Cup and Utensil Considerations
I was really excited after purchasing this cook set it seemed like just the thing I needed! I took into account the other reviews responses to the utensils being flimsy but since I already had substitutes for that I wasn't to concerned. When I finally got the package I opened it up just to marvel at my purchase and took apart the set to admire its compactness.
The first thing that I saw was the design of the hinge it requires you to pinch it together in order to maneuver into a pot handle position works fine for me was kind of expecting something different. The lid itself is made of plastic and has a fold up tab in order to remove the lid. Another person commented that they wished the lid was made of metal, so that it could triple as a signal mirror and digging implement should you find yourself stranded or looking for the lightest way to travel by removing unnecessary tools. The other thing they mentioned was that the lid could also be used as a skillet and if need be the pot could just be placed in a fire (due to unforeseen circumstances such as running out of fuel, lost, etc.
The cup/bowels are really nice and fit right inside of each even when the cup has the insulating feature which is really cool. But upon further inspection there were some features I didn't care so much for that I wish were mentioned before such as the lid seems a little thin on the cup. I personally would have preferred it a little thicker to help keep those hot drinks last longer but what I couldn't fathom was the insulating layer on the cups.
At first sight they seemed as though they covered all sides. However it was not so they did not cover the bottom of the cups which personally I thought as a flaw considering there use in possible snow conditions (of which I had just returned from). The ground or snow would just suck the warmth right out of them. You can see what I mean in the pictures.
Lastly there was a real problem with the utensils they were flimsy beyond a doubt, you'll probably be better off bringing a spork for utensil set from a cafeteria rather than these. The track that holds them together has the likelihood of getting foot stuck in there and the overall design makes them flimsy.
All in all it's not a bad backpacking set but these are some considerations to think about.
Positives and negatives
I have taken this cook set on two backpacking trips now so it's seen enough use to make meaningful comments. I like that it's light weight and that the handle is coated. I had an older version of this pot that was a lot harder to hold because of the hot handles. That said, the handle coating could be better. The first half inch of the coating has been burned off already. I used this pot with an MSR Wisperlight and the bottom of the pot is small enough that a lot of heat goes up the sides. I was hopeful that the wisperlight would fit inside the pot when done, and while the diameter is perfect, the height was too short for the pump and windscreen to fit inside and still use the pot lid. The stuff sack is also too small (by about 1/2") to fit properly, so is essentially a waste. If you can live with these minor anoyances, the pot itself is great. If I could change two things it would be to make the pot about 3/4" taller and to remove the included contents. The bowl and spoon set would be better off sold seperately. I left them both at home as I have better items for these functions (form follows function, not the space left over in a pot).
Great set, few drawbacks
This set worked out great for a 5-day backpacking trip, and will be great for several more. The nesting capabilities are awesome and fit my Snow Peak stove nicely. There are a few things I think need improvement but overall they are minor. The eating utensils slide out and snap once in place but there are nooks where food can get stuck and they are not the easiest to clean. My last trip was in bear country and I was a little extra cautious about keeping the cookset far from camp as a result of concerns over trapped food and scent. The folding handle almost comes apart if it gets tilted when opening and closing. The inclusion of a longer utensil for mixing and scraping the bottom of the pot would be appreciated. The "cup bowls" have an insulating cozy that stays wet and dries a little too slow for convenient multi-day use; I worry about mold and/or mildew occurring after days of continuous use. The lid gets really hot when bowling water. The stove pocket is really great for keeping the eating utensils strapped to your backpack, or separate from the stove, for long days of hiking and breaking to eat foods that doesn't need stove preparation.
Great Backpacking Cookset
This is a great cookset! I was recommended this by a freind of mine who camps a lot for a trip I was about to take, and I'm glad I got it. It's compact and lightweight, and can hold everything else needed except the food. I was able to store the stove (MSR PocketRocket), a small fuel canister, a firestsarter, and the GSI food scraper, all inside this cookset! I've mostly made soup in here, as well as a couple other easy dishes, and it works really well and cleans fast. The nesting bowls are super clever. The fabric 'sink' case is really smart and works well.
It took some time to figure out how to fit the PocketRocket stove inside it, but once I got it figured out, it goes in pretty easily (it's a tight fit). I hear the MicroRocket is smaller and fits better, but it wasn't available when I bought mine.
A perfect fit
Other than a simple pot this was my very first complete cook kit. I got the set expecting just the bowls, pot, etc and then I find out that I can nest my stove and gas in the same package?? Perfect. I was torn between this and the snow peak starter kit. I went with this because I tend to have more than myself on excursions and if I need to cut weight I can leave some bowls/foons at home. It is a bit bulkier than the snow peak starter kit but much smaller than my tea kettle and coleman white gas stove.
I will say that the foons are kinda weak feeling but pack well. They do have some crannies that make them a little difficult to clean in the field.
Perfect for us
Boils water fast, holds enough pasta for my fiance and I, and the strainer lid is super convenient! We love the sip it lids on all GSI's mugs, too. They prevent spilling beverages in your lap or on the ground.
Like everyone else says the spork things aren't very tough, but if you're careful with them they work. Either way, you aren't buying this for the utensils, you're buying it for the pot, bowls, and mugs.
Oh yeah, and the sink/bag feature is REALLY convenient.
Worth the buy
I decided to buy this despite two concers. 1) The utensils and 2) the insulation on the cups. While the utensils were cheap the cups/mugs won me over. The unit as a whole works as it should. It's compact with very little wasted space. The bowls/mugs pack within each other and the room left can be filled with other supplies. I'd give this a 5 star, but I expect the utensil strength to be as solid as the rest of the unit.
Great campset for 2
Great cookset for 2 people. Wish it came with plates, then it'll be even more awesome. If only the bowls have a sleeve or handle to hold so heat won't be felt on the fingers. Foons were useful, but somehow the rubber piece that prevents it from separating came off while it was being washed and got washed into the stream. Overall good cookset investment for camping or backpacking, light, compact, all in one.
Lightweight and doesn't waste any space
I love the fact that everything fits neatly into a single package, and there's room for a compact micro stove, including a fuel canister! The only negative, if any, is that the included sporks have very short handles and are a bit too flexible, making them impractical for stirring dehydrated food in a bag. I replaced them with REI "tent pole"-style collapsible sporks (http://www.rei.com/product/843009/rei-folding-utensil-set) which also fit very neatly in the package.
I bought this cookset because I wanted a cookset that was lightweight and stores everything you need inside. I especialy love how the cup fits right inside the bowl. I personaly have no problems with foons(Sporks). The kitchen sinks also makes cleaning a flash. This cookset also stores a 100g fuel cansister my Snow Peak Giga Power Stove and the Windscreen. Awsome product GSI!!!