When the idea of Bikepacking came into my life I had a vision of me sitting at my campsite, my bike photogenically perched behind me somewhere, and a little fire roaring away. This little fire would serve the purpose of keeping me warm and cooking my food. Not to mention its biggest natural skill – making all of my clothes smell of wood smoke.
However, the more research I did the more it became apparent that carrying some sort of stove along with some sort of fuel / gas was the common sense approach. Running the risk of finishing my day in the pouring rain and struggling to find sufficient firewood whilst still getting soaked wasn’t something I was keen to experience. Would a roaring fire and a picturesque campsite make me Instagram famous? Possibly. Would strangers liking my photo make me feel warm and fill my stomach? No. Cooking equipment and a stove it was. Decision made!
I think it was at this point in my life I discovered the Alpkit website. If I knew then that Alpkit would steadily drain my bank account would I still have clicked on it? Definitely! Alpkit, in my opinion, sell great quality gear when it comes to outdoor activities. Whether it be hiking, camping, bikepacking etc there’s not much you won’t find on their website. I’ll not go on about it too much but if you are looking for outdoor gear you would be silly not to go and have a look at what’s on offer. Just for those who are wondering – I am getting zero commission from Alpkit for this!
The three products I will review today are:
- MytiMug 600
- Koro Mountaineering Stove
- Jasper Fire Lighter
It made sense to do a joint review of these products as one is rarely used without the other when it comes to my Bikepacking trips.
The Alpkit MytiMug 600
I already know what you’re thinking… How is he going to write more than 50 words about an Alpkit titanium mug. Easily, because this is the MytiMug 600!
As you can see from my picture it’s just a silver coloured mug. However, that mug is made from titanium. It has two handles that are curved so they fold into the mug itself for streamlined packing, a nice fitting lid to perch on top, and each part of it is deceptively strong due to the titanium build. I’m sure it goes without saying but the 600 refers to its capacity of 600 mIllilitres.
Whether it’s heating up water or food it won’t take you long in this mug. Titanium is a brilliant conductor of heat which has two benefits in this case: 1 – your water of food heats up quickly, 2 – you use less gas as it doesn’t need to be on for as long.
My biggest worry when using it for food for the first time was that due to the intense heat on the bottom whilst cooking the food was bound to stick to it. It did to an extent but when it came to clean the mug I found it relatively easy. Again, this is down to the titanium build. It’s important to remember here that whilst I’m Bikepacking I’m usually washing things with water from my water bottle and my hands. I’m not carrying a cloths and fairy liquid etc.
Now if you’re anything like me, when you wake up in the morning you’re thinking about a nice cup of tea or coffee. It’s usually the latter for me. The joy of this mug and its heating properties is that there isn’t a big delay between that thought of coffee and me being able to actually consume a cup of coffee. It takes no time at all to boil a mug of water and what was more surprising was how well the mug retained heat and kept my coffee warm for a decent amount of time.
Now let’s get onto some technical facts. Don’t worry though there’s not too many, it’s just a mug after all.
It weighs just 45 grams and they have designed it cleverly so that you can fit a 100 gram gas canister inside of it. Some may say this is a gimmick but trust me, when you are struggling for room in your bikepacking bags this saved space is absolutely golden.
It comes in a nice little black drawstring bag which you can pull tight to stop it rattling around. Personally, I carry a slightly larger gas canister and so inside of my MytiMug 600 is my cooking stove and my Jasper fire lighter along with a small rag to stop any rattling.
Let’s get onto the price – £38.99. That sounds like a lot of money for a thin metal mug… now I’m going to say something that’s going to sound like a cliche but it’s something my Grandad said to me when I started making my own money:
“You get what you pay for, buy cheap buy twice.”
The older I become the more accurate this seems to get. I’m sure there are cheaper camping mugs out there that do a very similar job. This is definitely a higher end version but the ergonomic design, the weight, the titanium build, and that gas canister fitting gimmick, set it apart from the rest. My advice – take the plunge and buy one. You’ll not regret it. That’s a Bikepacking Dad promise right there!
Find the MytiMug 600 right here:
The Alpkit Koro Mountaineering Stove
So now that you’re all set up with your new titanium mug it is probably a good idea to have something that can heat up the mugs contents. After all, a hard day on the bike deserves a warm meal and a warm drink.
