The 10 Best Backpacking Cookware Sets of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Primus PrimeTech Trek Pot Set at Backcountry

"Features a spiral heat distribution pattern to help avoid burned meals."

Best Budget: Lightahead 15-Piece Camp Cookware Set at Walmart

"Comes with everything you and a friend need for a few nights out in nature."

Best for Groups: GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper Cookset at Backcountry

"Has color-coded mugs, bowls, and plates that can be easily split up between your camping party."

Best All-in-One: Stanley Adventure Base 4x Camp Cook Set at Amazon

"This 19-piece cookware and tableware combination set packs down inside its cooking pot."

Best Lightweight: Toaks Titanium Pot at Amazon

"The titanium vessel is sturdy yet light, weighing a barely noticeable 3.6 ounces."

Best Stainless Steel: Snow Peak Personal Cooker 3 at Amazon

"Reviewers noted that the stainless steel heated up food evenly over an open fire."

Best Nonstick: Jetboil FluxRing Cooking Pot at Amazon

"This nonstick pot comes with an insulated cozy so it's easy to handle when warm."

Best Titanium: Snow Peak 3-Piece Titanium Cookset at Amazon

"Weighs less than half a pound and nests together, so the kit won't fill up your pack."

Best Utensils: MSR Alpine Deluxe Kitchen Set at Backcountry

"Rather than bringing a Ziploc bag full of home kitchen cast-offs, grab this smartly laid out kit."

Best with an Integrated Stove: MSR Windburner Duo Stove System at Amazon

"The cookpot fits snugly onto the burner and features a heat exchanger ring that prevents wind."

Our Top Picks

01 of 10

Best Overall: Primus PrimeTech Trek Pot Set

Primus Trek Pot Set

Courtesy of Back Country

The Primus Trek Pots are a versatile cookware set that’s light enough for the longest solo treks but still big enough to cook for a small group. It comes with two pots and a frying pan, and the pan and lids nest for a compact 6-inch tall and 5-inch wide unit that fits easily in your pack. Weighing less than a pound, this set can be easily stored using the included mesh bag. The set's components all feature a spiral heat distribution pattern to help avoid the burned meals that are all too common over open flames.

02 of 10

Best Budget: Lightahead 15-Piece Camp Cookware Set

Lightahead 15 Pcs Camping Cookware Set Mess Kit Lightweight Compact

Courtesy of Walmart

No one wants to bring their home cookware and tableware out on the trail, but buying everything from pots to forks to plates can add up when outfitting a camp kitchen. The cookware set from Lightahead is a complete package for one or two people and avoids breaking the bank by not buying all the little things separately.

This set isn’t fancy, but for the cost of a single pot elsewhere, you can get everything you need for a few nights out in nature with a simple camp kitchen. The cookware consists of a pot and a frying pan with matching lid, plus two bowls, utensils for eating and cooking, a cleaning pad, a fire starter, and a carrying bag. Despite the low price, the cookware is non-stick to help you avoid tedious clean-up sessions at the campsite.

03 of 10

Best for Groups: GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper Cookset

GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper Cookset

Courtesy of Backcountry 

The GSI Outdoors Bugaboo Camper Cookset doesn’t skimp on size or features. You get everything you need to feed four people in this set from pots and pans to cups, plates, bowls, and utensils. At four pounds, it’s not a light set, but for the ability to cook for a group, it’s not bad. It also has color-coded mugs, bowls, and plates that can be easily split up between your camping party. Still, this set is probably most at home car camping or staying put at a group base camp due to its relative heft and volume.

The non-stick coating on the pots and pans is a welcome element, as is the BPA-free plastic material on the 14-ounce bowls and cups. While all the elements in this set are sturdy, you’ll need to refrain from using metal cooking utensils to avoid scratching the non-stick. The included stuff sack doubles as a washbasin which is handy when you realize you couldn’t bring along the kitchen sink.

04 of 10

Best All-in-One: Stanley Adventure Base 4x Camp Cook Set

Stanley Adventure Base 4X Camp Cook Set

 Courtesy of REI

 

This 19-piece cookware and tableware combination set from Stanley makes cooking outdoors a breeze. It includes all the cookware and utensils you'll need for a family camp kitchen and packs down inside the large cooking pot for easy transportation. Unlike more minimalist sets, this set from Stanley features a durable 18/8 stainless steel 3.5-liter pot and 7.25-inch frying pan, which are the perfect size for feeding the troops.

The package also includes an extendable spatula, serving spoon, eating utensils, plates, bowls, drying rack, and a silicone trivet that doubles as a cutting board. Weighing 5.6 pounds, this set might not be made to carry on your back for miles but it is built to last.

Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10

Best Lightweight: Toaks Titanium Pot

When you’re keeping things simple and light on long treks, sometimes all you need is a single pot to boil water for freeze-dried meals or coffee. The Toaks Titanium Pot is small enough to work as an oversized coffee mug but holds 25.4 ounces, which is enough volume for one-pot meals such as chili. 

The titanium vessel is sturdy yet light, weighing a barely noticeable 3.6 ounces and featuring fold-flat handles that keep it from taking up much room in your pack. If you add a backpacker to your party, the pot conveniently nests with other Toaks cookware, so you can add a larger pot to your camp kitchen without doubling the pack space required.

06 of 10

Best Stainless Steel: Snow Peak Personal Cooker 3

Snow Peak Personal Cooker 3

 Courtesy of REI

Stainless steel is a good option to have out to the backcountry because it's lightweight and doesn't rust. The Personal Cooker 3 by Snow Peak is a highly polished stainless steel cookware set that features two pots, a frying pan, a lid, a plate, and a bowl. This set measures 5.9 x 3.2 inches and comes with a nylon carrying case that will easily fit into your pack. It weighs 1 pound 4 ounces. All the handles fold against the cookware and can fit inside each other for compact storage. Reviewers noted that the stainless steel heated up food evenly and appreciated that the material worked well over an open fire. Snow Peak manufactured their cookware in Japan with premium materials, and if it doesn't survive outdoors you can contact the company to receive a new set for free.

07 of 10

Best Nonstick: Jetboil FluxRing Cooking Pot

If you're looking for a nonstick pot to take with you into the wilderness, look no further than the FluxRing Cooking Pot from Jetboil. It boils water quickly and features a wider shape that's great for simmering a sauce or cooking pasta. While this 1.5-liter pot isn't big enough for larger groups, it can hold enough to feed two people and it's lightweight. The thin anodized aluminum body helps food come to a boil and allows the pot to cool quickly. It also comes with an insulated cozy so it's easy to handle while the pot is warm, and the lid converts into a plate or bowl when you're done cooking. However, in order to use this pot with a cooking system, you'll need to purchase a support kit separately.

08 of 10

Best Titanium: Snow Peak 3-Piece Titanium Cookset

When weight matters but you still want a versatile camp kitchen at your base camp, this Japanese-designed three-piece titanium set offers just enough volume and options to cook meals for a solo hiker or a couple. The entire set weighs less than half a pound and nests together, so the kit won’t break your back or fill up your pack.

The pan serves as a lid for the larger pot but can also be used as a plate for the solo backpacker who doesn’t want to bring more than they need on the trail. There’s also enough space inside to store a small stove gas canister. The folding handles are well-designed and the design and welds are made-to-last.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10

Best Utensils: MSR Alpine Deluxe Kitchen Set

MSR Alpine Deluxe Kitchen Set

 Courtesy of Backcountry

If you cook fancier dinners in the backcountry, you’ll quickly realize all the little things you need to prep, cook, and clean. Rather than throwing together a Ziploc bag full of home kitchen cast-offs, grab this smartly laid out kit. The case holds a 4.5-inch Santoku-style knife, measuring spoons, folding cutting board, a dish brush, corkscrew, salt & pepper shakers, quick-dry dish towel, and squeeze bottles for soap and oils.

The kit weighs just over a pound and the case itself is a rectangle smaller than a sheet of paper and about 3 inches thick. The utensils are non-stick friendly and the scrubbing device is angled perfectly for MSR cookware, a bonus if you already use their stuff.

10 of 10

Best with an Integrated Stove: MSR Windburner Duo Stove System

 

Thru-hikers who like cookware systems with integrated stoves should try out the Windburner Duo Stove system by MSR. This cookware set comes with a 1.8-liter pot that's big enough for two people. The 5 x 8-inch package doesn’t take up too much room in your pack and you can split the weight with a partner by having one person carry the 21-ounce cookware system and the other carry the meals. This system comes with an aluminum pot, a windproof burner, a lid, and a bowl.

The burner's efficient design allows you to boil a liter of water in just over 4 minutes and can withstand extreme temperatures and wind gusts. The cookpot fits snugly onto the burner and features a heat exchanger ring on the bottom that also prevents wind. Additionally, you can buy a french press insert that lets you turn the system into a gourmet morning coffeemaker without adding the weight and bulk of a dedicated coffee vessel. There are a host of other cookpots and accessories available if you want to expand your camp kitchen in a modular way, too.

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