Even if you’re roughing it, there are some things you need when camping. A good compact camping mess kit is essential. It gives you the basic things you need to enjoy a meal while enjoying your time out in the wild. There are some things to keep in mind to make sure you get the best camping mess kit for your needs.
We considered a few key features when putting together this list. First, think about how many people you need to serve. Is it just for you? Or do you regularly go camping with the kids? At the very least, you should choose a kit that contains a plate, bowl, and cup for everyone. Cutlery is a good idea, too. Material matters, too. Stainless steel, enamel, and plastic all have their pros and cons. If you’re going backpacking or walking a long way to your campsite, dimensions, and weight are very important. It’s a good idea to choose one that’s compact enough that it doesn’t take up too much space in your pack and light enough that it isn’t too hard to carry.
To put together this review, we spent hours researching manufacturers’ sites and read reviews from outdoor enthusiasts and people who use these mess kits every time they go camping. The first thing you’ll see is a table comparing all our picks in one place. After that, there are in-detail reviews of each product, followed by a detailed buying guide to help you choose the best camping mess kit for your needs.
First up is our Editor’s Choice, the Bisgear Stainless Steel Tableware Mess Kit. This is a complete set that comes with everything you need on the campsite. All the tableware is made of the highest-quality stainless steel that won’t rust or stain and stands up to wash after wash. This set should last a lot longer than those made of plastic.
This set comes with three dinner plates, cups, bowls, spoons, forks, knives, and sets of chopsticks. You also get a carabiner, dishcloth, wine opener, and mesh bag for storage and washing. When you get home, you can place the whole set in the dishwasher to get everything nice and clean for your next camping trip.
Another thing we love about this set is that it comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied, contact the company, and they will help you with any problems.
There weren’t a lot of complaints about the kit itself, the biggest problem people had was with the mesh bag. While the sides are made of mesh, the bottom is not, which means that it’s not ideal for draining dishes after washing them at the campsite. You may need to bring along another bag.
The Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set is one of the best kits for experienced campers and the best camping cookware mess kit for frequent camping. Why? Because it’s double-fired red-speckled enamel coating is crack-resistant, lightweight, and durable.
This kit includes plates, bowls, mugs, forks, spoons, and knives for four people. The roll-up storage pouch for the flatware comes in handy. You can just toss it in your pack without having to worry about losing a fork or spoon at the bottom of your bag.
Another great thing about this set is that it’s lightweight. It includes quite a bit of stuff and still weighs just a little more than 1.5 pounds, so it’s ideal for travel and backpacking.
We like the red speckled design; it adds a bit of style and charm to something that is typically pretty ordinary. Everything is easy to clean when you’re out and about plus you can toss it all in the dishwasher after every trip.
There aren’t many complaints about this set. One thing to keep in mind is that the flatware handles are made of plastic and may not be as durable as the rest of the kit.
A great option if you’re looking for a mess kit for one camper is the TOCATER Tableware Mess Kit. It comes with a plate, bowl, cup, fork, knife, and spoon. Everything is made of high-quality stainless steel that’s durable and made to last. It resists rust and corrosion and is easy to clean. You can even put it in the dishwasher when you get home to give it a good clean before your next camping or backpacking trip.
One great thing about this kit is the double-walled cup. It also comes with a lid, so you can keep your morning coffee warm for a longer period. The utensils fold to save space, and everything fits nicely into the include pure cotton bag for storage.
There weren’t many complaints about this kit. It’s well made, durable, and straightforward. The only downside is this kit is only for one person, so you’ll need to order multiple kits if you want to use it for your whole crew. This makes a great gift for any holiday if there’s someone in your life who enjoys camping and spending time outdoors.
Our budget pick is the Barbeqa 1-Person Backpacking Stainless Steel Mess Kit. Sometimes, you don’t need to feed a group of four or more when you’re camping. Sometimes, it’s just you. For those occasions, you can’t do much better than this simple kit.
It includes a plate, bowl, mug with lid, knife, fork, and spoon, all made of solid stainless steel. This kit looks great, travels well, and should last a long time. It is stain- and odor-resistant and shouldn’t rust or warp over time.
Everything is dishwasher safe so you can take everything home and give it a good cleaning before heading out on your next adventure. That’s not all, everything is designed to wipe clean quickly, and a mesh bag is included so this set is also easy to clean when you’re at the campsite. It weighs just slightly more than 1.5 pounds and is great for backpacking, too.
