GSI Halulite Minimalist
April 20 2011
lb (89.40 kg)
in 1995 when I moved to Washington State. Since then, I have
backpacked in all seasons and conditions. I prefer trips on
rugged trails with plenty of elevation gain. While I continuously
strive to lighten my load, comfort and safety are most important to me.
I have finally managed to get my basic cold weather pack weight, not
including consumables, to under 30lbs (14 kg).
5 oz (142 g)
6.5 oz (183 g)
[ note: pot & lid only 5 oz (142 g)]
|4.2" x 4.2" x 4.6"
courtesy of GSI Outdoors
GSI Halulite Minimalist is designed as a cook pot / insulated drinking
mug for soloists looking to reduce pack weight. The vessel is made from
a proprietary alloy they claim is as light as Titanium but conducts and
distributes heat more evenly. The surface is described as a Hard
Anodized Aluminum that is non-reactive, scratch resistant, and
resistant to burn spots. The vessel comes with a neoprene insulating
sleeve as well as a reversible (I will discuss that later)
drink-through lid. It also comes with a collapsible spork (they call it
“foon”) and a light and simple silicone pot gripper.
have used the pot many times over the last year or so. I have used the
cook set minus the “foon” (I will explain later), for solo backpacking
in the Washington Cascades at altitudes ranging from 800’ (20 m) to
over 4000’ (1200 m) in all 4 seasons, including while snow camping. I
have used it to make tea while snowshoeing and cook meals while
backpacking. I have mostly used it with my alcohol stoves but have also
used it to cook over camp fires.
I purchased the cook set in an
effort to help reduce my pack load as well as expand my cooking
abilities. I was looking for something light and compact as well as
less prone to burning/scorching during cooking than my titanium pot. I
was also looking for a pot better suited for some of the alcohol stoves
I use/make. The cook set was designed so that some of the ultra light
pressurized gas stoves can be stored inside of the pot when not in use.
I don’t have one of these, but do store my alcohol stove inside the pot
along with a lighter and the pot gripper. I have tried storing a small
container of alcohol in the pot, but found this could leave an alcohol
taste and smells in the pot so have stopped doing this.
use the pot for cooking, I remove the lid and insulating sleeve. At
first this could be a bit difficult as both fit rather tightly. The lid
has a small tab that makes its removal easer (I would not want to try
to get it off without the tab. After much use the insulating sleeve has
gotten easier to get off, but still snug enough that there is no risk
of it working off while I am using it or while it is in my pack. The
lid of the pot is designed to be used as a sipper lid and used inverted
during cooking. When reversed it fits loosely and is easily removed,
this is a good safety feature since the tight fitting lid would be
rather dangerous to try to remove while on a stove, and since it fits
so tightly, boil over’s could result in a fountain of boiling liquid
spurting out of the drink opening. The pot does not have a handle but
does come with a small silicone pot griper. I slip two fingers into one
side of the pot griper and it protects my fingers allowing me to grasp
the upper rim of the pot. The instructions say the pot gripper can be
used to pour out the contents but I found this inadvisable. When
attempting this I found my fingers and/or hand could be burned by the
steam coming off the pot. I found it was much better to use the griper
to place the pot into the insulating sleeve before pouring. Once in the
insulating sleeve, the pot can be handled from the sides and burns are
not an issue.
By placing the pot into the insulating sleeve and
attaching the lid, the pot converts into an insulated drinking mug. I
have used this often for tea, coffee, & broth.
I have used
this pot with a few different alcohol stoves (one commercial one and at
least 3 home made ones of various designs). I also have cooked with it
over open camp fires, I have placed it on a log above the fire as well
as placed it on a rock directly adjacent to a fire, both worked quite
well. I have been quite impressed with the pot's ability to distribute
heat and the durability of the surface. Even when heating by placing it
next to a camp fire, I was able to quickly boil water. Most of the
alcohol stoves I have used have a single center flame. This results in
a single hot spot in the center of my Titanium pan and I have to be
careful to not burn the bottom of the pan or food. This is not an issue
with the Halulite Minimalist. I have made a number of different foods in
this pot ranging from tea and soup to rice and oatmeal. With only one
exception, I have not had any trouble with burning food in the pot.The
one exception was entirely my fault as I did not add enough water nor
did I mix it properly. In addition to alcohol stoves I have used this
pot on liquid gas stoves as well as a pressurized gas stove. The narrow
diameter of the pot can be too small for some of my larger stoves, but
since I purchased it to be used with my alcohol stoves, this is really
not a problem.
The surface of the pot is very durable. Sticky
and even burnt food seems to come off rather easily as does soot. For
field cleaning the manufacturer recommends using a bit of fine sand to
scrub the pot. I normally carry a small kitchen scrub pad (the green
ones) and this has worked great. On one trip I tried cooking my dinner
by placing the pot on a log in a camp fire. The pot got completely
blackened by the soot (I assumed this was going to be permanent but was
wrong) and even though it was heated unevenly (mostly from one side
since it was sitting on a log) it cooked the soup with no problems. For
cleaning, I simply rubbed it down with a handful of wet sand from the
nearby stream and was amazed at how well it cleaned up!
spork or “Foon”, is the one item in this set that I could do without.
It is collapsible so that it can be stored in the pot, but I found it
to be flimsy, sometimes collapsing while I am using it, and often the
end would simply come off in my hand. Since I am not a big fan of
sporks (most useless invention ever in my opinion) I used it only a few
times before I replaced it with my standard eating utensils: a plastic
spoon and disposable wooden chopsticks. I find there is nothing I can’t
easily eat with a spoon and chopsticks. BTW the chopsticks serve
double duty as part of my emergency fire starting kit.
the only critique I have of the system, besides the “Foon”, is the
neoprene insulating sleeve, and it is a very minor item. I am not a big
fan of the smell of neoprene and so sometimes this can get in the way
of enjoying my food (yes, I am really nitpicking here). Also, the
insulating sleeve is showing some signs of wear, a few stains and some
fraying on the edges, and I have yet to find a way to replace it. I
e-mailed the manufacturer asking about how I could replace the sleeve
but never received a reply.
Aside from some minor issues, silly
spork & the smell of neoprene, I really like this product. It is my
number one favorite cooking system and I am thinking about getting one
of the larger systems for when backpacking with others. It has all of
the features I look for in my gear: Multi-functional, durable/reliable,
lightweight, and inexpensive.
- Lightweight & Multi-functional
- Simple, with few extras
- Durable & easy to clean
- Silly useless "Foon" aka Spork
- The smell of neoprene