Sunday, April 14, 2013

GSI Outdoors Lexan Fork

The Takeaway: Are you looking for what’s arguably the lightest and most durable backpacking fork out there? If you are, you should check out GSI’s Lexan Fork, which can satisfy both the toughest users and the most conscientious weight measurers.

A lot of first time backpackers tend to start out with steel silverware and for most first time campers or those who aren’t worried aboutsteel, they are probably pretty happy with them. But if you are concerned about weight, don’t like the heat transfer characteristics of steel or aluminum (they get hot, fast!) and want another form of silverware that will last for literally as long as you take them camping and hiking, you should consider purchasing the GSI Lexan silverware.

And what better way to start your collection than to get yourself a Lexan Fork. Just be aware that once you get the fork, I’m willing to bet you’ll shortly be out purchasing the knife and the spoon too.

Fork Basics

GSI produces the Lexan Fork in three different colors, glacier ice, eggshell and emerald green. The glacier ice and emerald green colors make the fork translucent, while the eggshell is a solid, non-translucent color.

The fork is just slightly longer than the average dinner fork you’ll find in a regular household silverware set – but it has about the same heft as that dinner fork. It won’t feel uncomfortable in most adult hands, but could be considered slightly oversized for younger children who are out camping with their parents.

The fork weighs in at an almost weightless 0.4 ounces – it’s enough to feel in your hand, but not much beyond that. On average that’s about half the weight of similar stainless steel camping fork.

The fork is practically unbreakable – Lexan is used in applications where you don’t want the material to break (such as bullet proof glass for bulletin boards) and the fork is much the same. Lexan is incredible resilient and will stand up to crushing and bending and will tackle normal wear and tear without a scratch. While I don’t have proof, I don’t doubt the manufacturer’s claim that ounce for ounce, the Lexan Fork is stronger than a similar steel fork.

You can expose the fork to temperature extremes with little worry – from the crispness of a winter morning into boiling water – the fork won’t crack, deform or otherwise be harmed by these changes (again thanks to the Lexan). Along those same lines once you get the fork home, you can throw it in the dishwasher – since the fork won’t be harmed by washing it in the dishwasher.

You don’t even need to worry about your fork turning red after you use it with tomato sauce. The Lexan is resilient to the stains and you can eat anything and after a quick wash, the fork will look as good as new.

Another plus for the Lexan Fork is the fact that Lexan does not transmit heat as readily as aluminum as steel does. Thus you can be using the fork to stir something hot or have it in a hot liquid and you’ll still be able to hold the other end of the fork – something you could never do with a steel utensil.


I’ve had a Lexan Fork (actually multiple forks) for many years now and never had a single problem with it. It’s been packed away in my backpack, stuffed in a pot with my backpacking stove and been a piece of silverware in my kitchen utensil drawer – all without a problem or even a single scratch.

The Lexan is just that durable – after years of heavy use it really does look the same as the day I brought it home from the store. The Lexan doesn’t scratch or stain and even after years of using the fork, flexing it, and bending it – it’s in perfect shape. I don’t think you can really ask for anything more from a 50 cent utensil.

I have both the glacier ice and the eggshell colors and there's no difference between them - the durability is the same and when it comes to color, it's just a personal choice.

Final Thoughts

For the price, you cannot purchase a better backpacking and camping fork. The Lexan Fork will literally last almost forever and the fork, even years from now will look practically like it was just purchased new.

It’s light, it’s strong and it’s better than anything else out there – if you’re looking to replace your camping fork or just looking to start out with a camping silverware set, you should definitely invest in one of GSI’s Lexan Forks.

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