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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > GSI Glacier Stainless Tea Kettle > Test Report by Katie Montovan


GSI Glacier Stainless Kettle

Picture from www.gsioutdoors.com/

Test Series by Kathryn Montovan

INITIAL REPORT: October 8, 2012
FIELD REPORT: January 16, 2013
LONG TERM REPORT: March 13, 2013

Tester Information

Name: Kathryn Montovan

Biography:

I have been backpacking, climbing, kayaking, canoeing and winter camping for over 10 years. My excursions are mostly weekend and occasionally weeklong backpacking and kayaking trips in the wooded and often wet, rolling terrain of western New York. I usually tarp camp with a small to large group and love to cook fun and delicious foods on my trips. In general, I strive for a compact and light pack and value well-made and durable gear.

E-Mail: sull0294(at)gmail(dot)com
Age: 29
Location: Groton, New York USA
Gender: F
Height: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)

INITIAL REPORT

Product Information and Specifications:


Manufacturer:

GSI Outdoors

Year of Manufacture:

2012
Manufacturer's Website: www.gsioutdoors.com
MSRP US $22.95
Listed Weight: 9.3 oz (264 g)
Measured Weight: 8.9 oz (252 g)
Listed Capacity:
1 qt. (0.95 L)
Listed Dimensions: 6.3" x 5.9" x 3.5" (16 x 15 x 8.9 cm)
Measured Dimensions:
Base: 6" (15.2 cm) diameter
Opening: 5" (12.7 cm) diameter
Height: 3.5" (8.9 cm)
Materials: Stainless Steel
Included:
Tea Kettle and Lid

Product image
The Glacier Tea Kettle pouring water into a thermos

Product Description:

The GSI Glacier Kettle (hereafter the "kettle or the "tea kettle") is a stainless steel tea kettle with a wide base that is designed for durability and superior heating that allows for cooking over any stove or open flame. It has a short spout and a handle that folds close to the kettle for storage but locks into an upright position for easy use while cooking. The product packaging states that the stainless steel is "non-reactive and is impervious to scraping, scratching, scouring and scorching."

Initial Impressions:

This is a nice little tea kettle. It is shiny stainless steel and is solidly constructed. It looks like it will be durable and stand up to the abuses of camping. The handle easily clicks into place when raised and is secure enough to not fall down on its own, but is easy to fold down and out of the way. The spout is short enough to stay out of the way when packed, but long enough to pour well.

I took out my camping cookware to see how this kettle would nest with other items and found that my stove fits inside it quite well. I will need to play with how to pack the kettle in a way that does not take up a lot of additional space in my pack, but I am confident that I will be able to pack in and around it so that it fits with my other gear.

Trying It Out

I did a simple test of this tea kettle by heating water in it on my kitchen stove. It took 5 minutes to bring 3 cups (24 fl oz) of water to a simmer (hot enough for tea, but not a rolling boil). The kettle performed well in this initial test. The hot water poured smoothly out of the spout without any drips and the handle stayed in place well, and made it easy to pour the tea kettle. The lid stayed in place until I tipped the kettle to vertical. On the stove top the handle of the kettle stayed cool enough to hold without a hot pad. Over a fire or camp stove I am guessing that the handle will not stay cool enough to hold, but I will test this when I take the kettle into the field.

Summary

I am impressed by my initial test of this kettle and am looking forward to testing it in the field over a range of stoves. I will keep a close eye on the durability of this tea kettle, and the ease with which it cleans up after heavy use over a fire.

FIELD REPORT

Field Locations and Conditions:

2 night car camping trip to Stillwater Reservoir in the Western Adirondacks. Conditions: between 50 and 65 F (10 to 18 C), sunny and dry.

3 hiking/snowshoeing day trips near Ithaca, New York where the kettle was used for hot drinks at lunch. Conditions included rain, snow, sun, wind, with temperatures between 20 F and 60 F (-7 to 16 C)

Performance in the Field:

I am not a coffee drinker, nor do I usually use rehydrated meals when I am on the trail, but I do seriously love peppermint tea in the morning, at lunch, and before bed. I have been searching for a nice little teapot for a while but could never quite justify buying one and packing the extra weight since I could easily heat water in my pot. But I have found that when I would really like to make hot drinks, there is usually food in my pot (either ready to be eaten, or cooking), and that I really do need to carry along something extra to use for heating water since it is such an important part of my happiness on the trail.

