Best Backpacking Mess Kit [2024 Update]

Best Backpacking Mess Kit: MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit

1 Liter Camping Cookware Mess Kit Backpacking Gear & Hiking Outdoors Bug Out Bag Cooking Equipment 10 Piece Cookset | Lightweight, Compact, & Durable Pot Pan Bowls - Free Folding Spork, Nylon Bag

When searching for the best mess kit to take backpacking, saving space to lug around cookware as well as additional gear is important, and the MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit manages to do just that. The pots nest for easy storage, and all the items fit into the included bag that can easily go inside your pack or attached to hang outside of it.

The kit of 18 pieces weighs little as well that you may forget you’re carrying it around. It’s best for one person to use, and can even work exceptionally well for younger backpackers such as children and teens. Cleaning it takes little time, and the material is designed to hold up well over time for use on multiple trips.

The Best Backpacking Mess Kits for 2024 – Reviewed

Backpacking can be a hungry journey. Wouldn’t it be easy to whip out all the tools you need to cook some soup, a hot bowl of chili on a cold day, or boil up some pasta for a great meal? With the right backpacking mess kit, you can keep yourself (and others) well-fed and energized to complete the rest of your journey.

If you’re having trouble finding the best mess kit for your backpacking adventure, you can read through our buying guide as well as reviews of six top-selling products to get a better idea of what to look for.

Backpacking Mess Kits – A Guide

There are several aspects to address that may benefit you in finding not just the best backpacking mess kit, but the right one for your specific needs. Our guide below tackles these topics, and more so you can find your mess kit and start your journey.

women backpacker cooking on backpacking stove_intext

What Type of Trip Are You On?

The type of backpacking journey your undertaking usually largely determines the kind of gear you bring. Are you going alone or with others? Do you know you’ll be gone for a few hours, a day, or longer? This will help you decide on the size of the camping cookware mess kit you need in terms of how many backpacking meals you can prepare at once.

Hungry for more?

Things to Consider

From the contents of the kit to how well it cleans up, there are a handful of features to always keep in mind when shopping for a mess kit.

Number of People

As we said when we previously touched on this topic, the number of people on your backpacking trip will play into the type of mess kit you bring. If everyone is planning on bringing their own, then there’s no need to concern yourself.

However, if you’re carrying for two or three or more, consider going for the larger kits that can serve everyone. Do keep in mind that there’s a potential for larger kits to take up more space compared to ones meant for solo journeys.

What’s Included in the Camping Mess Kit

Camping mess kits can come with various items. Generally, most contain pots or pans as well something to eat out of such as bowls, plates, or both. Some take things further and include kettles for drinks while others may have a compact stove to heat everything on.

Only you can truly determine the use of the items when it comes to your trip and needs. However, consider the material of certain items such as the camping utensils. Some that come with mess kits may not be as reliable as ones you purchase separately.

Bear in mind that you can always augment the mess kit you choose with additional items such as lightweight camping cookware and camping plates. (Editor note: check out our great review to select the Best Backpacking Fry Pan!)

backpackers preparing food_intext

Ease of Cleaning

We all understand that backpacking may get a little rough, so finding simplicity in things such as cooking and cleaning can be a welcoming relief. Mess kits for camping can come in more than a dozen pieces, and though they’re helpful, who wants to waste time cleaning it all up?

So, consider mess kits made from material that’s easy to wipe down. Some even contain containers that may double as sinks to keep everything in one place. No matter, too much time shouldn’t be spent on scrubbing pots and pans, so find kits that clean quick so you can move on.

Weight and Portability

Considering how many pieces mess kits can contain, you may be concerned about it adding weight to your backpack. In reality, several kits are ultra light in weight that you may forget you’re carrying anything extra.

Weight plays a role in your type of journey as well. If you’re only using the kit for yourself, then aiming for the lightweight kits is in your best interest as they offer greater portability. For group trips, you may need to resort to carrying more, but you may already plan for a heavier haul considering the number of people on your trip.


The type of material used determines how long your kit lasts in addition to how well it heats everything. A suitable material to look for is anodized aluminum. This can help fight off the development of rust as well as add a level of overall durability. For the ultimate strength though, consider metal mess kits made from steel.

