So much thought went into the new Alpha Series Cookware from Sea to Summit that I feel compelled to write about it. The retail prices and weights are very good, but I was most impressed with the attention to detail and the willingness to look with fresh eyes at an otherwise tired category.
The Cookware will be available through REI in Mach 2018 as standalone pots and as cookset systems.
Alpha Series Pots
The series consists of four pots:
- 1.2L ($35, 6.6 oz)
- 1.9L ($40, 8.1 oz)
- 2.7L ($45, 9.6 oz), and
- 3.7L ($50, 11.9 oz).
All are made of hard anodized aluminum, which is slightly heavier and less durable than titanium of comparable thickness, but notably less expensive. Aluminum also better conducts and distributes heat. Per Sea to Summit, “The hard anodization of the Alpha Pots has a thickness greater than 50 microns and a hardness greater than Rockwell C 50 — and is thus thicker and harder than other similar cookware on the market.” The pots do not have a non-stick finish.
Pot specs (in metric):
There is also an 8- and 10-inch fry pan, for $35 and $40. Both have a non-stick Halo-branded PTFE finish, which according to independent testing is substantially more durable than ceramic coatings. If you’re nervous about compounds being released from the finish — which requires the pan to be heated in excess of 660 degree F, which is beyond the range of normal backcountry stoves — there are other options available, including the Sea to Summit 8-inch X-Pan.
Attached to each pot and pan is a non-removable Pivot-Lock (TM) handle, which serves as a sturdy pot grip and which keeps the pot lid in place during storage. The system is probably heavier than a standalone grip or conventional pivoting handle, but many will consider the convenience and functionality worthwhile. It locks in place centrally on the lid, or can be further rotated (as shown in these images).
The thoughtfulness extends to the pot lid, which has a steam port, water strainer, and siliconized rubber piece that serves as a three-finger grip on one side and a pot tab on the other. The lid rests inside the rim of the pot, to eliminate tension or friction between the two pieces.
Alpha Series Cooksets
I found the cooksets even more entertaining. They are packaged as:
- Cookset 1.1 ($45), with the 1.2L pot and one setting;
- Cookset 2.1 ($65), with the 1.9L pot and two settings;
- Cookset 2.2 ($90), with the 1.9L and 2.7L pots, plus two settings; and,
- Cookset 4.2 ($120), with the 2.7L and 3.7L pots, plus four settings.
Each setting includes a:
- Mug, with a cozy and insulated cap; and, a
- Plastic eating bowl, with shallow corners for easier calorie-scraping.
The 1.2L pot is accompanied by a 1-person setting.
The sizes of the eating bowls in the multi-person settings are graduated, so that they nest completely inside of each other. Also, the bowls and mugs come in different colors, so that “his” and “hers” are easy to differentiate.
Questions about the Alpha Series Cookware? Leave a comment. If I don’t know the answer, I’ll get it from Sea to Summit.
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