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EDIT: GSI Outdoor 16 oz Lexan Flask - Andrew Mytys

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  • pamwyant
    Andy – overall a nice report. I enjoyed reading about your use of the flask, and learned some good tips. Your photos add a lot to the report. Just a few
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 29, 2006
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      Andy – overall a nice report. I enjoyed reading about your use of
      the flask, and learned some good tips. Your photos add a lot to the
      report. Just a few minor edits for you. I guess the protocol is to
      repost the report once you've corrected it, even though I know you
      are experienced.

      Pam

      > a handy 1 oz (30 ml) "shot" cap. The flask has a slim and flat
      > profile that's comfortable when held in one's hand, and discretely
      > fits into deep pant and jacket pockets. The Lexan flask is

      Comment: Instead of using "one's hand", I would prefer to see you
      use "my hand" or even "the hand".

      > construction of water bottles. To start, Lexan is durable - ounce
      for
      > ounce, it is stronger than steel.

      Comment: Do you have a source for this claim? Maybe you could
      reference the source?

      > to -40° F (-40° C). It is resistant to staining and odors, and
      will
      > not absorb any tastes from previously held contents.

      Comment: From personal experience I would argue this point to some
      extent. Occasionally it will hold taste/odors from previous foods
      or beverages. I had some nasty tasting chili flavored hot cocoa on
      one trip. Perhaps consider adding this is a manufacturer's claim.

      > In the 3-season, this translates into my carrying a 45°F (7°C) bag
      > that weighs just under one-pound (450 gm). Should temperatures
      drop

      EDIT: For 3-season camping (or backpacking) instead of "In the 3-
      season".

      > warming the inside of a sleeping bag. I've also found that my feet
      > can get really chilled after being out in the cold all day - as my
      > feet sweat, the socks in my boots get damp, and this in turn can
      > cause circulation issues in my feet, especially when I've arrived
      in
      > camp and taken my feet out of my boots.

      EDIT: I've found that my feet can get really chilled…
      (remove "also").

      >Typically, I remove the damp
      > socks from my feet, let my feet air out and dry for about a minute
      > (dry winter air evaporates moisture from my feet quickly), and
      then
      > put on a dry pair of 200 weight fleece socks onto my feet.

      EDIT: using "on" and "onto" is redundant. Either use "put a dry
      pair of 200 weight fleece socks onto my feet." Or use "put on a dry
      pair of 200 weight fleece socks". I think the average reader would
      realize they go on your feet. :)


      > boiling water, fill my flask, and then, thanks to the flask's slim
      > profile, I can slide both the flask and my foot in into my slipper
      EDIT: "both the flask and my foot into my slipper" (remove "in").

      > (see bio for shoe size).

      EDIT: please spell out "biography"

      > a short trip. Then, while on my dayhike, I can cool myself by
      > pressing the Lexan flask against my kneck or under my shirt, and
      sip
      > iced-water as the frozen flask slowly thaws out.

      EDIT: neck (spelled incorrectly as kneck). Also, ice water instead
      of "iced-water".

      > There are other Lexan water bottles on the market, but I've found
      > that their rounded shapes means that they tend to roll around at
      will
      > and that their wider profile means that they can't slide into the
      > tight spaces that I tend to place my GSI Lexan Flask into. For me,
      > the Lexan flask is a clear winner!

      EDIT: remove a few "that"s from the sentence. "I've found their
      rounded shapes mean they tend to roll around at will and their wider
      profile means they can't slide into the tight spaces I tend to place
      my GSI Lexan Flask into"
    • Andy Mytys
      Thanks for the edits, Pam. I incorporated all the edits. In terms of the Lexan not absorbing tastes, I merged the statement into the resistant sentence so
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 2, 2006
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        Thanks for the edits, Pam. I incorporated all the edits. In terms
        of the Lexan not absorbing tastes, I merged the statement into
        the "resistant" sentence so that it now reads like it's just
        resistant to absorbing tastes, which I think is a fair way to handle
        it.

        I put quotes around the "3-season" (In the "3-season") - I'm
        suggesting this to be a personal style issue, as I tend to refer to
        backpacking having two seasons - the "3-season" and "winter,"
        following tent conventions.

        Anyway, here's the updated report.

        http://tinyurl.com/dl83q

        ----------------------------------------------------------

        GSI Outdoors 16 oz Lexan Flask
        Owner Review

        Date Published: January 22, 2006

        -------------------------------------------------------------------

        Tester's Biographical Information:

        Reviewer: Andrew Mytys
        Email: amytys@...
        Homepage: Andy's Lightweight Backpacking Site
        Location: Michigan
        Age: 33
        Height: 6'1" (183 cm)
        Weight: 185 lbs (84 kg)
        Shoe Size: Mens 10 (US); 9 (UK); 43 (EU); 280 (JP/KR)

        Backpacking Background:

        I live in Michigan and have been hiking seriously for 15 years,
        although I've camped since I was 6 years old. I consider myself a
        lightweight hiker. I carry the lightest gear I can get my hands on
        which will provide a comfortable wilderness experience and adequately
        support the goals of my trip. Unless my goals are time/distance
        oriented, my pace is always slow. I rarely exceed 1.5 miles (2.4
        km)/hour. I rest frequently, hike long days, and enjoy whatever
        nature throws my way.

