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REVISED: OR for the GSI Outdoors Hard Anodized Extreme 5-Piece Cookset

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  • Ryan Christensen
    GSI Outdoors Hard Anodized Extreme Non-Stick 5-Piece Cookset Owner Review November 3, 2005 Reviewer Information Name: Ryan L. Christensen Age: 41 Gender:
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 3, 2005
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      GSI Outdoors Hard Anodized Extreme Non-Stick 5-Piece

      Owner Review November 3, 2005

      Reviewer Information

      Name: Ryan L. Christensen
      Age: 41
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6’ 2” (1.88 m)
      Weight: 225 lb (102 kg)
      Email address: bigdawgryan@...
      City, State, Country: Idaho Falls, ID, U.S.A

      Backpacking Background:

      I began hiking, camping, backpacking at twelve, and
      continued until 25. After a long hiatus due in part
      to a bad back, I resumed hiking and camping three
      years ago. Now, I have teen-age boys with whom I
      share my love for these sports. The past three years,
      we have hiked, or camped, nearly every month,
      year-round. We vary our experience: desert, forest,
      meadow, and mountain; in the spring, summer, fall, and
      winter; be it sunshine, rain, wind, or snow. Together
      we began backpacking this summer. I am not an
      ultra-light packer; I carry a full array of gear.

      Product Information:

      Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors

      URL: http://www.gsioutdoors.com/
      Year of Manufacture: 2005

      Manufacturer’s Listed Weight: 27.2 oz (771 g)

      Actual Weight: 26.8 oz (760 g) [cookset, gripper,
      strap, mesh bag]

      Material of Construction: anodized aluminum

      Capacity: 1 qt (.95 L)
      1.5 qt (1.4 L)
      1 qt (.95 L) lid/fry pan = 22 oz (651 ml) of
      1.5 qt (1.4 L) lid/fry pan = 30 oz (887 ml) of

      Dimensions: 1 qt (.95 L) pot = 6.25” (16 cm)
      diameter; 2.75” (7 cm) deep
      1 qt (.95 L) lid/fry pan = 6.25” (16 cm)
      diameter, 1.5 (4 cm) deep
      1.5 qt (1.4 L) pot = 7.5” (19 cm) diameter; 3.5”
      (9 cm) deep
      1.5 qt (1.4 L) lid/fry pan = 7.5” (19 cm)
      diameter; 1.5 (4 cm) deep

      Color: gunmetal grey exterior; black interior

      Manufacturer’s Safety Tips:
      1. Remove all labels. Wash with HOT SOAPY WATER,
      rinse and dry cookware before use.
      2. Do not let cookware boil dry.
      3. Cookware can discolor if allowed to overheat
      4. Where possible, adjust stove or fire to the minimal
      cooking level so that the flame does not extend up the
      sides of the pot and touches only the bottom of the
      5. Do not use GSI cookware in an oven or under a
      6. Always separate the DiamondBack Versa-Gripper from
      any hot pot when through steadying or lifting.
      7. Medium heat recommended for all cooking and frying
      procedures. Use a low heat source for simmering.
      8. Try using a paper or dishtowel between the
      individual pots to prevent scratching when packing
      nesting sets.
      9. For maximum longevity, use only nylon utensils on
      all non-stick cookware.
      10. Prolong the finish by using only a nonabrasive
      scouring pad.
      11. Never cut with a knife inside the cookware.

      MSRP : $59.95 US

      Product Description:

      With my teenage sons and me taking up backpacking this
      summer, I was in the market for a durable, lightweight
      cookset. At the local outdoors store, there were
      several options from which to choose. Ultimately, I
      opted for the GSI Outdoors Hard Anodized Extreme
      Non-Stick 5-Piece Cookset.

      The cookset includes a 1 qt (.95 L) pot and its
      accompanying 6.25” (16 cm) diameter lid/fry pan, a 1.5
      qt (1.4 L) pot and its accompanying 6.25” (16 cm)
      diameter lid/fry pan, a DiamondBack Gripper, an
      elastic strap with hooks on each end, and a nylon-mesh
      carrying bag with drawstring. The pots and pans nest
      well inside each other. The elastic strap attaches to
      the brackets on each side of the largest pot to secure
      the lid to the pot thereby holding the nested set
      together. The cookset then fits nicely inside the
      nylon-mesh carrying bag. .

      Several factors influenced my decision. The first was
      the anodized aluminum. Aluminum is lightweight, and
      is a good conductor of heat. The anodizing process
      hardens the aluminum, making it very resistant to
      abrasion. GSI claims it is twice as hard as stainless
      steel. Additionally, anodizing seals the aluminum,
      which prevents direct contact between the core and the
      food. This is important to me, as I have read reports
      linking aluminum cookware to Alzheimer disease—I have
      enough trouble with my memory as it is. The cookset’s
      non-stick coating was the second factor to influence
      my decision. I really hate it when I have to scrape a
      pan to get it clean. A third factor was the “spiral”
      turned bottoms. I thought the grooved bottoms would
      grip the pot supports of my stove better than plain
      flat-bottomed pans. Lids that double as fry pans were
      the fourth factor to influence my decision. Fifth was
      the DiamondBack Gripper: a cool, lightweight,
      interchangeable, folding handle for lifting pans. The
      gripper attaches to a bracket on the side of each pan.
      Gripping the bracket, rather than the lip of the pan,
      does not scratch the non-stick interior or the
      exterior finish. Price was the sixth influencing
      factor. Neither the least expensive, nor as
      lightweight and strong as titanium, yet the Hard
      Anodized Extreme 5-Piece Cookset was the best value
      for me.

