Bring the fun of fruit smoothies and other blended treats with you on your next off-the-grid camping trip with the Vortex hand-crank blender by GSI Outdoors. This blending beast will quickly whip up your next frozen snack, and it won’t add a cent to your electric bill. Plus, you get some exercise in the process.
The Vortex has a two-speed gear system, which allows for a low speed and high speed blending settings. Switching gears on the Vortex is simple. Just move the crank handle from one gear socket to the other. This simple design means less moving parts and thus less parts to wear down – resulting in a longer lasting device. The pitcher is capable of holding up to 1.5L and has a locking lid which has a pour-through spout cap. It also doubles as a shot glass. These are all made of BPA free resin. The ruggedized base is made up of stainless steel and rubberized feet. The base is wide, and when combined with the included metal C-clamp and then attached to a table, it creates a very stable setup for your blending fun.
When in travel mode, the Vortex base is stored completely inside of the resin pitcher with the lid on top, sealing it in. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough room for the rubberized crank handle to be stored inside the pitcher with the base. This is where it would have been nice to include a carrying case to keep the parts together as well as keep them better protected.
Besides testing it at home, I was able to bring it along on a two-week camping trip, where I tested the Vortex on multiple occasions. I found the Vortex to be very capable of quickly blending various frozen and non-frozen ingredients, including frozen berries, frozen bananas, ice cream, chocolate bits, yogurt, and even whole ice cubes.
I did encounter a couple small issues during my testing of the Vortex. The plastic faceplate slightly detached while I was blending up a fruit smoothie. I think I may have been in the wrong gear and could have been applying too much pressure, which stressed the gearbox housing. Causing the plastic faceplate to slightly deform enough to pop itself loose a little bit. I was able to easily snap it back in place and continue blending my treat in the other gear. The other small issue I experienced while using the Vortex was that the seal between the pitcher and the base seemed to leak slightly after a short time of use. It never leaked very much unless you used it for an extended amount of time. It didn’t seem like a big deal since not much came out.
In the end, I think the Vortex hand crank blender by GSI Outdoors is a very practical and efficient use-of-hand crank technology. It seems designed quite well, and it performs all its functions as stated. I definitely recommend it for anyone wanting to make blended tasty treats while at home or while camping, without the need for any electricity to do so.
Made in China
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