Hydaway Collapsible Camp Bowls
Travis Smola

Gear Review: The Easily Packable HYDAWAY Collapsible Camp Bowls

The Hydaway collapsible camp bowls solve many problems of traditional camp dinnerware.

On one of my recent camping trips to Michigan's Upper Peninsula I noticed I was quickly running out of space as I packed up my Jeep. It was not like I was taking a lot of superfluous gadgets and stuff either. This was just the essentials for a week of touring around the U.P.'s state campgrounds.

For some of the items, there was just no getting around how much space they took up in my camp kit. Can someone make some camping gear that is more packable?

It turns out some companies are, with the most notable of them being Hydaway. I reviewed their collapsible water bottle a few years ago. I recently got the chance to test out their new adventure-ready dinnerware in their collapsible camp bowl set. These nifty bowls solve at least one major issue of storage with your camp cookware.

Hydaway collapsible camp bowls

Hydaway Collapsible Camp Bowls

Travis Smola

Much like Hydaway's other products including their collapsible tumbler, the camp bowls are a Kickstarter project. The company has been hugely successful in their early bird crowdfunding efforts with unique camping gear. They generated nearly 1,000 backers and raised more than $90,000, well over their $20,000 goal for the camp bowl project.

Much like the tumbler and water bottle, these bowls are made from a collapsible food-grade silicone that is bpa-free. Hydaway fitted these bowls with a stainless steel rim which adds rigidity. The material of these silicone bowls feels a little like rubber, and the rim helps keep its shape. Hydaway includes a 1-quart bowl with a capacity of about four cups and a 1.5-cup bowl. Each is fitted with a leak-proof lid. The 1.5-cup bowl's lid includes a flip-top spot so you can sip hot chocolate or coffee out of it on a frosty morning.

Hydaway added to the value of these collapsible bowls by including insulation sleeves with both to help keep your food or drink warm. From my own testing, the material of these bowls does a good job of that on its own, but the heat-keep capabilities were only enhanced by these sleeves. Especially when you are talking about camping in the fall or winter.

Because I am in between camping trips, I conducted most of my testing at home. The advantage to this was I could test a variety of different foods and drinks. The Hydaway bowls keep everything as warm as advertised while you are enjoying it. At the same time, they do not get so hot to the point where you cannot hold them in your hands either.

It also gave me the chance to test the ease of cleaning more thoroughly. They are indeed dishwasher safe, but these bowls also rinse out better than some of my regular dinnerware at home. Little to no hard scrubbing required. I'm guessing it is something to do with the materials, but I came away impressed with how easy they are to maintain. Which is huge for when you are deep in the backcountry, it's late at night, and you do not want to spend a ton of time cleaning up after your meal.

The portability.

Hydaway Collapsible Camp Bowls

Travis Smola

I have gotten this far in the review without mentioning perhaps the biggest selling point of these bowls and it goes back to my earlier story about packing my Jeep for a camping trip. These bowls collapse down to just 1.25 inches in height removing one of the biggest hassles with traditional camp bowls. These things will easily slip into a thin pocket of a pack, or into your tightest drawer in an RV with ease. The Hydaway is also light, making this a perfect all-in-one solution for through-hikers or backcountry backpackers who want to keep their pack as light as possible.

While there are other bowls on the market that collapse like this, the Hydaway offers some of the best durability I have ever seen in this regard. These things can take a beating without worrying about breaking them and causing leaks. There are some products where you can feel the quality just in picking them up, and this is one of them. No wonder Hydaway has gotten so many pre-orders for these bowls.

In short, I have a new favorite couple of camp bowls, and I cannot wait to take them into the field for something more extensive.

For more information on Hydaway, see their website. To pre-order these camp bowls, check out their Kickstarter campaign.

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For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels