Snow Peak 600 – Handle Grip Mod

Snow Peak 600 Handle Mod

This is my second Snow Peak 600 cup. My previous one got irreparably damaged (read as “stood on”) last season. Obviously I’m a big fan of this cup if I bought another one, but there were always two things that I had wanted to improve about it – by now you should all know that I am a habitual hacker of gear.

The first thing I had always wanted to modify were the handles. For the most part they’re pretty darn perfect, but they are bare metal and they get hot! I like to carry a lightweight aluminum pot gripper for this very reason and so that I can safely and firmly pick the cup up off the stove or fire. I wished that handles were insulated from the heat so that I didn’t have to carry the pot gripper. There have been lots of really clever modifications posted on backpacking blogs for solutions to this “problem” and the one I have wanted to try was using Plasti Dip (tool dip) to coat the handles.

Plasti Dip, for those of you not familiar with the product, could be thought of as Duct Tape in a can. It’s a multipurpose air dry, synthetic rubber coating that can be easily applied by spraying, brushing or dipping. The Plasti Dip protective coating resists moisture, acids, abrasion, corrosion, skidding/slipping, and provides a comfortable, controlled grip. It also provides a thick barrier against the transfer of heat. Note: Plasti Dip is not particularly flame retardant, so I’m not 100% sure how this would work.

SnowPeak 600 Ti Cup

With my new Snow Peak cup in hand, I set to work. I chose to use the aerosol version of Plasti Dip for no other reason that it just happened to be on sale at my local hardware store. I used some old newspaper and masking tape to mask off the body of the cup, leaving just the two folding handles exposed.

In preparation for the Plasti Dip coating, I used wire wool to scuff up the surface of the handles and finished by using some denatured alcohol and clean cloth to remove any oil and grease. Then, following the instructions on the can I applied liberal coats of Plasti Dip to the handles making sure to focus the majority of the spray on the upper bend section where my fingers would go. I wanted to avoid having too much Plasti Dip on the lower half of the handles but knew it would be hard to not get a little over-spray.

Snow Peak 600 Handle Mod

After several coats of Plasti Dip and waiting the correct amount of time for each new layer to dry, I ended up with a finish that I’m pretty happy with. I’ve performed an indoor boil test using an alcohol stove and the handles worked as hoped, acting as a protective heat barrier to keep the handles cool to the touch and more importantly it didn’t burst into flames. I’ll need to conduct some outdoor stove tests to see how it performs when the flame gets blown around more.

The second thing I had wanted to change or improve about the SP600 was the lid, or lack thereof. On my old cup I had struggled along using a makeshift (but ultralight!) lid fashioned out of some aluminum foil. Actually I had crafted several lids like this over time because they are far from durable, even if you take great care.

I wanted a much better solution and was willing to trade a little extra weight to achieve that. Some of you may know that Jason Klass (of Gear Talk fame) designed a superb, lightweight after-market lid for the SP600 some time ago to address the need for a more durable solution. He even went as far as to partner with a cottage manufacturer to have the lid productionalized and made available for purchase in two variants – plain and with strainer holes. Jason is a good friend of mine so I reached out to him to get one of his lids, opting for the version with strainer holes – no, not just to save weight, but I like the way you’re thinking!

Snow Peak 600 Handle Mod

The new lid arrived a few days later and I was extremely satisfied with the fit and finish. It’s made from aluminum, not titanium, but even so it only weighs 16g. I am willing to accept an extra 16g for the added benefits of being able to lift the lid off using the knob on the top, use it as a strainer if I need to drain hot water, and being able to hang the lid on the lip of the cup using the knob. Lid problem solved right? Well not quite…

Snow Peak 600 Lid Knob Mod

The wooden knob that comes with the lid is the perfect size and very ergonomic, but it’s unfinished. I felt like I had one last quick gear hack left in me, so I removed the wooden knob and gave it a few quick coats of the same Plasti Dip that I had used on the handles. Now it not only matched the color of my newly coated folding handles (did I mention I’m slightly OCD?), it also offers the knob a little extra traction for my fingers to grab on to. Now I’m happy :-)

What’s your preferred cooking pot and have you made any modifications or changes to it to better suit your own needs?

Disclosure: The author owns this product and paid for it using their own funds.

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  • http://www.geartalkwithjasonklass.com/ Jason Klass – Gear Talk

    Great Mod Brian!  I had the same problem with my 600 handles and tried silicon tubing but it burnt pretty easily.  Maybe this is a better alternative.  I also like how you sprayed the knob on the lid.  That will seal it and prevent it from absorbing water which could potentially make it crack over time.

