Best Camping/Hiking Mess Kit – Reviews and Guide 2020

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Last Update: 17.Mar.2020

Best Choice Go to Amazon Shop

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset

hese durable, non-stick coated, hard anodized aluminum pots are the ultimate in design, space efficiency and cooking performance. The set includes 4 plates, 4 insulated mugs and sip-it tops, 4 bowls and a 2 L pot with strainer lid, which nest into a generous 3 L pot and frypan with a strainer lid.
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MSR Quick 2 System Cookset

You and friend can eat like kings when you pack the MSR Quick 2 Cooking System along on a backpacking trip. A combination of uncoated and nonstick hard-anondized aluminum pots allows you to pick the right tool for your particular cooking style, and the included bowls, plates, and mugs give you the tools to enjoy your feast. Nest all the small components inside the 2.5L pot, throw the lid on, and the whole deal fits nice-and-neat inside your pack.

by Willie Test

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Last Update: 17.Mar.2020

There are several guides available on the internet that tell you to suck it up and bring along cast iron on your hiking trip. Well, sure, why not! Let me just add those 50 pounds of extra weight on my back. Of course, I have already packed light so I can manage some extra weight. My back won’t hurt that much!

It is all wrong because you don’t need to bring cast iron with you when you have the best quality hiking mess kit with you in your backpack. These mess kits are extremely light and are super portable. They consist of those stackable pans and pots that can make your camping life extremely easy. In this guide, we will have a look at what these mess kits have to offer.

MSR Quick 2 System Cookset

Designed for a practical backpacking duo, the MSR Quick 2 System cookset has a wide range of uses and can be adapted to your needs depending on the length of trip.
You and friend can eat like kings when you pack the MSR Quick 2 Cooking System along on a backpacking trip. A combination of uncoated and nonstick hard-anondized aluminum pots allows you to pick the right tool for your particular cooking style, and the included bowls, plates, and mugs give you the tools to enjoy your feast. Nest all the small components inside the 2.5L pot, throw the lid on, and the whole deal fits nice-and-neat inside your pack.
Go to Amazon Shop
  • Technical specs

Best Use

Camping/Hiking

Dimensions

7.5 x 5 inches

Cookware Material

Aluminum

Material(s)

Hard-anodized aluminum/polypropylene/HDPE

Includes

2.5L pot w/ strainer lid; 1.5L pot; 2 plates; two 10.2 fl. oz. mugs w/ sip-it lids; pot lifter

Nonstick Surface

Yes

Weight

1 lb. 12 oz.

Pros

Straining lid and lip

Deep dish plates

2 polypropylene DeepDish

Cons

Skillet not included

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset

The GSI Pinnacle Camper cookset sets you up with the gear you need to accommodate 4 hungry hikers. It's loaded with plates, bowls, mugs, pots and a frypan.
hese durable, non-stick coated, hard anodized aluminum pots are the ultimate in design, space efficiency and cooking performance. The set includes 4 plates, 4 insulated mugs and sip-it tops, 4 bowls and a 2 L pot with strainer lid, which nest into a generous 3 L pot and frypan with a strainer lid.
Go to Amazon Shop
  • Technical specs

Best Use

Camping

Dimensions

9.1 x 5.8 inches

Cookware Material

Aluminum

Material(s)

Teflon-coated hard-anodized aluminum/polypropylene/nylon

Nonstick Surface

Yes

Includes

3L pot; 2L pot; 2 lids; frypan; 4 plates; 4 bowls; 4 mugs w/ sip-it lids; pot gripper; storage sack

Weight

3 lbs. 10 oz.

Pros

Comprehensive - All items nest neatly within the 3-liter pot

Pinnacle-series hard-anodized aluminum pots

Excellent nonstick coating

Cons

Pot handle gets hot

MSR 2 Person Mess Kit

A complete dining set for you and a friend, the MSR 2-Person mess kit combines the bowls and mugs from the popular Trail Lite Duo System with 2 color-matched folding utensils.
As close as you can get to gourmet cookware in the wild, the MSR 2-Person Mess-Kit is light enough to take backpacking, camping, tailgating, or scouting to feed two hungry explorers. It includes two Deepdish polypropylene bowls, two insulated mugs, two folding utensils, and a mesh storage bag to boot.
Go to Amazon Shop
  • Technical specs

Best Use

Backpacking

Material(s)

Polypropylene

Dimensions

5.25 x 5.25 inches

Includes

2 mugs; 2 bowls; 2 sporks; mesh bag

Weight

13.2 ounces

Pros

Easy to Use

Cons

No pots

Benefits for using mess kits

There are various advantages of using these kits. Mess kits allow you to cook your food with so much ease. These kits are very portable and lightweight, and you conveniently stack them up in your backpack without any trouble and without adding any weight.

