“Are you eating out of a dog bowl?” I’ve been asked this question numerous times over the years and you may be surprised to hear that the answer is yes. Sort of.
A long time ago I was at a discount gear sale at an outdoor store and in the pile of sale items I came across a set of folding dog bowls. I don’t have a dog, but thought they would make great backpacking dishes, and if they didn’t I could always give them to one of my friends with a canine companion.
My plastic folding dog bowls indeed turned out to be awesome backpacking plates. Not long after I bought them, I discovered that the company actually made the exact same item branded for human use. Go figure!
Fozzils folding plates are a phenomenal solution for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure picnickers wanting compact, lightweight, versatile dishware for meals on the trail. Because they are durable and easy to clean, they are also a great alternative to disposable plastic and paper plates and bowls on family picnics and camping trips.
The Most Versatile Camping Dishware Ever
The first time I saw a Fozzils, the sides were folded up into the bowl configuration. Again, I thought it was a dog bowl, so I only picked it up as a novelty. When I unsnapped two of the sides, however, I realized it was the absolute perfect plate for backpacking and my frequent adventure picnicking outings.
Is it a Bowlate or a Plowl?
With only two of the snaps snapped, the Fozzils becomes a sort of half bowl, half plate that is fantastic for eating around the campfire where you are usually holding the plate you are eating off of.
This configuration keeps leaks and drips from ending up in your lap and is generally how I use my Fozzils. You can also only snap on corner if you want more plate and less bowl.
I’ve been to a lot of cocktail parties where you stand around holding a flimsy tiny paper plate trying to eat, drink, and talk to people at the same time. I also wish I had my Fozzils in these situations.
I have started to bring it with me to potlucks. Not only is it much easier to eat from, but it saves a few paper or plastic plates and bowls from ending up in landfills.
A Cutting Board for Backpackers
To be clear, Fozzils wasn’t designed to be used as a cutting board and I would by no means recommend sawing away on the thin plastic.
But anyone who has ever tried to cut fruits and vegetables or even a steak on a backpacking trip will probably tell you they would appreciate having a clean surface to at least cut against. Especially one that weighs practically nothing and easily disappears into their pack.
Compact and Lightweight
Even when on ultralight backpacking adventures I always carry a Fozzils. It fits perfectly in my backpack’s water bladder pocket, leaving plenty of room for a full water bladder. One of my Fozzils generally lives there when my backpack is put away between adventures. This way, I don’t forget it when packing for my next adventure.
For a backpacking luxury item, Fozzils are super lightweight, coming in at only 40g. For those counting every gram, you do have to remember that a Fozzils dish covers one of the cardinal rules of backpacking: an item should serve many different purposes. Your Fozzils dish is a plate, a bowl, a cutting board, and a convenient and portable kitchen work surface.
A Durable Piece of Outdoor Gear
I think I have had my original Fozzils dog bowls for about 10 years now. I bought two at the time because I didn’t think they would last and I would have a backup. but last they have.
The logos are nearly worn off the bowl I use the most. The hinges are way more pliable that my other bowl or the two new ones I bought not long ago. But there is no sign that they are going to fail anytime soon. And I have never had a snap fail me.
The newer bowls are absolutely identical in look and feel. There are some nicer touches like logos on the snaps and more graphics, but I don’t see that the quality has changed one bit from the original bowls.
I also should mention that the new set of Fozzils that I bought have measurement graduations that are usable in the cup configuration. Divisions are 4, 8, and 16 oz, and 250 and 500 ml. Cheers to Fozzils for adding this. Obviously the measurements will not be perfectly accurate in a folding cup, but out on the trail anything remotely close is super useful.
A Great Addition to Active, Outdoor Lifestyles
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the best outdoor gear disappears. By this I mean that it blends into your trip so well you both completely rely on it but it never inconveniences you or demands your attention. I never think about my Fozzils dishes until someone asks why I am eating out of a dog bowl or remarks on how cool my bowl is.
An Eco Friendly Alternative
Let’s be honest here, because plastic lasts nearly forever, no plastic is good plastic. But in this case, one Fozzils bowl could take the place of thousands of disposable plates and bowls. And you run into disposable dishware at nearly every potluck, roadside stand, and food cart. We carry our own cloth bags to the grocery store, why not carry our own collapsible bowl?
Touring bands are starting to discover Fozzils. Because many touring musicians often find themselves in an impromptu roadside picnic, having stowable, convenient, easy-to-clean dishware makes eating on the road that much easier.
A Wide Range of Fozzils Products
Fozzils makes much more than these cool collapsible bowls. They also make cups, washbasins, colanders, and a variety of other items for both home and outdoor use.
If you are only a collapsible bowl for yourself, I would recommend getting the Fozzils Solo Pack which includes a cup, bowl, and slightly larger dish.
Affordable Outdoor Dishware
I don’t remember what I paid for my original bargain bin Fozzils dog bowls, but I’m sure it wasn’t much. The set of two I just bought were around 10 bucks. Considering my last pair are still going strong after 10 years, that is an astoundingly good deal. Here is the set I got on Amazon.
Specs for Standard Fozzils Bowl
- Weight: 40.04g / 1.4oz
- Size: 22.3 cm (W) x 25.2 cm (L) / 9 7/8″ (W) x 8 3/4″ (L)
- Volume (approx.): 20.4 fl.oz. (600ml)
- Stores flat
- BPA Free
- Measurement Graduations
Final Thoughts on Fozzils Folding Plates
If you are active in the out of doors and looking for a greener alternative to disposable paper plates and plastic dishes, look no further than Fozzils collapsible bowls. They are also great for thru-hikers, canoe campers, bike packers, and touring sea kayakers, touring bands, and cocktail party guests.
They are apparently also great for dog owners!