The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS is made for backpackers who want their pot to heat food and liquids with speed and efficiency. We were particularly impressed with the cooking capability of the heat exchanger-equipped pot. Besides the incredibly efficient main pot, this set includes two insulated bowls, two smaller bowls, two lids, two sporks, a pot strainer lid, and a carrying case that doubles as a wash tub. These dishes and utensils sandwich together inside the main pot with enough room left over for a stove, a fuel canister, and even some food. Considering all that it includes, the overall package is relatively lightweight and compact. This set is easy to use and versatile – especially for two people – earning our nod as the best cookware set for backpackers.Editor's Note: This review for the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS was added to our lineup on November 10, 2022.
Cons: No frying pan, not ideal for larger groups
Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
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GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS
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|Pros||Super fast water boiling, very nonstick, dishes and silverware for two, mindfully designed||Durable, excellent frying pan for discerning cooks, great lid, great value for the set||Environmental and health-friendly ceramic construction, lightweight and versatile overall construction||Super durable, simple design, inexpensive, great for meats, fast boiling time||Light, simple, just the right set of features|
|Cons||No frying pan, not ideal for larger groups||Heavy, no non-stick coating||Fragile coating and pots dent easily, no features beyond two basic pots||Limited cooking options, hot spots while cooking||Not suitable for sophisticated cooking|
|Bottom Line||A top-tier backpacking set that heats efficiently and offers enough room for a stove and a fuel canister to fit inside||A high value camping set, optimized for performance and compact carry, at a high weight||For gourmet and health-conscious campers, this set will form the foundation or three to four campers||A super durable stainless steel cook set designed for the solo traveller||A simple pot and basic accessories for ultralight backpacking|
|Rating Categories||GSI Outdoors Pinnac...||Stanley Adventure B...||MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set||GSI Outdoors Glacie...||MSR Trail Mini Duo|
|Cooking Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||GSI Outdoors Pinnac...||Stanley Adventure B...||MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set||GSI Outdoors Glacie...||MSR Trail Mini Duo|
|Measured Weight||1.4 lbs||4.8 lbs||1 lbs||1.0 lbs||0.7 lbs|
|Material||Hard-anodized Aluminum w/Non-Stick Coating||Stainless Steel; pot and pan bottoms have additional layers||Hard-anodized Aluminum||Stainless Steel||Hard-anodized Aluminum|
|Components||1.8 L Pot, Strainer Lid, 2 20 fl. oz. Mugs w/ Insulated Sleeves, 2 20 fl. oz. Bowls, 2 Sip-It Tops, 2 Folding Foons, Welded Sink||3.5L pot, vented lid, 7" 3ply frying pan, cutting board, spatula with extending handle, serving spoon with extending handle, ⁴ 6in plates, ⁴ 22oz bowls, ⁴ sporks, dish drying rack, heat resistant trivet, locking bungee||2L pot, 1.5L pot, strainer lid, 2 plates, 2 mugs, handle||1L pot, 1 folding handle frypan, bowl, 1 cup, 1 stuff sack||1.2L pot, 28 oz. bowl, lid, pot lifter, stuff sack|
|Avg Boil Time (mins)||1.3||4.12||3.58||3.05||4.02|
|3L Pot? (>2.4L)||0||1||0||0||0|
|2L Pot? (1.5-2.4L)||1||0||1||0||0|
|1L Pot? (.5-1.4L)||0||0||0||1||1|
|Frying Pan Lid?||N/a||No||N/a||No||N/a|
|Packed Size||5.9 x 6.4 x 5.9 in||11 x 6 x 11 in||5.3 x 7.8 in||6.7 x 6.6 x 3.5 in||5 x 5.5 in|
|Weight of Pot Closest to 1.5L (With Lid and Handle)||0.7 lbs||1.9 lbs||0.5 lbs||0.74 lbs||0.5lbs|
|Cooking Surfaces||Hard-Anodized, Non-Stick Coating||Stainless Steel||One Non-Stick Pot (1.5L), One Uncoated Pot (2.5L)||18/8 Stainless Steel||Hard Anodized|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS offers top-notch performance for backpackers, especially in groups of two. The way that it really stands out is its cooking performance. The heat exchanger helps to boil water with astonishing speed, and the non-stick coating eliminates the need for oil in most instances.
The first part of cooking performance we consider is the efficiency with which the largest pot in each set boils water. To see how evenly they distribute heat, we then cook an egg with the appropriate pot or pan of each set. The cooking performance of the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS is phenomenal. The pot is composed of hard-anodized aluminum with a non-stick coating, which heats up very quickly.
The heat exchange ring affixed to the bottom of the pot helps boil water significantly faster than models that are missing this feature. When we conducted our time trials, the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS boiled two cups of water in an incredible one minute and 20 seconds. At this rate, you can take less fuel with you on your trips. Having to carry less fuel on trips shaves weight and saves you money.
