Cook Up Tasty Meals With The Best Backpacking Frying Pan (2019 – 2020)

backpacking frypan breakfast

As outdoorsy folks, we’re always looking for durable, dependable, and compact equipment to make our packs lighter and our trips more manageable. When it comes to cooking equipment, you want to make sure that your pans are durable and compact enough to sustain your journey, but also will quickly and efficiently cook up a much needed hot meal at the end of the day.

But choosing the right backpacking frying pan for your needs is going to depend on the weight you want to add to your pack, what type of heating system you typically use, and how many people in your party that you need to feed.

In hurry and want our recommendation? We love the MSR Quick Skillet.

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What To Consider Before Buying a Backpacking Frying Pan

When considering which backpacking frying pan is right for you, there are a few things you should take into consideration.

Weight

If you’re trekking for miles through the wilderness with a pack on your back that contains everything that you need to survive the length of your trip, weight needs to be a primary concern when it comes to choosing anything that you decide to take.

You have a limited amount of capacity that you can carry, and you should always strive to cut down on as much weight as possible. When choosing a frying pan for your pack, you want something that is ultra-lightweight but also made of quality material that’s going to stand up to your adventures.

Material

When it comes to material, you’ll probably want to lean towards non-stick pan because it’s easier to clean and cooks up well. However, you’ll want to make sure that the pan you choose is chemical-free and non-stick.

It’s essential to do your research to find out the materials in the non-stick coating to ensure that there aren’t any harmful chemicals or components.

Regular stainless steel pans are also good choices, but you should know that you’ll need to bring extra sponges and dish soap to clean them properly. The more you need to take, the heavier your pack becomes.

Heating System

When choosing a frying pan for your backpacking adventure, take into consideration your heat source. Heat distribution problems and hotspots can be significant problems with frying pans.

If you’re a through-hiker, you’ll run into an even bigger problem if you end up accidentally burning your meal while out on the trail. It could cause you not to have enough calories to get to your next destination!

Some frying pans are designed only to work with a heating system manufactured through the same company, while others will only work with a specific type of heat (open flame, gas, induction, electric).

Also, some pans require unique setups and equipment with your heating system so that you don’t ruin it. Make sure you keep in mind your typical heat source for your hiking adventures and choose a pan that can accommodate it.

Handle

Handles on your backpacking frying pan can be the difference between a delicious meal on your plate or a pile of slop in the dirt. Most backpack frying pans come with handles that fold away, either by hugging the curve of the pan or flat-folding.

Some handles are coated in vinyl, rubber, or plastic so that you can handle them without burning yourself, while others forgo these features. Some handles will lock into place when you’re using them, while others may still be a little unstable.

To choose the pan with the best handle for you, try them out and feel which one feels most stable in your hands. Remember, you need to fit this into your backpack, so while a standard handle is more durable and more comfortable to work with, it’ll be awkward to pack away.

Size

Finally, you need to choose a backpacking frying pan that is big enough to cook the food you plan on cooking. You want to choose something that is practical and can easily fit in your pack, but it isn’t too small that you can’t make a decent meal in it.

To determine the best size for you, think about your cooking habits.

How much do you cook at a time? Is it easy to pack? Can I pack multiple things inside or on top of it?

The answers to these questions will help you determine the best backpacking frying pan for your needs.

Our Top 5 Backpacking Frying Pans

Fortunately, we’ve done all the research for you and put together a list of our top 5 backpacking frying pans for you to choose the one that best fits your needs.

Photo
#1 Pick - Most Lightweight
MSR Quick Skillet
Best for 2 people
Sea to Summit Alpha Pan
Budget Pick
GSI Outdoors - Pinnacle Frypan
Best Stainless Steel Pan
MSR Alpine Fry Pan
Best for Jetboil
Jetboil Summit Non-Stick Camping Skillet
Pan
MSR Quick Skillet
Sea to Summit Alpha Pan
GSI Outdoors - Pinnacle Frypan
MSR Alpine Fry Pan
Jetboil Summit Non-Stick Camping Skillet
Weight
6 ounces
8.6 ounces
13.2 ounces
11.4 ounces
10.6 ounces
#1 Pick - Most Lightweight
Photo
MSR Quick Skillet
Pan
MSR Quick Skillet
Weight
6 ounces
Compare Prices At:
Best for 2 people
Photo
Sea to Summit Alpha Pan
Pan
Sea to Summit Alpha Pan
Weight
8.6 ounces
Compare Prices At:
Budget Pick
Photo
GSI Outdoors - Pinnacle Frypan
Pan
GSI Outdoors - Pinnacle Frypan
Weight
13.2 ounces
Compare Prices At:
Best Stainless Steel Pan
Photo
MSR Alpine Fry Pan
Pan
MSR Alpine Fry Pan
Weight
11.4 ounces
Compare Prices At:
Best for Jetboil
Photo
Jetboil Summit Non-Stick Camping Skillet
Pan
Jetboil Summit Non-Stick Camping Skillet
Weight
10.6 ounces
Compare Prices At:

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 21:06 / Affiliate disclosure / Images & pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. MSR Quick Skillet

Coming in at only 6 ounces, the MSR Quick Skillet is constructed from nonstick Duralight DX aluminum.

MSR Quick Skillet

The talon handle folds flat, and at 7″ is the perfect size to cook up a breakfast fit for a day’s travel! The MSR Quick Skillet features deep sides, too, so you can use it to make soup or sauce as well!

