GSI MicroLite : The Last Activity Bottle You’ll Ever Need

The following is from OutsideDaily by  


Boasting ultralight construction, ergonomic design, and up to eight-hour performance, this may be the best on-the-go beverage container we’ve tested.

We never leave the house without a beverage. Whether we’re on the trail, at the gym, or simply heading to the office, a cold drink or the morning’s “wake up” juice is always at-hand. As such, we’ve gone through numerous styles of bottles and beverage containers over the years. Some we’ve liked, many disappointed, and more than a few were quickly handed to the next unsuspecting victim. As a result, we approach each latest and greatest activity bottle with a “prove it to me” mindset.

That was exactly our position when we picked up the new Glacier Stainless Microlite 500 bottle from GSI Outdoors.


GSI Outdoors has a solid reputation in the camping and outdoor recreation marketplace for producing quality and innovative solutions for campers, outdoor enthusiasts, and backcountry adventurers. Their ultralight backpacking cooking sets, in particular, are among our must-haves for multi-day wilderness trips. Naturally, when the company recently introduced the Microlite 500, we had to give it a try.

First, a bit on the Microlite 500’s construction.

Right away, you realize the name is no misnomer. For a stainless steel vacuum bottle, this unit is seriously light, weighing a scant 7.9 ounces. As the company points out, this bottle is a third lighter than traditional stainless steel vacuum insulated bottles in its class. Credit that with the thin, 2mm wall thickness.


That is not to say the bottle is a lightweight when it comes to strength. On the contrary, a special forming process is used to stretch the 18/8 stainless steel to its remarkably thin proportions while ensuring a structural integrity that meets the needs of active consumer lifestyles. We didn’t test it by jumping up and down on it or running it over with a pickup, but we did let it bounce around on the floor of our Jeep and we’ve been carrying it in our fanny pack for several months along with other heavy items—all without incident. We even tested it on a two-week wilderness hunt in the southern Colorado Rockies. In sum, the Microlite 500 has accepted everything we’ve thrown at it and asked for more.


If “eco-friendliness” is high on your list of product requirements, the Microlite 500 won’t disappoint. Less construction material, courtesy of the light-wall engineering, means not only fewer resources consumed in the manufacturing process, but also reduced shipping weight that lowers the environmental cost of transportation. Those are two check marks on the green side of the ledger.

As mentioned, this is a stainless steel vacuum bottle, with the inherent insulating properties that go with that design. GSI Outdoors claims 8-hour insulating performance for hot or cold liquids. We did not test this with the scientific method, but can attest to the bottle keeping our water cold from early morning until late afternoon. We can also swear by its ability to keep hot beverages hot. Too hot, perhaps. One of our testers burned his mouth when he took a gulp of coffee not long after filling his Microlite 500 with the dark nectar. He figured some extra-hot coffee would stay warmer longer. Lesson learned: not necessary!


Another design feature we like is the Microlite 500’s removable, two-piece flip-top. The lid has a sliding lock to keep it from accidentally opening, and a push button that allows it to flip open when you’re ready to drink. A ventilated hole in the lid channels the liquid to a semi spout, which prevents spills and drips. Very convenient and ergonomic. A silicone stopper integrated into the lid covers the hole when the lid is closed. Unlike many screw-type bottle lids, this one will not leak.

Finally, the Microlite 500 is dimensionally slim, measuring 2.9 inches in diameter and 9.2 inches tall. It’s sleek enough to fit just about anywhere, such as a daypack pocket, fanny pack, your vehicle’s cup holder, or even a large purse. That’s one of the reasons why this bottle is ideal for taking wherever your activities lead you, even if it’s just to work or to the gym. Volume is a healthy 17 fluid ounces.


We’ve learned through years of testing bottles and beverage containers designed for outdoor recreation that not all are created equal (and some should never have been created at all). For general day use, workout sessions, the morning commute, camping, or a hike in the woods, if you want to keep your beverage hot or cold and don’t want the hassle of a heavy, conventional vacuum bottle, the Glacier Stainless Microlite 500 may be the bottle you’ve been waiting for.



