Snow Peak Trek Combo Review

SnowPeakTrekCombo

The Snow Peak Trek Combo is really two different products in one.

You can purchase the Snow Peak 900 (900ml pot + pan) or the Snow Peak 1400 (1400ml pot + pan), separately, but the two are sold together as this Trek Combo set.

By adding the Snow Peak Hybrid Summit, which is itself large enough to hold a gas canister and small stove (e.g. Snow Peak LiteMax, or similar), you could easily have an entire cook set with a cup, two pots, and two pans for some pretty versatile cooking in a really compact package.

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While I’m only just now reviewing the Snow Peak Trek Combo, it’s actually the first pot and pan set I purchased and has gone through the most use on backpacking trips. The larger pan is just barely big enough to fry up whole slices of spam without the corners of the slice riding up the edges. It’s a decent size and has the advantage of being similar enough in shape to the Hybrid Summit that it’s easy to make the set relatively compact.

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The two pots have measurements on the inside that are relatively easy to see.

All titanium cooksets have the same characteristic advantages and flaws that thin aluminum does, only even lighter. They heat fast and cool fast, are very light, have a tendency to have hot spots be radically different in temperature from other parts of the pot or pan. Technically, titanium doesn’t corrode as easily (though I haven’t had a problem with aluminum, so not really sure how much that matters). Titanium does have a tendency to crack when cooking in extremely cold environments where the pot can go from below freezing to red hot and back again in very short periods.  Aluminum on the other have a slightly higher tendency to melt if you accidentally set an empty pot or pan on a blazing burner.  These are issues that steel and cast iron suffers from as well, but much less so.

Titanium has a tendency to discolor over time, taking on a bluish or purplish tint with heavier usage, but it’s still easy to tell when clean or not.

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SIDEBAR:  PET PEEVE:

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For all Snow Peak pans, how you grab the handle matters.  The natural, instinctive way to grab a pan handle is for vertical leverage, because you’re expecting the other end of the handle to be heavier, right?  Right.  That’s how you grab any pan.

Don’t do it!  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve dropped food because of this.  The problem is how the handles lock the pan.  When you grab the handle the normal way, the locking tines sometimes come apart just enough for the locking mechanism to come undone.

So….as counter-intuitive as it is, always….always…grab the handle by squeezing the two tines together.  If the handle might be too hot, use gloves, or better yet, use one of these:

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END:  PET PEEVE

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For boiling water, titanium works great, but for saucy meals, since titanium doesn’t radiate heat as evenly, you will have to help things along by constantly stirring to keep heat even through the sauce or stew that you’re cooking.

If not using wood fires or embers, any gas canister stove or liquid fuel stove that has great simmering control will work a little better.

Great examples of stoves that simmer well are:
– Primus Omnifuel/Omnilite,
– MSR Whisperlite/Dragonfly
– Optimus Polaris Optifuel
– Exelrid Hexon
– Snow Peak GeoShield
– Optimus Hiker+,
– Soto Windmaster,
– Optimus Vega
– Esbit Trekking Cook Set (high heat is the problem here)
– Trangia mini alcohol stove (high heat is the problem here)

Some examples of stoves that don’t simmer as easily:
– Optimus SVEA 123R
– JetBoil
– Soto Folding Compact
– Snow Peak GigaPower
– Snow Peak LiteMax
– Optimus Nova+
– Soto Muka

Some examples of stoves that don’t simmer well
– MSR XGK
– At very high altitudes, above 12K feet, I have zero experience, but have heard that LPG stoves often don’t even work, especially when it’s colder.  And at those altitudes, most stoves that do simmer well at lower altitudes become just Super blazing…or off.
– At 9-10K feet, I have real world experience, and LPG stoves seem to work okay here, but in tests, only the Soto Windmaster and JetBoil and MSR Reactor simmered well.

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There are no wood fires listed because, well, they’re all really the same. The heat output control is always a bit of a challenge with wood fires. the heat is high in the beginning, and low later….if you take the pot off during the high heat times (e.g. refueling), than there are issues around sauces cooling.

For the pans, it’s worth noting that a wider wood fire helps with a little more even cooking, but if you’re looking for radiating heat in a simmer for very even cooking, titanium and aluminum camping sets do not work well, since they’re focus on being light means the metal is too thin. Steel or iron works better for such purposes, though they are much heavier.

TIP: When cooking over a dirty flame (rubbing alcohol, most wood fires) that produces a lot of soot, one little trick is to rub the outside with a liberal coating of vaseline. This prevents the soot from attaching to the titanium. An advantage of titanium is that soot never really bonds with it, so it’s not impossible to clean, but cleaning is much easier when all you have to do is wipe it down, rather than scrubbing. And when out backpacking, cleaning these requires a lot more effort and often requires wasting cleaning materials. In a leave-no-trace trip, that means a lot more trash. So a simple wipe down is probably the best way to go.

