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Reviews > Cook Gear > Cook Sets > MSR Quick 1 Cookware > Test Report by David Baxter

MSR QUICK1 COOKSET
TEST SERIES BY DAVID BAXTER
LONG-TERM REPORT
October 12, 2009

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: David Baxter
EMAIL: binkly99 at yahoo dot com
AGE: 29
LOCATION: Seattle, Washington, USA
GENDER: m
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 180 lb (81.60 kg)

Backpacking background: I have been hiking for six years and backpacking for five. I get out on the trails or snow every weekend, regardless of the weather. My trips range anywhere from fairly short dayhikes to longer multi-day backpacking trips. In the winter I snowshoe or snow-climb in moderate terrain and occasionally participate in a glaciated climb. My typical winter pack is about 15 lb (6.8 kg) for a day trip, and 35 - 45 lb (16 - 20 kg) for a glacier climb with an overnight camp. In the summer my pack is around 25 lb (11 kg).


INITIAL REPORT (April 28th 2009)

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: MSR Corp. (Cascade Designs)
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: MSR Corp.
MSRP: Not listed
Listed Weight: 10.7 oz (303 g)
Measured Weight: 10.6 oz (301 g)
Measured pot weight: 6.75 oz (191 g)
Measured mug weight: 3.75 oz (106 g)

Listed pot volume: 1.4 liters (47 fl oz)
Listed mug volume: 0.4 liters (13.5 fl oz)

Listed pot height: 3.75 in (9.5 cm)
Measured pot height: 3.75 in (9.5 cm)
Listed pot diameter: 6.75 in (17.2 cm)
Measured pot diameter: 6.75 in (17.2 cm)

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The Quick 1 Cookware System arrived packed in a simple wrap-around cardboard sleeve and plastic bag. The mug was inside the pot in its own plastic bag. The various sides of the cardboard are covered in the descriptions of the cook set and a diagram showing how they nest together. This is printed in English, French, German, and Japanese. It also describes other MSR cooking components which can be purchased separately.

The majority of the lid and pot are titanium. The hook holding the lid and the hinge for the handle are stainless steel. A hard plastic coating covers most of the handle for insulation purposes. A rubberized grip is located in the center of the lid to open the pot. One edge of the lid has a set of straining holes while the other side has a single larger hole. The edge opposite the handle is slightly crimped and hooks under a steel lip to hold the lid in place. The handle releases and swings upwards over the lid, snapping in place to hold the lid down while packed. The inside of the pot is stamped with 0.5 liter (17 fl oz) and 1 liter (34 fl oz) volume marks.

TRYING IT OUT

I first opened the pot by swinging the handle upwards to release the lid and locked it into the extended position. It clicked into place and remained with minimal wobbling. The lid simply lifted off at this point. To return the handle to the stowed position I pushed the simple red plastic switch on the hinge and it swung upward, snapping into place around the rubber grip on the lid. When closed I was able to turn the pot upside down, with mug inside, and it remained closed.
Quick1 system
The Quick 1 Cookware System
Closed pot
The strainer and secured lid


The handle feels sturdy and I was able to grip it well bare handed or with gloves. It did not bend or flex even when I lifted a pot filled to the brim with water. The underside of the pot has an indentation in the center which nests around the supports of my canister stove, keeping it on the center of the flame. While full of water the pot sat securely on my stove. When empty it was unbalanced and was inclined to tip towards the handle, even with the lid in place. I tested the strainer holes on the lid by simply pouring cold water out while holding the lid in place with my fingers on the raised grip. It worked very well.
Stove setup
The Quick 1 setup


The mug has a trapezoid shape with a single drinking hole on the long side and a smaller hole to let air escape on the opposite side of the lid. The mug is stainless steel with a plastic snap-on lid and a thick foam sleeve for insulation. The mug included with my cookset is red. The shape of it may not be traditional but I found it quite easy to hold. The lid has a slight overhang on one end to make removal easier. The foam sleeve is also removable for cleaning. This was difficult and required lots of pulling to slide it off.
Mug
The mug


The mug nests inside the pot on its side, taking up most of the free space. The remaining space was large enough to stow my smallest folding canister stove but not my non-folding stove. While my small stove also fit inside the mug the larger non-folding stove did not. I tried standing the mug upright inside the pot, which would greatly increase the storage potential for other items, but the mug is about 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) too tall for the lid to close properly.
Nested mug
Mug and folding stove

TESTING STRATEGY

I plan to use the Quick 1 Cookware System as my default choice for backpacking over the next few months. In the near future I will be snow camping and will use the pot to melt snow for drinking water and cooking. I usually carry dehydrated foods which I cook in a pouch for my meals. The Quick 1 pot provides just enough boiling capacity for two of these in a single boil. Several of the meals containing dehydrated beans will be cooked in the pot which should allow me to see how easy it is to clean. I will test the lid strainer with angel hair pasta and pesto, a favorite camping meal of mine. In addition to the cooking I will test the pot with both of my canister stoves and any stoves my companions bring along.