GSI MicroLite Vacuum Bottle



With its sleek design and clean construction, this high-spec, durable Glacier Stainless Vacuum Bottle will keep your beverages hot or cold for hours and hours. Perfect for commuting, picnic, sporting events and base camping.


Never Forget Essential Camp Gear Again


Anyone else feeling seasonally confused lately? There’s still fresh snow in the mountains, but the hint of springtime in the air has us itching for upcoming warm-weather camping escapades.

The slightly warmer weather and resurgence of your hay fever sneezing means it’s time to play storage closet Jenga and haul out your camping gear. But it can be easy to forget essential items when packing for your first car camping trip of the season. Season after season you end up having to get creative after somehow forgetting can openers, wine keys, or even forks. The solution: a camp cooking “go bag.”



Also known as a “bug out bag,” “chuck box,” etc., it’s a container of your choice put together at the beginning of the season to make sure that you never forget essential camping items again. Keep it on hand in your gear collection, ready for anything from spontaneous weekend escapes to full-fledged bucket-list missions you’ve been planning out since you scored those permits back in January. A “go bag” means you can grab it and go, which makes your life much easier when it comes time to make like a tire and hit the road.

You want to pack your go bag with the items you usually forget but always need, like a lighter, wine opener, or GSI Kung Foon. The key to a go bag is to wash any camp gear when you get home from a trip (in a real sink–so luxurious!) and and put it straight back into your go bag once clean and dry – no one likes a go bag full of mold.

Note that this list is focused on camp cooking only–refer to our more comprehensive packing list here. It’s also based on the essentials, so think about any personal preferences you have and remember to add them to the list!




1. Obtain a “bag”, or a box, or bucket. We recommend a storage container that’s doesn’t dominate the car or make your dog feel cramped, but big enough to hold all your essential camp gear. (Unfortunately “storage container” isn’t as catchy as “go bag,” but you get the idea.)

2. Round up your current camp cooking gear and check it against the list below. Sometimes it’s extra satisfying to lay everything out on a table (or the floor if you have a massive gear closet) and gaze out at your hoard.

3. This is also a great time to take stock of any new gear you’ll need to purchase, or repairs to current gear that need to be made. Get these done, add them to your go bag, and you’ll be all set.




Meet your new favorite stove! The GSI Glacier Camp Stove, with its downright sexy canister mount and powerful 11,000 BTU/h burner, you’ll be able to boil water with speed and style. You’ll also need:

  • IsoButane. Double check that it works with your stove, and determine if you’ll need to buy more.
  • Matches or a lighter. Pack waterproof matches to be extra prepared for any type of weather!


There are a plethora of cookware options available depending on what kind of camper you are. Read our “GSI Cookware 101” post here, and learn about how to find your cookset soulmate here to choose what’s best for you.

If you’re looking for a cookset to do it all, the GSI Glacier Stainless Camper gets it done. Plus, its rugged stuff sack holds the set and doubles as sink/wash basin for easy clean up. It includes a complete set of cookware and tableware for 4:

  • 3 L Pot
  • 2 L Pot
  • Strainer Lid
  • 9″ Fry Pan
  • (4) 14 fl. oz. Mugs with Insulated Sleeves
  • (4) 14 fl. oz. Bowls
  • (4) 7.5″ Plates
  • 4 Sip-It Tops
  • Folding Pot Gripper
  • Welded Sink Storage Bag

Don’t forget:




Lucky for you, all your silverware and kitchen needs come in one convenient kit: the GSI Destination Kitchen Set 24. It’s compact, organized, lightweight, and has cutlery and utensils for 4, including:

