5 Best Camping Cookware Sets: Enhance Outdoor Cooking Experience

camping cookware

When you plan to spend your time outdoors, you should think about every detail that matters. Food is at the core. You may not agree now, but eating is an essential part of an outdoor adventure. Forget about the snacks you carry along to deal with cravings.

A meal you prepare by yourself in the woods has this alluring natural taste. Add your friends and family, and then you are looking at one unforgettable memory.

When cooking while out camping, it comes with its fair share of challenges. Comfortable cooking is about convenience when you do not have adequate cooking gear.

Consider this review of the best camping cookware to make the right choice when you go on a car camping trip. The items in review will give you the most exceptional features you need.

Top 5 Cookware for Camping

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper (Best Family Cookware)

If you are planning to go for a camping trip with a large group, then the 23 piece GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper is the best camping cookware sets.
There are many advantages to having many pieces, and it is the variety of foods you can serve. It includes two pots, and the largest can hold 3 liters of boiling water. The skillet is also huge enough for a four people base camp.

The four plates of the GSI outdoors Pinnacle are somehow flimsy and have poor heat retention. You will find that it is difficult holding hot food on these plates. The insulated mugs are a good catch; however, it feels weird to drink in them. The pans and the pots are all anodized aluminum cookware set. They have a Teflon coat to give it the radiance technology and nonstick ability.

At only 3lbs and 10oz, it is a lightweight material that will serve you in a group or car camping trip. It is a mess kit that serves four people, and if you are more, you can still eat in turns. It is functional and scratch-resistant and easy to clean.

The materials make it a sturdy model that will serve you for many years on your camping trips.

  • Great for group camping
  • Easy to clean
  • Uses nontoxic Teflon radiance hard-anodized aluminum nonstick interior surface
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Durable
  • No insulating properties

MSR Quick 2 System Cook Set (Best Backpacking Duo)

If you are looking for backpacking cookware for two people, the MSR Quick 2 system is the best in the market. If you do not want to sacrifice your cooking comfort, a lightweight model makes more sense to get.

It is compact, and everything you need will nestle on the larger 2.5-liter pot. The second pot has a hard-anodized aluminum nonstick coating interior surface. The larger pot is not nonstick and, therefore, useful in boiling water. The advantage of having a nonstick surface while out camping is that it makes it easy to clean.

The lid is interchangeable, and you heat resistant as well. The set uses a detachable handle, which is a creative design to increase its compactness.

It comes with two mugs and two deep dish plates to serve one or two people. You will have the capacity to buy more food and cook for more than two people. The additional plates and mugs are readily available in local stores.

It is a lightweight backpacking mess kit that weighs only 1.7 pounds and ready to go. The set is durable and safe to use for a very long time. You will enjoy the versatility it has all round. The deep-dish plates are also bowls as the nonstick pan features as a skillet.

  • Rust-resistant cookware
  • Easy to clean
  • Lightweight
  • Cutting board is not included

Snow Peak Titanium Multi Compact Cook Set (Best Solo)

Most solo backpackers will get everything they need from this cookware set. It does not come with much hype, but it can deliver a hot meal for two people with ease. The Snow Peak titanium is also faster heating and will boil water and keep it hot for about 54 minutes. The Snow Peak Titanium has better heat retention, and you can keep food warm long after you prepare it.

Snow Peak titanium cookware is lightweight and only weighs 11.06 oz, and packs easily. It is compact and lightweight, and you will not feel the extra weight when out backpacking.

Cleaning the Snow Peak Titanium cookware is simple, yet it does not have a Teflon coating. The Snow Peak Titanium has a flaw on the lids as they get hot, which makes straining the water a challenge.

The handles are not detachable nor have an insulated gripper. It means when they heat up, you should not touch it without protective clothing. The Snow Peak titanium cookware set is not the cheapest, but it is high quality and long-lasting. You can never go wrong with this brand if you are going for a short camping trip.

  • The lids can be used as plates
  • Suitable for hot temperatures
  • Cooks fast and will retain heat longer
  • Durable
  • Cooking accessories are not included

Coleman Mess Kit Camping Cookware Sets (Best Affordable)

It is among the best camping cookware sets that offer you the best value for money. The five-piece cookware set comes with no fancy utensils. The idea is to be able to make simple meals while on backpacking.

