Trail Lite Duo Cook System—Behind the Gear

MSR Trail Lite Duo System
MSR Trail Lite Duo System

Who was the Trail Lite Duo System engineered for? 

A lot of folks head into the backcountry in pairs—this is a super common arrangement that we like to refer to as the “Dynamic Duo.” The Trail Lite Duo system is designed for the adventurous twosome for whom weight and space are high on the list of priorities. It is not a minimalist, bare-bones system, though. It includes luxuries like double-wall insulated mugs and deep, usable bowls. This system is designed for people who want to do some simple cooking that often involves more than simply boiling water.

How is the Trail Lite Duo different from other cookware on the market?
The TLD is comparable in size and weight to the GSI Dualist, but that is about where the similarities end. The two most obvious and important differences are the TLD’s unique non-stick coating and its high-quality mugs. The PTFE- and PFOA-free coating is exclusive to MSR, and the real, usable, double wall insulated mugs make a night-and-day difference compared to the sippy bowls included in the GSI system. Also, for the same weight and packed size, the TLD pot has a 2.0L capacity, where the GSI Dualist has only a 1.8L capacity.

How did you come up with the idea for the ceramic coating?
We are always looking for better materials, finishes, and manufacturing processes to improve our products. Our new ceramic coating is the toughest non-stick we’ve ever seen. It was especially compelling given the interest people have in PTFE alternatives. This new ceramic coating is a great option for folks who want to cook with a more traditional material, but still want the light weight and convenience of a modern cookset.

What’s the advantage of the ceramic coating?
Our ceramic non-stick is not PTFE (e.g. Teflon®) which is used on most other products out there. This ceramic coating has incredibly good abrasion resistance, and the manufacturing process used to apply it does not require PFOAs to be used (an important distinction). None of our coatings contain any measurable amount of PFOAs in the finished product, but some people would prefer a coating alternative that does not use PFOAs even in the manufacturing process.

What other unique features does the Trail Lite Duo have?
As always, we focus hard on the small details. Things like the clear strainer lid, secure snap-over handle, and deluxe mugs that are designed to fit small stoves like our PocketRocket or MicroRocket. The TLD system is really thoroughly thought out—it incorporates a lot of the feedback we’ve received from our customers over the years. We are our own harshest critics, so the fact that it is a staff favorite here says a lot.

Where did the name Trail Lite Duo come from?
We tend to name things descriptively here, and this is about as descriptive as it gets! The TLD is a lightweight, trail-worthy product designed for two people. We had an alternative name that was a little more descriptive, but it was a bit too lengthy—this post could have been written instead about a product called the “Radical Totally Awesome Trail Lite Duo Cook System Which is Really Awesome.”