SUMMARY

The MSR Quick 1 Cookware System is a lightweight cooking set for backpacking. It contains a 1.4 liter (47 fl oz) titanium pot with attached handle and a stainless steel mug which stows inside the pot. The lid of the pot has a built in strainer for cooking pasta and other items. For packing the pot handle swings upwards over the lid and locks into place.

Check back in two months for my field report. Thank you to MSR Corp. and BackpackGearTest.org for this opportunity.


FIELD REPORT (August 7th 2009)

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have used the Quick 1 Cookset on four trips during the field report time frame:

1. I first used the Quick 1 Cookset on a snowcamping trip to Sourdough Mountain in the North Cascades mid May. Temperatures were around 50 F (10 C) during the day, dropping to about freezing at night. Skies were partly cloudy but the weather was good. I made camp around 6000 ft (1829 m) on the ridge in deep snow. The distance to my camp was about 7 miles (11.3 km) gaining 5000 ft (1524 m).

2. Fourth of July holiday during a four day trip to the Pasayten Wilderness in north central Washington. Temperatures were near 90 F (32 C) during the day, dropping to about 50 F (10 C) overnight. Conditions were very dry with stagnant air. We made camp in Horseshoe Basin at 7000 ft (2134 m) after hiking in about 8 miles (12.9 km).

3. Two nights at Robin lakes. For this trip the pot served two people. Robin Lakes sits at 6100 ft (1859 m) and requires a one way hike of 7 miles (11.3 km) to reach, gaining about 3000 ft (915 m). Daytime weather was sunny with temperatures around 75 F (24 C) and at night around 45 F (7 C). Weather was sunny with slight breezes.

4. One night at Deception Lakes August 1st. I camped at 5100 ft (1554 m) after hiking in about 16 miles (25.7 km) as part of a one-way through hike. Daytime weather was sunny with stagnant air and temperatures around 85 F (29.4 C), dropping to about 60 F (15.6 C) at night.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

I am very pleased with the performance of the Quick 1 Cookset over the four trips I have used it. It packs down small, is lightweight, and very versatile. I particularly like the titanium pot and its useful pasta-strainer lid. It is large enough to be used for melting snow, boiling noodles or making soup, and yet not too large for boiling enough water for a cup of coffee.

My first use of the cookset was on a solo snow camping trip mid May in the North Cascades. I pitched camp high on the exposed ridge between Sourdough and Stetattle Mountains and used the pot to melt snow for water. Water boiled quickly and the size of the pot was sufficient to melt snow to fill all my bottles. The process was speedy enough for one person but due to the small size of the pot I will bring a larger pot on a group trip. I unfortunately damaged the pot on its first trip. I neglected to add enough water to the pot before the snow and managed to scorch an area of the pot about the size of my thumb. The metal is discolored and slightly bulged in this spot but the damage appears only cosmetic.

I have also used the cook pot to prepare several two-person meals while camped at Robin Lakes. The first night I made a chicken-noodle soup style dinner. This was a prepackaged meal and filled the entire pot. There was enough room to simmer the soup for the 10 minutes it required without boiling over the sides. Once finished the handle was also strong enough to lift the very full and heavy meal off the stove without bending or twisting. The second night I boiled penne pasta for a dinner of pasta, pesto, and smoked salmon. The pot was barely large enough to boil a two-person serving of pasta and once cooked the noodles filled the entire pot. I used the lid to strain the pasta and was very pleased with the result. The lid stayed in place and was easy to hold by the rubberized grip in the center. My fingers did not feel hot or come near the draining water and I didn't spill a single noodle.

Soup
Chicken soup in the Quick 1 Cook pot


Aside from those two trips I have used the cook pot to simply boil water for cook-in-bag type meals, coffee, and preparing soup mixes in the pot itself. Every time it as worked very well. Cleanup of the meals which I cooked in the pot was simple and easy. It does not have a non-stick coating but as long as I didn't allow food scraps to fully dry it was easy to wipe it clean with my bandana and water. The pot has picked up plenty of small scrapes and scratches but is still in great shape, even with the scorching.

I have a mixed opinion of the insulated mug. Primarily I have used it for my morning coffee but I have also used it for hot chocolate, tea, and even red wine. The first trip out the lid fit snugly into the top of the mug. Over time it has become much more loose, to the point of falling out when the mug is tipped. When the mug is full of liquid it stays in place, likely due to the liquid sticking it to the metal, but I am a little nervous it will fall off completely and spill my drink all over myself. In addition I miss being able to close the top completely, blocking the drinking hole, a feature my usual travel mug has. I have thrown the mug into my pack while not completely dry and had it drip the remaining coffee residue twice now. The mug does do a great job keeping hot drinks hot, even when setting it down in the snow. It is easy to clean because the lid completely lifts off and there are no hard to reach areas.

