The Nomad Cooking kit by Opinel wraps every prep tool one would need into a classically styled carry kit that includes two blades, a cutting board, peeler and a cleaning cloth. This is my review.
The Nomad system consists of two blades, one serrated the other straight edged with an embedded corkscrew in the handle. There is also a smaller peeler which also folds down, a beechwood cutting board, and a microfiber towel that does double duty as a cleaning towel and packing mechanism, combined with an elastic cord. The blades weigh are 9 inches and 11 inches, and weigh 2.5 oz and 3.9 oz respectively, with the entire kit weighing about 1 lb. 2 oz. The entire kit folds up to about 5″ x 8″ x 3″, and retails for $85.
What I liked
When it comes to camping, weight, convenience and quality are all factors that come into play. The Nomad cooking set bakes those factors right in and has an attention to detail that shows in both the design and craftsmanship.
Starting with the overall design and packability; The two folding knives along with the peeler all fold down and tuck into the cleaning cloth, which in turn wraps around the beechwood cutting block. A quick and easy to use elastic loop secures it all in place, leaving it in a small form factor that can be tucked away in basically any pack. The microfiber cleaning cloth even has a guide embedded into the fibers, showing exactly where every tool should go, removing any guesswork from the process. It is fast, easy, and actually quite satisfying to pack it down or unroll it, with the colors, materials and logos making it a rather interesting show piece as well.
The construction is quite good, despite the light weight. The handles and blades alike both feel sturdy in the hand with a nice grip and consistent handling. The metal is all stainless steel and sharped to near perfection with edges that cut effortlessly, yet are shaped in a way that re-sharpening them later on is still viable. The blades do lock in place with a twist of the Virobloc safety rings found near the tops of the handles, and these locks do a great job of both keeping the blades in place and providing a visual indication of weather they are locked or unlocked.
Actually using the tools is certainly a pleasure. Slicing and dicing are both relatively effortless thanks to the narrow, sharp blades, and the beechwood cutting block should hold up to years of use as beechwood is a relatively hard material. The microfiber towel is great for wiping down the blades or drying them off, and all the tools, including the cloth itself, dry quickly thanks to their treated handles and synthetic fiber construction
What I didn’t like
Despite their excellent performance, I didn’t quite like the weight balance of the blades themselves. Given their exceptionally low weight, it doesn’t actually cause any challenges when cutting, but the feel isn’t quite there like in a more traditional blade would have. Still, the overall feel is rather nice and I’m being a little nit picky here for the sake of filling in this segment.
The Nomad system isn’t just a convenient kit of equipment. While I have found them to be exceptionally useful in prepping anything from a simple sandwich, to steak and eggs, one of my favorite aspects of the system is the styling itself. It has all the modern features one would want: safety locks, high quality materials, convenience, but retains a classic, earthy aesthetic that I entirely adore. Unrolling the set to unveil the internals is sure to draw attention and spark and instant conversation with anyone who appreciates a good blade, clever design, or just good cookware, and cleaning them is mostly painless. There are cheaper options out there, but for anyone who wants to add style to functionality, this is certainly attractive option to bring to the camp table.
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