BackpackGearTest
  Home Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Cook Gear > Utensils > Fozzils Duet > Test Report by Andrew Buskov


Fozzils Duet FrontFozzils Duet Dish Set
Two person ThinkFLAT dishes that are virtually unbreakable & BPA free.
Andrew Buskov
Initial Report: April 9, 2010
Field Report: June 16, 2010
Long Term Report: August 20, 2010

Tester Biographical Information:

Name: Andrew Buskov
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight: 216 lbs (98 kg)
Email: Rescue(at)Corridor9(dot)net
City, State Zip Madisonville, Kentucky  USA

Backpacking Background:

I’ve been backpacking for years now, and have slowly started developing my ideal style. I’ve gotten my pack weight down to roughly 25 – 30 lbs (11.3 - 13.6 kg) before water, and am whittling it down every hike. Day hiking is nice, but getting out over multiple nights is really what I enjoy. I like to take my time and enjoy the scenery as opposed to hiking hard. I also like being comfortable and insist on an air mattress. I usually tent or hammock, but stay in shelters at times.

Product Information:

Instructions
Item: Duet: Tea for Two
Manufacturer: Fozzils
Website http://www.fozzils.com/
Year of Manufacture: 2010
MSRP: N/A
Total Weight 11.64 oz (330 g) Including Packaging

Product Overview:
(From Manufacturer's documentation & Website)

The Fozzils Duet set is a complete set of dishes for two people that includes two of each: spoon, cup, bowl, and plate. The entire set is packaged nicely in a notebook style pouch that makes stowing easy and convenient. Each set of dishes is color coded (orange or blue) so that it's easily recognizable which set belongs to which camper. The Duet provides an environmentally friendly alternative to using disposable dishes, while greatly saving on weight versus traditional dish sets.
Front & Back

Initial Impressions:

The Fozzils Duet arrived in wonderful condition, without any missing pieces, and exactly as described on the company's website. Included in the package was each piece of the set; 9 pieces in total including the folding pouch all made of high quality, odor free, food grade materials. After weighing the materials I immediately set out to "put it together". After I folded the bowl together and looked in marvelous wonder at the light weight cooking kit, I realized that I didn't properly assemble the bowl. It was now that I thought it might be a good time to look at the instructions in the picture above and right.

I thought it funny that the logo was so shiny in the bottom of the bowl and how whatever utensil I used might scratch the logo off. However, after reading the instructions and noting that the logo is to go on the OUTSIDE of the bowl when it's folded properly, this seemed to be not as much a concern any more. As mentioned in the instructions, pre-folding does indeed make it easier to fold it together.

The following pieces are included in the set, along with their actual & listed weights:

SpoonsSpoons:
Actual Weight: 0.28 oz (8 g)
Listed Weight: 0.3 oz (8 g)

The spoons fold in such a way that the handle end of the spoon creates a W before the two snaps are connected. This causes the end of the spoon to bend into its natural concave shape. Printed on each spoon is a cautionary message stating that "Liquids may leak from handle." All cautionary messages are printed in both English and French.

Folding the spoons is quick and easy, though I did notice a tendency for the snap closest to the eating end of the spoon to come loose. I think this might simply be due to the stiffness of the plastic and the fact that the folds aren't easily maneuvered yet. However, it was still a bit of a pain having to re-snap it every few seconds even though the spoon was just sitting there motionless.

Cups:
Actual Weight: 1.34 oz (38 g)
Listed Weight: 1.1 oz (32 g)

The cups are much easier to fold than the spoons were and so far have not had the tendency to unsnap while sitting motionless. They seem to have a bit of an arched bottom which makes them wobble a bit when placed on a flat surface, but I do not foresee this being a problem as they do not appear to be overturned in any way by the arch. Unlike the spoon, the only printed text on the cup is "This side out" to indicate that printing goes on the outside of the cup. The cup is also designed so that there is a curve on the low side opposite the snaps. This appears to make it easier to drink from without having to deal with mouth placement over the snaps.
Cups

Bowls:
Actual Weight: 1.41 oz (40 g)
Listed Weight: 1.3 oz (37 g)

