Best Camping Cookware in 2020

There’s something about cooking in the wilderness. It is a very relaxing and fun experience and that’s why many of us love barbecues in the open air in our backyards. Imagine being able to do that on top of your favorite hiking hill, or on the bank of a river someplace. To be able to cook anytime, and any place, you require the best camping cookware, because you can not carry all the heavy pots and pans you have at home.

Here we have reviewed some of the best backpacking cookware, which is ultralight and does the job. This camp cookware is easy to carry in your car, as well as on the hike, being light, compact, and reliable. We realize that different types of campers and travelers have different types of needs. Perhaps some of you are bikers, while others are hikers and maybe some travel far-flung areas in their cars. Nevertheless, in this list, we will sub-categorize so that you know what the best car camping and hiking camping cookware are.

camping cookware

How to buy the right camping cookware?

There are a lot of things to consider when you are looking for what exactly to buy. Here we will streamline the process and give you exactly the types available so that you make the right decision.

What are the types of camping cookware?

Cooksets

Made up of one or more pots, pans with lids. There are meant to be comprehensive sets. 

Individual Items 

These are the items you buy separately for the trip like a kettle or a pan. It is suggested that you buy the lightest and least space-consuming ones. 

Mess kit sets 

Mess kit sets are everything in one. They have all the pots, pans, and kettles you need to cook. As well as everything you need to eat with.

Cast iron cookware

For those who prefer to cook directly over the fire, this is the thing to buy, however, might take up a lot of space.

Weight

Another thing that you need to take into consideration while deciding the best camping cookware is the weight of the set you choose. It matters if you are a backpacker because heavier weight might be carried for small distances but can’t be for long ones.

Size

For your ease here is the table that tells you the appropriate size to but according to the people you are going out with.

  • 1 person = 750ml-1 litre
  • 2 people = 1-2 litres
  • 3-4 people = 2-3 litres
  • 5+ people = 4+ litres

The Leading Brands for Camping Cookware

GSI

GSI came into being in 1985 by a family very much fond of adventuring. It remains a family-run business and promises innovation, efficiency, and durability, and they deliver. Their products are the single most popular ones out there,

MSR

Created in 1969 by a scientist and a mountaineer, MSR is another company that delivers high-quality adventure sports goods. They believe in better, safer, and reliable equipment to enhance the experience of all your travels and adventures.

Sea to Summit

Australians are some of the most adventurous people out there. Sea to Summit is a company for the outdoor enthusiasts and the adventurers and the promise on “to equip and inspire”. They are one of the leading brands for all sorts of outdoor gear.

The Best Camping Cookware in 2020 – Reviews

1- GSI Pinnacle Cookware – The Best Camping Cookware

GSI Pinnacle Cookware

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Pros Cons
Comprehensive cooking set Heavy
Excellent cooking ability Difficult to pack
Easy to use

GSI is the leader amongst the best camping cookware brands. Known for its excellent products, the pinnacle provides no exception to its quality. This makes the top of our list because this camping cooking set is so obviously the best choice for most people. 

This is not the tiniest or the lightest camping cookware on the list. But that’s because this is ideal for large groups and not for you by your lonesome. Obviously the first thing you will look for in camping pots and pans is their ability to cook. Now if you are someone who lives off ramen, then this might be an overkill. With its aluminum build that is excellent for heat distribution, the best Teflon radiance and pots, and pans for every purpose available, you can have a proper home-cooked meal away from home. 

If you use the non-stick according to the instructions, this set is very durable. While the thick aluminum build adds weight (about 3.7lbs), the result is high durability and that is something you need because camping is not exactly a 5-star hotel stay.

Pros:

  • This is a comprehensive camping cookware set, and you will not need to worry about anything you need to not be in here.  
  • The best feature of this set is its excellent cooking ability, for foodies like me, you’re covered.
  • All parts integrate and work smoothly together, making this very easy to use. 

Cons:

  • The weight is little on the higher side, meaning this will not be appropriate for those who hike. 
  • The set takes up a lot of space, making it difficult to pack.

Conclusion:

This is probably the best camping cookware, owing to its amazing features, excellent cooking ability, and adaptability. Added durability, this camping cookware is everything you need.

2- GSI Outdoors Glacier Base Camper Cookset – The Best Car Camping Cookware

GSI Outdoors Glacier Base Camper Cookset

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Pros Cons
Easy to re-pack Large lid doesn’t fit securely
Campfire compatible
Easy to use

The Glacier base camper cookset is another masterpiece from GSI. It is also a car set, but it fixes some of the problems of the Pinnacle Camper. It is very lightweight, and it packs easily and is extremely durable.

