MSR® Cookware FAQ

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What are the properties of titanium vs. aluminum vs. stainless steel?

Aluminum is the cookware of choice for all-around backcountry use. It conducts heat evenly, is easy to clean when hard anodized and even easier when coated with a nonstick finish. It is also extremely efficient.

Stainless steel is very durable; perfect for when your pots take a lot of abuse. It lies somewhere between aluminum and titanium in terms of its cooking ability/suitability.

Titanium cookware's biggest advantage is its light weight. Titanium pots are ideal for boiling water, because they can be made with very thin walls and transfer heat very efficiently. They tend to develop hot spots, however, making them less than ideal for cooking temperature-sensitive foods like eggs or pancakes.

Cookware's efficiency is also dependent on its color and material. Our testing has found that darker pots (esp. the bottom) are the most fuel efficient. Older cookware, which blackens through use, becomes more efficient than new cookware.

Will my MSR stove fit into my MSR cookset?

The SimmerLite, WindPro, Pocket Rocket, and SuperFly stoves are small enough to fit in an MSR 1-liter pot. All other MSR stoves with a flexible fuel line will fit into all MSR cooksets that are 1.5 liters or larger, except the DragonFly stove which fits in a 2L pot or larger. The older MSR XGK stoves will not fit inside a cookset because of their rigid fuel line. However the stove and fuel bottle will fit nicely in the side pocket of most backpacks.

Why do MSR Alpine Pot Set lids have tabs on the sides?

Original MSR Alpine cooksets were sold with a strap to hold them together, rather than a stuff sack. When we designed the MSR Panhandler™ pot lifter, we did it with two upright tabs on the top of the pot lifter, which allow you to lift your pot lid by this tab. Our latest cookware has an attachment on the side that accepts our new, quick-release Talon™ pot handle, eliminating scratches on the inside of nonstick cookware while providing a secure, no-squeeze grip. It also folds to lock nested sets together.

Can I use my cookware directly on a fire?

No. Aluminum and titanium can be permanently damaged by extreme heat. Though it is possible to use stainless steel, we do not recommend it.

What’s the best way to wash MSR cookware?

All components except aluminum cookware are dishwasher safe. We recommend using a liquid detergent. Aluminum cookware should be hand-washed to prevent damage to the cookware’s surface.

Understanding Prop 65

What is California Proposition 65?
Proposition 65 is the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act passed by voters in the State of California in 1986. The act was created to inform people about possible exposure to chemicals known by the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects and/or other reproductive harm.

What are the requirements of Proposition 65?
Proposition 65 requires that the Governor of California maintain and publish a list of harmful chemicals. The list is updated annually and includes chemicals that can be found in solvents, drugs, dyes, food additives, by-products of certain processes, pesticides, and tobacco products.

A chemical is listed if it has been classified as a reproductive toxicant or carcinogen by an "authoritative" organization on the subject. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the National Toxicology Program, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer are considered authoritative for carcinogens. For reproductive toxicants, the authorities are the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and International Agency for Research on Cancer. Chemicals will also be listed if they are required to be labeled or identified as a carcinogen or as a reproductive toxicant by an agency of the state or federal government.

Why has MSR placed a Proposition 65 label on its products?
Any company with 10 or more employees operating or selling products within the State of California must comply with the requirements of Proposition 65. To comply, businesses are: (1) prohibited from knowingly discharging listed chemicals into sources of drinking water; and (2) required to provide a "clear and reasonable" warning before knowingly and intentionally exposing anyone to a listed chemical.

A Proposition 65 warning means that the business has evaluated the exposure and has concluded that it exceeds the "no significant risk level," or that the business is providing a warning based on the presence of a "listed" chemical without actually evaluating the exposure.

MSR is providing a warning based on our knowledge about the presence of one or more listed chemicals without attempting to evaluate the level of exposure. While using an MSR product, the exposure to a "listed" chemical may be well within the "no significant risk" range, but out of caution, we have placed the Proposition 65 warning labels on our products.

Are consumers who are using an MSR product with a Proposition 65 warning at risk?
The California government states: "The fact that a product bears a Proposition 65 warning does not mean by itself that the product is unsafe." The government also explained, "You could think of Proposition 65 more as a 'right to know' law than a pure product safety law."

A Proposition 65 warning means that the product contains one or more listed chemicals. By law, a warning is required unless the business proves that the exposure to the chemical poses "no significant risk." The "no significant risk" level for carcinogens is defined as the level which is calculated to result in not more than one excess case of cancer in 100,000 individuals exposed over a 70-year lifetime. Therefore, if you are exposed to the chemical in question at this level every day for 70 years, theoretically, it will increase your chances of getting cancer by no more than 1 case in 100,000 individuals so exposed.

The "no significant risk" level for reproductive toxicants is defined as the level of exposure which, even if multiplied by 1,000, will not produce birth defects or other reproductive harm. Therefore, the level of exposure is below the "no observable effect level," divided by 1,000. (The "no observable effect level" is the highest dose level which has not been associated with observable reproductive harm in humans or test animals.) For further information about California's Proposition 65, please visit


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