Snow Peak Kettle No.1
One of the best stainless small bushcrafting/backpacking pots on the market, with a very reasonable price of $20 USD, this Made in Japan kettle is one of the few backpacking pots that will fit an unbroken block of premium ramen noodles (the $2/packet kind, like Nissin Raoh or Maruchan Gold). It has a few shortcomings that I hope Snow Peak will one day address with an updated model.
- Stainless steel
- Excellent Japanese quality
- Fits premium ramen without breaking
- Awkward pouring
- Bail cannot be fixed upright without modification
- Too short to hold a standard gas canister
There's always that moment of trepidation when a package arrives and you are praying nothing is damaged.
Although I own and love my GSI Outdoors Halulite 1.1L Boilers (I have two), aluminium cookware is really not designed to be used directly in a fire, so there are two reasons I purchased this pot. The first is that it's stainless steel and can therefore be used in a wood fire, and the second is because it is wide enough to accept an unbroken block of the kind of premium ramen noodles that used to be only available as an import from Japan, but are now being sold in the US as Maruchan Gold and Nissin Raoh. This being a Japanese product, I suspect it was made this size for exactly this reason.
The Snow Peak Kettle No. 1 has a few minor flaws/trade-offs. First of all, the handle placement is not ideal for pouring, which I actually find surprising, since side-spout kettles are traditionally common in Japan, where they are known as kyuusu. Second, if Snow Peak had made the Kettle No. 1 just about 1 cm taller, you could have fit a standard 250 g gas canister inside with the lid on. And lastly, for reasons unknown to womankind, Snow Peak elected not to stamp the bail tabs so that the bail could be locked in the upright position.
This last shortcoming can be "fixed" by taking tools to the kettle's bail tabs, but it really should come from the factory that way, as numerous online reviews agree. But because the bail tabs are mounted where they are, you can't work around the awkward configuration of the handles relative to the spout by pouring sideways.
It would have made more sense if the handles were rotated 90 degrees from where they are, putting them inline with the bail. That way, you could pour sideways in either direction, whichever better suited the situation, out of the spout, or the other side of the pot. Of course, if they were mounted that way, you'd need to be careful that the handles didn't swing around and unbalance the pot, but that's easy to accomplish.
That being said, there aren't many small stainless pots on the market that also have a bail, a lid, a spout, and handles. Snow Peak is one of the most reputable companies in the industry, with a long track record of quality (and high prices), but this is one of their most reasonably priced products.
Many thanks to Eastside Sports in Bishop, CA, for getting this kettle to me when Amazon failed miserably to track their stock properly, forcing me to cancel my order a week after I placed it. I placed my order online early on a Friday morning, and the USPS reported receipt of the package within hours.
My cookware of choice over the years has been MSR Alpine stainless and more recently GSI Outdoors Halulite (hard-anodised aluminium). I also own a few pieces from Evernew, Snow Peak, Keith Titanium, and DZO.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $20 USD +$8.50 shipping
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Current Retail: $26.95
Historic Range: $19.95-$26.95
Reviewers Paid: $20.00
9 oz / 252 g
5.7 x 3.9 x 4 3/4 in, 3.5 in diameter
30.4 fl oz