Are you on a budget and need a set of cookware to use while car camping as well as potentially taking with you while backpacking? The Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set is the perfect option to consider. This set had one of the highest value rankings in our Price vs. Value Chart, and we've given it our Best Buy Award. It cooks well, has stable handles, and can be pieced down to take it with you while backpacking. However, some of the accessories, like the tiny bowls, ladle, and teapot, are a bit unnecessary. The teapot comes in handy at times for boiling water but is not crucial. At just $55, this set can get you started and leave a little room to add more useful accessories. Another great option to consider is our Editors' Choice winner, the GSI Pinnacle Camper, for a similarly helpful system at a higher cost.
Winterial 11 Piece Camping Set Review
Cons: Small bowls, unnecessary accessories
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Winterial Camping Cookware Set comes with 11 pieces, including a pot, pan and tea kettle with a lid, all made from aluminum. This set also includes two plastic bowls, a lid that fits both the pot and pan, a plastic spatula and serving ladle, a scrubbing pad guaranteed to make clean up easy and a hot pad that can double for a small cutting board, all wrapped up in its sack with a drawstring closure. The entire set weighs less than 2 pounds, with a packed measurement of 7.4 by 4.8 inches.
We performed two tests to calculate our scores for cooking performance. The first was a time to boil test, performed in a commercial kitchen, in which we compared how quickly all of the cookware boiled two cups of water.
This kettle from this set boiled two cups of water in three and a half minutes, which was remarkably close to the time of the Optimus Terra HE Cookset pot and the Editors' Choice Primus PrimeTech 2.3L (both of which have a heat exchanger element on the bottom of the pot). No other pot we tested bettered the boil time of the Winterial kettle. It turns out that the kettle is an efficient form factor for boiling water. What would the kettle be like if it had a heat exchanger ring on the bottom?
Our reviewers also wanted to create a test to see how evenly each set cooked, and what better way to do so than to make scrambled eggs. We beat an egg and allowed it to cook over a two burner propane camping stove. This set cooked evenly, but the eggs stuck to the pan quite a bit more than the GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper that comes with a Teflon non-stick coating. However, cleanup post scrambled egg test was easy enough.
Therefore, taking into consideration the results of our Boil Test and our Scrambled Egg Test, as well as "real world use", we gave this cookware a 7 out of 10 for Cooking Performance. The best scoring products in our test were the Optimus and Primus products, both of which feature thicker aluminum construction, Teflon coatings, and heat exchanger rings.
The Winterial set comes fully featured, which can be handy but is a little on the larger, heavier side for long backpacking pursuits. However, with its great value, it is an option that you can make work in the backcountry. Plus, with the ability to leave a few pieces behind, you can easily fit a backpacking stove system in this set.
We did knock this cookware down a bit in the packability department, mostly because there are smaller, lighter options available, such as our Top Pick for Backpacking award winner, the MSR Trail Mini Duo. Also, the more straightforward Best Buy winning G4Free 4 Piece set compacts into a self-contained system that is great for all sorts of camping, as long as you are willing to collect your own accessories. For what it comes with, the Winterial is remarkably compact.
This set earned a 6 out of 10 for durability. Scrambled eggs stuck a bit, as mentioned above, and stained the pan slightly as a result of burned egg residue. Our reviewers had some concerns about scratching as the tea kettle rests on the inside base of the pot; however, we did not experience any other issues during our testing period. Anodized aluminum construction like this is more durable than Teflon coated but not as rugged as uncoated metals.
The uncoated metals of the Top Pick Stanley Adventure Series, MSR Alpine 2, and the Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact retain their performance attributes virtually infinitely, while the anodized construction of the Winterial will degrade a little with use and wear. On the other hand, coated products like the Editors' Choice GSI Pinnacle Camper and the Top Pick MSR Ceramic 2 Pot Set will lose their greater performance attributes with wear and tear. The Winterial sits squarely between these two categories, durability wise.
While this set weighs in at 1.8 pounds, it can be reduced to under a pound for just the pot, frypan, lid, and spatula.
By being selective on the pieces you pack within your system, you can cut almost half the weight, making this set highly versatile for backpacking or car camping cooking. Of course, the ultralight Top Pick MSR Trail Mini Duo set is a tiny fraction the mass of the Winterial, while the full-sized and higher performing Editors' Choice GSI Pinnacle Camper is quite a bit heavier.
Ease of Use
This set was straightforward to use because of the versatility of the pieces that are included. You can easily cut a few pieces out to shed weight to also take this set backpacking with you. With just the pot, pan, spatula, and lid, the set weighs slightly over a pound, which is still heavier than the Snow Peak Titanium Cookware that is designed to be ultra lightweight. Yet, for the increase in versatility to this cookware, we didn't think the weight is noticeable when you're trying to make your dollar go a little further.
Something else many of us loved about this cookware is the construction of the handles, which are similar to those on the G4Free Outdoor Camping Set. Since they collapse back around the pot and pan, instead of over the top of the system, they are nice and secure during use. We also really like the deep frypan; it was great for making pizza, and we didn't worry about food overflowing in this pan one bit.
At first, our reviewers thought the teapot was silly and unnecessary because "who would carry a teapot into the backcountry?" However, we found it to be pretty useful on cold fall mountain mornings. It was pretty nice to have something to boil water in for coffee or tea, while simultaneously preparing a meal. Having a designated item to boil water is excellent, as your morning hot drink will never taste like last night's dinner again. Also, the included scrub pad is a surprising luxury, especially since you're not always near running water while camping.
This is the most comprehensive kit we tested. It has almost everything a team of two would need. All you will add is your own cutlery. In this way, the value and convenience increase even further. Grabbing two spoons from your home kitchen completes your cookware packing.
While there are many features included, not all of them are perfect. The "bowls" are small and strange. The "ladle" is nice, but likely not much better than a large eating spoon. Once you start looking critically at the accessories, and surely after you camp some more, you will want to augment or replace the features of the Winterial. The cups and frying pan of the GSI kits are more usable. The cups and deep plates of the MSR Quick 2 System are more robust than any of the plastic parts of the Winterial. One of our Editors' Choice winners, the Primus PrimeTech 2.3L includes virtually no accessories because those looking to assemble a deluxe camp kitchen will want to select each piece they use individually. If you are on a budget and know that you want to choose your own accessories, we granted the stripped down G4Free 4 Piece Set another Best Buy award.
For the price, this is a great introductory camping cookware set. The abundance of pieces included is versatile and useful, both in the backcountry as well as at the trailhead. If you're not sure what your needs are, but you know you need at least a pot and skillet, then this is a great option to consider.
The only pieces we would cut out of this set are the two bowls because they're tiny, and the ladle. However, you can't beat the price on this set, because you'll still have room in your budget to acquire more specific pieces after figuring out exactly what you need.
This cookware earns our Best Buy award for being a great, all-around set to cook with as well as being affordable. Hitting the market for $70, Winterial is producing a product that cooks well. If you're on a budget, this is a great option to consider because it will keep your wallet fat while also giving you a set of cookware that isn't a pain to cook with, is easy to clean and also versatile.
The Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set is a high performer and came in fourth place points-wise during our testing. This set is an excellent option if you're just starting to outfit your camp kitchen or a great little set that can easily add extra, and useful, pieces to an existing system. If you're willing to spend about twice as much, check out the Editors' Choice winner, the GSI Pinnacle Camper or the also high scoring MSR Quick 2 System, both of which are slightly lighter with extra pieces that we feel are a little more useful.
— Jediah Porter