"Always start out with a larger pot than
what you think you need."
— Julia Child

Best Hiking Dinnerware

Ava Flores
• Thursday, 22 October, 2020
• 9 min read

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.

(Source: food-crafting.com)


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. 12 oz. Backpacking$$5.0 Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact 11.6 oz. Ultralight Backpacking$$4.9 Snow Peak Titanium Mini Solo 6.38 oz. Ultralight Backpacking$$4.85 GSI Outdoors Halite Microanalyst II 1 lbs.

Features Color Coded Plates/Mugs Prevent Mix ups Entire Set Nests Within 2.5L Pot For Efficient Packing Pieces Can Be Left At Home To Create An Even Lighter Set Perfect for any backpacking duo, the MSR Quick 2 System is a light and versatile cook set that covers all your bases and can be stripped down to the essentials for an even lighter load.

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! 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 cook set.

Sporting the lightest, most durable, and longest lasting material (Titanium), you’ll get the absolute best bang for your buck. 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 separately).

Made from Titanium, the lightest and most durable material for a cook set, the Mini Solo resists corrosion and heats food evenly. Cup thanks to a slight difference in circumference size, allowing you to nest the two pieces for the ultimate pack down.

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(Source: www.pinterest.com)

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 The GSI Outdoors Halite Microanalyst II shatters all of those conventions in favor of a streamlined, lightweight, affordable cook set that sports all the features of a fully-loaded set.

Feature Includes A Mesh Storage Sack No Metallic Aftertaste With Titanium Ounce And Liter Marks Allow For Precise Measurement 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).

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

For the ultralight backpacking soloist who obsesses over cutting off handles, shaving down large parts, and leaving extraneous pieces behind in an attempt to reduce their base weight, the GSI Outdoors Glacier Minimalist cook set is your match made in minimalist heaven. While it is stainless steel, a less effective medium that doesn’t cook food as evenly, the small size and base weight makes up for that.

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.

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(Source: www.blackforestdecor.com)

Aluminum is also softer than other metals, meaning it will get banged up, taking both scratches and dents with heavy use. 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 cook set material.

Best for car camping, cast iron skillets hold seasoning really well and make some amazingly delicious campfire dinners. A rough estimate is 1 pot for every 1 to 2 people in your group, but that largely depends on what you’re cooking.

But if you’re cooking a more standard meal from scratch with multiple ingredients, then each backpacker will likely need a dedicated pot/pan. The size of your chosen pots and pans also plays a critical role in determining the best cookware set.

Ideally, the largest pot in your set should hold 1 pint per person in your group. 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.

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(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Car campers may enjoy a Dutch oven as it increases your dinner options and makes large meals easy to cook. Many of the pots and pans on the list above are measured in liters, which is roughly 4 cups of water.

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.

However, the main reason that it earns our Overall Winner spot is that it has everything you need to accommodate a family of 4, something none of the other options we reviewed can accomplish. Even better, this camping dining set provides a bit more utility than some other models we reviewed by including both mugs and multi-purpose utensils that offer fork and spoon options.

The Barbara camping plates and cutlery set is also made out of BPA-free polypropylene, so it is reasonably durable and safe to use for multiple trips. Bottom Line: The Barbara camping dinnerware set provides more pieces and more utility without necessarily requiring more space or adding more weight than its competitors.

Whether camping in a large group or backpacking quiet trails, the sheer amount of gear you need can be challenging choosing and carry. With the right backpack, shelter, sleeping gear, and other considerations, simple equipment can easily get overlooked.

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Unless your trip lasts a couple of hours, you will eventually need to make camp and prepare a meal with this equipment often being some of the least flashy. However, even in this niche, cooking implements tend to get more focus rather than the gear nearly all good backpacking food requires: dining ware.

We also provide a helpful buyer’s guide so that you can find the right meal kit for your next camping trip. This is because the most durable materials such as stainless steel used for older camping bowls and plates tend to be a bit heavier and less packable.

It is worth noting that more expensive options occasionally use less common materials that accomplish both a high level of durability and a lightweight, packable profile. Be more careful with camping tableware sets that include utensils as these are not always made out of the same materials as dishware.

That said, this factor might be more critical for backpackers than weight and portability because camping dinnerware can take up a fair amount of space. While collapsibility reduces the amount of vertical space camping tableware takes up, it does not account for the width and length.