This 5 piece cookset is made of very durable stainless steel. It is a comfortable set and can host up to 6 people. It contains 2 pots, 1 frying pan, 2 strainer lids, and one storage sack. It still weighs a lot more than you should carry during a hike but is lighter in weight than the Pinnacle (2.86 lbs). It is also very versatile. It has many cool features that make it easy to use, and very comfortable to cook with. The silicon thumb pads, the locking frying panhandle, folding lid lifters, and pot handles make this one of the easiest to use camping cookware available.  

This is one of the most versatile cookware sets out there. If you take out the larger pot, this becomes ultralight backpacking cookware, enough for two people. One of its standout features is that it is campfire compatible, meaning that you can actually have a cool outdoor cooking experience that is truly natural. 

One thing that takes a few points off the Glacier Base Camper Cookset is that the large lid doesn’t fit the frying pan securely. Even though it is the right size, it wasn’t made for a secure feel. 

Pros

  • Highly Packable, and this is important when you are in a hurry or when you don’t have a lot of space, this is one of the most important features of a good camping cookset.
  • Campfire Compatible, for those who like to get the feel of the coal into their meal, for a real natural experience.
  • Easy to use, many features and versatility make this a hassle-free cook.

Cons

  • The large lid doesn’t fit the frying pan securely and that might get annoying.

Conclusion:

The GSI outdoors glacier base camping cookware is an excellent GSI product, it is nearly perfect with the right size, the right features providing you with the optimal cooking experience you require. You can not go wrong buying this almost-perfect cookset.

3. Primus PrimeTech 2.3L – The Best Backpacking Cookware

Primus PrimeTech 2.3L

 

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Pros Cons
Efficient cooking  Not comprehensive for proper meals
Easy and convenient Heat ring collects dirt 
High Durability

The product from Primus gives GSI a run for its money. While it is not like the GSI cook sets in terms of features, it does the job in an efficiency unmatched by most camping cookware sets. 

While the GSI products reviewed here are the jack of all trades, the Primus is definitely a specialist. It is very easy to use, with an excellent heat exchange ring and a locking universal handle. It weighs around 1.6lbs which is significantly lighter than the two we have reviewed above, but on the scale, it isn’t the most lightweight camping cookware out there. It is made of aluminum which adds some durability to the set, the nonstick Teflon is also a great advantage. 

The best feature, the thing the PrimeTech specializes in has to be the amazing cooking ability. The heat exchange ring at the bottom of the set distributes the heat in such an efficient manner which makes this set use the least time, and the least fuel, to boil water. 

Some things that might annoy you are that this isn’t exactly a comprehensive cooking set. You will need to take some stuff from your kitchen. Furthermore, the heat exchange lid while efficient catches dirt easily causing a nightmare to clean it. 

Pros

  • Efficient cooking gives you a well-cooked meal using the least amount of fuel and time.
  • It is easy to use with a universal locking handle so that you have a comfortable experience.
  • Has good durability ensuring it won’t break when you are in dire need for a meal.

Cons

  • Not a comprehensive cookset, considering it doesn’t have a frying pan, and many other accessories. 
  • The heat ring collects dirt and you need to keep it clean.

Conclusion:

The Primus PrimeTech is an excellent camping cookware set because it is definitely one of the most efficient cooksets out there. While it is not the most versatile camping cookset, it can be used as a backpacking pot considering its low weight and not a lot to carry. 

4. Sea To Summit Alpha Pot Set 2.2 -The Best Two-People Camping Cookware

SEA TO SUMMIT ALPHA POT SET 2.2

 

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Pros Cons
Comprehensive cooking set Lid for larger pot doesn’t lock securely
Reliable and secure locking pot handles Heat ring collects dirt
Can feed upto 4 people

The Sea to Summit Alpha Pot is an excellent camping cooking gear. It is versatile, easy to pack and great for two people, but can also cook for up to 4 hikers. Sea to Summit is popular amongst those who are outdoor enthusiasts and are looking for good quality gear.

The set comes with two lidded mugs, two lidded pots, and two bowls. It certainly is not heavy, having a weight of 1.7lbs. One of the pots has a capacity of 1.2L and the other has one of 2.7L fulfilling most of your camping cooking needs. The pots are made of hard-anodized aluminum whereas the mugs are made of BPA-free glass reinforced polypropylene. 

The mugs are insulated with removable sleeves that keep your drinks hot but your hands comfortable. The bowls are wide and lightweight giving you a very comfortable experience. The handles for the pilot can be locked securely and have a great grip. One of the best features of the Alpha pot is its amazing packability. The whole set can be packed into the larger pot making it very convenient. 

