Pinnacle Dualist by GSI Outdoors
Staff Editor: Johnny LeMaster
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Just the Facts:
Product Use: 2-Person Ultralight Backpacking Cook set;
Includes: 1.8 L Pot, Strainer Lid, 2 20 fl. oz. Insulated Mugs, 2 20 fl. oz. Bowls, 2 Sip-it Tops, 2 Telescoping Foons, Stove Bag, Welded Sink;
Weight 21.6 oz.;
Dimensions: 5.9” x 6.4” x 5.9”;
Material: Non-stick coated, hard anodized aluminum, clear polypropylene, nylon 6-6, silicone;
Perfect for the ultimate backpacker. Providing superior efficiency and flexibility in an ingenious space-efficient package. High performance, lightweight, compact two-person total cookset solution. The award-winning, ultra-compact mess kit for two includes two bowls with graduations, two Telescoping foons, two insulated mugs with sip through lids, a boiler pot with a folding over locking handle and a strainer lid, a stove bad and a welded stuff sack that doubles as a sink for washing.
I have enjoyed backpacking in numerous places over the last couple decades, and my gear reflected this. Much of my gear is outdated, beat up, bulky, and not light. Mind you I have never been an ultralight backpacker, and it has never really been an issue. However, with age has come the wisdom to know that it is essential to have equipment that you can rely on. That can withstand being put rigors time and again, won’t fail you, and will make your overall experience more enjoyable. Having a lightweight, compact, durable piece of equipment fits that bill.
I received an invite from a friend to join him and two others on a backpacking trip into Hells Canyon to start out the season. I immediately jumped on the opportunity. I have never backpacked in Hells Canyon and I am always looking for a new place to go, and it was the perfect opportunity to get some of my gear sorted out. I started pulling out all my gear to determine what I had, what I need to replace, and what I was missing. Pouring everything out of my large backpack, I had to sift all the decomposed granite from my last trip into the high Sierras from the pile of equipment. When the dust settled I was able to see what I had. One glaring need was to upgrade my cook-set. My current one had been abused for many years, dented, severely scratched, and definitely not nonstick.
The search for a suitable upgrade begin. I talked to some other experienced backpackers about their recommendations, got online and started looking at different cook-set. My criteria consisted of having a lightweight, compact set that would be able to accommodate two people. After looking at numerous options I kept coming back to the Pinnacle Dualist by GSI Outdoors. Their products had come highly recommended by a good friend who had a lot of experience with them. The set also met all of my criteria, had great reviews, and best of all wasn’t going to break the bank. It was decided, this was the set I was going to put to the test. I made arrangements for a test product and waited for its’ arrival.
When my Pinnacle Dualist arrived, it felt like Christmas. As I tore into the package it was like opening a Russian nesting doll. Every layer I opened had another layer inside of it. The welded stuff sack that doubles as a sink for washing also held the pot with the strainer lid. Inside the pot was a double stack of bowls. Inside the bowls were the insulated mugs with sip through lids. Inside the mugs were the collapsible foons, and one held a small stove bag. It was incredible that all of this was contained in this small package. To top it off my 110 gram fuel canister, and stove also were able to fit inside of the mugs. This saved even more space in my pack and helped to keep all my cooking essentials in one easy to find location. I was eager to test it out and volunteered to carry the cook-set for the two of us who were packing together for the Hells Canyon trip.
After the we finished the first day’s pack in we found a great spot to set up camp, not to far from the Snake River. As we started to set up camp, the others were “amazed” at some of the gear that I had packed in. Although I did not have any extraneous gear, as I stated earlier, it was bulky and not lightweight. One of the few items I pulled out of my pack that I did not get a single smart remark about, and actually received some compliments and intrigue was the Dualist cook-set. Everyone was impressed with the functionality of the set. Its compact design with all the nested items tucked away inside was a hit. I was excited to use my new cookset. I set up the stove, filled the pot with enough water for two of us to make our dehydrated meals, and some apple crisp, put the lid on and sat back. Within minutes the water was at a nice rolling boil. Thankfully the pot lid has a silicone tab to save your fingers from getting burn when you are all to eager to eat to consider stuff like hot metal. While waiting for my meal to be ready, I enjoyed a much-deserved sports drink using the insulated cup. After dinner was all over if filled the welded stuff sack with water to wash the dishes used. This great addition made it very convenient for clean up when not immediately adjacent to a water source.
The next morning after some great bass fishing, I pulled the cook-set back out to make breakfast. I wanted to push the set a little further. Three of us used the set for the meal. Every piece was used. I was able to heat up enough water for two dehydrated meals, three cups of coffee, and some oatmeal. The graduations on the bowls were perfect for measuring out the exact amount of hot water needed for each item. I was very impressed with just how efficient and comprehensive the Duals set is. The insulated cups with sip through lids were great for protecting your hands from the hot coffee and avoiding spills. We even used one of the bowls as an extra cup.
I continued to use the Pinnacle Dualist cook set for the rest of the trip with great results. It was one of the few pieces of equipment that I had with me that I had no issues with and was completely satisfied with. On an incredible adventure that was filled with everything from great comradery to drenching thunderstorms that collapsed tents the Dualist was one thing that exceeded my expectations and added to a great experience.
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What Could Be Done Better:
The collapsible foon could use some work. It is short and flimsy. While it works well for stirring coffee, or eating oatmeal, you do not want to use it to try and stir anything thick, or to reach to the bottom of a dehydrated meal package. Also, the welded stuff sack fit the pot nice and snug but was a little difficult to get past the handle mount on the pot.
I would give this product 4.5 Stars.