GSI Pinnacle Dualist cooking system

Camp Kitchen
GSI Pinnacle Dualist integrated cooking system
$65, 1 lb. 4 oz. (without included stuff sack)
Set includes a 1.8-liter pot with strainer lid, two insulated bowls/mugs with lids, two bowls, two telescoping sporks

GSI Glacier Stainless Bottle Cup
$13, 5 oz.
Volume: 18 oz.
gsioutdoors.com

GSI Glacier Stainless Cup

Here’s the smartest cook set for two backpackers that I’ve used. At just over a pound, the entire set of two mugs (whose lids have sipping holes), two bowls, and a hard-anodized pot all nest together, with space inside for the sporks and an ultralight butane stove (not included). I used this setup backpacking with my daughter to Norton Lakes in Idaho’s Smoky Mountains and camping in Idaho’s City of Rocks. The pot has a low center of balance to prevent it being tippy, even on a small stove burner, yet has a good, functional capacity and pours cleanly. Its insulated, folding handle locks into place for cooking and in the closed position, to secure all contents, so you don’t need the included, welded stuff sack (although it does double duty as a sink). The pot’s crushproof, heat-resistant, nylon lid with a silicone ring doubles as a strainer. The entire set is easy to clean. You really get a lot of functionality and durability for the weight and bulk. One gripe: I’ve never been a fan of sporks.

I’ve always liked the indestructibility of a stainless steel mug when camping, and this one has plenty of volume for a big, hot drink. Its folding arms and a size designed to fit over standard liter bottles make it packable. I used it backpacking in Idaho’s Smoky Mountains and Oregon’s Eagle Cap Mountains and suspect I will be using this mug 20 years from now.

NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my reviews by clicking on the Gear Reviews category at left or in the main menu. See more reviews of backpacking gear I like by clicking on the “backpacking gear reviews” tag in the tag cloud in the left sidebar.

—Michael Lanza