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MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set Review

This lays the foundation for gourmet and health-conscious campers seeking a lightweight cookware set with exceptional non-stick performance
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MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set Review (The MSR Fusion Ceramic set is the perfect companion for health-conscious backpackers.)
The MSR Fusion Ceramic set is the perfect companion for health-conscious backpackers.
Credit: Trish Matheny
Price:  $85 List
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Manufacturer:   MSR
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jan 2, 2024
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 19
  • Cooking Performance - 35% 8.0
  • Features - 15% 3.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 9.0
  • Durability - 15% 6.0
  • Packability - 10% 8.0
  • Weight - 10% 9.2

Our Verdict

The MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set stands out for its health-conscious design and lightweight construction. It is the perfect set for the food fanatic who likes to plan menus weeks in advance to cook fresh meals while camping. This set contains two pots that easily nest together and includes a simple pair of plier-like potholders. The ceramic material is a welcomed alternative to Teflon, and this set is still lightweight and versatile. The incredible non-stick ceramic coating makes gourmet cooking a real possibility, whether thru-hiking on the trail or cooking on your tailgate. The simplicity of this set lets you pair it with other utensils and accessories that increase functionality and customize performance. Check out our camping cookware review to see how the Fusion Ceramic set stacks up against other top options.
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent non-stick performance
Environmental and health-friendly ceramic construction
Lightweight
Versatile
Great kit for two
REASONS TO AVOID
Fragile coating and aluminum construction
Minimal features
Expensive
Editor's Note: We added the MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set to our lineup on December 31, 2023.

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Bottom Line The lightweight ceramic construction of these pots offers a healthy alternative to Teflon-coated optionsA solid option for folks in the market for an efficient backpacking cookware set for two peopleA wonderful stainless-steel set for the value-oriented car camperHeavy-duty cast iron prioritizes cooking performance, offering a gourmet cooking experience whether at home or on the roadA high value stainless steel solo cook set intended for the backpacker
Rating Categories MSR Fusion Ceramic... GSI Outdoors Pinnac... Stanley Adventure B... Lodge 3.2 Quart Cas... GSI Outdoors Glacie...
Cooking Performance (35%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
4.0
Features (15%)
3.0
6.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
Ease of Use (15%)
9.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
8.0
Durability (15%)
6.0
6.0
8.0
10.0
9.0
Packability (10%)
8.0
7.0
4.0
5.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
9.2
9.0
7.5
4.0
9.2
Specs MSR Fusion Ceramic... GSI Outdoors Pinnac... Stanley Adventure B... Lodge 3.2 Quart Cas... GSI Outdoors Glacie...
Measured Weight 1.0 lbs 1.4 lbs 4.8 lbs 12.3 lbs 1.0 lbs
Material Hard-anodized aluminum w/ ceramic coating Hard-anodized aluminum w/non-stick coating Stainless steel (pot and pan bottoms have additional layers) Cast iron Stainless steel
Components 1.5 L pot, 2.5 L pot, ¹ lid, removable handle 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 sporks, welded sink 3.5 L pot, vented lid, 7" 3-Ply frying pan, cutting board, ¹ spatula with extending handle, ¹ serving spoon with extending handle, ⁴ 6 in plates, ⁴ 22 oz bowls, ⁴ sporks, dish drying rack, heat resistant trivet, locking bungee 3.2 qt Dutch oven, 10" frypan/lid 1 L pot, ¹ folding handle frying pan, ¹ bowl, ¹ cup, stuff sack
Avg Boil Time (seconds) 215 78 252 270 236
3 L Pot? (>2.4L) 1 0 1 0 0
2 L Pot? (1.5-2.4L) 1 1 0 0 0
1 L Pot? (0.5-1.4L) 0 0 0 0 1
Frying Pan? 0 0 1 2 1
Frying Pan Lid? No N/A No Yes No
Packed Size 7.7 x 5 in 5.9 x 6.4 x 5.9 in 11 x 6 x 11 in 16.5 x 10.38 x 4.63 in 6.7 x 6.6 x 3.5 in
Weight of Pot Closest to 1.5 L (With Lid and Handle) 0.5 lbs 0.7 lbs 1.9 lbs 5.9 lbs 0.74 lbs
Cooking Surfaces Ceramic nonstick Hard-Anodized, non-stick coating Stainless steel Cast iron 18/8 stainless steel