        -------------------------------------------------------------------

        Product Information:

        Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
        Item: GSI Outdoors 16 oz Lexan Flask
        Year of Manufacture: 2002
        MSRP: $9.95
        Volume: 16 fl oz (475 ml)
        Listed Weight: 4 oz (113 gm)
        Weight as delivered: 4.2 oz (120 gm)


        Field Experience:

        I have owned the GSI Lexan Flask for three years. During that time,
        it has accompanied my on most backpacks and dayhikes, year round. I
        would estimate I have carried it on 40 overnights in addition to a
        large number of dayhikes.


        Description:

        The GSI Outdoors 16 oz Lexan Flask is a compact and durable flask
        made for carrying liquids. It has a capacity of 16 oz (475 ml), with
        a handy 1 oz (30 ml) "shot" cap. The flask has a slim and flat
        profile that's comfortable when held in my hand, and discretely fits
        into deep pant and jacket pockets. The Lexan flask is transparent
        gray in color, making it easy to determine the level of liquid
        inside. The flask seals tightly and is leak-proof, thanks to a rubber
        gasket that can be found on the inside of the cap, at the base of the
        threads.


        Lexan:

        The GSI Outdoors Flask is constructed of Lexan - a thermoplastic,
        polycarbonate resin, made by GE's plastic division. Lexan has some
        fantastic properties that make it advantageous for use in the
        construction of water bottles. To start, Lexan is durable - ounce for
        ounce, it is stronger than steel. Lexan remains strong and shatter
        resistant whether exposed to very hot or very cold temperatures. This
        means that liquid held in the flask can be frozen or, conversely,
        that boiling water can be poured directly into the flask without the
        container becoming soft, changing shape, or developing holes or
        cracks in its structure. Lexan is rated durable in temperatures down
        to -40° F (-40° C). It is resistant to staining and odors, and
        absorbing any tastes from previously held contents.


        Personal Observations:

        At 4.2 oz (120 gm) in weight, there are lots of lighter solutions to
        carrying around 16 oz (475 ml) of water. Why, you might ask, would
        a "lightweight backpacker" such as myself carry a relatively heavy
        container when a simple 1 oz (28 gm) plastic pop bottle would work
        just as well?

        The reason I have resolved to add this piece of gear to my packload
        lies in its heat-resistant properties, and in the shape of the flask
        itself. In combining these two features, I have found that the GSI
        Lexan Flask makes for an excellent hot-water bottle. This, in turn,
        has enabled me to carry a much lighter sleeping bag than I would
        without the flask, and the Lexan container now doubles as additional
        warmth in times when the weather surprises me with much colder
        temperatures than were forecast. No matter what the season, the Lexan
        Flask can be used to augment my sleeping bag's comfort range by as
        much as 15°F (8°C).

        In the "3-season", this translates into my carrying a 45°F (7°C) bag
        that weighs just under one-pound (450 gm). Should temperatures drop
        to a point where I am uncomfortable, I simply pour the contents of my
        GSI Flask into a pot, bring it to a boil, then pour the water back
        into my flask and bring this into my sleeping bag. I find that a
        flask filled with boiling water is too hot to the touch, so I pull
        out a liner glove or sock, slide the hot flask inside, and then
        either put this onto my chest or between my legs. Between the heat
        trapping capabilities of my sleeping bag and my own body heat, tests
        have shown that the Lexan flask will remain HOT for over two-hours.
        After this period of time, the flask can be removed from the
        protective liner and then be placed directly onto the skin, allowing
        it to continue its warming effect.

        Eventually, the flask no longer delivers any effective warmth but, by
        this time, it is morning and time to get moving anyway. The contents
        of the flask are still warm and drinking from it can provide
        additional comforts.

        Of course handling water in the middle of the night in close
        proximity to a down bag can be risky. Personally, I've had
        no "accidents" to date with the system I've described. I have never
        felt that I've been fortunate in this regard - the opening to the
        flask is wide enough to use confidently, even when handling boiling
        water. Add a little caution to the mix, and I get by even while half
        asleep and not wearing my glasses. The cap on the flask provides a
        secure seal, and the Lexan strength means that I am not worried about
        leakage should I roll over onto it while sleeping.

        In winter conditions, the GSI Lexan Flask can continue to be used in
        warming the inside of a sleeping bag. I've found that my feet can get
        really chilled after being out in the cold all day - as my feet
        sweat, the socks in my boots get damp, and this in turn can cause
        circulation issues in my feet, especially when I've arrived in camp
        and taken my feet out of my boots. Typically, I remove the damp socks
        from my feet, let my feet air out and dry for about a minute (dry
        winter air evaporates moisture from my feet quickly), and then put a
        dry pair of 200 weight fleece socks onto my feet. This is followed by
        a pair of down slippers, and I then place my feet into my sleeping
        bag. At times, my feet still feel cold and this is when I use the GSI
        Lexan Flask. I fire up the stove, turn some snow into boiling water,
        fill my flask, and then, thanks to the flask's slim profile, I can
        slide both the flask and my foot into my slipper (for shoe size, see
        biography).

