cooking with the best ultralight titanium backpacking pot

Aluminum and Titanium Backpacking Pot Models for Ultralight Backpacking

A top tier ultralight backpacking pot will save weight and bulk in your pack, last for ages, simplify the cooking experience, and may even improve your stove’s fuel economy and wind resistance. This guide focuses on minimalist ultralight cookware for boiling water, basic cooking, and being used as a bowl. These are pots designed for moving fast and light, but eating still eating well.

With decades of backcountry cooking experience, we have found that the ~1L  size capacity range is the most functional and universal volume for 1-2 campers. The size is big enough for any use case, without being too bulky in your pack. We usually prefer a titanium pot for backpacking, because it is lighter and stronger than aluminum. However, aluminum models with heat exchanger rings are also incredibly effective. Jump ahead to read an expanded version of our inclusion criteria and preferences.

While you’re here, don’t miss our related guide to backpacking mugs, hiking water bottles, water filters, stoves, freeze dried meals, and backpacking food.

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Ultralight Backpacking Pot Quick Picks

Ultralight Backpacking Pot Comparison Table

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Model Price ($) Weight (oz) Volume (ml) Material Nests Canister Size*
Heat Exchanger Base
TOAKS Titanium D130 45 3.7 900 Titanium Small No
TOAKS Titanium D115 45 4.0 900 Titanium Medium No
MSR Titan Kettle 65 4.4 900 Titanium Medium No
Vargo Ti-Lite 900 65 4.6 900 Titanium Medium No
OliCamp Ti Space Saver 50 4.8 900 Titanium Medium No
Jetboil Stash Pot 150 5.1 800 Aluminum Small Yes
Vargo Bot XL 110 5.5 1100 Titanium Medium No
Olicamp XTS 33 6.7 1000 Aluminum Medium Yes

*Small canisters are 4 oz/110g, medium canisters are 8 oz/220g

Jetboil Stash backpacking pot

Jetboil Stash Pot

Choose the backpacking pot from the Jetboil Stash System because it offers the best blend backcountry performance, weight minimization, features, and thermal efficiency. Thanks to the heat exchanger ring affixed to its base, Stash is one of the only pots that increases your stove’s fuel economy and wind resistance. While slightly heavier than its titanium peers, the aluminum chassis performs better when it comes to heat transfer from flame to water. What’s more, you get a siliconized handle that flips up to secure the lid in place. And when nested, the pot lid holds a four ounce fuel canister and lighter without rattling around.

However, there are downsides. First and foremost, Jetboil only sells this unit as a pot-stove combo package; while the pot is best-in-class, the stove unit is completely average. If you already have a good stove, like our top pick the Pocket Rocket Deluxe, acquiring the Stash Pot means wasting money on a stove you don’t need or want. What’s more, due to its aluminum construction and the added weight of a heat exchanger, Stash pot weighs about 20% more than a minimalist titanium pot. Also, it’s so effective at heat transfer that Stash pot increases the likelihood of burning food on the bottom if used for cooking, rather than just boiling water. Lastly, at 800 ml, it’s just a smidge smaller than our preferred 900 ml bullseye, but still within the healthy range.

All said and done, the pros outweigh the cons, and the Adventure Alan & Co staff prefer using Stash as our default backpacking pot.

  • Price: $150
  • Weight: 5.1
  • Volume: 800 ml
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Features: Heat exchanger base ring, siliconized handle, fuel canister and lighter nesting lid. Lid with pour hole and snap fit.
  • Nests: 4 oz fuel canister
  • Pros: Lightweight. Increases stove’s fuel efficiency and wind resistance. Nests beautifully. Thermally efficient. Quiet and does not rattle.
  • Cons: Requires purchasing expensive stove/pot bundle. Aluminum is heavier than titanium. A bit small. Better for boiling water than cooking food.
TOAKS Titanium D115 ultralight pot

TOAKS Titanium D115

The TOAKS Titanium D115 is our top value pick backpacking pot because it offers the best blend of low weight, low price, and high user reviewers. It is minimalist and simple, yet highly effective. Perhaps the only thing we’d change is siliconizing its handles and lid grip. But aside from that, TOAKS knocked this one out of the park. Such a classic ultralight pot! Note, the namesake D115 refers to the pot’s diameter, and it’s slightly taller, narrower, and heavier than its wider sibling, the D130 (more on that below).

  • Price: $45
  • Weight: 4.0
  • Volume: 900 ml
  • Material: Titanium
  • Features: Fold out handle.
  • Nests: 8 oz fuel canister
  • Pros: Ultralight. Highly rated. Simple. Affordable. Effective. Extended handles.
  • Cons: Insecure lid. Lid grip is not siliconized. Handles can get hot. Storage bag sheds fiber.
MSR Titan Kettle 900 ultralight cookware

MSR Titan Kettle 900

The MSR Titan Kettle is a really nice titanium pot with all of the right features. Firstly, it weighs just 4.4 oz, making it lighter than the average, even among other ultralight pots. It also has a small-but-effective pour spout. This is great for safely pouring boiling water and reducing the likelihood of hot water burns. We also nod to the siliconized lid and handle grips, and how the lid fits securely onto the pot. Perhaps our only complaint would be potential durability issues with the silicone lid grip breaking. But all in all, this is a really nice piece of ultralight cookware!

