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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > FLEJ Solo Cup > Test Report by Mark McLauchlin

Flej Solo Cup

Initial Report 28th May 2008
Field Report 13th August 2008

Long-Term Report 14th October 2008

 

1
* 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.

I consider myself to be a light hiker with an average pack weight of
13 kg (29 lb).

My preference is for hot dinners, breakfasts of cereals with fresh fruit,
and lunches usually of bars and sandwiches.

* Product Information
Manufacturer: Sedge Warbler
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.sedgewarbler.com/
Listed Weight: Not Listed
Listed Capacity: 300 ml (10 oz)
Measured Weight Total: 110g (3.88 oz)
Measured Weight Lid: 24g (0.85 oz)
Measured Weight Cup (no lid or cozy): 70g (2.47 oz)
Measured Weight cozy: 14g (0.49 oz)
MSRP: GBP 7.50

* Initial Impressions
The size of the cup was surprising, I had expected something larger however this does suit my style of hiking which involves smaller and lighter items. The cup measures 11 cm or 4.3 inches in height which is comparable to my Mini Maglight.

The lid spout is quite large, 2.5 cm by 1 cm (0.98 x 0.39 in).

FLEJ Solo cups are unique by way of their inbuilt stirring feature. The Agitor Micro Pump is located on the base of the cup and is activated by repeated pumping with the finger or by sucking on the lid spout which creates movement of the liquid inside, as can be see from the images below.

The Agitor Micro Pump is made from a high quality medical grade plastic according to the manufacturers website.

The first drink I had in the cup was hot chocolate with milk and sugar. Once all the ingredients were added I poured in the hot water and exercised the Agitor with my finger approximately eight times. When the drink was finished I opened the lid to find there was nothing remaining in the bottom of the cup. This shows me the Agitor worked as expected.

65

The cup seems sturdy and hardwearing, easy to clean and very functional. It is made from a clear plastic that is relatively thick. The diameter of the base of the cup is smaller than the top. It can be seen from most of the images the cup walls slope in slightly.

The cup also comes with a removable neoprene cozy to keep the contents hotter for longer and there are six colours to select from when purchasing. For this test series I selected the Camo colour.

* Reading the Instructions
The packaging of the cup provides instructions for use and other general information on the product which are easily understood and informative.

*Illustration courtesy of FLEJ

Features of cup as per the packaging:2

Agitor Micro-Pump on-board stirrer.
Microwave and dishwasher safe.
Fits practically all car cup holders.
Thick Grip prevents finger burn.
Generous 300ml (10 oz) capacity.
No batteries.
Hygienic and easy to clean.
Built to last.
Compatible with other FLEJ gear.

"3 Reasons why FLEJ self-stir cups are useful

1. Never find sugar at the bottom of your cup again! On-board stirring gives a perfectly mixed drink every time.

2. Unlike a spoon which can be forgotten or lost, FLEJ's stirrer is always where it should be when you need it. Ideal for camping or travel.

3. With FLEJ you can stir with the lid attached reducing the risk of spillage and scalding. Perfect for in-car or office use."

34*The Agitor Micro Pump in base of cup
 

* Testing Strategy
The emphasis of my test plan will be on day trips and overnight hikes, which I actively combine into geocaching. These products will form part of my kitchen for the duration of the testing.

I am looking forward to being able to take this out with me on my hiking trips, and will be very interested to see how it performs. I will also use this for hot drinks in my car.

This concludes my initial report. Please check back in two months for the results of the field report.
 


Field Report

Flej on a rock



I have found the Flej Solo to be a great companion and most suitable to day hikes and short overnight trips. This little cup is a big performer and gets two thumbs up from me.

During all of my hikes listed below I have used the cup for my hot and cold beverage requirements.

So far I have made approximately 80 hot drinks, yes I am a heavy drinker, of tea, coffee and Milo and numerous cold drinks generally wine and cordial.

* Field information

My first hike with the cup was along the Eagle View Walk Trail in the John Forrest National Park. The trail was made from a granite and clay base with slightly overgrown vegetation covering some of the track. Elevation ranged from 50 m (160 ft) to 260 m (850 ft). The temperature started at 20 C (68 F) and rose slightly to 23 C (73 F) during the days walk. Rain was very heavy for the last 4 km (2.5 miles) so much that water level was up to my ankles. The total length of the hike was 17 km (10.5 miles).

The next three hikes were out to my favourite place, Helena Hut on the Bibbulmun Track. This loop walk is 22 km (13.7 miles) and can be completed either in one day or the night can be spent at the campsite which consists of a shelter, toilet and fire ring. The first two trips out to Helena the weather was fine, with a minimum of 20 C (68 F) and a max of 25C (77 F) and no rain was experienced. The trail consists of some old logging roads with a gravel base. The further you progress into the walk the trail becomes small and somewhat over grown.

The third trip out to Helena was a little cooler (exact temperatures unknown) and there was also a small amount of rain on the return trip.

I took it on a hike further south of the state to a place known as Beedelup Hut also along the Bibbulmun Track. This area is well known for its cold temperatures, high amounts of rain and lush green surroundings within the Karri Tree forests. The temperature was around 17 C (63 F) and there was a constant light precipitation the duration of the hike. This walk was quite short at 7 km (4 miles); having a nice warm drink was a pleasant treat.

My last trip for the duration of the field report was along the Coastal Plains Trail in the Yanchep National park. This was an overnight hike staying at one of the huts along the trail. Trail conditions were very sandy. Temperatures reached a low of 8 C (46 F) with a cold wind throughout the night.

* Field experience

Durability

The cup appears to be standing up quite well to the large amounts of use I have been giving it and at this stage I see no obvious signs of wear that will affect its performance.

