Sunday, October 7, 2012

Snow Peak Ti Mini Solo Cookset - Review

This is the cookset that has gotten my most use during the past three years, or so.  For the most part, I am very happy with this kit.  I was not sure that I needed or wanted a titanium cookset at first - titanium carries a pretty high price tag, and while it heats up fast it also is prone to hot-spots that can burn or scorch food.  But, I happened to receive this cookset as a gift, so I didn't have to foot the bill - $60 is probably more than all my other current mess kits combined.

The Snow Peak Ti Mini Solo Cookset is pretty minimal - it includes a tall/narrow 28 oz pot with lid that nests in a shallow 10 oz cup/pan, and the whole thing is carried in a mesh cinch-top bag.  All together, this set weighs 5.5 oz - light!  The pot is approx. 4 inches diameter and 5 inches high, while the cup/pan is 4.25 inches diameter and about 2 inches high.  Both pieces have fold out handles, but the handles are uncoated and get hot.  Eventually, I plan to add silicon tubing over the handles for insulation.  

The narrowness of the pot makes it tougher to find an adequate pot stand for your stove, so you may need to make or modify one.  Because the pot is tall and narrow, I was concerned that it might not be as efficient for boing water; but the titanium heats up quickly and I have no problems getting a boil within 5-7 minutes with an alcohol stove (acceptable for me).  The pot is ideal for boiling water for rehydrating meals for a solo camper; but I also find that the tall pot is good for cooking rice noodle and soup meals for two.  I do wish that the lid had holes for straining, so I may need to drill some myself; but I did realize that the stainless steel lid from my Stanley Camp Cook & Cup Set fits this pot perfectly (better than the original) and has strainer holes.  I've also managed to steam bake muffins in this pot using silicon muffin cups (a nice trail treat).

The cup/pan is unusual.  For drinking purposes, I would like it to be a little bigger; and being titanium, it is often to hot to drink from with fresh tea/coffee/cocoa and it tends to cool off rapidly (along with the contents).  For use in drinking, I will line it with my Sea to Summit X-Mug which then provides me a handle for drinking with an insulated cup and rim for sipping.  The X-Mug will get it's own review - I love it!  The Ti cup can also be used as a small pan for cooking up some bannock or camp scones - being non-coated, the pan needs to be greased to prevent sticking, and you need to watch the temperature for scorching (I really need to get a simmer ring for my Trangia/Svea).

As much as I like this set, it may get replaced in my pack by my Stanley cookset for simple boil-only cooking (that review is coming); but the pan will likely end up in one of my other cook systems ( with my GSI Halulite Kettle).  Knowing what I do now, if I were to get another titanium solo cookset it would probably be the Snow Peak Hybrid Trail set - which includes a shallow pot, wider pan/lid, and adds a silicon bowl and mini spork for about the same reminds me a bit of a titanium mini-trangia kit.

Snow Peak Hybrid Trail Cookset

But for my money...I'd probably stick with aluminum or stainless. 

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