Most users commented on the quality of this kit, and some even continued to use it between camping trips. On the downside, there were reports that the handle fell off the mug and that the plate scratched easily, but these were not common experiences.
The Stansport 24-Piece Enamel Camping Tableware Set is super durable as well as stylish. It comes with place settings for four campers, each piece featuring a bright blue enamel finish with white splatter accents and bright stainless steel accents around the edges. Not only does this add a nice design accent, but the stainless-steel rims won’t chip or wear away over time as the enamel will. We love the bright blue color but, if you prefer, there is a green set available, too.
That’s not all. The enamel is double-coated, which adds impressive durability. Each place setting includes a plate, bowl, mug, and flatware. Everything is dishwasher safe so you can get it nice and clean after your camping trip.
Most people were pretty happy with this set although several commented that, while the plates, bowls, and cups were durable, they weren’t impressed with the quality of the silverware. Some people thought it was a little flimsy, but they were still happy with the rest of the set.
Some users reported that things were missing from their sets and that the plates and bowls were not as heavy and durable as they originally thought. Plus, while the set only weighs 5.2 pounds, it’s still pretty heavy when compared to other sets we reviewed.
The Barbeqa Camping Mess Kit is a fun, brightly colored kit that’s great for families. This set includes table settings for four people including plates, cups, bowls, and sporks. Each set is a different bright color – red, orange, blue, or green – so everyone can keep their own set separate.
Everything in this kit is made of durable BPR-free polypropylene. It’s dishwasher safe and stain and odor resistant, so this set should last a long time. A mesh bag is included for easy washing and storage at the campsite. These dishes are a popular choice for scouts. A lot of commenters said that they used them on camping trips with Boy and Girl Scouts and they held up well. Plus, the kids love the bright colors.
One downside is that the cups don’t nest inside each other, which can make it a little difficult to carry this set if you’re short on space. Everything still fits inside the mesh bag, just not as compactly as many had hoped. Some people also felt that the plastic was a little thin and mentioned that some of the sporks snapped in half after only a few uses.
The gear4U Camping Tableware Set is a good choice if you’re looking for something simple yet effective. It includes everything you need for four people, including bowls, plates, cups, and sporks, and would be great for a camping trip with kids.
All the pieces in this kit are made with strong, easy to clean polypropylene that’s lightweight, flexible, and simple to transport. Just place everything into the included mesh bag for easy washing, carrying, and storage. All of the pieces stack neatly together, too, so it packs up compactly and easily fits inside any pack without taking up too much valuable space. Another reason it’s great for backpacking is that the whole thing weighs less than 2.5 pounds.
This kit comes in two bright colors, blue and orange. It’s a great option for Scouts and doesn’t cost a lot so you can get multiple sets before a group camping trip, so everyone has the same mess kit.
While most people felt this was a pretty durable set, a few people commented that it wasn’t quite as sturdy as they’d hoped. That said, this is one of the most affordable options of the list so you can’t go wrong if you’re looking for something to use on an occasional camping trip.
Next up is the GSI Outdoors Sierra 12-Piece Set, which includes cups, plates, and bowls for four people. This is an extremely durable design that’s made of heavy-gauge steel covered in porcelain enamel that’s been kiln-hardened twice for exceptional durability. It looks great, too, almost like old fashioned stoneware.
This is a good set to keep in an RV or camper because, at nearly six pounds, it’s a little heavy to be carrying back and forth to a distant campsite. Six pounds may not seem like a lot, but when you’re loaded down with all your other gear, it’s enough to make a big difference.
Everything in this set is dishwasher safe and easy to clean, and they nest and stack nicely for easy storage. The best thing about this kit is that it comes with a lifetime guarantee. Any manufacturer’s defects are covered for the lifetime of the product.
One issue that was brought up by reviewers is that the material doesn’t seem to be very good at retaining heat so food and warm drinks may get cold very quickly. Other than that, though most people were very happy with this purchase.
For a kit that has absolutely everything, you need to fix a warm, filling meal, check out the Gold Armour Camping Cookware Mess Kit. It includes tableware for one person, including a spork, spoon, fork, knife, and two bowls plus a mini camping stove, one-liter pot, firestarter, carabiner, and loofah. Everything you need to cook a meal, eat, and then clean up after yourself. There’s even a nylon bag to store it all in when you’re done.