    Just to clarify, I no longer sell the lids but if you follow Brian’s links above, you’ll see that they are still available from the original maker. 

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Oh great point Jason! Sorry, I forgot you were no longer selling them. The original maker’s site (Four Dog Stoves) does not have the lids listed. Should people interested use the email link to inquire about getting a lid?

      • http://www.geartalkwithjasonklass.com/ Jason Klass – Gear Talk

        Bi Brian,
        Yes, just email Don and he will make them even though he doesn’t list them.  He does awesome work.

  • http://www.geartalkwithjasonklass.com/ Jason Klass – Gear Talk

    Great Mod Brian!  I had the same problem with my 600 handles and tried silicon tubing but it burnt pretty easily.  Maybe this is a better alternative.  I also like how you sprayed the knob on the lid.  That will seal it and prevent it from absorbing water which could potentially make it crack over time.

    Just to clarify, I no longer sell the lids but if you follow Brian’s links above, you’ll see that they are still available from the original maker. 

  • Don Meredith

    Looks great, Brian! When I’m using my SP600 I use the silicon tubing as JK mentioned above. It burned some on the bottom edge but I just cut it away there. Since then its been great. It looks like the dip is another great option.

    Keep up posted on how it works in the field.

    Don

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      I’ll keep you posted for sure. To be honest I like your tubing idea a lot more, but figured I’d try this to see how it works ;-) Can you share the link to your silicone tubing post for folks here to look at?

      • http://www.geartalkwithjasonklass.com/ Jason Klass – Gear Talk

        FYI, the tubing is a PAIN to slide on to the handles.  I like your spray idea idea better!

  • Don Meredith

    Looks great, Brian! When I’m using my SP600 I use the silicon tubing as JK mentioned above. It burned some on the bottom edge but I just cut it away there. Since then its been great. It looks like the dip is another great option.

    Keep up posted on how it works in the field.

    Don

  • Andrew Downie

    You should take a look at this stuff too:  http://www.sugru.com

    It’s like a putty that you can use to form shapes and it hardens overnight, it’s pretty awesome stuff.  Nice use of the plasti-dip though, I think I’ll do something similar to my canteen cup (plus add sugru “feet”…

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Andrew, are you messing with me? If you recall I was the one who turned YOU on to Sugru :-D

      But yes that would make for a great way to customize/hack a lid handle.

  • Andrew Downie

    You should take a look at this stuff too:  http://www.sugru.com

    It’s like a putty that you can use to form shapes and it hardens overnight, it’s pretty awesome stuff.  Nice use of the plasti-dip though, I think I’ll do something similar to my canteen cup (plus add sugru “feet”…

  • http://www.hikinginfinland.com/ Hendrik Morkel

    That’s a timely article as my SP 600 is bound to arrive next week =) Reckon I will try silicon as a lid before, and definitely need to find out if I can get that Plasti Dip (or something like it) here. That looks pretty smart!

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Thanks Hendrik. If you have a choice, my recommendation would be to use the version of Plasti-Dip (tooldip) that is in a can where you can actually “dip” the handles in. That would give a much thicker and more uniformed coating IMHO.

  • http://www.hikinginfinland.com/ Hendrik Morkel

    That’s a timely article as my SP 600 is bound to arrive next week =) Reckon I will try silicon as a lid before, and definitely need to find out if I can get that Plasti Dip (or something like it) here. That looks pretty smart!

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Andrew, are you messing with me? If you recall I was the one who turned YOU on to Sugru :-D

    But yes that would make for a great way to customize/hack a lid handle.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Thanks Hendrik. If you have a choice, my recommendation would be to use the version of Plasti-Dip (tooldip) that is in a can where you can actually “dip” the handles in. That would give a much thicker and more uniformed coating IMHO.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Oh great point Jason! Sorry, I forgot you were no longer selling them. The original maker’s site (Four Dog Stoves) does not have the lids listed. Should people interested use the email link to inquire about getting a lid?

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    I’ll keep you posted for sure. To be honest I like your tubing idea a lot more, but figured I’d try this to see how it works ;-) Can you share the link to your silicone tubing post for folks here to look at?

  • http://www.geartalkwithjasonklass.com/ Jason Klass – Gear Talk

    Bi Brian,
    Yes, just email Don and he will make them even though he doesn’t list them.  He does awesome work.

