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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cooking Accessories > Guyot Designs Squishy Bowl Set > Test Report by Ryan Lane Christensen

Guyot Designs
logo courtesy of http://www.guyotdesigns.com


Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls

Test Series by Ryan Christensen

Last Update - August 17, 2009

In Package

ACCESS MAIN REPORT SECTIONS VIA THESE LINKS:

INITIAL REPORT
April 4, 2009

FIELD REPORT
June 9, 2009

LONG-TERM REPORT
August 17, 2009

INITIAL REPORT
April 4, 2009

Reviewer Information

Backpacking Background

Name:  Ryan L. Christensen
Age:  44
Gender:  Male
Height:  6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:  235 lb (107 kg)
Email:  bigdawgryan(at)yahoo(dot)com
City, State, Country:   Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA

I began backpacking at twelve, continuing until 25. After an extended hiatus, due in part to a bad back, I resumed cycling, hiking, and backpacking several years ago. I also began snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. I share my love for backpacking and these sports with my children. I am a midweight backpacker, but carry a full array of necessary gear.
 

Product Information:

The information below comes from the Guyot Designs website and product packaging

Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls
Manufacturer: Guyot Designs
Manufacturer website: http://www.guyotdesigns.com
Place of Manufacture: China
Year Manufactured: 2007 (based on the date printed on the packaging)
Materials: flexible food grade silicone
Temperature Resistance: to 400 F (204 C)
Squishy Bowls Available: large bowl
medium bowl
cup
travel shot
Colors Available: Tahoe Blue
Tomato
Celery
Slate
Tangerine (listed as a new color choice)
Warranty:
Limited Lifetime Warranty

"Guyot Designs warrants that this product will be free of defects in material and workmanship for as long as the original purchaser owns the product."
MSRP: (Bowl and Cup set)
Tahoe Blue
Tomato
Celery
Slate
Tangerine
Lime Bowl and Tahoe Cup

$15.95 US
$15.95 US
$15.95 US
$11.95 US
$15.95 US
$12.76 US

Product Specifications
Manufacturer's Specifications  
Listed Outer Dimensions:
diameter - medium bowl
diameter - cup
height - medium bowl
height - cup

4.15 in (105 mm)
3.45 in (88 mm)
2.75 in (70 mm)
2.45 in (62 mm)
Listed Weight:
medium bowl
cup
2.6 oz (74 g)
1.7 oz (48 kg)
Listed Capacity:
medium bowl
cup

16 oz (500 ml)
6 oz (200 ml)
Tester's Actual Measurements  
Outer Dimensions:
diameter - medium bowl
diameter - cup
height - medium bowl
height - cup

4.15 in (105 mm)
3.45 in (88 mm)
2.75 in (70 mm)
2.45 in (62 mm)
Weight:
medium bowl
cup

2.7 oz (77 g)
1.7 oz (48 g)
Capacity:
medium bowl
cup

16 oz (500 ml)
6 oz (200 ml)
Color Tested: Tangerine

Product Description:

Bowl BottomThe Squishy Bowls (hereafter referred to as "bowls") are made of flexible food grade silicone. The bowls are semi-spherical in shape. The bottom has a flat ringed area to support the bowls. Inside the flat ring, the bottom of the bowl is slightly concave. There are several things written on the bottom of the bowls including:
  • patent and copyright information
  • company logo
  • material
  • the statement "ethically manufactured in China"
  • the size and capacity for each bowl
  • freezer, dishwasher, and microwave safe
  • the acceptable temperature range
The exterior of the bowls are slightly textured. I assume the texturing is to enhance gripability. The interior of the bowls is slick. No doubt the slick interior surface is to make for quick cleanup.

set on snowThese bowls are easily collapsed/compacted and yet they readily return to and retain their original shape and size. In addition to being flexible, they are also nestable with the cup easily fitting inside the bowl. Both the packaging and Guyot website advertise the bowls as temperature resistant to 400 F (204 C). However, the bottom of the bowls says they are temperature resistant between -40 F (-40 C) and 500 F (250 C). This is somewhat confusing. To what high temperature are the bowls truly temperature resistant?

The size information related to the larger bowl in the set is also confusing. Both the website and the packaging list the large bowl as weighing 3.3 oz (93 g). The bottom of the larger bowl says "LARGE" but the bowl only weighs 2.7 oz (77 g). This weight is nearly identical to what the website lists for the "MEDIUM" bowl. What size bowl is actually included in the set?

As shown in the photo below, the bowls are available in five colors: Tahoe Blue, Tomato, Celery, Slate, and Tangerine.

colors
courtesy of http://www.guyotdesigns.com

Color is another source of slight confusion. The green shade shown in the image above is labeled Celery. However, the pull-down menu used to order the bowls lists Lime as the only shade of green available. Although this is not a big deal, I believe Guyot Designs should be consistent in its nomenclature.