Our Analysis and Test Results

MSR expertly combines a state-of-the-art ceramic coating – only recently receiving extensive use in regular kitchens – with technology that is specific for backcountry use. This Fusion technology is PFOA and PFTE-free and designed to increase overall durability. The cookware set includes two pots, one vented lid, and a handle that is shared between the two. Each component easily nests within the larger pot and is secured by the handle, thereby creating one contained package without any need for a separate bag. The result is an award-winning product that is tailor-made for the discerning, health-conscious backcountry chef.

Performance Comparison


msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set - though this unique ceramic cookware set is designed with the...
Though this unique ceramic cookware set is designed with the backcountry in mind, we couldn't help but take advantage of its non-stick capabilities while car camping in the Eastern Sierra.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Cooking Performance


The Fusion Ceramic Set truly stands out from the other products that we tested for this review, especially when considering overall cooking performance. For decades now, camping cookware has been made with inert steel, titanium, and anodized aluminum, or aluminum coated with Teflon and Teflon-like materials. For lightweight camp cooking, one was forced to choose between poor cooking performance or the debatable dangers of PFOA-type coatings. A few years back, ceramic coatings came to regular kitchen cookware, offering a competitive performance to rival Teflon. This is our preferred cookware set for folks looking for a more health-conscious, gourmet, backcountry cooking experience that doesn't require extensive cleanup.


These pots boil water quickly, often averaging only 3 minutes and 35 seconds for two cups of water. We also couldn't help but notice how easily the ceramic, non-stick coating allowed us to cook eggs without sticking to the bottom. We could even swirl an egg in a slight amount of coconut oil and salt before frying it to perfection. Though the Fusion Ceramic Set is not as comprehensive as others, these work-horse components form an excellent foundation to cook basically anything, from simmering sauces to browning meat. Our testing team can appreciate the performance achieved without the chemicals found in other non-stick coatings like Teflon.

The ceramic coating on these pots is easily one of the best...
The ceramic coating on these pots is easily one of the best non-stick cooking surfaces we've ever tested.
The ceramic coating also offered a competitive boiling time.
The ceramic coating also offered a competitive boiling time.

Features


The Fusion Ceramic Set is a lightweight, minimalist cookware set with a very limited number of accessories and features. This high-quality cookware is meant to form the foundation of your backcountry kitchen rather than supply all of the key components to complete your meal prep and serving needs.


The set includes two pots, one vented lid, and a handle. The lid and handle easily swap between pots, and the handle can be used as a way to secure the system. For those attracted by the simplicity of this high-quality equipment, the process of selecting accompanying accessories will likely be a pleasure of its own.

msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set - this 2.5 l pot, 1.5 l pot, vented lid, versatile handle, and cloth...
This 2.5 L pot, 1.5 L pot, vented lid, versatile handle, and cloth are a great foundation for your backpacking cookware kit.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Ease of Use


The Fusion Ceramic Set is a simple collection of basic cookware with a very intuitive and easy-to-use design. Every piece is smooth, inside and out, and easily cleaned (to the best of your camping abilities.) Our testing team even appreciated the measurements on the side of the pots that allowed us to perfect our favorite backpacking meals and beverages.