For this purpose I have been thoroughly impressed by the GSI Glacier Kettle. It is a sturdy kettle that has held up well to the abuses of trail use. The handle is very nicely designed. It clicks fairly securely into place, but is easy to move out of the way if the kettle is sitting on a surface. So far in this test I have only used the tea kettle over my homemade alcohol stove. I have found that the water boils swiftly, the handle stays cool enough to pick up with my bare hands, and that even excitedly boiling water pours smoothly out of the kettle. I have not had a need to remove the lid while the kettle is on the stove or is hot, so I cannot speak to the difficulty of removing the lid, but testing it while cool I notice that the loop on the lid is small and if the lid is lifted straight up, then it catches on the handle (possible a design feature to prevent the lid from falling off while pouring).  Either way, I generally don't need to remove the lid while the kettle is hot, and have not had the lid fall off during use yet.

My alcohol stove has left a patina (brownish tint) on the bottom that is not removed by simple washing, but also does not rub off onto me or other gear.  It does not show any signs of damage from being packed with my camping gear or in my day pack, and is sturdy enough to not need special care during packing. I really like the stainless steel because it is easy to care for, durable, and shiny. With my non-stick pots I always worry about denting them in my pack or scratching them with what I put inside, and it is nice to just not have to worry about any of these things with this kettle.




The GSI Glacier Kettle in use for hot drinks on a day trip in the snow.

Likes:

  • Sturdy Construction
  • Handle locks up but is easy to put down when needed
  • Pours well without any drips
  • Handle stays cool
  • Cleans up well

Dislikes:

  • Nothing so far

Summary:

The GSI Glacier Kettle has been very fun to test. It has performed beautifully and convinced me that a tea kettle is in fact an important enough piece of gear to be worth the weight in my pack.

LONG TERM REPORT

Field Locations and Conditions:

4 day hikes near Ithaca, New York where we stopped for hot drinks. Conditions were similar to in the Field Report and included rain, snow, sun, wind, with temperatures between 20 F and 60 F (-7 to 16 C). Stoves included a white gas camp stove, a wood-gasifier, and an alcohol stove.

Performance:

Different Stoves: The Glacier Stainless kettle performed well over every stove that I used (including a white gas stove, wood gasifier stove, and alcohol stove). I was impressed at how well the kettle cleaned up after use over a wood stove. When I got it home it was covered in soot (I did not soap it before use) but after a quick cleaning with dish soap and a kitchen scrubber almost all the soot was gone and the pot was shiny again (See pictures to the right). Also, during this test my household tea kettle became non-functional and I grabbed this kettle to temporarily take its place. It worked so well that I have been using it daily at home for my morning tea with beautiful results. It  boils water much more quickly than the other household kettle I have had, pours neatly, and the handle stays cool if I don't let it boil for too long. The one downside for use at home is that it doesn't whistle.

Design Features: During this daily use I started wondering about the purpose of the small divot in the lid (a place where the lid material is indented down leaving a small hole). It looks very intentional. At first I thought that it might create a whistling sound when the water was boiling vigorously, so I put the kettle on the stove and let it boil vigorously, but no noise erupted as the steam poured out of the spout. Looking back on it, I am not surprised, to get a whistle you would have to put something over the spout. So I kept pondering the question and one morning realized that the purpose was almost certainly to provide a place for air to enter the kettle as water is being poured. If this is the purpose, it works beautifully with water pouring in a nice continuous stream out of the spout.

I also noticed that when the handle is up, it is difficult to take the lid off. This is somewhat of a hindrance when trying to fill the kettle, but when being filled it is typically cold and easily handled with the handle down. When pouring, the handle effectively keeps the lid in place so that it does not fall off even when the kettle is tipped to, or past, 90 degrees.

Wear: Careful inspection of the kettle at the end of this test shows very few signs of wear. The only difference that I notice is that the handle seems to be looser when 'locked' in the upright position. Even with this looseness, the kettle can still easily by lifted, poured, and tilted without the handle disengaging. 




The bottom after use over a wood burning stove.


Minutes later after being washed with dish soap and a kitchen sponge.

Likes:

  • Sturdy Construction
  • Handle locks up but is easy to put down when needed
  • Pours well without any drips
  • Handle stays cool
  • Cleans up well

Dislikes:

  • Nothing

Summary:

The GSI Glacier Kettle is a large step above the aluminum kettle I grew up with. It is sturdy, light, and pours beautifully. In addition, the handle stays cool when left in the upright position, and the lid is locked in place during pouring. It is a carefully designed piece of gear and has been a pleasure to use and test. This kettle may perform only one task (boiling water) but it does it so well that it will have a place in my pack when I am not going ultrlight.

I would like to thank GSI Outdoors and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this great little kettle.








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Read more gear reviews by Katie Montovan

Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > GSI Glacier Stainless Tea Kettle > Test Report by Katie Montovan



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