One of the down points of this cookware is that the lid for the biggest pot isn’t secure. Considering it holds everything else in it, you need to strap it properly so that things do not fall out.

Pros

  • It is a comprehensive set considering it not only gives you the cooking utensils but gives you bowls and mugs for eating, thus taking care of another of your worries. 
  • The pot handles are reliable and lock securely giving you peace of mind.
  • You can cook larger meals in the big pot and can provide a good meal to up to 4 people.  

Cons

  • The lid for the bigger pot doesn’t lock securely so you need to strap it with something else to ensure nothing falls out.
  • It is a little on the expensive side.

Conclusion

This is one of the best backpacking cookware sets available, it is convenient for two people and has everything you need. It is easy to pack and versatile and also not-heavy. All of these features make this an excellent choice for your backpacking trips. 

5. MSR Ceramic 2 Pot Set -The Best Ceramic Camping Cookware

MSR Ceramic 2 Pot Set

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Pros Cons
Extremely Lightweight Does not come with a frying pan
Ceramic made making it safer than Teflon Low Durability
Excellent cooking performance

Here is another MSR product that is award-winning but caters to a very specific niche of campers. This one is for the health-conscious foodies out there. The ceramic build is not something very common in camping cookware but MSR has made an excellent product that might actually change your line of thought. 

One might think that the nonpresence of Teflon might affect its cooking ability, but thankfully that is no way the case here. This pot has an excellent cooking ability and boils waster extremely quick. For years there was always a trade-off between good cooking ability and being lightweight. Teflon, while made easy to cook, the health effects of it made a lot of people uncomfortable. Ceramic takes away all that making a lightweight, easy to cook cookware that you can use to make the proper gourmet meals you make at home.

Since it only contains two pots, and they fit securely, makes this a very packable product. It is very lightweight, having a weight of 1lbs, making this the ultralight backpacking cookware you were searching for. One of the advantages that come with having few components is the added simplicity. There is not a lot to understand and figure out making this one of the easiest to use camping cookware on this list. 

With ceramic coating, there come some disadvantages. The first of which is the compromise on the durability. Ceramic is not nearly as strong as let’s say stainless steel or aluminum, but that is the price you have to pay to have the peace of mind that comes from eating healthy and gourmet food. Also, it doesn’t come with a lot except the two pots, meaning you need to carry other things to accompany you on your hikes. 

Pros

  • This is extremely lightweight and will not burden your shoulders on your journey, and also won’t take up a lot of space if you’re traveling by car.
  • The ceramic making provides you with peace of mind knowing that whatever you eat is safe and healthy.
  • Outstanding cooking performance helping you cook the meals you have been fantasizing about.

Cons

  • Not a comprehensive cookset, it only contains two pots and you need to carry a frying pan with you. 
  • Not very durable, but if used very carefully, this set might stick around for a long time.

 Conclusion:

For the foodies and the health-conscious, this is an open and shut choice. It is lightweight, making it an easy companion on rides, and the ease of use and good packability makes this an amazing product. However, the high price point is something you need to consider before buying this.

6. Sea to Summit X-Set 32 Cookset – Best Camping Cookware for huge Gatherings 

Sea to Summit X-Set 32 Cookset

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Pros Cons
Easily packable Handles don’t lock
Lightweight thus easy to carry Comparatively expensive for a 3 piece set
Silicon handles providing safety for your hands

Another Sea to Summit product. This is lightweight, easily collapsible, and packable. While it is not robust like many others on the list, and can not be used on campfires, this cookset fits the needs of a lot of different categories of campers.

Coming with a kettle, a pot, and a frying pan, this contains all the essentials you need when you want to cook good meals. The pot has a hefty capacity of 2.8L whereas the kettle has a capacity of 1.3L. It is not the lightest one out there but this cookset is not in any way heavy, having a weight of about 1.6lbs. It is also very durable, considering it is made of silicone, aluminum, and nylon. 

The pot is 2.8L and can easily feed a family of four hungry hikers. But if you are light eaters, you might even be able to serve around 6 people! The pot has silicon handles on the side allowing you to drain and dispose of the leftover content safely. The BPA free silicone is also present on the lid. The kettle also comes with a BPA free lid and two D shaped handles, that allow you to pour smoothly and safely. The frying pan also has silicone handles for safety. It is also very easy to pack and doesn’t take up a lot of space.

If you are backpacking, you can carry this around considering it is not that heavy, but it takes up some space for you and might be an overkill. But if there are 4 people with you, it makes it worth it because then you can divide and it can be easy to carry, furthermore, it can easily cook for four and more. If you are in a car, however, this is amongst the best car camping cooksets because it has everything you need and becomes a lot easier to carry. 

