13 Best Mess Kits For Camping And Trekking In 2024

Reviewed by Heather Johnson, Food influencer Heather Johnson Heather JohnsonFood influencer facebook_icontwitter_iconlinkedin_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon Specialty: Food recipesExperience: 15 years
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A camper or a trekker should carry a mess kit that includes a pot, cup, fork, spoon, bowl, and pan. These are essentials for preparing meals, and a mess kit lets you carry them all with ease. If you plan to purchase one, here is our list of the best mess kits. These expert-approved kits for camping are usually sufficient for one or two campers. They are lightweight and compact products that fit well into tiny spaces of your camping bag. However, it would help to consider a few factors before purchasing a mess kit. This post discusses the features along with our picks for different types of campers. Read on.

Top Picks

13 Best Mess Kits to Buy

1. Best BPA-Free:1 Liter Camping Cookware Mess Kit Backpacking Gear

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has garnered over 7,447 positive reviews on Amazon, and the number continues to grow.

This outdoor cooking kit by MalloMe is one of the best options, designed keeping in mind the needs of a youth scout or an adult hiker. It is a backpack mess kit set of ten pieces that collapse into smaller pieces for easy storage. The compact and lightweight design of this safety-tested trekking mess kit makes it a smart survival gear for adventurous souls.

Outer Material: ‎Aluminum | Material: ‎Aluminum | Color: ‎Green | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎6.6 x 6.3 x 3.8 inches

Pros

  • Collapsible bundle design
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy handles
  • BPA-free
  • Includes a cleaning sponge and a nylon travel bag with drawstring

Cons

  • Small-sized pots
  • Sporks may be inconvenient to use
Our Reviewer's Experience

"This kit has been a nice addition to my camping gear, allowing me to cook noodles and prepare tea with ease. Its lightweight design and compact carry bag ensure portability."

2. Best Easy-To-Clean:Coleman Camping Cookware | 5-Piece Aluminum Nesting Mess Kit

Coleman Camping Cookware 5-Piece Aluminum Nesting Mess Kit

This classic scout kit comprises four different pans and a lid that nestle together and take up very little space. The aluminum cooking ware is quite easy to clean and very light to carry in your backpack. Learn more about the aluminum set in this review video.

Color: ‎Aluminum | Item Weight: ‎0.65 Pounds | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎2.5 x 7.25 x 8.75 inches

Pros

  • Each piece serves a purpose
  • All pieces fit in perfectly well
  • Heats fast and cools down fast
  • Extremely lightweight aluminum construction

Cons

  • Food may stick to the cookware while cooking
  • Pot handle may get hot when on flame

Our Reviewer's Experience

"Its lightweight form makes this kit ideal for small groups or when I�m exploring the outdoors alone. Despite the thin material, the utensils are very durable. However, food can stick to the bottom, so I suggest using butter."


3. Best Easy-To-Carry:UCO 4-Piece Camping Mess Kit with Bowl, Plate and 3-in-1 Spork Utensil Set

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

More than 2,887 rave reviews on Amazon prove why we are so in awe of this product.

An ideal outdoor cooking kit for backpacking, camping, and scouting, the four-piece plastic mess kit includes a plate, bowl, spork, and tether. The tried-and-tested camping meal kit allows you to pack and carry food on the go without spilling.

Material: ‎Nylon | Color: ‎Venture | Item Weight: ‎280 Grams | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎6.73 x 6.73 x 2.24 inches

Pros

  • BPA and phthalate-free
  • Dishwasher and microwave-safe
  • Leak-proof seal
  • Grip handles ensure a comfortable hold
  • Lightweight, compact, and clever design
  • Non-skid silicone ring on the base and lid

Cons

  • Rubber strap may not be durable
  • Might be difficult to clean

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This mess kit has been a trustworthy addition to my camping gear. It lasts long and also doubles as a makeshift cutting board. The compact design is also perfect for the insulated compartment of my backpack."


protip_icon Quick tip
Carry a cleaning sponge and some dishwashing liquid sachets with your mess kit for a hygienic cleanup on the go.
1 Liter Camping Cookware Mess Kit Backpacking Gear
Best BPA-Free
Coleman Camping Cookware
Best Easy-To-Clean
UCO 4-Piece Camping Mess Kit with Bowl
Best Easy-To-Carry
Outer Material ‎Aluminum--
Material ‎Aluminum- ‎Nylon
Color ‎Green ‎Aluminum ‎Venture
Dimensions LxWxH ‎6.6 x 6.3 x 3.8 inches ‎2.5 x 7.25 x 8.75 inches ‎6.73 x 6.73 x 2.24 inches
Weight- ‎0.65 Pounds ‎280 Grams
Rating
Reviews7,4472,1962,887
Price$34.99$10.99$16.99

4. Best Compact: STANSPORT – Stainless Steel Mess Kit for Camping, Backpacking & Outdoors

This three-piece stainless steel outdoor cooking kit by Stansport has utensils with copper bottoms that promise uniform heat distribution to ensure optimal cooking efficiency. This metal set could become your favorite backpacking mess kit for all kinds of outdoor adventures.

