Vargo Bot Review: Bikepacking Cook kit for the Framebag

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The Vargo BOT is an elegantly designed 1 liter titanium water bottle with a titanium screw lid that triples in versatility as a cooking pot and an excellent storage container.

I have generally found the cooking pot to be the most clumsy piece of gear in a minimalist-style kit, especially when it needs to be large enough to cook for two hungry cyclists. First of all, anything over 850ml gets fairly bulky. Secondly, the typical squat cylindrical shape just doesn’t logically fit anywhere in a seat pack, handlebar roll, or frame bag. There are a couple of pots on the market that are shaped longer and taller, such as GSI’s Halulite or Pinnacle Hiker, which we used in Africa. These usually fit well within an oversized fork-mounted cage such as the Anything cage. But, they are also a little too bulky and from my experience, get beat up, dinged, and bent out of shape.

Vargo Bot Bikepacking Pot Kitchen

The BOT is as aesthetically pleasing as it is useful.

I heard about the Bot when we were in Africa. Someone mentioned carrying this genius little bottle-pot combo strapped to an Anything cage. At 4″ in diameter and 6″ high, the Vargo BOT weighs in at 133 grams. Once I saw those specs, the first thing that came to mind was using it as a kitchen container that would slide in the frame bag to house the entire bikepacking cook kit. In my opinion, four inches is about the limit width of an object to go into a frame bag; anything bigger creates a little too much bulk and can get in the way of pedaling. Ultimately the Bot works perfectly for this application. It snugly fits a minimal kitchen that includes a titanium mug, can stove (or Trangia), spork, lighter, salt/pepper shaker, aluminum fire block, and dishrag.

Vargo Bot - bikepacking pot kitchen

The basic cook kit that fits inside: a titanium mug, can stove (or Trangia), spork, lighter, salt/pepper shaker, aluminum fire block, and dishrag. The only thing missing is a pot-holder (which gets shoved in the frame bag).

By designing the BOT with a screw mount lid (that reverses as a pot lid), Vargo crafted a rigid vessel that won’t easily bend or dent. When screwed together, the precisely crafted titanium pieces fit snugly against a silicone ring and feel seemingly indestructible. This is a big selling point when used off-road stored in either the fork-mount cage, or the frame bag.

Vargo Titanium Bot - Framebag Cook Pot

Fits in the middle divider of my DIY framebag.

When it comes to making gear choices for bikepacking and bike touring, there is nothing more satisfying that finding things that can be used for multiple applications. In conclusion, I found the BOT to be nice versatile solution to an otherwise clunky piece of gear. It’s tough, ultralight, and fits as well in a frame bag as it does on an Anything cage… and it’s also a bottle.

Vargo Bot Bikepacking Pot Kitchen

Threaded screw-top reverses to become a pot lid.

Vargo Titanium Bot - Bikepacking Cook Pot

After using it several times, I have no complaints about its cooking abilities; it also cleans up surprisingly well.
Vargo Titanium Bot - Bikepacking Kitchen
The Bot perched on a DIY hop-can stove. You have to be a little balance conscious with its high center of gravity.

Vargo Bot Bikepacking Pot Kitchen

A silicone o-ring seals the lid. I would assume this wears out with time, but it should last quite a while.

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  • Ugaitz Etxebarria

    Great post, I’ve been looking at something similar for quite a while, but more for the sealed lid than anything, you can soak cereals there while riding and cook them super fast when you camp, works specially good for lentils and oats.
    I have to check if they have a distributor for Europe.

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Great idea. Dried beans are always cheap and readily available… but the soaking process is slow. Definitely going to try it on the next trip.

  • Amberwaves

    I hear the packability point, but what about fuel efficiency with a tall skinny pot on an alcohol stove versus a shallower, wider one?

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    I have taken it on two recent bikepacking trips (one withe a sideburner can stove and one with the trangia) and have been extremely impressed with how fast water boils as well as how little fuel is required…

  • Bob Jenkins

    How well does the BOT perch on top the the hexagon wood stove? I’ve been using a Jetboil on mine with poor results.

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Hi Bob. I thonk it works pretty well… you definitely have to be careful as with any pot perched on a lightweight stand. But I’ve yet to dump a dinner…

  • matt

    Have you found anything cheaper than the BOT. $80 seems like a lot for a pot/bottle. I have jut been using a stainless steel camping cup $14, but w/o a lid and holds less than 1L seems silly also.

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    The BOT is an investment… mine is still going strong. There are cheaper alternatives out there from MSR, etc.

  • Matt

    Logan, do you use any type of pot stand with the trangia/bot combo? or can you just set it right on the stove?

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Whoops, this one fell through the cracks… sorry for the delay. It sits right on the Hexagon Titanium stove which acts as both a wind shield and a pot stand.

  • Ant

    Would the BOT fit into a Revelate Mountain Feedbag or the tangle? I have been searching for something small that could either nest inside the feedbag or a tangle frame bag that would accommodate a snow peak gigapower stove and canister. Prior to reading this post I was under the impression I needed to get something like the Snow Peak Solo Mini or just the Snow Peak 700ML with lid, but now this BOT looks like it might provide a better option for packing onto my current bike since it is not as wide. I’m not sure if it would fit on the gigapower stove though… Thanks for putting more ideas into my head. ;-)

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    I can’t say about the Mountain Feed Bag, or the Tangle, but it does fit a gigapower canister and stove… that’s what I carried on my last trip.

  • Ant

    Great about the ability to fit the canister and stove in the BOT. Would you happen to have a feed bag or know anyone that could test to see if it would fit? How does the BOT compare to a 32 oz nalgene? I’m interested in a simple method for packing a cook system to provide a means to make fresh coffee on a morning ride and the ability to easily store said system in a small location such as the feedbag, tangle or even a bottle cage. Thanks again.

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    I don’t. I have Randi Jo Fab bartender bags. On the Vargo website it is a claimed 4.1″ in diameter… I would measure that against a nalgene. It doesn’t fit in a regular bottle cage, but works in a Salsa Anything cage.

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)
  • Manley Nelson

    Damn Logan, I’ve been trying to figure this kitchen situation out and I’m glad i found another one of your great reviews. Thanks again

  • Chuck

    The BOT will fit in a Tangle. BTW a BOT is almost the exact dimensions of a Jetboil Sol. The Jetboil French Press will even work with the BOT with a little massage. The lid to a Sol works to stabilize the press but the lid from a container of Philadelphia Cream Cheese weighs nothing and will work as well. Frankly, on most missions the Jetboil Sol Ti works better than the BOT but for gram counting trips the bot with a Flat Cat Gear Snow Leopard is tough to beat.

  • Matt Shriver

    Thanks for the review on the BOT. Does anyone have experience with the 100G Jet Boil fuel canister fitting inside the BOT? I am having trouble finding any fuel canister that will fit inside here in Belgium. Jet Boil seems to be distributed globally and easiest to find even here in Belgium. Open to other brands that will fit inside the BOT. Thanks for any information!

  • Nate Kaiser

    Does it fit within a Salsa Anything Bag mounted on an Anything HD cage?

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Yes, with room to spare.

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