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Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Cook Sets > MSR Quick 1 Cookware > Test Report by Ralph Ditton

INITIAL REPORT: 6th June, 2009
FIELD REPORT: 1st August, 2009
LONG TERM REPORT: 5th October, 2009
(Photo courtesy of Cascade Designs, Inc)

Personal Information
Name: Ralph Ditton
Age: 57
Height: 1. 76 m (5 ft 9 in)
Weight: 71 kg (156 lb)
Email: rdassetts AT optusnet DOT com DOT au
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Bushwalking Background
I have been bushwalking for over nine years. My playgrounds are the Darling Range, Bibbulmun Track and the Coastal Plain Trail. I aim to become an end-to-end walker of the 964 km (603 mi) Bibbulmun Track. I have just on 200 km (124 mi) to go. My pack weight including food and water tends to hover around 18 kg (40 lb) but I am trying to get lighter. My trips range from overnighters to five days duration. My shelter of choice is normally a tent.

Product Information
Manufacturer: Cascade Designs, Inc
Model: Quick 1
Year of Manufacturer: 2009
MSRP: US$79.95
Material of pot: titanium.
Material of strainer lid: Anodised Aluminium
Pot handle: Talon
Listed weight: 299 g (10.6 oz). Includes the insulated mug.
Measured weight: 300 g (10.6 oz). Includes the insulated mug.
Measured weight of pot and lid: 190 g (6.7 oz)
Measured weight of insulated mug: 110 g (3.9 oz)
Listed volume of pot: 1.4 litres
Stamped volume of pot on base: 1.3 litres (44.5 oz)
Stamped volume of insulated mug on base: 0.4 litres (12.5 oz)
Listed height of pot: 9.53 cm (3.75 in)
Measured height of pot: 9.53 cm (3.75 in)
Listed diameter: 17.15 cm (6.75 in)
Measured diameter: 15.5 cm (6.1 in)
Measured height of mug: 9 cm (3.5 in)
Made in: Thailand

Product Description
The MSR Quick 1 pot and mug were exactly what I expected from the web site, so there were no surprises when I opened up the parcel.

The Pot
The pot itself, excluding the lid, is 7.8 cm (3 in) high, however, the listed pot height takes into account the knob on top of the lid. I am much more interested in the actual pot size as that is the business end.
I did find a discrepancy of 1.65 cm (0.6 in) between the listed diameter and what I measured. My measurement is smaller. I measured the diameter at the top of the pot where there is a rolled lip so I do not know where the difference has occurred.

Inside the pot there is stamped into the titanium side 0.5 L and 1.0 L graduations. These indicates the volume of fluid that is contained at these points.

                                                   graduations in pot

The handle and catch that acts as a hinge for the lid are fixed to the pot by way of blind rivets. Two blind rivets for the handle, one above the other, and just the one blind rivet for the catch. The blind rivets should prevent liquid from seeping out through the holes that they are inserted into to fix into place the above features.

On the base of the pot is stamped the MSR logo and the volume 1.3 liters/44.5 oz. Underneath this is Made in Thailand.

The Handle
The handle is very interesting. It is a folding handle which has a wide gap 14 mm (0.5 in) in the middle. This gap neatly locks over the rubberized knob on top of the lid, keeping the lid in place when not in use.
To get the handle in its working position, i.e. folded out and locked into place, the handle is moved into the extended position by rotating it through an arc of 180 degrees and a notched springy piece of metal slides down the fixed hook for about 1.5 mm (0.06 in) on the plate riveted to the side of the pot. When it reaches the end of the hook it then springs up and locks into position making the handle secure for use when cooking.
To release the handle, all that is required is to press down on the red finger grip. This pushes the notched springy piece of metal clear of the fixed hook.
The handle rotates on a shaft that is 24 mm (1 in) wide and is spaced and covered by a nylon type material. The actual moving part at both ends is metal on metal but does not make any noise when rotated and there is no sloppy sideways movement. A good secure fit.

The grip on the handle is made out of Talon, a trademark product of Cascade Designs. It is black in colour and makes up 11.8 cm (4.6 in) out of a total handle length of 16.5 cm (6.5 in).
The Talon section attaches to the rest of the handle by way of two rods that fit into a groove on each side on the underside of the handle. I cannot pull it apart as the rods have a slight notch 4 mm (0.15 in) long and a piece of metal appears to be crimped into the notch, locking it into place.

The handle feels good in the hand as it has a slightly rounded side that nestles in the palm of my hand.