The bowls came packaged in a fiberboard box. The packaging says it is printed on recycled material. I like the fact that Guyot Designs uses recycled products. This is consistent with Guyot's "vision of environmental responsibility and corporate ethics to create an [sic] new type of outdoor design company—One where ideas are treated with dignity and enthusiasm while people and the environment are treated with reverence." Building on that vision, on its website, Guyot says "We will reclaim any of our products at the end of their useful life and incorporate them into the manufacturing of new products." Although vogue, I personally like this demonstration of corporate environmental responsibility.

Initial Impression:

I like the tangerine color; the bowls should be easy to locate. The minimal weight and collapsibility of these bowls are impressive. Size wise they appear to be more than adequate for one person. These bowls have the potential to be a great addition to my gear--testing will prove whether that is the case.

Initial Testing:

My initial testing consisted of a thorough examination of the bowl and cup. There were no noticeable flaws in either bowl. Next, I compared the writing on the bottom of the bowls to the information listed on the packaging and then compared it to the information on the Guyot Designs website. As stated above, I found three inconsistencies. The first was in the naming convention of Guyot's green color: Celery vs. Lime. Second was related to the size of the larger bowl in the set. The diameter of the opening in this bowl is approximately 4.15 in (105 mm) or the size of what the website lists as the "MEDIUM" bowl. However, written on the bottom of this particular bowl is the word "LARGE" -- maybe "LARGE" refers to the bowl's size relative to the set and not the entire Squishy Bowl line. Temperature resistance is the third inconsistency. The packaging and website advertise the bowls as resistant to 400 F (204 C). However, the bottom of the bowls says they are temperature resistant between -40 F (-40 C) and 500 F (250 C). Inconsistencies such as these are confusing to consumers. To eliminate any distraction from the appeal of its product, Guyot would be well served to quickly rectify these inconsistencies.

Initial Likes:

  • lightweight
  • flexibility
  • compactability
  • color

Initial Dislikes:

  • inconsistency between packaging and website information

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FIELD REPORT
June 9, 2009

Summary:

During the Field Test Phase, I used the Squishy Bowls on four outings. On three of the outings I only used the cup. On the fourth outing, I used both the bowl and the cup. On all outings the Squishy Bowls packed nicely in my 2,425 cu in (39 L) pack. Cleanup was a breeze. The cup is a smaller than I would prefer.

Likes Thus Far:

  • fun
  • lightweight
  • easily compressed
  • easy cleanup

Dislikes Thus Far:

  • cup is small
  • difficult to completely empty the cup's contents when drinking normally

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

GTNPIn mid-April, I accompanied a my two older sons and their Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Venturing Crew on a 25-mile (40 km) bike ride in Grand Teton National Park located in northwestern Wyoming. We entered the park via the south entrance at Moose Junction just north of Jackson, Wyoming. The sky was partly cloudy and the temperature ranged between 34 and 46 F (1 - 8 C) while we were riding. The winds were calm at approximately 3 mph (5 kmph). The major roads had been plowed and were therefore bare. However, there was approximately 3 ft (1 m) of snow still on the ground (see photo on left -- Squishy Bowls cup on snow bank just off the shoulder of the road). I only used the cup from the Squishy Bowls set on this outing.

In mid-May, I used the Squishy Bowls cup on two overnighters near Idaho Falls, Idaho at approximately 4,700 ft (1,433 m) above sea level. Overnight temperatures were in the 10 - 20's F (-12 to -2 C).

At the end of May, I used the Squishy Bowls cup and bowl on an overnight outing to Lookout Mountain, in Kelly Canyon, located approximately 36 mi (58 km) east of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The elevation was approximately 6,600 ft (2,012 m). This site provided a scenic view of the South Fork of the Snake River below. The temperature dropped to the mid-30's F (1 - 2 C) overnight.

Observations:

GTNP

The first time I used the Squishy Bowls cup was on our bike ride in Grand Teton National Park located in northwestern Wyoming. We stopped to eat near Jenny Lake and I used the cup to drink cherry limeade. From that time on, I have felt like the cup is somewhat too small--I have to keep filling it up. The cup held its shape when filled nearly to the rim. I did find however that filling the cup nearly full made it difficult to avoid spilling when picking it up when drinking. The difficulty came as the cup gave as I squeezed it slightly to pick it up and while holding it to drink. I also found that it was difficult for me to get all the contents from the cup while drinking normally. The curve of the cup retained what I estimate to be between 0.5 to 1 teaspoon (2.5 - 5 ml) of my drink. To drain the entire contents I found that I needed to quickly throw my head back while drinking--maybe it's just me. Cleanup was a breeze! I turned the cup inside out, grabbed a handful of snow, and "washed" the cup. I then put it back in my pack. The cup performed similarly on my two outings near Idaho Falls, Idaho. Aside from washing with snow or some clean water in the field, I did not even bother "really" washing the cup after these three outings.

