I spent Easter weekend up in Washington celebrating MSR’s 50th anniversary — yes, the trusted gear company has been around as long as other outdoor industry stalwarts such as Patagonia, The North Face, and JanSport. I got to tour the factory, rebuild WhisperLite stoves (another post on this later), get a sneak peek at new product, and spend a couple days hiking in the mountains around the quaint Bavarian replica town of Leavenworth, located east up and over Stevens Pass from MSR’s home in Seattle.
During our trip to the mountains, we took some new-for-spring MSR product to make tea and coffee on the trail. Up until now, I thought my backcountry coffee kit was dialed, but let’s just say MSR changed all that the other weekend. And here’s why.
First of all, MSR just launched an upgraded version of the PocketRocket stove called the PocketRocket Deluxe. The difference? The new version includes a built-in Piezo igniter and a pressure regulator for consistent output no matter how much fuel is left in the canister, even in cold weather.
Being MSR, they didn’t just slap on a standard Piezo igniter and call it a day. To protect the spark wire that is so prone to breaking or bending on other canister stoves, the team routed everything inside the burner. For further durability, the starter button and the external housing that protects the hammer and rest of the Piezo ignitor are all made of metal instead of plastic. All it takes is one quick push of the button and the stove is roaring away. So satisfying.
To make coffee or tea you need hot water. When the team at MSR decided to reinvent the outdoor coffee experience, they found that while everyone has their own preferred way of making coffee or even tea, whether it’s pour over or AeroPress, everyone needs hot water that can be poured precisely. MSR’s answer? A teapot.
Yes, a teapot. And it’s the coolest teapot you will ever use.
The Pika 1 L Teapot features a concentric handle that stows nicely against the side of the teapot when in your pack, and stays upright when you are boiling water so it won’t get hot. It’s also coated to ensure you won’t burn your hand when pouring water.
The teapot lid is easy to put on and take off with one hand, but best of all, it won’t fall off when you are pouring water. Small notches keep it from coming out when vertically oriented.
I always love talking to Owen Mesdag, Cookware Category Manager at MSR, about his products as he gets so excited about the tiniest details that fellow gear nerds like me will geek out on. For the teapot, he designed the spout so that it would deliver laminar flow.
What is laminar flow you ask and why should you care? Laminar flow is a consistent, non-turbulent, glassy-looking flow that is ideal for precision control when pouring water. No matter what angle you have the teapot at or the speed you pour, the water will flow evenly and not dribble down the sides or continue to drip when you stop pouring. Clutch if you are trying to get your pour-over timing and technique just right.
For all you thru-hikers or lightweight backpackers/bikepackers that plan to eat plenty of dehydrated meals, the teapot can serve as your sole cooking vessel as all you need to do is boil water. The PocketRocket Deluxe packs nicely inside the Pika 1 L Teapot and together they weigh less than nine ounces.
And in case you want to learn more, this guy might just appreciate laminar flow as much as Owen.