GSI Pinnacle Dualist Ultralight Cooking Set
Camp cooking can either be easy or a total pain in the bum. A few things help with keeping it on the easier side. Easy to clean and easy to pack are high on my list. I was looking for a cooking set that I could dedicate solely to camping, but had hopes of it being lightweight enough for backpacking. When I actually shopped for this combo in a set, I was stopped in my tracks by the prices.
Here comes a stroke of luck, though. We go to most of the REI Garage Sales in our area. One happy garage sale visit, I happened to find an unopened box containing this beautiful little set of cooking tools. I held on to it tightly while we continued to browse, and more than once, stopped to try to unpack it and try to figure out what was wrong with it. I don't think the set had ever been used!
So, feeling quite lucky, we eagerly plopped in into the duffel bag on the next camping trip. This set quickly proved to be worth even the full price tag. The Dualist contains nearly everything you could need for a meal and drink for two people. While maintaining a very compact design, it includes two bowls (with lines for measuring), two mugs with lids for sipping with cozy covers, and a boiling pot. There is a small bag that can be used to store a stove, and two folding/telescoping fork/spoons. The pot has a lid to help speed up boils and keep food warm, and it has a strainer built into the lid. Everything nests perfectly and the pan handle folds up to lock it all together. It stores inside a small stuff sack that doubles as a washing bowl.
The "Non-Stick Coated, Hard Anodized Aluminum" 1.8 liter pot is very easy to get hot and seems to hold heat well. We've used it for boiling water (with Jet Boil and pot attachment) and for cooking chili (over a campfire), and both times, it succeeded. The 20 ounce bowls are nice and we used the cozy covers to keep our hands from burning, not just to keep the contents warm. The 20 ounce "mugs" are identical to the bowls, so not super practical or even mug-like, but when backpacking, they work just fine. The bag is a nice touch to store it all in, and extra nice that it doubles as a wash bin. You can invert the bowls when packing so they nest with your propane tank, so your entire cook set, including gas and stove, is a 1 piece unit in your pack.
The only negative with this set is the "Foons". The utensils are super flimsy and, in my opinion, essentially useless. We tossed them aside, and packed along our Light My Fire titanium sporks. Not a big problem. We also can't use the set to store our stove since we have a JetBoil, but any small backpacking stove would complete this set nicely.