GSI Pinnacle Backpacker Cookset
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $75
Everything two backpackers could ask for in a smartly-designed package (whose storage tub even serves a dual purpose). After camping with tubs full of kitchen gear taking up entire seats of the car? We're more than thrilled with the small size and high level of functionality this cookset offers.
- Easy to clean
- Only one folding pot/pan handle
- Handle conducts heat
Back when I was out with my girlfriend on our very first car camping trip, we lugged-in an entire Rubbermaid tub full of kitchen cookware and utensils. It was large enough to take up a car seat, heavy enough to throw out a healthy back, and cumbersome enough to make the simplest meal frustrating. Something had to change.
When you look for a good cookset, you want something that solves the aforementioned problems.
It is pictured above with my Crossover Kitchen Kit and a couple LMF sporks. They may not be included, but they do fill the empty space in the set nicely.
Here's what is included in the Pinnacle Backpacker set, and we'll go through the components in the same order you would, disassembling the kit:
-Storage Sack/Sink (with welded seams to hold water for dishwashing, etc.)
-2 Nesting Bowls (the Nesting Mugs fit inside these)
-2 Insulated Mugs
-2 "Sip-It" Lids
-Pot Gripper (Yep...only one, folks. More on this later.)
I don't think any criticism is merited here as far as size in concerned, unless this cookset is overkill for a solo hiker or a short hike. If you want to do more than rehydrate meals and boil water, this set allows you to do anything you'd do at home with a frying pan and small pot. If you don't need that, pick up a MicroDualist or the kettle set.
As far as weight (1 lb. 12.8 oz.) goes, well, no comparison to lugging in all the wares piecemeal. 'Nuff said.
Size? About the same as a small bundt cake (8.2" x 5.4"). The folding handle nests inside one mug, the mugs nest into the bowls, bowls into the pot, pot into the "sink," and the lid goes atop that, with the pan crowning the set off. Simply hook the nylon straps together, cinch down, and you've a tightly packed cookset. The nesting ability of this set is well designed, too, in that there isn't a lot or rattling around. One piece fits snugly into the next.
Here're all the aforementioned nested into another:
Quality is pretty darn good. You're paying more than you would for the Bugaboo Backpacker Cookset for the hard-anodized, aluminum "Teflon Radiance" coating. The benefits of this are two-fold: not only does it add durability (scratch and dent-resistance), but makes cooking easier and simpler (non-stick, with a more even heat distribution than standard aluminum sets). I clean mine on the trail with baby wipes. No need to make an appointment with Dr. Bronner! As far as the polypro bowls and mugs go, they're equally solid: not only heat and impact-resistant, but additionally, designed not to retain food odors.
Though I said I wash my dishes with baby wipes on the trail, when I get home, I pop 'em in the dishwasher, because these are all dishwasher-safe.
The organization makes sense, and it's literally impossible to lose anything in this kit.
The mugs/bowls only take up half of the pot, leaving the other half open for food, a stove, what have you. When I used an MSR PocketRocket, I was able to easily fit it inside one of the mugs (sans MSR case). Personally, I chose to purchase GSI's Crossover Kitchen Kit, and that fills the extra space. Between the cookset and accessory kit, it's a full kitchen.
I love this thing, but I've only a couple problems with it. Otherwise I'd have given a solid 5 stars.
If GSI finally decided to provide a second folding handle? I'd consider it perfect. Then again, you can purchase a second handle for thirteen bucks, and problem solved. I place both my handles inside the mugs to keep things in the same place.
I've read other reviews that've complained the handle doesn't snugly fit the pot/pan, or is difficult to attach while the cookware is hot.
Buy that second handle. Solves having to swap-out in the middle of cooking.
And as for it being loose? It has a little play, but that comes with your choice to not use clamps or grips that scratch and clamp onto your cookware. Small price to pay, I'd say, to extend the life of your cookset.
Another catch-22 is the fact the handle is made entirely from metal. It conducts heat, and rather well, and if you're not careful, you'll find it a little warm to the touch if you're not using a potholder or mitt to handle it while your stove is burning on full.
Another note, while I'm at it? The strainer lid vents steam, so while you're straining, be careful where you point those drainage holes in the lid.
