Monday, May 14, 2012

Gear Review: GSI Pinnacle Soloist

After two years of use, I'm not very impressed by this product. Yes, it looks really cool, and fits together very nicely, but as a set it flat out does not do the job, or hold up with prolonged use.

First off the spork is a complete piece of junk. It's made of plastic and comes apart very easily. If you don't believe me go to REI and pull one out of the box and see for yourself. You might as well take it from the package and throw it in the trash.

The cup is one solid piece of thin plastic so it obviously won't fall apart, but the problem is that it will not keep your hot drinks hot for long. That may not seem like a big deal sitting around the campfire at 9pm, but in the AM when you're running around camp packing things up it really sucks picking up your cup of coffee just to find it warm or even cold.

The pot itself works well. I've boiled water and cooked in it on many occasions. The lid is nice too, and I usually leave it on while boiling water. You can also flip the lid upside down and use it on the cup. The only gripe I have with the pot is the handle. It tends to come loose from the locking mechanism on the pot itself. It's an easy fix, but a pain in the butt because it happens way too often. Apparently it was designed for the handle to come off easy. I personally don't like it because the only reason I could see for removing the handle is if you were cooking over an open fire (as opposed to a controlled burn of a stove) because higher flames could melt the rubber coating. 

The other redeeming quality in this set (other than the pot) is the actual stuff sack it comes with, which doubles as a water carrier. I usually fill it up with water and cinch it so I have some extra in camp, and to save trips back and forth from my water source. This sack is durable and does not leak. I would give it 5 stars if I could rate it by itself.

On a side note if you use an MSR Pocket Rocket stove then you might want to reconsider buying this product, as it is just too long to fit inside. Which brings me to another point: All of my kitchen and bathroom kit fits inside this pot (except my stove). I put a small fuel canister at the bottom, followed by the cup upside-down and packed with toothbrush, toothpaste, bear bag kit (I use spectra cord and a mini carabiner) lighter, soap, and TP. My spork then slides into the bag next to the pot. Now that I think about it, this pack-ability is probably my favorite thing about this set.

The problem is that there just isn't enough about this set for me to recommend it to anyone, even though on other websites it's highly reviewed.