The MalloMe delivers average scores overall and attains those scores with highs and lows. It is compact, inexpensive, and feature rich. The cooking performance is quite limited, and it is too small for all but the lightest eating of camping teams. For solo travelers that cook simply and are on a budget, the MalloMe should be considered. For most campers, though, the Editors' Choice GSI Bugaboo Camper is a good kit. If you are gourmet and don't mind collecting some more individual components, the Top Pick MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set is your choice. Finally, if you are solo, or part of a light and simple eating pair, and want the absolute lightest option available, the Top Pick MSR Trail Mini Duo is the way to go.
MalloMe 10 Piece Mess Kit Review
Cons: Some features are silly, too small for more than one, two light eaters could make it work
#9 of 14
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This is an inexpensive, compact camping cook and dining set. MalloMe has equipped it with nearly everything a solo camper would ever need. Two light eaters could make it work with a few more additions. The performance and function are unsophisticated but suitable for simple meals.
Of our 14 tested cook sets, the MalloMe comes out near the middle. The cooking function is limited by small size and simple materials, while the feature set and weight scores bring the overall scoring back up.
In assessing cooking performance, we consider a few objective tests alongside subjective "real world" use. In all ways, the MalloMe is fairly mediocre in cooking performance. In the scrambled egg test, the MalloMe did better than some but poorer than the majority. The main pot of the MalloMe boiled two cups of water in 3:44, which is almost exactly average. In "normal" cooking use the primary feedback from our testing team was that the components are small. Small is good for packing but makes cooking almost anything harder.
The MalloMe frying pan is made of anodized aluminum. This is more "non-stick" than the bare metal of the MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set and the Snow Peak Titanium but doesn't cook or clean up nearly as nicely as the Teflon coated products from GSI and the ceramic treated, Top Pick MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set. Water boiled fastest in those products with heat exchanging fins on the bottom. The Editors' Choice Primus Prime Tech 2.3 was almost 20% faster than the MalloMe. The kettle of the Best Buy Winterial 11 Piece Camping Cookware set boiled water somewhat quicker than the MalloMe.
The compact size of the MalloMe increases its packability scores. The entire set, including all the accessories, fits into a bag that is just the right size. There is additional room for a small stove and lighter. If you omit some of the less useful accouterments, one can fit a fuel canister inside the main pot as well. The one packability demerit of the MalloMe is regarding rattle noise. The components knock against one another no matter how you pack it.
Only the Top Pick MSR Trail MIni Duo is more packable than the MalloMe, but it also suffers from rattle effects. The G4Free 4-Piece Cooking Set is a little bigger, but seems to pack more quietly. All of these are only suitable for one person, or maybe two light eaters. For a team of 2, the Top Pick MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set forms the foundation of an elegantly packable gourmet cooking kitchen kit.
When it comes to durability, the MalloMe set has much going for it. The anodized aluminum construction strikes a good balance of durability and weight, while the compact structure of the MalloMe and nesting pans lend support and protection from packed denting.
The only more durable stuff we tested is the entirely steel construction of the MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set and the Top Pick Stanley Adventure Series. Otherwise, the MalloMe 10 Piece set will last, overall, as well as the G4Free 4-Piece, the Best Buy Winterial 11 Piece Camping Set, the Top Pick MSR Trail Mini, and the Snow Peak Titanium. The primary durability issue with cooksets is, if they have it, the non-stick coating. Any of the Teflon coated products, including the Editors' Choice GSI Bugaboo Camper, will break down with use and time.
The MalloMe, with its compact size and aluminum construction, does pretty well in our weight scores. With integrated handles and aluminum construction, the weight of the main pot/handle/lid combo is the second lightest in our entire test. Since it is smaller than most, normalizing the weight for volume results in an average score.
Only the Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact has a lighter main pot. Regarding weight per volume, the MalloMe main pot, gripper, and lid are right in the same league as the Editors' Choice Primus PrimeTech 2.3 and the Top Pick MSR Ceramic 2 Pot Set.
Ease of Use
The MalloMe 10 piece set is nearly comprehensive, with built-in handles and anodized finish that cleans relatively easily, inside and out. The accessories are a little small and fiddly, but at least you don't need to collect these additional parts on your own.
The MalloMe is one of the most comprehensive products we tested. For even the most gourmet solo backcountry cooking all one needs to add is a pocket knife and perhaps a small cutting board. For basic pasta type meals, the MalloMe is complete. For two light eaters, the MalloMe could suffice with just one more fork or spoon.
Only the Best Buy Winterial 11 Piece Set compares, regarding the number of features. In fact, some of the accessories must be sourced from the same place. The small bowls are the same in each kit. In the MalloMe and the Winterial, the accessories are small and somewhat inconvenient. The bowls and cups, for instance, supplied with the Editors' Choice GSI Bugaboo Camper and high scoring MSR Quick 2 System are 4-5 times the size of those with the MalloMe.
The MalloMe is, first and foremost, mainly a kit for a solo camper. Only the lightest eating dining pairs will make it work. Next, the cooking performance doesn't support more sophisticated types of cooking (frying is difficult…forget about stove top baking). Despite these limitations, as a budget choice for the solo camper, the MalloMe 10 Piece Mess Kit deserves consideration.
If you cook simply, travel solo, and want a one-stop-shop for your kitchen kit, the MalloMe is likely the best product on the market. Since this is a fairly narrow niche, we didn't grant the MalloMe any awards.
For the aforementioned narrow profile of users, the MalloMe is in a class of its own and leads the pack. For most, though, another product is likely to be better. Consult our complete overview article for recommendations for a variety of users.
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Most recent review: November 23, 2017
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