James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

No, you're not seeing things, the Easy Camp Fold Flat Dinner Set really does look like origami – James Stanbury puts it to the test for Practical Motorhome

Overview

One of the joys of motorhome touring is that you can just stop anywhere for a cup of tea, a swiftly assembled sandwich or even a full meal. It frees you up from the dismal and overpriced choices in many motorway service stations and roadside cafés, and removes the time pressure to arrive at a certain place before 8.30pm or 9pm, when most pubs stop serving meals!

The only slight problem is that on a long journey you can end up with a sink full of used crockery (unless you take the time to wash up as well). Well, now there's a solution. No, we're not talking about disposable plates and cups, but washable compact and collapsible cookware and fold-flat crockery! 

You might have a deluxe set of melamine plates, bowls and mugs in the cupboard, but these alternative products can be handy for travel, picnics away from the 'van, beach trips, unexpected guests and any time you need something light and space-saving to act as a platter for your food and drinks.

So we've tested a selection of products, to see if any are worth buying to supplement – or even replace – your existing camping gear.

We tested the Gelert Fold-Away Kettle, at £12. We tried out the Lifeventure range of collapsible products, such as the Sillicone Ellipse Bowl at £6.99 and the Collapsible Bucket at £20.

Against these products we tested the comprehensive range Outwell Collaps Range of mugs, serving bowls, washing-up bowls, buckets, collanders, lunch boxes, chopping boards, kettles and so on.

Finally we tested the Easy Camp Fold Flat Dinner Set and Fold It Plate, with prices that range from £2.99 to £15. It's the latter product that we're reviewing here.

Easycamp is a well known manufacturer of outdoor equipment, such as tents, groundsheets, sleeping bags, airbeds, rucsacks and bags of all kinds. So they realise more than most the value of having items that are light to carry and don't cost too much. 

Although Easycamp produces a silicone folding plate — which is essentially a flat, 14.5cm-diameter bowl with foldable raised sides — perhaps its standout compact-cookware product is the three-piece Fold Flat Dinner Set. This consists of a mug that holds 350ml of liquid, a dinner plate with a diameter of 22cm and a bowl with a capacity of 850ml. Once assembled, they do nest together into an attractive little set for each person to use. 

As the name implies, all three parts fold flat; completely flat, as in just the thickness of the plastic they’re made from. While you don’t have to be an origami expert to assemble them, the process is a little more fiddly than ordinary pop-up folding cookware.

Nevertheless, the compact nature of the kit, even by the standards of other folding crockery, makes it perfect for day trips or unobtrusively catering for any additional visitors you might have on tour.

It's not expensive either, you get the whole Fold Flat Dinner Set for £15 or you could just buy a Fold It Plate for £2.99.

Technical specs

Fold Flat Dinner Set£15
Fold It Plate£2.99
MaterialPlastic
Mug350ml
Plate22cm diameter
Bowl850ml

Verdict

We can't see many people choosing the Easy Camp Fold Flat Dinner Set as their main crockery, but it might be worth buying for picnics and to keep in the cupboard for any surprise visitors to your motorhome. It does the job, it's light and extremely compact. It gets a two-star rating against rivals in the Practical Motorhome collapsible kitchenware test.

Conclusion

Pros

  • Folds flat
  • Very light
  • Compact
  • Cheap

Cons

  • A bit fiddly to assemble
  • Doesn't feel very secure
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