Dining outdoors? Don't forget your spork. After researching over 30 models, we purchased 10 of the best sporks money can buy in 2019 and tested them with months of use and abuse. Our top interest for assessment was how well each competitor helped us cook and consume food, but we also investigated breakability and ease of cleaning. This review flushes out the surprising nuances and highlights the best uses of these hybrid utensils. Whether you are planning to use one for your weekday lunch, an ultralight backpacking trip, or crag-snacking, the right utensil for the job needs to match certain criteria. This review helps you find the perfect on-the-go utensil so you can enjoy your meal wherever you adventure.
The Best Sporks of 2019
|Price||$9.95 at REI|
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|$11.30 at Amazon||$9.95 at REI||$16.89 at Amazon|
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|$2.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Familiar feel, long lasting, versatile||Super lightweight, quality material, comfortable to eat with||Great for JetBoils and dehydrated food bags, lightweight||Does not break, easy to clean, large capacity||Durable plastic, excellent value|
|Cons||Too short for deep pots||Doesn’t reach the bottom of dehydrated food bags, pricey||Awkward shape for eating, doesn’t pack well||More expensive than most||Uncomfortable to hold, not very sanitary|
|Bottom Line||This model is a utilitarian, familiar, and practically indestructible on-the-go utensil, earning it our Editors' Choice Award.||This is our favorite model for long distance backpacking due to its durability despite a very minimal weight.||This extra long utensil is the perfect tool for camp cooking but not without a minor sacrifices in comfort.||The classic, two-sided design gets a significant upgrade in the form of this titanium model.||This durable plastic utensil performed well across the board and boasts an inexpensive price tag, earning it our Best Buy Award.|
|Rating Categories||Snow Peak Titanium Spork||Vargo Titanium ULV||AlphaLight Spork - Long||Light My Fire Titanium||humangear GoBites Uno|
|Specs||Snow Peak Titanium...||Vargo Titanium ULV||AlphaLight Spork -...||Light My Fire...||humangear GoBites...|
|Material||Titanium||Titanium||Aluminium alloy||Titanium||High-temp nylon|
|Measured weight (oz)||0.6 oz||0.3 oz||0.4 oz||0.7 oz||0.5 oz|
|Dishwasher safe?||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||Yes - Top Rack|
Snow Peak Titanium Spork
Providing top-notch comfort alongside quality construction, the Snow Peak Titanium has the desired versatility of a spork but handles like a typical utensil. The design of this model makes it easy to forget you are using an oddly shaped piece of silverware, allowing you to enjoy your meal--whether on the trail or during a work day's lunch. The utensil's bowl and tines have an ergonomic feel, and it performs well as a multi-utensil. Whether scooping, stirring, spreading, cutting, or stabbing, this model is easy to clean, extremely durable, and holds up to regular use, as the titanium resists scratches.
The many pros outweigh messy fingers, but this model does quite literally come up short when you're trying to reach the bottom of a dehydrated food bag or JetBoil backpacking stove. In addition, its small bowl size also makes it a mediocre soup spoon. For the majority of meals, however, this competitor shines and will keep you fed for years of adventures to come. After digging into your first meal, it is easy to see why the Snow Peak Titanium takes the cake.
Read review: Snow Peak Titanium Spork
Best Bang For Your Buck
humangear GoBites Uno
The humangear GoBites Uno provides an exceptionally low price point without forfeiting durability. Of all the plastic versions we tested, it was by far the most robust model. The thick design not only lends to its strength but improves the comfort of the bowl and tines when eating. The sleek nylon material makes it easy to wipe clean when you are on the trail, and the large bowl delivers a satisfying amount of your favorite soup or stew.
The main drawback of this competitor is the double-ended design. With a spoon on one end and a fork on the other, holding it feels far from natural. As well as discomfort, this design lacks the versatility of a true spork because you have to pick either the spoon or the fork side. Once your choice is made, you're either committed or willing to swap ends and risk contamination from dirty hands. Despite its flaws, this model is great for the price and may be well suited for children with its rounded edges, resistance to breaking, and low price tag.