To cut some weight and create their exclusive packing closure system, MSR opted to use a proprietary pot handle instead of a universal pliers-style gripper. In most ways, this is a serviceable trade-off, but some will certainly notice the limited compatibility of the MSR handle. Caveats aside, this two-pot set remains versatile and easy to use.

msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set - measurements on the interior of the pots were easy to use and helped...
Measurements on the interior of the pots were easy to use and helped our testing team customize their meals and beverages.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Durability


Over the years, we've found that the main durability issue with backcountry cookware is the integrity of the fragile non-stick coating. The Fusion Ceramic Set is uniquely equipped with a ceramic non-stick coating, a technology that places this cookware set in a league of its own. Though there is potential for the hard-anodized aluminum to be damaged, we're happy to report that we experienced no issues during our most recent testing period.


Ceramic coating is still fragile, and you can best care for these pots by limiting the use of metal utensils. But we appreciate that it doesn't present the same health concerns as damaged Teflon coatings, not to mention the fact that chips in Teflon coatings seem to increase when exposed to high heat. Though the ceramic coating won't necessarily outlast its Teflon competitors, we're grateful that MSR's proprietary Fusion technology is designed to enhance the quality and overall durability of the ceramic coating.

msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set - we recommend using the included felt cloth to limit the contact of...
We recommend using the included felt cloth to limit the contact of metal with the fragile ceramic coating on the interior of the pots to extend the life of their non-stick performance.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Packability


MSR makes innovative gear across a variety of categories. Their equipment is reliable and clever without being overly engineered. Their hallmark is gimmick-less performance, and the packability of the Fusion Ceramic Set exemplifies this approach. These two pots nest together securely and quietly, thanks to the included felt material that helps prevent any damage to the ceramic coating on the interior of the pots. The versatile and functional handle locks the system together – thanks to an indentation on the lid and the silicone tab that secures the handle in place – and doesn't require an additional storage bag.


You can also easily fit a mini-stove, lighter, fuel canister, and other items inside these voluminous pots. We even packed a small sponge and foldable utensils inside for backpacking trips. Like other cookware sets, you can easily parse the size to make it more packable inside your backpack or car camping kitchen kit.

The lid fastens securely to the top of the 2.5 L pot so no extra...
The lid fastens securely to the top of the 2.5 L pot so no extra carry bag is necessary for transport.
When lined up properly, the lid and 2.5 L pot connect for a more...
When lined up properly, the lid and 2.5 L pot connect for a more secure fit.

Weight


In any human-powered backcountry adventure, weight is perhaps the most pertinent consideration. The Fusion Ceramic Set certainly falls on the low end of the spectrum, yet doesn't sacrifice cooking performance in an effort to lighten your load.


The entire set only weighs one pound. However, you can also remove the smaller pot to further reduce the weight of this cookware set, should your plans call for a minimalist approach. Our testing team was impressed with the exceptional cooking performance of the Fusion Ceramic Set, considering that it doesn't add too much weight or take up much space in our backpacks.

msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set - the entire cookware set only weighs one pound.
The entire cookware set only weighs one pound.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Should You Buy the MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set?


The primary reason to invest in the Fusion Ceramic Set is for its exceptional, non-stick ceramic coating. In addition to its niche design and outstanding cooking performance, this set is also lightweight, featuring an intuitive design that's easy to use. This minimalist set lacks any dishes, mugs, or sporks, so be sure to factor those into your shopping if you don't already own these accessories.

msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set - the compact, lightweight design along with exceptional non-stick...
The compact, lightweight design along with exceptional non-stick performance made this cookware set a favorite of our testing team.
Credit: Trish Matheny

What Other Camping Cookware Should You Consider?


If you don't mind Teflon non-stick coating, the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS offers fantastic cooking performance and includes bowls, mugs, and sporks in a similarly-sized package to the Fusion Ceramic Set. For folks who are in the market for a cookware set that has everything included for all their needs at base camp, check out the GSI Pinnacle Camper, which features a large set of pots, pans, and dishes designed for up to four people.

msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set - if non-stick performance, easy cleanup, and packability are at the...
If non-stick performance, easy cleanup, and packability are at the top of your list, the MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set is definitely worth your consideration.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Trish Matheny