Are they worth it?
I'm looking to get some cooking gear and was wondering what people's thoughts are on the combined sets by various manufacturers?
For example, something like the MSR Quick 2 System gives you 2 good size aluminium pans, 2 plastic bowl/plate things, 2 insulated mugs, an interchangeable handle and a pan lid that doubles as a strainer. Downside? It costs about £50.
On the one hand that sounds like a lot, but on the other it's actually less than a tenner per item (ignoring the lid and handle completely) and gives you a lot of flexibility. For example if you were heading out on your own then you could take just the larger pan, one plate and a mug and you could probably fit your stove and gas inside as well.
Does anyone have any experience using sets like these, or has everyone here bought the specific items they want individually?
Depends what you want the pans for. They're good for car camping -- I'm still using an MSR Alpine set I bought about 25 years ago for this purpose, even tho the design of the pan base is useless.
But for backpacking they're too heavy and more than you need. You could get a titanium 700-900ml mug/pan and spoon for £50, which is all you need on the hills. Or a single al pan, like one of the Trangia ones, plus a poly mug and Lexan spoon, and save a lot of weight and money.
It depends on your outdoor cooking style. If you are going to cook from scratch, you will probably need more than one pan and a cookset will keep the bulk down as the pieces will all nest together.
I take only a titanium pot, a titanium mug and 2 Lexan teaspoons for backpacking as that suits my cooking style (home-dehydrated meals) and keeps my pack weight down. It's also more versatile than you would think.
I do, however, use an MSR Blacklight cookset for car camping. The drawback with cooksets is that, often, not all the bits are equally useful. I have a Vango set that includes 2 ridiculously small cups, for instance. My MSR set has 2 good pots but the frying pan is a bit on the small side so I've added a Primus frying pan, which is excellent. I've also added a Primus kettle, which is surprisingly useful if weight is not an issue.
If you're buying for backpacking, think carefully before getting a cookset as you probably won't use all of it, which means that you're just lugging dead weight.
Titanium pot and plastic spork and mug for on the hill as all I do is boil water.
Pans from home for car camping
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