        Many hikers like to dry damp clothes in the winter by positioning
        them against their skin or in the footbox of their sleeping bag while
        they sleep. I'm not a proponent of this system, as any drying that
        occurs increases the amount of water vapor that the sleeping bag has
        to manage - the result is often that the sleeping bag loses loft and
        heat-trapping capability. As luck would have it, snow melting is a
        time consuming task. As each pot of snow comes to a boil, I rotate
        the water into my GSI Lexan Flask and start melting the next batch of
        snow. While I wait for the snowmelt to boil, I take the hot flask and
        place it into my liner sock. I watch the steam rise into the air as
        the sock dries on contact. Any dampness in my thin, Coolmax liner
        socks dries in less than a minute - I repeat the process with my
        thicker, ragg wool hiking socks. As the water in my pot comes to a
        boil, I pour the water from my flask into a larger water container,
        then pour fresh boiling water into the flask in order to maintain
        drying efficiency.

        Of course, a hot GSI Lexan Flask can be used to dry more than socks.
        Often times, I find that the shell of my jacket, or sleeping bag
        footbox, is damp or even wet. A flask filled with boiling water can
        be comfortably held by its neck and moved about over the wet area in
        a quick, circular motion until it is dry (see image, above). A flask
        filled with boiling water does tend to be hot, so I keep the bottle
        moving to mitigate any risk of melting synthetic materials.
        This "backcountry iron" technique works like magic, and in a matter
        of minutes my equipment is dry once again.

        The advantages of the GSI Lexan Flask continue into the summer, when
        I place the flask filled with water into the freezer overnight before
        a short trip. Then, while on my dayhike, I can cool myself by
        pressing the Lexan flask against my neck or under my shirt, and sip
        ice water as the frozen flask slowly thaws out.

        There are other Lexan water bottles on the market, but I've found
        their rounded shapes means they tend to roll around at will. Their
        wider profile also means they can't slide into the tight spaces I
        tend to place my GSI Lexan Flask into. For me, the Lexan flask is a
        clear winner!


        Durability:

        Aside from a few scratches, the GSI Lexan Flask is as good as new.
        The rubber gasket ring inside the cap remains functional, and the cap
        continues to provide a tight and leak-proof seal.


        Recommendations For Improvement:

        . The GSI Flask has a line from the production mold going around its
        parameter. The manufacturer would do a great service in delivering a
        product that had a smooth mold line all around. My flask had a rough
        bottom, a characteristic that I discovered when I heard and felt a
        catch against the inner lining of my Western Mountaineering sleeping
        bag. Thankfully, morning and post-trip inspections verified that
        there was no damage done (whew). Before considering using the flask
        as an in-bag hot-water bottle, buyers should be prepared to take some
        fine-grade sandpaper to the bottom of the flask, and any other rough
        spots found, in order to smooth out jagged areas.

        . The manufacturer could include a message on the packaging warning
        users that the flask's cap contains a rubber gasket ring inside, and
        that at times this ring can work its way loose from the cap. During
        those times when the flask was sealed with boiling water inside and
        then allowed to cool, I noticed that the gasket either adhered itself
        to the top of the flask's opening or slipped loose on the inside of
        the cap while it was being opened - I've even had the gasket fall out
        of the cap. Fortunately, the first time that the gasket worked its
        way loose I noticed it, and I've since gotten into the habit of
        verifying that the gasket is in its proper position, at the base of
        the cap's threads, before closing my flask. Testing indicates that a
        missing or improperly installed gasket will result in the flask
        leaking. As I routinely have the flask filled with scalding water
        next to my skin, it's important for me to verify that the gasket is
        installed correctly before I screw the flask's cap on.
      • pamwyant
        ... terms ... handle ... Fair enough. One small edit - It is resistant to staining and odors, and absorbing any tastes from previously held contents. remove
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 2, 2006
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          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "Andy Mytys" <amytys@...>
          wrote:
          >
          >
          > Thanks for the edits, Pam. I incorporated all the edits. In
          terms
          > of the Lexan not absorbing tastes, I merged the statement into
          > the "resistant" sentence so that it now reads like it's just
          > resistant to absorbing tastes, which I think is a fair way to
          handle
          > it.

          Fair enough. One small edit -

          "It is resistant to staining and odors, and absorbing any tastes
          from previously held contents."

          remove the first "and" and replace with a comma. i.e. "It is
          resistant to staining, odors, and absorbing any tastes...

          >
          > I put quotes around the "3-season" (In the "3-season") - I'm
          > suggesting this to be a personal style issue, as I tend to refer
          to
          > backpacking having two seasons - the "3-season" and "winter,"
          > following tent conventions.
          >

          I still don't think "In the "3-season" " sounds grammatically
          correct, but I will not argue the point. With the quotation marks
          I'm willing to chalk it up to a style issue.

          The report looks nice. Congratulations. Upload when ready.

          Pam
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