Also, look for the material that can withstand the heat from the campfire, canister or wood-burning stove. Having handles that can withstand the heat is beneficial as well, so you don’t have to wait for the food to completely cool or resort to gloves.

backpacker eating breakfast

Choosing No Mess Kit at All

Backpacking can make you one with the wild, so who needs actual pots, plates, bowls, and cups? Now, hear us out, backpacking with a survival mess kit can indeed make things simpler, but if you don’t have space or desire for it, you can get by without one.

You can always pack up things that require no cooking or aim for the classic “Freezer Bag Cooking.” It may work better for solo trips than group ones though.

Buy a Mess Kit or DIY Mess Kit?

You DIY folks are probably itching to get to the point where we touch on how you don’t necessarily need to buy a camp mess kit when you can create your own, aren’t you? To save you from waiting any longer, there are simple ways that you can make your mess kit if you don’t want to spend the money on buying a new one.

Making one yourself can ensure that you have a truly tailored kit that fits precisely with your bag and your gear. This saves you money in the long haul, and if you’re unsure where to start, you can always buy a mess a kit and go from there. Sometimes, kits contain items that are unnecessary for your journey.

Consider working from a kit if you’re a beginner at this and add and remove stuff you don’t need. Otherwise, you can build your own from various items.

Combining Your Mess Kit and Stove

Many hiking mess kits nowadays contain a stove for convenience. If not, you can always combine them yourself. Consider the size of the equipment and the stove to see how many items can nest with each other to save on space as well as weight. By combining your backpacking stove and kit, you can make the mess kit itself more efficient and useful in the long run.

Reviews of the Top Backpacking Mess Kits

MSR Quick System 2

MSR Quick 2 Camping Cook Set

The MSR Quick System 2 is a complete eating and cooking system that includes a 1.5L pot, a 2.5L pot, a pot handle, a strainer lid, two insulated mugs, and two deep dish plates. As the pots are made with anodized aluminum, they’re not only durable but offer rust-prevention to add even more longevity. With the various sized pots, you can boil water in the large one (forgoing the need for a hiking water filter) while prepping sauces in another.

This system can be rather large and a bit heavy for some backpackers. However, if you’re backpacking with other people, it can work out better. The pots even nest comfortably inside the 2.5L pot to make packing easier.


  • Anodized pot surface helps to prevent rusting
  • Easy and quick to clean up
  • Long-lasting, reliable build for multiple uses


  • Can be too heavy and bulky for solo backpacking

MSR Quick System 2 is a tremendous two-person backpacking mess kit that can manage multiple meals at a time and wipe clean easily when you’re finished.

Light My Fire 8-Piece BPA-Free Meal Kit – Best Budget

Light My Fire 8-Piece BPA-Free Meal Kit 2.0 with Plate, Bowl, Cup, Cutting Board, Spork and More, Green

If you need something versatile without having to spend too much, you may want to try out the Light My Fire 8-Piece BPA-Free Meal Kit. Inside this, you’ll find two SnapBoxes, one oval and one original, a bowl, plate, a cup, a cutting board strainer combo, a spork, and a harness. With these types of contents, this may be better suited for one-person use.

The entire kit is remarkably lightweight and packs down to a convenient, compact size so you can slip it into your backpack with no problems. There are multiple colors to choose from, and it’s made dishwasher and microwave safe as well as the SnapBoxes having waterproof protection. Though the rest is durable, the same can’t be said for the plastic spork, so you might consider replacing it with something stronger.


  • SnapBoxes are made waterproof
  • Rubber harness keeps everything in place while on the move
  • Lightweight and packs down well


  • Plastic spork is prone to breaking

If you want something budget-friendly that works best as a solo kit, the Light My Fire 8-Piece BPA-Free Meal Kit is the right one for you as it weighs little and packs small.

