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GSI Outdoors Glacier 1-Person Review

A super durable stainless steel cook set designed for the solo traveller
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $20 List | $19.95 at REI
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Pros:  Super durable, simple design, inexpensive, great for meats, fast boiling time
Cons:  Limited cooking options, hot spots while cooking
Manufacturer:   GSI Outdoors
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 11, 2020
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 16
  • Cooking Performance - 25% 4
  • Packability - 20% 7
  • Durability - 15% 9
  • Weight - 15% 9
  • Ease of Use - 15% 8
  • Features - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The GSI Stainless Steel Cook Set is designed for the solo traveler in search of reliability that'll last for many years. Constructed of stainless steel, it offers performance that'll last a lifetime. While the cooking performance is sub-par with hot spots through its thinner construction, we are still impressed by its useful features. It has one pot (1L capacity), one pan, a bowl, and a cup. The pan functions as the lid, with all parts nesting together. The volume of the pot is large enough to accommodate a small stove and fuel canister, with the option to modularize to make it even lighter. Use this solo set while on your next big backpacking adventure where weight and packability are concerns. Weighing just one pound with all its parts, you'll hardly know its there. Plus, its durable construction will keep you fueled up, whether you're tackling the longest trail of your lifetime or heading out on a quick overnight hike.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

This set offers high-value performance best suited for a single person while backpacking or camping. Its stainless steel design is bomber and built to inspire confidence on the trail. It's easy to use and best for the minimalist who only needs a pot and pan for their on-trail adventures.

Performance Comparison


A look at all the different components of this simple set for the solo camper.
A look at all the different components of this simple set for the solo camper.

Cooking Performance


The cooking performance of this pot and pan is decent but not anything outstanding. The stainless steel design is imperfect, with heat that generally sticks to one area of the pot and pan. The materials are thicker than other higher-value options, so it conducts better, but pales in comparison to Teflon or ceramic construction.


During our egg cooking test, the material actually does pretty well, so long as you use lots of oil. Without it, expect sticky eggs and a bit of a mess. For heating up water, it does wonderfully.

With oil  the stainless steel does okay with stickier foods like this. But without it  expect it to stick. Given it's thinner construction  the steel has hot spots that don't offer even cooking. That said  it's not hard to manage and one the average camper wouldn't even notice.
With oil, the stainless steel does okay with stickier foods like this. But without it, expect it to stick. Given it's thinner construction, the steel has hot spots that don't offer even cooking. That said, it's not hard to manage and one the average camper wouldn't even notice.

The average heat time sits around 3:45 min amongst all the pots, and this one can boil two cups of water in 3:01 min when our pocket rocket is set to its highest setting. Heat conducts quickly through the steel, which then offers quick transfer, which we appreciate.

Boiled water is faster with this thinner stainless steel that conducts heat well.
Boiled water is faster with this thinner stainless steel that conducts heat well.

Given the size of the pot and pan, and its cooking performance, we'd recommend it for simpler meals that you'd eat on the trail, such as oatmeal, add-water only pasta, and similar meals. It does a good job with browning meats as well, but since it has a smaller volume, you'll have a hard time fitting a ton of food inside. It's really built just for one person. You can use it for two, but budget for extra fuel as it only has a one liter water capacity.

A look at what we need to clean up after making some eggs. Not bad!
A look at what we need to clean up after making some eggs. Not bad!

Packability


Packable in its design, it's engineered for you to take all its major parts with you on any trip.


The one-pot has a one-liter capacity while the pan functions as a lid in addition to frying. The bowl that comes with it is a decent size for one person, but can easily be left at home if you prefer to just use the pot as your main bowl. Inside the pot, you can fit a small canister of fuel plus a stove the size of a pocket rocket stove. We managed to fit other items inside, like a ziplock full of salt and pepper, a lighter, soap, and a spork. The packable and durable nature of this set allows you to put it easily into any backpack.

All components nest together. You can also take parts out that you don't need to make it even more packable.
All components nest together. You can also take parts out that you don't need to make it even more packable.

The only thing it's missing is a carry sack or a means for keeping everything together, so the lid doesn't come off. We used a heavy rubber band to keep everything together.

If you take out the plate and cup  you can fit much more. Keep in mind this gas canister is the smallest you can find. But all the important stuff can fit nicely into one small package.
If you take out the plate and cup, you can fit much more. Keep in mind this gas canister is the smallest you can find. But all the important stuff can fit nicely into one small package.

Durability


This single set is durable enough to use metal utensils and is resistant to dents and damage. The 18/8 stainless steel design means its construction with 18% chromium and 8% nickel, similar to most stainless steel cookware. The use of these metals makes it especially resistant, while the presence of nickel helps to prevent corrosion of metals. With 8% nickel, you can expect it to perform for many years to come.


The handles aren't the best thing out there  but they are sturdy. The silicon on the handle offers a little protection from heat but doesn't work that well. Be sure you don't accidentally melt it.
The handles aren't the best thing out there, but they are sturdy. The silicon on the handle offers a little protection from heat but doesn't work that well. Be sure you don't accidentally melt it.

We carried this set with us on many backpacking trips, and it also took a spot in our disorganized kitchen kit while car camping. It was banged around, dropped, and smashed into the smallest part of our pack. After all of it, it still looks like new. Of the cookware options out there, this is one of the most bomber. Ceramics chip while Teflon scratches. Even though stainless steel typically doesn't have the best conducting power, which leads to sub-par cooking, it sure is durable, hence its excellent score in this category.