Everything packs up neatly to a compact container that’s easy to carry around. This is a great kit for car camping because you can stow it in the trunk when you’re not using it and cook a hot meal without starting a campfire.
The cookware is made of FDA-approved anodized aluminum with a non-stick coating. It’s covered with a 10-year warranty as well as a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so it’s worth giving this one a try.
Note that this kit is only meant to one person so the camping stove may not be large enough to use for a group. Several people commented that the kit was much smaller than they expected but still happy with the quality. There were a few complaints that it rusted, but this was rare and would be covered under the generous warranty.
The CrossHawk Camping Mess Kit is a good kit for up to four people, though the bright colors are so fun you may want to order multiple kits to use with scouting groups or school camping trips. Each kit features plates, cups, bowls, and sporks for four people in turquoise, orange, yellow, and green. There’s also a mesh bag included for cleaning, drying, transporting, and storage.
All the pieces in this kit are made of lightweight, durable polypropylene that is BPA-free and 100% recyclable. The non-stick surface makes it easy to keep these dishes clean, so you don’t have to spend a lot of time scrubbing.
Each of the four sets included in this kit is its own bright color so everyone can claim their own color and keep track of their own dishes. It’s light enough for backpacking and packs up compactly so it won’t take up too much room in anyone’s pack.
There aren’t a lot of complaints about this kit. Everyone who used it thought it felt durable and sturdy, and a lot of people comments that it’s a great option for kids who like to choose their own color set. The only complaint was that the silverware was too small and a little difficult for adults.
If you go camping or backpacking, you know you need to eat. One of the things that make it easier to have a civilized meal in the middle of the woods is to use a mess kit. The right one can make your experience that much better.
There are a lot of things to think about when choosing a mess kit. Whether you’re looking for something simple or searching for the best rated camping mess kit, here are the main things to look for while you shop.
One of the first things you need to decide is how many people are going to be going camping. Luckily, there are a lot of options to choose from. Some kits are perfect for one, like the TOCATER Tableware Mess Kit. If you and your partner often go camping together, there are kits for two, like the Bisgear Stainless Steel Tableware Mess Kit. Or, if you want something that will work for a large family or group of Scouts, try something larger, like the Barbeqa Camping Mess Kit.
You should also think about whether or not you want a kit that includes cutlery. There are some, like the GSI Outdoors Sierra 12-Piece Set, that do not include forks, knives, or spoons so if you already have a set that you like, you won’t be buying more than you need. There are some great options that come with separate utensils, like Stansport 24-Piece Enamel Camping Tableware Set and others that include sporks, like the gear4U Camping Tableware Set.
Dimensions and weight always matter when camping but especially if you’re going to be backpacking.
All of these kits are lightweight, but some are easier to carry than others. For example, the Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set is a large set that may take up a little too much room in your pack, but it only weighs 1.6 pounds.
The Barbeqa 1-Person Backpacking Stainless Steel Mess Kit weighs about the same, 1.5 pounds, but it only has enough gear for one person.
The products on our list weigh anywhere from 1.3 and 5.9 pounds. Some of them are more compact than others and are easier to pack, even if they weigh a little more. The Gold Armour Camping Cookware Mess Kit packs up nicely but is the heaviest option at 5.9 pounds. Basically, you have to shop around and find the perfect balance of weight and dimensions for your needs.
All of these products are affordable, but some are much cheaper than others. The range is from about $25 to $90. Most of the plastic kits are in the lower end of this range while stainless steel and enamel are on the higher end.
Is a mess kit a large investment? It depends. Honestly, some of these are loaded with extras. One of them even comes with a small camping stove! The best way to approach price is to set a budget that you’re comfortable with then look at your options. These kits are all different, so you can find something that fits your budget and your camping needs.
Our Editor’s Pick is the Bisgear Stainless Steel Tableware Mess Kit. This stainless-steel kit is perfect for two people. It won’t rust or stain and was made to last a long time. This kit includes a lot of great extras, too, including a wine opener and carabiner.
We also highly recommend the Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set. The double-fired red-speckled enamel coating is durable, crack-resistant, and lightweight. The roll-up storage pouch is a perfect way to keep silverware organized, and the whole kit only weighs about 1.5 pounds.
Finally, if you’re looking for a camping kit for one, you can’t go wrong with the TOCATER Tableware Mess Kit. The double-walled cup keeps your coffee warm for a long time, and the pure cotton storage bag is a great way to keep everything together while traveling to and from camp.