There is a few things that I focus on when I’m about to purchase new gear. Simplicity, sleekness, and easy-to-clean or store. When it comes to cooking gear easy-to-clean becomes very important. Light My Fire is one of those companies that is getting it done in my book. And the Spork is their signature item. It even won some gear award (leave a comment and tell me what it says if you happen to understand Swedish).
I got one of these bad boys a couple of years ago. It is extremely light and very easy to clean. I’ve eaten syrupy pancakes with it, went and played a quick game of Bocce ball then came back and the syrup and buttery goo that had been sitting on there came off with ease with just water. I’d recommend soap if you have it though. The fork side of it is perfect for getting into the tight corners of the tuna packet for that last bite. Then flip it around and stir your hot chocolate or your soup or your herbal tea or your…dang it, I’m trying to think of something that goes good with tuna. Not a whole lot coming to mind.
There are only two downsides that I can think of. One is what makes it so great in the first place - the fork/spoon combo. If you happen to have brought a big slab of meat that needs some cutting, there is no holding the meat with the fork while you cut with the knife. Impossible with this guy. But if your bringing T-bones, you’re probably car camping, which means you’ve probably also brought that 5th stainless steel silverware set you got for your wedding that you’ve turned into camping gear. The second downside is that it is short. Shorter than your usual fork or spoon. I haven’t tried this, but my guess is that if your trying to reach the bottom of your Jet Boil stove to stir up the soup, you might burn your finger. But if that’s a problem, get the longer spork.
I had high hopes for The Firefly but the boys over at GuyotDesigns let me down. They have great products but it seems as though they hired “ghost writers” to design this product. Not to mention the fact that I could not purchase a clear Nalgene bottle so as to maximize light dissipation. However, the lack of a clear Nalgene water bottle due to the plastic scare should not affect the rating of this design, or should it? I think it does because the two products are practically married. With all that stated, lets move onto the reasons why The Firefly has no room in my pack. Don’t get me wrong, this thing would be great for car camping but we don’t rate gear for the car, we leave that up to other folks.
Reasons to leave this product on shelves:
- Battery Replacement - No biggie right? All things electronic need some sort of power supply. But you need a screwdriver to replace the batteries. Not only do you need a screwdriver, but you need an extremely small screwdriver. Fortunately for me I had one because of my computer background. For you hikers you can stop here. For those still debating, read on.
- Battery Operation - It takes 3 AAA batteries.
- Light Emission - Needs to be brighter. If you do buy this make sure you use a clear water bottle.
- Weight - Due to the fact that you need three AAA batteries and carry a screwdriver this is not light weight by any means.
- Cheaply Made Electronics - The innards of The Firefly are not made well. When replacing the batteries you have to be careful not to pull the springs and battery contacts from the plastic bottom. I was surprised at this. I read other reviews of the firefly and most of them said it was made to last. While that is true for the outer shell, it is not true for the electronic components on the inside.
I would not purchase this for hiking adventures. The necessity of a screwdriver to replace batteries is an annoyance but cheap electronics on the inside makes it hard for me to purchase this lite for car camping. The good thing is that with a little redesign this product could be top notch. Hopefully we can get GuyotDesigns to read this post and make some changes.
I received this little beauty as an anniversary gift. I have always been impressed with the ingenuity of this lantern as I would pass it by on the shelves of REI. Fortunately for me, my wife purchased one as an anniversary gift. You can imagine my excitement when I got home. However, I was disappointed for three reasons:
- I grabbed a returned product, so it has not worked correctly since the purchase (Will not affect the final gear review rating).
- It takes 3 triple A batteries! Three of them, really ?(May or may not affect the final gear review rating depending on future battery life test)
- To replace the battery you have to screw/unscrew the top using a very small Phillips head screwdriver! On top of it all, said screwdriver does not come with the purchase. Fortunately for me I am a tech nerd and had the right tool in my pack. I mean this is a little crazy if you are on the trails. (This will affect the overall gear review rating).
While this is a preliminary gear review and the final review and rating is yet to come, I am still a little bummed. Hopefully when I get a replacement my spirits will be lifted as I have read a few good reviews pertaining to this product.
Note To Self; always grab the item on the back of the shelf!
MORE TO COME…