Updated on March 19, 2021

One of life’s greatest enjoyments is to kick back after a hard day on the trail and fire up some delicious food. Considered to be one of the most essential pieces of gear to own, your investment in having one of the best backpacking cookware sets will go a long way in providing creature comforts on the rugged trail.

There aren’t too many details that you’ll have to sweat over, making this purchase a relatively straightforward one. But with literally hundreds of options to choose from, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 best backpacking cookware sets to make your choice as simple as possible.

For more of our top backpacking gear recommendations, check out the Best Backpacking Stoves

 

Quick Answer - The Best Backpacking Cookware

  1. GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper
  2. MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set
  3. TOAKS Titanium 750ml
  4. Primus PrimeTech 2.3 L Pot System
  5. Stanley Adventure Base Camp Set
  6. MSR Quick 2 System
  7. Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact
  8. Snow Peak Titanium Mini Solo
  9. GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist II
  10. Toaks Titanium 1600ml Pot With Pan

 

Comparison Table - Best Backpacking Cookware

PictureNameWeightBest UsePriceRating
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle CamperGSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper3 lbs. 10 oz.Family/Group Backpacking$$$4.6
MSR Ceramic 2-Pot SetMSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set1 lbBudget Backpacking$4.8
TOAKS Titanium 750mLTOAKS Titanium 750ml3.9 ozUltralight Backpacking$4.7
Primus PrimeTech 2.3 L Pot SystemPrimus PrimeTech 2.3 L Pot System1.6 lbsBackcountry chefs$$$4.4
Stanley Adventure Base Camp SetStanley Adventure Base Camp Set5 lbs. 9.6 oz.Basecamp Cooking$$4.3
MSR Quick 2 SystemMSR Quick 2 System1 lbs. 12 oz.Backpacking$$5.0
Snow Peak Titanium Multi CompactSnow Peak Titanium Multi Compact11.6 oz.Ultralight Backpacking$$4.9
Snow Peak Titanium Mini Solo6.38 oz.Ultralight Backpacking$$4.85
GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist IIGSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist II1 lbs. 7 oz.Backpacking$$4.8
Toaks Titanium 1600ml Pot With PanToaks Titanium 1600ml Pot With Pan8.2 oz.Ultralight Backpacking$4.75
PictureNameWeightBest UsePriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Cookware for Backpacking

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper

Specs
  • Best Use: Family/Group Backpacking
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 10 oz.
  • Cookware Material: Aluminum
  • Nonstick Surface: Yes
Features
  • Pot Gripper Attaches Externally To Avoid Internal Scratches
  • Nonstick Surface Is Scratch Resistant And Heats Food Evenly
  • Color Coded Dinnerware Helps Each Person Keep Track Of What’s Theirs
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper

BEST COOKSET OVERALL

Looking for a fully loaded cookset that has pots, pans, plates, and cups galore? Then the GSI Pinnacle Camper Cookset is your perfect match for a truly cushy camping experience. 

This cookset features 2 pots (3 Liters & 2 Liters) each with their own lid that has a built-in strainer for pasta, a frying pan, 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 insulated mugs with sippable lids, and an external pot gripper that won’t scratch the interior of your pots. The dinnerware is color coded so that no one mixes up whose is whose.  The set also features a welded sink basin that doubles as a carry bag.

MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set

Specs
  • Best Use: Budget Backpacking
  • Weight: 1 lb
  • Cookware Material: Aluminum
  • Nonstick Surface: Yes
Features
  • Two lightweight pots for easy cooking while backpacking
  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • Strainer lid and handle accommodate differently sized pots
MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set

BEST FOR: BACKPACKERS ON A BUDGET

MSR designed this 2-pot system from environmentally AND health-friendly ceramic materials. The system includes two pots and a pair of plier-like potholders designed to nest together and take up the least amount of space possible. The non-stick ceramic coating is also scratch resistant, which is a nice feature if you enjoy using metal utensils.

What we like most about this cookware system is that it can be used for simply boiling water and also serves to cook meals more evenly than most other options on the market. You’d be hard pressed to burn even the stickiest of foods.