                                                   pot and mug
The Lid
The lid is made out of anodised aluminium, unlike the pot which is made out of titanium. It does not have a tight fit on the pot as it moves about by around 2 mm (0.08 in).
On one edge there are two rows of holes, 9 on the outer and 8 on the inner. These are the strainer holes.
Opposite this row of holes is another small hole that is oval in style which is a vent hole. There is no built-in facility to close off any of the holes on the lid.
There is a crimping on the edge of the lid that allows the lid to be rotated in the hook on the pot and rested into an open position. It is not locked as the lid can be freely moved in this hook.
The other purpose of the hook and crimp is to lock the lid in place when straining and packing away.

The knob on the lid is of a rubberized type material and has a large flange on the underside thereby securing it to the lid. There is a red acrylic type collar on top of the lid that spaces the rubberized knob from the lid for added protection for the thumb and finger lifting off a hot lid.

The whole unit when not in use is packed by means of folding the handle up and over the lid making sure that the rubberized knob is side on so that the handle clips over it securing the lid in place.

Insulated Mug
The mug shape is trapezium and feels good in either hand. The longer slightly curved side has the drinking vent in the lid near the lip.
There is a small vent hole in the lid near the far right corner.
The mug is made out of stainless steel and has a red covered insulation material molded onto the exterior. The lid is black and fits very snugly onto the mug. There is a slight extension on the edge of the lid on the far left of the drinking vent for a tip of a finger to get underneath to lift off the lid.

The mug fits inside the pot and there is some space left to pack small items in there to prevent the mug from sliding around.

Initial Impressions
The first thing that caught my eye when I took the pot out of its packaging was the handle. I was impressed by the way it locked over the lid knob. I then had a look at the hinged area of the handle and thought it looked busy with a catch, two solid arms attached to a spindle and the rest of the handle. It was a "wow" factor for me.
Removing the cellophane covering I took the lid off and saw the mug. Lifting it out I was feeling the weight and thinking, ummm, this is not too heavy considering that it has insulation on it.

I then checked out the interior of the pot, noticing the stamped volume measurement gradings and the blind rivets holding the handle and hook in place. I could see that the rivets have had a hit on the head to ensure a good seal on the pot sides to prevent leaks. That was comforting.
I did fill it with water to see if any leaks occurred but I did not notice any. A better test will be to see how the rivets act under heat when boiling water.

The weight of the pot did surprise me because the listed weight on the web had it at 299 g (10.6 oz). The web did not give a breakup for the pot and mug. It was a combined weight which I only discovered when I weighed each of the items. Hence, I was pleasantly surprised that the actual pot and lid was very much lighter, coming in at 190 g (6.7 oz).

I am definitely looking forward to use this pot as part of my cooking setup when backpacking.

Things I like
  • Lightweight pot
  • Lid with strainer holes
  • Intriguing handle operation
  • Able to rest the lid on the pot in an open position
Things I do not like
  • Nothing to date
1st August, 2009

Murphy's Law came to the fore when I had my first use of the MSR Quick 1.

Our long Indian Summer weather conditions (even though it is winter) broke with a vengeance and the rain decided to play catch up with the annual average which was streets ahead of actual rain fallen to date by 200 mm (7.8 in).

My camping location was Potters Gorge which is on the banks of Wellington Dam in the South West of the state. Elevation is 100 m (328 ft) and the average overnight temperature was 8 C (46 F).

From when I pitched my tent at lunchtime before our walk (it was just spitting) and got up in the morning at 6.30 am, the area had 56 mm (2.2 in) of rain with 25 mm (1 in) falling whilst in bed. Wind was from the WNW averaging 10 knots with frequent gust during the evening/night between 18 and 21 knots. (Source: Bureau of Meteorology).

The above sets the scene for the conditions in which I used the cookware at the evening meal.

A colleague and I jerry rigged a tarp over a park table and seats to dry off and use as our cooking/meal area in the rain.

                                          tarp over table

I used the pot to boil jacket baby potatoes and the slightly thawed frozen peas to have with the veal schnitzel that I cooked on another stove.
When the potatoes and peas were ready, I went out into the rain and drained the boiling water off through the strainer holes on the lid. The lid was attached to the pot. The strainer holes worked very well and did not get clogged. All the water that I had left after removing the food was about a teaspoon.

After the group had eaten their respective meals under the tarp and the rain coming down heavily, I made up two pots of mulled wine using the Quick 1. As the pot is limited in volume, I did one brew up on my gas stove, dished it out and then cooked up another batch. The amount of wine I used each time was 750 ml (25 fl oz) which is one bottle. Then I added sliced orange and lemon, brandy and spices.
All agreed that it was a good drop and they backed it up by having thirds.
As my drinking vessel I used the insulated mug without the lid. It kept the mulled wine hot as I sipped it in the cool and wet conditions.
Firstly, I tried drinking from the long side but I felt uncomfortable doing this as I was anticipating the mulled wine to spill past the corners of my mouth as I tilted the cup against my lips. It didn't, but irrational feelings overrode the reality, so I drank from one of the well rounded corners. The same applied in the morning with my cup of tea.
In the morning I used the pot only to boil water for my cup of tea under the tarp. It was still raining.