A standard camping tableware set comes with at least one dish and one bowl or cup, though this can vary and even be combined. That said, even backpackers might want to consider dining set that includes a plate or bowl, plus a cup for comfort and quality of experience.

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(Source: www.asharpeye.com)

Lastly, a mesh bag or other method of helping to store your camping plates and bowls is always a plus GSI Outdoors Canadian 1-Person Table Set for Camping, Lightweight and Durable FEAST IN THE FOREST: Featuring one 9-inch plate, one 6-inch bowl, one 12-ounce mug, and a full-sized fork, knife, and spoon.

COMPACT AND CONVENIENT: This table set is easy to pack, stack, and carry for all your outdoor dining needs. ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY: Made of 100% recyclable polypropylene, this BPA-Free dining set does not only have a small ecological footprint, but will also not hold any odors or impart any tastes on tomorrow's dinner.

LIFETIME PROMISE: GSI Outdoors spent over 30 years building quality, performance products and stands behind them 100%. The only potential problem with this product is that it sets a single person and comes with fewer pieces– though it is one of the better solo camping models.

At a higher price point Packs smaller than most with mesh bag Made of BPA-free polypropylene Has more utility than some Bottom Line: The Canadian provides a great value that offers more utility than a set with this few pieces normally does.

This versatility is notable with the inclusion of mugs as well as utensils that are dual forks and spoons to try and save a little of space. The use of BPA-free polypropylene means that the Barbara set is safe, reasonably durable, and easy to clean.

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(Source: www.pinterest.com)

The Coleman 2-Person Dinner Set may not be the best budget option we came across, but it might provide the best all-around value thanks to additional utility not found with some competitors. On the other hand, the utensils are not nearly as durable thanks to their polystyrene construction, and the numerous pieces do not pack as well with an 11.8” x 11.8” x 10.2” profile.

Bottom Line: The Coleman 2-person dinner set offers reliable versatility and a surprising number of pieces, making it one of the best all-around values we found. Compared to the polypropylene commonly used for camping plates and bowls, the melamine resin is significantly more durable.

Sea to Summit X-SET 21 (3 Piece) X-Pot & Bowl & Mug, 1.4 L, Orange Set includes: X-Pot 1.4L & (1) X-Bowl & (1) X- Mug Set nests completely together for ease of transport and storage X Pots are built with BPA free, food grade, heat-resistant silicone The Sea to Summit X Series is potentially the most packable bowls set on our list thanks to its lightweight, collapsible design.

In total, this camping dinnerware set packs down to the smallest size we reviewed at 5” x 5” x 1” and is one of the lightest we encountered at only 6.3 oz. Still, the use of high-end materials with a collapsible design and fewer pieces than most sets means the Sea to Summit X Series is a more expensive product.

Bottom Line: The Sea to Summit X Series is one of the most portable options on our list thanks to its collapsible nature and lightweight build. Light my Fire 8-Piece Meal Kit BIO Camping Mess Kit with Cup, Bowl, Plate, Spork and Storage Con PRACTICAL Around SET: Space-saving, light all-in-one compact kit for outdoor adventures and urban activities.

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(Source: www.ebay.com)

This is the only camping plates and bowls set that we reviewed that uses bio-plastic, making it more sustainably manufactured than any other product we saw. Thankfully, the use of bio-plastic does not preclude portability as the Light My Fire Meal Kit is also lightweight at 14.3 oz and packs smaller than most at 7.6” x 7.6” x 2.4”.

On top of that, this model provides more utility than even some family-sized sets thanks to uncommon pieces like a cutting board. Unfortunately, all of these benefits do not necessarily make the Light My Fire Meal Kit the best value, and the carrying strap is not that durable either.

Bottom Line: The Light My Fire 8-Piece Meal Kit is not only one of the more versatile products we saw, but its bio-plastic construction makes it one of the more sustainable too. The Fossils Solo Pack would otherwise earn our most portable award if it were not for the fact that it also presents as the best value for backpacking trips.

However, being a great value still does not take away from the fact that this backpacking set is the lightest on our list at just 4 oz. Bottom Line: As the lightest and most collapsible product we reviewed, the Fossils Solo Pack also offers one of the best values we came across.

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