BCB Crusader II Mug Review

BCB Crusader II Mug Review

The BCB Crusader II Mug in use on a canoe trip in Canada.
The BCB Crusader II Mug in use on a canoe trip in Canada. Photo: Paul Kirtley

Here’s my thoughts on the BCB Crusader II mug. It’s made of hard anodised aluminium and weighs significantly less than the Crusader Cup Canteen.

I don’t post a lot of gear reviews but a metal mug is one of my key items of personal kit. In my view, being able to boil water is an important function of your core outdoor equipment.

Also, I’m always looking for weight savings or performance improvements from my core wilderness and outdoor living kit.

So, I was interested to try the mark II mug to see how it compared to the classic stainless steel Crusader mug I’ve used for years, particularly in terms of durability.

In the video below, I round up my experience of using the mug based on a year or so of outdoor, camping and wilderness travel usage…

Related Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog:

Six Men, Three Boats And The Bloodvein River

Essential Wilderness Equipment – 7 Items I Never Leave Home Without

Lightening The Load Pt 1 – Tarp And Bivvy Sleep Systems

22 thoughts on “BCB Crusader II Mug Review

  1. Paul,

    Great review with the right thougts in mind. Test it for a period and give your honest opinion.
    Out of the box reviews can only be 50% legit at most.

  2. Thanks for another great and informative video Paul.

  3. Yep have one myself and its pretty bombproof.
    I got mine with the case as well which all works.
    Thanks for the review.

  4. I love the idea (and the expression) of a brew kit and wondered exactly what you carry in yours.
    The mug looks great and I appreciate the integrity of your processes. As a new listener I enjoyed your podcast with Sarita Robinson, and I will reread Viktor Frankl’s excellent book: Man’s Search For Meaning. In appreciation, Stephanie

  5. Hi Paul thank you for the review, I do not have the Mk 2 at moment hopefully will get one at sometime but till I do I will still use my old ss version I have also got a stainless lid for mine, do you know if BCB will be making a lid for the Mk 2 ?

    1. Hi Ian,
      I have a ‘heavy cover’ stainless lid which I bought for my Mk1 mug, and it fits the crusader Mk 2 well.
      The weight difference between the lid and the Mk2 mug is now very apparent. It would be great if an aluminium lid was available. I might make one myself next Winter.

      1. Hi,
        There are aluminium lids for Mk1 and Mk2 Crusader mugs available on eBay at present (Feb 2016). I have bought a couple for my Mk1 and found them very good. I also have a stainless “heavy” lid that is a bit too heavy imho – I’ve not carried it regularly if I’m backpacking any distance but have then suffered the disadvantages of smoky water. The aluminium ones are a good alternative and worth making an offer on – I got a couple for £7 each.
        I do NOT have any connection with the maker – just a satisfied customer
        All the best,

  6. Paul,

    what are the dimentions of the pouch you use? it looks really useful, but after looking around they are rather costly!

  7. Hi Paul,

    Great review, hope I’m not reading between the lines, but you seem some what tepid on this cup. I’ll stick with my M1 for now, but who knows. (-:

  8. Heh, I use a 900mL Evernew (EA252) for three-season, and Open Country 2L for winter. Been considering downsizing to about 475 mL mug instead of 900 mL though since the Evernew is good enough for soups and cooking meals for two. Also considering picking up 4L pot from Open Country for melting water for two people.

    The wilderness trappers in my area of Canada use beer cans as pots though. Either normal Molson’s, Kokanee or they get a brand known to sell chuggers like Lucky or Foster. Definitely lighter than anything I see on the hiking market (except for cottage industry), but I am still skeptical of the BPA linings used in those cans.

  9. Hi Paul,

    Thanks for the info, I’ve also used the stainless mug for years but would consider the upgrade the next time i’m looking at a longer trip and want to save weight. I’ve yet to try a hard anodized pot, i remember getting the stainless mug when it had a black treatment painted on it which burned off the first I sterilized the mug in a fire. I think technology has moved on now though…
    Brilliant concise video as usual Paul, visually looking very professional. Are you using a filter when filming or was it naturally good lighting? I’m looking at making a short mini doc and any tips would be grand.

    Thanks again

  10. Hi Paul
    Great review thank you. I particularly found he use of the complete brew kit ystem useful.What was the pouch again?
    Keep up the good work 🙂

  11. Hi Paul,
    Thanks for your review. Your advice has helped me many times on the way to becoming a better camper. It is good to know how to lighten my kit weight. I will get one and try it out. Please keep writing! I hope to read lots more!
    All the best,

  12. Have to say I still like the stainless steel version, tried both for at least 6 months and like the mark 1 for having a lip to drink safely not to hot and the stainless steel to me at least is easy to clean with any material and therefore a little more hygienic. At least i know it good used one since they came out.

  13. hi Paul,
    That is one big mug of coffee. I like your review and I understand that it is 100 grams lighter. but I will stick with the original crusader mug as I think it is bomb proof.

  14. Hi Paul,
    very informative video.
    I have the standard one BCB steel mug and it works very well but carrying it on the belt sometimes it is heavy so the new lighter version would be welcome.
    Also for me is important to search items to ligheten the weight on my person when hiking so I think
    I’ll purchase it as soon as possible.

    Warm regards

  15. Hi, Paul!
    I have 3 questions:
    1. Does the mug fit over the old US american 1 quart / 1 liter plastic bottle and the Nagelne in military form too? And so tight, that i get it together in its bag?
    2. Does the filled mug and its handle survive, if you stand it directly on the amber of oak or beech?
    3. Do you use the socks in the foto for water filtration or as tee bags?

  16. Hi Paul,

    If you were looking to buy a first one now, based your experience to date, would you go with the old stainless steel one or the new aluminium one?


  17. Hi, Paul,

    I watched your video with interest and duly bought the Mark II cup. Although the increased size will be useful and the material seems as strong as, and lighter than the stainless steel Mark I cup, I do not like the indented base to the cup. For drinks, it’ll be fine but quite often I make porridge in my cup and trying to get the remnants of the gummy, oaty residue out is going to be a bit of a trial; the stainless Mark I version has a flat bottom to it, making it that bit easier to use.

    So, although a worthy addition to the collection, I reckon the s/s one will remain the Crusader of choice for many years to come. Unless, of course, they produce a titanium one with decent volume measurements on the inside of the cup…

    Best wishes,

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