MSR Titan Ti Cup
By Raymond Estrella
July 04, 2006
Orange County, California, USA
6' 3" (1.91 m)
200 lb (90.70 kg)
I have been backpacking for over 30 years, all over California, and in many of the western states and Minnesota. I hike year-round, and average 500+ miles (800+ km) per year. I have made a move to lightweight gear, and smaller volume packs. I start early and hike hard so as to enjoy the afternoons exploring. I usually take a freestanding tent and enjoy hot meals at night. If not hiking solo I am usually with my wife Jenn or brother-in-law Dave.
Manufacturer: Mountain Safety Research, Inc. (MSR)
Web site: www.msrcorp.com
Product: Titan Cup
Year manufactured: 2004
MSRP: $29.95 (US)
Capacity listed: 0.4 L (13.5 fl oz)
Actual capacity (to brim) measured 14 fl oz (0.41 L)
Weight listed: 1.9 oz (54 g)
Actual weight: 2 oz (57 g)
Height measured: 3.3 in (84 mm)
Diameter measured: 3.2 in (81 mm)
The Titan Cup is a compact titanium cup aimed at the gram-counting Ultra-Light crowd. It is gray in color. The same as the skin on an F-18 fighter, and I like to think helps me hike as fast. (I wish.)
It consists of a cylindrical body made of, that’s right, titanium. It has two body-hugging bent wire handles that fold to the sides to keep its svelte shape when not needed. When deployed for use they stick out from the side of the cup 1.25 in (32 mm). The handles are held on by a plate that is spot welded to the body of the cup. (See photo below.)
At the top of the cup is a rolled lip to minimize the occurrence of burned lips when imbibing hot liquids. On the bottom are a couple of stampings. One of the MSR logo and the other is of a bird with the words “Seagull Brand” above it, and “Made in Thailand” below.
This cup has been on many trips above 14,000’ (4,267 m) in the Sierra Nevada and White ranges, and has been well below sea level twice in Death Valley. It has been used on frigid 17 F (-8 C) mornings on the John Muir Trail, and on trips that saw highs to 118 F (48 C) in the Kern canyon. I have carried it on about 600 miles (966 km) of trails in the past two years. It has seen use in every park and forest in the Sierra Nevada from Yosemite down to Domeland Wilderness.
I bought this cup in 2004 as part of my weight reduction gear-overhaul that was started in 2003. I had been carrying a REI thermos mug for about 15 years, and still do in the winter. The fact that it would shave two thirds of the (cup) weight from my load was very attractive to me. (All right it was just an excuse to get something new, gaah…)
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I liked it from the start. It was immediately apparent that it does convey heat to the lip much better than my thermos mug or GSI lexan cup do, regardless of the rolled lip. I am now very careful of that first sip in the morning.
On one of my first trips with it I bent it a bit out of round. I have always known how strong titanium is. (My father is a ME for Lockheed Martin.) I did not factor in the gauge of the metal though. It was no big deal, I was able to squeeze it back into to shape with no problem.
MSR suggests that the cup can be nestled into the Titan Kettle to help with space issues. I have in fact purchased the Kettle since using the cup, but keep my Optimus Crux stove and fuel canister in it. (See review.) Instead I keep the cup with my food supplies. I pack the cup tightly with things like oatmeal, Gookinaid and coffee and cider packets to both take up the space inside it and give it support.
I did add two marks inside of the cup to be able to use it as a measuring cup; they can be seen in the picture above. I put them at 4 and 8 oz (118 and 237 ml). I think that the only thing that I would do differently about this cup is to give it some pressed in indentations at common measuring units. It would not add any weight, and would greatly increase its usability in my opinion.
I have used it directly on the stove only once. It was hard to keep the flame low enough to stay in contact with the cup, and not be wasting itself blasting past the sides. The handle got very hot needless to say.
In conclusion I have to say that I really like this cup. What would make me I say I love it? Give it measuring marks, and increase the size to an even 16 oz (473 ml) at the brim. (Most freeze-dried meals take that for reconstituting.) Until then I will keep my Titan cup with me on most of my hikes.
Read more reviews of MSR gear
Read more gear reviews by Ray Estrella