I AM A HUGE fan of alloy pots and pans, but it is not always possible to lug this bulky gear around in your pack/kayak/vehicle, so I have been testing an alternative from Aussie outdoor brand Sea To Summit: the X-Set 31 system.
Sea To Summit’s X-Series comprises a whole range of pots, plates, bowls and cups, all featuring a collapsible design and food-grade silicone construction. The X-Set 31 I have been using includes a 2.8-litre pot (with a hard-anodised aluminium base), two X-Bowls (600ml) and two sizeable X-Mugs (480ml). These also have measurements on the sides so are great for accurate metering of ingredients or water if needed. The complete set flattens down to a plate-sized disc that is a paltry 45mm in height – perfect for packing.
When I first started testing the X-Set 31, my initial concerns revolved around whether the bowl, pot and cup sides would be too flimsy and difficult to hold when full of hot liquids. The silicone used in the system is heat resistant, but you do still feel quite a bit of warmth through the walls, without it being uncomfortable. Plus, the mugs have a hard plastic outer rim that makes holding them a tad easier. The pot has a pair of heavier-duty handles on each side as well, making lifting and pouring a lot easier; these also do double duty and lock down the set when collapsed for transport.
There are a number of different combinations available within the X-Series, including different volume kettles (ranging from 1.3L all the way through to 4L), as well as an X-Pan and two bowl sizes, one mug size (as tested here) and even a cool shot-glass sized X-Shot.
I have been using the X-Set 31 for a few months now and it has proved simple to use and surprisingly robust. In terms of long-term durability, I cannot see how it won’t last for years if cleaned thoroughly – there’s really not much that can go wrong or fail. Yes, you have to be more careful when using it all, as the silicone makes these units more flexible than a solid-material set-up. It’s also important to ensure the stove flame doesn’t come up the side of the pot’s aluminium base, but once you take that into account you will have no problems.
I wouldn’t recommend it for younger children, but for older kids and the rest of the family, the X-Set 31 (and the other combinations available in the X-Series) is a viable alternative to more bulky, heavier cooking gear.
RRP $139.95 www.seatosummit.com.au