Monday, June 22, 2009

Guyot Designs hits the spot with on-the-go meal kit and more.

On my first foray into the Tacoma REI location, I picked up some good, inexpensive every-day-carry stuff. When I moved down here, I threw out my old Camelbak and Nalgene bottles that were the old style using the harmful chemical, BPA (Bisphenol-A). So, first off, I got a new Nalgene widemouth 32 oz. bottle. It's Eastman Tritan copolymer, just as durable, and safer than the old stuff. I noticed Guyot Designs, known for their Firefly LED lantern device, has redesigned their widemouth splashguard to have more of a "universal fit" in theoretically, any widemouth bottle from any manufacturer. Instead of the old hard plastic style, they are now food-grade silicone, and flexible. I picked up one in camo, and a badass one with a skull and X-bones.

These new splashguards seem to be way more effective at their intended mission, of preventing water splashback at your nose when you tip your mammoth bottle back down after a sip. They slide right into any widemouth bottle and stay put, and work exactly as promised. Good stuff, oh and even better, they only cost about $3.00 USD each. Couple one of these bad-boys with an $8.00 Nalgene bottle, and you are in your own personal hydration business for the summer season and beyond. Good stuff indeed, I've been guzzling water out of one of either of 2 new bottles and I feel great. I'm trying to cut back on the soda and energy drinks, and these bottles are helping tremendously.

Next was an item I had seen on a while back. The Guyot Desings MicroBites set. It goes beyond your Snowpeak ti spork and offers a bit more, at about 2/3 the price. Microbites apparently come in 3 colors, tomato, slate and tangerine. sells the more tactical looking slate color, while the REI I went to only carried the more vibrant "ketchup and mustard" colors, as I like to refer to them. Personally, when it comes to gear I will use and maybe lose on trips, or in the car, or wherever, I'm liking color. I've lost "camo" and tactical colored items on forest floors and sandy areas. An infamous camping trip that led to spiritual enlightenment of several individuals found me awakening to our food and cigarettes eaten by raccoons, and my camo zippo lighter and an old Benchmade Monarch folder nowhere to be found. No joke, I'm not a soldier or assassin, so I don't give a shit if my knife, spork, or water bottle stand out.

The MicroBites set is a competent spork which hitches a ride on the back of a square-ish spatula/spreader. The sporks tines are well placed and the middle two are nice and sharp. I tested it out with a container of Fred Meyer Chicken Gorgonzola salad. Everything from the chicken, to noodles and grapes and walnuts either scooped or stabbed easily with the MicroBites spork. The serrated spatula spreader is great too. one entire edge is nicely serrated, and interestingly, the grooves are beveled on BOTH sides of the device. I was able to cleanly slice through thin receipt paper and the plastic container the salad was weighed in, with the serrated edge. It's a hell of a lot sharper than it looks and works well.

To fix the two items together, just place the spork bowl-down over the spreader and press, you'll hear a faint click, then you can attach it to a carabiner, like the ITW/Nexus Grimlock pictured above. From there, the Guyot Designs MicroBites set can ride on your Nalgene bottle's loop, your belt, your pack, or even a fixed blade knife sheath. This little set far exceeds its $5.00-ish pricepoint. Excellent as well, is the ethical disclosure with which Guyot makes this and some other products. They claim that the materials and methods used in the production of MicroBites and a couple of their other products reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There's a whole section on their WebSite devoted to how they do what they do, and how it impacts the environment. Guyot seems like an ethical company, and they sure as hell make some inexpensive and smart items to add to your outdoor gear kit, or food tub on your next trip out. Now that I have both "tomato" and "tangerine" colors of the MicroBites set, I'm sort of wanting to get the "slate" color as well. I didn't think that I could get so into what amounts basically, to a portable plastic table setting...but these things are versatile and extremely intelligently designed. These are available @ REI, and tadgear, and probably other places too, and you should go get one. As a knife guy, I'm particularly impressed by the sawing ability of the serrated spatula, and the whole package is feather-light. These little sets actually carry a limited lifetime warranty also!
At $4.95, there's no excuse not to pick one up to throw in your car or bug out bag.
Guyot Desings MicroBites @ REI
IMO, this is an A+ product for either every day use, or specialized purposes. This is the evolution of the spork.

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