TOAKS Titanium 750ml

Specs
  • Best Use: Ultralight Backpacking
  • Weight: 3.9 oz
  • Cookware Material: Titanium
  • Nonstick Surface: No
Features
  • Corrosion resistant, pure titanium construction
  • Ounce and millimeter marks enable precise measurements
  • Lid with lockable grip & vent holes
  • Includes mesh storage sack
TOAKS Titanium 750mL

BEST FOR: ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKING

From solo overnight missions to extended multi-day adventures, this pot does it all. At 750mL, there’s plenty of space for boiling water — no matter what you plan on rehydrating. This extremely durable pot is a great choice for an ultralight pot that still gets the job done. It features folding handles and a lid with a wire tab that makes it easy to check on your food or water. The seal formed by the tight-fitting lid also creates for unmatched heat retention.

What we love most about this pot — besides its feather light weight — is that it’s compact enough for stashing into your backpack’s side pocket AND big enough that you can stash a 4oz fuel canister inside.

Primus PrimeTech 2.3 L Pot System

Specs
  • Best Use: Backcountry chefs
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs
  • Cookware Material: Aluminum, ceramic
  • Nonstick Surface: Yes
Features
  • Quick cooking and low fuel demand
  • Self-locking ceramic tongs
  • Top lid turns into strainer
Primus PrimeTech 2.3 L Pot System

BEST FOR: BACKCOUNTRY CHEFS

If you’re looking for something simple, hearty, and built to last, this 2.3L Pot System is sure to fit the bill. This all in one system not only allows you to whip a delicious meal, but also save loads of fuel thanks to its highly efficient design. The set includes two pots, a lid, a handle, non-stick coating, and heat exchanger rings. The accessory pot nestles perfectly inside the main pot — and everything fits nicely in the included insulated carry bag.

What I covet most about this cookware set is just how efficient it really is — in part due to the inclusion of heat exchanger rings. The main pot’s thick aluminum bottom and Teflon coating makes cooking scrambled eggs — which notoriously tend to overcook on most cookware sets I’ve tested — a delicious-tasting backcountry possibility.

Stanley Adventure Base Camp Set

Specs
  • Best Use: Basecamp Cooking
  • Weight: 5 lbs. 9.6 oz.
  • Cookware Material: Stainless Steel
  • Nonstick Surface: Yes
Features
  • Stainless steel pot and frying pan
  • Four 6-inch plates & four bowls
  • Four sporks, Spatula, Serving spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Drying rack
Stanley Adventure Base Camp Set

BEST FOR: BASECAMP COOKING

If you’re looking for a full-kitchen experience in a camp-friendly package, look no further. The Stanley Adventure Base Camp cookware set includes a stainless steel pot and frying pan, four 6-inch plates, four bowls, four sporks, a cutting board, spatula, serving spoon, and drying rack. It’s essentially designed to match the performance and design of your kitchen at home.

What we like most about this cookware set is the intuitive vented lid design and how affordable it is for such a comprehensive kit.

MSR Quick 2 System

Specs
  • Best Use: Backpacking
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 12 oz.
  • Cookware Material: Hard-Anodized Aluminum
  • Nonstick Surface: Yes
Features
  • Color Coded Plates/Mugs Prevent Mixups
  • Entire Set Nests Within 2.5L Pot For Efficient Packing
  • Pieces Can Be Left At Home To Create An Even Lighter Set
MSR Quick 2 System

BEST FOR: COMPACT COOKING FOR 2

Perfect for any backpacking duo, the MSR Quick 2 System is a light and versatile cookset that covers all your bases and can be stripped down to the essentials for an even lighter load. 

Boasting two of (almost) everything for a complete meal set for each backpacker, this cookset features 2 insulated mugs with lids, 2 “DeepDish” plates (for either soup or solid food – it’s essentially a bowl-plate), and 2 pots (1.5 Liter & 2.5 Liter). It also sports a lid with a built-in strainer and a detachable pot lifter that won’t scratch the interior. 

This set can also be stripped down for a single backpacker or if both you and your partner already have water bottles, you can remove the cups to create room inside the pot to store your stove!

Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact

Specs
  • Best Use: Ultralight Backpacking
  • Weight: 11.6 oz.
  • Cookware Material: Titanium
  • Nonstick Surface: No
Features
  • Extremely Lightweight And Durable
  • Handles Pack Flat For Easy Storage
  • Includes A Lightweight Nylon Mesh Storage Bag
Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact

BEST FOR: HIGH-QUALITY, MINIMAL DESIGN FOR SMALL GROUPS

Small backpacking groups of 2-3 people looking to invest in the most durable and longest lasting cookware set ought to consider the Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact cookset. Sporting the lightest, most durable, and longest lasting material (Titanium), you’ll get the absolute best bang for your buck. 