It’s thin and lightweight, but may be prone to hotspots. Avoid burning your grilled cheese by rotating constantly. The MSR Quick Skillet doesn’t work well over a campfire, but a Jetboil or alcohol burner would do just fine.

Highlights:

  • Aluminum, non-stick
  • 7″ diameter & 5.9 ounces
  • Fold-flat handle that locks into position

2. Sea to Summit Alpha Pan – 8 in.

Featuring a Halo non-stick surface, the Sea to Summit Alpha Pan absorbs heat and moves it evenly across the surface of the pan.

Sea to Summit Alpha Pan

This 8-inch fry pan weighs in at 8.6 ounces and has a stainless steel handle that folds flat against the bottom for secure storage using pivot-lock technology.

Part of the Alpha pan collection, the Sea to Summit, will fit nicely nestled inside one of the sets or works great on its own. Though lightweight, it feels sturdy and can withstand your adventure.

The perfect size to cook up a backcountry culinary delight for two cleans up quickly, and fits easily into your pack until the next stop!

Highlights:

  • 8″ diameter & 8.6 ounces
  • Aluminum construction, abrasion-resistant, PFOA-free, and non-stick
  • Pivot lock handle folds flat and easily stows away

3. GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Fry Pan – 8 in.

Featuring Teflon Radiance technology to ensure long-lasting use, the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Fry Pan is a nonstick pan ready for your next trip.

GSI Outdoors - Pinnacle Frypan, Superior Backcountry Cookware Since 1985

The surface is nonreactive and hard-anodized, making it harder than stainless steel, and ensuring that the pan heats efficiently and evenly. Coming in at 13.2 ounces, this guy is a bit heavier, but if you’re hiking with a group, it’s a great addition to your pack and can help you feed a crowd.

The spiral turned base grips stoves and grill arms tightly, to make sure that your meal doesn’t end up on the ground. From pancakes to grilled cheese, the GSI works excellent with all types of heat sources, from an open fire to firebox stoves.

Highlights:

  • 8″ diameter & 13.2 ounces
  • Teflon and Radiance technology helps reach temperature faster and enables maximum heat distribution
  • SureLock handle folds easily so you can take it on the go

4. MSR Alpine Fry Pan

Want to mimic home cooking on the trailhead? No problem! The stainless steel Alpine Fry Pan from MSR has you covered.

MSR Alpine Fry Pan

Featuring a heat-spreading aluminum disk on the bottom, similar to your home cookware, provides even and efficient heating. Folding flat handle allows you to pack up easily, and if you have an Alpine 3L pot, the fry pan nest right over it.

Coming in at 8″ diameter and 11.4 ounces, the MSR Alpine Frypan is a great aluminum option if you’re looking for a quality pan for your adventures.

Highlights:

  • 8″ diameter & 11.4 ounces
  • Stainless Steel Aluminum Construction
  • The folding handle is also removable for easy, compact storage

5. Jetboil Summit Skillet

If you have a Jetboil system with pot support, the Jetboil Summit Skillet is designed exclusively to work with your unit.

Jetboil Summit Non-Stick Camping Skillet

Featuring an eco-conscious, PFOA-free nonstick surface, you’ll enjoy easy cooking and cleanup. The varied wall thickness of the pan also allows for even heat distribution, so you won’t have to worry about burning your meals.

The folding handle makes it easy to pack up, plus the included spatula fits right in the handle so you can store it without a problem.

Highlights:

  • 8″ diameter & 10.6 ounces
  • Works exclusively with Jetboil cooking systems, and requires pot support
  • Included angled turner fits firmly into the handle and folds up for easy compact storage

Recap: Top Backpacking Frying Pans

Here’s a quick summary of our favorite lightweight frying pans for backpacking.

Photo
#1 Pick - Most Lightweight
MSR Quick Skillet
Best for 2 people
Sea to Summit Alpha Pan
Budget Pick
GSI Outdoors - Pinnacle Frypan
Best Stainless Steel Pan
MSR Alpine Fry Pan
Best for Jetboil
Jetboil Summit Non-Stick Camping Skillet
Pan
MSR Quick Skillet
Sea to Summit Alpha Pan
GSI Outdoors - Pinnacle Frypan
MSR Alpine Fry Pan
Jetboil Summit Non-Stick Camping Skillet
Weight
6 ounces
8.6 ounces
13.2 ounces
11.4 ounces
10.6 ounces
#1 Pick - Most Lightweight
Photo
MSR Quick Skillet
Pan
MSR Quick Skillet
Weight
6 ounces
Compare Prices At:
Best for 2 people
Photo
Sea to Summit Alpha Pan
Pan
Sea to Summit Alpha Pan
Weight
8.6 ounces
Compare Prices At:
Budget Pick
Photo
GSI Outdoors - Pinnacle Frypan
Pan
GSI Outdoors - Pinnacle Frypan
Weight
13.2 ounces
Compare Prices At:
Best Stainless Steel Pan
Photo
MSR Alpine Fry Pan
Pan
MSR Alpine Fry Pan
Weight
11.4 ounces
Compare Prices At:
Best for Jetboil
Photo
Jetboil Summit Non-Stick Camping Skillet
Pan
Jetboil Summit Non-Stick Camping Skillet
Weight
10.6 ounces
Compare Prices At:

Last update on 2020-04-08 at 21:06 / Affiliate disclosure / Images & pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

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