GSI PINNACLE CAMPER
GSI Pinnacle Camper Review
Just the Facts:
Compact, nesting design is reconfigurable from 2 person backpacking to 4 person car camping.
Rugged stuff sack holds set and doubles as sink or wash basin.
Color-coded items made of Infinity clear polypropylene provide personalized tableware settings.
Folding gripper locks on to exterior brackets to prevent scratching and to provide a secure handle while cooking.
Crushproof, heat-resistant strainer lid and silicone ring won’t deform in packs and works with either the pot or frypan.
Spiral turned base grips stove and grill arms securely.
Coated with Teflon® Radiance technology for exceptional non-stick performance.
Major Dimension: 4 Person
Dimensions: 9.10” x 9.10” x 5.80”
Material: Non-Stick Coated, Hard Anodized Aluminum, Clear Polypropylene, Nylon 6-6, Silicone
Product Use: Car Camping
3 L Pot, 2 L Pot, 2 Strainer Lids, 9 Frypan, 4 14 fl. oz. insulated mugs, 4 14 fl. oz. bowls, 4 7.5 plates, 4 Sip-It Tops, Folding Pot Gripper, Welded Sink.
It’s 5 O’clock somewhere! That song was piping through the speakers on my radio as I sat anxiously at my desk. Alas, it was only noontime for me. It would be another four hours before I was off and the minutes seemed to be melting like ice in a freezer. That Friday freedom was nearly upon me and the family camping trip was at the forefront of my mind. The whistle finally blew and I was soon on my way home for a quick gear up and vehicle switch. The weekend had begun and the mountains were calling our names for an overnight stay. We were more than happy to answer said call.
My wife had thought of everything. She crock potted some chicken in Italian dressing and some top secret ingredients. Pair that with two side salads and some sourdough hoagie rolls. Our dinner was going to be quick and easy. For breakfast she had precut and bagged potatoes, onions, sausage, and mixed a dozen eggs into a holding container. Throw in some tortillas and we had the mixing for some great breakfast burritos. Food was not going to be an issue on this trip that was clear.
The only thing she had not done was pack a few of the incidentals and cooking accoutrements. Well, I am man! Hear me Roar! When packing for a camping trip the “Gear” portion of it is my territory. Not that she is incapable of gathering everything necessary for a night in the mountains. Packing and gear prep is just a little part of my machismo that I’m not ready to let go of. This was a great time for me to show off a neat little piece of gear that was sent to me from GSI OUTDOORS to test out. The PINNACLE CAMPER is a full cooking set up good for 4 people. It has 2 Pots W/lids, 1 Frypan, 4 Cups/Bowls, 4 Insulated Cups W/lids, 1 interchangeable handle, and 1 wash basin. The coolest part is that the whole package is no larger than the largest pot. The entire set takes a page out of an old Russian toy makers book and acts like those neat little nesting dolls, each layer reviles something new. This kit is not only practical it doubles as a puzzle for the kids to play with until cooking time comes along.
Our campsite was along the Tucannon River at Camp Wooten a little slice of heaven tucked into the Blue Mountains of Washington State. For car camping this is one of our favorite spots to go. Our site was soon complete and we sat down one the big red picnic table for a nice family dinner under the green canopy of towering pines that surrounded us. This was the first time I had used any part of the PINNACLE CAMPER. Because of my wife’s food prep this meal only required plates and cups. Well, luck for me they were on hand and ready to go. Dinner was served and after a quick debate from my girls about who would get which colored plate we sat down to eat.
The sun started finding its way through the braches far earlier than I wanted it to but with the brightness came a new day and a new chance to test out the rest of the PINNACLE CAMPER. I cleared what was left of the sandman’s dust out of my eyes and decided to go get an hour of fly fishing in before the family got up and moving. 60 minutes and far less fish later I was back to camp and ready to eat.
In the interest of saving space I left the bulky propane stove at home and instead brought a very efficient and enclosed wood burning stove and my small backpacking stove. It was time to cook and I had a burning need for a pot, not just any pot, I needed a pot with a lid. Well, the large pot fit the bill nicely. In went the potatoes and onions and just a little bit of oil and seasonings. While that was cooking I wanted to test out the skillet so I light up my little back packing stove and started frying some sausage. The frypan is thin and light. I had concerns about its heat distribution but those were quickly put to rest. The Teflon with radiance Technology coating helps to make sure the pan has the best evenly distributed heat possible.
When the potatoes were done I moved them off to the side and switched handles back to the frypan and in went the eggs. The nonstick Teflon coating worked wonderfully for eggs. Everything was then mixed up in the large pot and breakfast was ready. The plates were soon adorn with delicious breakfast burritos and the cups were full of juice.
Clean up was a synch as I knew we would be heading home I just packed the PINNACLE CAMPER up knowing that all the dirty dishes would be contained and safe to store away in my tote until I got home. Once I was home and unpacked I took the kit out and decided that I better try out the wash basin in my sink. To be honest it was a little awkward but I really think that had more to do with the fact that I was using it right next to a perfectly good sink. However, it would have worked just fine out in the field.
The camping bug was not yet out of my system and after a brief discussion with the wife I decided to head back up to the hills with my youngest and try for some huckleberries. I knew it was early but had heard people were finding some. We had a great trip just the two of us and were lucky enough to find some berries and have a chance to once again test out this great little cooking kit. My daughter was more than happy with the huckleberry pancakes that I easily cooked up on the frypan. Our second trip was a success and our full bellies were thankful to the PINNACLE CAMPER and the great meals it allowed us to cook.
I have to say that for a family on the go that requires a compact and complete cooking kit this is what you have been looking for. The space saved alone makes this something you should seriously consider.
What can be done better:
While I very much enjoyed cooking on the PINNACLE CAMPER there are a few things that I would like to note. The kit does not include any type of eating utensils. I would like to see at the very least 4 of GSI’s Foons included which would easily fit into one of the 4 cups. At a price point of $129 I would like to see this kit be completely ready to eat from. It is a bit inconvenient having to pack or purchase separate cutlery. I would also like to see another pot handle. This is not absolutely necessary but it would be convenient as changing the handle while cooking can be a bit tricky. My biggest issue was that when the handle is on the frypan it is weighted wrong and will tip over. A counter weight on the opposite side would solve this problem. All in all this is a great kit and will be a staple in my family car camping kit. I truly believe you will be happy with it and it will provide many quality meals for whatever adventures you may have. Fine job GSI OUTDOORS!