JETBOIL UTENSIL KIT
TEST SERIES BY DAVID BAXTER
October 26, 2007
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Seattle, Washington, USA
5' 9" (1.75 m)
180 lb (81.60 kg)
Backpacking background: I have been hiking for four years, and backpacking for three. I get out on the trails or snow every weekend, regardless of the weather. My trips range anywhere from fairly short dayhikes to longer multi-day backpacking trips. In the winter I snowshoe or snow-climb in moderate terrain and occasionally participate in a glaciated climb. My typical winter pack is about 15 lb (6.8 kg) for a day trip, and 35 - 45 lb (16 - 20 kg) for a glacier climb with an overnight camp. In the summer my pack is around 25 lb (11 kg).
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Item: Jetset Utensil Kit
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.jetboil.com
Spoon listed weight: 0.4 oz (11 g)
Measured spoon weight: 0.4 oz (11 g)
Fork listed weight: 0.4 oz (11 g)
Measured fork weight: 0.4 oz (11 g)
Spatula listed weight: 0.5 oz (14 g)
Measured spatula weight: 0.5 oz (14 g)
Dimensions of all utensils are listed as 8.5 inches (215 mm) extended and 5.2 inches (130 mm) retracted. I measured each and confirmed these measurements.
The Jetset Utensil Kit consists of a spoon, fork, and spatula. All three are similarly constructed of an orange plastic handle with a dark grey-blue plastic utensil end. The useful end telescopes into the orange plastic handle to reduce overall length for easier storage and transport. Per the packaging, they are made from a heat-resistant nylon. The contours of the spoon are matched to the Jetboil Personal Cooking System pot. The spatula is shaped to match the contours of the Jetboil Fry Pan.
These are pretty nice utensils, certainly to be a source of envy among others in your backcountry kitchen. They are quite sturdy and well constructed. While they certainly wont win praise among gram counters they are fairly lightweight for their size. I particularly like the length of the utensils. Other camping utensils save weight by being short, which makes eating from a bag either very difficult or plain messy. These are long enough to reach the bottom of most bags without putting your knuckles into the meal. Certainly a luxury worth the weight penalty in my book!
The tines on the fork are quite robust and should stand up well to mashing or cutting food. The spoon is also very sturdy. It appears deep enough to be useful for soup and is slightly larger than a standard teaspoon due to its squared-off shape. The spatula is also sturdy. It does not bend easily and should work well for lifting heavier items. It is a flat spatula, not angled, so it may present some trouble in sliding beneath delicate items such as omelets. In addition the spatula has a knife-like edge on one side. Straight from the package it is reasonably sharp, for plastic, and should cut softer foods.
Here are photos of the utensils in both extended and retracted forms:
The telescoping action of the utensils is very smooth. There are stops at either end of the slide to prevent the handles from sliding completely off or retracting too far. To release there is a small cut-out on the handle that is pushed down. It is easy to operate bare handed but may be too small for gloved hands to work.
Jetboil has various products designed to carry these utensils. The fork and spoon fit nicely into the little pocked of the Cargo Cozy and seem to be decently protected against damage. The spatula nests into the center of the FluxRing of the Fry Pan, beneath the snap-on plastic plate. Stored this way the handle sits in the center, with the outer edge of the spatula resting on the FluxRing. This does not impede the attachment of the plate or appear to cause damage to the spatula.
These utensils will become my primary backcountry eating implements for the next few months. I will try to use them with a variety of foods and eating containers, both Jetboil branded and third party. I plan to prepare some meals in my Personal Cooking System cup and gauge how well the spoon works with it, particularly in extracting the last bits of food from the bottom, which other utensils have a difficult time with. I will also use the fork whenever it is needed. The spatula will be used to prepare meals in my Jetboil Fry Pan, as well as with my old fry pan, and whenever else the opportunity arises. I will report on the durability, usefulness, functionality, and ease of cleaning for the utensils over this time.
ANTICIPATED TESTING LOCATIONS
Currently I have several short overnight hikes planned in the near future as well as a snow climb and extended backpacking trip within the next four months. Most of these trips will be within Washington State and primarily in the Cascade mountains. I also will take the Utensil Kit to the drier eastern WA area and the Pacific coast and assay their performance in these environments. I will also bring it along to Yellowstone in June. Primarily the elevations will be less than 5000ft (1524 m) with the exception of Yellowstone and the >6000ft (1828 m) Enchantment Lakes. Temperatures will most likely be above or near freezing.
This concludes my Initial Report. Please check back later to for my Field Tests and see how the utensils hold up!
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I have used the utensils now for eating all of my meals on overnight trips, about seven days now. Trips have ranged from easier flat trails below 4000 ft (1219 m) to high camps above 7000 ft (2134 m) on a glacier. Temperatures have ranged from about 20 F (-7 C) to above 80 F (27 C).
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
I am very pleased with the JetSet Utensil kit, more so than I'd originally thought. They are very useful! The compact size when they are closed stores quite well and the extended length is perfect. Most of the meals I have eaten were from freeze dried or dehydrated meals. With my old utensils I had to put my fingers into the food bag while eating to scoop it all out. The Jetboil utensils are long enough to reach the bottom of the bags without getting my fingers dirty or wasting food. This is also the case for eating from the Jetboil PCS cup. Several times I made soup or chili in the cup and ate directly from it. The spoon is long enough to reach the bottom easily. It is also contoured to match the shape of the cup bottom, which works great for getting the last bits of food. This greatly aids in cleaning too since most of the meal can be scraped out.