Of course, there’s always stone cooking, where you build a camp fire next to, or around, or half around a flat stone and cook on that. But that’s a whole ‘nother realm of cooking.

The flexibility with the Snow Peak Trek Combo is pretty phenomenal.  As mentioned, what makes this cook set special is the ability to nest the Hybrid Summit into the Trek 900, which in turn nests into the Trek 1400.  This means you have a nice compact package for all containers, and anything that fits inside the Hybrid Summit will make this setup great for smaller packs or tighter fits.

For example:

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The Optimus SVEA 123R nests perfectly into the Hybrid Summit.  It’s rather surprising how perfect a fit it is.

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Another possible combination is to skip the Trek 1400, and use just the Hybrid Summit with the Trek 900, add the Snow Peak GigaPower, and the GigaPower wind shield fits right underneath the Trek900, which in turn can nest in the Optimus windshield.

I have found, though, that the Soto Windmaster is much more fuel efficient, but doesn’t fit in the Hybrid Summit when there is also an LPG canister inside.  The Windmaster can bring the Trek 900 pot 3/4 filled with water to boil in about 3 minutes.  The Giga Litemax takes about 5+ minutes, and the GigaPower takes about 6+ minutes.  So these latter two require considerably more fuel.  Still, on a short trip, LPG canister stoves from any manufacturer will do just fine.

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Another previously mentioned option is the Primus Omnilite, which fits in the Hybrid Summit.  The Soto Muka and Exelrid Hexon also both fit inside.

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If you’re into alcohol stoves, that’s an easy fit, and there is an Evernew cross-bar mini stand that would also fit inside with room to spare.

The great thing about the alcohol stove option is that you can use a tall windshield to really maximize heat transfer. With tall pots, where a limited surface area gets heated, a windshield heat reflector can make a fairly dramatic difference.

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Another option is to drop the Hybrid Summit and bring, say, a light plastic mug instead.  This would allow nesting the Primus OmniFuel, or Optimus Nova+/Polaris OptiFuel/Vega, or the Snow Peak GeoShield instead.

Any stoves that have a fuel line to separate the fuel from the stove can also have the windshield, to take advantage of this same improved heat transfer efficiency. The Optimus Vega, Primus Omnifuel/Omnilite, Optimus Vega, all come to mind. There is also an adaptor, made by BRS (China) that allows traditional over/under stove/gas canister sets to be split with a fuel line. Such an adaptor would make the Soto Windmaster, compact, Snow Peak LiteMax, and other similar stoves compatible with a windshield.

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Interestingly, if you don’t use add the Snow Peak Hybrid Summit, a standard Jetboil (zip/Flash/sol) fits inside the Trek 900.  Since there is a separately sold pot-stand with the JetBoil, you could bring the Trek Combo with the JetBoil, and have more cooking options.  When I first started getting into backpacking, this seemed like such a great idea.  It isn’t really.  There are much better options, and that stove stand option translates to really inefficient heat transfer.  but if you want to use a JetBoil for boiling water super fast, but also have some very light duty cooking requirements (e.g. frying spam…love the taste of fried spam in the morning), this is one way to go.

I have purchased a fair number of pots and pans for backpacking, and while the Snow Peak Trek Combo’s pans are a little small, this set is the most convenient and compact because of its tall narrow stance, and the ability to nest the Hybrid Summit.

For straight up backpacking up to three people, this is my favorite pot and pan set.

Happy camping!

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2 thoughts on “Snow Peak Trek Combo Review

  1. Thanks for sharing! Im planning to buy this pot set. Would you tell me whether the 008 pan could be put inside the 009 pot? Because I like the dry baking bannock bread, I hope the 008 pan could be used as a baking bowl.
    Thx again!

    Like

  2. Thanks for the comment.

    So, I could be confused, but I think you’re saying you want to use the flatter pan of the 900, and place it inside the taller pot of the 1400.

    It fits, but just barely, and because the rim of the 900 pan is very close in width to the inner dimensions of the 1400 pot, it’s a snug fit. I believe it would be hard for hot air to circulate.

    However, using both pots of this other Snow Peak cookset, I have baked with reasonable success: https://somecampingstoves.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/snow-peak-titanium-multi-compact-cookset/

    I simply grab a few pebbles and put it in the larger pot, and place the smaller pot inside. Heat distribution is still imperfect since it’s titanium, so corn bread is still a tad crusty at the edge, but not that bad.

    Best of luck!

    Like

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