Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls

I recently wrote about Guyot Designs' excellent MicroBites utensil set. I'm a big fan also of their revised Splashguard for widemouth water bottles, I've purchased 4 additional Splashguards in the past 2 months. At about $3.00 each, there's no excuse to not have one in every bottle I own, my favorites are the Terra Camo and the Skull & Bones. I recently got the opportunity to play with another innovative outdoor product from the folks at Guyot Desings; Squishy Bowls.

The Squishy Bowl set consists of a 16 oz. bowl and a 6 oz. "cup", though either size has a multitude of uses. They are made from food-grade silicone, like the Splashguards and smash flat for easy packing. This is a convenient way to ensure you have something to eat out of on the trail, and paired with a MicroBites set, a person would be all set to enjoy a meal outdoors, in the car, or on the boat. The color shown here is Tomato, though other colors are available. Light as a feather, the set weighs only 5 oz. together. I was impressed by the resiliency of these bowls. Smash them down, twist them, throw them in your pack under heavy gear, no problem, they pop back into their original shape. Squishy Bowls are temperature resistant, so you can enjoy hot or cold foods with no worries. I could see these being used by military folks, boaters and people who spend a lot of time driving; like me. There's really no limit to the uses for the Squishy Bowl set. They fit beautifully in my 511 Tactical PUSH pack, smashed in with my deodorant spray, $10 in quarters, a 16 oz. energy drink, a Leatherman and a clean spare shirt, along with all my other almost-everyday-carry stuff. I was even able to "fold" the bowl set and jam it into the tiny front pocket of the PUSH pack, which is not much larger than a woman's wallet.

My cat was eager to test out the Squishy Bowls; she had lunch using the 16 oz. bowl and didn't hesitate to dive right in, that's a good sign. I noticed that this product has no odor, many outdoor products made from synthetics carry chemical smells which are enough to make you dizzy. Right out of the box, no odor on the Squishy Bowls. These are even portable enough to put in cargo pants pockets, and some shirt pockets. These will definitely accompany me on my yearly trip to Ross Lake in the North Cascades, here in Washington. For this particular trip, we stay in the floating bunkhouses because of tradition, and the fact that many in our party are guys over 75 years old, who need things like bathroom access, running water and a decent bed. But we spend 8-10 hours daily up there, out in 2 man boats with little 9.3 hp motors. My father and I usually pack the lightest out of anybody, bringing one backpack each, and a single medium size cooler with all of our food needs. My dad was excited about the Squishy Bowls for use on his Bayliner. He could use them as unbreakable wine glasses, or take them along for eating his famous mozzarella, basil and tomato salad, and the Guyot MicroBites would definitely be 'two of a perfect pair', to play on King Crimson's 1984 masterpiece album. My sisters have children, and kids are always snacking in the car, Cheerios, cookies you name it! Squishy Bowls make a fun and colorful way for kids to eat in the car, and would save you money on ziploc bags, not to mention the environmental relief of reusing durable products instead of disposing of everything, only to have it end up in a landfill. Guyot Desings is a very environmentally responsible company with solid ethics. Many of their products are Carbon Negative, a step even in a better direction from Carbon Neutral. The bowls are a snap to hand wash @ home, or in the field, just use soap and water, and they don't seem to retain smells or taste from previous meals. I used them to eat some garlic-heavy pasta out in the backyard one night. I left the 16 oz. bowl next to the sink over night. I really expected some pasta-stink to be left, but after I hand washed the bowl with dish soap in hot water, no trace remained. Squishy bowls ARE microwave, dishwasher and freezer safe as well.

Overall, the Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls are an inexpensive product with an incredible range of applications, limited only by your creativity. They are produced by a morally sound company, with full disclosure, who manufactures ethically in select spots overseas. If you want to find out more about Guyot Designs Squishy Bowls and other useful things, check out their SITE

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