Below is my Field Report for the Flej Solo cup to edit at your
leisure. You can find the HTML version here:
Thanks so much for the time and effort it takes to go through and edit
these reports. As I gain experience in BackPackGear test, I have a
growing appreciation for the dedication that people have for this
August 1, 2008
The Flej solo cup has been my constant companion during 15 days of
camping thus far this summer. I have used the Flej Solo cup as my
primary drinking vessel while base camping as well as backpacking.
The cup has seen a variety of beverages including coffee, tea,
lemonade, wine and water. The cup has been used for an extended
period in the field with only limited maintenance and cleaning. The
following is my report on its performance.
Silver Lake- June Lake loop Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, California-
8days June/July 2008
Elevation: 6772 ft (2064 m)
High Temperature: 90.2 F (32.3 C)
Low Temperature: 41.6 F (5.3 C)
Precipitation: .02 in (.5 mm)
The Flej solo cup primarily served as my morning coffee cup, and my
evening tea cup while base camping on Silver Lake.
Twin Lakes- Mammoth Lakes, CA -5 days July 2008
Elevation: 8202 ft (2499 m)
High Temperature: 83.0 C (28.3 C)
Low Temperature: 44 F (6.7 C)
Precipitation: 0 in (0 mm) (while no precipitation was recorded, the
location we camped received several seasonal thunder storms that
dropped more than a trace amount of precipitation.
Again the Flej solo cup primarily served as my morning coffee cup, and
my evening tea cup while base camping at Twin Lakes.
Heart Lake- Little Lakes Valley, CA- overnight July 2008 1-day
Elevation: 10300 ft (2064 m) at trailhead
High Temperature (approximate): 80 F (32.3 C)
Low Temperature (approximate): 40 F (5.3 C)
Precipitation: trace amount (a short evening thunderstorm dropped rain
for about 30 minutes)
The Flej solo cup was the only drinking vessel I had during this
backpacking trip. I brewed tea in it during the evening and for
breakfast, as well as using the cup for water while in camp.
Three Sisters Falls- San Diego County, CA July 2008 1-Day
Elevation: 2800 ft (853 m) at trailhead
High Temperature (approximate): 90 F (32 C)
Low Temperature (approximate): 55 F (13 C)
Precipitation: 0 in (0 mm)
The Flej solo cup was the only drinking vessel I had during this
backpacking trip. As with the previous trip I brewed tea in it during
the evening and coffee for breakfast.
The Flej Solo Cup has worked solidly as a camping/backpacking cup. I
have used it extensively, and it had proven to be functional and durable.
During one extended trip in June and July, I used the cup daily for 14
day without having the opportunity to disassemble the components of
the cup and thoroughly clean them. Cleaning consisted of rinsing the
cup with clean water, pumping the "agitator" a few times, pouring out
the water and rinsing a second time. The cup held a variety of
liquids during this trip, and I did not notice any flavor cross
contamination as long as I rinsed the cup after use. When I arrived
home, the exterior of the cup was very dirty, and I found that there
was some build-up on the internal components when I disassembled the
cup. I put the plastic components in the dishwasher, and washed the
neoprene sleeve with warm water and dish soap, which returned the cup
to a respectably clean condition.
Before leaving for my first camping trip, I tried activating the
"agitator" feature by sucking on the spout as indicated in the
directions. I was very hesitant to do this initially with hot liquid
in the cup, so I initially tested it with cold water. I was able to
activate the mixing feature this way but I needed to apply more
suction than I expected. While no water splashed up onto my lips, I am
still hesitant to mix my hot beverages using this method, and almost
always mix them by depressing the rubber button on the bottom of the
cup with my finger. I wondered how useful the mixing would be for me
as I drink my coffee black, and do not add anything to my tea. I did
find that using the mixing feature while brewing tea speeds up process
significantly by forcing the water through the teabag.
The neoprene sleeve works well to keep my beverage warm or cool for a
reasonable period of time. It also has insulated my fingers from the
heat of the hot beverages while gripping the cup. As it is summer, I
have not had the opportunity to use the cup during temperatures colder
than 40 F (5.3 C) and cannot comment on whether the neoprene
insulation will work as well in colder weather. The sleeve has held
up decently during 15 days of use, although the edges of the sleeve
have sustained more areas that are frayed or pulling apart. There is
one small knick in the sleeve; probably as a result of the many times
I have tightly packed the cup in various backpacks and daypacks. The
lid has a few minor scratches. At this point all of the wear is cosmetic.
The design of the cup for me has proven to be a compromise of size,
shape weight and capacity. Initially I was concerned that the cup was
too small, and was disappointed that the 9 oz capacity would not work
for me as an every day "commuter" cup. Upon reflecting on my use of
the cup as a camping and backpacking cup I have accepted that this cup
was never intended as for everyday use, and the volume and shape are
designed for the size constraints imposed when backpacking. The 10 oz
(.3 L) capacity has worked in the more relaxed environment while
camping where I can just reach out to my stove and refill the cup.
The ovoid shape with no extruding parts make it easy to stuff into a
tight nook in my backpack without worrying about breaking or bending
any of the components. The plastic smell and taste initially
encountered when the cup was new has completely disappeared, and at
this point I cannot detect any taste or smell coming from the plastic
components of the cup.
The Flej Solo Cup has performed well in two months of testing. I has
come through 15 days in the field with what I deem an acceptable
amount of wear and tear; all of which is cosmetic and does not
adversely affect the performance of the cup.
The worst I can say about the Flej Solo Cup, is that it has somewhat
of an identity issue among my backpacking gear. When I am packing for
a "light and fast" minimal trip, the built in stirring feature
(agitor) seems like a way to save weight, but I already carry a spoon
that would accomplish the same task. A cup without the "agitor" would
be slightly lighter, without the added redundancy; better fitting my
"light and fast" philosophy. When packing for trips where comfort is
more of a priority than weight and volume, I would prefer to pack a
cup with a larger capacity. I would like to have two separate versions
, one ultralight version without the stirring feature, and a larger
version with the "agitor" built in.
Please check back in about two months when I report on the performance
of the Flej Solo Cup after four months of testing. Thank you Sedge
Warbler and BackPackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this fine