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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > AntiGravityGear Caldera Caddy Sack > Test Report by Mark McLauchlin

AntiGravityGear Caldera Caddy Sack
Initial Report 10th April 2009
Long-Term Report 25th August 2009
By Mark McLauchlin

Caddy1

Reviewer Information

Name: Mark McLauchlin
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Height: 1.76 m (5 9)
Weight: 80 kg (176 lb)
Email: mark at swanvalleyit.com.au
City: Perth, Western Australia

Backpacking Background

I have been hiking since 2006 with most of my hiking consisting of day walks averaging 16 - 22 km (10 - 14 mi) and short overnight trips where possible. Most of my hiking is along the Bibbulmun Track and Coastal Plains Trail. I consider myself to be a light hiker with an average pack weight of 13 kg (29 lb), which I am working to reduce. I generally sleep in my tarp tent or huts that are often scattered along the various hiking trails.

Product Information
Caddy5
Manufacturer: AntiGravityGear
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: www.antigravitygear.com
MSRP: $15.00USD
Size: Small. X-Small, Medium and Long also available.
Listed Weight: 1.5 oz (42 g)
Measured Weight: 1.5 oz (42 g)
Listed Diameter: 4 in (10 cm)
Measured Diameter: 4 in (10 cm)
Listed Height: 7 in (18 cm)
Measured Height: 7 in (18 cm)


Product Description
The Caddy Sack is an effective addition to light weight backpacking cook sets. It features a two piece reflective insulator cozy neatly packaged together by a light weight sil-nylon stuff sack.

The sack is designed to aid in the cooking process when using the freezer bag cooking (FBC) style by efficiently retaining the heat within the food grade Caldera Caddy made by Trail Designs. Although the two items are made by different manufacturers they are like two peas in a pod, perfectly designed for each other.

As described by the manufacturer;

"The Caldera Caddy Sack is the perfect compliment to the Trail Designs Caldera Cone system and Caldera Caddy. Add versatility and performance to your Caldera system by turning your food-grade Caddy halves into an insulated mug and bowl.

Perfect for freezer bag cooking too. Simply place the freezer bag with your food into the Caddy/cozy assembly and seal in the heat while your food cooks. Then, eat out of the bag with the bag fully supported in the insulated Caddy."
Caddy4

Initial Impressions
This is a really well designed and manufactured product suitable for the lightweight enthusiast. Looking nice and closely at the construction of the sil-nylon sack it appears to be very well sewn and the quality of the material is excellent. There are no loose threads or seams coming apart. I am very impressed with how well the sack fits over the insulated cozy, it is very well done and provides for an overall neat package. Removing and replacing the cozy with caddy back into the sack is very easy and requires no effort.

The design of the insulated cozy is again very simple, well designed and constructed. The two halves fit together nicely and perform effectively. When the food grade caddy halves are removed from the insulated cozy, the cozy is quite rigid and does not have much flexibility. This is not an issue for me as the two will accompany each other on my trips.

Although this report series does not cover the food-grade caddy halves, which are designed by Trail Designs, it is worth noting that they can be used as a bowl, cup, insulated mug and general storage container. The construction is again very good, they appear well made and show no signs of production faults. There is no obvious smell that is sometimes associated with plastics which is a bonus. During the test series I will report on how these perform and compliment the AGG Caddy Sack system.

Initial Trial
My Initial trial of the Caddy Sack went well and it performed as I had hoped. Although I did not record any heat changes or food preparation time in this instance I did notice an improvement. For the first use I heated up some instant noodles in the method suggested by AGG. This involved boiling up some water on my stove, then pouring that into a resealable plastic container placed inside the caddy containing the noodles. I then screwed the lid on and waited for several minutes, checking randomly to see how things were progressing. The result was a bag of cooked noodles that I was able to eat whilst being protected from potential burns. The insulated cozy provided for three functions in this case, firstly it assisted with the cooking time, secondly it protected my hands from burns whilst eating and thirdly it assisted with heat retention of the contents.

I have also experimented with using the lid to the caddy as a cup replacement (multi-use gear is great). Caddy7On the lid I have drawn a small line to indicate the same volume as my normal cup. The cozy also fits well on this with enough room at the top to be able to get my lips on the plastic lid and not the insulation. The 'cup' performed well doing a fantastic job.

Both of the above scenarios will be something that I will test further whilst out in the field and I will also more accurately record the advantages of this system.

