As an expert car camper, my cookset has always been a motley mix of scouting-style metal pots, Tokyo Joe’s takeout containers and whatever utensils I robbed from the kitchen drawer (or the closest Wendy’s). Preparing for a two-week bike tour, I knew we’d have to find something more compact. We settled on GSI Outdoors’ Pinnacle Dualist cookset, and I couldn’t be happier.
Compact, yet complete
The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist set comes with a 1.8-liter pot (deeper than it is wide), a strainer lid, two bowls, two insulated cups with lids, two utensils and a stuff sack. Some versions I’ve seen online also include a bag for packing your own stove.
The bowls, utensils, lids and cups can be packed to fit a backpacker’s stove inside; all that nests into the pot, which fits into the stuff sack. The stuff sack is marketed as a washbasin, which we thought was a bit gimmicky. After all, we “wash” our dishes in the backcountry with a few tablespoons of water, which we then drink rather than throw out.
The stuff sack did prove useful for packing our UTU (I think it stands for universal Teflon utensil, but it’s a wooden knife/spatula that deserves its own Stuff I Love post) and the windscreen for the stove.
Having both cups and bowls was a first for me. We didn’t use both at every meal, but when we did have a leisurely morning, it felt like a luxury to have hot coffee and a hot breakfast at the same time.
Design and function
Knowing our stove’s two settings – off and boil – I was a little concerned about uneven cooking in the Pinnacle Dualist’s deep pot, but the it heated evenly and we didn’t have any issues. On the occasions when I did forget to stir, the sturdy Teflon coating made for easy cleanup of the banana rice pudding stuck to the bottom.
As anyone who has ever poured boiling coffee into a metal tin knows, scouting-style dishes do not keep food and drinks warm past the first sip. The cups in this set come with removable insulators (which did lend a funny taste). Even without the insulators, food and drinks stayed downright hot in both the bowls and the cups. The depth of the pot kept the second helping hot while we dove into the first round.
The pot’s size was perfect for two, even when we cooked our biggest or most voluminous meals (such as brothy soup). The telescoping utensils seemed flimsy so we ditched those and opted for Light My Fire sporks, which fit pretty nicely inside with the stove.
Overall, I love this cookset. That could be partly due to the fact that I’d never had a true backpacker’s set in the past. But my guess is that I picked out a good one on the first try. Once you’ve got the set, get cooking with these camp recipes.
- Compact yet complete
- Durable, easy clean
- Perfect size for two
- Utensils seemed flimsy
- Neoprene insulation on cups adds unwanted taste to beverages