The GSI Stainless Steel Cook Set is designed as a cookware set for the solo traveler in search of reliability. Constructed of stainless steel, it offers performance that'll last a lifetime. While the cooking performance is sub-par with hot spots through its thinner construction, we are still impressed by its useful features. It has one pot (1L capacity), one pan, a bowl, and a cup. The pan functions as the lid, with all parts nesting together. The pot's volume is large enough to accommodate a small stove and fuel canister, with the option to modularize to make it even lighter. Use this solo set while on your next big backpacking adventure where weight and packability are concerns. Weighing just one pound with all its parts, you'll hardly know it's there. Plus, its durable construction will keep you fueled up, whether you're tackling the longest trail of your lifetime or heading out on a quick overnight hike.Editor's Note: This review for the GSI Glacier 1-Person set was updated on November 4, 2022, to include sections that offer a closer look at value and to compare this set to similar products.
Cons: Limited cooking options, hot spots while cooking
Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
Compare to Similar Products
GSI Outdoors Glacier 1-Person
$24.95 at REI
$90.00 at REI
$94.95 at REI
$39.99 at Amazon
$49.95 at REI
|Pros||Super durable, simple design, inexpensive, great for meats, fast boiling time||Durable, excellent frying pan for discerning cooks, great lid, great value for the set||Super fast water boiling, very nonstick, dishes and silverware for two, mindfully designed||Great starter set, stable handles, some versatile pieces||Ultra-light, super compact, boils water quickly|
|Cons||Limited cooking options, hot spots while cooking||Heavy, no non-stick coating||No frying pan, not ideal for larger groups||Small bowls, unnecessary accessories||Liquids only, poor durability, small capacity|
|Bottom Line||A super durable stainless steel cook set designed for the solo traveller||A high value camping set, optimized for performance and compact carry, at a high weight||A top-tier backpacking set that heats efficiently and offers enough room for a stove and a fuel canister to fit inside||A budget, one stop shop for basic camping menus||A collapsible silicone and aluminum post that is only useful for heating small amounts of liquids|
|Rating Categories||GSI Outdoors Glacie...||Stanley Adventure B...||GSI Outdoors Pinnac...||Winterial 11 Piece Set||Sea to Summit X-Pot|
|Cooking Performance (35%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||GSI Outdoors Glacie...||Stanley Adventure B...||GSI Outdoors Pinnac...||Winterial 11 Piece Set||Sea to Summit X-Pot|
|Measured Weight||1.0 lbs||4.8 lbs||1.4 lbs||1.8 lbs||1.6 lbs|
|Material||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel; pot and pan bottoms have additional layers||Hard-anodized Aluminum w/Non-Stick Coating||Hard-anodized Aluminum||Polypropylene, hard anodized aluminum base|
|Components||1L pot, 1 folding handle frypan, bowl, 1 cup, 1 stuff sack||3.5L pot, vented lid, 7" 3ply frying pan, cutting board, spatula with extending handle, serving spoon with extending handle, ⁴ 6in plates, ⁴ 22oz bowls, ⁴ sporks, dish drying rack, heat resistant trivet, locking bungee||1.8 L Pot, Strainer Lid, 2 20 fl. oz. Mugs w/ Insulated Sleeves, 2 20 fl. oz. Bowls, 2 Sip-It Tops, 2 Folding Foons, Welded Sink||1.9L pot, 6.5" frypan, lid, kettle, ladle, 2 bowls, spatula, scrubbing pad, hot pad||2-liter hard-anodized pot, a strainer pot lid, 2 deep bowls, 2 12.5 fl. oz. insulated mugs, an integrated pot handle, and 2 folding sporks|
|Avg Boil Time (mins)||3.05||4.12||1.3||3.50||3.50|
|3L Pot? (>2.4L)||0||1||0||0||0|
|2L Pot? (1.5-2.4L)||0||0||1||1||1|
|1L Pot? (.5-1.4L)||1||0||0||0||0|
|Frying Pan Lid?||No||No||N/a||No||N/a|
|Packed Size||6.7 x 6.6 x 3.5 in||11 x 6 x 11 in||5.9 x 6.4 x 5.9 in||6.75 x 3.5 in||5.5 x 6.25 in|
|Weight of Pot Closest to 1.5L (With Lid and Handle)||0.74 lbs||1.9 lbs||0.7 lbs||0.6 lbs||0.6 lbs|
|Cooking Surfaces||18/8 Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Hard-Anodized, Non-Stick Coating||Non-Stick Teflon||Hard-Anodized Aluminum|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This set offers high-value performance best suited for a single person while backpacking or camping. Its stainless steel design is bomber and built to inspire confidence on the trail. It's easy to use and best for the minimalist who only needs a pot and pan for their on-trail adventures.
The cooking performance of this pot and pan is decent but not anything outstanding. The stainless steel design is imperfect, with heat that generally sticks to one area of the pot and pan. The materials are thicker than other higher-value options, so it conducts better, but pales in comparison to Teflon or ceramic construction.
During our egg cooking test, the material actually does pretty well, so long as you use lots of oil. Without it, expect sticky eggs and a bit of a mess. For heating up water, it does wonderfully.
