MSR Titan Kettle Review + 2024 Titan Cookware

Earlier this year, MSR released its revamped suite of Titan cookware, including new designs for the venerable Titan Kettle, which features new sizes and some very nice upgrades. We’ve been testing the new MSR Titan Kettle 900, Kettle 1400, Double Wall Mug, and Long Spoon for this review. Dig in here…

I’m generally stuck in my ways when it comes to camp cookware. For the last decade, I’ve relied almost exclusively on a Vargo BOT (or the BOT 700) and a 13-year-old Snow Peak titanium mug and spork when I’m rolling solo. If Virginia and I are traveling together, I swap out the BOT for a 1.2L titanium pot and add two foldable Fozzils bowls to the kit. However, when MSR upgraded its Titan cookware back in January of this year, I decided to branch out. I’ve been using the revamped 1400ml and 900ml MSR Titan Kettles, the Double Wall Mug, and the Long Spoon for a couple of months now and have been impressed enough that I thought I’d report back in this review.

MSR Titan Cookware Review
  • MSR Titan Cookware Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle Review

MSR Titan Kettle Review

Somewhere along my experimental journey with bikepacking gear, I shelved my BOT and used the previous generation MSR Titan Kettle for a while. The Kettle was quite popular in the backpacking world at the time. It had a nice wide form factor, was incredibly light, and had stow-away handles with a perfectly snug-fitting lid. Better yet, the Kettle had an 850ml capacity—a versatile volume perfect for a generous mug of coffee (plus oatmeal) or a hearty single portion of food, and also big enough to cook more ambitious meals. While there wasn’t anything wrong with the original Kettle, MSR made a few changes to the latest version, including offering it in two new sizes: the MSR Kettle 900 and Kettle 1400.

MSR Titan Kettle Review

One of my favorite improvements is the internal volume graduation marks. They’re not the easiest to read for my aging eyes, but once you know what they are, it’s pretty easy to distinguish the 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, and 0.6-liter lines, as well as the 8, 12, 16, and 20-ounce marks on the inside of the Kettle 900. The Kettle 1400 features 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, and 1.0-liter lines, along with 16, 24, and 32-ounce marks. MSR also tweaked the shape of the handles and added silicone-coated sleeves. Being particularly heat-sensitive, as Virginia likes to remind me, I found this to be a nice touch.

  • MSR Titan Kettle Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle Review

Other changes to both the 900 and 1400 Kettles include a refined spout design, which MSR claims to allow more precise pouring. I didn’t really notice much improvement and never had an issue with the old Kettle’s spout. MSR also replaced the folding metal lid handle with a silicone one. Initially, I wasn’t thrilled about this, considering how it might fit—or get squashed—in my frame bag. But it turns out I really like the internal hanger that allows the lid to hook onto the pot and keep it out of the dirt. Not to mention, the exterior handle doesn’t get hot to the touch.

MSR Titan Kettle 900

Of course, the most significant change is the sizing. The MSR Kettle 900 is obviously the closest to the previous generation 850ml Kettle. The new version has a more rounded bottom and is 3mm narrower in diameter and 9mm taller, amounting to a 50ml increase in overall volume. When placed side-by-side, it doesn’t seem much bigger than the previous model, but the additional centimeter in height makes the Kettle 900 a little tighter when squeezing into a frame bag. I still didn’t have a problem with that, but folks with smaller (or narrower) frame bags might have an issue.

MSR Titan Kettle Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle Review

How does the new size translate to storing other items and nesting your cook kit? One major improvement over the previous model is that you can now nest a larger 330-gram (8-ounce) fuel canister. This wasn’t an option with the old Kettle, as you couldn’t get the lid fully seated. However, you have to remove the protective cap on the canister to fully close the lid on the Kettle 900, and you can’t fit much else inside with it. On the other hand, there’s plenty of room for a small 110-gram (4-ounce) fuel canister, and you can even get the lid fully sealed with a lighter and the MSR Pocket Rocket sitting on top.