Keeping the utensils clean is easier than I'd expected. Food does not stick in the sliding handle as much as I'd feared. Some does get in there when eating something saucy out of a bag, but is easy to clean. The handles come apart and can be easily rinsed off. Keeping the spatula clean is more difficult. The word "Jetboil" is embossed into the surface of the spatula and tends to attract bits of food. It's fairly annoying.
Durability has been excellent. I have been carrying the spoon and fork in the Cargo Cozy on the outside of the Jetboil PCS pot. They come in contact with other items in my bag but have not been damaged. I prefer too store utensils in a more protected place, like my food bag, but have been surprised by how well the cozy works. The utensils have just a bit of flexibility which keeps them from breaking. I have stirred thick meals with the spoon without bending or breaking it. I have also eaten many meals with the fork without losing a tine. The spatula shows some wear from scraping the surface of the frying pan however. It is also now not as sharp. It is still quite functional, the damage is cosmetic.
The Jetboil utensils have replaced my trusty spork. They are lightweight, durable, and a great length for eating from both the PCS cup and a food bag. They make a great companion for a Jetboil PCS or simply as utensils for whatever stove you use. I plan to keep using these. Check back in another two months to see how well they've fared. Now if only they would make a Jetboil spork...
These utensils are now my primary eating tools and I will continue to use them on all trips! Check back in two months to see how well they're doing.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
Over the past two months I brought the Jetboil Utensils along for the following trips:
-Spider Meadows / Buck Creek pass five-day loop. Elevations ranged from 2000 ft (610 m) to more than 6000 ft (1829 m). The trip was mostly on trail with some off-trail glacier travel. Temperatures went from about 35 F (1.7 C) to 70 F (21 C). The middle day of the trip was rainy and foggy, but the rest were dry.
-Marmot and Jade lake. Elevation from 3000 ft (914 m) to 6000 ft (1829 m). This trip was sunny the hike in but rainy and cold for the hike out. Temperatures were between 30 F (-1 C) and 60 F (15.6 C)
-Enchantment Lakes five day trip. Elevations ranged from 2500 ft (762 m) to nearly 7000 ft (2134 m). This was a very cold trip, with evening and mornings below freezing (32 F, 0 C) and highs around 40 F (4.4 C). Nearby water sources were coated with ice and our water bottles froze as well.
I have continued to use the Jetboil Jetset Utensils for all of my dining in the backcountry during the long term testing period. And they continue to work very well! Despite two long trips and more rigorous use they still are in great condition.
Some of the criteria I judged the utensil by include questions such as:
-How durable are the utensils? They are quite durable! I have not broken or even damaged one. The tines on the fork are all still intact, the sliding handles still function well, and they all look good too. The only item to show any damage is the spatula, which has cosmetic damage due to scraping out a frying pan. It still works fine though.
-How useful are they for eating out of the Jetboil PCS cup? The spoon is especially useful for this. It is long enough to reach to the bottom of the pot, and the contoured edges make scraping out the last bit of soup easy. It greatly helps with cleaning because one is able to get more bits of food out. The fork also works well, though I don't really make anything in the pot that requires using a fork.
-Are they useful utensils overall? Yes! The spoon in particular is very useful. It is small when closed and light, yet long enough to avoid getting food on your hands while extended. I found it especially nice for eating freeze-dried meals from a bag. The fork works great for items such as eggs and pancakes. It is sturdy enough to poke into tougher items including potatoes, peppers, chicken, and carrots. While it does flex if one tries to use it for cutting, it is strong enough to cut pancakes into bite sized pieces. The spatula works very well for cooking pancakes and scrambling eggs. The thin edges make sliding it under cooking omelets or pancakes easy. It is also strong enough to flip them without bending.
-Are they easy to clean? The eating ends are easy to clean. Most of the time I can lick the food off and a simple rinse with water will take care of the rest. Annoyingly there is the Jetboil logo embossed on the backs that tends to get food in it, but it is a minor inconvenience. The sliding handles are a bit more difficult. On occasion I have had food residue stick in them and dry unnoticed. This makes it harder to extend the utensils the next time I used them. It is easily fixed though by separating the two pieces after eating and rinsing them out well.
-Will the utensils damage eating surfaces? No. They are not sharp enough to scratch things and will bend before doing any damage.
-Are they heat resistant? Yes. I have not had any part melt when coming in contact with a very hot pan. I have even boiled them to get some stubborn bits of food out.
-Will the extendable handle wear out? I haven't had a problem here over the test course. They still work like a charm.
-Will water in the handles freeze them shut? Yes. They did freeze closed in the Enchantments when I did not dry them completely. Warming them in my pocket fixed this.
Removing the embossed word "Jetboil" from the eating surface would help with cleaning, or perhaps moving it to the orange handle end. The spatula could be a little stiffer to help with scraping out a pan or cutting.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2007. All rights reserved.
Overall I am very happy with the performance of the utensils. They have replaced my trusty spork and I will happily continue to use them on future outings.
Read more gear reviews by David Baxter