Material: ‎other | Color: ‎Silver | Item Weight: ‎1.2 Pounds | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎8 x 7 x 6 inches

Pros

  • Comes with a nylon mesh cover
  • Features a frying pan with a locking handle
  • Compact and handy
  • Durable and stylish stainless steel construction
  • Can be used on any kind of stove, offering versatility
  • Complete kitchen essential to cook a meal
  • Folding handles

Cons

  • Size may be small for more than one person
  • Copper base may not be very reliable

Our Tester's Experience

"I've been using this mess kit extensively, and it's a valuable option for my solo outdoor explorations. The copper bottom helps with uniform cooking, and its stainless steel structure is quite sturdy."


5. Best Durable:Unique Complete Messware Kit Polished Stainless Steel Dishes Set

Why We Think It's Worth Buying

This product has made it to our top favorite list with more than 1,285 rave reviews on Amazon.

This mess kit for camping has been crafted using food-grade stainless steel and is ideal for one person. The rust and scratch-proof design makes it a durable and top-quality mess kit and ensures optimal cooking efficiency. The outdoor cooking kit includes metal utensils including a plate, cup, bowl, spoon, fork, and knife. This video gives you more information about the camping cooking set.

Material: ‎Stainless Steel | Color: ‎Blue | Item Weight: ‎0.6 Pounds

Pros

  • 100% food-grade stainless steel construction
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Comes with a mesh bag
  • Easy to clean and stackable mess kit
  • Different color options

Cons

  • Plate looks more like a bowl
  • Cup may be a tad small

Our Reviewer's Experience

"These stainless steel items are an excellent option for my RV camping set-up. The utensils are sturdy, simple to clean, and neatly nest together. Though they are not the lightest for backpacking, they are apt for stationary camping."


protip_icon Pro tip
Heather Johnson (Food Hussy), a food blogger and winner of Guy’s Grocery Games in August 2022, suggests, “Cut a dollar store sponge into smaller pieces and carry them in a Ziploc bag. This way, you do not have to worry about washing your sponge between meals–just toss the piece you used in another Ziploc bag and dispose of it at home.”

6. Best Lightweight:Redcamp PCS Camping Cookware Mess Kit with Kettle

REDCAMP 9121823 PCS Camping Cookware Mess Kit with Kettle

Redcamp’s compact backpacking mess kit consists of nine pieces of camping cookware. It is extremely lightweight and doesn’t take up much space in your backpack. The awesome, well-designed, quality-tested metal camping cookware set makes cooking and eating hassle-free when you are out for an adventure.

Material: ‎Aluminum | Color: ‎Orange | Item Weight: ‎0.57 Pounds | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎5.12 x 5.12 x 6.3 inches

Pros

  • Easy to hang on a backpack
  • Made of food-grade anodized aluminum
  • Convenient to clean
  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Heats quickly and cools fast
  • Portable carry box
  • Clever design

Cons

  • ·Handles may not be very secure

My Personal Experience

"This cookware set is the right choice for my casual camping, even if it is not a luxury option. Its large pot design allows me to heat water efficiently for camp meals. And it also doubles as a practical storage option for a small stove"


protip_icon Point to consider
Metal mess kits are more versatile in terms of heat source compatibility, as they can be used on the stovetop and an open flame, unlike plastic kits.

7. Best Eco-Friendly:Camping Mess Kit 4 Person Dinnerware Set with Mesh Bag

This colorful and durable camping dinnerware set is designed for four people and includes plates, cups, nesting bowls, and sporks in red, orange, blue, and green. This tried-and-tested fun mess kit will be loved by young campers.

