Hands-on Gear Review

MSR Quick 2 System Cookset Review

Price:  $100 List | $74.95 at MooseJaw
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Secure handles, straining lid and lip, deep dish plates
Cons:  Skillet not included
Bottom line:  A solid kit with great components; for basic backpacking, minimal additions or subtractions need to be made.
Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
Measured Weight:  1.7 lbs
Material:  Hard-Anodized Aluminum
Components:  2L pot, 1.5L pot, strainer lid, 2 plates, 2 mugs, handle
Manufacturer:   MSR

Our Verdict

The MSR Quick 2 System was among the highest performers in our review, and once 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 a more sophisticated cooking performance check out the Top Pick sibling MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set. For an even more comprehensive cooking set, our Editors Choice GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper has a frying pan but subtracts the plates. If weight is truly a concern, simplify your menu and select the Top Pick Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact set. Finally, if you are on a budget but like the idea of a feature-rich set like the MSR Quick 2, track down our review of the Best Buy Winterial 11-Piece Camping Cookware.

Cooking for Just One?
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 of 2018


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jediah Porter

Last Updated:
Thursday
November 23, 2017

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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


The chart below details how each set of cookware ranked in Overall Performance score, which is the cumulative total of our six evaluation criteria: cooking performance, weight, durability, ease of use, packability, and features.

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. The quickest pot was the Optimus Terra HE Cookset, which boiled water in under three minutes, and the slowest was the Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact, which took 4:15.

Also, our reviewers wanted to know how evenly this cookware conducts heat and resists food sticking, and what better way to figure that out than 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 pretty evenly, and also kept sticking to a minimum. During this test, one of our reviewers noted, "Clean up is going to be a breeze!" Considering the thin aluminum walls, the egg cooking performance was admirable. The only better-performing products were those with dedicated, thick-walled and non-stick coated, aluminum frying pans, like the Editors Choice GSI Bugaboo Camper and the Optimus Terra HE.

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 prepared pizza toppings. Plus, straining water for pasta dishes is simple with the slotted lid, and it stays secure with the added lip to the 2-liter pot.

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 7.8 inches in diameter by 5.3 inches tall, which is about the same packable size as the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Backpacker Cookset, and bigger than our Best Buy winner, the G4Free 4-Piece Set. It is the same size as the Top Pick MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set.

The entire MSR Quick 2 System  packaged up and contained.
The entire MSR Quick 2 System, packaged up and contained.

Durability


Hard anodized aluminum isn't the strongest metal, but it is 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.

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 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.

Ease of Use


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 to 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.

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.

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.

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.

Features


We tested two major types of cook sets. We can divide the entire tested roster into those that are just cookware and lids, and those that contain other features. The MSR Quick 2 System is in the latter category, with a pot and lid, two cups, and two plates. The MSR Quick 2 System, as a kit of sorts, is joined by both GSI sets, the MalloMe 10 Piece Mess Kit, and the Winterial 11 Piece Camping Cook Set. Each of these five has at least subtly different components.

Fully-functioning base camp or car camping use requires a pot or two, a frying pan, cups, plates/bowls, cutlery, and a cutting board. No kit we tested has all of these things. We couldn't even find such a thing on the market, which is strange. Nonetheless, some come closer than others. The MSR only lacks the frying pan, cutlery, and cutting board.

The components of the MSR Quick 2 System nest together  leaving space for a few more accessories.
The components of the MSR Quick 2 System nest together, leaving space for a few more accessories.

Best Applications


This cookware not only excels on a two-burner propane camping stove but can easily be thrown into a pack or regularly used in a home kitchen. MSR also provides useful amenities with the dip dish plates, which 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 11-Piece Camping Cookware.

Conclusion


The MSR Quick 2 System 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.
Jediah Porter

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Most recent review: November 23, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
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  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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