  • Mini Cheese Grater
  • Collapsible Whisk
  • Pivot Spoon
  • Pivot Spatula
  • Utility Knife
  • 12 pc. Cutlery Set
  • Spicer
  • 2 Condiment Containers
  • Cutting Board
  • Scrubber
  • Camp Towel
  • Ballistic Nylon Case

Don’t forget:

  • Can opener
  • Wine key/bottle opener
  • Measuring cups/spoons


  • Foil
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Trash bags
  • Tablecloth and clips
  • Cooler
  • Collapsible, reusable water container (GSI 20L Water Cube)
  • Vacuum insulated water bottle
  • Table lantern
  • Partyware
  • Playing cards


Outside Inside with GSI Outdoor – Fun for the Whole Family


Outside Inside Family Fun? Yes, Please!

GSI has a more fun side in it’s Outside Inside lines. You can find anything from ornaments to present decoration and (our favorite) outdoor games. Outside Inside provided us with three great items for the any camping trip:

  • Backpack Mancala Game
  • Freestyle Lawn Darts
  • Freestlye Dome Ladder Ball/Cornhole

Backpack Mancala Game

This incredibly lightweight Backpack Mancala Game game is so much fun to play. Even the littlest kids can play alone or alongside.

Folded, the Backpack Mancala from Outside Inside is just under 7 inches long and weighs in at just 5 oz.

GSI Outdoors – Backpack Mancala
  • Travel Mancala.
  • Two Player Game.
  • Includes: 48 Bead Marbles, Instructions And Travel Bag.
  • Dimensions Folded: 6.75″ x 4″ x 1.25″.
  • Dimensions Open: 14″ x 4″ x 1.25″.

Unfolded, the games exposes 12 small bowls and 2 large bowls on the end. Included are the tiny Mancala seeds traditionally used in Africa. The Outside Inside version has plastic seeds that are a brilliant orange.

Truthfully, we started with 48 beads from the set and within the first game we lost 5 of them.

They’re quite small and hard to handle. Nonetheless, small pebbles from the mountain filled in the missing pieces and we continued to play all weekend.

This set now has a place in my car at all times. It is light enough to travel with, or, if you have little ones like we do, it makes for the perfect restaurant game.

It cleans up easily and the travel bag makes it a cinch to keep together. We have used in on the sand, mountains, picnic tables, etc and it still looks new.

At about $20 the price point is perfect for the avid hiking family or couple. Makes for a great gift anytime of year.

Freestyle Lawn Darts

Now here is a game everyone in the family can participate in! A great gift for the College kid, active family our outdoor enthusiast.

We have played the Freestyle Lawn Darts out in the grass, on a mountain, sand, snow and indoors on the carpet when the weather is poor.

It takes just one minute to set up the game and the fun can begin.

Outside Inside has made well constructed rope rings and plastic tipped darts allow for easy play without damage to your surroundings.

Weighing in at about 7 ounces, Freestyle Lawn Darts can easily be strapped to your backpack and used at the summit for some R&R.

There are a couple ways to play but in our house, we like to set up the rings touching side by side and each time the dart makes it into the ring you must take one step back. Those little darts are pretty dang accurate from a distance.

Clean up in a snap and the purse-string, non-tear bag makes for easy transportation. Sitting at about $20, this game will last with you for a long time.

Freestyle Dome Ladder Ball/Cornhole

Definitely the largest and most versatile of the games we have from Outside Inside. Easy to setup (just two small tent poles), portable and freestanding.

Two games can be played at the same time, Ladderball and Cornhole. Or! Most noteworthy, it also works as a makeshift fort especially while the tents are being raised and broken down.

Outside Inside Backpack Dome Ladderball/Cornhole

  • Shock Corded Fiberglass Poles.
  • 6 Bolos For Ladder Ball And Cornhole.
  • Game Dimensions: 39″ x 39″ x 39″.
  • Packaged Dimensions: 22″ x 6″ x 4″.

Still lightweight, the Freestyle Dome Ladderball/ Cornhole can easily be added to your backpack or car camping equipment and taken back country.

