So you want to know what are the best backpacking cookware sets out there? You’ve come to the right place!
Refueling after a long day on the trail is essential. And, if you want to eat more than just freeze dried meals you’ll need to bring along a cooking set. But, how do you know what are the best cookware sets for backpacking?
That’s where we come in. One of our goals here at The Adventure Junkies is to make your life easier when it comes to choosing outdoor gear. Here in this article we’ll walk you through what to look for while shopping for backpacking cookware and how to find the set that fits your needs best.
If you’re looking for other hiking gear, don’t forget to check out our hiking resources page for more buyers guides like stoves 101, sleeping bags 101, hiking poles 101, GPS for backpacking and many others. Okay, let’s get into the best cookware for backpacking.
For more of our top backpacking gear recommendations, check out the Best Backpacking Stoves.
Quick Answer - The Best Backpacking Cookware
- MSR Quick 2 System
- Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact
- MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set
- Sea to Summit X-Set 21
- GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Backpacker
- Primus Litech Super Set
- Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set
- G4Free Outdoor Camping Set
- Stanley Adventure Two Pot
- Optimus Terra He Cookset
Comparison Table - Best Backpacking Cookware
|MSR Quick 2 System||1.76 lbs||Hard-anodized Aluminum||$$$||4.6|
|Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact||0.7 lbs||Titanium||$$$||4.1|
|MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set||1.3 lbs||Stainless Steel||$$||4.8|
|Sea to Summit X-Set 21||1.37 lbs||Hard Anodized Aluminum Base, Silicone Walls||$$$||4.5|
|GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Backpacker||1.8 lbs||Hard-anodized Aluminum||$$$||4.7|
|Primus Litech Super Set||1.9 lbs||Hard-anodized Aluminum with Titanium Coating||$$||4.5|
|Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set||1.5 lbs||Solid and Light Aluminum Oxide||$$||4.6|
|G4Free Outdoor Camping Set||1.2 lbs||Aluminum||$||4.5|
|Stanley Adventure Two Pot||2.81 lbs||Stainless Steel||$$||4.9|
|Optimus Terra He Cookset||1.59 lbs||Hard-anodized Aluminum||$$||4.4|
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Reviews - The Best Cookware for Backpacking
MSR Quick 2 System
Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact
MSR Alpine 2 Pot Set
Sea to Summit X-Set 21
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Backpacker
Primus Litech Super Set
BEST FOR: GOURMET CAMP MEALS
PROS: High quality, Big enough to cook for a few people
CONS: Heavy, nothing to hold lid in place when stored
INCLUDES: Two pots, a frying pan, and lid
Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set
BEST FOR: BACKPACKING NEWBIES
PROS: Durable, Great Value
CONS: Unnecessary accessories, bowls are small
INCLUDES: Pot, frying pan, tea kettle, serving ladle, 2 bowls, serving spoon, cleaning sponge, carrying bag
G4Free Outdoor Camping Set
BEST FOR: ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKING
PROS: Lightweight, compact, portable
CONS: Silicon handles easily melt
INCLUDES: 1.3L pot, 1L pot, 2 lids/bowls
Stanley Adventure Two Pot
BEST FOR: HEAVY USE
PROS: Compact nesting system, scratch resistant, durable
CONS: Too heavy for multi-day backpacking
INCLUDES: Two stainless steel pots, a folding cutting board, collapsible spatula, ladle, and two bowls
Optimus Terra He Cookset
BEST FOR: QUICK COOKING
PROS: Heat exchanger allows for quick boiling
INCLUDES: 1.65L Teflon coated pot, 1.7L non coated pot, 1.65L Teflon coated fry pan
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST COOKWARE FOR BACKPACKING
TYPES OF MATERIALS
Backpacking cookware comes in a variety of materials. Choosing the right backpacking cookware for you will come down to how you plan to use it and your budget.
HARD-ANODIZED ALUMINUM resists scratches and is long lasting, plus hard-anodized aluminum is more durable than regular aluminum. The downside is it’s more expensive than normal aluminum.
ALUMINUM is an affordable lightweight option that is a good conductor of heat, which means faster cooking time. The downside is it dents and warps easily. Also, raw aluminum can react with certain foods, which changes their flavor.
TITANIUM is extremely lightweight without compromising strength and it’s thin walls allow it to heat quickly. It is typically the most expensive option.
STAINLESS STEEL is durable and scratch resistant. This is a good choice if you use your gear often and are hard on it. The downside is these sets are typically the heaviest options.
Like any piece of gear you plan to pack into your backpack, weight is a critical factor. If you want to go ultralight, have a look at titanium sets. However, if you plan to use your cook set for more than just boiling water, you should consider non stick aluminum options. Although these sets aren’t the lightest, they are better for frying.
CARE & CLEAN UP
Certain types of pots and pans are more difficult to clean and care for than others. Food can easily become stuck to the bottom of stainless steel and titanium pots and pans. Aluminum pots and pans with non-stick coatings are easy to clean but you’ll need to take extra care not to scratch them.
To determine which set you need you’ll need to consider how many people you plan on cooking for. If you’re going on a solo trip you can probably get by with one small pot but when it comes to groups of 3 hikers or more you’ll need to plan accordingly. Some sets come with a variety of pots and pans, some even come with cups, plates and bowls.
GRABBER VS HANDLE
Most cookware sets include a handle or a detachable one (a grabber). A pot grabber is a handy little tool for your cooking set because you can use it on multiple pots. The downside to the grabber is you have to continuously grip while using it, it’s also easy to loose your hold on it and spill your food (a serious problem on a long hiking trip).