If you are a light backpacker, then such a kit will help immensely. They are made of FDA-approved and BPA-free materials, so they are healthy to use and cook. Some of these kits even feature non-stick options to cook a range of different recipes.

You can also find different types of mess kits that are designed to cater to different numbers of people. So it’s all about identifying your own needs and requirements and making a choice accordingly. There are different types of materials available, and the number of utensils available in the kits varies too.

Types

There are different types of mess kits that you can find for hiking or camping.

  • Minimalist. These are for one person, and they feature a small pot, a pan, and a cup. It is the least that you need for cooking and eating on the trail. These mess kits are compact and simple and extremely affordable.
  • Cook Kits. Such kits emphasize cookware, but there are some means available for eating too. There might be a simple pot lid that you can turn and use as a plate, or there might be a simple bowl made of plastic.
  • Eating Kits. Some of these kits are just for eating. You might not have any pans or pots in them, but you will have plenty of utensils and dishes. These are best for you if you already have cookware. These are usable for large groups.
  • All-Inclusive. Such kits allow you to cook and eat and are bulky in size. These kits are also designed for groups and are better suited for camping instead of backpacking.

What to look for when buying a mess kit

There are various important features that you need to consider before buying the best mess kit for hiking. In this buying guide, we have highlighted them for your convenience

Number of People

As we have just mentioned that there are different types of mess kits, you can find them on the market. These kits have a different number of utensils, pans, and posts in them. You need to make the right choice according to the number of people that will be joining you on your trip. It is important because you won’t need an all-inclusive mess kit when you are hitting the terrain alone. It’s just counterproductive, and it will also add to the weight on your back too.

Weight

It is also an integral factor to consider. It is because with the increase in several pans, pots, and utensils, the weight of the kit will increase. This will ultimately increase the weight of your backpack. So you need to pick the right kit according to your needs and requirements. It will ensure that you don’t add too much weight on your back.

Materials

As there are different items involved in a mess kit ranging from spokes to spoons, to pots and pans, different materials are used to make them.

  • Titanium. It is the lightest of all the materials, and it is highly durable as well. But it is expensive, and it is not that great when it comes to heat conductivity. You will experience some uneven heating with this material.
  • Stainless Steel. It is extremely durable but is heavyweight as well. However, stainless steel is affordable and durable as well, especially if you compare it with titanium. It is ideally suitable for camping than backpacking because of its weight.
  • Anodized aluminum. It falls right between the steel and titanium as far as the durability, price, and weight go. But it is best when it comes to even heating. But you need to be more careful because they tend to get hot pretty quickly.
  • Plastic. This material is used mostly for dinnerware and utensils. A decent quality plastic mess kit will be BPA-free that features reinforced plastic.
  • Silicone. It is the most recent type of material that is used by manufacturers of mess kits. Due to it, the mess kits that now come are more compressible, so you can pack them down pretty small. But they don’t offer much insulation.

Durability

As we have mentioned above, different materials offer different levels of durability. Stainless steel and titanium are the two of the most durable materials that you can find for a mess kit, but they also have uneven heating issues. On the other hand, BPA-free plastic is a good choice because it offers a decent amount of durability, and it is lightweight too. Silicone is durable too also has insulation issues

Additional Accessories

Some of the mess kits also come with additional accessories, which include sponges as well as napkins for easy cleaning and maintenance.

Mess Kit Alternatives

There are some alternatives to these mess kits that you can use. Cookware for backpacking and camping are good choices for you to consider only if you have a large group with you. These kits are not that light to carry, and they are not compact either because most of them feature cast iron or other metals. You should only consider them when you’re looking for camping with large groups of people.

Conclusion

Mess kits are extremely useful, and they can be very handy if you make the right choice based on your needs and requirements. Just go for the right kind of materials and make your decision based on the number of people that will be joining you on the trail.

You will find these kits extremely useful on your trips as you can cook it wherever and whenever you want. There are some alternatives available for you as well, but they are not as light and as compact as these mess kits. They are suitable for camping only, and you need to have a group of people for them.

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