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Hands-on Gear Review

MSR Quick 2 System Review

Editors' Choice Award
Price:   $100 List | $99.93 at Amazon
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Pros:  Secure handles, straining lid and lip, deep dish plates.
Cons:  Skillet not included.
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   MSR

Our Verdict

The MSR Quick 2 System was the highest performer in our review, and earned our Editors' Choice award. This set comes with just about everything you need to take you from camping at the trailhead to throwing the system in your pack and spending a few nights under the stars. This set is outfitted with a couple of amenities that our reviewers found incredibly helpful. The largest pot has a little metal lip that helps you hold the lid to the pot while straining liquids, and the deep dish plates can easily be used for more soupy meals. If you're looking for a set with more specific backpacking applications, check out our Top Pick for Backpacking, the G4Free Outdoor Camping Set, or if your budget is tight, our Best Buy winner, the Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set, does the job without breaking the bank.

Cooking for Just One?
MSR Quick Solo System
This great cook system is also available in the Quick Solo System. This cook system is perfect for the soloist looking for a one-pot cook meal. While this cook system doesn't have the deep dish style plate of the Quick 2 set, it's great for those looking to save weight or are only cooking for themselves in the backcountry.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Camping Cookware Review


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Gentrye Houghton
Senior Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Tuesday
November 24, 2015

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The MSR Quick 2 System is an eight piece set cast from hard anodized aluminum that includes a 2-liter pot with straining lid, a 1.5-liter pot, two deep dish plates that can also double as bowls, two insulated mugs with sippy tops, and an interchangeable pot handle. The entire system neatly nests into the 2-liter pot with the handle flipped over the top to secure it as a single, self-contained system. This set weighs under two pounds and measures 5.3 inches in diameter by 7.8 inches tall. While this particular set does not include a skillet, MSR does make a Quick Skillet that can be purchased separately.

Performance Comparison


Side-by-side preparing a spinach and scrambled egg breakfast with this set (bottom burner) and the Optimus Terra HE (back burner).
Side-by-side preparing a spinach and scrambled egg breakfast with this set (bottom burner) and the Optimus Terra HE (back burner).

Cooking Performance


Although you might not be browning scallops or creating fancy sauces in your camping cookware, we created tests to see how well each set performed in some basic cooking challenges. First, we did a Boil Test to see how quickly each set boiled two cups of water, and also tested the pot we most commonly use at home for comparison, which is also cast from hard anodized aluminum. This set performed similarly to the pot our reviewer uses the most often at home. Our home pot boiled in 4:10, while the MSR pot took only 12 seconds longer. The quickest pot was the Optimus Terra HE Cookset, which boiled water in just over two minutes, and the slowest was the MSR Alpine Pot Set, which took well over five minutes.


We then placed the pot of boiling water in a walk-in refrigerator to simulate cooler temperatures while around the campsite in an attempt to see what difference in temperate would happen after 10 minutes of exposure to a cool, 40-degree atmosphere. Our Best Buy winner, the Winterial Cookware Set, along with the GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper Cookset, and this cookware all lost a lot of heat (around 70 degrees F), while our home pot lost 60 degrees F.

Bacon is a camping staple for our reviewer  and we made sure to cook up a little in each of the eight cookware sets we tested.
Bacon is a camping staple for our reviewer, and we made sure to cook up a little in each of the eight cookware sets we tested.

Lastly, our reviewers wanted to know how evenly this cookware conducts heat, and what better way to figure that out then to perform a fickle Scrambled Egg Test. During this test, we beat an egg and scrambled it in each of the sets of cookware we tested. While our reviewers were pleased with the results with this cookware during the boil test, they were even more pleased with the results from the Scrambled Egg Test. This set cooks eggs very evenly, and also kept sticking to a minimum. During this test, one of our reviewers noted, "Clean up is going to be a breeze!"

As you can see here  this cookware conducts heat evenly without creating hot spots which burn food while cooking.
Because this cookware conducts heat evenly  it also keeps sticking to a minimum. Cleaning up after our scrambled egg test was easy.
 

All that being said, we also cooked down spinach in these pots, fried bacon to accompany our scrambled eggs, and also made pizza toppings. Plus, straining water for pasta dishes is easy with the slotted lid and it stays secure with the added lip to the 2-liter pot.

