Kelly Kettle

Boiling point

Anglers are pioneers of kit: they love it, and spend endless hours thinking about it. Their kit must be lightweight, strong and dependable. Anglers enjoy designing and making their own kit too; if you've ever had a conversation with a fly fisherman about how he ties his flies, you'll know this to be true.

The Kelly kettle is a remarkably simple, yet extremely effective way to boil water, just about anywhere on the planet. The Kelly kettle was invented in 1890 by the angler, Patrick Kelly. He lived on his small family farm on the shores of Lough Conn, County Mayo, in Ireland, and spent most of his time outdoors, which meant he wanted to be able to make himself a cup of tea in all weathers.

After some tinkering in his garden shed one winter, he produced his prototype kettle using tin. This version worked well, but soon burnt out. So next, he made one in copper, which was much more durable.

The original kettle started to attract attention from other anglers who wanted one, and slowly, the production of the kettle became the family business, which is still run today by his great grandsons, Patrick and Seamus Kelly. After some significant investment, the kettles are now produced in greater numbers and made from stainless steel. They are exported all around the world to thankful anglers, trekkers, campers, and anyone who fancies a cup of tea outdoors.

The kettle has a double walled chimney, creating a cavity for the water. The fire base can be filled with twigs and leaves and ignited. This base has two holes through which the chimney sucks the air through the kettle. This fans the flames and draws the heat upwards, quickly raising the temperature of the water. The Obsessive's trekking version heated 0.57L of water in under three minutes, it's astonishingly quick.

Despite the Kelly kettle being 126 years old, the original design hasn't been beaten. Similarly, and you still can't beat a fresh cup of tea in the great outdoors.
















Category: Outdoors Kit

Country of Origin : Ireland

Designer: Patrick Kelly (1890)


Type: Kettle

Year: 1890 to date

Why: Simple, effective and dependable  design.


Photography: Jonathan West

Location: Donnington Barn