The handles on this set are not locking. This creates a big problem because you need to hold both the handles at times while cooking to avoid spillovers and that is very dangerous.

Pros

  • It is easily collapsible and packable making your clean up easy and hassle-free. 
  • It is lightweight but at the same time can feed up to 6 hungry mouths so that you can relax about feeding everyone.
  • The silicone handles on the pots and pans keep your hands away from heat as you can easily move things around.

Cons

  • The handles don’t lock and can collapse on you spilling the hot contents.
  • Amongst 3 piece sets in the market, this is a little on the pricier side.

Conclusion:

If you are going on a trip with your friends and family, this is what you should bring along with you. The two lar pots can easily feed 5-6 people making it convenient for families that take trips together.

7. MSR Trail Mini Duo – The Best Backpacking Cookware

MSR Trail Mini Duo

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Pros Cons
Extremely lightweight Low Cooking performance
Easily packable and takes up very little space Not comprehensive at all, you will need to buy accessories
High Durability Difficult to use

Very much unlike all the other products reviewed so far, the MSR Trail Mini Duo is ultralight in every sense of the word. This product from MSR is for those for whom camping is an escape from civilization. This will fulfill all your personal hunger needs but it will not be able to do much else.

This cookset comes with a 1.2L pot, a 28 oz bowl, pot lifter, and a stuff sack. Made of Hard-Anodized aluminum and weighing around 0.7 lbs this is probably the best backpacking and hiking cookware for the single person. It is durable, robust, and keeps you filled. 

In terms of cooking performance, there is not much that you can do with the Trail Mini Duo. It’s the tall and narrow shape, first of all, is not the ideal shape for cooking. You can not expect to fry an egg or simmer things over this pot. The best you can hope for is boiling water and some general light heating. So if you are more about the adventure, less about the food and can enjoy some ramen, this is the one for you. 

It is small and hence extremely packable. You can easily set it up and pack it up again on the go in no time. Also, it is very easy to carry around on your backpack because it contains only the essentials. The hard-anodized aluminum build makes this a very durable product.

Obviously, with such a low weight and small size comes a lot of limitations such as not being comprehensive at all and not being that easy to cook. But you can rarely get everything you are looking for. 

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight so you do not have to worry about burdening your shoulders while you hike. 
  • Very easy to pack and does not take up a lot of space making it very easy to carry around.
  • Very durable, made of aluminum which makes this something that can accompany you for many years and many adventures. 

Cons

  • The cooking performance is low and you can not cook most stuff on it.
  • Doesn’t come with a lot of accessories so you need to get everything you need separately. 
  • It is not that easy to use considering its tall and narrow shape. 

Conclusion

This is in no way your one-stop solution for all your camping cookware needs. This is the very basic cooking set that you can get that meets the bare minimum. For the niche that enjoys hiking and lonesome adventures, this is the one for you.

8. Stanley Adventure Base Camp – Best Stainless Steel Camping Cookware

Stanley Adventure Base Camp

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Pros Cons
Comprehensive cooking set, has everything you might need Low Packability
Amazing cooking performance
DWeighs a ton
A lot of features in an affordable price tag

Stanley has a 100-year-old legacy of producing high-class bottles and cups. Theirs is a well-known company and they have made one of the most comprehensive camping cookware sets out there. This Best Buy award-winning camping cookware is known for having literally everything you need to cook on-site, and you do not have to worry a moment about forgetting anything, because this has it all. 

The cost of giving you everything you require, and more, is naturally, a lot of weight. Weighing at around 4.8 lbs, this is your one-stop-shop for all your needs. But obviously, you can not expect to carry this around because it will quickly drain you. It is made of stainless steel which is the most durable of the materials available for camping cookware. The pot has a capacity of 3.7L, and the set also includes a frying pan, cutting board, spatula, serving spoon, 4 plates, 4 bowls, 4 sporks, a dish-drying rack, heat resistant trivet and locking bungee. 

While stainless steel isn’t as efficient for heat transfer as is aluminum, in this case, if you fry and saute on the frying pan, the pot will work really well. The three-layer base on the frying pan is amazing for cooking steaks and sauteing vegetables and while stainless steel isn’t non-stick like Teflon, it is also not harmful to your health and is durable enough to last a lifetime. In this list, this is probably the most durable camping cookware. The features that this comes with is probably its biggest selling point, from sporks to bowls, this set contains literally everything you need.