MSR Titan Kettle Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle Review
  • Packed Size: 12.4 x 11.2 cm / 4.9 x 4.4 in
  • Volume: 0.9 liters (30.43 fl. oz)
  • Actual Weight: 124 grams (4.4 oz)
  • Place of Manufacture: China
  • Price: $64.95 at REI
  • Manufacturer’s Details: MSR

Pros

  • Versatile volume cook pot
  • Good size for nesting canisters, if that’s your thing
  • Fits a 110-gram (4-ounce) canister, lighter, and Pocket Rocket stove with lid
  • Lightweight design
  • Nice details with silicone handle covers, lid handle, and lid-keeper
  • Volumetric measures stamped on interior is a great addition

Cons

  • If you want to nest a large 230-gram (8-ounce) fuel canister, there’s not much room for anything else and you have to remove the cap on the canister
  • If you want to nest the new Double Wall mug, it has to be centered to fit the lid on, which doesn’t leave room for much else on the sides
  • There’s no way to secure lid when packed
  • It’s deeper than the old version, making it more difficult to pack into a narrow frame bag

MSR Titan Kettle 1400

Over the years, Virginia and I have found that a 1.2-1.5 liter pot coupled with a bowl or two for prep is pretty much all you need to make a meal for two in the backcountry. The new MSR Kettle 1400 is about the perfect volume in that regard, and it has a very usable shape that’s roughly as tall as it is wide. That being said, it’s a little more challenging to fit in a frame bag, which is usually where I carry the cook kit. I don’t have a problem fitting it in most of my frame bags, but it’s a no-go for Virginia’s small Why Wayward bag.

MSR Titan Kettle 1400 Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle 1400
  • MSR Titan Cookware Review

One thing I really like about the 1400 is that it was designed to nest the Kettle 900 inside, which is fantastic for culinarily explorative bikepackers who want to make more complex meals on the go. I assure you, we’ll be bringing both on our next long tour. Speaking of nesting, we were able to create a couple of different configurations with the 1400 in canister stove mode. For one, a large 8oz canister, lighter, and Pocket Rocket stove all fit, although if you had a cloth in there to keep it from banging and clanging, it might get a little tight. However, you can also turn the 8oz canister on its side and fit the stove and lighter in the concave area at the bottom of the canister.

MSR Titan Kettle Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle 1400 Review
  • MSR Titan Kettle 1400 Review

We were also able to squeeze in both Kettles, an 8oz canister, a lighter, and my flat-ish Snow Peak titanium stove—the Pocket Rocket is a little too bulky to fit and still get the lid on tightly. Note that we had to leave out the lid to the Kettle 900 to make it all work, but the 1400 lid should suffice. That said, I would love to see a slight design tweak to the 1400 lid where the indentations allow it to seat on the Kettle 900; as is, it kind of wants to slide off to the side.

  • Packed Size: 13.8 x 13 cm / 5.4 x 5.1 in
  • Volume: 1.4 liters (47.34 fl. oz)
  • Actual Weight: 152 grams (5.4 oz)
  • Place of Manufacture: China
  • Price: $69.95 at MSR
  • Manufacturer’s Details: MSR

Pros

  • Good volume for two people
  • The ability to nest the 900ml kettle is a nice touch
  • Lightweight design
  • Nice details with silicone handle covers, lid handle, and lid-keeper
  • Volumetric measures on interior is a great addition

Cons

  • There’s no way to secure lid when packed
  • I wish they’d have designed the inner profile of the lid to work on both the 1400 and 900
  • Relatively expensive

MSR Titan Long Spoon

I have no idea why I haven’t tried a “long spoon” until now. I guess I’ve been tied to my old titanium Snow Peak spork for over a decade, as if it’s some sort of nostalgic talisman. That being said, I lost my original, so without that commitment, I was freed up to try new things. One of those new things is the recently released MSR Long Spoon.

