Coghlan’s Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookset

Coghlan's Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookset

Coghlan’s Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookset

When I backpack alone, I pretty much stick to one pot meals. But my wife (Captain Mouse), has gotten bit by the car camping bug, so we’ve been trying out different cooksets to take on our trips together. She’s a foodie and likes to cook more elaborate concoctions than the ramen noodle and olive oil based meals I normally eat on my solo hikes.

While there are many camping cooksets available on the market today, the Coghlan’s 4-pot Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookset caught my eye because it has many of the same properties I like in the simple backpacking pots that I prefer. Features like fold out butterfly handles and lids with integrated strainer holes.

All of the pots in this cookset are also made out of hard-anodized aluminum which I like better than titanium pots because they’re more durable and a good conductor of heat. Titanium pots are cool and superlight, but is the price premium really worth it? I don’t think so and certainly not for an entire cookset!

Cooking on Woodstoves (from Ikea)

Boiling Water on Utensil Holders from Ikea

Out of the box, the Coghlan’s cookset includes 4 pots, lids, a plastic measuring cup and a pot scrubber. The pots are sized as follows:

  • 2.8 quart pot and lid, weighing 12.3 ounces
  • 1.8 quart pot and lid, weighing 10.1 ounces
  • 1 quart pot and lid, weightng 7.6 ounces
  • 1.2 quart frying pan, weighing 8.5 ounces (the 2.8 qt pot lid fits as a cover)

My wife likes the sizes of the individuals pots because they’re just right to cook a complete meal for 2-4 people. The 2.8 quart casserole is large enough to cook pasta and that the wrap-around butterfly handle is secure enough to hold a pot full of boiling water without feeling flimsy. The frying pan is a little on the small side though and while adequate for scrambling two eggs, it’s not really large enough to make pancakes.

Pots stack into a nylon carry bag - Aqua Mira shown for scale

Pots stack into a nylon carry bag – Aquamira shown for scale

What I like about the cookset is its stackability, since I’m the guy who has to carry it from the car to the campsite. I don’t want to be sexist – but that is how things work in my marriage!

I also like the fact that one can buy a cookset like this and break it apart for different types of trips withoug having to buy several individual pots. For example, the 2.8 quart pot is perfect for winter camping when I need to melt snow, the 1.8 quart pot is great for spring and autumn trips when I like a little bit more hot water at breakfast and dinner, and the 1 quart pot is perfectly sized for summer ultralight backpacking trips when I only cook ramen noodles for dinner.

Priced at $69.99, Coghlan’s Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookset is a pretty inexpensive way to buy all of these pots at once.

This product will be available in Spring 2013 – any day now.

Disclosure: Coghlans provided Philip Werner with a free Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookset for this review. 

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20 Responses to Coghlan’s Hard Anodized Aluminum Cookset

  1. Uncle Tom March 22, 2013 at 3:52 am #

    Great tip. Coghlans is often widely available here in the NE, and the price is right. Hard anodized is an truly viable alternative to titanium, especially in the smaller sizes. The weight differential is not that much.

    • Earlylite March 22, 2013 at 7:36 am #

      It really isn’t. I’m not buying new Titanium pots – they’re not worth the extra money since I save plenty of weight on other items like my pack and shelter. That really adds up if you like to cook as a group or more elaborate meals involving more pots.

  2. Marco March 22, 2013 at 5:54 am #

    Well, my goal, as always, is light weight. 7.6oz for a 1 quart pot is a bit on the heavy side. Others in this set all follow the same pattern. B believe the older Texport pot I use is about 1.1qt (~1L) and weighs about 6oz including the lid. An even older pot, one of my first camping purchases some 45 years ago, weighs in at 5.625oz and is ~1.5qt(1.4L.) Plain old aluminum, though the older ones were still made in the USA. Verry hard to beat those weights for pots, even given the hyper-expensive ti.

    The coating does make clean up a bit easier. but a drop of soap on a scrubbie washes clean enough. A frying pan (aluminum, folding handle) is a bit heavy, but I have been known to bring it on fishing trips.

    Solo, I still use the standard grease pot. 3 cups at 3.8oz. Modified for heat exchange on the bottom. Not something that is easily done with coated pots nor ti.

    • Earlylite March 22, 2013 at 7:37 am #

      I hear you – but what about the utility of stacking pots, good price, and different sizes. Perhaps I focused too much on weight. Old habit I guess.