Reading the Instructions
George (Tin Man) Andrews includes as nice letter in which he provides some nice, simple and easy to understand advise as to why the caddy sack was designed and how it was/is intended to be used. Here is an extract;

"When doing FBC (Freezer Bag Cooking), I use a one gallon freezer bag instead of the 1 quart size bag. I put the bag into the bottom caddy half and drape the open end over the caddy rim. Then pour in the boiling water and screw the top half in place with the cozys installed to make it like a big thermos bottle while the food cooks."

SummaryCaddy2
Things I liked
Light weight
Simple and effective design
Quality workmanship on the construction

Things I disliked
Nothing at all

This concludes my Initial Report. The Field Report will be amended to this report in approximately two months from the date of this report. Please check back then for further information.

Thank you to AntiGravityGear and BackpackGearTest.org for the privilege of testing the Caddy Sack.

 

 

 


Long-Term Report
25th August 2009

View from Helena Hut

View from Helena Hut - Bibbulmun Track

The AntiGravityGear Caddy Sack has accompanied me on several short overnight hikes along the Northern sections of the Bibbulmun Track and also on a three night hike along the same trail. I am attempting to section hike the entire length of the track. During my trips the Caddy Sack was used in a variety of different ways, I was looking for a multi-purpose solution that would enable me to carry less without making meal preparation and consumption a complicated task.

On the three day hike the caddy and cozy combination was used as a container to hold my smaller food items such as sugar, powdered milk, cereal and tea bags. I used the top half of the caddy with the cozy very successfully as an insulated cup. I found this to be really good and is definitely something I will continue to use, it's so simple yet very effective in both keeping the contents a little warmer for a longer period of time and also preventing my hands from being burnt. Numerous people I bumped into along the trail commented on this feature. I also used the caddy as a container to rehydrate my meals by pouring a small amount of water inside, along with my food then placing the lid back on and waiting for the rehydration to complete. Once that was done I then pour the food into my pot and heat through until the temperature is just right. Then transfer it back again to the Caddy Sack where I now have a multi-purpose bowl that is again insulated helping to retain the temperature of the food.

My short overnight hikes and day hikes saw the Caddy Sack used in a very similar way again, where the top section was used to serve a nice warm cup of either tea or soup. The bottom section was used to assist with rehydration and act as an insulated bowl.
 

Top half of Caddy Sack, Tea bag and Powered Milk Top half of Caddy Sack makes a great insulated cup

Top half of Caddy Sack, Tea bag and Powered Milk

Top half of Caddy Sack makes a great insulated cup

Caddy Sack makes a good storage container Soup warming up

Caddy Sack makes a good storage container

Soup warming up

On one occasion I did try to use the Caddy Sack without the caddy, instead I used a resealable plastic bag containing my dehydrated meal. This proved to be quite painful and not worth the effort in my opinion. The caddy provides the wall stability and without it the cozy is very flimsy and makes eating difficult. The two are definitely better in combination.

Washing the caddy was a simple process both on and off the trail. While out hiking it was rinsed with cold water and a piece of cleaning cloth; no chemical cleaning agents. The caddy was always smell and stain free at the end of washing up. When I was able to wash the caddy at home I tried both hand washing in the sink with hot soapy water and it was also put through the washing machine several times, both of which again were effective. The cozy on the other hand was only ever washed by hand with a damp cloth, this does however work very effectively. The caddy does not show any signs of discolouration or staining and the same can be said for the cozy.

After continued use the cozy still joins together around the caddy well and does not show any real signs of wear, damage or misalignment. There are no rips, tears or issues with the tape joins on the cozy. The sil-nylon sack holds it all together very nicely and again shows no evidence of deterioration. The material and threads are still in great condition.

I would like to suggest or make comment that some form of tape could be used to seal the edges of the cozy from where it was cut during manufacture. This will help prevent any moisture build up between the layers of material and perhaps keep that edge formed a little better.

Summary

I do not have any concerns with the AntiGravityGear Caddy Sack and will continue to use it as a multi-purpose cooking accessory. The insulation this combination provides has me sold.

This concludes my report series for the AntiGravityGear Caddy Sack.

Thank you to AntiGravityGear and BackpackGearTest.org for the privilege of testing the Caddy Sack.

 

 

Read more reviews of AntiGravityGear gear
Read more gear reviews by Mark McLauchlin

Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > AntiGravityGear Caldera Caddy Sack > Test Report by Mark McLauchlin



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