Bulin Camping Cookware Mess Kit – Best Camping Mess Kit

Bulin Camping Cookware Mess Kit, Nonstick Backpacking Cooking Set, Outdoor Cook Gear for Family Hiking, Picnic| Lightweight Cookware Sets(Kettle, Pots, Frying Pan, BPA-Free Bowls, Plates, Spoon)

The Bulin Camping Cookware Mess Kit offers a 13-piece set in a condensed package. With hard-anodized, non-stick surfaces, your foods generally cook even and faster. Also, the material is designed to withstand harsh temperatures so that your equipment should last you several camping trips without showing wear.

The handles don’t appear to be heat-resistant, however, so you may take care in using gloves if the pot is too hot. Nonetheless, this set, which contains all you need from pots, to bowls and plates, and a kettle, works well on family or couple backpacking journeys. The items are foldable as well so you can pack it with ease.


  • Kit fits well in a small backpack
  • Good durability over a fire
  • Steam holes in lids help prevent boil over


  • Handles can get a bit too hot to touch

For the ultimate family backpacking experience, the Bulin Camping Cookware Mess Kit provides more than enough supplies with optimal durability in a space-saving, foldable design.

Bisgear Camping Cookware Stove

Bisgear 16pcs Camping Cookware Backpacking Stove Mess Kit – Camping Cooking Set - Camping Pots and Pans Set - Camping Accessories Equipment - Backpacking Supplies Survival Gear

Bisgear Camping Cookware Stove includes almost all you need for a comfortable eating experience while out backpacking. It’s 16 pieces, and beyond the usual gear such as pots, a pan, and bowls, this kit comes with a stove and an igniter. Though having a separate igniter can help, the stove generally heats well, and the deep pot can manage foods like soup with ease.

In spite of the rest of the items holding good durability, the handles themselves don’t feel as reliable. Even so, the kit has good functionality in terms of backpacking. It packs down well to fit in the accompanying mesh bag for greater convenience.


  • Setting it up is a simple process
  • Well-sized pot heats food evenly
  • Ultra lightweight and compact


  • Handles feel a bit low in quality

For something that’s truly easy to carry, the Bisgear Camping Cookware Stove set breaks down well into the compact mesh bag while offering simple and quick cooking.

MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit – Best Backpacking Mess Kit

1 Liter Camping Cookware Mess Kit Backpacking Gear & Hiking Outdoors Bug Out Bag Cooking Equipment 10 Piece Cookset | Lightweight, Compact, & Durable Pot Pan Bowls - Free Folding Spork, Nylon Bag

The MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit is a handy kit to include on your next backpacking trip. It’s best for one person due to its size, but the compactness of it makes it incredibly easy to load up without feeling weighed down. The pots nest well with each other for an even easier time packing.

Though the handles are plastic, they have a sturdy feel, so there’s no worry about dropping anything. The items included generally work well for a single person, yet the cups included are too small for most adults, but might readily work for children or teens. Still, everything is made durable and reliable to last through many backpacking journeys without taking up needed space.


  • Sturdy handles help you maintain a stable grip
  • Lid fits snug to help trap heat for faster cooking
  • Fast and easy to clean


  • Cups seem too small to get any good use out of them

For one-person use, the MalloMe Camping Cookware Mess Kit packs down small to fit most backpacks well and provides a durable, even-heating cooking experience.

GSI Outdoor Backpacker – Runner Up

GSI Outdoors, Pinnacle Backpacker, Nesting Cook Set, Superior Backcountry Cookware Since 1985

Able to fit into a waterproof stuff sack, the GSI Outdoor Backpacker is a convenient kit the next time you and a friend or loved one go backpacking together. The stuff sack not only holds it all together well, but it can double as a wash-up sink so you can clean your kit quickly after you’re done using it.

When using, the folded gripper can lock onto the exterior brackets to ensure to reduce the risks of any accidents. There may be some issues getting the lid to fit the pot as the pot might be warped, but the non-stick coating material of the pot aids in greater, even cooking overall.


  • Offers versatility in what you can cook
  • Pot and pans heat up quickly
  • Lightweight and fits together well


  • Pot may be warped and prevent proper fit of the lid

The GSI Outdoor Backpacker is an ideal two-person mess kit that provides versatility and a quick cooking and cleaning process.

Last update on 2024-06-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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