As with the cups, the snaps tend to stay snapped without coming apart as easily as the spoon. There is the same printed material on the bowls as there was on the cups. One thing I did note though was the ease of pre-folding the creases on the bowl was better than on the cups or spoons. I attribute this to the greater surface area to grasp and hold during the pre-folding operation. Other than being larger, the bowls appear to be designed much the same as the cups. However, the dip around the non-snap side doesn't appear to be as curved.
Bowls

Plates:
Actual Weight: 1.48 oz (42 g)
Listed Weight: 1.4 oz (39 g)

Here is where the similarities begin to differ a bit between the items. Unlike the deep bowls and cups, the plate is shallow with more of a straight side. Because of the nice long lines stamped into the plastic, pre-folding the plates was the easiest of all the pre-folding operations I did. They also have the greatest opportunity to fold "wrong" though. During initial pre-folding, I ended up creasing one of the plate sides that did not have a fold in it. While this doesn't appear to do anything to the structure of the plate, there is a nice white crease in a section of the plate that wasn't meant to be there. This can also be noted in the picture towards the bottom of the report where there is a half moon crease near the bottom of one of the bowls. Like the spoons, the plates also have a warning on them that says "Do not fill with liquids above this line".
Plates

ScarAs mentioned above, I wanted to include a picture of the scar that I now have on the bottom of the orange bowl due to my pre-folding incident. As can be seen on the right,  it doesn't appear to be that much of an issue. It's more beauty mark than anything else, but definitely something to keep in mind when I fold them again. It didn't take much effort to create, but I don't really feel that I need to be overly careful when I fold the dishes either.

Summary:

In all, the Fozzils Duet set looks to be well constructed, and quite small indeed. I'm looking forward to see how these perform on the trail. I'll definitely be looking to see how well they handle and distribute any heated meals that I eat with them. However, as of now, they appear to have met all expectations that I've read about on the Fozzils website. I must say that I do not plan on carrying them in the included carrying case. One of the things that drew me to this test was the weight saving ability of this design. Because of that, I'd hate to have to carry an additional case just to store these dishes in. I'm hoping that they will be easy enough to clean and stuff directly into the stuffsack. As they appear so durable, this is probably what I will end up doing, though I will likely carry a heavy duty Ziploc style bag the first few times just in case they become exceptionally dirty or sticky and aren't as easy to clean as they appear.

Field Report: June 16, 2010

Field Conditions:

I was able to use the Fozzils Duet on two separate occasions during this testing phase. Both occasions were during family picnic sessions with the kids. My testing was done around town at various places at an elevation of roughly 470 ft (143 m). Temperatures for both outings were around 90 F (32 C). There was no rain or precipitation during these meals, but the humidity was quite high.

Performance:

Time for outings over the past two months have been short. In that time I was only able to squeeze a couple of meals for testing in the Fozzils Duet dishes. Both times were relatively hot and humid, but the meal was enjoyable. For the first meal, we decided to try eating some vegetable soup. We warmed the soup prior to leaving and had some crackers as well. The second meal was Mexican Manicotti.

The cups performed rather well for drinking from. I only drank water out of these as I don't like drinking sweet sugary stuff while out on the trail. One of the things that I did notice though was how the plastic felt like it still had a bit of a burr on it. It wasn't anything that was overly painful, but it was uncomfortable at times. I ended up smoothing the edges out by washing with the rough side of a scrubber sponge.

The bowls held the vegetable soup well. They were nice and deep and allowed me to comfortably hold the hot soup in my hand without being burned. The outside of the bowl, as well as the rest of the dishes, had quite a bit of texture to it. This was definitely useful while holding the warm soup in my hand. Not once did it slip or easily tip over while I was using it. It was a bit slippery for my son though as he up-ended his soup bowl all over himself due to not being able to grasp the bowl properly. The second time I used the bowl was with the Mexican manicotti. The manicotti wasn't as juicy as the soup and was real easy to eat out of the bowl.

