Last year, we took MSR’s cookset on a pan-European bike tour and it was perfect for our needs. But we were bereft when we lost one of the 4 cups from the set, and can only attribute the loss to it being a dark colour and easily mislaid in the leaves, grass and soullessness of a Belgian campsite. So we’re really glad to see that MSR’s Trail Lite Duo system (a minimalist cooking and eating set for two) is in happy, fun bright colours and damn hard to miss.
So, what you get is a Russian Dolls affair comprising a hard-anodised Aluminium 2-litre pan which has been coated in a non-stick ceramic and works a treat for cooking up everything from water for your tea to beans for your belly. I’m a particular fan of the MSR pans, with their visually appealing looks and clever clear lids which feature an in-built drainer and silicone rubber handle which doesn’t get hot.
I’m also impressed by the design of their pan-handle, which is plastic coated and flips up to lock the lid down when you’re in transit. It works a treat without being fiddly.
Inside the pan you get a pair of deep bowls which can cater to every type of meal from soup to sausages, and are easy to clean – critically important because it means you have to spend less time in that most soul-destroying of places… the campsite wash-up room.
And then we get to the pair of generously proportioned mugs. These crescent shaped vessels are perfect for a nice big morning cuppa, and their double-insulated walls and well-sealed tops keep a hot beverage hot in even the strongest chilly wind.
The lids to the cups press on firmly and hold tight when you turn them upside down, so you won’t end up with a chin covered in hot water.
MSR are keen to point out that the Trail Lite Duo System mugs are big enough to house one of their tiny stoves – the PocketRocket or MicroRocket, or their folding utensils. I’d probably keep teabags, milk sachets and matches in one of them.
SUMMARY: High-quality, great looking and very functional. An excellent combination of factors make for a small cookware set that, if you’re disciplined in the way you cook, could be enough for a touring or backpacking couple. Lightweight and unlikely to get lost due to the great vibrant colours.