SUMMARY

I am very pleased with the performance of the Quick 1 Cookset. It is sized very nicely for solo use but can also work well boiling water and preparing simple meals for two people. The pot is lightweight but also sturdy and easy to clean. The lid is very functional with strainer holes for draining pasta and an insulated grip for opening and closing it. I have used the pot for simply boiling water, cooking meals in the pot, and melting snow for drinking water and it has performed very well.

I am less impressed with the insulated mug. While it does a great job keeping my drinks hot and is easy to clean, the lid has become loose fitting the more I use it. It does still stay in place but I have to keep an eye on it to avoid spilling. I find myself preferring the screw-top style lid of my usual insulated mug.

This concludes my field report for the MSR Quick 1 Cookset. Please check back in two months for my long term report. Thank you to MSR and Backpackgeartest.org.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I have used the Quick 1 Cookset several more times over the past two months. I will detail a few representative trips below.

1. Tomyhoi peak attempt, camping at Yellow Aster Butte tarns. About 14 miles (22.5 km) total with 5000 ft (1524 m) gain. Temperatures were in the mid 50s F (10 C) the first day, dropping to mid 40s F (4.4 C) overnight, and rising to the mid 70s F (21 C) the following day. We made camp at 6000 ft (1829 m).

2. Off-trail traverse from Rampart and Lila Lakes to Chikamin Peak and Glacier Lake, exiting through Lake Kachess. Around 30 miles (48 km) total distance. I did not check the elevation gain. Temperatures ranged from the mid 40s F (4.4 C) at night to about 70 F (21 C) during the day. Camps were made at Lila and Glacier Lakes.

3. Camping on the top of Shriner Peak in Mount Rainier National Park. The trail covers 9 miles (14.5 km), gaining 3600 ft (1097 m). The camp itself is at 5800 ft (1768 m) on the top of the peak. Temperatures were very mild, staying above 50 F (10 C) overnight and about 70 F (21 C) during the day. Skies were clear day and night. The trail is totally dry this time of year and I had to pack in all my drinking and cooking water.

4. Five days exploring the Enchantment Lakes in mid September. We set a base camp at 7400 ft (2256 m) and dayhiked from here. Temperatures ranged from below freezing at night to the low 70s F (21 C) during the days, with sunny skies. Occasionally it was very windy.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The Quick 1 Cookset continues to perform very well! This is one of the best small, lightweight titanium pots I have used. The size is very useful for cooking and boiling water for up to two people. Boil times have been quick and reliable in combination with my isobutane canister stove. I have used the cook pot for everything from melting snow, to boiling water, steaming rice, and even baking a cake (with steam).

The pot is best suited to boiling water or heating food with a high liquid content. I managed to scorch the pot melting snow on its first outing and have made the discoloration even worse by preparing rice in the pot. Once the water was absorbed into the rice it scorched onto the titanium and the bottom discolored even more. I have had no problems when heating soup, boiling pasta, or anything else where the bottom of the pot remains covered with liquid.

The pot is also very stable on my stove even when nearly empty. At first I was worried that it felt unbalanced but I have yet to have it tip over, even in strong winds. The pot uses the MSR Talon removeable handle, which is compatible with several of their other cooking pots and pans. I do not own any other compatible ones but tried removing the handle anyway. It simply snaps off and back on again with minimal effort and is very easy.

The mug is more of a mixed blessing. It nests nicely into the pot but over time the lid has become very loose. It also becomes more loose as the drink inside cools down and twice I have had it come out, spilling the drink all over me. I try to remember to keep a finger on the top of the lid while drinking to hold it in place when I use it now. Though it weighs more I prefer my standard plastic drinking mug to the included Quick 1 mug.

SUMMARY

The MSR Quick 1 Cookset consists of a small titanium pot with a folding handle, strainer lid, and an insulated mug. The pot is excellent for boiling water or soup for up to two people and is very lightweight. It has also been very durable but scorches easily if one isn't careful to keep the bottom covered with enough water while boiling. The strainer lid works very well for cooking pasta or anything else which requires draining. The folding handle works very well to keep the whole set together during transport. While I like the pot very much I prefer my standard plastic mug to the Quick 1 mug, which has a loose-fitting lid.

CONTINUED USE

I will continue to use the Quick 1 cook pot on my future trips. It is lightweight and boils a nice volume of water for one or two people. I do not plan to keep using the Quick 1 mug however.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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