Review: GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper

We have been running the same GSI Outdoors Glacier Cookset and Cascadian Tableware set since 2010 with great success. Although the two sets are not sold together, we found them and our 10" Pinnacle Frypan to nest perfectly together, fitting nicely in our 4Runner's kitchen drawers. Our only complaint with the setup was the tendency for the stainless steel to have hot spots, resulting in uneven cooking.

Contrast this with the aluminum construction of our Frypan, which produced even cooking, and we often found our Glacier set relegated to boiling water. It didn't make much sense to keep lugging around a set that didn't fit the way we cook. Ultimately, after a conversation with GSI Outdoor's design team, we decided to take the plunge and start cooking with their recently updated Pinnacle Camper setup.

Specifications:
  • Size: 4 Person
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 10 oz.
  • Dimensions: 9.10'' x 9.10'' x 5.80''
  • Material: Non-Stick Coated, Hard Anodized Aluminum, Clear Polypropylene, Nylon 6-6, Silicone
  • Included: 3 L Pot, 2 L Pot, 2 Strainer Lids, 9 Frypan, 4 14 fl-oz insulated mugs, 4 14 fl-oz bowls, 4 7.5 plates, 4 Sip-It Tops, Folding Pot Gripper, Welded Sink.
  • Price: $139.95

Our Thoughts:
First off, let me just point out how much stuff is packed to the into this kit. I know a lot of people will balk at the price tag, but this kit replaced our entire previous setup with a package that weighs less and takes up less space - something that is a premium in the back of our 4Runner.


Size and weight aside, the kit has performed very well. First, let's chat about the anodized aluminum cookware. Although little has changed in the Pinnacle line since we reviewed the 10" Frypan back in 2011, there has been some improvement in the Teflon coating. The new coating, which incorporates Teflon's 'Radiance Technology,' features ferromagnetic stainless steel particles that are integrated into the coating to ... ensure even heating." This is some cool stuff that, when combined with the spiral base provides even heat distribution throughout the entire cooking area, an important feature considering most camp stoves utilize a small diameter burner.  

We didn't take GSI's word for it and set out to test how well the Pinnacle design matched up against our old Glacier set. The images below depict the heat distribution between our Glacier set (left) to our new Pinnacle set (right). The findings are very conclusive and show how the Pinnacle set does a much better job of distributing the heat from a small burner/high heat output like that found in GSI's new Pinnacle backpacking stove.

 

Now let's take a moment to look at the associated tableware set that comes with the kit. I have always been a big fan of GSI's tableware, and this kit is no exception. Like I said earlier, it is amazing how much stuff is packed into this "little" kit - it is the matryoshka doll of camp cookware sets. The insulated cups nest inside of the bowls, which group together and nest inside of the 2L pot. We found the setup to work very well at keeping hot coffee and soups warm, even when we were camping with snow on the ground. My only complaint with the system relates to the associated bowls. Although the volume is perfect for our needs, the inside shape makes it difficult to get the last bit of food that is stuck in the corners with our Titanium Kung Foons.
Conclusion:
In all, we are very pleased with the new setup and recommend it to anyone looking for a complete kitchen/dining kit. Teflon's new Radiance Technology seems to work well when combined with the material selection and spiral base. Its anodized aluminum body distributes heat uniformly across the cooking surface, even when cooking over the small burners found in modern cook stoves. The Pinnacle line also utilizes new Teflon coating technology on the cooking surface to produce an excellent nonstick surface. We are also really pleased with the associated tableware set, despite my one gripe about the bowl design. I think the nesting capability this kit offers far outweighs the complaint. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was given the equipment used in this review in consideration for review publication.


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Author
Beau Johnston is the Co-Founder of Living Overland and the Editor in Chief for Toyota Cruisers and Trucks Magazine. Beau is an avid outdoor enthusiast who enjoys exploring National Parks, fly fishing, and camping with his wife (Krista) and their two dogs.

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