GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper: Definitive Review (2020)

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Table of Contents

28

Models Reviewed

25

Hours Of
Research

31

Field Test
Hours

65

Users
Surveyed

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Best Value Award Winner

This is the Ultimate TopNotch GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper Review for 2020. 

So, let’s cut to the chase…

Which is the Best Value Camping Cookware set on the market? 

If you’re having trouble pinpointing the best bang for your buck, then congrats – your search is officially over.

After rigorous field testing, we’re delighted to say that this beauty easily walked away with our Top Notch Best Value Award.

Want to know why? 

Well, in this comprehensive review, we’re going to cover…

  • durability
  • packability
  • weight
  • and lots more…

So if you want the very best camping cookware set for your next outdoor adventure, you’re going to love this guide.

Let’s get started…

Cooking Performance
8
Packability
8
Durability
7
Weight
8
Ease of Use
8
Features
7
Overall Score
77

  • Weight: 2.8 lbs
  • Material: Stainless Steel
  • Multi Set?: Yes
  • Packed Size: 8.4 x 8.4 x 5.7
  • Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors

Bottom Line: A simple stainless steel set – including frying pan – that works for groups of up to 4

Pros


  • simple
  • durable
  • nests well with other items
  • built-in strainers
  • frying Pan

Cons


  • hot areas
  • components could be better designed

Our Verdict:
GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper

After our typically rigorous TopNotch testing (heating, banging, dropping, packing up, and general heavy use), we’ve concluded that the Outdoors set is among the most durable of all the camping sets we tested. For the money, you simply can’t go wrong. 

It’s pretty damn sturdy –  we used it across various applications and in different settings (campfire, burner stove), and it didn’t disappoint.

But more on that later…

This cooking set comes with two pots (2L and 3L) and a frying pan (plus frying pan lid), which allowed us to adjust the packed weight according to the activity we were using it for – just leave behind what you don’t need for each trip. 

We did have a bit of a niggle though…

While the steel is stainless, easy to clean, thinner than most options, and super resilient, it didn’t distribute the heat as evenly as we would have liked. 

This caused hot spots and could easily have ended up damaging the pot – and you’ll need to be around to keep an eye on your food as it cooks. 

Although we found ourselves being more careful than usual around the handles (they did heat up quickly), there’s lots to appreciate about this super handy cooking set – like the built-in strainer, for example, which you don’t see very often. 

The bottom line is

… we don’t think you’ll find a better cookware set for the money anywhere on the web today

If you’re looking for an excellent choice for backpacking and car camping, this is by far your best bet.

And here’s why….

GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper is a super rugged, incredibly efficient stainless steel cookset for you and a couple of friends to enjoy tasty meals on the trail.

Related: 10 Best Camping Cookware Sets

Analysis Comparisons and Test Results

This set had everything we needed for cooking on the trail. 

Since it’s manufactured from stainless steel, it’s one of the lightest options out there. 

How many servings did we cook with the GSI-Glacier set?

It can easily be your go-to set to cook a meal for a group of up to four people – we fed three adults comfortably. 

If you decide to cook anything more than that, you’ll have to cook in batches, especially if you’re having veggies or the like. 

Cooking Performance

While testing the GSI- Glacier base, we tried cooking different food items with the pans, and they did very well. 

Still – after several uses – the food didn’t stick to the frying pan (even under high heat), and even though we deliberately only used a small amount of oil.

We tried various types of meats and a few eggs (scrambled and poached) and still saw the same results. 

GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper

Cooking Performance

Pinnacle Camper
10
Outdoors Bugaboo Camper
9
Primus PrimeTech 2.3L Pot Set
9
MSR Quick 2 System Cookset
9
MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set
9
Stanley Adventure Camp
9
GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper
8
MSR Trail Mini Duo
8
MSR Trail Mini Duo
8
Snow Peak TItanium Multi Compact
7

The food didn’t stick

…making it a dream for us to clean it after use. 

Given the pots are made out of thin steel, this cooking set distributes the heat reasonably well – but it could do better

The heat is distributed mainly towards the middle of the pot. This causes hot spots in the center. 

Although you do need to look out for that – we were impressed with the 3L pot performance. 

Take note that after washing, the pots, frying pan, and frying pan lid became a little stickier than before. 

Packability

This camping set is super easy to pack

While it’s more suited for a car camping setup, it’s still easy to grab one of the single pots to boil some water while you’re out in the woods or backpacking. 

Perfect.

The larger pots are designed for up to four people, and a stove or canister can fit very snuggly into the smallest pot with a little room to spare. 

GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper

Packability

Pinnacle Camper
10
MSR Quick 2 System Cookset
9
MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set
9
Outdoors Bugaboo Camper
9
Winterial 11 Piece Camping Set
9
GSI Glacier
8
Primus PrimeTech 2.3L Pot Set
8
MSR Trail Mini Duo
8
Stanley Adventure Camp
8
Snow Peak TItanium Multi Compact
7

Since it’s compact and you can split the set, you can optimize your car camping or backpacking set up just the way you want. 

And finally…

There’s the super handy stuff sack – included – to help you keep the set safe and together between meals or trips.

Durability 

Compared to other options available on the market, this cooking set is ranked average in the durability department. 