My wife decided to try and use one of the plates for the soup. She mixed in some crackers and soup but didn't notice the fill line until after she'd already poured the soup into the plate. While the soup slightly came over the top of the line, there was no spillage as long as my wife took a bit of care. The sides of the plate came up high enough and were stable enough to keep the plate from being flimsy. The manicotti fit nicely inside the plate, wasn't too juicy, and didn't flow up past the fill line. It was easy to scrape all the cheese up as it didn't stick to the plastic at all. This is definitely a plus as I like the cheese the best and surely don't want it sticking to the plate during cleaning.

Use of the spoons in both instances were easy and worked well. The spoons held a large amount of food without overflowing, and even though they fold up in the handle the juices didn't spill back up the handle at all. While the spoon is big, I had no trouble eating, but then my wife always tells me I have a big mouth anyway. My son on the other hand had to take smaller bites off the tip of the spoon in order to eat as the spoon doesn't fit in his mouth. It didn't seem to bother him much though as he just kept on eating.

Cleanup so far has been quite easy. Most all the food that I have eaten off the dishes have washed off quite easily. There was little or no scrubbing involved in cleaning them. I did notice that the snaps had a tendency to hold some of the food as I was cleaning, but nothing too bad at this time. None of the food that we ate was hard to clean out of the snaps, but I also didn't eat very sticky or mushy foods either. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this during testing.

So far I'm pleased with the quality and function of the Fozzils Duet dishes. They've been easy to pack and have held up well during use. More information to follow in the next testing phase.

Long Term Report: August 20, 2010

Field Conditions:

Once again, testing this cycle has been few and far between. Temperatures here have seen heat indexes over 115 F (46 C) a couple of times. I was able to get in a bit of testing this past week finally during a trip to colder hiking grounds. Temperatures during the past week long trip ranged from 32 F (0 C) to around 70 F (21 C).  The areas we camped around were about 11,000 ft (3350 m). There was a bit of rain during dinner time but nothing measurable to note. It did cool off the day rather quickly though.

During this trip, we primarily ate dehydrated food; Chili Mac, Lasagna, Eggs & Bacon, and Alfredo. Much of the findings were the same during this testing phase as with the past testing phase. I found the plates easy to eat from though I did notice that they were a bit more difficult to hold during the colder weather due to the heat transfer through the plates. The plates just seemed hotter during the cold weather, almost as if the heat from the food was better transfered through the plastic. The Chili Mac was a bit more difficult to wash off due to the thick viscous nature of the food. It had more of a tendency to stick onto the buttons and snaps more than any other food. The Lasagna was also hot and hard to hold due to the warmth coming through the plate, but the Eggs and Bacon weren't as hot.

I was able to drink from the cup with the same results as during the previous testing phase. Though the edge of the cup didn't cut me as it did last testing phase, it still wasn't as enjoyable to use as a standard style cup. The bowl didn't see any use during the testing phase as I didn't need it during this phase. The spoon saw a bit if use while eating the Lasagna, but I found that while it worked well with liquid and smaller soft solids, trying to use it with the longer noodles of Alfredo was near impossible.

Final Thoughts:

Over the testing phase I was able to use the Fozzils Duet Dishes about 7 times. During this time frame I was able to experience all pieces of the set, and came to a number of conclusions over the testing period including the fact that these are extremely durable and light weight. They have been a joy to test. They clean up fairly easy, and pack nice & tight. All that being said, they're not typically something I see myself using down the road. They were great to test, but seem like they would be more beneficial during family car camping trips. They just seem like an extra luxury item for backcountry trips especially seeing as how I still have to carry a stove and pot to boil water, and I usually end up eating out of that pot or out of the food bag after rehydrating. They serve their function quite well though and I'll definitely be using these on car camping trips.

In the end, I've been very pleased with the way the Fozzils Duet Dishes functioned. They have done everything asked of them and have met all the expectations that I've had.

I'd like to thank BackpackGearTest.org and Fozzils for allowing me to participate in testing the Fozzils Duet Dishes.


Read more reviews of Fozzils gear
Read more gear reviews by Andrew Buskov

Reviews > Cook Gear > Utensils > Fozzils Duet > Test Report by Andrew Buskov



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson