Reviews You Can Rely On

The 8 Best Camping Cookware Sets of 2024

We went camping with sets from GSI, Stanley, Snow Peak, Lodge, MSR, and others to see how well they met our culinary needs while out on adventures
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Best Camping Cookware Review
Credit: Trish Matheny

The Best Camping Cookware for 2024


Our camping experts have evaluated more than 50 of the best camping cookware sets over the last ten years. For our latest review, we purchased 19 of today's top models to compare side-by-side. We put each of these sets to the test, taking them on expeditions, backpacking trips, and casual car-camping weekends. We've boiled water, seared meats, sautéed vegetables, examined craftsmanship, and assessed features. After hours of cooking on the trail and off our tailgate, we offer you a comprehensive review of the best camping cookware sets on the market. Whether you're seeking the creme de la creme or an extraordinary deal, our expert recommendations will help you find the perfect set for your needs and budget.

You can cook some great meals in the great outdoors — you'll need some camp kitchen essentials, though. A top camping stove will do you some good, or if you're heading into the backcountry, check out our review of the best backpacking stoves. If your camp spot isn't outfitted with a picnic table, see our comparison of the best camping tables. We've even done testing on everything you could want for camping or tailgating (need the best tent?) No matter your camping gear needs, our expert advice will help guide you in the right direction.

Editor's Note: Our camping cookware review was revised on May 20, 2024, to remove some discontinued models.

Top 19 Camping Cookware - Test Results

Displaying 1 - 5 of 19
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Awards  Top Pick Award    
Price $49.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$79.50 at Amazon
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$89.99 at Amazon
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$47.97 at Amazon
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$124.95 at Backcountry
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Overall Score
53
73
47
51
65
Star Rating
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Pros Durable, packable, lightweight, minimalistic design, fast boiling speedLightweight, durable, highly packable, intuitive design, handles do not conduct heatCrazy light, compactLight, simple, just the right set of featuresSecure handles, straining lid and lip, deep dish plates
Cons Hot to drink from, lid comes off easilyExpensive, minimalist design lacks featuresOnly really boils water, rattles while packed, too small to pack many other items insideNot suitable for sophisticated cooking, silicone ring is a fire hazardSkillet not included
Bottom Line Minimalistic and simple, best for any thru hiker or lightweight gear loverThis ultralight, durable kit is perfect for solo backpackers and travelers looking to save weight without sacrificing essential cooking performanceSuper light pot set useful as components in a simple, ultralight cooking kitA simple pot and basic accessories for ultralight backpackingA solid kit with great components; for basic backpacking, minimal additions or subtractions need to be made
Rating Categories Snow Peak Trek 700... Snow Peak Ti-Mini S... Snow Peak Titanium... MSR Trail Mini Duo MSR Quick 2 System...
Cooking Performance (35%)
3.0
7.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
Features (15%)
3.0
3.0
2.0
3.0
6.0
Ease of Use (15%)
3.0
8.0
3.0
7.0
9.0
Durability (15%)
9.0
9.0
8.0
3.0
6.0
Packability (10%)
10.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Weight (10%) Sort Icon
9.5
9.5
9.4
9.4
9.4
Specs Snow Peak Trek 700... Snow Peak Ti-Mini S... Snow Peak Titanium... MSR Trail Mini Duo MSR Quick 2 System...
Measured Weight 0.30 lbs 0.4 lbs 0.70 lbs 0.70 lbs 1.7 lbs
Material Titanium Titanium Titanium Hard-anodized aluminum Hard-anodized aluminum
Components 700 mL pot, lid 30 fl oz pot, 18.3 fl oz cup, lid, mesh bag 1 L pot, 0.8 L pot, 6" frypan/lid, 5.3" frypan/lid 1.2L pot, 28 oz bowl, lid, pot lifter, stuff sack 2 L pot, 1.5 L pot, ¹ strainer lid, ² plates, ² mugs, handle
Avg Boil Time (seconds) 187 125 255 241 236
3 L Pot? (>2.4L) 0 0 0 0 0
2 L Pot? (1.5-2.4L) 0 0 0 0 1
1 L Pot? (0.5-1.4L) 1 1 1 1 0
Frying Pan? 0 0 1 0 0
Frying Pan Lid? N/A N/A No N/A N/A
Packed Size 4.2 x 4.4 in 5.2 x 4.25 in 6.1 x 4 in 5 x 5.5 in 5.3 x 7.8 in
Weight of Pot Closest to 1.5 L (With Lid and Handle) 0.25 lbs 0.26 lbs 0.3 lbs 0.5lbs 0.5 lbs
Cooking Surfaces Uncoated Uncoated Uncoated Hard anodized One non-stick pot (1.5 L), one uncoated pot (2.5 L)


Best Cookware for Car Camping


Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro


81
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooking Performance 9.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Ease of Use 7.0
  • Durability 9.0
  • Packability 6.0
  • Weight 5.9
Weight: 8.2 lbs | Material: 18/8 Stainless Steel and BPA-free plastic
REASONS TO BUY
Perfect all-around camping cookware
Versatile and packable
High quality
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Difficult to clean
Heavy

The Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro is a high-quality, versatile cookware set that is perfectly designed for car camping. This 10-piece set features two pots (4.75 qt and 1.8 qt) with vented lids, one 8" frying pan, two plastic cooking utensils, one collapsible cutting board, and two silicone trivets, which we particularly appreciate for pouring out pasta water or moving a hot pot to the picnic table. The 18/8 stainless steel not only distributes heat evenly across the cook surface but also increases balance and durability. Best of all, this all packs into the large pot for easy storage and transport.

Even though it's an excellent cookware set, the Camp Pro isn't perfect. We noticed that the plastic cooking utensils easily disfigure if exposed to too much heat, like when scraping pancakes or eggs off the bottom of a hot pan. Also, the size and number of pieces of this stainless steel set make it one of the heavier options we tested. For comparison, the stainless steel Stanley Adventure Base Camp weighs nearly half that of the Camp Pro set, though its construction is not nearly as robust. Still, once you get the hang of the particular nesting sequence, the transportability of the Camp Pro set is entirely worth the extra weight. Whether you're cooking for a crew at the campsite – or even bringing this quality set into your kitchen – this high-quality set will not disappoint.

Read more: Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro review

camping cookware - the stanley even-heat camp pro features an 18/8 stainless steel...
The Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro features an 18/8 stainless steel construction that will evenly heat your food without throwing anything off balance on the stove.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Best Two-Person Backpacking Cookset


GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS


79
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooking Performance 9.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Ease of Use 9.0
  • Durability 6.0
  • Packability 7.0
  • Weight 9.0
Weight: 1.4 lbs | Material: Hard-Anodized Aluminum with Non-Stick Coating
REASONS TO BUY
Phenomenal heating efficiency
Non-stick coating
Welded rubber sink
Included dishware
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks frying pan
Size constraints

If you're shopping for a cookware set to take on your camping adventures, it's hard to top the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS. During our water boiling time tests, the included pot was one of the fastest to reach boiling that we've seen. The combination of a heat-exchanger ring at the bottom and hard-anodized aluminum construction speeds up cooking time, which also helps conserve valuable fuel. The set includes a lid that doubles as a strainer, two folding sporks, two insulated mugs, and two bowls. Our favorite accessory was the storage sack, which doubles as a sink. Having a designated spot for scrubbing dishes is much more convenient, clean, and efficient than washing everything in the same pot you use for cooking.

The Pinnacle Dualist HS has plenty to offer, but we understand it's not for everyone. We have cooked for groups of four or more with similar-sized pots, but you'll need to pack extra dishes and utensils if you plan on cooking for more campers. Realistically, the Dualist HS is best for two people, and a set like the GSI Pinnacle Camper is better for serving larger groups at base camp. A more pressing issue is the diameter of the included pot, not necessarily its volume. If you're cooking a meal in it that you would usually make in a frying pan, the pot is a bit tight to work in. But for its size and weight, the Dualist HS is our top pick for backpacking pairs.

Read more: GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS review

camping cookware - the gsi outdoors pinnacle dualist hs is a high-performance...
The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS is a high-performance backpacking set that includes simple dishes and enough room inside for a stove and a fuel canister.
Credit: Ross Patton

Best Value for Car Camping


Stanley Adventure Base Camp


78
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooking Performance 9.0
  • Features 9.0
  • Ease of Use 6.0
  • Durability 8.0
  • Packability 4.0
  • Weight 7.5
Weight: 4.8 lbs | Material: Stainless Steel
REASONS TO BUY
Large pot with rigid handles and great lid
Nests together well
Frying pan rivals what you'd use at home
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Plates are smaller than what you'd use at home

Stanley's Adventure Base Camp cook set is a complete cookware kit at a very reasonable price point. In the design of this set, Stanley focused on optimizing cooking performance and packability. It serves four people and nests together perfectly for easy packing in the corner of your car trunk or canoe duffel. It comes with pots, pans, plates, cooking and eating utensils, and more. The price is hard to beat, and its durable stainless steel construction only adds to its value. After testing it over a number of years, the steel hasn't changed color, and all components still look fresh – a testament to its construction quality.

The pieces nest nicely, but this kit is far too heavy to bring on a backpacking trip – unless you parse out pieces into smaller sets. The plates are pretty small and only suitable for smaller portions. If you're looking for a true “glamping” experience, you may be better off packing plates from your kitchen at home. If you're going this route anyway, you might as well also pack higher-quality pans like the Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker. The Adventure Base Camp is truly best for budget-conscious campers traveling by car, boat, or plane who need an all-inclusive, functional kitchen to cook for larger groups.

Read more: Stanley Adventure Base Camp review

camping cookware - the stanley adventure base camp is a comprehensive (all you need is...
The Stanley Adventure Base Camp is a comprehensive (all you need is a knife and some mugs) cookware set that offers incredible value.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Best Value for Solo Backpackers


GSI Outdoors Glacier 1-Person


63
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooking Performance 4.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • Durability 9.0
  • Packability 7.0
  • Weight 9.2
Weight: 1.0 lb | Material: Stainless Steel
REASONS TO BUY
Super simple design
Very durable construction
Versatile uses
Quick boil time
REASONS TO AVOID
Hot spots while cooking
Steel can change color over time

The GSI Glacier 1-Person is a simple cook set that's best for the solo backpacker looking for simplicity and reliability at a low cost. Far from a full kitchen, it features one pot (one-liter capacity), pan, bowl, and cup. Constructed with stainless steel, it is ultra-durable and resistant to dents and scratches. This is the set to buy if you're about to embark on a long mission and require confidence on your trek. Best for backpacking, it boils water quickly and prepares just enough food and water for one person. We also love the super low price that adds even more value.

If you want all the bells and whistles, then look elsewhere. The Glacier 1-Person is a simple yet highly durable cookware set. After a few camping trips, we noticed the steel changed color, making the set look a bit older than we would have liked. The cooking performance also pales in comparison to other stainless steel sets or similar solo sets like the Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo Combo 2.0. All things considered, the Glacier kit is perfectly serviceable for preparing basic meals and comes at an unbeatable price compared to other minimalist sets.

Read more: GSI Outdoors Glacier 1-Person review

camping cookware - this gsi outdoors set is durable and does everything you need it to...
This GSI Outdoors set is durable and does everything you need it to while backcountry camping. Best for solo users with a minimal approach and less involved meals.
Credit: Amber King

Best Cookware for Base Camps


GSI Pinnacle Camper


77
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooking Performance 8.0
  • Features 10.0
  • Ease of Use 7.0
  • Durability 7.0
  • Packability 5.0
  • Weight 8.0
Weight: 3.7 lbs | Material: Aluminum with Teflon Coating
REASONS TO BUY
Many pieces for many uses
Top-notch non-stick coating
Easy to clean
Can be modularized
REASONS TO AVOID
Pot handle gets hot if left on
Teflon coating can wear off

The GSI Pinnacle Camper is our top base-camping choice because of its incredible versatility and ability to function for many people. All of the individual components are, in and of themselves, high-quality components we would be happy to own as solo pieces. But their quality compounds when you add them all together as a set. The set nests neatly together for storage and travel, taking up less space than a bicycle helmet. This compact cook set allows you to cook for and serve up to four people without taking up a ton of precious space. The pots and pans are coated with Teflon's premium non-stick material, and this choice shows in cooking performance. It's easy to clean and quick to boil water. If you plan on a solo outing, you can choose the components to bring along, making it exceptionally versatile for any sized group.

We love this set, but we encountered a few issues during testing. For example, the pot handle is only compatible with GSI products, so you'll have to bring an additional attachable handle if you have another piece of camp cookware you like using. Moreover, we recommend using a wooden or plastic stirring utensil to avoid scratching the Teflon coating; otherwise, it can flake off. If you're worried about the potential health hazards of PFOA-type coatings, consider the comparable full-stainless steel Stanley Adventure Base Camp. Despite these minor issues, the GSI Pinnacle Camper is easy to use, features many modularized pieces, and is our favorite lightweight option for cooking for groups of up to four people.

Read more: GSI Pinnacle Camper review

camping cookware - the gsi pinnacle camper is the perfect cookware choice when cooking...
The GSI Pinnacle Camper is the perfect cookware choice when cooking for a group of four at base camp, just don't forgot to pack a knife and sporks.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Best Cookware for Foodies


Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker


77
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooking Performance 9.0
  • Features 5.0
  • Ease of Use 9.0
  • Durability 10.0
  • Packability 5.0
  • Weight 4.0
Weight: 12.3 lbs | Material: Cast Iron
REASONS TO BUY
Simple and versatile
Longterm durability
Affordable
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Limited features

The Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker stands out from the competition as a non-traditional cookware set – or at least, non-traditional compared to modern designs. This heavy-duty cast iron cookware is perfect for the foodie on the go who wants to prepare gourmet meals at their campsite. It's a naturally non-stick option with regular seasoning, avoiding any PFOA and PTFE-based coatings altogether. You can use this versatile set as two individual pans to cook up full-skillet breakfasts or combine them to create a Dutch oven, which is perfect for slow-cooking meats or baking over the campfire.

Perhaps the biggest drawback to this cookware set is the overall weight compared to more conventional options. At 12.3 pounds, this is by far the heaviest cookware set that we tested – obviously, this heavyweight set is designed for the savvy car camper. With only two skillets, it is more of a foundation for your car camping kitchen rather than a complete, all-inclusive set. If you're looking for more of a one-stop shop, the Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro is a better option, though it is still missing necessary serving ware. Whether you're cooking over a stove, on the grill, or over the campfire, the Lodge Combo Cooker is our top choice for travelers who want to cook like they would in their home kitchens.

Read more: Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker review

camping cookware - the lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker is the perfect foundation...
The Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker is the perfect foundation for your gourmet car camping (or at home) kitchen.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Best Ultralight Solo Backpacking Kit


Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo Combo 2.0


73
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooking Performance 7.0
  • Features 3.0
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • Durability 9.0
  • Packability 9.0
  • Weight 9.5
Weight: 0.4 lbs | Material: Titanium
REASONS TO BUY
Ultralight
Simple and durable
Highly packable
Solid cooking performance
REASONS TO AVOID
Limited features
Expensive

The Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo Combo 2.0 quickly became a favorite of our testing team for ultralight backpacking trips. It is one of the lightest, most versatile cookware sets that we tested for solo travel, thanks to its innovative titanium design. The set features one 30 oz pot and a 16 oz mug, which perfectly nest thanks to their durable, foldable handles. There is even extra space for a 3.5 oz fuel canister, a tiny backpacking stove, perishables, or utensils inside the included large, mesh carry bag.

The only caveat to this ultralight set is the lack of features due to the minimal design. It is everything you'll need for a solo trip into the wilderness, but this set isn't really capable of preparing a meal beyond heating water for ramen or your morning brew. If you plan on doing more cooking than that, you're probably better off with the slightly larger MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set. Speaking of coffee, we love that Snow Peak Ti-Mini includes measurements on the smaller mug, which helped us dial in the water needed for hot drinks and modest meals. This ultralight set is perfect for the solo backpacker needing just the right amount of performance without the extra weight.

Read more: Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo Combo 2.0 review

camping cookware - the snow peak ti-mini solo combo 2.0 is a sleek, lightweight, and...
The Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo Combo 2.0 is a sleek, lightweight, and versatile little solo backpacking system that quickly became the go-to for our testing team.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Best Non-Stick Pot for Backpackers


MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set


72
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Cooking Performance 8.0
  • Features 3.0
  • Ease of Use 9.0
  • Durability 6.0
  • Packability 8.0
  • Weight 9.2
Weight: 1.0 lb | Material: Hard-anodized aluminum with ceramic coating
REASONS TO BUY
Light and versatile
Non-stick, non-toxic construction
REASONS TO AVOID
No accessories
Expensive

The MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set is a truly unique, high-quality ceramic cookware set. Sophisticated camp cooking has always required a non-stick coating. Until recently, that meant either hefty cast iron or Teflon-style coating, but the times have changed. This thoughtfully designed cookware set combines lightweight aluminum with an exceptionally non-stick ceramic coating, which helps you cook up a gourmet backcountry meal without worrying about harmful PFOA-type chemicals. Even though this set offers limited features, MSR does make a frying pan with the same Fusion coating, which you can purchase additionally for more versatile cooking. After lots of use and abuse in the backcountry, the coating still looks fresh, as long as we're careful to use only plastic utensils while cooking.

Not only is this kit pricey, but it is also relatively specialized. To fully assemble a camp kitchen at this level of performance is an expensive proposition that requires some mindfulness and motivation. We highly recommend taking great care of this cookware set by using the felt included with the set to limit the contact of metal with the fragile ceramic interior of the pots. If you're looking for more of a knock-around option, the full-titanium build of the Snow Peak Ti-Mini is much more durable. But with proper care, the MSR Fusion Ceramic Set is a prime consideration for a non-stick, backcountry set for those who prefer not to cook with Teflon.

Read more: MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set review

camping cookware - the msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set is the perfect foundation for your...
The MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set is the perfect foundation for your backpacking cookware kit, featuring a 2.5L pot, 1.5L pot, vented lid, versatile handle, and cloth to prevent contact with metal on the interior of the pots.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
81
Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro
Best Cookware for Car Camping
$150
Editors' Choice Award
79
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS
Best Two-Person Backpacking Cookset
$95
Editors' Choice Award
78
Stanley Adventure Base Camp
Best Value for Car Camping
$90
Best Buy Award
78
GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper
$130
77
Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker
Best Cookware for Foodies
$60
Top Pick Award
77
GSI Pinnacle Camper
Best Cookware for Base Camps
$160
Top Pick Award
75
Primus PrimeTech 2.3L Pot Set
$105
73
Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo Combo 2.0
Best Ultralight Solo Backpacking Kit
$87
Top Pick Award
72
MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set
Best Non-Stick Pot for Backpackers
$85
Top Pick Award
69
GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper
$90
68
MSR Trail Lite Duo Cook Set
$90
65
MSR Quick 2 System Cookset
$125
63
GSI Outdoors Glacier 1-Person
Best Value for Solo Backpackers
$25
Best Buy Award
62
MalloMe 10 Piece Mess Kit
$70
60
MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set
$75
56
Snow Peak Personal Cooker 3
$43
53
Snow Peak Trek 700 Titanium
$55
51
MSR Trail Mini Duo
$60
47
Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact
$108

camping cookware - we go gourmet while testing camping cookware in all parts of the...
We go gourmet while testing camping cookware in all parts of the world.
Credit: Jediah Porter

How We Test Camping Cookware Sets


These cookware sets have been all around the world, from Hawaii's beaches to Iceland's high tundra. They've been utilized by solo travelers and in basecamps with a dozen people. We made backcountry “Michelin Star” meals, simple veggie mixes, and so much more. We subject each cookware set to the same controlled tests, both in the field and back in the lab. Doing so allows us to compare these sets objectively without bias. In our side-by-side tests, we boil water, scramble eggs, and prepare various meals to see how they perform. We also evaluate all their features, assess how user-friendly they are in the field, determine the packability of the design, meticulously scrutinize their construction quality, and even account for the overall weight. We then pass all of that information and experience onto you in the form of expert recommendations.

We break down our overall score into six key metrics:
  • Cooking Performance (35% of overall score weighting)
  • Features (15% weighting)
  • Ease of Use (15% weighting)
  • Durability (15% weighting)
  • Packability (10% weighting)
  • Weight (10% weighting)

Why Trust GearLab


Our lead camping cookware testers, Jediah Porter, Ross Patton, Amber King, and Trish Matheny have cooked up meals in some of the most beautiful places in the world. Jediah Porter is an IFMGA/AMGA-certified mountain guide. He spends a lot of time in the camp kitchen, whether perched high up on a cliff ledge or at a well-established base camp in Alaska. Ross Patton is a lifelong outdoor adventurer and avid camper. Growing up in Utah, he first completed the White Rim Trail on a bicycle at just ten years old. His education is in Environmental Science, so he is no stranger to the laboratory side of testing. Amber King is a fast-packer who embarks on ultralight missions in remote places like the Faroe Islands with her simple sets of cookware in tow. She's a climber, runner, and outdoor adventurer who camps out of her truck every weekend and spends the summer running and hiking long trails. Trish Matheny, the newest member of our testing crew, is both a private chef and outdoor enthusiast who spends the majority of her time cooking outside in remote locations. She combines fifteen-plus years of professional cooking experience with her favorite outdoor pursuits – rock climbing, splitboarding, and long-distance trail running – to offer discerning recommendations for the best outdoor cookware

This cookware set is easy to use thanks to features like locking...
This cookware set is easy to use thanks to features like locking handles, vented lids, and a thick, durable construction that allows for balance on the stovetop.
We field-tested every model in our review.
We field-tested every model in our review.
Every feature easily packs down into the largest pot, making...
Every feature easily packs down into the largest pot, making everything easy to store and transport inside our cooking bin.

Analysis and Test Results


We took the time to select a wide range of cook sets to compare. From full base camp setups to single pots and mugs, we've chosen options for all campers. We have tested sets for folks who prefer camping, others who prefer to carry a backpack, for picnickers who want to carry a cookset for a day hike, and for the ultralight crowd. To objectively compare each, we rate them across six important metrics, including cooking performance, packability, durability, weight, ease of use, and features. We then evaluate our testing perspectives based on the very best options for human-powered backpacking, pack-supported base camps, and car camping, where you won't be too far from the comforts of your campsite. It is important to consider how you will use a set of camping cookware to determine which metrics are most important to you.


Value


How do you get the biggest bang for your buck? While there are several different types of camping cookware sets out there, there are some inherent patterns to note that will help you find a well-priced set for your needs. When considering the price of a cookware set, be sure to consider what size of set you require, what performance features you would like to have, and where you plan camping and cooking.

If you like to group camp, the Stanley Adventure Base Camp stands out for its lower price and stainless steel design that is seemingly bombproof. While it is heavier than the GSI Pinnacle or GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper, it's just as featured with better durability, a lower price, better features, and thus a much higher value.

One of the lowest-priced contenders, the GSI Glacier 1-Person, stands out for its simplistic design and stainless steel construction. Another affordable option to consider is the MalloMe Mess Kit. While the low-quality components lack the durability for lasting use, it's a great consideration for thru-hikers looking for an all-inclusive kit to last a single season. Earning one of the highest overall scores with a more affordable price tag, the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS is a great deal for a top-tier backpacking set.

camping cookware - grungy but happy, enjoying a meal on the beach.
Grungy but happy, enjoying a meal on the beach.
Credit: Amber King

Cooking Performance


If you seek the best camp cookware, cooking performance is the most important factor to consider. We want a set that cooks food evenly, boils water efficiently, and minimizes heat loss so that precious fuel is not squandered. In our tests, we assess the performance of each product by constructing carefully controlled tests. First, we look to see how fast each will boil water. Second, we test which will make the best scrambled eggs without sticking or burning to the bottom of the pan. Finally, we make several on-trail meals while noting the easiest options to use as well as those that require more attention. We've found that the non-stick pots are typically the easiest to cook with and have the fastest boil times.


Boiling Time Test


Boiling water is the foundation of camp cookery. It is the task that you will perform the most often. Whether you're making hot drinks on your bumper in the morning or trying to force down another freeze-dried meal in the backcountry, you'll be boiling water frequently and consistently. To test this, we timed how long it took to bring two cups of water to a boil with the main pot from each set. Our results varied considerably, as several factors can drastically affect boiling time.

Our Control Tests


The “control” pot from our home kitchen is cast from hard-anodized aluminum, which is the same metal used for the MSR Quick 2 System and the Optimus Terra HE Cookset with a non-stick Teflon coating (similar to the GSI Outdoors models). It boiled the two cups of water in three minutes and fifty seconds. This is remarkably close, as a “control” should be, to the tested pots' average time (3:40).

The pot's diameter, depth, materials, and thickness are essential factors here. Pots that use thicker materials with better conductivity distribute heat more efficiently, thus leading to better cooking performance. For example, the Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro and the Stanley Adventure Base Camp are composed of super-thick stainless steel. Cast iron cookware such as the Lodge Combo Cooker also features a thick and burly construction that creates an evenly distributed cooking surface. These products offer exceptional cooking performance compared to the rest — similar to what you'd get in your kitchen. In fact, we found ourselves using these sets in our home kitchen, especially when our housemate's Teflon pots and pans were starting to fail.

camping cookware - we take the time to test the boiling time of the gsi glacier base...
We take the time to test the boiling time of the GSI Glacier Base Camp Set on a pocket rocket stove. We take three trials for each and average them.
Credit: Amber King

Even more than these variables, we found that the presence or absence of heat-exchanging rings on the bottom of the pot affects the efficiency of our boil test. The average boil time of pots with flat bottoms is three minutes and fifty seconds. For the pots with heat exchange rings, such as the Primus Prime Tech 2.3 and the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS, the average boil time is faster. This difference is significant for gas conservation, especially if you find yourself boiling snow on high mountains like Denali.


The set with the pot that boiled water the fastest is the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS, clocking a time of a mere 78 seconds. With a rate this quick, you can plan to bring less fuel on extended backpacking trips and expeditions.

camping cookware - the gsi outdoors pinnacle dualist hs boils water extremely quickly...
The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS boils water extremely quickly thanks to its anodized-aluminum material and heat exchanger.
Credit: Ross Patton

Many of the pot sets we tested took nearly four minutes (or longer) to reach a full boil. The MSR Fusion Ceramic set is slightly faster because its material offers better conductivity and has a tight-fitting pot lid. Smaller pot sets also offer a faster boiling time. For example, the Snow Peak Personal Cooker 3 is tiny and will boil one liter of water in just over three minutes. It has a thinner stainless steel construction with an aluminum core that quickly conducts heat.

camping cookware - the ceramic coating of the msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set along with a...
The ceramic coating of the MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set along with a tight-fitting lid helped this cookware set offer a competitive boil time.
Credit: Trish Matheny

We can also appreciate the three-minute, six-second boiling time of the Snow Peak Trek 700 Titanium, a camping cup built for boiling water and rehydrating meals on the go. Better yet, the Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo 30 oz pot could boil in only two minutes and five seconds, which came in handy when drinking rounds of tea to stay warm while climbing on Mount Hitchcock in the High Sierra.

camping cookware - the snow peak ti-mini solo combo 2.0 offered a speedy boil time that...
The Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo Combo 2.0 offered a speedy boil time that came in handy when drinking tea to stay warm in the alpine.
Credit: Trish Matheny


Consider a Heat Exchanger for Speed


The fastest pots to boil water are those with heat exchangers. If you plan on traveling in environments where fuel optimization is important, look for one like the Primus PrimeTech 2.3L Pot Set or the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS set.

The Egg Test


We created a test to see how each set performed while preparing a scrambled egg. Eggs are susceptible to temperature differences, and any hot spots created on the pan will quickly burn the eggs. For this experiment, we cooked scrambled eggs in each skillet (or pot if the set did not include a skillet) over our two-burner propane camping stove, a single-burner backpacking stove, or in our home kitchen during inclement weather.

camping cookware - some of our tested cookware after the egg test.
Some of our tested cookware after the egg test.
Credit: Jediah Porter

It is rather obvious which of the sets cooked evenly with minimal sticking. The top performer is the MSR Fusion Ceramic, which easily scrambles or fries eggs with minimal cleanup. MSR's proprietary Fusion ceramic coating provides excellent non-stick performance without any of the hazardous chemicals found in Teflon coating. The stand-out from the Teflon-coated options is the GSI Pinnacle Camper, which has a Teflon non-stick coating on a thick-bottomed, dedicated frying pan. Interestingly, the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Backpacker frying pan did not perform nearly as well as the Pinnacle Camper in this test and our “real life” usage.

camping cookware - the msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set blew the competitors out of the...
The MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set blew the competitors out of the water with its exceptional non-stick performance and easy cleanup.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Although we prepared the eggs in a pot instead of a frying pan, the MSR Quick 2 System and the Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo were excellent performers during this test. The titanium cup worked surprisingly well – performing like something between a non-stick and stainless steel surface – and required minimal cleanup. Other models that performed well in this analysis were the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS and the Primus PrimeTech 2.3L. All of these sets have non-stick surfaces, making clean-up easy.

camping cookware - though the snow peak ti-mini solo combo 2.0 only features a 16 oz...
Though the Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo Combo 2.0 only features a 16 oz. mug and 30 oz. pot, we still found it easy to fry an egg on the titanium surface.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Between the egg test and the boil time test, we can deduce much of what we need to know about the cooking performance of a cook set. If a pot set does these two things well, our anecdotal evidence suggests that all other cooking performance attributes will fall in line. One exception is the meat-browning performance of the laminated Stanley Adventure Series skillet. Perhaps only the Lodge Combo Cooker can match the performance of the laminated stainless steel for browning meat. The Lodge cookware set also offers the ability to convert the two skillets into a Dutch oven so you can slow-cook your meat to perfection – an option our testing team appreciated while searing a tri-tip in Tuolumne Meadows.

camping cookware - the two lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker skillets can be used...
The two Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker skillets can be used separately or combined to create a dutch oven option.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Features


The features of a camping cook set vary considerably. Some sets we tested are as simple as two pots and a lid with the corresponding handle. For spartan kits like this, you will need to add everything else in. The Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo is a sleek and lightweight design that is little more than a 16 oz mug and a 30 oz pot, along with a lid that features an effective silicone tab that protects your fingers from the heat of the pot. This set comes with an oversized mesh carry bag that holds other essentials. Our testing team especially appreciated the measurements on the side of the mug so we could dial in our morning brew and backpacking recipes. This set of features, plus your stove, fuel, and spork are all you'll need for an ultralight backpacking trip.


On the other hand, some products incorporate all but the food, at least for basic camp cooking. For even slightly more elaborate culinary pursuits, you will need to supplement every one of the products with at least a sharp knife. Most will need additional spoons and forks. In short, there is no “one-stop-shop” regarding camping cookware. Some products save you some shopping, but all require some more thought. The degree to which you need to select other features depends on which kit you choose.

Let's examine what your typical camping kitchen should include. A lightweight backpacking cook kit might have one pot for boiling water for every 2-4 people and a spoon for each person. Everyone can then eat out of their freeze-dried food bag and drink from their water bottles. If you're planning on setting up a base camp that isn't too far from the trailhead, or you have the assistance of a mule string to pack your cookware deep into the wilderness, this could include pots and pans that are large enough to heat water for a group of up to four people, along with utensils, bowls, and mugs for each person. At the other end of the spectrum, gourmet “glamping” menus and kitchens require cookware that you could just take from your home kitchen. In between is the sweet spot. Whether camping or collecting a kit that will work for all of these and can be selected as a subset of backpacking, you need the following.

camping cookware - the gsi glacier basecamper doesn&#039;t come with all the bells and...
The GSI Glacier Basecamper doesn't come with all the bells and whistles; it has just two pots and a pan. It allows you to optimize and add your own components to personalize your camping trip.
Credit: Amber King

Assuming a cooking group of 2-3 people, you need a couple of pots, around 1.5-2 liters, with lids and handles. A frying pan with a lid is essential to most people. A cutting board, knife, and serving spoon/ladle round out the group gear. Each camper needs a bowl or deep plate, a cup for hot and cold liquids, a spoon, and a fork (or a spork). In assembling this standard kitchen kit, you have two primary options in our review. You can choose your pot set and then add the rest on your own, or you can pick a kit with at least some additional accessories.

Less than half of the cook sets we tested are two pots, lid(s) and handle(s). All of these products have no additional features. You will need to acquire a cutting board, knife, cutlery, bowls, and cups for each. In most cases, you will also choose to add a frying pan. The Primus PrimeTech 2.3L or the MSR Fusion Ceramic are great examples of this type of set.

camping cookware - compact and lightweight options with limited features, like the msr...
Compact and lightweight options with limited features, like the MSR Fusion Ceramic, are meant to provide the foundation for your backpacking kitchen rather than an all-inclusive cookware set.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Two GSI products, including the Pinnacle Camper Cookset, offer dedicated lids, insulated coffee cups, narrow “bowls,” and the carry bag doubles as water storage and a washbasin. GSI's newer backpacking set, the Pinnacle Dualist HS, has wider mugs and bowls, which allow for the storage of a stove and a fuel canister inside the pot. This model also includes the type of carrying bag that doubles as a sink.

camping cookware - designing the carrying pouch to double as a sink is a simple yet...
Designing the carrying pouch to double as a sink is a simple yet useful bonus feature.
Credit: Ross Patton

The GSI Glacier Basecamper has none of these. The MSR Quick 2 System and MSR Trail Lite Duo have similar feature sets. Each is two pots with lids, a couple of bowls/plates, and insulated mugs. For backpacking, even when preparing relatively nice food, this is a great start, if not all you will need.

camping cookware - the gsi outdoors pinnacle dualist hs has room for a stove and a fuel...
The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS has room for a stove and a fuel canister in addition to the included cups, bowls, and sporks.
Credit: Ross Patton

Ease of Use


During the months of our hands-on testing, we used these sets in as many ways as we could imagine. We went alpine climbing in the Tetons and High Sierra, picnicking in New York's Catskills, and even took some on expeditions to Chile, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands. We looked at the different features, the handles, and simply how easy it is to use while cooking and serving food.


We used every piece in every set to determine its versatility and practicality. The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS, MSR Trail Lite Duo Cook Set, MSR Quick 2 System, MSR Fusion Ceramic, the Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo, and the Primus Prime Tech 2.3 rank the highest within this category for their versatility both in the campground and on the trail. All these pots performed well during our scrambled egg test and were very easy to clean. Often, we find a skillet is unnecessary for overnight backpacking trips. And because of how well the MSR Quick 2 System, GSI Pinnacle Dualist HS, and Snow Peak Solo Combo scrambled an egg without one, we feel like anyone can do without a pan for short camping excursions.

camping cookware - the gsi outdoors pinnacle dualist hs is very easy to clean thanks to...
The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS is very easy to clean thanks to its non-stick coating.
Credit: Ross Patton


The MSR Quick 2 System set tied for the top ease of use score with PrimeTech 2.3L and MSR Fusion Ceramic. We like the Primus set's insulated cover and the universal locking pot gripper. It may seem silly to the uninitiated, but the widespread and locking pot gripper of the Primus Set sets it apart from everything else we tested. The Fusion Ceramic also uses a super steady pot gripper, but it's specific to its setup and can't be used for other sets.

camping cookware - the msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set handle is very easy to use and is...
The MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set handle is very easy to use and is shared between the two pots. It can even be easily transferred from one pot to another while cooking.
Credit: Trish Matheny

The lowest competitors in this category are the MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set and the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Backpacker Cookset. The GSI Outdoors Bugaboo camper set scores a little higher than the Pinnacle in this category for being easy to use while camping. It comes with the most pieces of all the cookware we tested, and the two pots and skillet are a great size to use when cooking for four.

camping cookware - we also evaluate how easy it is to clean a pot or pan. this is the...
We also evaluate how easy it is to clean a pot or pan. This is the result after cooking bacon early in the morning. With some sand scrubbing, it eventually comes out, but it requires a little work.
Credit: Amber King

Though not backpacking specific, our testing team can't help but give a shout-out to the Lodge Combo Cooker. It is not only incredibly user-friendly but also versatile in that it can be used as two separate skillets or combined into one Dutch oven. Not to mention that it is safe to use on various cooking surfaces, from the comfort of your home kitchen to the grill, to smack-dab in the middle of a campfire.

camping cookware - the lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker skillets function...
The Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker skillets function together to create a dutch oven or separately as individual skillets.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Cleaning Methods Matter


Cleaning up your latest bean, egg, pepper, and cheese breakfast creation can be a hassle when camping. Be careful with how you scrub your pans, though, as the wrong brush can ruin your set. Stainless steel can handle abrasive steel wool pads, but you should treat all other sets more cautiously. Green scrubbing pads are the best way to go for aluminum and titanium sets, but if your pan has a non-stick coating, you'll want to be even more gentle and use a spatula or soft dishcloth to loosen and remove leftover food.