The Coleman camping cookware mess kit is suitable for a single backpacker. If you are two people, you can add an extra mug and bowl. It is a complete set that you will find functional. The two-quart stainless steel pot handle has a lid that turns into a frying pan.

The design features detachable and foldable handles that make it a compact unit. It packs into a drawstring mesh bag that also acts as a dripping rack after you wash up. The pieces are small and nestle in together to give a total weight of only ten ounces. It is lightweight, and you will not feel the weight when out backpacking.

The materials are not the heaviest and durable, and you will need extra care and maintenance.

Secure the stainless steel pots and pans when cooking. They are lightweight, and the wind can blow them away.

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Stainless steel cooking surface heats up and cooks fast
  • Not durable

Stanley Adventure Base Camper Cookware Set (Best Value)

The Stanley Adventure Base Camper is a family camping cookware set for four people. You can enjoy a variety of meals while out in the woods, as if you were at home. Also, Stanley Adventure Base Camper is a 19-piece cookware set with many accessories.

It packs easy as many cooking components will nestle in the largest stainless steel pot.

The lid of this base camper model has a venting hole for straining, and it can also fit the pan smoothly. The other Stanley Base Camper cooking pieces are all nontoxic plastic material.

It is a base camper cookware that you can use anywhere, including the hostels, your vacation house, and camping. You will like pots and pans of the Stanley Base Camper because they are scratch-free, and the stainless steel cleans easily.

You will enjoy using it over many years and as you can prepare food on an open camp wood fire or a gas fuel cooking stove. The multi-layer thick cooking base will heat your food evenly.

The entire cookware Stanley Base Camper cookware set weights 2.5 KGs.

  • Good for a family of four
  • Pans and pots have a thick base for even heating
  • Great for all camping fires
  • Heavy

Buying Guide for the Best Camping Cookware Sets

Number of people

Before you settle for any camping cookware, you must consider the number of people you have in the camp. A solo mess kit is simple and comes with few utensils together with a pan, pot, or skillet for making smaller meals.

Cooking for many people needs you to have a complete camping cook set that can offer you a wide range of cooking and serving. You can still consider buying cookware with few utensils and opt to buy them separately. They are readily available and affordable.

But if you care for storage and compactness, having utensils will add weight to your car camping trip.


The materials will determine the brand you select. Some are more durable and hence will last longer than others. You can also get a dense material that adds unnecessary weight to your backpacking trip.

The material determines the heat distribution. Lighter materials cook faster than heavy metal utensils.

These are the common materials for camping cookware sets

  • Titanium
  • Aluminum
  • Stainless steel
  • Cast iron
  • Hard anodized aluminum

Some pots have Teflon nonstick coating that makes them easy to use and easy to clean.


If you are going on a car camping trip, then you probably have enough room for some extra load of useful camping gear. It means you will have to accompany mess kits utensils like cutlery, plates, and mugs.

Some of these are metal utensils that add convenience. You should consider foldable camping models.


If you plan for a backpacking camping trip, then you always want to travel light. Some brands offer the best compact features by versatility. For example, the Coleman Mess Kit camping cookware has a lid that you can use your frying pan. It is an affordable way of adding your options in cooking different foods at the same time.

The weight of the pots and pans will also determine if they have excellent heat conductivity or not. The lighter the material, the faster heat conductivity hence cooks food faster. Some people prefer heavy metal because they want food to cook evenly.


Almost all models come with a detachable handle option. It is a better way to cook over a campfire at a safe distance.

The handles must also have excellent protection from heat. The material should be long-lasting and a poor conductor of heat like wood or rubber. Most handles are foldable and detachable to make them compact for every car camping trip.

Another safety option is the nontoxic interior coating. Most brands prefer the Teflon Radiance technology nonstick coating. The benefits of a nonstick cooking interior surface are even heat distribution. Another advantage is it makes them easy to clean, saving you valuable time and resources.


Different brands offer different camping cookware sets at various prices. The cheaper brands do not mean poor performance, and some are safe purchases. Some models use expensive materials to offer class, while others aim at function.

The quantity of the camping cookware x set also adds to the price. A model for a single camper is cheaper and has fewer pieces than a model for group campers.

Nonstick coatings are expensive than the models with no Teflon. They are easy to maintain and care for, making you have value for your money.

