does cookware manufacturer matter?

2:14 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
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I have read up on cookware material pros and cons and that seems simple enough...but is there a real difference when considering brand?

Are the higher prices for the more "popular" brands worthwhile or are titanium still titanium and aluminum still aluminum regardless of manufacturer?

4:06 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Re: does manufacturer matter?

in my experience, the manufacturer doesn't much matter.  focus on getting what best serves your needs. 

i do think it's worth spending a little more money for certain features.  i happen to like anodized aluminum cookwear.  it is very difficult to damage, it's already black so getting scorched isn't an issue, and it distributes heat evenly.  might weigh a little more, but i don't care much about that.  though i didn't used to be a fan of nonstick surfaces on backpacking cookwear, it is so much easier to clean that i think it's worthwhile - and so long as i carry plastic utensils that won't scratch it up, it's pretty nice to have. 

5:13 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
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thanks for your input!

5:27 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Just above average cost usually works

6:20 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
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I would assume, comparing one brand to another, you might find features and build quality to differ, but like you said,  titanium still titanium and aluminum still aluminum.  

6:56 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
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I find my Snow Peak & MSR aluminum pots to be stronger and more durable than the el cheapo stuff you can buy. The Snow Peak in particular seems to be a harder alloy, it sticks less and is easier to clean up.

You would probably be happy with any quality brand of cookware since most of the difference is design or features like the others have mentioned.

Mike G.

10:06 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks, guys.

I am kind of leaning toward mostly aluminum stuff since we'll be cooking for a group and not just boiling water...from what I have been reading anyway.  Just wondered if I needed to be concerned about top end stuff.  It is hard to go all out on top end gear when you are starting from scratch.

TH,  I'm in SC too...upstate.  We are just starting to compile some gear to try and get out to do some backpacking...wife and 3 kids will be coming along.  Should get interesting.

10:45 p.m. on July 25, 2012 (EDT)
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I have an old aluminum sauce pan, large enough to boil up spaghetti.  I was considering a 1.4 ltr. ti pot which is close in size, but my ole pot weights less and has been paid for for quite some time.  I'll put up with the handle sticking out when used on weekend trips if brought.

Duane

8:04 a.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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I've used anodized from both GSI and MSR and would recommend either. I don't just boil water. We are a family of 4 and I find having a 1.5 & 2 L pot set is perfect and I also use a frying pan on occasion. 

Ti is okay if you want to boil water.... it's not great if you are actually cooking. 

9:14 a.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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thanks!

10:30 a.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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I have a solo Ti set that I love for when I want to go as light as possible, and do some real cooking it it, but it is much more difficult than aluminum. Ti doesn't spread heat out evenly, making it very difficult to keep food from scorching.

If you want an aluminum set, I would advise against getting the cheapest set you can find. The first set I bought was a GSI buggaboo set, which was GSI's lower tier set. It worked alright, but the aluminum was very thin and soft, resulting in easily warped and dented pans. The non stick coating was not very durable either. Hard anodized aluminum is much more durable than non-anodized.  I would recommend choosing a set or two from MSR or other well respected brand that meets your needs and that has the features and functionality you really want.  Then take some time shopping around for those products on sale, especially online. I have an MSR Blacklite set that is VERY good. It has been discontinued and replaced with their Duralite sets, but you may be able to find it on clearance.  

10:47 a.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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Hmm, it seems MSR may have discontinued the Duralite set as well. I hope not, as I can't stand the newer sets with the stupid clip handles that can only be used with those sets. 

I did find the Duralite classic here: http://www.recreationoutlet.com/p-725-msr-duralite-classic-cookset.aspx

The additional fry pan can be found pretty easily by googling it.

 

1:55 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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Am I the only one who still uses a steel pot to cook in?  I just took the wire wheel to my coleman peak one pot and now, though its over 20 years old, it looks brand new again. 

But staying on topic, brand to me only matters when you get into higher tech materials.

2:09 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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i'm not sure brand matters, but for what it's worth, the cookset i use is from primus, and the price was tolerable.  it weighs about 3x as much as a comparable titanium set from snow peak and costs a fair bit less. 

4:12 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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FromSagetoSnow said:

Am I the only one who still uses a steel pot to cook in? 

 Nah, a good stainless steel set is great, but can be tricky to cook in if not familiar with how to do it. It's also a bit heavier. My brother has stainless set, and I love using it when he brings it, but I go with the lighter aluminum :)

I didn't mention it since our man here is likely going to be carrying most of the stuff for his whole five person family. 

i'm not sure brand matters

Iagree that brand doesn't matter, but quality definitely does. Sometimes, you have to go with a quality brand to get the quality product.  For instance, there are a couple cooksets out there that are quite cheep, but not really worth the money, as you'll have to replace it after not too long. The quality is just not there. The Bugaboo set I mentioned earlier was even better than some, but it was still a poor purchase, as I needed to get something better after a while. 

What's the saying, penny wise and pund foolish?

9:52 p.m. on July 26, 2012 (EDT)
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I agree.  I use stainless steel and have had to use beach sand to scrub it out when a friend borrowed it to cook his meal and really scorched the bottom cause his stove wouldn't simmer.  Cleaned up just fine and no worry's about and non-stick materials.  Not the lightest but usually less expensive and the most durable of all the choices.

3:30 a.m. on July 27, 2012 (EDT)
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I've got a cheapie kit from Mirro that is not anodized or non-stick, but works just fine. I also have a small anodized pot from Primus. Don't worry about buying "top end" gear. I argue against that all the time. As long as what you have keeps you comfortable, keeps you dry and doesn't weigh so much you can't carry it all, you'll do just fine. Some things are worth spending money on, but a lot of it isn't.

9:48 a.m. on July 27, 2012 (EDT)
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Consider how many times per year you will be using your equipment.  The more you will be using it, the more you should consider Titanium. 

Titanium is Titanium across brands, but aluminum is not aluminum across brands.  I would shy away from the super-cheap aluminum cookware, unless you are only using it once per year, then save your money and get the cheap stuff.

Personally, I use a very nice stainless steel set for the family (heavy but tough and easy to clean), but on my solo trips, I carry Snow Peak Ti solo cook set (expensive but super light, super tough and proportioned exactly to the correct size)

 
IMG_9568.jpg

9:58 a.m. on July 27, 2012 (EDT)
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You have an excellent point.  Mostly I boil water on my solo trips and cook more on family trips.

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