Weight


This set weighs in at 1.7 pounds, which is slightly heavier than the MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set and comparable to the Optimus Terra HE Cookset. However, for the weight, you acquire quite a few more pieces with this set than the other MSR and Optimus Terra sets we tested. The MSR Quick 2 System is the perfect size for two people, and is most easily used around campsites in which you are close to your car and camping kitchen.


This set is still light enough to slip into a backpack and prepare a meal for two on an overnight hike, though if you're planning a thru hike or long trek, you'll be better off with something even lighter, like our Top Pick for Backpacking, the G4Free Outdoor Camping Set, or the lightest cookware set we tested, the Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Cookset.

The Quick2 set comes with two pots and a straining lid  two deep dish plates and two insulated mugs.
The Quick2 set comes with two pots and a straining lid, two deep dish plates and two insulated mugs.

Durability


Hard anodized aluminum isn't the strongest metal, but it's still pretty darn tough. We did not experience any issues, including scratches or dents, with this cookware during our months-long testing process.


The handle system is the only area where our reviewers felt there could potentially be some long-term use failure. Since the handle is interchangeable, it isn't solidly attached to the pot like the handles on the G4Free Outdoor set or the Winterial Camping cookware.

The interchangeable handle design allows it to act like a hinge and flips over the top of the cookware when packed.
The handle can easily be changed between the two pots in this set by clipping into place.
The handle locks down for added security to this system so that you don't have to worry about losing control while straining your food.
 

Ease of Use


This metal hook on the 2-liter pot keeps the straining lid on the pot while straining liquids.
This metal hook on the 2-liter pot keeps the straining lid on the pot while straining liquids.

This set cooks well, and is versatile and easy to use. The deep dish plates are handy for many different meals, from ramen, to lasagna and scrambled eggs, and the insulated mugs kept our coffee hot on cold Colorado mornings. The interchangeable handle clips onto the pots and locks for security. The 2-liter pot is outfitted with a hook on the lip opposite the handle, which our reviewers found rather handy for keeping the lid on while draining water after cooking pasta.


Cleanup is also a breeze with this set. All-in-all, this cookware was been our go-to set to use during the duration of our hands on testing, and we gave it a 10 out of 10 for its wide range of use and versatility.

With the security of the metal hook  you can strain pasta with ease as well as hold on to the rubber lid handle so that you don't burn your fingers.
With the security of the metal hook, you can strain pasta with ease as well as hold on to the rubber lid handle so that you don't burn your fingers.

Packability


This cookware was neither the most compact set we tested nor the bulkiest. While our reviewers preferred to use this cookware while car camping, the weight and size of this set still allowed us to throw it in a pack and hit the trail for an overnight trek.


It compacts down to a size of 5.3 inches in diameter by 7.8 inches tall, which is about the same packable size as the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Backpacker Cookset, and slightly bigger than our Best Buy winner, the Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set. We gave this cookware set an 8 out of 10 in this category.

Best Applications


Our reviewers loved the functionality of this cookware, thus giving it the Editors' Choice award. This cookware not only excels on a two burner propane camping stove, but can easily be thrown into a pack or used regularly in a home kitchen. MSR also provides useful amenities with the dip dish plates, that hold meals with more liquid, like chili, plus the two insulated mugs can also double for cereal bowls.

We can't emphasize enough how much we like these deep dish bowls. They are ideal for almost all camping meals!
A loaded omelet with bacon  spinach  mozzarella and toped off with salsa  these deep dish bowls make sure you don't have any leaks over the edges while eating.
 

Value


We examined price versus overall points, and how much each set costs per ounce to determine our value rankings. Although this cookware is rated the best overall performer, it ranks relatively low on the value scale. With a price point of $100, this set is not cheap, but worth it for the number of useful pieces you get coupled with the great cooking performance. If you're on a budget and looking to still get a great set of cookware for camping, consider our Best Buy winner, the Winterial Camping Cookware.

Conclusion


The MSR Quick 2 System earned our Editors' Choice Award for being the highest scoring overall performer within this review. It did a great job of cooking a variety of camping meals, and the unique straining lid and pour spout on the pot is fantastic - no more accidentally dumping all your pasta in the firepit while trying to drain the water out. Our main complaint about this set is the lack of a frypan, but other than that this cookware is well-suited to most camping meals.
Gentrye Houghton

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Most recent review: November 24, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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