This would also be a perfect addition to any family reunion or wedding where you need to entertain the children.

We should also mention how child proof this is! Our two boys put the Freestyle Dome to the test with their rough play. Boys will be boys, right?

Outside Inside is a company we are always looking forward to working with. Their products are well made, and ensures your family will enjoy getting outside, or inside, no matter your destination.

Outside Inside can be found at your local GSI Outdoors dealer.

2017 Camping & Outdoor Gifts : GSI Outdoors & Outside/Inside Gifts

The following is by Nicky from Little Family Adventure.


This article contains affiliate links. Some products mentioned below have been provided for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

One of the greatest things we can bestow upon our children is a love of nature. Getting outdoors together as a family is quality family time and the memories you make are priceless. This year, we have put together the ultimate guide for family outdoor and camping gifts. This guide features products that may make getting outdoors easier, more enjoyable, or more fun. There is something for everyone on this list, especially the person who is hard to buy for.

Camp Cooking

Fairshare Mug from GSI Outdoors  

This 32oz cup is a great addition to the family camping box. Impact resistant plastic with a screw on lid, insulated sleeve, and carabiner make it perfect for families to carry every where.  Use it for mixing or eating and drinking out of. The measurement marking make it super helpful when cooking and eliminate the need for guesstimation which doesn’t always work.

Description from GSI Outdoors:

A strange phenomenon was first discovered at University of British Columbia ski club touring camps in the 1960s. While students carrying bowls or more standard eating vessels received regular potions, those clever few who were using a simple 2 cup measuring cup typically received much larger portions from the servers in the communal meal line. Soon, a few daring students were experimenting with 4 cup measuring cups and found the results to be the same: larger portions. Thus, the original fairshare cup was born.Now nearly 50 years and several innovations later, GSI Outdoors has developed the FairShare Mug II, with insulating sleeve, compacting handle and a new lid that allows mugs to stack when stored, assuring that a whole new generation would receive their fair share too.
Features & Specs
  • Secure, screw-on lid insulates and prevents spills.
  • Carabiner clip-in points for attaching to packs.
  • Large, 33.8 fl. oz. (1 L) capacity.
  • High-visibility measurement markings.
  • 32 fl. oz.
  • Weight: 6.8 oz
  • 5.5″ x 5″ x 5.4″
  • $15.95.

Outdoor/Travel Games


Outside Inside Gifts: Freestyle Lawn Darts from

Family Game Night goes outdoors with this compact game that provides hours of family fun. Game includes 4 rope rings and 4 weighted lawn darts. Set up game play any way you like and challenge each other to see who gets the closest! Game is stored in a 18.25” x 2.5” bag that is super compact. Perfect game for camping, road trips, or at home.

Description from Outside Inside:

A great compact game of target shooting to enjoy with your family and friends. Place rings at different distances or inside each other for a more challenging game. Toss the dart and see who gets closest! Everything you need for the ultimate game to play at the campground or your backyard.


  • 4 Lawn darts (in 2 colors)
  • 2 x 16″ diameter rings
  • 2 x 30″ diameter rings
  • Dimensions: 18.25″ x 2.5″
  • $20.95

Outside Inside Gifts: Backpack CornHole

Now you can take this family favorite game anywhere; tailgating, backpacking trips, car camping, or to the park. This wooden backpack version is compact and measures 12” x 6” x 1.25”. So it’s perfect for any adventure.

Description from Outside Inside:

Take this mini Cornhole game anywhere and challenge your friends. Perfect for any outdoor space, this set conveniently packs down to a small, lightweight pack-sleeve making it a great option for backcountry trips as well.


  • Compact and portable
  • Legs fold away
  • Can be played on the ground or on tabletop
  • Made of solid wood
  • Color: Blue/Red
  • Made in China
  • Includes 2 game boards, 8 bean bags, instructions and carry bag
  • Dimensions: 12 x 6 x 1.25 in.
  • $30.95

GSI Outdoors: The Best of 2017

The following is a highlight of the best of 2017 items from GSI Outdoors from by Craig Rowe. 

