Stoves and Cooking Gear

Lightweight Camping Cups


I was walking through an REI store, and I noticed that they offer a plethora of different camping cups. They caught my eye, because when I’m traveling lightweight, I tend to just carry along lightweight platypus bottles, but I like to drink a cup of hot chocolate spiked with a little Baileys Irish Cream and in the morning, I like to start the day with Java Juice. I hate using my platys for this type of drink, because the bottles end up tasting like whatever you put in it, so I considered buying a lightweight titanium camping cup.

I just couldn’t stomach the titanium options, because they were so expensive–they ranged in price from $25 to whopping $40. They ranged in weight from 2.4 ounces to the 1.9 ounce MSR Titan Mug. Although I liked the weight, the price was just too high.

I was about to walk away when I ran across the REI Polypropylene Cup. This lightweight camp cup weighs 2.5 ounces and costs $1.95. At only 0.1 ounce heavier than the heaviest titanium mug and only 0.6 ounce heavier than the lightest, this mug is a bargain.

Then I remembered that I already have a cup similar to REI’s plastic cup, so it must be close to the same weight. I went home and put my GSI Camping Cup on the scale and found it weighed only 1.7 ounces. It’s a full 0.2 ounce under the 1.9 ounce lightweight MSR Titan Mug and a $38 less. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Sometimes the lightest and best isn’t the most high-tech and expensive.

Know any items where the less expensive version trumps the high-tech high-end version?

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  • Hi

    I use a coffee cup like you get in star bucks. On my daily commute people leave loads of these lying about and last a few trips before falling apart. Weigh about an ounce or so


  • Bryan, the weight saving in a titanium mug as you have pointed out is negligible.
    I have used plastic cups for years and then bought a Ti one.
    My rational was that I could “cook” in it as well.
    Well, I never really do :-)
    One problem with Ti as cup: the metal transfers heat well and the edge of the cup become rather hot when used for a hot drink.
    Plastic is better: cooler lips but hot content for sipping.
    For a lightweight Ti cooking system:

  • Nice breakdown of a Ti cooking system. Mine is similar. Lately, I’ve been using a Jetboil stove for solo trips; it’s heavier than my old Ti system, but it’s so efficient that on longer trips, I’d guess it’s a wash in weight saved in fuel.

    I’m still a big fan of pop can stoves and stove systems, but I’m getting lazy in my old age and the simplicity of the Jetboil keeps me coming back to it.

  • late on the game here, but for i guess almost 2 decades now i’ve used a stupidly cheap 1 cup plastic measuring cup that came with some terrible mess kit i was given by a well meaning friend. it’s got steps up the side so it doubles for measuring, and hasn’t deformed yet with boiling water. it’s inspired a few outdoors companions to hit up target or a grocery to look at measuring cups. mine looks similar to the red one in your picture. i suspect it’s lasted because i’ve never used an abrasive to clean it.

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