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Reviews > Cook Gear > Utensils > REI Ti Ware Folding Spork > Owner Review by Steven M Kidd

REI TI WARE FOLDING SPORK
BY STEVEN M. KIDD
OWNER REVIEW

February 18, 2010

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Steven M. Kidd
EMAIL: ftroop94ATgmailDOTcom
AGE: 37
LOCATION: Franklin, Tennessee, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 220 lb (99.80 kg)

Backpacking Background: I've been a backpacker on and off for over 25 years. I backpacked as a Boy Scout, and then again almost every month in my twenties, while packing an average weight of 50+ lbs (23+ kg). In the last two years I have gained a renewed enthusiasm for the back country. I generally go on one or two night outings and now try to average a 30 lb (14 kg) pack. However, a comfortable riding pack is more important to me than the overall weight I'm carrying. I occasionally sleep in the open air, but most often sleep in a lightweight free standing tent.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Spork 1
REI Ti WARE Folding Spork

Manufacturer: REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated)
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Manufacturer's Website: www.rei.com
MSRP: US $10.50
Listed Weight: 0.4 oz (11 g)
Measured Weight: 0.7 oz (20 g)
Listed Length: 1.6 x 6.5 in (41mm x 165 mm) when extended -- 3.5 in (89 mm) when collapsed
Measured Length: 1.6 x 6.375 in ( 41 mm x 162 mm) when extended -- 3.625 in (92 mm) when collapsed
Material: Titatium


PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The REI Ti WARE Folding Spork (hereafter referred to as the spork) is an ultra light titanium alloy eating utensil. A spork is essentially a spoon with miniature tines. This combination spoon/fork allows the eater to carry one less utensil. The key feature to this spork is the folding mechanism, which is aimed at minimizing the space needed to stow it.
Spork 2
Spork Folded for Storage


The scooping portion, as well as 1 in (24 mm) of the spork's handle is made with solid titanium construction. The remainder of the handle, and the portion that allows it to fold, is made with wire. The wire has two L shaped bends at each end that snap into 0.04 in (1 mm) holes on each side of the solid portion of the spooning end to form a hinge like mechanism. This allows the handle and spork to fold into one another for portage.

Spork 3
The Wire Handle Snaps into the Base


Approximately 0.25 in (6 mm) behind those holes on the base of the spork are pinhole sized indentions. These notches, in conjunction with a sliding bar marked "titanium" are used to brace the spork open for eating purposes. The wire handle slips into the indentations and the bracing bar is slid toward the solid base to lock the spork open and keep it from folding into itself.







FIELD CONDITIONS

I've used this spork at elevations as high 4000 ft (1219 m) along the Appalachian Trail in east Tennessee. Temperatures ranged from 76 F to 79 F (24C to 26 C) when I ate with it in the Cherokee National Forest. I enjoyed a meal as low as 1200 ft (366 m) at the base of Foster Falls, which are in a gulf of middle Tennessee's South Cumberland Recreation Area. I've scooped a hot bowl of oatmeal with it at 13 F (-11 C) near the Stone Door on the Cumberland Plateau. I've eaten nearly everything from beef stew to Raman noodles with this unique tool, roughly forty meals.

OBSERVATIONS

Spork 4



I acquired this spork as part of a weight saving mission I embarked on a little over a year ago. My intentions were to replace an old stainless steel nesting fork, spoon and knife set I had carried since my Boy Scouting days. I was immediately impressed with the featherlight weight of the utensil.

Locking the spork open by sliding the small titanium bar forward seems to be a fairly straight forward process, but on my first several uses I apparently hadn't mastered the process. I would find myself stirring a dehydrated meal, or scooping up a spoonful of chili to only have the spork collapse in the middle. At first I was frustrated with what I felt was an inferior product, but I accepted its inadequacies because I really liked the way it stowed so compactly.

After a few mishaps I sat with it and began to push the crossbar as tightly forward as I could without popping the handle hinges out of their respective holes. I then began to test how much pressure I could apply to the center of the spork before it gave way in the center. After practicing with it several times after dinner one day, particularly when my stomach wasn't growling, I became comfortable with applying the proper amount of tension to the spork's brace.

Since overcoming these 'pilot error' issues I've been quite happy with the spork's performance. I may not attempt to impale a 60 oz (1701 g) T-bone steak and lift it victoriously over my head with this folding spork, but I am happy to use it on the trail for most every meal.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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