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GSI Basecamp cookset

Review: GSI Outdoors Glacier Base Camper Cookset

A versatile, unique and durable cookset for car camping and campfire cooking

With several unique design features that are much more essential that you might first realise, the GSI Outdoors Glacier Base Camper Cookset is a car camping cookset you’ll have (and love) for a very long time. The super sturdy and durable 5-piece stainless steel set is relatively lightweight, highly packable and with very generous sized pots. Plus, it’s campfire compatible and ideal for cooking camping meals for up to 6 people.

GSI Outdoors Glacier Base Camper Cookset: The stats

Included in set:2 pots, 1 frying pan, 2 strainer lids, 1 storage sack
Capacity of pots:3 and 2 litres
Frying pan size:9 x 9” (23 x 23cm)
Total weight:2.86lb (1.3kg)
Packed size:8.4 in x 8.4 in x 5.7” (21 x 21 x 14cm)
Materials:Stainless steel and silicone

Features of the GSI Outdoors Glacier Base Camper Cookset

Pots

2 litre potThere are two large pots: 2 and 3 litre capacity. Both have handles that lock up to allow pots to be filled, carried and strained easily. The handles then fold down to allow the pots to nest together and store easily. The insides of both pots feature liquid measurement markers in litres and fluid ounces which helps take the guesswork out of cooking.

Frying pan

Frying pan with lidThe frying pan has a long handle that folds back underneath the base of the pan when not in use. This allows for streamlined storage. Once open, there is a super reliable locking mechanism that fixes the handle into place. The end of the handle is also covered with heat protective silicone.

Lids

Pot with lid onBoth of the pots have lightweight lids with a small silicone-covered lifter that hinges flat against the lid for storing. There are straining holes in the lid and silicone thumb pads that allow you to hold onto the lid, without burning your fingers, when straining liquid out. The larger lid also fits over the frying pan (though not securely), and both lids can be used as pot rests to protect the surface when you put a hot pot down.

Packability

Cookset in carry bagThe smaller pot, with its lid on, fits inside the larger pot. The large lid then goes on top of this, and the frying pan sits over the top of the whole thing. The nested cookset fits inside the lightweight bag which has a mesh top, drawcord opening and a reinforced base.


GSI Outdoors Glacier Base Camper Cookset review

New in 2019, the GSI Outdoors Glacier Base Camper Cookset may look like a fairly standard (and very shiny) cookset, but it offers a lot more than first meets the eye. Though certainly not heavy (2.86lb / 1.3kg), it’s also not lightweight enough to be suitable for anything but car camping, campervanning or canoe camping. However, if you’re not worried about low weight then there’s a lot to love about this cookset. Yes, I’m the kinda gal who finds a great deal of joy in simple things like the quality of my camping cookware lids!

Usability

First up, let’s talk about usability. The set has some simple yet invaluable design features that make it really stand out from other similar sets. Things like the small but perfectly formed lid lifters that are just big enough to hold, coated with just enough silicone to stop you from burning your fingers, and fold down just enough to be flat on the lid. This enables the lids to be used as pot stands — another very thoughtful feature. Turn the lid upside down and the silicone thumb pads grip the surface and protect it from the heat of both the lid itself and the pot placed on top of it. This also helps to keep the pot secure if you are cooking on an uneven surface. I’ve also used the lid in the same way, but the other way up — the pot grips the lid and the lid protects the surface. It’s not clear whether the lids are designed for this dual purpose or not, but they work very well when used like this. I’ve used them as pot stands every time I’ve used the set so far!

Cooking veggies

I use a frying pan for most meals. So a sturdy handle is an absolute must. The locking mechanism is so solid I forget that the handle folds away. It’s also a good long handle which is essential when cooking over a fire. The larger lid fits over the frying pan, though not securely. It’s good enough for my cooking needs, but I feel like GSI Outdoors have missed a trick here to hitch up a notch on the versatility scale.

The pot handles don’t lock in the same fixed way as the frying pan handle. They flip up and down much more easily. However, they stay in place perfectly well to pour, move and hold the pots with confidence and security.

I really like the thumb pads on the lids. When positioned next to the pot handles, water can be strained through the holes easily and without the need for a cloth to hold the lid on. Surely all pot lids should be designed like this, whether for camping or not?!

Pan lid strainer

Packability

The 5-piece set nests together easily and logically. Plus, the packed set fits snuggling into the drawstring carry bag without it being a massive struggle to wedge it in or prize it out. Once packed, there is space inside the smaller pot to fit a packet of pasta or rice, a set of bowls, cutlery and napkins etc, or even a gas canister and small portable stove.

GSI Cookset

Versatility

The set is designed to be used when cooking for 3+ people. However, there is certainly enough combined capacity to cook risotto or a similar dish for up to 6 people. Ideal for families and group camping.

Leave the large pot at home when cooking for two people and suddenly it becomes more lightweight and portable. Plus, the smaller pot and frying pan are compatible with lightweight canister stoves. They’re neither too big nor too heavy, so long as the base of the gas canister is stable. Both of these things makes the stripped down setup ideal for canoe camping or sunset picnics in secluded spots.

To further add to the versatility of this GSI Outdoors cookset, the whole set it campfire compatible. You can’t cook over high flames to prevent the silicone handles from getting too close to the heat. Otherwise, the pots are tough enough to perform superbly well when used over coals or fire. This is a game-changer for those who love a bit of campfire cooking.
ADD MORE ABOUT CAMPFIRE COOKING.

Cooking on the beach

What I love the most about the Glacier Base Camper Cookset

I’m a big fan of the multiple and unique design features that make this set such a joy to use. I can’t claim that one particular feature is better than another as they all have their uses in different cooking scenarios. So I’ll list them, just to make sure you’re on my wavelength:

  • Silicone thumb pads
  • Locking frying pan handle
  • Folding lid lifters
  • Folding pot handles
  • Strained holes on the lids

I also really enjoy how easy it is to care for. You don’t need to be precious about any non-stick coatings. The stainless steel is tough as nails and can be scrubbed until it shines again.

What I don’t love so much about the Glacier Base Camper Cookset

There is little to dislike about this very well thought-through cookset. However, the one thing I feel would make the set even better is if the large lid fit the frying pan properly. It is the right size and covers the frying pan well, but just not securely as it’s not designed to be used in this way.


Camping meal

Verdict

If you’re after a full-featured campfire compatible cookset for group cooking and car camping then the GSI Outdoors Glacier Base Camper Cookset comes highly recommended. There is very little to fault about its highly useful features, robustness and durability. It’s a joy to cook with and performs equally well over coals or fire as it does over a portable or car camping stove.

Two big (un-singed) thumbs up from me!

Find the latest price at:
GSI Outdoors | REI

Disclaimer: Cool of the Wild received this product free in return for an honest review. We only recommend gear that we love from companies we trust and we are under no obligation to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are that of the reviewer and we are in no way influenced by the brand or company.

About the author

author-joey

Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, hitting the trail in her running shoes, or attempting to conquer the waves on her surfboard – she lives for it. Camping is what she loves to do the most, but has also spent many many hours clinging to the side of a rock face, cycling about the place, cruising the ski-slopes on her snowboard and hiking small mountains and big hills.

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