Here is my owner review of the MSR BlackLite Classic Cookset. The HTML
may be found at: http://tinyurl.com/OR-DW-Cookset
MSR BlackLite Classic Cookset
BY DAVID WYMAN
October 6, 2008
NAME: David Wyman
LOCATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)
While I've been camping for years, I've only been backpacking for a
short time. As a fairly new backpacker, I'm still trying to find the
right equipment so I alternate between my tent and hammock. I do quite
a number of short trips in the Pennsylvania (PA) state parks (Raccoon
Creek and Ohiopyle mostly) and longer trips are usually up in the
Allegheny National Forest. My dog almost always comes along on the
longer hikes, and my wife and toddler join me on the shorter ones.
<IMAGE>MSR's Image of MSR BlackLite Classic Cookset (from
Manufacturer: MSR - Mountain Saftey Research
Year of Manufacture: Unknown - Purchased in 2005
Manufacturer's Website: http://msrgear.com/
MSRP: US $44.95
Listed Weight: 18 oz (512 g)
Measured Weight: 18 oz (510 g)
This cookset comes with six items: one 1.5 l (51 fl oz) pot, a 2 l (68
fl oz) pot, a lid that is designed to fit either pot, a small
Packtowl, a PanHandler (pot lifter), and a stuff sack. The 1.5 l pot
nests inside the 2 l pot with the Packtowl between them to protect the
non-stick finish. The PanHandler can be placed inside the pots and,
with the lid on, the whole set fits inside the mesh stuff sack.
The pots are made of aluminum, have a black exterior to help with heat
absorption, and the insides are coated with a non-stick coating. With
the included Packtowl separating them, the smaller pot fits snuggly
inside the larger pot with little room to spare which keeps them from
rattling around while hiking. When used with the larger pot, the lid
fits well and has a small, wire handle that folds down when not in
use. When used with the smaller pot, the lid is placed on it upside
down which renders the wire handle useless. That is one of my chief
complaints about the cookset.
The included Packtowl is fairly small and fits nicely between the two
pots when packed. It can be used to grab the wire handle when cooking
to protect my fingers and it is useful for scrubbing out the pots
after cooking. It would have been nice to have a second Packtowl in
order to protect the inside of the smaller pot if anything, such as
the pot lifter, is packed inside. The pot lifter works well but,
unless wrapped in another cloth/towel, can't be packed inside the
cookset as it will scratch the interior of the smaller pot.
The mesh stuff sack is sufficient to store the cookset. The pots fit
nicely inside it and, when cinched tightly, it does prevent the pot
lid from separating from the pots and keeps everything together.
Unfortunately, it doesn't cinch down completely and leaves just enough
room for the lid to rattle which can be a bit annoying if the cookset
isn't packed tightly in the backpack.
This cookset has been used quite often over the last three years on
trips ranging in length from weekend car camping trips to 3 or 4 day
hiking trips. Trips have taken it to several PA state parks, including
Ohiopyle, Raccoon Creek, and Morraine. Several of the multi-day trips
have included portions of the North Country Trail in the Allegheny
National Forest. For all of the hikes, weather was always fairly warm,
between 50 F (10 C) and 80 F (27 C), sunny, and mostly rain-free.
On car camping trips, the cookset sees heavy use feeding me, my wife,
and (recently) my son. It has been used to cook portions of every meal
and has worked well with everything from soups to rice dishes to
scrambled eggs. The smaller pot has only been used with my Snow Peak
backpacking stove. It is small enough that it easily balances on the
stove's arms and, when using the lid, heats quickly. The only
complaint about the small pot is that the lid must be used upside down
if a good seal is desired and this renders the fold-down wire handle
unusable. The only way to remove the lid is to grab the edge (possibly
using the Packtowl to insulate the fingers) or using the pot lifter
which can scratch the finish on the lid (though that is purely an
aesthetic issue and does not noticeably affect performance.)
The larger pot is only brought on car camping trips and has been used
on my Coleman camp stove as well as over wood fires. Unless there is a
very stable and level surface, it is a bit too large to be used on the
Snow Peak stove. This pot has also been used to cook a wide range of
foods and the non-stick coating works fairly well. After cooking, it
is used to boil water for cleaning the other pot and any utensils.
The included Packtowl comes in handy when lifting the lid while
cooking and works very well at scrubbing the pots and utensils while
cleaning up. It dries fairly quickly and fits nicely in between the
two pots when they are stored.
The PanHandler (pot lifter) works well on both pots without scratching
the non-stick coating though it does have a tendency to scratch the
lid if it used to lift it while cooking. This doesn't seem to affect
the performance of the cookset. My chief complaint with the pot lifter
is that it must be wrapped in a separate towel if it will be stored
inside the pots. Unfortunately, no second towel is provided and must
be obtained separately.
The non-stick coating works as advertised, at least while it lasts. It
doesn't seem to matter how carefully the pots are handled as the
non-stick coating seems to scratch fairly easily. The large pot hasn't
been handled very well (my son likes to play with it) and has picked
up several scratches. This is partially my fault as I could have taken
better care of it. On the other hand, the smaller pot has been very
carefully taken care of and still has managed to pick up a few
scratches to the non-stick coating. So far, none of these scratches
have caused too much trouble. Everything still cooks well but cleaning
the pot takes a bit more work. I'm watching closely to see if any of
the coating begins to flake off on its own, but no flaking has been
On longer backpacking trips, the larger pot stays at home and the
Packtowl protects the inside of the smaller pot from the pot lifter
and the Snow Peak stove which I pack inside. The lid is placed on and
everything is packed in the stuff sack to help protect the finish. A
rubber band is then wrapped around it to help control the rattling.
The small pot works very well with my stove and cooks my one-pot meals
as well as the titanium mug that I also carry. The extra room is nice
as I don't have to watch for boil-over like I do with the mug.
THINGS I LIKE
* Smaller pot works very well with my Snow Peak stove.
* Larger pot holds quite a bit and works over both my camp stove
and an open fire.
* Packs small and is light weight.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
* Fold-down handle on the lid is useless when used with the
* Lack of a second Packtowl to protect the inside of the smaller pot.
* A little expensive.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer
Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.