Durability


Durability is an important criterion when purchasing camping cookware. Ideally, we'd like our pots and pans to last a lifetime. But it's easy to be hard on our camping sets, even if the abuse is unintentional. Metal spoons and spatulas are common around the campground but can be damaging to delicate non-stick coatings like Teflon and ceramic. Cast iron and stainless steel pots and pans offer the highest quality and durability, thanks to the scratch-resistant materials used in their construction. Titanium is similarly inert and, therefore, loses little to no cooking performance with wear and age. Titanium also offers a ton of strength, even with a thinner construction, that reduces bulk without sacrificing quality and cooking performance.


The only product we were confident in giving a perfect 10 out of 10 score was the Lodge Cast Iron Combo Cooker. While this set is about as durable as it gets, we recommend taking proper care of your cast iron to extend the life of this cookware for generations to come. Simply wash, dry, and coat with your favorite oil so these skillets are ready for your next gourmet meal.

camping cookware - the lodge 3.2 quart cast iron combo cooker is about as durable as it...
The Lodge 3.2 Quart Cast Iron Combo Cooker is about as durable as it gets.
Credit: Trish Matheny

The stainless steel construction of the Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro, the Stanley Adventure Base Camp, the GSI Glacier Basecamper, the GSI Glacier 1-Person, Snow Peak Personal Cooker 3, and the MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set, will last for many adventures to come. It is worth mentioning that we experienced some issues with the plastic utensils included with the Stanley products. These utensils don't match the quality of the stainless steel and can be disfigured if exposed to too much heat during cooking. The Alpine set is also constructed of durable components, unlike the GSI Glacier, which has flimsy lid holders, but well-crafted pots and a pan.

camping cookware - though the stainless steel construction is high quality and durable...
Though the stainless steel construction is high quality and durable, we found that the plastic utensils can be damaged when exposed to high heat.
Credit: Trish Matheny

We also appreciate the seemingly indestructible construction of the titanium contenders. Specifically, the Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo and the Trek 700 didn't scratch or dent when cleaned with steel wool or banged (hard) against rocks. While titanium doesn't cook nearly as well as stainless steel, it seems more durable for its weight. Even though it's thin, it's super-strong.

camping cookware - titanium offers super durable performance in a lightweight package...
Titanium offers super durable performance in a lightweight package. We take this on ski tours without issue. Even banging around amongst shovels, probes, and other metals, it doesn't dent or deform.
Credit: Amber King

While we didn't see any real durability issues in our testing, we did notice that the Teflon coating on skillets, like the one included in the GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper, scratched when cleaning it. Once the non-stick surface on a pan is scratched, it begins to deteriorate rather quickly, and ingesting flakes of Teflon is a potential health concern (the debate over the safety of Teflon has been going on for decades).

camping cookware - the anodized aluminum construction prefers plastic utensils, as the...
The anodized aluminum construction prefers plastic utensils, as the metal can scratch easily. If you are worried about scratching, look for stainless steel construction, as is quite a bit more durable.
Credit: Amber King

The MSR Fusion Ceramic brings an interesting and innovative alternative to the market. Though the uniquely designed ceramic coating is just as vulnerable to scratching and chipping as the Teflon and Teflon-like coatings, the material is less damaging to your health and the environment. Many users prefer to discontinue using their Teflon-coated cookware as soon as it becomes scratched. It might remain mostly non-stick, but some are concerned with the health effects. Ceramic cookware scratches and degrades just as quickly, but the health effects are minimal or nonexistent. With this in mind, you can use the Fusion Ceramic cookware longer than the Teflon-coated ones, technically making it a more durable option.

camping cookware - a look at a clean pot after three months of rigorous use. the...
A look at a clean pot after three months of rigorous use. The Outdoor Glacier still looks pretty good, and the stainless steel construction is quite bomber. We used metal utensils and beat the crud out of it.
Credit: Amber King

Perhaps the most memorable product from our extensive testing period was the MSR Trail Mini Duo which features a durable, hard-anodized aluminum pot, but a very hazardous silicone ring for additional grip. As the pot heated up, this ring slid to the bottom of the pot and caught fire during one our our tests. This is a potentially serious fire hazard, especially if you're camping in delicate environments like wilderness areas.

camping cookware - the ring around the msr trail mini duo can slip to the bottom of the...
The ring around the MSR Trail Mini Duo can slip to the bottom of the pot when exposed to heat, and is a potential fire hazard to be carefully monitored.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Packability


Packability is important whether you're living out of your van or backpacking in the wilderness. If you're looking to save space, this might be the metric you want to focus on.


We generally look for a set with nestled construction that will allow you to fit a fuel canister inside and that will not jostle around while hiking or driving your van. Those sets with all of these features or that simply took up less space did the best. Remember that you can also buy a set with more features and parse out individual components to make it more packable.

camping cookware - a look at the relative size and components inside of our base camp...
A look at the relative size and components inside of our base camp cook sets that are a little larger than personal cook set options.
Credit: Amber King

Two models stand out for their ultra-packable design – The Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo and the Snow Peak Trek 700 Titanium. These ultralight options are little more than mugs with lids that weigh nothing and require very little space in your backpack. We even packed the Solo Combo inside our bear canister during a climbing trip into the High Sierra.

camping cookware - the snow peak ti-mini solo combo 2.0 was one of the most packable...
The Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo Combo 2.0 was one of the most packable options that we tested. It has a little extra room inside the largest pot for a small stove and fuel canister and even fit inside our bear canister during a climbing trip into the High Sierra.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Other contenders that take up less space include the MSR Trail Mini Duo, MSR Trail Lite Duo, GSI Glacier 1-Person, GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS, the Snow Peak Personal Cooker 3, and the MSR Fusion Ceramic. These backpacking-specific designs scored high marks for being the smallest and most compact sets tested.

camping cookware - backpacking sets such as the gsi outdoors pinnacle dualist hs are...
Backpacking sets such as the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS are designed to be as light and compact as possible, even considering the number of dishes, silverware, and other accessories that they can hold.
Credit: Ross Patton

The MSR Trail Mini Duo and the MSR Fusion Ceramic are shaped so the user can fit a fuel can and stove inside. We just recommend you protect the fragile ceramic coating from any contact with metal by using a small piece of fabric, like the felt included with the Fusion Ceramic set. The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS, and GSI Glacier 1-Person can fit both a small canister and stove inside, while the Snow Peak Personal Cooker 3 can only fit one or the other. All these kits are designed with an emphasis on lightweight, backpacking adventures. But the Snow Peak Trek 700 is one of our favorites because it has the smallest dimensions and takes up the least amount of room in a backpack.

