14 C) to 79 F (26 C) during April, to 46 F (8 C) to 64 F (18 C) in July 2008. The average rainfall for this time of year is, 1 3/4 in (44 mm) in April to 6 in (175 mm) in July.

Initial Report
April 16th 2009
 

Manufacturer: Antigravitygear
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Place of Manufacture: USA
Manufacturer's Website: www.antigravitygear.com
MSRP: US $15.00
 
  Manufacturers Measurements. My Measurements.
Dimensions Height: varies, 7 in to 9.5 in (178 mm-241 mm) Height 8 in (200 mm)
Dimensions Diameter: 4 in (100 mm) Diameter: 4 in (100 mm)
Avg. Weight Weight: 1.5 oz (42 g) 1.5 oz (42 g)

 

 
Description
The Caldera Caddy Sack is an addition to the Trail Designs Caldera Cone system and Caldera Caddy. This system adds an insulation layer around the caddy so that food will be kept warm.
This system works perfectly with the freezer bag style of cooking or rehydrating food within the food grade plastic container. I see it also useful if I have heated some food in my pot and I need to put that aside while cooking something else. I would pour the first item into the caddy and seal it up knowing that it will keep warm whilst I continue cooking.
The caddy and cozy
The photo above shows the food grade container next to the cozy, the cozy is made from extremely efficient reflective insulator material.
Features
The caddy is held within the cozy and sil-nylon stuff sack as shown above. The stuff sack closes with a cord and cord lock. It is simply used by removing the cozy and caddy from the stuff sack. Then remove the top smaller section of cozy, then unscrew the top smaller section of caddy. Once this has been done it is simply a matter of adding dry food or heated, (adding hot water if dry food is used) to the bottom section and replacing the top caddy and cozy sections. Then when ready just open the whole thing and enjoy.
 

 
Instructions
Do not expose to flame or direct stove heat.

Warning:
The cozy is only an insulator and will melt if put near heat or a flame. Protect from abrasion and sharp objects.

 
First impressions
When I opened the package and first felt the weight of the cozy I could not believe just how light it felt. I also noted just how slippery the stuff sack was. At home the other night I prepared some powdered potato mash just as I would when in the bush.
I added the just the right amount of mash to a zip lock bag and placed this into the bottom of the caddy. I then added boiling water while stirring until I thought the consistency was right.
I then waited a couple of minutes for things to cook. I then opened it all up and added some meat to the mix and eat it all up. It had stayed quite warm and the potato was cooked just right.

I look forward to using this more on my next trip to the bush in one weeks time. I will be out for four, maybe five nights and enjoying lots of hot meals.

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Long Term Report
I have been using the cozy/caddy combination now for a few months and during this time I have used it on a three night hiking trip along the Bibbulmun Track. On this trip I used it for my breakfast coffee and for my evening meals. I hiked this section with a good friend of mine and at times I was cooking for two. I have used it on a couple of one night trips were I used it for my evening meal mainly and also my morning coffee. And on numerous day trips where I used it for some lunches and for hot drinks.
I have a couple of different packs and use one or the other depending on the amount of nights I would be out but my use of the caddy was always the same. I found I am able to fit my MSR Pocket Rocket stove inside the caddy along with a lighter, some small items of food and other gear. This was then just placed into the pack in the best spot I could find between some soft clothing. Perhaps I was being overly careful with the cozy because I felt it would puncture, but so far it has not sustained damage at all.
A typical meal on the trail.
caddy and stove
When I was out for the multi day hike along the Bibbulmun Track I took meals that I had dehydrated at home and rehydrated out on the trail. Because I was cooking for two most nights I found the cozy to be invaluable. I would prepare and heat one dish in my pot and when it was nice and hot I would place it into the cozy, then while that was staying hot I would heat the other dish in my pot and when that was ready I could serve both dishes steaming hot.


One thing I did notice was that once I had finished eating from the caddy, the cozy was very hard to remove for cleaning. I think what happens is the air inside the cozy becomes hot and expands. Once it cools I am able to remove it easily.
In the mornings I would have a cup of coffee and made it up in the top section of the caddy. The coffee stays nice and hot for what seemed the whole cup rather than getting too cool as I drink it. The caddy does not hold any food flavours or smells, and so when I had coffee in the morning it did not smell of last night’s beef stroganoff.

 

While I heat my curry, my noodles are cooking and staying hot in the cozy.
cooking
The main trouble I have found while hiking and using this cozy is that when I have finished using it, and cleaned it out in the morning prior to putting it away in my pack, the inside stays damp. The inside of the lid and in the bottom of the larger section always have some moisture left behind no matter how hard I try to dry it. On trail I use a small section of chamois to dry my cooking gear but try as I may the inside of the caddy was always slightly damp. This means that when I pack all of the gear that fits into the caddy in the morning. When I open the caddy to remove my gear the following night it is all damp inside. The three in one coffee packs I use for example come out very damp and soggy.

I have found a small problem that does annoy me and that is the sack that wraps around the whole thing. It really is a work of art it and is made to fit very snugly over the cozy but I wish it was not so snug a fit. I have found that when I replace the caddy/cozy back into the sack, as I slide the sack up from the bottom the draw cord always catches at the point where the two sections meet. The draw cord slides into the slight gap at this point and I have to fiddle around to remove it from the gap. It would have been better if the sack was just that little big bigger in diameter.
The rounded edges of the cozy.
rounded corners


 
Typical items I carry inside the caddy while it is in my pack.
items
The worn joint between the two sections.the join
 
I have noticed also that the top and bottom edges of the cozy and the edges where the two sections join are showing signs of use. The top and bottom edges are getting a lot more rounded, the corners are getting worn through being packed away in my back pack and the middle edge is getting worn by the draw cord issue.

After using the cozy very successfully while out camping I wondered just how hot the food stayed while in the cozy. I decided to run some tests under controlled conditions where I could measure the temperature of the food inside the caddy. I decided to use two minute noodles (Raman noodles) as the food, and bought six packets to use. The test involved heating noodles in my pot over my camp stove until boiling, and then once they had boiled for a while I poured them into the caddy. I took the temperature at that point to make sure every batch started at the same temperature 85 C (185 F) and I took measurements every three minutes for twenty minutes. The outside air temperature was between 10 C and 14 C (50 F and 57 F). I created a chart of my findings which is shown below. This test really shows just how hot food stays when in the cozy and I think I would not go without it now.
Plus the noodles did not go to waste, my wife made a pile of noodle patties with them for my son and daughter. Email me for the recipe.
My test equipment.
test gear
Morning coffee while testing a new stove setup.
morning coffee
The chart showing how hot food stays within the cozy.
chart of temp
Conclusion
I thought at first the cozy would be just a nice toy to play with and would be a bit of a novelty while in camp. I also thought that it would not last very long being carried about in my pack and taken in and out to use, but I was wrong. This cozy/caddy combination is one that works very well, is quite tough, and is still working as it should even with a little bit rounding of the edges. It keeps my food very warm and is great to use if I am preparing more than one item at a time for dinner. I can see I will be using this cozy for a long time to come and I hope that it holds up as it has done so far.

So, would I recommend this item to a friend? Yes I would. It is well worth using. 

I must say a thank you to Antigravitygear and backpackgeartest.org for this opportunity to be surprised and happy to keep using a product after the testing is over.
Thanks
Andrew
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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > AntiGravityGear Caldera Caddy Sack > Test Report by Andrew Preece



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