Today I wanted to talk about my cooking pot: the Vargo BOT HD 1L.
The HD just means it has a handle. You can get it with or without the handles but for the extra 0.2oz/6g I think it’s worth it.
This is a top of the line premium cooking pot that will serve any hiker well.
Probably its most unique selling point is the fact that it’s watertight. Since there is an o-ring inside the lid you can fill it completely with water and not worry about it spilling. You can just toss it in your bag and not even worry about it
In terms of specs it weighs 5.4 ounces or 153 grams. Without the handle it’s 5.2 ounces or 147 grams.
I use the 1 liter version but there is also a 700ml version.
It’s super expensive! It’s currently priced around $110.
This is the one major con with this pot.
So, if you’re just getting into backpacking or you know you’ll just be hiking every now and then then don’t buy this pot.
There are cheaper options out there that work just as well, such as:
However if you’re a long distance hiker or thru-hiker and you know you’ll be cooking outdoors a lot then I do think it’s worth the investment.
Which Hikers Should Use This Pot?
My rationale for choosing this pot is that it will serve me on every possible hike I could do in the future and it has multiple functions as well.
For example, because of the watertight o-ring I can use this for cold soaking my trail food instead of cooking if I prefer. That means I don’t need to bring a seperate cold-soaking container (like an empty Talenti jar).
One of the best functionalities I’ve found is that it allows me to stretch my water carrying capacity for much less weight.
Say I was doing the PCT and I wanted to have a water capacity of 5 liters. Normally I’d then have to carry 5 separate 1 liter bottles but with this I can carry 4 bottles and use the Vargo Bot as my 5th liter. It saves me the weight on carrying the 5th bottle, my cooking pot doubles as a water bottle.
Realistically, you won’t always carry your max water capacity. So for the long desert stretches I can fill my Vargo Bot with water and then when water is more plentiful I can just use the 4 bottles.
So because this has multiple functions it saves you weight and money over the long term.
Not for Mountaineers
If you climb or trek at altitude then this mightn’t be the best option for you. Since it’s watertight if you close it at sea level and then gain a lot of altitude it will be near impossible to get it back open due to the atmospheric pressure. In such a scenario you’d have to descend to be able to easily open it. This is a niche consideration and only matters if you plan on using the watertight functionality but it’ something to consider if you hike at high altitudes a lot.
1 Liter vs 700ml
Now there is also a 700ml version.
I opted for 1 liter as it only weighs an extra 0.6oz/15g and to me, that is worth the extra weight for the added bonus of 300ml water capacity.
Ease of Use
In terms of cooking it’s a pot! It does exactly what it says.
It is very well designed though.
You can use the lid as a cup, I use it to drink coffee out of in the morning.
If you take off the o-ring you can also use the lid as a small frying pan.
The lid also perfectly fits on the pot so you can use that steam food as well.
There are many options for cooking depending on how you use the different elements.
So it’s a very versatile piece of gear.
If you’re a long distance hiker or you’re hiking all the time then I think this is worth the investment.
Check it out here: The Vargo Bot HD 1 Liter