If you are hitting the mountain or hiking trail this year (either for the first time or for the umpteenth time), you probably think of upgrading or adding to your existing camping gear. Even a day’s worth of hiking or climbing means you have to cook at one point, and the “single pot method” is still the most practical approach in our opinion, because weight can affect performance when you are out in the woods or the nature trail. Every climber/hiker/camper need is a solid kettle that can also act as a pot for cooking food.
There are two very interesting kettles in the market worth looking at – the Snow Peak 900 and the MSR Titan Kettle. These kettles are marketed as heavy-duty and dependable, and they seem to be acceptable for most camping trips. Take a closer look at what users have to say about these two, so you can decide for yourself.
The Classic, Anodized Aluminum Cookset
The Snow Peak 900 cooking set is considered one of the granddaddies of outdoor cooking. The most recent iteration of the Snow Peak 900 line of anodized aluminum cookware features a nicely streamlined design, with long, slim handles and very compact vessels.
We think that the best feature of the Snow Peak 900 is the form factor – the compactness means heat won’t have a hard time spreading from the center of the pot/kettle to heat water and cook food. Larger pots would require more heat and energy to cook, and when you are outdoors, that might mean setting back your gas a bit if you are staying out for a few days.
What Users Have to Say:
- Snow Peak 900 is slightly more expensive than other outdoor kettles/cooksets, with a margin of $10-$20.
- It can be challenging to find Snow Peak 900 in many places, so you might end up buying something else entirely. In addition, the supply is inconsistent, unlike cheaper variants and other US/EU brands.
- This brand is fabricated from anodized aluminum, which has higher dent resistance but is not necessarily more durable than stainless steel or titanium.
- This cookset brand is trendy because they are lightweight. Many campers avoid cooksets with heavy handles because they are trying to reduce their pack weight as much as possible.
- Snow Peak 900 is often paired with the MSR Titan Kettle, but it doesn’t have a lid. So you have to find an appropriate top for it, preferably made from anodized aluminum or something heavier, like titanium. Titanium will last for a lifetime, of course.
- Some users think that this cookset has unnecessarily thick and heavy walls for the cooking done outdoors. Instead, these campers would buy a cheaper Chinese pot or kettle made of stainless steel because they are much lighter.
- Some campers say that the new anodized aluminum lining of the Snow Peak 900 is better than unlined titanium kettles and pots. This is something to think about if you are planning to fry stuff out in the woods – nonstick helps keep the food tasty! However, if you are packing dehydrated food, this feature won’t be that useful.
Titanium Vs. Every Other Metal Out There
The MSR Titan Kettle is made from titanium and has the highest tensile strength and durability among all the industry-grade metals that the FDA approves for food contact.
Titanium trumps even galvanized steel in terms of strength. In addition, unlike galvanized steel, titanium is not vulnerable to chemical attacks and acidic reactions because it does not have a separate zinc coating.
Keep this in mind when buying cheaper food containers and cookware made of galvanized steel – the zinc bicarbonate layer is vulnerable to acidic food and beverages. These things won’t break down when they come into contact with acids, but you run the risk of having a corroded kettle if you do it too often.
Of course, if you are in the woods or at the nature reserve, you need a single-pot solution that can take the punishment of being used in the outdoors. If you use rock piles and wood for cooking, that will be rough on a kettle, so titanium’s going to be a solid choice.
What Users Have to Say:
- Titanium kettles are largely dependable, with many users swearing up and down that titanium pots and kettles are number one.
- Other campers say they prefer anodized aluminum because of the additional dent resistance. (Our analysis: This will depend on the metal gauge because thicker metal will be more dent-resistant. A titanium pot can still be dented if it gets hit by something hard enough, but that dent will stay a dent, and it won’t result in a direct puncture, which is catastrophic for outdoor cookware).
- Campers approve the MSR Titan series as being as good as more popular brands of titanium-based cookware. There will always be older brands that people love, and the MSR Titan Kettle is considered a relative newcomer to the scene. However, campers are still giving this kettle some love because of its durability.
- Some people don’t like that the MSR Titan Kettle isn’t graduated – there are no markings that help the user gauge the volume of food or liquid inside. If you need to be that precise when cooking outdoors, we recommend bringing a set of measuring spoons or cups to make the job easier. Otherwise, get another kettle that has the proper graduations.
- Titanium may be more durable than the rest of them, but there’s still the issue of heat distribution. Some campers return to using anodized aluminum because aluminum heats up and cools down quickly, which is advantageous when you are cooking outdoors. However, you need tasks to be finished promptly.
- Anodized aluminum kettles can be more dent-resistant than titanium and are lighter, but they will not approach the durability level of titanium kettles.
The main picture is from Amazon – Snow Peak. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.