The set features 2 pots (34 oz. & 26 oz.), a 17 oz. frying pan, and a 12 oz. saucepan, the latter two which can double as lids for the pots. The handles on each pot and pan fold down for easy storage and all four pieces nest within each other for the most efficient use of space and can also store a 100/110g fuel canister inside (sold seperately).

Snow Peak Titanium Mini Solo

Specs
  • Best Use: Ultralight Backpacking
  • Weight: 6.38 oz.
  • Cookware Material: Titanium
  • Nonstick Surface: No
Features
  • 100g Fuel Canisters Can Fit Inside The 30 oz. Pot
  • Pot Nests Snuggly Inside The Cup For Compact Storage
  • Rounded Bottom Edges Are Easy To Clean And Improve Heating Efficiency

BEST FOR: ULTRALIGHT SOLO BACKPACKERS

The lightest of the lightest available cooksets, the Snow Peak Titanium Mini Solo cookset is streamlined and efficient for your most rugged outdoor adventures. 

Made from Titanium, the lightest and most durable material for a cookset, the Mini Solo resists corrosion and heats food evenly. It’s also extremely efficient meaning you’ll use less fuel for each cook. The taller 30 oz pot fits snugly inside the shorter 18.3 oz. cup thanks to a slight difference in circumference size, allowing you to nest the two pieces for the ultimate packdown. 

The lid for the pot also has a silicone tab for burn-free removal! No need to cover your hand first.

GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist II

Specs
  • Best Use: Backpacking
  • Weight: 1 lbs. 7 oz.
  • Cookware Material: Hard-Anodized Aluminum
  • Nonstick Surface: No
Features
  • Hard-Anodized Aluminum Heats Food Evenly
  • Welded Stuff Sack Protects Cookware And Doubles As Wash Basin
  • Pot Lid Is Crushproof And Heat Resistant, Also Includes Built-In Strainer
GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist II

BEST FOR: TWO-PERSON OUTINGS

Having a complete cookset for two doesn’t have to be bulky, heavy and expensive. The GSI Outdoors Halulite Microdualist II shatters all of those conventions in favor of a streamlined, lightweight, affordable cookset that sports all the features of a fully-loaded set. 

Nesting all of its pieces within a 1.4L pot, this cookset features two 14 oz. bowls, two 14 oz. mugs with sippable lids, two folding foons (fork-spoons), and a lid for your pot with a built-in strainer. 

The folding foons collapse to just 3.7” inches from it’s fully extended 6.1” inch length, making it small enough to fit inside the nesting system.

Toaks Titanium 1600ml Pot With Pan

Specs
  • Best Use: Ultralight Backpacking
  • Weight: 8.2 oz.
  • Cookware Material: Titanium
  • Nonstick Surface: No
Features
  • Includes A Mesh Storage Sack
  • No Metallic Aftertaste With Titanium
  • Ounce And Liter Marks Allow For Precise Measurement
Toaks Titanium 1600ml Pot With Pan

BEST FOR: EXPANDING YOUR EXISTING MINIMAL SET

If you have a minimalist solo set or an ultralight cookware set for two, then the TOAKS Titanium 1600ml Pot with Pan is a perfect addition to expand your set. Able to hold 1.6 Liters (1600ml), this sizeable pot is still super lightweight and has a lid that doubles as a fry pan (or vise versa). 

The entire set weighs just 8.2 oz., making this expansion set the best ultralight add-on. It’s also large enough to store a 220g fuel canister and small stove inside itself. The handles even feature a nifty fold-down mechanism for compact storage.

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING BACKPACKING COOKSETS

MATERIALS

There are a wide variety of materials that cooksets are offered in. Below, we detail the pros and cons of each and rate them for backpacking and car camping. 

Aluminum

  • Backpacking: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒
  • Car Camping: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭒

Lightweight and affordable, aluminum is a fantastic material for a cookset. Food is cooked evenly and efficiently on aluminum cookware since it’s such a great conductor of heat. While it’s pretty durable, over time it will eventually break down and need replacing, especially if you cook highly acidic foods such as tomato sauce. Aluminum is also softer than other metals, meaning it will get banged up, taking both scratches and dents with heavy use. 

