Most all cooking pots are made of metal. Energia USA makes its pots out of paper. The company’s Hexa Pot product is a disposable paper cooking pot made for “picnics, camping, backpacking, on the go, or traveling,” as the company puts it.
Why? Instead of having to wash a pot after use, Energia USA cites, you can toss them in the recycling bin or trash. “Time you would spend scraping, rinsing, washing and putting them away can be used for other things instead,” the company’s Kickstarter page says.
We unfolded one of the origami-like pots this month and put it on an open flame. The Hexa Pots feel like they’re made of the same sort of hard, waxy material as seen on take-home boxes you get from a restaurant. (Official company description is that the material is a “special non-toxic waterproof multi-ply paper.”)
After unfolding, we filled our demo Hexa Pot with water and fired up a camp stove. Flames licked the underside of the pot, though there was little smell and no smoke.
In a few minutes, tiny bubbles formed under the hot water, and then a roiling boil began. We poured the hot water on some camp food and set the Hexa Pot aside.
The bottom of the paper pot was yellowed and slightly warped, though not burnt. We threw the one-time-use product away per the instructions, however, another boil or two could likely take place in the pot before it needed to be discarded.
Energia USA sells the Hexa Pot as an “eco-conscious” product. That description seems odd as it’s a disposable item, whereas something made of metal will last for years or decades of use.
As a backup plan or emergency pot, the Hexa Pot might have its place. The paper pot folds flat and weighs very little, letting you stow it away with little fuss.
The company markets it for backpacking as well as survival scenarios, including disaster situations. It can be used for sterilizing contaminated water by boiling in times when there is no access to drinkable water.
To us, the emergency or backup use seems bonafide. But for backpacking and camping, we’re going to stick to metal pots.
The Hexa Pots are sold for $5.50 to $7 apiece, depending on the pot type. Buy direct from Energia USA or, beginning in August, on Amazon.com and other retailers.
—Stephen Regenold is editor at GearJunkie.