After an entire day of hiking tough trails and unforgiving terrain, a fulfilling meal and a sleeping bag seem to be the foremost things on everyone’s mind. Unfortunately, heavy cookware is often awkward to pack along with the other necessary wilderness supplies and as a result food quality suffers. Nothing is less rewarding than scraping a badly cooked meal from dirty, blackened pans because there was not enough room for the proper equipment.
Thankfully, MSR has taken sympathy on ill fed campers and outdoor chef extraordinaires. The Flex 4 System is a complete set of cookware: a 3.2-liter nonstick Duralite DX pot, 2 strainer lids, 1 Talon pot handle, 4 polypropylene DeepDish plates and 4 insulated 12.5-ounce mugs, intelligently designed to fit inside a single 5.3-liter pot. Compact and complete, the entire array weighs only 3 pounds, 10.8 ounces and occupies 6.25 x 12 inches, saving plenty of room for all the food you will be cooking.
Able to accommodate four people’s cooking needs without needing extra dishes and mugs, the MSR Flex 4 System is perfect for family outings or a journey with three other friends. Perfect for holding soup, pizza, rice or biscuits, the DeepDish plates are color coded along with the insulated mugs to keep eating surfaces personal and prevent mix-ups.
Variety does not need to take up extra space. The large 5.3-liter pot is forged from uncoated, hard-anodized aluminum, while the smaller 3.2-liter pot is has a nonstick DuraLite coating. Different sorts of cooking surfaces make for a more dynamic experience while preparing food out in the wilderness. Additionally, the nonstick finish requires minimal work to clean – all that you will need is a little soap and warm water to dislodge even the most resilient food particles.
It’s the attention to detail in this cookware set that truly garners appreciation from pleased users. The Talon pot handle simplifies shifting cookware in a busy outdoor kitchen. Clipping onto the outside of the 3.2-liter pot, an insulated handle keeps some of the heat off of your hands. Draining scalding water from rice, pasta and steamed vegetables is greatly simplified by strainers integrated into the pot lids, an ingenious and convenient thought from MSR.
For all the features packed into the Flex 4 System cook set, something seems to be missing. Where is the frying pan? Unfortunately, it does not seem as though it made its way into the design, but can be purchased separately for $24.95. One would be hard pressed to fit another cooking surface into this nested set – MSR need not receive too much flack for their omission.
All 13 components to this cookware set are priced at $159. Do the math: by buying the MSR Flex 4 System, you are paying approximately $12.23 per item, an incredible bargain.
I would rate this product at 4.5/5. The perfect score is lost due to the missing frying pan, which would be a pain to purchase separately. Constructed for the consumer who cares about owning and using high quality cookware, these pots, mugs, dishes and lids will outlast that blackened pan you have been using for the past four years. Outstanding nested design saves space and renders an entire set comparatively featherweight at under 4 pounds. This product comes highly recommended.