With Labor Day come and gone, there are only a few more viable weekends left for beach and camping excursions, assuming you live in the northern hemisphere (and assuming you enjoy camping). The Cuissential SlickBoil is clever little collapsible kettle for outdoor brewing—though with its punchy colors and sleek silhouette, it’s got crossover appeal for anyone living in a cramped apartment, too. And what SlickBoil lacks in a palatable name, it more than makes up for in functionality.
When it’s in use, the SlickBoil is much like any other tea kettle: It brews 5 cups of hot water at a time, and works on electric stoves and campfires alike. When it’s not in use, though, the silicone body collapses into its stainless steel base, rendering it only 2.5 inches thick. Which is pretty useful, given the premium on space in both hatchbacks and urban kitchens.
Cuissential, a kitchenware company that’s almost two years old, says that SlickBoil plays into their mission of bringing economical and environmental kitchen products to American consumers. "We noticed that many Asian and European nations were really making use of versatile, natural, and sustainable materials such as silicone," says Cuissential rep Alex Cacciamani. "SlickBoil was brought to market especially for the younger consumer which has been hit with the recession and is sick of unsustainable products."
In its natural form, silicone is one of the most plentiful materials on earth—it’s found in everything from minerals to beach sand. As a manufactured synthetic, silicone is increasingly found in consumer products, from breast implants to shampoo, offering an alternative to potentially toxic rubbers and plastics. Cacciamani explains that Cuissential is banking on the trend, as the cost of consumer-grade silicone decreases and fears about BPAs increase. "The SlickBoil will hopefully be a step in making consumers in this country more aware of how versatile and naturally safe silicone is as a material," he adds. Of course, there are also dissenting voices: Some argue that long-term testing is needed, while others note that while the stuff is recyclable, it’s not biodegradable. But since the FDA classifies silicone as "inert," meaning it doesn’t degrade, those concerns seem largely unfounded. Still, more on that controversy can be found here.