July 17, 2012

Vargo's Titanium BOT Combines Cooking Pot and Water Bottle

By C.C. Weiss

The Titanium BOT is a one-liter cooking and water-carrying solutionWhy carry two pieces of gear into the backcountry when you can carry one? That's the question that Vargo answers with the new Titanium BOT. The vessel combines two backcountry essentials - cooking pot and water bottle - into a single, lightweight package.

When it comes to backpacking, less weight is almost always better. But while a backpacker can cut a spoon handle in half and sleep under a canvas sheet, there are certain things he can't live without - like water. A water bottle is great for carrying water, but not necessarily so great great for cooking. Cooking pots tend to lack the fully securing tops needed to transport water. So, assuming that a backpacker wants to both carry and boil water, he needs both a cooking pot and a water bottle or bladder.

Or he needs the Titanium BOT. Vargo solves the water-carrying shortcomings of the cooking pot with a dual-purpose top. One side screws in and employs a heat-resistant O-ring to secure a full liter of water without any spillage. The titanium top flips over for cooking mode and functions like a standard pot lid, unlike the plastic tops on regular water bottles. Also unlike a regular water bottle, the pot is designed to be stable for cooking and removed from the stove with a pot lifter.

The end result is that a backpacker gets the full function of a water bottle and cooking pot from a single device that weighs less than 5 ounces (4.7 oz/133 g, to be precise). Its tall, thin design should fit in most backpack water bottle pockets.

The main drawback here is the price. The Titanium BOT comes with a pretty steep buy-in of US$100. You could buy an entire titanium cook set plus a separate water bottle for well under that price. And it appears that some backpackers have had success cooking in a regular single-wall stainless steel bottle, which is even cheaper.

If you don't mind paying extra for a lightweight, purpose-built model, the Titanium BOT appears to be a solid option. And there's an entire market of high-priced ultralight gear that testifies to the fact that some backpackers don't mind spending extra for the lightest solution.

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