  3. PeteJ March 22, 2013 at 6:23 am #

    Don’t let her try cast iron dutch ovens……….

    • Earlylite March 22, 2013 at 7:38 am #

      I seem to be more enthusiastic about it than she is. Fun exploring “the other side!”

  4. Walter Underwood March 22, 2013 at 11:52 am #

    I’m glad to see Coghlan’ s getting into cookware, I hope it works out for them.

    Maybe they’ll make some bigger pots. Boy Scout patrols cook for 6-8, so they need affordable bigger pots.

    Coghlan’s makes all that other stuff, not the fancy stove and air mattress, but the toothbrush holder and the Lexan spoon.

    They also have a long history of hiring developmentally disabled adults:

    http://www.coghlans.com/press-release-partnerships.aspx

    Good people.

  5. Samuel Savard March 22, 2013 at 2:26 pm #

    This is great. I love when you can stack them into one another like russian dolls. I was wondering, do you know if anodized aluminum is as safe for health as titanium? Thanks!

  6. Rob March 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    They look good for a small group (2-4 people).

    If you are “base camping” you’ll eventually want a dutch oven (i know they’re heavy). Don’t bother with anything other than cast iron. We used to melt the tops of the aluminum ones when I was a scout. In addition to being an oven for regular baking – they are great for roasting meats of various sorts, as well as things like chilli and lasagna. I’ve seen people use it for making ice cream – but that’s a lot of work. But you wouldn’t want to use one when you’ve returned from a day hike and want to eat, NOW, because most of the recipes take a bit of time.

    We’ve even done a bacon cobbler for the scouts. (apple crumble with bits of precooked bacon marinated in brown sugar).

  7. cp March 23, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    I love the smell of hard anodized aluminum in the morning. I also search for good alum pots over spendy titanium. This is a set that could work well for family camping and family backpacking for us. Solo stuff I’m sticking with my Brunton IB set (I take one of the two pots depending… great versatile set).

  8. cp March 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Question: your Ikea myog stoves, did you modify them in any way? They look stock to me.

  9. Grandpa March 24, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    Camping just wouldn’t be the same without Coughlan’s. I’ve got some salt and pepper shaker tops that fit on film canisters. The only problem these days is trying to score some of the canisters. Fortunately, I have a bunch I got from the local Walmart before they closed their film lab.

    I just purchased a GSI Pinnacle Camper set for car camping and hope to try it this coming weekend with the grandkiddos. It has two pots with lids, fry pan, 4 plates, 4 cups, 4 bowls and it all packs into a snug holder that can be also used as a sink.

  10. Joe B March 24, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    I recognize the IKEA product from the BPL forum. But you made zero mods to it, and are cooking with success? I’d like to know more. Are there posts related to using the IKEA utensil holder as a stove without modification?

    JB

    • Earlylite March 24, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

      Zero changes – I don’t read BPL so I have no idea what changes they’d make. They work fine right from the store. The only mods I would make are maybe putting a burn pan cut out from a tomoto can in the base to prevent ground burn and maybe lining one side with tin foil to act as a but of a wind screen. But all that is optional if you place them on mineral soil and use a foam sleeping pad or boulder as a wind screen.

  11. Grandpa March 24, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    You probably won’t find it on IKEA’s website!

    • Earlylite March 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

      I’m told you have to go to the store to buy them – that you can’t get them online.

  12. MW April 21, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    Phil, thanks for including the weights on this set which I was looking for. What’s the width and height of the 1 qt pot in inches, and what’s the weight of the lid (and is the lid included in the pot weight you listed)?

    I’m looking for wide 1-2 qt hard anodized pots for backpacking with integrated handles. Based on what I’ve seen out there, you can do better for weight on the larger pots with other hard anodized pots, but the 1 qt pot looks within range of what I’d consider for backpacking. According to weights listed online, you can even get a Primus EtaPower 2.1L: pot with Heat Exchanger for less weight than the 1.8L Coghlan’s pot in this set. I think it’s a very nice set though for car camping, with the 1 qt pot perhaps practical for backpacking.

  13. MW April 21, 2013 at 12:55 am #

    Maybe with a lighter MYOG lid the total weight of that 1 qt pot could possibly get down to the 6 oz range. I wish they’d make a 2 qt pot in the weight of the Open Country 2 qt pot but with an integrated handle.

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