      Field Information:

      I have used my Hard Anodized Extreme cookset on
      numerous backpacking and camping trips. I primarily
      camp in southeastern Idaho. Occasionally, I venture
      into Grand Teton National Park, which is located in
      western Wyoming, or Yellowstone National Park, which
      is located in eastern Idaho, western Montana, and
      western Wyoming. The elevations of the areas where I
      usually camp range from 5,500 feet (2,000 m) to 8,500
      feet (3,000 m) above sea level. The summers in these
      areas are usually dry and warm (80 to the upper 90 F
      (27-32 C). Winters are usually cold and snow depths
      vary from the high-plains desert to the higher
      elevations. Springs can be somewhat cold and wet.

      Of the five pieces, to date, I have only used the 1.5
      qt (1.4 L) pot, its lid, the DiamondBack Gripper, and
      the elastic strap. These pieces satisfy my cooking
      needs and that of my two teenage boys when they
      accompany me. In addition, limiting myself to these
      pieces helps me limit the weight, and optimize the
      space, in my pack. As an additional space
      optimization technique, I pack either my stove, eggs
      in a plastic egg holder, or other items inside the
      pot. Having done this on numerous outings, the
      non-stick cook surface is still in tact--no scratches.

      When cooking, I usually use a small plastic spatula to
      prevent scratching the non-stick surface. The
      permanent non-stick surface fulfills GSI’s claim of an
      easy to clean interior. I have cooked omelets,
      potatoes, and pancakes, without them sticking to the
      pan, making cleanup a breeze.

      As of now, the exterior is free of any nicks or
      scratches. This is even more impressive considering
      the fact that my 14 and 12-year-old sons have taken
      them on scout camping trips. No doubt, they are
      rougher on the pans than I. It is my belief that with
      minimal care, these pans will hold up for some time.

      As suspected, the grooved bottoms of the pots and fry
      pans helps secure them on the pot supports of my
      stove. This is especially helpful since it can be
      difficult, at times, to get my stove level.

      Impressive as the non-stick surface and the durability
      of the anodized aluminum are, the most impressive
      thing to me thus far is how quickly and evenly these
      pans cook. They cook nearly as well as my wife’s pans
      that are more expensive--not too shabby for camping


      • durability
      • non-stick interior
      • lightweight
      • heats up quickly
      • cooks evenly


      • none thus far

      Ryan L. Christensen
      E-mail: mailto:bigdawgryan@...

      "Excellence is not an act, but a habit." Aristotle

      Yahoo! Mail - PC Magazine Editors' Choice 2005
    • Emma Eyeball
      Ryan, thanks for your OR. your writing is very good, so most of my edits have to do with the format/arrangement of the review, rather than grammar and such.
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 14, 2005
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        thanks for your OR. your writing is very good, so most of my edits
        have to do with the format/arrangement of the review, rather than
        grammar and such.

        1. Your Product Description paragraph is buried in the review. You
        have the title, but then instead of describing the product you begin
        explaining how you chose the cook set. Take your second paragraph
        there, the one that begins with "the cookset includes..." and make
        that the paragraph that immediately follows the "Product Description"

        2. Your Field Information paragraph is stuck right in the middle of
        the performance section of your review. It should be separate from
        the actual review portion. I would suggest putting it immediately
        after your biographical information.

        3. The manufacturer's safety tips. This is good information to
        include in the review; it may help someone decide whether or not to
        buy the set. However, i would suggest finding a way to incorporate
        it into the Performance portion of your review, rather than in the
        section wherein you describe the set.

        4. Please remove the speculation about a link between alzheimer's
        and aluminum. no such link has ever been proven, and there are as
        many studies that discount it as there are that credit it. I
        consulted with the other editors on this, and the sentiment was
        unanimous that you should remove it. Thanks.

        5. Since you have never used the smaller of the two pots, perhaps
        you could make a recommendation in your review that GSI consider
        offering the pots separately? If i wanted only the 1 quart pot i
        might be a little cheesed off that i had to buy the whole cook set.

        6. This is a full-on nitpick, and you don't have to do it. There is
        no such word as "cookset." However, GSI uses this non-word as part
        of the name of the product. So whenever you use the non-
        word "cookset" as part of the product's proper name, that's fine.
        But whenever you use it as a simple noun, it's technically
        incorrect. yes, i am a weenie.

        there you go! make the changes and re-post your review at your
        convenience. thanks again for your contribution!

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