With all these many features and components, this set has very low packability, as expected. It is a hassle to put everything in its place because there is so much to do it becomes a challenge. Stanley has also clearly paid no attention to the weight. This cooking set weighs a lot more than any other on this list.

Pros

  • This is very comprehensive and has everything you need for a worry-free cooking experience.
  • This set has amazing cooking performance and helps to keep your eye on the ball, which at the end of the is cooking.
  • This camping cookware is very high value because, for the price, it gives you a lot more features than you expect it to.

Cons

  • It has low packability because the more components there are, naturally the more tedious the process becomes. 
  • The weight is very high, in fact, probably the weightiest one I have reviewed, which is not something appreciated because most people prefer to travel light. 

Conclusion:

If you travel with your family and have a lot of space and prefer comfort over anything else, the Base Camp is all you need and much more. This is reliable, durable, and a great value for money product from a company that is trusted.

9. GSI Outdoors Glacier 1-Person – The Best Single Person Camping Cookware

GSI Outdoors Glacier 1-Person

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Pros Cons
High Durability Develops hotspots while cooking at times
Very Lightweight
Decent heating performance

The basecamp version of the Glacier has made our list. It was very comprehensive for four people and more and wasn’t as big in size or weight. This 1 person variant of the glacier is small, simple, durable, reliable, and has great value for money.

Weighing at about 1 lbs this is a simple solution for the lone traveler. While it is not as light as the MSR Trail Mini Duo, but it comes with more features. The components of this cookware is a 1L pot, 1 folding handle frypan, 1 bowl, 1 cup, and 1 stuff sack. It has a stainless steel build that is optimal if you are into some rough hikes in the mountains or rocky areas. 

The cooking performance is not great but not that bad either. For light-duty stuff like add-water pasta, this will do the job really well. The thick material is a good heat conductor but compared to Teflon, it is not as efficient. It is also very packable and extremely durable. It is also very lightweight and can become lighter if you leave the bowl at home and eat in the pot. The one-pound feels like nothing on your back. 

This stainless steel cookset is designed for one person and foregoes a lot of qualities you’ll find in other models but at the same time gives you exactly what you, as a lone traveler, asked for. 

Pros

  • It is extremely durable because of its stainless steel build meaning you don’t have to worry about it breaking.
  • It is very lightweight making it ideal for backpacking and hiking.
  • For very small and low maintenance cookware, the heating performance is pretty decent.  

Cons

  • It develops hotspots while cooking at times, making your food being heated unevenly and taking away from the taste. 

Conclusion:

This seems like ana amazing product for the people who travel alone and want something robust, long-lasting, and something that does the job well at not very high a price. This is one of the highest value products on the list.

10. Snow Peak Trek 700 – The Best Ultralight Camping Cookware

Snow Peak Trek 700

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Pros Cons
Ultra low weight makes it perfect for backpacking Pot heats up making it difficult to drink immediately
High durability
Easy to pack and to use

The one person camping cookware is very popular because a lot of people who go out for small hikes around their cities on a Sunday morning are not looking for a full-blown 5 start experience. They usually need enough for a small meal and a hot drink at the end of a tiring day.

Seeing that, we have added another single person backpacking camping cooking set to the list. Trek 700 from Snow Peak is a very popular cooking set and the company is known for making high value and high-quality products. Weighing only a jaw-dropping 0.3 lbs, this is the ultralight camping cookware you have been looking for. It is made of titanium which makes it extremely durable. It’s components are simply 0.7L pot with a lid.

It’s not much, but then again, that’s the whole point. To keep it simple and light. The cooking performance is not that flashy. Essentially, the only thing you will be able to do at the end of the day is to boil some water because it can not be used to cook. It is naturally extremely packable considering it is only one piece. It is extremely low in weight and easy to use. Because the pot itself becomes a cup you can eat and drink from conveniently, albeit that part is a little hard considering how much heat the cup is exposed to. 

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight, having this in your backpack will literally not affect your trek even the least bit.
  • It is extremely durable, so much so that you can throw the titanium build directly into the fire and nothing will happen to it. 
  • It is very easy to pack and easy to use, it is a single piece that can be your cup, and barely takes up any space in your bag.

Cons

  • The pot heats up and then stays hot making it very hard for you to sip on your coffee without burning yourself.

Conclusion:

This is the ultralight camping cookware for hikes close to home in which you can come back to at the end of the day to a home-cooked meal. This is for the moments when you’ve reached the top and you want to sip on a cup of coffee as you relax, and re-energize.

Michael Holding
 

Michael is an outdoor adventurer and a kayaking enthusiast who loves to share his experiences with others. He is the Chief Editor at XgearHub.

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