I realize that when backcountry hiking and camping, there are certain sacrifices that have to be made. You won’t be able to carry your king size bed with you. You won’t be able to watch TV. You won’t be able to bring your stainless steel oven, microwave, or a pantry and fridge stocked with food. However, not having a kitchen full of food and appliances doesn’t have to stop you from enjoying a gourmet meal on the trail. Backpackers and campers alike can create delicious meals by Gearing Up with the Pinnacle cookset from GSI Outdoors.

Now some of you may be thinking, “A cookset? Sean, won’t that take up a ton of room and add a lot of weight to my pack?” The answer is no. Camping and hiking cookware has come a long way over the years and the Pinnacle set from GSI Outdoors illustrates just how far things have advanced. Designed for backpacking, the set accommodates two people and includes two bowls, two insulated mugs, two lids, a two-liter pot with a lid, a frypan, a pot gripper, and its own carrying case that doubles as a sink. I know that’s a lot of equipment, but the beauty of it is that all the items fit inside the pot with room to spare, so you’ll only need as much room as the pot takes up. Furthermore, altogether, the set weighs just under two pounds!

The pot and pan are made of anodized aluminum, which is strong, but lightweight, and both are coated with scratch-resistant Teflon. Also, the BPA-free plastic pot lid has a built-in strainer for pasta and vegetables. The mugs are also BPA-free, are color-coded, and fit inside the bowls for space-saving storage. EVA foam grips help keep your drinks hot and the dual-port lids help prevent spills.

The folding pot gripper attaches and detaches easily to brackets on the outside of the pot and pan, which helps save space. However, some have complained that, under great weight, the gripper folds or detaches from the pot on its own, which can cause spills or ruined meals. Whether this is a design flaw or an isolated incident with a bad model is unclear, but it is something to consider.

It can be difficult to enjoy a quality meal while backpacking, especially when weight and space are vital factors to consider. Anyone tired of eating beef jerky or freeze-dried ice cream every night would do well to look into the cookset! GSI Outdoor’s Pinnacle cookset was designed with backpacking in mind, and goes above and beyond in many ways. Not only is the set a space-saver, lightweight, and durable, but at only $89.95 for a complete cookset for two people, it’s also a steal! 

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