Our expert James Stanbury tests the Lifeventure Collapsible Bucket and Silicone Ellipse Bowl to find out if it's the best collapsible cookware for sale
Some people like their motorhome holidays to involve practically no cooking at all. For them, a real holiday is a break from routine, which means eating out and buying takeaways as often as possible. The most they'll put together might be simple baguettes with cheese and pickles for lunch! Then there are the other kinds of motorhome owners, who relish the chance to cook properly on holiday.
If you're the second type of person – the keen motorhome chef – you'll probably struggle to find enough space to pack all your favourite kitchenware and cookware into the 'van's cupboards. It can be frustrating when the awkward or traditional designs of kettles and pots and pans seem to be all wrong for the limited space available. Then of course there's the noise of them rattling around as you drive along!
To solve this problem, collapsible silicone and plastic cookware has burst onto the market over the past few years. But what is it like to use? Is it robust enough to withstand the rigours of life on the road? Can it really be heatproof? To find out, we've filled the Practical Motorhome test bench with space-saving lightweight camping accessories that just might help you out.
The most comprehensive range we've found is the Outwell Collaps Range, which boasts a colourful array of bowls, mugs, buckets, serving vessels, laundry baskets, storage containers, lunch boxes and two different sizes of kettle. Each item tends to come in a choice of red, blue, green and black, so you could potentially buy a set of crockery in a different colour for each member of a family of four. Outwell's prices range from £4.49 for a little bowl to £40 for a big storage container.
We've also tested the three-piece Easycamp Fold Flat Dinner Set, at £15, which includes a plastic mug, bowl and plate for one person, and we also tested the single Fold It Plate at £2.99. These items literally fold completely flat, making them the most compact cookware we've ever seen.
We tried out the first compact folding product from Gelert, too, and you can now read our review of the surprisingly versatile Gelert Fold-Away Kettle, which costs £12.
Apart from Gelert, firms usually kick off their collapsible ranges with a bowl; and that’s certainly the case with Lifeventure, which we're reviewing here.
Lifeventure's Silicone Ellipse Bowl – Ultralight costs £6.99. At 17cm wide at the top, the bowls are made from silicone with a hard nylon base. These telescopic bowls are available in an attractive selection of colours: green, blue, dark grey and purple.
Rather more unusual are Lifeventure’s Collapsible Bowl – Ultralight and Collapsible Bucket – Ultralight. The bowl has a 10-litre capacity with a 32cm diameter, while the bucket — also 32cm diameter — holds up to 15 litres. Despite these generous dimensions, both the bowl and the bucket use pop-up-tent technology that allows them to shrink down to an impressively small disc that fits snugly into the palm of your hand. The large bucket costs £20.
|Collapsible Bucket – Ultralight||£19.99|
|Collapsible Bucket capacity||15 litres|
|Collapsible Bucket weight||80g|
|Collapsible Bucket dimensions||320mm x 320mm x 280mm|
|Collapsible Bowl – Ultralight||£14.99|
|Collapsible Bowl capacity||10 litres|
|Collapsible Bowl size||320mm x 320mm x 160mm|
|Collapsible Bowl weight||60g|
|Lifeventure Silicone Ellipse Bowl||£6.99|
|Lifeventure Silicone Ellipse Bowl colours||Green, blue, dark grey, purple|
During our group test of collapsible cookware and kitchenware products we've found that various companies have just started to put their toes in the water to meet the need for lightweight and compact camping accessories. One such newcomer to the field is Lifeventure, with its collapsible bowls and buckets. It's a promising start, but they have some catching up to do to compete with the likes of Outwell. For this reason we've awarded Lifeventure three stars.
- Useful 10-litre bowl
- Extremely compact
- As impressive as a pop-up tent
- Limited range so far