GSI Pinnacle Soloist and Halulite Minimalist Cook Set Review
Do you know what I hate about camping? Other than mosquitos? I hate trying to use my regular old kitchen pots and pans on an open fire. My most recent attempt at this ended with the poor pot being totally scalded and trashed by the end of the trip. But good news… you don’t have to take your everyday stuff into the forest next time you go backpacking.
Meet the incredible GSI cook sets: Pinnacle Soloist and Halulite Minimalist. These two pots take up under a pound in your baggage, and they can make great camp meals in no time! Pair them with a micro stove, and you have the perfect outdoor micro kitchen.
So what’s the difference between these two products? Keep reading to find out which one best fits your needs.
|Bag||Sealed carry bag||None|
|Capacity||1.1 liter||0.6 liters|
|Weight||10.9 ounces||6.3 ounces|
|Lid||Plastic||Plastic with rubber seal|
|Accessories||Foon in a bag, cup||Foon, pot gripper, cozy|
|Handle||Locking handle||No handle; includes potholder|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Let’s start by looking at one of the coolest features of the Soloist. Unlike the Minimalist (which is so named for a reason), The Soloist has a nice carry bag. Now, this carry bag is more than meets the eye. In fact, it’s sealed, so it can be used to hold water or even wash dishes! It’s definitely a nice perk, although it’s not absolutely necessary to the cooking process.
Your capacity needs depend on what you want to do with your cook set. While both the Soloist and the Minimalist are made for just one person, the Soloist has almost twice the capacity of the Minimalist. The 1.1 liter pot in the Soloist set has more than enough space for cooking dinner. You may even get away with making dinner for two! The minimalist, however, is decidedly one-person. It’s the perfect size for coffee or a single meal.
Another thing to think about when selecting the Soloist or the Minimalist is the weight of the cook set. Obviously, the Soloist is bigger. It also weighs more than the Minimalist. It only weighs about 11 ounces, but the Minimalist weights just 6.3 ounces! This might not make much difference, but when you’re on the trail, every ounce counts.
Both the Soloist and the Minimalist have pretty cool lids. The Soloist lid is more suited for cooking food. It has a holes around the edge and can act as strainer, so you can make pasta in it. The Minimalist has a drinking hole that kind of looks like a Starbucks cup lid. When you’re cooking, it goes upside down to act as a pot lid and seals, and when you’re ready to drink your coffee, you can flip it the right way up. Both lids are made of BPA-free plastic, and the Minimalist features a rubber seal.
This is my favorite part of these cooking sets! You can get a cooking pot pretty much anywhere, but you can’t find very many sets with cool extras like these. Like any good backpacking tool, both the Soloist and the Minimalist compact to fit in the smallest space possible. Everything can fit in the pot for easy carrying!
The Soloist comes with the strainer lid, or course, which locks into place using the multipurpose lid. The pot contains a Foon in a nylon case, a cup that fits perfectly into the bottom of the pot, and a cozy for the cup. The cup is really cool; you can use it as a bowl, a mug, or a measuring cup. It has markings on it so you can measure things out in ounces.
While a micro stove does not come with this kit, you can fit your micro stove in the pot. Basically, your whole kitchen can fit into this small space!
The Minimalist has difference accessories, and it also has space for a micro stove. One thing people will either love or hate about the Minimalist is that it does not have a handle. This might be nice, since the rubberized coating on the Soloist’s handle could melt if it got too hot.
However, this means that the Minimalist doesn’t have a place to grip or a way to lock the lid. The kit makes up for this in other ways, however. The lid doesn’t have to lock, because it has a rubber seal. Not as secure, perhaps, but certainly effective.
Also, the Minimalist kit includes a rubber pot gripper to use instead of a handle. It’s magnetic, which help you get a god grip on the pot. Aside from this, the GSI Minimalist also comes with a foon and a cozy. To turn the pot into a mug, just flip the lid upside down and slide the pot into the cozy. Voila!
Both of these products are great for backpacking! The one you choose really depends on your preferences. In my opinion, you’d have to be a pretty hardcore minimalist to prefer the Minimalist over the Soloist. Of course, a lot of backpackers are like that, and find it to be a great fit!
My preference is the Soloist. For one thing, it has an actual handle. It also comes with cool extras, like the waterproof carry case and the cup. A little extra capacity for making food is good, too, especially since I don’t really like to camp alone. If you enjoy camping with other people, I’d say to go with the Soloist!