Optimus Terra Cookset
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $50 at charity auction.
A decent cookset for multiple people, if weight is not a primary consideration for you.
- Lots of options
- Packs into itself
- Takes up a lot of pack space
- Teflon coated
I bought this set several years ago at a charity auction. My primary motive was to support the charity, but I was looking for a cookset of my own, having previously relied on an old Boy Scout mess kit.
My initial impressions were the quality of construction and the way the set nests down into itself. There was plenty of room to add my windscreen and Trangia alcohol stove, lighter, folding spatula and spoon, and a few spices. Sitting at my kitchen table, playing with the packing, I felt I had grabbed the ultimate deal.
Cookset nested in its case. They have since redesigned this weighty case.
Of course, what works in the kitchen...
On my first solo weekend trip, I found myself sitting with my 40lb pack thinking, "Why do I need all this stuff?" I really only needed one pot, the other stuff seemed superfluous. After that trip, I began jettisoning parts of the set quickly.
The smaller pot is Teflon coated. I've read too much scary stuff about Teflon to want it. So I stopped carrying that pot altogether. The frying pan makes a nice "lid" to hold everything in, but, again, it's Teflon, and it wasn't being utilized well. The pot grabber is nice and light, but it's single purpose. I cut more weight by simply using the small multitool in my pocket to take the pot off the stove.
Stock image of the plastic pot gripper.
This past March I did a week-long trip with a buddy in Shawnee National Forest. We ended up only carrying the biggest pot from this set, and portions of the MSR Alpine Kitchen Set. In the end, that set up served us well, but I'm already looking for options to make our cookset lighter.
I'm keeping this set for the days when my young kids and I go on short backpacking trips, but for 1-2 person excursions, I have my eye on some lighter options.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $38
- Quiet, no rattle
This is perfect for two-person gourmet cooking. I can pack my svea 123 stove inside along with compact silverware with plenty of room to spare. It is one of the bigger sets I've found but nests nicely.
The frying pan is actually usable and makes some nice chicken. The heat exchanger noticeably decreases boil time. And the neoprene case it comes in is perfect for keeping foods warm or cook your rice or pasta halfway and place in the neoprene and let it finish cooking while you use your stove to finish a sauce or make a cup of coffee, saving time and fuel.
Price Paid: I forget??? got it through REI
I used this set to walk the AT from Duncannon to White River Jct. Just took the teflon ones left the annodized one behind.
Set worked great, used insulated cover to finish cooking pastas and dehydrated foods. Cleaned up well packed great. Stove and bowl fit right inside. I use the set on weekend hikes and motorcycle trips quite regularly and its holding up great. A little less round but just as effective.
The pot holder is good and strong too. Will hold a full hot pot easily. I'd buy it again.
Price Paid: $89.95
I use this with the optimus crux. I store all my cooking gear inside optimus terra cookset (except for the gas bottle) including 3 sporks, x-mug, x-bowl, crux stove, pot lifter and flint. I like to carry my gas separate.
It boils water super fast and whilst two pots and one pan can be overkill it comes in handy and they all fit together nicely and the neoprene cover holds them together with them banging around.
Easy to clean, food doesn't stick to the teflon coated pot and pan.
Price Paid: GBP 40.00 ?
Works well with smaller stoves, gripping nicely. Pot handle is good. Bowls are rounded for easy cleaning. One of the bowls in not coated, just anodised finish inside.
The non-stick coating is not the most durable and the neoprene type cover for keeping things warm/packing away has NEVER fitted the set again once it was used a first time. I cannot really understand it but the material seems to have shrunk. It was impossible to use the cover thing again but that isn't a problem as you can just use a stuff sack to keep it together or keep the soot off your gear.
Anyway, even if the warmer cover was snug, I wouldn't want mess around wrapping a bowl full of hot food in something that wasn't absolutely easy, especially inside a tent and especially if it is your only food for the trip etc.
Anodized alu pans are great, so give another company a try, they may be better.
If you want to protect the non-stick against metal objects, take some jay-cloth things and put it in between each non-stick and metal surface.
Price Paid: $50
Great product...very well made and the pot warmer, believe it or not works well... cook the food then put it in a bowl and cover...will stay warm even on cool days.
The pans / pots work well the non stick coating is great and durable and the ridge bottom makes them stable too. and the hard anodised bowl is great for mixing (saves scratching the teflon).
It is not all that heavy either and compares favourably with the equivilant MSR products.
I use it with my Primus stove and the two work really well.
Small side point but the pot cover also makes it pack snugly and quietly so no banging pots and pans as you walk.