It has been washed through the dishwasher the majority of the time. There have also been occasions when it is dismantled whilst hiking and cleaned with cold water and it has also been used for drinks and not washed for several days later to test for stains. I am happy to report there are no stains as yet and the cleaning process is nice and simple.

The neoprene cozy has started to come apart a little towards the top, this can be seen in several of the photos if viewed carefully, however this is not causing any issues and I will continue to monitor it. I have been cleaning the cozy in warm soapy water every few days and this seems to be working well.

The Agitor and other various seals in the cup are in great condition and also show no signs of deterioration.

Functionality

I have found the cup to be very functional and  well suited to my style of gear packing. I like to stow items inside of others to save on space and make it easier whilst at camp to locate things.

The images below show how I have been able to store two Milk Jigglers, two bags of my favourite tea (Australian Breakfast) and four packets of sugar all inside the Flej solo. This is a real nifty feature.

Packed contents Packed contents

When using the Flej I have attempted to alternate between using the Agitor MicroPump with my fingers and using the mouth piece, so far my preference is to use my fingers as it takes some convincing to suck on the spout with my mouth with extremely hot liquids inside.

Below images show the Flej in action out in the field. Making tea I found to be a real pleasure, no manual stirring was needed i.e. no spoon, and there were no signs of anything left over once the drink was finished. Initially I was expecting to see some sugar on the bottom.

The image to the lower right shows instant coffee being made with the Flej. I did have some issues here as you can see with the contents not being fully mixed however I was able to overcome this by either pouring more hot water on top or by placing the lid on and giving the cup a slight jiggle.

Flej with a Tea bag Flej with instant coffee
The neoprene cozy works well and does keep my drink warmer for longer and also prevents my hands from being burnt. It is a nice tight fit which means the cup isn't at danger of falling through. Getting the cozy on and off is nice and easy. I simply roll it on or off as opposed to trying to pull it off. In other words I pull the top edge down over itself to remove it which turns it inside out and then reverse the procedure to get it back on again.

The size of the cup, 300 ml (10 oz), was initially something I thought was going to be difficult to adjust to as normally I would drink close to double this. I can see the advantage of a smaller volume over a large one especially as the cup is marketed towards the camping and hiking community. We are all trying to pack lighter and smaller aren't we?

I would like to make mention of my experience with the support staff. There have been two occasions where I wanted some clarification on an issue both of which were very promptly and satisfactorily answered the next business day. My first question was around what the small key hole located near the mouth piece was for. The response was that this has two main functions. Firstly it is a breather hole to make a drink flow a little better at less of an angle and secondly there are plans for add-ons to the cup which will make use of this feature.

My second contact with the Flej was with regards to a leak issue I was experiencing between the base of the cup and the Agitor. In short the leak was due to the fact I was not exerting enough force when tightening up the cup. The support team suggests the base needs to be "jam jar tight". This did correct the issue. At the time the support staff were concerned that this could lead to burns if not tightened enough and I can now see as a result they have updated their FAQ page to reflect this.

Here is an extract of the FAQ. There is a typo which I have also alerted them to.

"CAUTION: Please take special care to refit the base properly by lining up the marker on the side of the cup with the marker on the base. The base is a tight fit so that children can't accidently unsrew it. It helps to wet the base before tightening. Failure to fit the base properly could result in leakage and scalding in the case of hot drinks"

* Summary

I am really enjoying this great little cup and will continue to take it out hiking with me and also use it around work and home.

This concludes my Field Report. The Long-Term Report should be completed by September. Please check back then for further information.
 


Long-Term Report

Since my last report was submitted I have only managed to take the Flej out on one more field trip. This consisted of a day hike, approximately 22 km or 13 miles. The temperature was mild, 17 C (63 F), and there was no precipitation.

The Flej Solo has become part of my morning hot tea ritual and accompanies me on my drive to work each day. I find that the 300 ml or 10 oz capacity to be just right as a first brew for the day.

To date I have made over 300 hot beverages using the Flej Solo. The contents have included tea, coffee, hot chocolate, red wine, white port, cordial, water and soup.

Cleaning the Flej is a breeze, either in the dishwasher or by hand. It disassembles easily which ensures all the components are thoroughly cleaned and ready to be assembled again.

The Agitor and plastic body show no signs of wear, damage or staining from its continual and varied use. The durability of the cup has been excellent.

The fact that I do not need a spoon when using the Flej is still a great selling point for me. When I am out on day hikes or in the office kitchen the fact that a spoon is not needed is a real bonus.

I have only one issue with the Flej and that is the stitching on cozy. It appears as though when sewn during the assembly phase the machine hasn't run back over the stitch as would normally be see on other items. This has caused the thread to come undone and the cozy to separate along this sewn edge. For the purpose of the test I have not corrected this issue however I will do so before my next trip.

Stitch Repairs Needed

I continue to wash the cozy in warm soapy water which is working well. The cozy really does look clean.

* Summary

Overall I am extremely satisfied with the Flej Solo and would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a cup that provides great thermal insulation, is great for packing your drink consumables inside of, functionally works and is worried about durability. The Agitor which is one of the key features that makes this thermal cup stand out from its competition should not be overlooked.

Things I liked.
No spoon needed.
No more spills.
Great customer service.
Cozy provides excellent insulation.
Very durable plastic.
Easy to clean.
Good for storing consumables in.
Size is just right.

Things I disliked.
Stitching on the cozy needs attention.

The Flej Solo has been a great little cup, I have thoroughly enjoyed testing it.

I look forward to the enhancements and add-ons they have planned and hopefully the opportunity to test these.

Thank you to Sedge Warbler and BackpackGearTest.org for the privilege of testing the Flej Solo Cup, it's been great fun.



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

Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > FLEJ Solo Cup > Test Report by Mark McLauchlin



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