The average heat time sits around 3:45 min amongst all the pots, and this one can boil two cups of water in 3:01 min when our pocket rocket is set to its highest setting. Heat conducts quickly through the steel, which then offers quick transfer, which we appreciate.
Given the size of the pot and pan, and its cooking performance, we'd recommend it for simpler meals that you'd eat on the trail, such as oatmeal, add-water only pasta, and similar meals. It does a good job with browning meats as well, but since it has a smaller volume, you'll have a hard time fitting a ton of food inside. It's really built just for one person. You can use it for two, but budget for extra fuel as it only has a one-liter water capacity.
Packable in its design, it's engineered for you to take all its major parts with you on any trip.
The one-pot has a one-liter capacity, while the pan functions as a lid in addition to frying. The bowl that comes with it is a decent size for one person, but can easily be left at home if you prefer to just use the pot as your main bowl. Inside the pot, you can fit a small canister of fuel plus a stove the size of a pocket rocket stove. We managed to fit other items inside, like a ziplock full of salt and pepper, a lighter, soap, and a spork. The packable and durable nature of this set allows you to put it easily into any backpack.
The only thing it's missing is a carry sack or a means for keeping everything together, so the lid doesn't come off. We used a heavy rubber band to keep everything together.
This single set is durable enough to use metal utensils and is resistant to dents and damage. The 18/8 stainless steel design means its construction with 18% chromium and 8% nickel, similar to most stainless steel cookware. The use of these metals makes it especially resistant, while the presence of nickel helps to prevent corrosion of metals. With 8% nickel, you can expect it to perform for many years to come.
We carried this set with us on many backpacking trips, and it also took a spot in our disorganized kitchen kit while car camping. It was banged around, dropped, and smashed into the smallest part of our pack. After all of it, it still looks like new. Of the cookware options out there, this is one of the most bomber. Ceramics chip while Teflon scratches. Even though stainless steel typically doesn't have the best conducting power, which leads to sub-par cooking, it sure is durable, hence its excellent score in this category.
As a solo set, it is quite lightweight. Weighing only one pound, it hardly feels like you're carrying anything.
You can eliminate even more weight simply by leaving the little bowl at home and eating straight out of the pot. Other considerations for cooking include additional items you need to bring with you. Since it boils water relatively quickly, you don't need to worry about a bunch of extra fuel (unless you're cooking for more than one).
However, if you're going to be cooking sticker foods, be sure you factor in the weight to carry fat options like oil or butter to keep it non-stick. Remember, this is best for a single person, so you'll be carrying this weight for yourself. You can try to use it for two people, but volume is so little, you'll find yourself making water several times, which will eventually lead to more fuel consumption.
Ease of Use
This solo set has everything you need to cook food, boil water, and serve yourself while out exploring on the trail. While its construction features aren't the best of the best, it's sturdy and well thought out. It has everything you need and would expect from a high-value cooking set.
The pot handle and lid are simple to use. The handle of the pot is coated in a silicone material that is meant to protect from the heat it conducts from the pot to the handle itself.
While we prefer handles that clip in and out to avoid melting and these types of issues, this handle does okay. While boiling water and cooking up food, the handle got hot if the pot wasn't placed properly over the heat source. It's important to unfold the handle (to start) and make sure it's away from the flame; otherwise, the silicone can melt. Once we mastered that, we did notice that the handle got a little hot, but we could wait a minute after the heat source was off to pull it from the flame. The handle is sturdy and doesn't bow under the weight of a liter of water.
The pan functions as the pot's lid. The one issue we found with this is you can't cook with both at the same time if you need a lid for the pot. When using it as a frying pan, it's relatively small, so again, it's best for one person. We appreciate the fold-away handle that has a locking mechanism. Make sure to use this; otherwise, the handle gets flimsy under the weight of food inside the pan. Once it's locked, it's bomber and isn't going anywhere.
If cooking sticky foods, we found the material harder to clean than Teflon or Ceramic, so make sure you stash a little scrubby with you. Since it's stainless steel, you can easily clean it with abrasive materials like sand or steel wool. We appreciated this while on the trail, adding to its remarkable versatility and durability.
This set is pretty featureless. It does come with a small, personal-sized dish and cup. The cup is a simple plastic composite and does well for hot drinks. Since the dish is also made out of stainless steel, we didn't like to put super hot materials in it (like soup) as it conducts heat and is hard to hold. Typically we omitted this on the trail anyway and used the pot or pan itself as a food holder. For car camping, it's not ideal, as it's far from a full kitchen. But if you're traveling as a minimalist, it'll work in a pinch to make hot water for coffee or a small meal of veggies and meat.
Should You Buy the GSI Outdoors Glacier 1-Person?
If you're adventuring alone, this set has many of the components you need for a tasty backcountry meal. Unlike many solo camper sets, this version includes a frying pan that is perfect for browning some meat or frying an egg. While the Glacier 1-Person isn't the lightest set on the market, it is certainly durable.
What Other Camping Cookware Should You Consider?
If the weight of the Glacier 1-Person is a bit more than you're looking for, check out the MSR Trail Mini Duo. This ultra-light set is the way to go for boiling water and basic dehydrated meals. For those that are searching for a backpacking set for two people, you can't beat the cooking efficiency and packability of the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Dualist HS.
— Amber King
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