REVISED: OR - GSI Soft Sided Wine Carafe - Kathy Waters
- Ray and/or Richard,
This should be a better version, I hope than last night's! URL in test
folder is http://tinyurl.com/nypmtco and text is below.
GSI SOFT SIDED WINE CARAFE
BY KATHLEEN WATERS
August 31, 2013
NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)
Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to
backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land
bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other
gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado.
Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune
to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic
locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death
My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent
(rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and
Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors, Inc.
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.gsioutdoors.com
MSRP: US $9.95
Listed Weight: 1.3 oz (37 g)
Measured Weight: 1.5 oz (43 g)
Listed and Measured Size: 6" x 1.7" x 11.2" (15.2 x 4.3 x 28.5 cm)
* Volumn: 750 ml (25 fl oz)
* Materials: PE Laminate, Polypropylene, Silicone
* BPA Free
* Two-stage cap opening - wider mouth for filling plus an upper cap for
* Tapered silhouette with cork embellishment and foiled exterior
* Rewritable date bar on reverse to record varietal, vintage, vinter and
Made in China
FIELD USE AND PERFORMANCE
The GSI Soft Sided Wine Carafe has been a very frequently-used item on my
hikes and backpacks ever since I got it last autumn. My hiking companions
and I often like to enjoy a celebratory summit toast - even when we don't
actually "summit" - and when sitting around that nighttime campfire, well,
wine is just fine!
I would have to say that almost all my all-day hikes and weekend backpacks
have seen me utilizing this very handy carafe. From treks in our backyard
playground of Cooper Mountains and the bordering Bureau of Land Management
(BLM) property to the 11 Mile Range in Breckenridge, Wasatch Mountains in
Utah and various other trails in Colorado's Rocky Mountains region, I've
been able to enjoy wine in the wilderness with this carafe..
Temperatures have spanned 4 seasons now since receiving the carafe, with
lows as low as 20 F (7 C) and highs as high as 100 F (38 C). And while the
carafe doesn't offer any real insulation, I have never had the contents
freeze or get so hot as to be undrinkable, though after a long day in 90+ F
(32 +C) blazing sun, the wine wasn't at its best. Hmm, maybe that's not a
good thing - not finding a wine almost simmering to still be drinkable!
Let me explain why I like this GSI Carafe so well.
I'll start with - it's easy to fill. Well, let me say, it's easy to fill
once I found the knack of it. I'm not the most nimble and graceful person,
so pouring a bottle of wine with one hand while holding a semi-floppy carafe
in the other can result in a rapidly expanding red puddle, stained
pants/shirt and muffled words of frustration. It's not the carafe's fault -
it's me! The opening in the carafe is about the size of any soda bottle,
so aiming is crucial. I found if I blow strongly into the carafe before I
start to fill it, the carafe will expand and the envelope bottom will change
from knife-edge to a more stable shape I can then stand on a flat surface.
I usually use the kitchen sink so as to contain any dribbles. I also prefer
using a funnel to be even safer - wine stains are just plain nasty!
To prepare the carafe for use in very warm weather, I fill it with water and
put it in the refrigerator overnight to chill it. If white wine is on the
next day's menu, I fill the carafe with the wine and chill the whole kit and
caboodle overnight with great success. This process helps keep the wine
from tasting like something to be served at a Wassail feast.
Once filled, the carafe is securely sealed via the attached cork-banded cap.
I can't thank GSI enough for that little 2.5 inch (6.4 cm) piece of cord
that keeps me from spending half the day searching among the rocks or trail
for an errant cap I've managed to drop. In the past, losing a wine bottle
top has resulted in some wobbly knees after having to hastily finish off the
Two of the most notable features of the carafe are its soft sides which
enable it to be packed in my backpacks more easily than a glass, plastic or
metal container and its negligible weight. I can mold the carafe into
corners and pockets of my pack where a rigid bottle wouldn't go and it
definitely weighs less than any other liquid-toting container I own. Once
empty, the carafe collapses and can even be folded small enough to fit in a
leg pocket of my cargo-type pants, if I choose.
On the trail, the upper cap can be opened and the contents can be squirted
from the carafe similarly to many water bottles on the market. I never
really drink wine while hiking - I only partake when in a resting position
because I'd probably trip and fall on a trail if I tried to "drink and
hike". But I did test out the "squeeze, squirt and slurp" feature once to
write this review. It works but wine tastes so much better when poured into
a glass, I believe. Oh well, all right - poured into a cup, even if it is a
The carafe doesn't change the taste of the wine, even rather light white
wines, though I found I need to be very careful about washing it out
thoroughly particularly after a long hot day with a robust red vintage on
trail or else the previous wine contents' odor lingers.
And since I mentioned "cleaning", I've never done more than filling the
carafe with hot water, vigorously shaking it, repeating a few times and then
letting it air dry before storing it in a cool place lying flat. I found
that inserting a plastic straw into the mouth of the carafe and letting it
air dry upside down with the straw balancing the carafe in a tall glass
works well. Once dry, the carafe gets stored until the next adventure
1.) Light-weight option for carrying wine into the backcountry.
2.) Easy to fill up.
3.) Has an attached cap so as to not lose it on the trail.
4.) Takes up minimal space in my pack, especially when empty.
1.) Would be easier to clean if the opening were just a bit larger.
Last September, I was given the GSI Soft Sided Wine Carafe by a PR rep at a
(different) manufacturer's annual press day. At the time, I thought it a
neat little gadget but was totally clueless as to just how neat a little
gadget it was! After using the carafe multiple times over the past
almost-year, I'm convinced it is one of the most useful items a backpacker
who is a wine drinker (or a wine drinker who backpacks) can have.
It's easy to fill, packs in any day or backpack, and washes/dries/stores
without any fuss. And, most importantly, it's easy to drink from.
I'm so glad I have one of these and have even given 2 as gifts since I got
mine (mostly to keeps mine safe from my admiring hiking buddies!).
Kathleen (Kathy) Waters
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