Material: ‎Plastic (polypropylene) | Color: ‎Red, Blue, Green, Orange | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎12 x 11.5 x 6.8 inches

Pros

  • Eco-friendly and BPA-free mess kit
  • Lighter option compared to its metal counterparts
  • Comes with a mesh bag
  • Easy to clean and dishwasher-safe
  • Stain and odor-resistant

Cons

  • Mugs do not nest together
  • Made of very thin plastic

8. Best Scratch-Resistant: Wealers Stainless Steel Camp Mess Kit

4.6
Wealers Stainless Steel Camp Mess Kit Image: Wealers

Try this mess kit by Wealers suitable for hiking, camping, fishing, backpacking, and trips. The high-quality stainless steel set includes a bowl, deep and flat plates, a mug, a cup with a silicone sleeve, a straw, and a cutlery set. It also has a cleaning brush and a pouch bag to carry the cutlery. All the items in the kit are made of food-grade stainless steel and are compact, lightweight, and scratch-resistant. As per reviews, this kit also includes a breathable mesh bag for hassle-free carrying and storage.

Material: ‎Stainless Steel | Color: ‎Red

Pros

  • Available in various colors
  • Rust-proof design
  • Durable and long-lasting stainless steel construction
  • Non-toxic, BPA- and Latex-free
  • Dishwasher-safe mess kit

Cons

  • Straw cleaner may get tangled in the mesh bag
  • May be a bit smaller than expected
Our Reviewer's Experience

"This set was a handy option during my recent outdoor adventure. The utensils are sturdy, and the fact that they fit neatly in the bag is a bonus."

9. Best Three Part Kit:Mil-Tec German WWII Style 3-Piece Mess Kit

4.1
Mil-Tec German WWII Style 3-Piece Mess Kit Image: Mil-tec

This simple compact mess kit by Miltec has been given an OD green powder coat for that perfect military look. It is a three-part kit with one large and two small bowls, making it an ideal two-person mess kit.

Material: ‎Aluminum

Pros

  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • Stylish, classy, and clever design
  • Small bowl comes with a handle
  • Can be used as a storage box when not in use

Cons

  • Not very sturdy
  • Paint may come off

Our Reviewer's Experience

"This mess kit has been a trustworthy addition to my camping gear. It lasts long and also doubles as a makeshift cutting board. The compact design is also perfect for the insulated compartment of my backpack."


protip_icon Quick tip
Opt for nesting mess kits for camping as they take up less space, are sturdier, and contain more utensils than drawstring bag kits.

10. Best Non-Stick: Winterial Camping Cookware And Pot Set

4.3
Bulin Camping Cookware Mess Kit Image: Winterial

Get all the mess essentials in one set with the Winterial cookware set. The aluminum set includes a frying pan, sauce pot, kettle with lids, cutting board, folding ladle, two serving bowls, spatula, and a sponge. The quality-tested camping pot and pan set features a Teflon coating to prevent the food particles from sticking to the surface, ensuring optimal cooking efficiency. They also include foldable handles with three-point rivet mounting.

Material: ‎cast iron, Aluminum | Color: ‎Grey | Item Weight: ‎1.5 Pounds | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎6.75 x 6.75 x 3.5 inches

Pros

  • Compact, lightweight, and portable
  • Non-toxic aluminum construction with teflon coating
  • Kettle has steel pointed spout
  • High temperature- and fiction-resistant

Cons

  • Cup may not come with measuring marks
  • May not be easy to clean
Our Reviewer's Experience

"The compact design and the lightweight nature of this cookware make it convenient for me to carry. It is great for light dinners and reheating food, and I like that it's straightforward to clean."

11. Best Portable:Coleman Stainless Steel Mess Kit

Coleman Stainless Steel Mess Kit

Make your camping trip more fun with this mess kit by Coleman. It includes two stainless-steel pots, a plastic bowl, and a cup. The set is a perfect option for young campers as it is a lightweight and portable mess kit.

Color: gray and blue | Number of Items: ‎1 | Material: ‎Alloy Steel | Color: ‎gray and blue | Item Weight: ‎1.3 Pounds | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎7 x 7 x 5 inches

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Ideal for a basic meal
  • Easy to cook on a stove
  • Comes with an interchangeable handle
  • Mesh bag for carrying and dip cleaning

Cons

  • Inferior-quality bowl and mug
Our Tester's Experience

"It is quite durable and perfect for frequent travelers like me. Its detachable handle is convenient for storing the kit in a bag or carrying it in a backpack. A locking lid would have made it perfect."

12. Best Recyclable: GSI Outdoors Stainless 1 Person Mess Kit

4.3
Just Play Disney Junior Mickey Collectible Friends Figure Set Image: Gsi Outdoors

If you want a lightweight mess kit for a solo traveler, get this mess kit by GSI Outdoors. The metal set includes a cup, frying pan, pot, and bowl. Made of 18/8 stainless steel, the pot, and frying pan are safe on coal or open flame. As per reviews, the foldable hands ensure hassle-free and compact storage. Further, the foldable mess kit includes a mesh bag to store the cookware.

