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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  1. nigel
    Posted January 29, 2010 at 1:14 am | Permalink


    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


  2. Posted February 1, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    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:

  3. Posted February 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    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.

  4. metis
    Posted August 23, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    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.