One of the great joys of living in a van is being able to park your kitchen with any view you want. New scenery, new countries, and new culinary delights all await outside your sliding door.
But what if you want to take the kitchen outside of the van? What if you want to take your evening meal down to the beach, or the woods, or even just on your doorstep?
Introducing the EatOut, from the folks at iKamper who brought you the SkyCamp Roof Tent.
Inside this tiny little box is everything you’ll need to cook a dinner for you and your friends: a storage compartment for your food, a two ring gas burner, and a table big enough for you and three of your mates. The only thing they don’t supply is the beer. And the camping chairs.
They offer a choice of two models: the Expedition, containing a 50.8L (13.4 gallon) storage area, and the Excursion, with a smaller though respectable 37L (9.8 gallon) of space. Their website only gives the dimensions for one of the EatOut models folded up, which we can only assume is the larger of the two, measuring in at a teeny 37cm (14.5”) x 43cm (16.9”), roughly the size of your hand luggage at the airport and easily squeezable into a corner of your campervan.
The box itself is made of powder-coated aluminium, which currently comes in 9 funky colours, each with a different flavour of 1950’s glamping; we particularly liked the bold red and bright yellow. The table is made of furniture-grade birch plywood, UV-coated and oiled for protection, and once fully extended the entire unit unfolds to an impressive 151cm (59.4”) long and 38cm (14.9”) wide, with a shin-high table (35cm / 13.7”) that nonetheless appears to be adequately sized for most camping expeditions and beach barbecues. Although we can’t help but wonder if its somewhat miniature height may cause problems for the taller individual.
The two ring gas burner takes standard butane gas canisters, which presumably slot in underneath. It boasts a high quality, powerful, one-touch ignition much like your cooker at home, which means no more fumbling around with matches or asking which one of your mates has got a lighter. It even comes with a stainless steel wind guard, which will not only protect your culinary masterpiece from the elements, but will also help save on gas when cooking outdoors.
Best of all you don’t even have to carry it down to the beach; it comes with rubber wheels and a telescopic aluminium handle so you can roll it along like a suitcase, and weighs in at an airy 9kg (19.8lb).
So now we’ve talked about the EatOut, let’s talk extras.
For an additional $139 (currently at the time of writing available for a discounted $119 on Kickstarter) you can purchase the Smart & Tough LED Lantern, which seems so durable and technologically advanced it makes us wonder why it’s only available as an extra- surely iKamper could sell this bit of kit as a standalone item?
It’s waterproof, dust-proof, and quite possibly apocalypse- and bomb-proof too, although this is yet to be tested. Its brightness and colour can be controlled by a handy iPhone app (although we’re not sure if this means you may be left cooking in the dark if you’re out camping and your phone dies). It can be attached to metal surfaces with the magnet on its back, or hung and angled from a hook on iKamper’s lightweight telescopic stand, available for an additional $29.
Then there’s the mesh kitchen utensil rack, which affixes to the lid of the EatOut and will set you back an extra $29, which can hold six of your everyday kitchen utensils (not included). Finally, there’s the iKamper soft cooler bag, available for an additional fee of $59, which fits snugly inside the EatOut’s main storage area and will keep your burgers and beers cool. By the look of their Kickstarter page, it’s also waterproof, as ice can be added to it for additional chill factor.
So how much will the EatOut set you back by?
While the RRP comes in at $399, it’s currently available for pre-order at $249. They ship worldwide, but at a hefty price ranging from between $110 – $490 depending on the country, which may not be viable as it’s almost as much as the cost of the EatOut and all its accessories put together. Free delivery is available to the US and Canada, but for the UK you’ll have to enquire via their website.
iKamper are currently in the manufacturing stage of the project, and anticipate to begin shipping from June 2018. After gaining support and having raised $145,518 by 528 backers on Kickstarter, it’s clear to see this product fills a niche, and while we may have seen similar items for sale on Amazon, none of them seem to have the same style and flair as this retro-inspired outdoor kitchen. And none, it seems, are quite as compact.
At the moment the fold-away outdoor kitchen is somewhat of a novelty, but once these start rolling off the shelves, the bar for outdoor cooking will surely be set high.