To help you out, they've added a flip-top tab atop the lid to remove and replace it without burning yourself.
For the money? You can't beat this set.
Writing this with the hope someone who made the same mistake we did reads it, and spares themselves the trouble.
Price Paid: $59
This is our cook set when the whole family goes backpacking. Has everything the three of us needs. It can boil water for our Mountain House Meals, or make mac and cheese or hamburgers or what ever we pack in. And if we're lucky enough to catch a fish or two, its more than capable of frying them up.
The insulated cups are great for coffee or hot chocolate in the mornings. I have read that the lid warps over time but have not encountered that problem.
Washes up is easy and quick in the field and when we get home just pop it into the dishwasher and its good to go. I like the stuff sack that it all fits into, another plus is I use it to let dirty water sit in before filtering.
At a little over a pound and a half its not the lightest but it handles all our needs. I can even put my Snow peak stove in one of the cups, along with some food.
Price Paid: $55
I purchased this kit to replace my mess kit from when I was a 12 year old scout. Naturally, this kit is a monster upgrade over that.
I was torn between this kit or a 1 person, lighter, GSI microlist. I finally decided on the 2 person kit, figuring I will be cooking for more than just me, more often than I would be concerned with weight.
I opted for the GSI backpacker kit, over the GSI hiker kit, because I wanted the frying pan for frying up fish I may happen to catch. I selected the Pinnacle over the Bugaboo versions, basically because I had a coupon that brought the pinnacle down to the same price as the bugaboo. That and I knew I would be hard on this kit and hoped the pinnacle finish would hold up and last longer.
The kit is extremely well thought out. A place for everything, and everything in its place. The sink/ carrying case is handy and did not leak. The cups fit in my hand nice. The sipping lids are great. The frying pan doubled as a plate when needed. I could pack all my kitchen supplies, lighter, utensils, condiments, stove, down into this package.
I had no issues with the lid melting/ warping. The velcro latch on the sink, could be slightly longer, I figure over prolonged use, the straps will stretch to where I want them. The finish seemed very nice. A second folding handle would be nice so the pot and pan each had one.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
Pinnacle Pinnacle series cookware uses Teflon with Radiance technology which has been tested and approved expressly for campware use The secret lies in a specially-formulated topcoat engineered to enhance heat dispersion and virtuallyeliminate hot spots Moreover, the three layer coating was built to survive the toughest conditions and boasts an unprecedented level of scratch and abrasion resistance It's even safe for use with most metal utensils! Infinity A major leap forward in clean and green plastics, Infinity is an ultra-lightweight, completely recyclable, BPA-Free alternative to Polycarbonate resins With exceptional clarity, jewel-like brilliance and 25% weight savings over Polycarbonate; its beauty is truly inspired Furthermore, Infinity will notabsorb food odors like other plastics and will not leach plasticizers or other chemicals into either food or beverage It's even dishwasher safe and actually becomes more stain-resistant with every wash Infinity: a final product which isfar beyond the sum of its parts
The Pinnacle Backpacker Cookware Set from Gsi Outdoors gives you the tools you need to eat like a king even when you're away from the amenities of your home. Included in this kit is a pot, a frying pan, 2 mugs, 2 bowls, 2 sip-it tops, a folding pot gripper, and a sink. Do you really need anything else? PRODUCT FEATURES: Durable, scratch-resistant aluminum is free of coatings that could leach into your food Lightweight, impact-resistant Infinity plastic is dishwasher safe for easy cleaning once you're back home Rugged stuff sack doubles as a sink or wash basin Crushproof, heat-resistant strainer lid and silicone ring won't get deformed in your pack, and it works for both the pot and the frypan Welded stuff sack protects the main storage pot and doubles a sink when it's time to do cleanup
- Appalachian Outdoors
The Pinnacle Backpacker Cook Set from GSI offers an amazingly compact design, fully equipped for the needs of 2 Gourmet Backpackers and can be extended to meet any Gourmet Camping needs. Crushproof, heat-resistant strainer lid and silicone ring will not deform in packs and works with either the pot or the frypan.
With its amazingly compact design, GSI's Pinnacle Backpacker is the ultimate integrated cooking and eating solution-it's fully equipped for the needs of two gourmet backpackers.