backpacking cooking system reviews

Jetboil MiniMo

Review: Jetboil MiniMo Personal Cooking System

Solo Camp Cook Set
Jetboil MiniMo Personal Cooking System
$155, 1 lb. 1 oz.

When I’m backpacking long days and traveling as light as possible, I want a cooking system that’s not only lightweight, but efficient and easy: I need it to boil water fast in the morning, and by the time I get around to dinner in the evening, I’m too knackered to want to make much effort. Jetboil’s solo cooking system, the MiniMo, delivered that kind of performance and convenience on a four-day, 86-mile ultralight backpacking trip in northern Yosemite National Park in September; a nine-day hike of nearly 130 miles through the High Sierra in August, mostly on the John Muir Trail; a five-day, late-summer hike in the Wind River Range; an overnight hike down Zion’s Narrows in early November; and a pair of hut treks in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park in March.

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Gear Review: MSR MicroRocket Backpacking Stove

MSR MicroRocket
MSR MicroRocket

Backpacking Stove
MSR MicroRocket
$60, 3 oz. (4 oz. with case)

This ultralight burner punches above its weight: Turned up to high, it boiled water fast, even in strong winds at a campsite by Columbine Lake, at 11,000 feet in Sequoia National Park. Excellent flame control allows you to dial it down low for simmering. Fold out its three pot-support arms, screw it onto a fuel canister, fire it up, and you’re cooking in seconds. The stove was stable even beneath a two-liter pot when cooking for four people in Sequoia, Yosemite National Park, and in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness.

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Gear Review: Jetboil Sumo GCS and Companion Bowl Set

Jetboil Sumo Titanium Group Cooking System and Companion Bowl Set

Camp Kitchen
Jetboil Sumo Titanium Group Cooking System
$190, 12 oz. (weight not including the measuring cup or the pot support)
$130, 16 oz. (for the aluminum version)

Jetboil Sumo Companion Bowl Set
$20, 6 oz.
Set includes two 23-oz. (675 ml) bowls and one 15-oz. (450 ml) bowl

From boiling water in near-freezing temperatures, wind, and drizzle with two friends in the Olympic Mountains in September, to family backpacking trips in Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness in August and Capitol Reef National Park in March, this cooking system delivered everything I want in a backcountry kitchen for a small group: fast, efficient cooking even in inclement weather, and low weight and bulk in my pack.

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Gear Review: GSI Pinnacle Dualist Cooking System and Stainless Cup

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.

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).

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