Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Crazy light, compact
Cons: Only really boils water, rattles while packed, too small to pack many other items inside
Manufacturer: Snow Peak
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact cook set is a four-piece set that is designed for ultralight backpackers on the go. Cast from super-light titanium, this set comes with a 1-liter pot, a .8 liter pot, a 6" lid/frypan, and a 5.3" lid/frypan. These pieces come in a mesh bag, and can also be purchased as a three-piece set that comes without the smaller lid. For ultralight backpacking, lightening your kitchen kit makes a big difference.
When it comes to backpacking specific cookware, they're rarely made with cooking fresh ingredients in mind, instead focusing on lightweight materials that tend to conduct heat poorly. Unfortunately, this set performs horribly when it comes to our scrambled egg test, which is a function of the materials used. First, the titanium is a poor conductor and doesn't distribute heat well. Since the metal doesn't conduct and distribute the focused heat of a camping stove, the eggs in our standardized test cooked unevenly with a difficult cleanup. Second, it doesn't have a non-stick coating.
Essentially, every other product we tested cooks better than the Snow Peak. It functioned poorly in the egg test and the boiling water test. As noted above, though, you don't choose this for performance. On an ultralight backpacking trip, you eat for fuel and want to carry as little as possible.
The titanium cookware from Snow Peak is the most compact set we tested by quite a bit, which is why it's popular among thru-hikers and anyone else concerned with the lightest and fastest ascents possible. This set weighs less than a pound, 10.6 ounces to be exact, and measures a little over six inches in diameter by four inches tall; therefore, making it highly packable inside your pack. Strip it to a single pot, and it is even lighter. In an ultralight cooking system, even a team of two or three won't need more than the primary pot of the Snow Peak. We recommend putting cloth or paper towel between the pots to dampen vibration and noise.
Titanium is your lightest weight option without compromising strength; it's about 45 percent lighter than steel and stronger than aluminum. We did not experience any issues with durability during our testing period; however, the way the handles are constructed on the lids creates stress at a weak point in the system. If anything were to happen, we feel it would happen with the way the handles flip up and down as opposed to wrapping around the cookware. Even without a coating or anodizing, the titanium construction resists corrosion while not breaking down in any way. Titanium is inherently a stable material and quite durable.
This set weighs in at an astonishing 11.6 ounces, or about three-quarters of a pound, meaning it is super light. While it is light, our reviewers felt that almost every other category was compromised for this feature. In this ultralight niche, you are making a no-holds-barred choice to optimize efficiency. Treat your dining as fuel, keeping it light and simple, and the weight of the Snow Peak set will be no issue.
Ease of Use
We didn't feel that the pieces in this set were instrumental during backpacking applications. Snow Peak also makes a three-piece set that cuts out the small lid included in this set. However, both of the lids are difficult to use as an optional skillet; based on the results from our scrambled egg test, we're not sure you would want to use them for anything besides lids.
The good news is that, and this is a common refrain, you won't be choosing this product for its ease of use. You choose it for "ease of carrying", and you match your menu and the rest of your cooking kit to this simple foundation. Simple meals and stoves are easy and light.
There are no extra features to speak of included with the Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact kit. For this sort of ultralight backcountry feeding, even the second, smaller pot is largely unnecessary. One could handily prepare and consume simple freeze-dried style meals with the large pot and lid, a tiny propane or alcohol stove, and a spoon for each camper. Prepare the food in, and eat it from, the freeze-dried bags. This is the simplest, lightest backcountry kitchen system.
This set is expensive and not the best performer in our tests. For the same price, you can purchase a high scoring Top Pick, which has more components and is more versatile for preparing "actual" food. However, if you are dead set on ultralight packing, the durable and ultra-light titanium construction of the Snow Peak will last you a long time and stay relevant.
Titanium is an extremely lightweight, yet expensive, material that does not conduct heat well. Therefore, this set is a great option for backpacking where you will be making meals mostly by boiling water. If you're planning a light and fast mission, this set is a great option.
— Amber King & Jediah Porter