Hard-Anodized Aluminum 

  • Backpacking: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
  • Car Camping: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

A more durable, albeit pricer, option to aluminum is hard-anodized aluminum. It provides all the benefits of standard aluminum without any of the downsides – just cook away! 

Stainless Steel

  • Backpacking: ⭑⭒⭒⭒⭒
  • Car Camping: ⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒

While it is an option, stainless steel offers little benefit to backpackers and campers. Although it’s way more durable than aluminum, it’s also much more expensive yet doesn’t heat food as evenly. It’s also really heavy which can be quite the drawback when you’re trying to save weight. For the high price tag, you’re better off investing in titanium or hard-anodized aluminum. 

Titanium

  • Backpacking: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
  • Car Camping: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

If you’re not constrained by a budget, this is your absolute best option! Titanium is the lightest material possible which makes it ideal for backpackers looking to shave weight. While it is more expensive than some other options, it’s extremely efficient which translates into fuel cost savings. Last but not least, titanium is highly corrosion-resistant meaning it will outlast and outperform any other cookset material. 

Non-Stick Coating

  • Backpacking: ⭑⭑⭒⭒⭒
  • Car Camping: ⭑⭑⭑⭒⭒

Non-stick coatings are really easy to clean, making your post-meal chores a breeze. However, the coating is much less durable than aluminum or titanium. It’s important to use only plastic utensils while cooking with non-stick or you will likely scratch and degrade the non-stick surface. 

Cast Iron

  • Backpacking: ⭒⭒⭒⭒⭒
  • Car Camping: ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑

Best for car camping, cast iron skillets hold seasoning really well and make some amazingly delicious campfire dinners. They’re crazy durable but also extremely heavy, which makes them a no-go for backpacking. 

 

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

Number of Pots/Pans

When choosing a cookware set, it’s best to consider how many people you usually backpack or camp with. A rough estimate is 1 pot for every 1 to 2 people in your group, but that largely depends on what you’re cooking. 

For dehydrated meals that simply need boiled water to be added, or can-ready meals that need warming like chili, then 1 pot per 2 backpackers will be enough. But if you’re cooking a more standard meal from scratch with multiple ingredients, then each backpacker will likely need a dedicated pot/pan. 

Pot Size

The size of your chosen pots and pans also plays a critical role in determining the best cookware set. Larger pots are more efficient for space and resources since you won’t need as many burners as you would with multiple smaller pots. Ideally, the largest pot in your set should hold 1 pint per person in your group. So if you’re a hiking group of 4 people, then you’ll need a pot than can hold at least 4 pints, if not a little more. 

Lids and Handles

While completely optional, and usually ditched by ultralight enthusiasts, lids can help food cook faster and achieve results such as melting cheese atop a burger pattie. Some cookware sets are super efficient, and double their pans as lids.

Handles are also really important to consider. Many sets offer collapsible handles to help save space in your pack while other sets completely ditch them in favor of a single pot lifter/gripper than can be used for multiple pots/pans. This can help save weight for ounce-conscious hikers.  

 

OPTIONAL GADGETS

Those who can’t bear to go a morning without coffee may want to invest in a french press. You can find compact and durable ones made specifically for backpacking! Coffee while camping may seem like a luxury to some, but it’s a necessity for many! Car campers may enjoy a dutch oven as it increases your dinner options and makes large meals easy to cook.

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

BPA

Bisphenol A – a chemical used to make polycarbonate plastics that is not food safe. When choosing plastic containers for food and water, make sure they’re BPA-free. 

 

Liter

Many of the pots and pans on the list above are measured in liters, which is roughly 4 cups of water. 

 

Ultralight

A style of backpacking that focuses on reducing unnecessary weight to make travel lighter. Many ultralight backpackers obsess over ounces and have been known to snap toothbrushes in half and shave them down to create the most minimalist design possible. Their theory is that each ounce saved ends up equalling pounds, and each pound saved over a mile is less energy spent.  

 

READ MORE

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2 Responses

  1. Diego@Kitchenitems

    Wow, Great post. I’m enjoying reading this article. These are looking cool cookware sets, I like to try MSR Quick 2 System cookware sets. BTW Thanks for sharing this valuable information.

  2. Cindy Tesler

    Thanks for mentioning that aluminum is affordable for camping cookware. You also said that it is very lightweight. I think it’s a good idea to choose camping cooking supplies that are compact for travel.

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