The Olicamp XTS Anodized Aluminum pot has built-in heat exchange fins that reduce the amount of fuel required to boil a pot of water by about 40%. The pot, which has a 1 liter capacity, is large enough that you can fit a 250 gram gas canister inside it including a screw-on canister stove, making a nice compact and storable package. Plus the Olicamp XTS Aluminum Pot costs under $30 on Amazon. That is a steal, making this an excellent value for beginner backpackers and more experienced ones!
Heat exchange fins are built into the bottom of the pot that retain stove heat improving fuel efficiency, up to 40%, according to the manufacturer. I don’t have the means to test that, but anecdotally my Soto OD-1R canister stove boils 3/4 of a liter of water noticeably faster in this pot than in the titanium Evernew pasta pot I’ve been using for the past two years. Once hot, the Olicamp pot holds its heat for an amazingly long time, keeping food and drinks warm far longer. Great if you cook with dehydrated ingredients and don’t want to lug around a freezer bag cooking cozy.
If there’s any downside to this, it’s when you want to eat and run after breakfast and you can’t, because your tea is still too hot. On my last trip, I sometimes added cold water to my morning tea to bring the temperature down low enough so that I could gulp it down and break camp.
Best Used with Canister Stoves
From a cooking perspective, this pot is very easy to simmer a meal in and unlike a JetBoil, food will not stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. My friend Martin experienced this repeatedly using a JetBoil Sol Titanium on a 7 day trip we took together. The way I see it, using this Olicamp pot with a canister stove like the Soto OD-1R gives you the best of both worlds: a very fast boil with the ability to cook and simmer 1 pot meals, all stored in a nice compact package that is close in size to a Jetboil.
In addition to metric volume gradations – 1/4 liter, 1/2 liter, 3/4 lite, and 1 liter ( 1 liter = 1 quart), the Olicamp XTS Pot has long fold out insulated handles making it easy to hold when hot, without extra thermal insulation like a bandanna. The insulation is also set back on the handles, making it harder to burn off if you get it close to a flame. The handles fold flush against the pot and don’t snag on other items when stored in your pack.
The handles also make it possible to use the pot as a cup or bowl, obviating the need to carry separate ones in addition to the pot. For example, when I want to drink some Gatorade powder or Cytomax electrolyte replacement, I mix the powder with cold water and drink it directly from the pot. That way I don’t gunk up any of my water bottles. I also drink my morning tea directly from the pot and eat all of my meals from it.
The top lid on the Olicamp is made of a soft plastic. I wish it was metal because it would stay cleaner and not get nicked up. It also does not stay on the pot when packed so I use a few rubber bands to keep the pot and its canister/stove contents secure inside. The lid has a small vent cut into it (not shown) that helps vent steam and prevent boil overs. That’s a nice touch.
Weight-wise, the Olicamp aluminum pot weighs in at 7.7 ounces. That’s about 3 ounces more than the titanium pot I have been using, so it is a heavier option for short trips where you are unlikely to make up the difference in fuel savings. On longer trips lasting a week or more however, you should be able to make up the weight difference on the basis of more fuel efficiency or go for a longer period of time on one 250g fuel canister without a resupply.
This latter scenario is important to me, since I take 1-2 week backpacking trips at least once a year and would rather use an isobutane gas canister than an alcohol stove, despite the fact that denatured alcohol fuel is far easier to come by in small towns and abroad. I like fast hot water.
Looking ahead, I plan on backpacking across Scotland again next year, a 2 week trip, and plan on using my new Olicamp Aluminum pot on that trip with a single 250g gas canister for the entire 200 mile hike. I expect my friend Martin will do the same since he insisted that I order the same pot for him from Amazon before returning to the UK! He plans on dumping his Jetboil so he can cook in this pot and not just boil water.
Poor Choice for Alcohol Stove Cooking
The Olicamp XTS pot is not a good choice if you use an alcohol stove because flames jetting up the side of the pot will burn and melt the plastic lid and handle insulation and because the heat exchanger has a tendency to smother the fire, limiting the amount of oxygen available to it. If you still insist on using an alcohol stove, the best ones to use with this pot are stoves that have a built-in stand, like the Brasslite Turbo, which ensure that the stove gets a proper amount of oxygen.
To sum up, I love this Olicamp Hard Anodized XTS Aluminum Pot with built-in Heat Exchanger fins and it’s now part of my go-to backpacking gear list. Coupled with a canister stove, this pot makes an excellent cooking system, and at $26.96, it’s hard to beat in terms of value or performance.
Disclosure: Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) bought this cooking pot with his own funds.
Written 2012. Updated 2015.
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