Read review: humangear GoBites Uno
Best for Ultralight Backpacking
Vargo Titanium ULV
If you're looking to save on weight without sacrificing function, material, or longevity, the Vargo Titanium ULV is the tool for you. This model received high marks across the board in all of our tests: Its low weight and strong material make it ideal for backpacking but comfortable enough to double as an everyday on-the-go utensil. Whether tossed in your backpack, purse, or lunchbox, you will forget it's even there until it's time to feast.
Although this utensil meets the weight standards for ultralight backpacking, it's average length does lead to challenges if you're planning to rely heavily on dehydrated food bags. The thin construction may feel a little unusual in hand, but we found nothing uncomfortable about eating with this model. The pure-grade titanium material of the utensil sets it apart from the more common plastic ultralight options, so be prepared to spend an extra buck or two for the upgraded material. One of the lightest and most durable of the models we tested, this was our favorite for heading deep into the backcountry, and we liked it well enough for regular use.
Read review: Vargo Titanium ULV
Why You Should Trust Us
Authors Leslie Yedor and Sara James are well-versed in consuming food far from the traditional dinner table. Leslie's a doctor and an avid outdoorswoman, both of which require frequent eating on-the-go. She also spent multiple seasons living at the Yosemite Search and Rescue site in Camp 4 where running water and cutlery drawers are frankly non-existent. Sara has been traveling internationally for over 30 years and chooses to eat outside whenever possible. A passionate white water kayaker, she has broken a dozen sporks, a handful of kayaks, three ribs, and countless other items all in the pursuit of more fun. Durability is essential for Sara in the backcountry and daily life, as she shares her office with fifteen, fifteen-year-olds.
The assessments in this review were made as objectively as possible. We scoured the market with a fine-toothed comb before finally selecting the top ten competitors. We bought all ten, then spent months cooking and eating over a hundred meals in a wide variety of environments. From backcountry to sidecountry to front country, we used these sporks at home for breakfast, work-week lunches, car camping dinners, and as our multi-purpose utensils while trekking, backpacking, and ski touring. We also put them through specific tests to evaluate their comfort while eating, how useful they are for cooking, how simple they are to clean, and how likely they are to break. To remove some of the user bias, Leslie and Sara also enlisted a crew of friends, family, co-workers, and students to help with the testing. The result is a comprehensive review that will help you find the perfect piece of cutlery to match your unconventional eating needs.
Related: How We Tested Sporks
Analysis and Test Results
Following countless meals and targeted assessments, our group of testers compiled notes and scored each product against identical performance metrics. Each metric is detailed below. We also highlight top performers within each metric. While overall scores are useful, we recommend that you focus on the metrics you care about most when deciding which utensil to bring on your next adventure.
Related: Buying Advice for Sporks
Reusable sporks cost money, even if it's only a little. Our testers believed that environmentally sustainable cutlery is worth the extra expense to reduce the use of disposable plastic cutlery. In addition to their eco-friendliness, the reusable products offer superior utility and durability than their flimsy fast-food cousins.
Our Best Buy Award winner, the humangear GoBites Uno, is inexpensive and scored above average across the board, giving it our best price-to-performance ratio. The Bambu Large was a close contender for this accolade, scoring among the top performers with a price tag lower than most. Still, we like the value of the titanium models. They will likely outlast the longevity of plastic and bamboo models, making its value appreciate over time. Just don't lose it!
The primary function of any utensil is to serve as a vehicle for transporting food from your plate to your mouth. While spoons and forks serve distinct purposes, the spork is the one-man-band of utensils. It provides the functionality of both a spoon and a fork, which, theoretically, makes it the perfect utensil for a multitude of food types when you are on-the-go and space is limited. We tested our products with a multitude of meals and specifically evaluated their ability to handle ramen noodles, and stab meat. Fashion may often be sacrificed for function, but comfort should only be abandoned as a last resort, after all, your food should be the star of the meal, not your utensil. This metric contributed to 35% of the overall product score and it factored in how comfortable the model was to use, how well it handled different food types, and how much liquid the bowl could hold.