camping cookware - the large volume of the primus set offers lots of room for storage...
The large volume of the Primus set offers lots of room for storage and all sorts of kitchen items you might want on the trail.
Credit: Amber King

Of the larger, all-inclusive cookware sets that thoughtfully and strategically nest together, some top performers include the Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro, the GSI Pinnacle Camper, and the Stanley Adventure Base Camp. Though heavier than your average backpacking cookware kits, the Stanley options fasten securely with a locking bungee, while the Pinnacle Camper is fastened with a hook and webbing that can be cinched down for a more secure closure. The entire kit (as well as other GSI Outdoors carry bags we tested in this review) packs into a carry bag that can cleverly double as a wash bin for all those dirty dishes.

camping cookware - though these cookware sets range in weights from 3.7-8.2 pounds...
Though these cookware sets range in weights from 3.7-8.2 pounds, they require a similar amount of space, whether car or base camping.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Can It Fit a Stove?


When purchasing a backpacking-specific set, consider looking for a unit that can fit your stove and gas canister inside it. This minimizes the overall volume of your entire cooking system and keeps everything more organized.

Weight


Weight is a key consideration if you carry your cookware for any length of time on your back. If you plan on solely car camping, you can largely disregard this metric.


But people who enjoy camping and backpacking (and only want to purchase one set of cookware) will want to consider the weight of the model they purchase carefully. Other camping settings fall somewhere in between. Deluxe backcountry base camps, like those supplied by canoe, airplane, or even short backpack missions, deserve comfy cookware, and weight is less of an issue.

camping cookware - whether your camp kitchen lives in a van, a canoe, or a backpack...
Whether your camp kitchen lives in a van, a canoe, or a backpack will inform your choices. Even among backpackers there are different degrees of weight concern and gourmet cooking.
Credit: Jediah Porter

One of the largest and heaviest sets that we tested was the GSI Pinnacle Camper Cookset, which weighs 3.7 pounds. This model features two pots, two straining lids, a skillet, four plates, four mugs with lids, and four bowls, plus a sack that doubles as a wash basin. The amenities are great if you're looking to set up your camping kitchen entirely, but this also adds considerable weight overall. The individual components of this kit are user-friendly and reliable. Even when we weighed just one pot, lid, and handle and normalized for volume, it was slightly heavier than average.

camping cookware - the gsi pinnacle camper only weighs 3.7 pounds for the entire set.
The GSI Pinnacle Camper only weighs 3.7 pounds for the entire set.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Of the camp setups out there, the GSI Glacier Set is one of the lightest. It only has two high-capacity pots (two and three liters) and one saucepan with no extra components. While the pots might be heavier than the most ultralight options, they can cook more food at once, decreasing the fuel required for the trip. If a less-heavy camp set is what you seek, this is one to consider.

camping cookware - the gsi bugaboo camper comes fully loaded with some great amenities...
The GSI Bugaboo Camper comes fully loaded with some great amenities, but also makes it the largest and heaviest cookware we tested.
Credit: Gentrye Houghton

Some of the heaviest sets in this review also provide the best cooking performance. These sets include the Lodge Combo Cooker, the Stanley Even-Heat Camp Pro, and the Stanley Adventure Base Camp. These heavy-duty cookware sets are best for your car camping kitchen rather than as a backpacking consideration.

camping cookware - a lightweight cook set is paramount for backpacking adventures like...
A lightweight cook set is paramount for backpacking adventures like this one. Here we take an adventure, trying to find privacy on a remote beach in Hawaii. Packed with us is the GSI Glacier 1 person set.
Credit: Amber King

On the other end of the spectrum are the lightest sets, intended for backpacking, fastpacking, and those that appreciate minimalism at its best. The Snow Peak Trek 700 Titanium (0.3 ounces), the Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo (0.4 ounces), and the MSR Trail Mini Duo (0.7 ounces) are some of the lightest cookware sets we've tested. The Trek 700 is just a simple and durable cup, while the Snow Peak Solo Combo and the Trail Mini Duo come with a pot and eating bowl or mug, and offer superior cooking performance overall.

camping cookware - of all the cookware sets that we tested, the snow peak ti-mini solo...
Of all the cookware sets that we tested, the Snow Peak Ti-Mini Solo Combo 2.0 is one of the lightest and most compact.
Credit: Trish Matheny

The GSI Glacier 1-Person is stainless steel and a touch heavier. Unlike the Trail Mini Duo, it also comes with a frying pan, pot, bowl, and cup. So it has more features, but its cooking performance simply doesn't compare. The MSR Fusion Ceramic is another super lightweight option, only weighing one pound, with amazing, non-stick cooking performance. It's larger than the Glacier 1-Person but has a much higher capacity, suited for two to three people instead of just one. You'll be spending less on fuel as you can boil more water with less fuel for more people.

camping cookware - the msr fusion ceramic 2-pot set is one of the lighter options that...
The MSR Fusion Ceramic 2-Pot Set is one of the lighter options that we tested, weighing in at only a single pound for the entire set.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Somewhere in the middle of those two extremes is where we found the sweet spot for weight, where a set didn't sacrifice too many amenities or too much cooking performance. These middleweight-range sets (1.2 - 1.8 pounds) were great for camping, or even for backpacking when scaled down a bit. The MSR Trail Lite Duo Cook Set, Primus PrimeTech 2.3L, and the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS fall within this range. Another excellent mid-weight solution, with a few extra amenities included, is the MSR Quick 2 System.

camping cookware - we sure had fun cooking up a variety of foods in beautiful locations...
We sure had fun cooking up a variety of foods in beautiful locations and we hope that our observations help you to select the best cookware set for your personal camping needs.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Conclusion


We cooked hundreds of meals in many different settings to test camping cookware, so you can trust that our references are sound and well-researched. The shared experience of our testing team allows us to offer unbiased, expert recommendations. We hope this comprehensive review will help you find the perfect camping cookware for your needs whether sticking close to the car, setting up your next base camp, or moving fast and light while covering a ton of beautiful terrain.

Amber King, Jediah Porter, Ross Patton & Trish Matheny