GSI Outdoors has been perfecting camp kitchen gear since its inception in 1985. Last year, the company introduced two backpacking stoves that we reviewed here and here, to compliment their line of lightweight, integrated cookware systems. For 2017, GSI Outdoors has revamped some classics and introduced new takes on common camp kitchen goods. Here’s an early look at some of those new products.

The 32-ounce Fair Share Mug II updates this fan favorite with a sturdy and practical sewn webbing handle, removable insulating sleeve and high-contrast internal volume indicator. This version comes equipped with a compacting handle and a new lid the allows multiple mugs to be neatly stacked on top of one another for easy storage. PRICE: $15.95

Weighing in at just 3.5 ounces, the Infinity Backpacker Mug will slip into the lid of your pack, where it will remain unnoticed until needed. It uses the same insulating sleeve design as its larger sibling and can securely hold 17 ounces of coffee, oatmeal, or whatever you need to keep knocking down the miles. PRICE: $9.95

The Glacier Stainless Microlight 500 is a slimmed-down, side-pocket-ready travel mug that’s 60% thinner than many of its competitors. Whereas my 16-ounce, double-walled Kleen Kanteen comes in at 10.3 ounces on the scale, the Microlight keeps even more liquid warm or cold for up to eight hours, while still managing to cut two full ounces from its weight. Need a lightweight water bottle for your outdoor adventures? This one should meet those needs nicely. PRICE: $25.95

GSI’s Glacier Stainless product line is designed to tackle the toughest backcountry cooking conditions. This year’s pans use an aluminum core to manage weight, and a laser-etched non-stick “net” on the pan surface to protect it from the wear and tear of spatulas and sponges. The folding handle makes it easy to carry in your pack, allowing you to take it with you anywhere you go. The Glacier Frypan is available in either an 8”or 10” model. PRICE: $29.95 (8”) or $34.95 (10”)

Camp Kitchen with GSI Outdoors

The following Camping Gear list was written by

Camping kitchen: cookware, tables, and tasty food

An organized camp kitchen is a must for a relaxing (and delicious) car camping adventure…

For cooking, serving, and enjoying those campsite meals, the extensive line of functional, space saving cooksets, stoves, dishes, and utensils from GSI Outdoors top our list in the camp kitchen. The Halulite Microdualist Cookset is perfect for two people, and features a 1.4 liter cookpot, two insulated mugs with lids, two bowls, and two fork/spoon combos. Everything nests neatly together with space for our GSI Pinnacle 4 Season Stove and a micro fuel canister. Paired with our GSI Outdoors Gourmet Kitchen Set 11 utensil set, we have everything we need for a weekend of camp cooking.

We think it’s undeniably true: everything tastes better when camping. From basic backpacking fare like oatmeal and instant rice, to gourmet camp dinners of strip steaks and pineapple upside down cake, we’ve loved the challenge of preparing our favorite meals in the forest…

We love waking up to a mountain sunrise and a steaming cup of french press coffee. The GSI Outdoors Commuter Java Press and Infinity Backpacker Mug make that first cup quick and easy. And when our morning adventures take us away from camp, the GSI Microlite 500 and the GSI Glacier .5L Vacuum Bottle keep our coffee hot for hours.

A few shelf-stable condiments like olive oil, salt, pepper and dried spices add to our camp cooking recipes and have a permanent home in our camp duffel bag, stored in our GSI Outdoors Gourmet Kitchen Set 11…

Please remember to leave no trace

When enjoying the natural beauty of our parks and wilderness, please pack out everything you pack in, and leave your campsite clean. Follow these easy steps to Leave No Trace and please practice good trail and campsite etiquette to help ensure everyone has a great adventure.

For more on the products listed above click on the images below.