Don't be afraid to use metal utensils on it. It won't scratch!
Don't be afraid to use metal utensils on it. It won't scratch!

Weight


As a solo set, it is quite lightweight. Weighing only one pound, it hardly feels like you're carrying anything.


The weight of the entire set.
The weight of the entire set.

You can eliminate even more weight simply by leaving the little bowl at home and eating straight out of the pot. Other considerations for cooking include additional items you need to bring with you. Since it boils water relatively quickly, you don't need to worry about a bunch of extra fuel (unless you're cooking for more than one).

You can take out the components to make it even lighter. Here we see the individual weights of the bowl  cup  and lid (also frying pan) to help you conceptualize how to make this set even more minimalistic.
You can take out the components to make it even lighter. Here we see the individual weights of the bowl, cup, and lid (also frying pan) to help you conceptualize how to make this set even more minimalistic.

However, if you're going to be cooking sticker foods, be sure you factor in the weight to carry fat options like oil or butter to keep it non-stick. Remember, this is best for a single person, so you'll be carrying this weight for yourself. You can try to use it for two people, but volume is so little, you'll find yourself making water several times, which will eventually lead to more fuel consumption.

Ease of Use


This solo set has everything you need to cook food, boil water, and serve yourself while out exploring on the trail. While its construction features aren't the best of the best, it's sturdy and well thought out. It has everything you need and would expect from a high-value cooking set.


The pot handle and lid are simple to use. The handle of the pot is coated in a silicon material that is meant to protect from the heat it conducts from the pot to the handle itself.

A look at how the larger pot sits on a pocket rocket  minimalistic stove. It's fairly stable and just the right size.
A look at how the larger pot sits on a pocket rocket, minimalistic stove. It's fairly stable and just the right size.

While we prefer handles that clip in and out to avoid melting and these types of issues, this handle does okay. While boiling water and cooking up food, the handle got hot if the pot wasn't placed properly over the heat source. It's important to unfold the handle (to start) and make sure it's away from the flame; otherwise, the silicon can melt. Once we mastered that, we did notice that the handle got a little hot, but we could wait a minute after the heat source was off to pull it from the flame. The handle is sturdy and doesn't bow under the weight of a liter of water.

We appreciate the locking mechanism on the frying pan that makes it super stable. Especially when you're pan-frying a steak or have it loaded up with veggies.
We appreciate the locking mechanism on the frying pan that makes it super stable. Especially when you're pan-frying a steak or have it loaded up with veggies.

The pan functions as the pot top. The one issue we found with this is you can't cook with both at the same time if you need a lid for the pot. When using it as a frying pan, it's relatively small, so again, it's best for one person. We appreciate the fold-away handle that has a locking mechanism. Make sure to use this; otherwise, the handle gets flimsy under the weight of food inside the pan. Once it's locked, it's bomber and isn't going anywhere.

The pan functions as the lid as well. Just be sure to flip out the handles before you start cooking or boiling water  or they'll get really hot  as we discovered.
The pan functions as the lid as well. Just be sure to flip out the handles before you start cooking or boiling water, or they'll get really hot, as we discovered.

If cooking sticky foods, we found the material harder to clean than Teflon or Ceramic, so make sure you stash a little scrubby with you. Since it's stainless steel, you can easily clean it with abrasive materials like sand or steel wool. We appreciated this while on the trail, adding to its remarkable versatility and durability.

Be sure to keep the handles out the heat source to add melting the Silicon on the handles. We didn't have a problem with this.
Be sure to keep the handles out the heat source to add melting the Silicon on the handles. We didn't have a problem with this.

Features


This set is pretty featureless. It does come with a small, personal-sized dish and cup. The cup is a simple plastic composite and does well for hot drinks. Since the dish is also made out of stainless steel, we didn't like to put super hot materials in it (like soup) as it conducts heat and is hard to hold. Typically we omitted this on the trail anyway and used the pot or pan itself as a food holder. For car camping, it's not ideal, as it's far from a full kitchen. But if you're traveling as a minimalist, it'll work in a pinch to make hot water for coffee or a small meal of veggies and meat.


A look at the whole set with everything inside.
A look at the whole set with everything inside.

Value


This set is ultra-durable at a really low price. Of all the stainless steel sets, it offers the best functionality, making it our favorite value option for the solo traveler. Keep in mind, this set is intended for solo use. There are larger sets out there for 2-4 people; be sure to check them out if you need a high-value cooking set for many people.

This set is designed for those who are going light. Here Joanna gets ready to hit a high peak in mid-summer. With her  she carries a lightweight camp cookware set-up that doesn't weigh more or take up much space.
This set is designed for those who are going light. Here Joanna gets ready to hit a high peak in mid-summer. With her, she carries a lightweight camp cookware set-up that doesn't weigh more or take up much space.

Conclusion


The GSI Stainless Steel Cookset is designed for one person. It stands out as one of the most durable options out there with useful features that are utilitarian and thoughtful. While cooking performance isn't top-notch, it performs as intended. If you're simply boiling water and prefer the versatility of using a pot and a pan, this is a wonderful option at a great price.

Enjoy this best buy award winner. It is durable and does everything you need it to while backcountry camping. Best for those with a minimal approach with less involved meals. It's best for the soloist.
Enjoy this best buy award winner. It is durable and does everything you need it to while backcountry camping. Best for those with a minimal approach with less involved meals. It's best for the soloist.

Amber King