If you live for coffee, tea, hot chocolate, chai – or any kind of hot drink, you’ll be interested in the Camelbak Forge. The 350mL insulated cup weighs 294 grams, stands 190mm high and fits neatly in a bottle cage (sort of), the side of your bag, your hand, or your car’s bottle holder.
Numbers aside, what really matters is it saves on disposable coffee cups, and keeps my coffee a lot warmer than a disposable cup would as well. Camelbak claim it keeps your hot drink warm for 4 hours, and that seems about right, but typically I consume mine within that time period. Camelbak also claim most of us throw out over 250 disposable coffee cups a year – which is pretty horrible when you think about it. Why not just buy a reusable one?
While the Forge can be used for all manner of hot drinks (or cold!) I just use mine for coffee. I have a coffee when I wake up, then normally another one, and then usually one when riding and maybe one in the afternoon. If I’m off to a bike race or meeting people for a group ride I need to drive to – the Forge comes along. Be it filled it home, or filled at a cafe on the way – it’s part of the trip.
Whether I’m driving or not, the Forge is great because of the one-handed opening. Basically you compress the trigger as you hold the mug, and it opens to sip from.
You can lock it open if you prefer. But it means it’s very hard to make a mess. Unless you cross-thread the lid putting it on, or do something else silly.
Looking after the Camelbak Forge
Camelbak say the cap is dishwasher safe but to hand wash the base. I’ve stuck to washing it in the sink so far and it’s cleaned up easily and the stainless steel is yet to hold any taste.
The Forge isn’t perfect, as the opening is too narrow to have an Aeropress sit into. If it was a little larger at the top, it would then be the perfect travelling companion to an Aeropress. As it is, if I want to fill it up I make an Aeropress into a mug, have the Forge warming with spare boiling water, and then empty the water out and tip the coffee from the mug into the Forge. No big deal.
If you’re like me and you can’t get by without coffee, and you wonder if adding to the global collection of disposable coffee cups is actually an official Bad Thing, then you should get a Camelbak Forge. Spill less, waste less, and drink your coffee at the right temperature. I think the Forge would also make an ideal gift for anyone of a similar mind set – so if you’re close to me and reading this – just act surprised when you unwrap one at your next birthday or Christmas.