My next outing was back to my old stamping ground of Prickly Bark. It is located at S 31 42.800' E 115 56.981 on the Coastal Plain Walk Trail and sits at an elevation of 83 m (272 ft) as measured by my GPS.

I spent two nights at this location.

The first night the weather was fine with the wind blowing at an average of 7 knots from ENE and swinging around to NNE. Relative Humidity averaged 70% and the overnight temperature was 11 C (52 F).

The Quick 1 was used for two breakfasts, one lunch and two evening meal times. Most of the time I used it to boil water for cups of tea and hot water for washing up purposes.

Where I deviated from the norm was in the evenings when I used the pot to boil up vegetables and make more batches of mulled wine. The strainer holes worked perfectly each time.

                                                    cooking vegetables

By the end of four pots of mulled wine over two evenings, the pot showed no signs of any staining inside the pot from the wine being warmed up on the gas stove.

                                       making mulled wine  

The last evening of my camping trip, I had the pleasure of rain again so the atmosphere of darkness, wind and rain made a lovely ambience to sip on mulled wine from the insulated mug. Yes, I added a slice of orange for effect.

                                          wine in insulated mug

To date I have been very happy with the mug and pot.
They both cleaned up extremely well in hot water that I heated up on the stove and I did not experience any sticking of food products on the sides or bottom of either vessel.

There has been no change to my "Likes" and "Dislikes".

Long Term Report
Date: 5th October, 2009
During this phase I used the Quick 1 for five days whilst doing the Cape to Cape Walk, a distance of 135 km (84 mi).

In the mornings I just boiled water for either soup or a cup of tea and I used the insulated mug as my drinking vessel.

Use during the evenings consisted of giving my dehydrated food a good pre-soak in the pot for well over two hours and then heating it up on the stove.
I would then eat from the pot, clean it up and then boil water for either a soup or a cup of tea to wash dinner down.

When I first set the pot up in preparation for cooking, it immediately drew the attention of the other members of our walking group.
They all lifted it, turned it over, bounced it up and down in their hands to feel the weight.
The main question they asked "Does it come any smaller?"

I found that the size of the Quick 1 was very good for a 2 person serve of packaged dehydrated food, but was far too big for a 1 person serve.

                                         pre soaking a dehydrated meal
                                                                pre soaking a dehydrated meal

We all carried our own cooking gear and a smaller pot say a three cup, for a 1 person serve would have been ideal with regards to packing away in a backpack. The mug would have to be a tad smaller to fit inside the pot.

A titanium lid for weight saving would be nice and my friends agreed.

The other factor to come out of the discussion was the method of clipping the handle over the lid's knob. We all expressed a concern that over time the handle would wear away at the knob making it ineffective in locking the handle and lid into place as the handle would have no grip on the knob.

As I used a stove with a small radius of 104 mm (4 in) to cut down on weight I found that the pot support arms of the stove did not fit inside the recess on the base of the pot.
Two arms would sit inside the recess with the third arm some 17 mm (0.7 in) outside it on the higher outer circumference.
This caused the pot to sit at a slight angle on the stove.

With a small burner head on the stove, I found that I had to constantly stir the food whilst cooking, otherwise I ended up with a burnt bottom in the pot.

Removing the burnt bottom with my titanium spoon when cleaning up I collected lots of scratches on the bottom and some tarnishing.

                                          scratches and tarnishing
                                                                             scratches and tarnishing

Due to the cool inclement weather on this trip, I found that the insulated mug kept my soup or tea warm. Frequently I had to leave my meal and drink to attend to a matter of housekeeping at camp such as re tensioning my guy lines, forgetting an implement/item which meant rummaging through my backpack which all took minutes to accomplish. In addition the cap kept the rain out.

Overall I am very happy with the pot and mug. They will become an integral part of my camping equipment.
The aspects that the manufacturer should look at are the following:
a) Do away with the recess on the bottom to cater for a range of stove support arm diameters.
b) Consider a smaller pot for one person, say a three cup pot.
c) Be consistent and have the lid made out of titanium also to reduce weight.

This report concludes the series of reports and I thank MSR for making this product available. 

Read more reviews of MSR gear
Read more gear reviews by Ralph Ditton

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