GSI Outdoor’s Halulite Minimalist Cookset integrates everything you need for rehydrating cook-in-the-pouch, freezer-bag meals. or making hot drinks in an impressively small footprint. Consisting of a 0.6 liter anodized aluminum pot, sip lid, insulation sleeve, pot grippers, and telescoping “foon,” the Minimalist weighs a miserly 6.3 ounces and is entirely self-contained when packed, taking up very little space in your backpack. In fact, it’s so well-engineered it can also swallow the alcohol stove and windshield shown above or a small gas canister and stove!
At 0.6 liters (approx 2.5 cups), the Minimalist pot is designed for boiling water and making hot drinks, but not actually cooking anything. With a width of 3 and 3/4 inches, it’s best used with alcohol, canister, or solid fuel (ESBIT) stoves that have a narrow flame pattern that hits the center of the pot. This is doubly important because the Minimalist has a plastic lid which will melt if flames shoot up the pot’s sides.
Before you can boil water using the Minimalist, you want to slip the its foam insulation sleeve or cozy off, so it’s doesn’t catch fire. There’s a small hole on the bottom of the cozy that you can slip your finger into to pull it off. Being the same color as the pot, it’s very easy to set the cozy on fire accidentally. I know this from experience!
You will want to use the plastic lid when cooking because it’s one of the most effective ways to reduce the amount of stove fuel needed to boil water. When cooking, be sure to flip the top lid upside down so it rests loosely in the top of the pot so it is easy to remove when the water boils. You should only screw the lid on when drinking hot liquids so they don’t spill. There’s a sipping hole in the top so you can use the pot like an insulated mug for your morning coffee, in addition to boiling water with it.
The Minimalist cookset comes with a pot gripper to remove your hot pot full of boiling water from the stove. I personally prefer pot handles because they’re difficult to lose and they’re easier to pour boiling water with. When boiling water with the Minimalist, you need to lift the pot with the pot grippers and fit it into the insulation sleeve first, before you can safely pick it up and pour it into a meal pouch or freezer bag containing dehydrated food. If by chance you lose the pot grippers (which is probable if you use the cookset frequently), you can still pick up the pot with a wash cloth or by wrapping your shirt sleeve around your fingers for insulation.
Finally, the Minimalist cookset comes with a telescoping plastic “foon” (basically a spork) which fits into the pot when not in use. It’s easy to accidentally pull the handle off the spoon part, but also easy to reassemble. I’ve already lost mine, but I prefer carrying a $1 REI plastic spoon for eating anyway. You can probably hang onto your foon if you are very careful, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you lost it either.
- Compact, lightweight and self-contained
- Large enough to hold gas canister and stove
- Dual use pot and drinking mug
- Pot does not have liquid volume measurements etched in the side
- Pot grippers are easily lost
- Telescoping “foon” is flimsy and also easily lost
The GSI Outdoor Halulite Minimalist 1 Person Cookset is a very well designed single person cook system that contains everything you need for boiling water for “cooking” dehydrated camping meals, including a pot, insulation sleeve, screw-on lid, telescoping lid and pot grippers. The pot and lid are perfectly sized to carry a small gas canister and stove or alcohol stove, pot stand, and windscreen, making it very convenient to transport your entire cook system in a well-organized, ultralight-style manner.
At a mere 6.3 ounces in weight, I consider the GSI Minimalist to be an excellent value if you’re looking for an affordable one-person cook set, particularly for occasional use on short weekend trips where it’s possible to get by with eating dehydrated meals for a few days. However, for week-long, multi-week, or thru-hikes, you’ll probably want to upgrade to a larger capacity pot that’s big enough to boil food or simmer with and that has integrated pot handles for safer handling of hot liquids.
Disclaimer: Philip Werner received a sample Minimalist Cookset from GSI Outdoors for this review.
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