The top dog in this category was the Editors' Choice Award winner, the Snow Peak Titanium, but the Vargo Titanium ULV came in at a close second. The Snow Peak model takes the cake with its familiar design. It feels normal in your hand, which makes it easy to forget you are using an unconventional utensil. The bowl is a similar shape to a standard spoon, which makes it comfortable in your mouth, and the tines offer a smaller imitation of your classic fork. The Vargo Titanium ULV is not your typical piece of cutlery with its thin metal design, reducing its overall weight. Despite the lightweight feel, it's enjoyable to eat with and easy to overlook the difference.
One of the best things about a hybridized spoon and fork is its unique ability to deliver the broth and the hearty bits at the same time when you're eating soup. All of the models with a single-ended combination design excelled with ramen. If you are a die-hard lover of ramen and either lacking in chopstick skills or just trying to streamline your ramen eating experience, sporks belong in your cutlery drawer. If you are a ramen traditionalist and chopsticks are a must, get the best of both worlds with the GSI Outdoors Kung Foon spork and chopstick combination.
When it comes to stabbing dense food, like meat, the metal products with larger tines handle more like a conventional fork. The Light My Fire Titanium performed best at this task with the Snow Peak Titanium and the Vargo Titanium ULV following close behind.
To determine just how much liquid each product can hold, we used a syringe to fill each model's bowl with water until the surface tension broke. Unsurprisingly, the greatest volume was held by the double-ended models with a true spoon on one end. The LMF Original and Titanium models held an astounding 8.5 cc's, followed by the Vargo model with 5.75 cc's and the humangear GoBites Uno with 4.5 cc's.
The last thing you want when many miles into the backcountry is to be stranded without any reasonable way to cook your food and shovel it into your mouth. While everyday use speeds up the inevitable process of entropy, the thermodynamic principle that all things undergo gradual progress towards disorder, how quickly these utensils bend, deform, or break with normal use depends on the design and the material.
The Snow Peak Titanium and Light My Fire Titanium are practically bombproof. We have testers who own models of each that are over five years old and still going strong with no signs of faltering. The Vargo Titanium ULV showed no signs of bending or other weathering throughout our rigorous testing period. The humangear GoBites Uno showed surprising brawn for its plastic construction. It felt sturdy in hand and wasn't phased by any of the thick, sticky meals we threw at it. The other plastic models, however, were prone to bending while stirring and had an insubstantial feel with use. The Light My Fire Original snapped in half early in our testing period while being used to stir breakfast potatoes. Fortunately, it was our only in-use casualty.
To make sure these products were able to stand up to even the most robust culinary experience, we purposefully set out to test their limits. Using a c-clamp, we fixed the handle to a table just up from the bowl where your hand would normally grasp the handle. With the bowl hanging off into space, we hung a water jug filled with weighted amounts of water ranging from 1 lb to 10 lbs and watched for signs of warping.
The Snow Peak, humangear, and the GSI Outdoors models held up to 10 lbs with no signs of flexing. The Sea to Summit and the Vargo showed some give with 10 lbs, but when the water jug was removed, there was no visible change. The Toaks didn't break, but the folding joint released with just 1 lb of weight. The MSR showed no lingering signs of damage, but 5 lbs caused it to bow so severely, the water jug fell off.
By combining multiple utensils into one, these products inherently act as multi-tools, but if you plan to use yours on a backpacking trip, it also needs to boost the added utility of just about every culinary gadget except the kitchen sink. We used each of the competitors to prepare and cook multiple meals with a backpacking stove to evaluate their ability to spread, slice, and stir.
The back of the bowl works great to spread things like nut butter, and all of the models did well at this task. The serrated edge of LMF Titanium is there to help when basic slicing is required. Most testers felt they could achieve the same slicing power by using the thin wall of the bowl of the metal products like the Vargo Titanium ULV, the Snow Peak Titanium, and the Sea to Summit AlphaLight. The thicker metal and plastic models, however, caused our block of cheddar cheese to crumble and was not useful when trying to cut sausages.
