Friday, October 2, 2009


My review of the GSI Nform Dualist.
No backpacker can survive without food.  They require a lightweight, durable way to prepare it that also won't break the bank.  The GSI dualist is a feature rich solution that comes in a small package. 

Weighing in at a total 1lb 4.9oz. (593g.), it is definatly managable.  There are probably lighter cooking systems out there, but you would be hard pressed to find one more feature rich for the same weight.  Let's look at the details.

The pot is made out of an alloy called halulite that is supposed to be just as light as titanium but spreads heat more evenly.  It is hard anodized to provide scratch resistance.  I have used my Vargo titanium sporks on it and havent noticed any scratching as of yet, so apparently it works.  It also has some non-stick qualities, but it is still possible to burn your noodles to the bottom of the pot (they wash out easily enough). The pot holds 1.8 L of water, however I would say that is on the full side.  I would personally rate it at around 1.5 L, which is more than sufficient for boiling water for a friend and myself for most meals.  The handle on the pot unfolds and is actually really sturdy.  Its sturdiness comes in handy when you need to strain liquid through the lid.

On the top of the pot you'll notice a clear plastic lid with strainer holes.  The lid is made of lexan resin that is "virtually unbreakable".  It's definitely some tough stuff.  It also won't hold any odor or flavors from your food.  It has a rubber handle on it that folds up while you're cooking so you dont burn your fingers (it can get warm up there though so use caution!!). 

When you first open up the cookset you'll see something like this.  It has cup/bowls with sippy lids that nest very nicely inside of the pot.  Around the cup part is an insulating wrap that is made of neoprene.  It helps to keep your drinks hot and keep your hands from getting burnt.  The sippy lid is a nice feature too.  It is always a sad night when your warm cider or hot chocolate gets spilled on the ground or all over your clothes.  The inside wall of both bowls is graduated up to 20oz. and the cups up to 500ml.  They both safely hold two cups without much fear of spillage. It's hard to see the graduation in the image but you can see it clearly in person.

Another really handy feature of gsi dualist is the sack that everything fits inside.  Normally I would throw an item like this in the trash and forget about it to save that extra little bit of weight.  I found this one too handy to throw away because it doubles as a sink.  The entire inside and bottom of the stuff sack is rubberized and stands up on its own.  It makes it so much easier to wash your dishes.  I've even used it to carry some bath water on a section hike. 

That pretty much covers it as it comes, but let's not forget about the unused space inside the cups when it's all folded together.  I have been able to fit either a soda can stove or an MSR pocket rocket stove inside with some matches and a corner of a scotch brite sponge to wash your dishes.  If I'm using the soda can stove, I can also fold up my foil windscreen which fits in there too.  The gsi dualist actually comes with a suede leather pouch to hold an ultralight backpacking stove.  The pocket rocket fits nicely.  On top of all of that, you can even fit a fuel canister in it if you change the way you nest everything together.  With an 8oz. canister you can fit the matches and sponge, but the stove doesn't comfortably fit with it.  It will however fit if you use a 4oz. canister.

I really thought that this cookset couldn't get any better.  It even has a backpacker magazine editor's choice award for 2008.  But lo and behold, GSI has found a way to improve on it.  The new dualist system is called Pinnacle rather than Nform and features a BPA free lid and a scratch resistant dupont teflon coating on the inside of the pot.  It also comes with two color coded GSI telescoping foons that match the color coded cup/bowls and somehow manages to stay the same weight as the Nform due to a lighter lid.  It also costs about 20-30 dollars more than the older Nform system.  Look to give around 40-60 dollars for each of the dualist systems.  Not a bad price at all, and much less than titanium.  Hope you enjoyed this review of the GSI dualist.  Feel free to leave comments.  More to come.

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