I used both the bowl and cup on my outing to Lookout Mountain, in Kelly Canyon, located approximately 36 mi (58 km) east of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The cup and bowl nested together nicely and took up minimal room in my pack. This was my first experience using the bowl as well as using either of them with hot food. This was a group (father and sons) car-camping outing. Dinner consisted of Dutch oven chicken, potatoes and gravy, and cobblers for dessert. Because of the whole cutting thing, I felt it would be too difficult to include eat my chicken from the bowl. However, I did eat my potatoes and gravy from the bowl. Eating from a bowl and paper plate on my lap was difficult; but, I managed. The bowl fit nicely in my hand and was easy to use. Neither the potatoes nor the gravy were hot enough to make holding the bowl uncomfortable. The bowl gave as I squeezed it, but this was of no concern. Like the cup, the bowl cleaned up easily--even the decadent double chocolate cobbler vanished with some licking followed by a quick rinse with clean water. Upon my return home, I washed the bowl and cup on the top rack of the dishwasher without issue.

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LONG TERM REPORT
August 17, 2009

Summary:

During the Long-Term Test Phase, I used the Squishy Bowls on two additional outings, totaling fourteen days. As before, the Squishy Bowls packed nicely in my 2,425 cu in (39 L) pack. Cleanup was a breeze. The cup continues to be smaller than I prefer. Nevertheless, I really like this bowl set.

Likes:

  • fun
  • lightweight
  • easily compressed
  • easy cleanup

Dislikes:

  • cup is small
  • difficult to completely empty the cup's contents when drinking normally
  • can be uncomfortable to hold with really hot contents

Field Locations and Test Conditions:

GTNP Collage In late June, I used the Squishy Bowls for eight days. I was serving as the Course Director for the Grand Teton Council's National Youth Leadership Training program. Cedar Badge, as the program is called, is held at Treasure Mountain Scout Camp just outside of Driggs, Idaho at the western base of the Tetons. Temperatures ranged from lows in the 40s F (4 C) to mid 90s F (35 C).

The second week of August, I accompanied my three sons on their BSA Venturing High Adventure. On this outing, I used the Squishy Bowls an additional six days in base camp along the Hoback River just outside of Jackson, Wyoming. This outing included whitewater rafting down the Hoback River near Jackson, Wyoming and canoeing on String and Leigh Lakes in Grand Teton National Park. I also used the cup on a long day hike up the Middle Teton in Grand Teton National Park. The Middle Teton, at 12,804 ft (3,903 m), is the third highest peak in the Teton Range just behind Mt. Owen which is 12,928 ft (3,940 m) and of course the Grand Teton which is 13,770 ft (4,197 m). Due to weather, we were unable to summit. However, we did make it to the South Saddle, which is 11,600 ft (3,536 m), and lies between the Middle and South Tetons. Temperatures ranged from an overnight freezing 30 F (-1 C) to highs in the mid-80s F (30 C).

Observations:

GTNP_Middle Teton

Among other things, during this phase of the test, I ate the likes of cold and hot cereal, ramen noodles, and Dutch oven chicken, potatoes, and carrots from the bowl. I also drank hot chocolate and several cold drinks from the cup. The flexible food grade silicone did not alter the taste of my food or drink in anyway. Likewise, the silicone has not retained any food odors, even from the onions and garlic I used to season my Dutch oven creations.

I placed the bowl and cup on several uneven surfaces; including rocks, logs, and uneven ground [two such uneven surfaces are shown in the photo collage above]. I am pleased to say that the bowls were stable on these uneven surfaces; no contents were lost. As far as stability while holding them, I have found it best for me to hold the bowl in the palm of my hand rather than squeezing it too much with my fingers--especially with liquid contents. I continue to experience a bit of discomfort when holding the bowls with really hot contents. However, this has not been such an issue that I would discontinue using the bowls.

I have also been quite pleased with how easily the bowls clean up, regardless of what I place in them. On my most recent outing, as I turned the bowl inside out and licked it clean, a buddy asked what I had in my hand. After turning the bowl right side in, I handed him the bowl. He was rather impressed with it. The bowls also have held up well to being washed in the dishwasher.

I also like how nicely the cup and bowl nest together and squish into infinite shapes so they take up minimal space in my pack. They also continue to be quite durable. I anticipate using the Squishy Bowls on many more outings.


This concludes my Test Series. I would like to thank Guyot Designs
and BackpackGearTest for allowing me to test the Squishy Bowls.

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