  • http://www.geartalkwithjasonklass.com/ Jason Klass – Gear Talk

    FYI, the tubing is a PAIN to slide on to the handles.  I like your spray idea idea better!

  • JJ_Mathes

    I too have tried the silicon tubing, it melted and became down right nasty looking. I’m currently using a section of bandana to pick up my mug from the heat, and yeah I know sooner or later it’s likely to catch fire.  

    One tip for diverting heat from the handle is to place the windscreen in such away it shields the handle from the heat, it’s not 100%, but it makes a huge difference.

  • JERMM

    I too have tried the silicon tubing, it melted and became down right nasty looking. I’m currently using a section of bandana to pick up my mug from the heat, and yeah I know sooner or later it’s likely to catch fire.  

    One tip for diverting heat from the handle is to place the windscreen in such away it shields the handle from the heat, it’s not 100%, but it makes a huge difference.

  • JJ_Mathes

    Forgot to add fav cook pot. Warm weather I like the Evernew 500ml Tl, with Esbit or alcohol, no mods. Colder weather I like the MLD 850ml Ti, with Caldera Ti-Tri ULC wood mode or alcohol, no mods.

  • JERMM

    Forgot to add fav cook pot
    warm weather I like the Evernew 500ml Tl, with Esbit or alcohol, no mods
    colder weather I like the MLD 850ml Ti, with Caldera Ti-Tri ULC wood mode or alcohol, no mods

  • sygyzy

    It surprises me to no end that people can make custom backpacks, tents, tarps, stoves, etc but nobody in the industry has come up with a legitimate solution to the Snow Peak 600 hot handles dilemma?

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      It’s not just surprising, it’s down right annoying! :-) We can genetically engineer watermelons to have no seeds, but we can’t beat one of the most fundamental laws of physics? We are clearly not trying hard enough.

      • Deanz

        what about trying carbon felt.

        • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

          Would that act as good heat protection? I know it’s not flammable but wouldn’t it be too thin or delicate to be effective? Anyone have any thoughts on this? I don’t have much experience with carbon felt other using it for wick material.

  • sygyzy

    It surprises me to no end that people can make custom backpacks, tents, tarps, stoves, etc but nobody in the industry has come up with a legitimate solution to the Snow Peak 600 hot handles dilemma?

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    It’s not just surprising, it’s down right annoying! :-) We can genetically engineer watermelons to have no seeds, but we can beat one of the most fundamental laws of physics? We are clearly not trying hard enough.

  • KevinB

    I’d been looking for a Heineken keg can for some time to use with my supercat stove, without success. (Did they stop making them?) I finally acquired a mug I could use on a recent trip to a local fair. The new mug’s handle gets hot, so I will definitely be using this mod. Thanks for the tip, and great site!

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Kevin, yes Heineken stopped making the keg cans some time ago. In fact it was quite the big shocker in the backpacking world causing a ripple effect of people rushing out and stocking up on them so they had spares. You might be able to get one off of someone else here if you ask nicely. I’d even suggest posting a request on my Facebook page to see if anyone has one they would let you have. Worth a shot :-)

      Let me know how the handle mod works out for you!

  • KevinB

    I’d been looking for a Heineken keg can for some time to use with my supercat stove, without success. (Did they stop making them?) I finally acquired a mug I could use on a recent trip to a local fair. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/maverickf/4984533601/)The new mug’s handle gets hot, so I will definitely be using this mod. Thanks for the tip, and great site!

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Kevin, yes Heineken stopped making the keg cans some time ago. In fact it was quite the big shocker in the backpacking world causing a ripple effect of people rushing out and stocking up on them so they had spares. You might be able to get one off of someone else here if you ask nicely. I’d even suggest posting a request on my Facebook page to see if anyone has one they would let you have. Worth a shot :-)

    Let me know how the handle mod works out for you!

  • Deanz

    what about trying carbon felt.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Would that act as good heat protection? I know it’s not flammable but wouldn’t it be too thin or delicate to be effective? Anyone have any thoughts on this? I don’t have much experience with carbon felt other using it for wick material.

  • Brandon

    Have you been able to use this mug much to see how the coating holds up to fire?

  • StevenDavisPhoto

    if it’s just like duct tape, then why not just use duct tape? i know its not as “clean” but seems like it would work?

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Ha, because I felt like doing something different.

  • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

    Sad to say that after several uses in a camp fire the coating burned off in a blaze of glory. Back to the drawing board!!!

  • J.R. Norris

    It may have been easier to pop the handles off, tape the portion that extends into the hinge joint, then paint. Would also give you the option to dip the handles.