Gear Review: Fozzils Solo Pack
Gear Type – Dishes
Volume – 1.4 fl.oz. (Plate) & 600ml/20.4 fl.oz. (Bowl) & 350ml/11.8 fl.oz (Cup)
Trail Weight – About 4 oz or 1.4 oz per piece
Includes – 3-piece set includes plate, cup an bowl. Cup and bowl have measurements marked on exterior.
Materials – High quality, food grade, polypropylene
Additional Specs – Fozzils
I’m somewhat obsessed with dinnerware, particularly when it comes to backpacking. Despite the fact that we own a wide variety of camping plates, bowls, and cups, I am always on the lookout for something lighter, more practical, etc. We picked up a couple of sets of Fozzils Solo Packs at MEC a few years ago because I’d seen other backpackers with similar sets and the packing flat aspect was very appealing.
First, it’s important to pre-fold the dishes a few times before the initial use. The creases are not “broken in” when you get them. I found running each piece under hot water for a moment or two made the plastic nicely pliable, and then I was able to fold them easily. I snapped them together and let them sit until they were dry. This will make folding them out in the field way easier. Make sure you’re folding them right-side-out, and pinch the corners good to get them to take shape properly. Do this once or twice and you shouldn’t have trouble with the snaps being stubborn.
To be honest, we typically only use the bowl and cup. The plate is nice for car camping, or if we plan to do some fishing wherever we are, but if you’re a typical backpacker, you’re probably just eating a lot of stuff that needs to be re-hydrated. For this sort of thing, the bowl and cup will be all you need. The plates do make excellent loaner gear though. I love the flat-packing aspect because it’s easy to not only get them into the backpack, but it makes cleaning super easy. Normally I just unsnap mine and lick all the food off, and maybe give it a quick rinse. Nothing sticks to it, and drying it only requires a few flicks to get the water off.
They are also extremely durable, and while the surface may become scratched after much use, they don’t seem to suffer a lot of wear and tear otherwise. We drink hot beverages out of ours all the time, and while you should take a bit of care while doing so, we have never had a problem. They aren’t terribly efficient at keeping the heat to themselves, which is actually lovely if your hands are cold and you’re finally enjoying a hot meal or drink. Just be careful, same as you would handling any hot bowl or cup.
The measure marks on the cup and bowl are a very nice touch because they do double-duty as measuring cups. The pieces are supremely light, which is why our kids each got a set of their own for Christmas. They aren’t old enough to pack a ton of weight yet, so any light piece of gear I can get them to carry themselves is a bonus. My only gripe is you have to buy the whole set (I would prefer to be able to buy just the cup or bowl). However, for $12 you really can’t go wrong. At that price you also won’t cry if you lose or somehow destroy one of the pieces, making them the perfect gift for people just starting to foray into the backcountry. If they decide they hate backpacking at least you didn’t spend $40 on a titanium cup that they will never use.
These can also do double-duty for picnicing, car camping, or when you’re just too lazy to do dishes and can’t find a frisbee or tupperware lid to eat off of.
If you’re trying to go lighter, you can’t go wrong with these. You will save weight and space in your pack. Everyone seems to end up having a preference for just one or two of the pieces (some love the plate and bowl, but don’t use the cup, or just use the bowl) but the extra parts make great loaner gear, or you can give them away. I often find myself letting people try bits of gear before buying their own, which is why we end up keeping so many things we don’t use on the regular. I haven’t found anything else I love as much as the bowl and cup of this set however, but I’ll keep looking 😉