During our egg-cooking test, it was clear that the Dualist HS distributed the heat from the stove flame evenly. The performance was astonishing – we cooked a scrambled egg in 55 seconds.
With a 1.8-liter capacity, the Dualist HS pot is plenty big enough to cook full meals for two people. Even with larger groups, this pot is large enough to cook a side dish for four. The scratch-resistant PFOA-free Teflon non-stick coating performs as though you're cooking with butter. But make sure to keep those metal utensils and sharp knives away from this pot if you want that performance to last.
Since 1985, GSI Outdoors has been creating top-tier cookware geared toward outdoor use. Over the decades, they've come up with several innovative products that are designed to be as lightweight and compact as possible while still offering the performance of larger, more cumbersome products. The Dualist HS camping cookware set is a perfect example of their ingenuity and experience.
The Dualist HS set includes the main pot, a lid with a pour spout and a strainer, two bowls, two insulated "mugs," two lids for those mugs, and two sporks. The pot handle is also the latch that keeps everything together. We appreciate that the spring-loaded latch is very secure because it allows you to tie the whole set to the outside of a pack. Several other models with a similar design have handles that don't latch shut, so you'll have to get creative if you want to tie them up.
The Dualist HS also includes a carry bag that is constructed of welded rubber so that it can hold water. This feature is useful for transporting water from the source to camp and also for washing dishes. The whole package has extra room inside, and with some thoughtful stacking, it's possible to fit a stove, a fuel canister, and even a pre-mix meal inside.
Durability is an important factor to consider. Generally speaking, the lighter a cookware set is, the less durable it is. The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS is not the most durable set of camping cookware we've gotten our hands on. But keep in mind that we are also comparing this super lightweight version to heavier-duty, base-camping cookware sets.
The pot is made of aluminum, which isn't as strong as stainless steel or titanium. You'd have to really try hard to bend it, but the difference in material strength is worth mentioning nonetheless. But the handle and hinge are made of stainless steel, so no worries there. The main weakness of this set is the dishes. The bowls are all plastic, and there's no way around the fact that plastic simply isn't as strong or long-lasting as metal.
Depending on the type of camping you're going to be doing, the weight of a set may or may not be as important to you. If you have a vehicle, an animal, or a boat carrying your gear for you, it doesn't really matter how much a cookware set weighs. But if you're backpacking, every ounce counts. Considering the size of the Dualist HS and everything the set includes, its overall weight is very reasonable.
The Dualist HS is much lighter than any base camping cookware set we've seen, with the complete set weighing only 1.4 pounds. In order to normalize our comparison process by eliminating additional pots, pans, and dishes, we also weighed each set's largest pot, handle, and lid on its own. The Dualist HS pot is in the middle of the pack, weighing 0.7 pounds.
Ease of Use
The GST Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS set is one of the easiest to use of any cookware set we've tested. The handle action is simple – you give it a light squeeze, and it unlocks the shackle. Once it's free, it locks into place when fully extended. To close it, you simply reverse the process, and it locks the set shut inside the pot.
The heat exchanger adds a bit of weight to the bottom of the pot, but this helps to balance it in place on top of infamously unstable backpacking stoves. The dishes, lids, and sporks are simple and intuitive.
Camping cookware sets can range from a single pot designed for one person to boil water to massive sets that would suffice for a large base camp. Considering that this is a super-compact backpacking set, it has most of the things you'll need to prepare and consume a simple meal for two. We appreciate the strainer on the lid, the folding sporks, and the wash basin that helps make cleanup much simpler than trying to do dishes in the pot on its own.
Compared to base camping sets, the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS falls a bit short in the features department. While this backpacking set focuses on efficiency, the larger, more complete sets include dishes for several people, multiple pots, and frying pans.
Should You Buy the GIS Pinnacle Dualist HS?
The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS is at the top of our list for backpacking cookware sets. The heat exchanger ring on the pot offers incredible cooking performance and also conserves fuel. The handle and latch are super-solid, and the wash tub is very useful for cleanup. The dishes and sporks stack together nicely, with enough room left for a stove, a fuel canister, and even a meal. The whole set is easy to use and easy to clean. Although it falls short in terms of durability and extra features, if these are concerns for you, consider a base camping set. But it's tough to imagine a better-made set for backpacking duos.
What Other Camping Cookware Should You Consider?
Backpacking cookware sets are generally not the most affordable piece of gear. But if you're cooking for one and you don't mind sacrificing a bit of performance, the GSI Outdoors Glacier 1-Person set costs substantially less. If you're looking for a two-person set but aren't a fan of non-stick coatings, check out the MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set – just be aware that this set does not include dishes or silverware. When it comes to base camping, our top recommendation is the GSI Pinnacle Camper. This set includes most of the things that a group of four will need to cook and eat a large meal.
— Ross Patton
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