James Stanbury

See other accessory reviews written by James Stanbury

The four-piece Kampa Feast cookware set is quite simply the best pan set we've tested for caravan holidays in 2016 – here's why

Overview

Calling all caravan cooks! Why put up with old mis-matched pots and pans in your caravan galley, when for very little money you could enjoy a neat, compact, lightweight set of saucepans and frying pans made especially for you? 

As we all know, a caravan cooker is just that bit smaller than your domestic version, and the same applies to the hob. Downsize your saucepans to match and you'll avoid all the frustration of pans that clash with each other and simply take up too much valuable cupboard space.

We've tested the Coleman eight-piece enamelled cook set, costing £40, the Kampa Feast set of four at £33.99, the Outwell Gastro cook set M at £35.99, the Quest three-piece saucepan set at just £15, the Lakeland Ceramica four-piece nesting pan set at £94.99, and the Tefal Ingenio 13-piece set, costing a whopping £149.99.

Here's how we compared the cookware sets, using our own criteria to make sure we found the best items for caravanning.

First of all, we considered the value-for-money aspects, such as the number of pans included in each set.

Next we considered what they are like to use in a compact caravan kitchen? Big pans just don't really work, so we've favoured sets with small and medium pans. Lightweight backpacking cooking pots don't really work in a caravan, because they're just too small. Massive frying pans use up all three or four rings on a caravan hob, so that's just not practical.

Heavy items really add up in a caravan, when you're trying to avoid exceeding your payload. So we checked the weight of each set as well as the storage space they need. We adjusted these assessments according to the number of pieces in a set. We like pans that nest neatly together like Russian Dolls.

For safety, the pan handles need to allow you to grip them easily, so their shape does matter. And we dislike handles with no insulation on safety grounds.

When it comes to saucepan lids, we want a lid for each pan – food cooks far more quickly, using less fuel, with the lid on.

Extra marks are available for truly versatile cooking sets, where the pans can go in the oven and double as baking trays. Detachable or folding handles on a pan can mean it works as a serving dish. Some sets come with clip-on plastic lids, so that you can pop any leftovers straight in the fridge when they've cooled down.

Some foods tend to stick to the pans more than others – and traditional thin camping cookware seems particularly likely to burn food. It's not you, it's the pan. So, we've awarded more marks to camping cookware with thicker aluminium or stainless steel walls and a lid, and non-stick surfaces, more akin to most people's favourite pans at home.

It’s best to deep-clean the pans when you return home, so it's a great idea to get dishwasher-friendly pans. 

In this review we'll shine a spotlight on the Kampa Feast, which costs £33.99.

The best way of describing this set is as a much-needed evolution of those old-fashioned pots-in-a-string-bag camping cookware sets that were compact but had few other pleasing points.

We must admit that at first glance, the zipped bag and 23cm diameter x 15cm high compact size don’t inspire much confidence. But there are four pans included: 17cm, 19cm, and 21cm diameter saucepans plus a 21.5cm frying pan. All have their own folding handles, and the saucepans all have lids, too.

Although aluminium is used to keep the weight down to an impressive 1.7kg, all pan inners — in common with most products here — feature tough non-stick coatings.

Technical specs

Saucepan sizes17cm, 19cm, 21cm diameter
Frying pan21.5cm diameter
Carry bagYes
Weight1.7kg

Verdict

This four-pan set ticks all our boxes. The pans stack together well, with their flat lids taking up little space. The Kampa Feast offers excellent value for money and we've given it a five-star rating and crowned it our Practical Caravan group camping cookware set test winner!

Conclusion

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • The four pans have folding handles
  • The pans are non-stick
  • The whole set packs down neatly for storage

Cons

  • Aluminium pans can allow food to burn, but the non-stick coating saves the day
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