Stirring may sound like a simple task, but the depth of the pot plays a considerable role. Your typical silverware, as well as the majority of these products, measure 6.5" from tip to tines. This length is perfect for eating but leaves your fingers barely above the surface when stirring a pot of soup. Fortunately, none of the handles became hot with normal use, but try to reach the bottom of a dehydrated food bag or a JetBoil stove, and you can forget about keeping your fingers out of the meal. This is the unfortunate case for all of our competitors, save the GSI Kung Foon, Sea to Summit AlphaLight - Long, and MSR Folding models. Our favorite of these three is, by far, the Sea to Summit model. Its 8.5" profile provides just the right amount of bonus length to make it eclipse the standard models in this category. It's more stable than the Kung Foon and MSR models when stirring thick food, too. It also features an angled bowl that is deliberately designed to facilitate scooping and stirring. The Sea to Summit does sacrifice some comfort for its practicality, but if it's going to be your "everything" utensil on a backpacking trip and you plan to live on dehydrated food bags, its functionality makes it worth it.
Sauteed veggies with eggs is a fundamental camp meal - just poke your head around the Yosemite Search and Rescue camp, and you'll discover that this team is fueled by almost nothing else. While all of these products were successful at sauteing, we want to note a few caveats. First off, the thin plastic models, such as the Light My Fire Original and the MSR Folding, are prone to melting after many uses. No significant deformity occurred during our formal testing period, but the edge of the bowl that touches the pan became blunted from the repeated contact with the hot pan. And we have, in the past, collectively melted more than a few plastic sporks while cooking. Second, if you're planning to use a non-stick pan, beware! Most of the models we tested scratched our GSI Pinnacle Frypan's Teflon coating. The Bambu Large and the Light My Fire Original spared the non-stick surface, but other models left notable scratches. The GSI Outdoors Kung Foon consists of extra-thick stainless steel, so expect some deep gouges if you let this product scrape a non-stick surface.
Cleaning options are limited when you are on-the-go, so we tested each product to determine how involved the cleaning process needed to be to keep it looking spick and span.
While not the most hygienic, the simplest means of removing food from your utensil is to wipe it clean. This action can be accomplished in a variety of ways depending on your standards. Thus to accommodate even the dirtiest of dirtbags, we investigated each model's ability to be wiped clean by mouth and with a dry towel. Eggs and other proteins stuck a little more to the plastic and bamboo models, but the titanium versions looked shiny and new after a thorough wiping. It's a useful technique, even in the front-country, when you want to toss it in your bag before returning to work. It keeps your bag clean and lets you wait to do the heavy cleaning once you're back at home. All of the models we tested are dishwasher safe except the Sea to Summit AlphaLight and the Bambu.
Dried sticky food can be a challenge to remove. We made up a pot of mac and cheese, dipped each product into the sauce, and let them sit out until the sauce formed a crust. We then set out to rinse them first with cold running water and no additional tools other than our fingers. The Snow Peak, the Vargo, the humangear, and the Sea to Summit were the easiest to get clean. The two folding models from Toaks and MSR required the addition of a sponge to get the folding joints free of gunk. The spork portion of the GSI Outdoor Kung Foon was quick and easy, but the chopsticks have tiny holes on the backend which were almost impossible to clean out entirely and required an unfolded paperclip. The Bambu Large was noticeably tougher to clean as it aged, and the material appeared to become more porous.
Whether you are eating a summit snack at 10,000 ft. or leftovers in the office breakroom, a spork is your ideal on-the-go utensil. The versatile design of a spoon-fork hybrid maximizes eating efficiency, and the lightweight material makes them great for travel. Everyone's got to eat, and this technical piece of cutlery is an essential part of every adventurer's mealtime kit. No longer the nerdy climber's utensil, the awakening in eco-consciousness has enabled people to see the value in carry-your-own-cutlery. From big walls to picnic dates, these tools keep you fed and save your fingers for the more important things, like hand jams and puff paint.
— Leslie Yedor and Sara James