With tents featuring LED lights, sleeping bags that resemble Snuggies and solar power adapters ready to charge any device anywhere, it’s clear that camping has become a whole lot cushier in the past few years. And I would argue that one of the arenas that cushiness is most prominent is the backpacking beverage accessory category.
In the days of yore, you’d set up camp, pull over the most comfortable-looking rock at the campsite and dig out your blue-with-white-flecks mug. Pour a cold après adventure beverage into the vessel and your hands would quickly warm the liquid. So much for refreshing. On the other hand, clutch the cup after adding some just-been-Jetboiled water and you’d be hollering for the burn ointment.
Introducing “Spirits” from Avex
The new Spirits line from Avex prevents these two pain points, and it does so in a casually classy manner. Beer, wine and mixed drink sippers alike will find a vacuum-insulated stainless steel option designed specifically for their beverage of choice.
I had the opportunity to give both the wine-specific Claret (MSRP $20) and the Sundowner Rocks Glass (MSRP $20), designed with mixed drinks in mind, a whirl—and each far exceeded expectations. Avex also offers the Brew Pint (MSRP $25), a 20-ounce pint glass with built-in bottle opener.
A classy kind of cup
Take a glance at these glasses and you’ll notice their clean design and aesthetic appeal. With a thick stainless steel rim and simple yet bold colors, the cups promise to provide a touch of class to any camping trip.
Pick it up and you’ll feel a comfortable heft. Not too heavy to weigh down your pack, but sturdy enough that it won’t blow over in the summer breeze. One of my favorite features was the no-slip bottom, which helps to stabilize the glass and prevent clanging.
And of course there’s the insulated construction, which will keep your beverage cooler for longer (although I think the “up to four hours” claim is a stretch unless you’re camping on the tundra in February—in which case it’s probably an under estimation). Although designed for cold drinks, don’t be afraid to use that insulation to keep your liquid warm. These cups also make great coffee/tea/hot chocolate vessels.
A Couple Drawbacks
When I said above that the cups aren’t heavy, I didn’t mean to indicate that they’re feather-light. To be sure, hauling any of the three Spirits line options out into the backcountry is a somewhat extravagant use of space and weight. On the other hand, you’ll definitely impress camping buddies with your dedication to dapperness despite a few extra grams.
Alas, these cups also take up a fair bit of space in your pack, but jam a few socks or a bag of trail mix into the 13-ounce expanse (20 ounces for the brew pint glass) and at least you’re not losing much volume.
Bottom line: Don’t stress over the extra ounces and take the Claret, Sundowner Rocks or Brew Pint out with you on your next backcountry foray. It’ll be worth it for the sweet selfie.