Stainless steel vs. aluminium vs. titanium? Choosing the right type of cookware can make all the difference to your outdoor trip. From hardwearing stainless steel pan sets to ultralight titanium solo pots each cookware type has its own unique properties. Here’s a quick guide to the three most common cookware constructions you'll encounter on our site
A classic construction made from a metallic compound including chromium for corrosion resistance. Stainless Steel is one of the most common cookware types found in both home and outdoor cookware. Stainless designs are known for their strength and durability, with a good quality set seeing you through countless outdoor adventures.
Stainless Steel is great for frequent campers who put their kit through a lot of abuse. On the downside, stainless steel packs a weight penalty. It is also a relatively poor heat conductor and prone to hotspots so you'll want to keep an eye on that pasta meal with regular stirring to prevent sticking. Stainless steel cookware is a great option for car campers and those catering to larger groups (such as Scouting and youth groups) where durability takes priority over pack weight.
Check out our Stainless Steel cookware range.
Looking for something special? Check out the Sea To Summit Sigma Cook Sets These nesting cookware sets are made of Marine grade 316 stainless steel which contains 2-3% molybdenum used to toughen steels and increase corrosion-resistance. A Fluxtherm™ treatment helps deliver an even heat distribution across the pot's base reducing hotspots to prevent food from sticking.
At around 1/3 of the weight, aluminium delivers a lighter construction than its stainless steel counterparts. Hard-anodised aluminium benefits from a process that hardens the surface for increased strength and scratch-resistance with a non-leaching and non-stick finish. It's easy to clean and offers a more affordable cookware option making it ideal for hikers and trekkers looking for weight savings without the higher price tag of titanium.
Aluminium makes for a better heat conductor than stainless steel. It heats and cools faster with an even heat distribution that prevents hotspots. To this end, it’s more fuel-efficient and can deliver faster cooking times which makes it a good choice of cookware for time-sensitive treks and backcountry chefs wanting to cook up more than a single pot meal.
While still robust, aluminium’s lighter construction makes it relatively less durable than stainless steel and it can be susceptible to knocks and scrapes if not looked after.
Check out our Hard-Anodised Aluminium cookware range.
45% lighter than steel with the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all the common metals, titanium rules the day when it comes to low pack weights. For this reason, titanium pots are a favourite among the fast-and-light crowd and come into their own where meals are based around boil only food pouches that require the minimum of preparation.
Titanium offers incredible corrosion-resistance and holds up well to knocks and scrapes. It heats and cools quickly giving it a good fuel efficiency, although the thinner material coupled with the high flame output of some camp stoves can lead to uneven heat distribution causing hot spots if care isn’t taken during cooking.
Titanium cookware will cost you more than its aluminium or steel counterparts, but that durability and ultralight design is an investment that pays dividends on the trail. If treated right, titanium cookware will see you through years of outdoor adventures.
Check out our Titanium cookware range.
Looking for something special? Check out the Toaks Light Titanium Pot 650ml - a fantastic cook pot and camp mug in a versatile size. Features a locking lid lifter and grips and weighs just 80g with lid.
Utensils you use can affect your choice of cookware. Stainless steel packs a harder surface which works well alongside metal cutlery and utensils. Though scratch-resistant, hard-anodised aluminium can be susceptible to scratches if using metal utensils which exposes non-treated aluminium beneath. Like their cookware counterparts, camping utensils come in a range of constructions that can be paired with your choice of cookware for best results. Check out our range of camping cutlery and utensils here.
Looking for something special? Check out Kupilka camping cutlery. Ecological, durable and lightweight, Kupilka is made from their very own Kareline® natural fibre composite in a traditional Finnish style.
Use our Buying Guide Index to explore tonnes of useful information about equipment, clothing, footwear and more. These guides are not just for climbing and snowboarding - all of our sports are covered.
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