Longtime backpackers will no doubt recognize the name Esbit. The German company's fuel tablets and pocket stoves have been an outdoor, survival and military mainstay since its first iteration in 1936. While the brand's fuel blocks and compact stoves have advanced with new technologies to burn cleaner and more efficiently, it's their latest offering of outdoor-focused wares and heating equipment that's currently grabbing attention. The third generation, family-owned and operated company takes a design approach that achieves beauty in its work through simplicity and functionality—all without cutting corners in user experience or quality.
One of the goals with any expedition kit is to keep weight down as much as possible. It's no surprise that Esbit designed all of their equipment to not only cut down the grams, but also pack as much function into a single component as possible. For example, in the lids of the insulated vacuum flasks, a dual chamber creates space for an additional added cup. Additionally, each item in the Esbit line of cookware—including pots, pans, utensils and mugs—is designed to compartmentalize into larger items.
As a company with its roots in stoves and hard fuel, heating efficiency is a major focus of each of the pots and pans in the Esbit line. None, however, match the conductivity of the heat exchanger pot. The coiled base of the pot increases energy intake and reduces the amount of fuel needed to cook: more coffee, less effort.
While surely not intended for advanced alpine expeditions, Esbit's Foldaway Charcoal Grill is an enviable accessory for more mellow day hikes or the culinary-minded camper. Folding down to roughly the size of a vintage laptop (think Windows 95-era), the grill is composed of just six pieces and includes a waterproof bag for coals. With 55 square inches of cooking space, the grill suits the needs of two adults with ease.
Esbit's line of function-focused yet decidedly polished outdoor cookware and heating elements is available around the world.
Images courtesy of Esbit