The first thing I want to say about the Koro stove is that it looks brilliant. Any product you can shape into a scorpion design will always be a winner in my book!
When this turned up at my house and I was opening the package I was pretty sure that I had been sent the wrong item. There’s no way it could possibly be so small that it would fit inside the black pouch it arrived in. But it did. All the legs neatly folded down, the sturdy gas connection pipe safely wrapped around the folded legs, and weighing in at next to nothing. I hadn’t even used it yet and I was happy with this purchase.
With so much choice these days when it comes to camping equipment I think it’s important that something is aesthetically pleasing. Is it critical? No, not really. However, it certainly does no harm.
With six moving parts, each of these being individual legs, I was a little worried it might feel flimsy and weak. I was wrong. The legs for the base lock into place quite nicely and there’s a little more movement on the top legs which makes total sense as this is where you will balance your mug or pot. The hose that connects the stove to your gas canister is flexible but feels tough and strong all at the same time. The red Alpkit branded adapter is extremely easy to use and simply screws onto the gas canister and you have the ability to vary how much gas / how much flame you want to use. The only tip I would give here is to make sure that the last few turns are done quickly. This will ensure you don’t lose too much gas. Oh, and don’t overtighten it, hand tight is just fine!
I’m sure you’re dying to know just how much this beautiful little stove weighs so let me put you out of your misery – it weighs 124 grams. As I explained above it folds up very small and into its own bag and I tend to travel with it wrapped up in my MytiMug 600 so all of my cooking equipment is together.
Priced at £54.99 I would say this is a premium product and I know there are cheaper stoves out there. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – you get what you pay for. I feel this product, even considering it’s very light weight, is sturdy and well built and I have confidence that when I need it it will be ready to go. The connection to the canister is secure, the braided pipe is strong yet flexible and it just so happens that the MytiMug 600 sits on top of it perfectly. A match made in camping cooking heaven.
Find the Koro Mountaineering Stove right here:
The Alpkit Jasper Fire Lighter
This will be the shortest review by far. So short in fact that I nearly forgot to include it on my cooking equipment reviews list. If you’ve read about my first bikepacking trip you’ll know I forgot a lighter to start my stove. If I had purchased this earlier that wouldn’t have been a problem. This is the best £9.99 I have spent in quite a while!
It’s called Jasper. I don’t know why but I’m sure somebody at Alpkit does. Maybe someone called Jasper designed / invented it and if so then I just want to say a big well done to that Jasper.
I’m not going to pretend to be an expert on what this is made from and how it manages to create a 3000 degrees centigrade spark but I am going to say that it’s brilliant and very effective.
The Alpkit website states that it uses friction from the magnesium alloy and steel composition to create this spark. Ok then…
It comes in a fetching orange colour and is very compact. I’ve never used it and had to strike it more than once to light my stove. I’m not even going to bore you with the weight of it because in reality you can barely tell you’re carrying it even when holding it in your hand.
Granted, I’ve not tried to use it to light a wildfire but with such hot sparks being produced by this product I imagine that if you had some dry kindling it wouldn’t take long to get a fire started.
It has one job and it does that job very well. You will get 1 whole penny change out of your £10 note and I would go as far to say that it is an essential item you should be carrying with you whether bikepacking or hiking / camping.
Find the Jasper Fire Lighter right here:
Now don’t get me wrong, I know some of these items are quite expensive for what they are and I know that money can be quite tight especially with how life is going just now. After all I’ve got a second child on the way so trying to buy bikepacking gear without my wife finding out is almost like having a secret relationship with Alpkit.
These are just my recommendations based upon real world use of these products. I’m sure there are many other products with many good reviews from people just like me who are writing to strangers on the internet. However, I promise you that these reviews are honest and genuine and as far as trusting a stranger on the internet goes you should definitely trust me!
You don’t have to buy these all at once. Maybe chuck them on a birthday present list or a Christmas list. Maybe treat yourself to one if you’ve done a little overtime at work. Again, this is the joy of bikepacking. You can slowly build a selection of equipment which you can refine over time.
I hope this has been somewhat helpful but if not there’s a strong chance you’re not even reading this paragraph! If you have any further questions on the products or wish to see video reviews instead, which is something I’m in the process of trying to sort out, then please let me know.
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