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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Review: GSI Collapsible Fairshare Mug

A shape-shifting camp mug that does double-duty.

by: Will Rochfort

GSI Collapsible Fairshare Mug (Courtesy Photo)
GSI Collapsible Fairshare Mug (Courtesy Photo)

The Specs:
Weight: 7 oz
Although many products I test and review are appealing due to their ultralight features or newfangled technology, this one is just plain fun. The GSI Collapsible Fairshare Mug unfurls from a diminutive 1.7 inches thick disk to a full 22-ounce mug, complete with sturdy handle and sure-sealing lid.

At 7 ounces, it’s not the lightest cup on the market, but you wouldn’t buy this to be ultralight. You’d buy it to be gourmet. With summer’s longer days and lighter packs, this is the perfect time to add some flair to your meal, and you’re going to need the extra dishware to make it happen. Thanks to the voluminous interior that’s as suited to serving meals as beverages, it’s the perfect size for a side dish like the Mango Curry with Rice and Lentils.

Fortunately for whomever has dish duty, the malleable silicone is extremely easy to clean, and that means you can rinse the mug in time for before-bed hot chocolate. The locking lid is so secure that I could shake the mug upside-down without spilling a drop, which is crucial given my penchant prepping dinner and then deciding to walk to a more scenic spot for the actual meal.

Although it takes up minimal space in the pack when compressed, there is a also a ring on the rim to attach to the outside of your pack by carabiner (which I did to pay homage to my old scoutmaster and the sierra mug he would hang from his pack like an ornament).

Food grade silicone, like this, is durable enough to handle years of piping hot meals out on the trail, but be careful around sharp objects; one accident with a knife will put a hole right through. And although we didn’t experience any failures, the button on the handle would sometimes require a little force to make sure it locked into place. Just be sure to double-check the mechanism to avoid any dinners unexpectedly ending up in your lap.

Bottom line: If you need a versatile mug that can handle everything from rehydrated soup to cowboy coffee while taking up less space in your pack than a short stack of pancakes, the Fairshare Mug is up to the task.

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Reader Rating: -


Dec 03, 2010

Should I get this or the original fairshare mug?

Aug 23, 2010

Great mug/bowl. I love mine. I took it up Rainier and it performed nicely. The lid does vent to release steam (and if squeezed, liquid).

Aug 17, 2010

Does the material make food taste different?

Aug 10, 2010

Sweet!!!!!!!!!!! This is the perfect size to fit into a backpack or handlebar bag. Can't wait to get one!

Aug 09, 2010

I've never seen a collapsible mug with a lid before. The handle and lid are probably worth the extra ounces. I use the Sea to Summit X-Mug, but this GSI mug looks way better.

Aug 08, 2010

Great mug with lots of space, excellent for the top lid pocket or the side pockets of most packs.

Aug 07, 2010

The lid alone makes it worth any extra ounces

Jul 28, 2010

What a great idea! I have seen similar collapsible cups before but none with a lid. Can't wait until I get mine in the mail.


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