MSR Titan Long Spoon Review
  • MSR Titan Long Spoon Review
  • MSR Titan Long Spoon Review

There’s not much to say about the Long Spoon other than the fact that I like being able to stir food in the pot and eat without getting food all over my hands. Most people will appreciate it for digging their way through a deep dehydrated bagged meal, but I don’t eat those much anymore.

  • Packed Size: 21.2 x 4 cm / 8.35 x 1.57 in
  • Actual Weight: 20 grams (0.7 oz)
  • Place of Manufacture: China
  • Price: $17.95 at REI
  • Manufacturer’s Details: MSR

Pros

  • Ability to stir and eat without getting food on your hands
  • Doesn’t add much weight

Cons

  • Takes up more space than a normal-sized utensil
  • Not a spork (you can’t really eat spaghetti with it)

MSR Titan Double Wall Mug

For years, I’ve maintained the same morning ritual when bikepacking. I usually roll up my sleeping pad before I get out of the tent, then fire up the stove and put a pot of water on while I continue packing things up. Once the water boils, I prepare a cup of coffee and have a few sips from my trusty Snow Peak titanium mug while it’s piping hot, then set it down and continue the packing process. After several minutes, I remember to circle back to my cup of coffee and find that it’s no longer hot. I usually just chug some and dump the rest. Virginia had the same issue and started using the Snow Peak insulated Ti mug last year, which she was pretty stoked about. I thought it might be time to give in to my ultralight sensibilities and get an insulated mug—and continue my softening trend, a phase that started a couple years ago with a camp chair and then a wide sleeping bag.

MSR Titan Double Wall Mug Review
  • MSR Titan Double Wall Mug Review
  • MSR Double Wall Mug
  • MSR Titan Double Wall Mug Review

So far, I’ve been pretty impressed with the Titan Double Wall Mug. While it doesn’t have the stalwart heat retention as the Yeti stainless tumbler I drink coffee out of at home, it seems to extend my hot morning camp coffee for a solid 20-30 minutes, depending on how cold it is outside, of course. The included BPA-free plastic sippy lid helps, no doubt.

The Double Wall Mug also nests inside the Titan Kettle 900 when placed in the middle of the pot—due to the indented shape of the lid. Note that it’s tricky to fit anything else in the 900 when you nest the mug, aside from a small stove and lighter inside the mug. That leads to my only complaint: Unlike my Snow Peak Ti mug that I can nest within a stem bag, then nest a water bottle in that, the Double Wall Mug is kind of tricky to fit within something else and make good use of the space. I’ve found that I generally just need to let it take up its own space and cram a couple things inside it, such as ground coffee, or small food items like oatmeal or condiments.

  • Packed Size: 9.0 x 9.3 cm / 3.5 x 3.7 in
  • Volume: 0.375 liters (12.68 fl. oz)
  • Actual Weight: 114 grams (4.0 oz)
  • Place of Manufacture: China
  • Price: $49.95 at REI
  • Manufacturer’s Details: MSR

Pros

  • Keeps coffee hot significantly longer than a single-wall Ti mug
  • Great size and not at all heavy
  • Nests a Trangia stove perfectly (see Conversation below)

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Unable to nest a standard water bottle inside it, and it’s not nesting-friendly in general

Wrap Up

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with MSR’s new suite of titanium cookware. There are many nice details on each of the products, and the Titan lineup pretty much ticks all the boxes. There’s also a spork and single-wall mug that I didn’t cover. The only thing that’s missing is a long spork, I suppose. Either way, all the items I covered above were impressive enough to encourage me to write this review. Sure, you can get non-name-brand pots and utensils for half the price, but in my opinion, good cookware from brands like MSR is worth the investment. It’s something you can buy once and will last a lifetime, and it has details that others don’t, such as careful consideration to the sizing needed for nesting other items, the silicone handle sleeves, and volumetric graduation marks. Overall, MSR’s new offerings are practical and thoughtfully designed, making them a valuable addition to any bikepacking cook kit.

Further Reading

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