Handles and lids

Some brands have single handles, others double handle, making them easy to use. The covers of the pots are sometimes interchangeable, making you have a compact unit. Lids must also have heat protection to allow you to lift it off safely.


It is cheaper in the long run if you buy a cooking wear set that will last for many years. Strong brands like the GSI Pinnacle outdoors cookware can survive knocks and drops without losing their shapes. You want a model that can survive in hardship conditions.
A durable camping cookware set is reliable and will not gather rust or warp easily.


How you intend to use your best camping cookware matters. For example, people who love boat fishing also may like cooking on the boat. You will need a model that will resist mold and rust because of the exposure to saltwater and freshwater.

Size and Weight

The size of the pots and pans also determine how many people you can prepare a meal at once. The larger the pieces, the more you can accommodate.
Size also helps in boiling water with larger capacities offering more hot water at once. Smaller size models are suitable for backpackers or short day camping trip. If you are going on a car camping trip, then you will not mind the extra space or weight.

FAQs on Camping Cookware

How can I maintain my camping cookware?

The best way is to ensure that they are always clean and dry before storage. It is not enough to wash them while at camp. You can rewash them at home again and air them before sealing them in airtight bags. It will prevent them from dampness and acquiring rust or fungi.

What is the best number of camping cookware pieces for a camping trip?

If you have experience in cooking at camp, then you know that some utensils are dispensable than others. You will not have much use of them and hence no need to carry them along. However, the number of pieces is dependent on whatever you are cooking and the number of people.

What camp cook sets and mess kits important?

If you want comfort over hardship on your camping trip, then yes, it is essential. If you’re going to enjoy a meal like the ones you prepare at home, you will need a complete kitchen set for outdoor camping. You should check that the top pick is lightweight, durable, and compact. They should also be easy to clean and store.

What is a complete mess kit?

A complete mess kit has all the items necessary to prepare food for the outdoors and serve it. It should include mugs, plates or bowls, pots, and pans. Some kits include a stove and matches.

Why should I buy complete cook sets?

Assembling your own cook set may be cheaper, but it will not be compact. A complete mess kit comes with everything you need making it easy to carry them in one set.

The design of a complete mess kit ensures that the larger pot can hold all items inside it, making it a compact unit.

Which is the best material for the best camping cook sets?

Everybody has their preference and will prefer other materials over others. Some may prefer the GSI Pinnacle outdoors cookware for its durability. Therefore the best materials lie in the quality they will deliver. It can be long-lasting, even heat distribution.
All materials offer different advantages. For example:

  • Copper is expensive than cast iron but a good conductor of heat
  • Aluminum heats up faster than most materials hence will cook food more quickly
  • Stainless steel is more durable than aluminum
  • Cast iron is cheaper than steel and copper but is prone to rust
  • Titanium is an alternative to steel and copper in durability, but it is more costly

Can I use my camp cook sets over a campfire?

While other top picks are durable and will survive such onslaught, it is not suitable for most models. Some have exterior coatings that may melt when too much wildfire rests on it. It is not an excellent way to maintain your camping cooking system.

How much should camping cookware set weight?

It is also a matter of preference. Some models are slightly heavier but provide more uses on a car camping trip. You can also have a compact and lightweight cook set if you are planning to go on a few days backpacking trip alone.

The weight is relevant to the number of people you will be cooking for and serving. Stainless steel is heavier than aluminum and readily available and affordable.

Do camp cook sets include a stove?

No. Not for the models under review in this article. If you want a camping stove, you should buy it separately, including other accessories like gas and fuel. A cookware set should be small and portable, hence do not have so many pieces.

Is my aluminum safe camping cookware?

Aluminum is not safe to ingest, but there is no evidence that aluminum traces get to foods you prepare with aluminum cookware. Therefore aluminum surface cookware is safe for human use.


The best camping cooking set is easy to find if you know what you need to cook. You can choose between function and class. Most models aim to be lightweight and compact. You must also find a balance between price and purpose.

The top pick cookware under this review is the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper, which is the best family unit. It will offer you a cooking performance and comfort in the number of pieces it has. It will also give you value for money because it is durable cookware that will serve you for many years.
It is a 23 piece cookware that can serve four people at the same and an even more massive crowd if they eat in turns. It is best for group camping.