Material: ‎Other | Item Dimensions LxWxH: ‎5.9 x 0.01 x 0.01 inches | Item Weight: ‎1.09 Pounds | Blade Material: ‎Stainless Steel | Color: ‎Multi | Handle Material: ‎Stainless Steel

Pros

  • Durable stainless steel construction
  • Fully recyclable
  • Rust-proof finish
  • Free of BPA, phthalates, and PFOA

Cons

  • May not come with a non-stick coating
  • Base of the pot may not be thick
Our Tester's Experience

"Though it's heavier than the kits I used earlier, it is quite sturdy and super handy. It is easy to clean, making it a great choice for when on the go. I wish the components could be locked together for ease of carrying."

13. Best Versatile: Bulin Camping Cookware Mess Kit

4.4
Bulin Camping Cookware Mess Kit Image: Bulin Outdoors
*The prices provided in this article are based on the latest available information. However, they may vary due to changes in pricing by the seller and/or promotional offers.

Heat, toast, boil, and stew with this Bulin cookware non-stick mess kit. It includes two pots, a frying pan, a kettle, a foldable soup spoon, a sponge, and a rice ladle. The pots, pan, and kettle of this collapsible mess kit are made of non-toxic and hard-anodized aluminum.

Color: 13 PCS | Material: ‎Aluminum | Color: ‎13 PCS | Item Weight: ‎3.31 Pounds

Pros

  • Collapsible riveted handles
  • Easy to clean
  • Offers versatility
  • Resistant to high temperatures
  • Includes a storage bag for convenient storing

Cons

  • Bowls may be slightly smaller than expected
  • Kettle may turn black
My Personal Experience

"I've used the set on a few outdoor excursions, and it worked perfectly for preparing quick meals. Plus, it warms up quickly. Though it is easy to clean, soak the stubborn ones for effective cleaning."

How To Choose The Right Mess Kits?

If you are looking for a mess kit for camping but are confused about picking the right one, here are some points to consider when shopping for a mess kit. whether you are going for a boating adventure or climbing a cliff, you must first know what kind of a mess kit you need.

  1. Assortment: Look at the different utensils and accessories that are a part of the multi-purpose mess kit, and look for the right combination.
  2. Durability: When you are out for some outdoor adventure, you need a kit that is highly durable and tough.
  3. Material: Go for a material that goes well with tough terrains. High-quality stainless steel sets and aluminum sets are usually the most preferred choices.
  4. Size: Consider the size of the camping utensil set, based on the number of people.

How do you clean mess kits?

Generally, mess kits for camping are made of aluminum or stainless steel. You can slightly scrub them with mild soap and sponge and then rinse with water.

The Bottom Line

The right mess kit can make your camping experience more enjoyable by helping you cook and eat without hassle. Before buying one, consider each kit’s material, size, and parts. Aluminum and stainless steel sets for camping that are durable and feature the right combination of utensils are good options. Moreover, mess kits that are portable, lightweight, compact, easy to clean, and can heat up and cool quickly can make things more convenient. We suggest the Unique Complete Messware Kit, made of food-grade stainless steel for long-lasting performance, and the Redcamp Camping Cookware Mess Kit, which is lightweight and easy to clean. We also like the UCO 4-Piece Camping Mess Kit, which contains a leak-proof seal and grip handles.

Infographic: Things To Remember When Buying A Mess Kit

When it comes to outdoor adventures and camping trips, a reliable mess kit is essential for convenient and efficient meal preparation. This infographic presents important considerations to remember when purchasing a mess kit. Knowing these features will help you choose the perfect mess kit that meets your needs.

Tips For Buying The Right Mess Kit For Your Needs (infographic)

Illustration: The Bridal Box Design Team

Why Trust MomJunction?

An experienced writer and editor, Sakshi John has years of experience writing articles about home and kitchen. She brings her expertise about household items in this article about the best mess kits in the market. Her love for words is evident in each piece she writes, including this one, as she meticulously reviews each product with its pros and cons. The buying guide will also help as it lists out factors one must consider before buying a mess kit.

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Heather Johnson
Heather JohnsonFood influencer
Heather Johnson, better known as the Food Hussy, is a food & travel blogger with over 15 years of experience. She focuses on recipes that are restaurant copycats, done on air fryers and using Traeger smoker. Heather was the winner of Guy’s Grocery Games in August 2022.

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