Since it’s made out of stainless steel, it’s considerably more durable than other brands made of ceramic or anodized Teflon. 

GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper

Durability

Pinnacle Camper
9
Stanley Adventure Camp
9
MSR Quick 2 System Cookset
9
Primus PrimeTech 2.3L Pot Set
9
Outdoors Bugaboo Camper
9
MSR Trail Mini Duo
8
MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set
8
Winterial 11 Piece Camping Set
8
Snow Peak TItanium Multi Compact
8
GSI Glacier
7

If everything (including the two strainer lids, fry pan, silicone thumb) were also made out of metal, then we would probably rate it a perfect 10. 

Although it’s the best option out there, there are still some slightly flimsy parts that you should take note of. 

This is nitpicking, though…

The most obvious would be the top pot handle that can come off. 

It’s not made of stainless steel like the pot itself, and I dropped it once while cooking – it’s just a tad flimsy. 

Flip the pot handles upwards while you’re cooking to save them heating up – but that’s just common sense. The pots are not coated – so there’s nothing to scratch or damage when cleaning – they’re made out of pure stainless steel. 

The pots didn’t dent or bend at all, and we used them with metal cooking tools, no hassle.

Weight

This camping set is an absolute beauty for base camp and car camping setups.

It doesn’t come with a ton of unnecessary features, which helps minimize the weight. 

We also appreciated the versatility this set offered. 

It’s the lightest of all the GSI/Outdoors base sets, and it has everything you need.

GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper

Weight Rating

MSR Quick 2 System Cookset
9
MSR Trail Mini Duo
9
MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set
9
GSI Glacier
8
Stanley Adventure Camp
8
Winterial 11 Piece Camping Set
8
Snow Peak TItanium Multi Compact
8
Pinnacle Camper
8
Primus PrimeTech 2.3L Pot Set
7
Outdoors Bugaboo Camper
7

And of course, you can also get rid of unnecessary weight by only taking the exact parts of the set you’ll need for your trip.

Ease of Use

This set is super easy to use – with a few necessary caveats. 

We tried using it on a single and double burner camping stove. 

It’s okay on a single burner, in terms of stability – as the handles are kept firmly in place. 

GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper

Ease of Use

GSI Glacier
8
Stanley Adventure Camp
8
MSR Trail Mini Duo
8
MSR Trail Mini Duo
8
MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set
8
Pinnacle Camper
8
Primus PrimeTech 2.3L Pot Set
8
Outdoors Bugaboo Camper
8
Winterial 11 Piece Camping Set
7
Snow Peak TItanium Multi Compact
6

But it fared better in the double burner test because it was nice and stable, and we only needed one hand to hold it while cooking food. 

Another feature we liked was the heat resistant pads on the lids. 

Plus…

… you can take the pots from the stove and drain water straight through the strainer lids. 

Features

This set is pretty minimal…

…but has everything you need to cook. 

The capacity of the pots can easily handle a meal for three adults.

You can add your own bowls, plates, utensils, and other items to optimize for versatility. 

GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper
Pinnacle Camper
9
Stanley Adventure Camp
8
MSR Quick 2 System Cookset
8
MSR Trail Mini Duo
8
Primus PrimeTech 2.3L Pot Set
8
GSI Glacier
7
Winterial 11 Piece Camping Set
8
MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set
8
Outdoors Bugaboo Camper
7
Snow Peak TItanium Multi Compact
6

While the lids fit perfectly, they’re not totally sealed. 

So, just make sure you have something to secure the lids for packing. 

GSI Glacier offers durable performance on any type of adventure.

Our Final Verdict:
GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper

If you’re looking for something great for car camping or group cooking, this cookset is our TopNotch Best Value choice. 

It’s a joy to cook with and performs equally well over coal or on a stove – and it’s a snip at this price point. 

To avoid burning your fingers, you can also use the silicone thumb that comes as an added extra. 

A thoughtful touch from the manufacturer.

If you’re a group of up to 3 or 4 campers, it’s a perfect excellent value choice.

Our Final Verdict Rating

Pinnacle Camper
90%
MSR Quick 2 System Cookset
87%
MSR Ceramic 2-Pot Set
84%
Stanley Adventure Camp
83%
MSR Trail Mini Duo
82%
Primus PrimeTech 2.3L Pot Set
82%
Outdoors Bugaboo Camper
82%
Winterial 11 Piece Camping Set
78%
GSI Glacier
77%
Snow Peak TItanium Multi Compact
70%
GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper Review✓ 31 Hrs Field Testing✓ Pros & Cons✓ Built-in Strainer✓ Great Value✓ Durable✓ Durable Metal✓ Simple Design✓

Conclusion:
GSI Outdoors Glacier Basecamper

If you’re planning a car or small group or car camping trip, the GSI set with its selection of pots and a frying pan will make an excellent option for you. 

The stainless steel design makes it easy to cook and clean, and super durable above all else.

If you’re camping on a budget or just watching your hard-earned bucks – then this is truly the set to take along with you.

So we’ve done the hard work – now we pass the baton to you.

Which will you choose?

Make no mistake…

…  this Best Value set from TopNotch is going to be pretty hard to beat.

topnotchoutdoor award

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Camper Cookset
topnotchoutdoor award

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stainless Camper
topnotchoutdoor award

Stanley Adventure Camp Cookset