  • Price: $65
  • Weight: 4.4 oz
  • Volume: 900 ml
  • Material: Titanium
  • Features: Siliconized fold out handle. Pour spout. Siliconize lid grip.
  • Nest: 8 oz fuel canister
  • Pros: Ultralight. Secure lid fit and pour spot. Fully siliconized grips prevent burns.
  • Cons: Slightly lighter weight and less expensive models exist. Durability concerns with silicone lid grip.

OliCamp XTS Pot

Olicamp XTS Pot

The Olicamp XTS takes everything we love about our editor’s choice pick, the Jetboil Stash, and makes it 25% larger and 31% heavier. But for just $33, it’s a killer deal on a great product that isn’t even strictly worse if you prefer the extra volume. Olicamp XTS offers a heat exchanger ring for added wind resistance and heat transfer, siliconized handle grips, and it can even nest a full size eight oz fuel canister. This a great pot for a great price. Biggest downside is the weight and bulk. At 6.7 ounces, it barely even lightweight. But everything else about it gets an A grade.

  • Price: $33
  • Weight: 6.7 oz
  • Volume: 1000 ml
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Nests: 8 oz fuel canister
  • Features: Heat exchanger ring. Siliconized handle. Lid with pour hole and snap fit.
  • Pros: Very affordable. Increases stove’s fuel efficiency and wind resistance. Thermally efficient.
  • Cons: barely even lightweight. Bulkier than average.
TOAKS Titanium D130

TOAKS Titanium D130

For the lightest weight backpacking pot in the 900 ml size class, choose the TOAKS Titanium D130, weighing in at just 3.7 oz. It’s namesake “D” stands for diameter, and this one is 15 cm wider than the TOAKS D115. The end result is that it’s easier to balance on a stove, easier to use as a bowl, and easier to clean. Unfortunately, it’s also less structurally less sound. The widened chassis sidewalls are more prone to bending and warping slightly, and the overall user experience is a bit worse for most people compared to the D115. What’s more, it’s too short to nest an 8 oz fuel canister, so you can only store a 4oz. However, the fact that it’s 13% lighter weight does not go unnoticed, and might be worth it if you’re trying to save on every last gram. Neither the D115 nor the D130 is strictly better than the other.

  • Price: $45
  • Weight: 3.7 oz
  • Volume: 900 ml
  • Material: Titanium
  • Features: Fold out handle.
  • Nests: 4 oz fuel canister
  • Pros: Lightest in size class. Ultralight. Simple. Affordable. Extended handles.
  • Cons: Thin. Insecure lid. Lid grip is not siliconized. Wide width pot is less structurally sturdy, sidewall can get warped. Handles can get hot. Storage bag sheds fiber.
Vargo Bot XL titanium backpacking pot

Vargo Bot XL

Now’s here’s unique backpacking pot – the Vargo Bot XL. Is it a bottle, or a pot? Why not both? This is all thanks to the water-tight, threaded lid, which allows for hybrid functionality, unique among all titanium pots. While you can use it for storing water, we think the main purpose is for those who like to cold soak their meals, such as overnight oats, for example. While it is heavier than some of the more minimalist pots, it may allow you to ditch a stove and fuel canister during the warmer months, so weight savings can still be realized.

The Vargo Bot series comes in a number of sizes, but we recommend the XL, because it’s the widest and easiest to eat out of/clean up. The others are a bit narrower and harder to balance on a stove for cooking or eating.

Lastly, we note a few downsides. First and foremost, the price tag, approximately double the average price point of other pots in this guide. Secondly, while the lid can be used upside down to create a lid-like heat barrier while cooking, it does not snap into place and must simply be balanced on top of the pot. And as a reminder, you must never have the lid screwed on while cooking. or it will build pressure and explode!

  • Price: $110
  • Weight: 5.5 oz
  • Volume: 1100 ml
  • Material: Titanium
  • Features: Water-tight screw on lid. Flip out handles.
  • Nests: 8 oz fuel canister
  • Pros: Lightweight. Can be used for cold soaking or storing leftovers without spillage. Unique.
  • Cons: Very expensive. Heavier. Screw-on lid is unnecessary unless you have a specific plan to use it. Lid is awkward for cooking, no lid grip. Handles can cause burns.
Vargo Titanium Ti-Lite 900 titanium pot

Vargo Titanium Ti-Lite 900

The ultralight cookware experts at Vargo have manufactured a great all-around titanium pot in the Ti-Lite 900. Everything about this design is high quality, sturdy, minimalist perfection. While it lacks standout features, there’s literally nothing to complain about either, aside from missing siliconized handle grips. One thing to note is that it’s labeled a mug, but is actually pot sized. However, the handles are short enough to accommodate drinking directly out of the pot if you so choose.

  • Price: $65
  • Weight: 4.6 oz
  • Volume: 900 ml
  • Material: Titanium
  • Features: Foldout handles. Heat-resistant lid knob.
  • Nests: 8 oz fuel canister
  • Pros: Ultralight. Lid handle reduces burns.
  • Cons: Lighter and less expensive models exist. Handles can cause burns.
Olicamp Titanium Space Saver backpacking pot

Olicamp Titanium Space Saver

The Olicamp Space Saver 900 is another ultralight titanium backpacking mug worthy of your attention. While it lacks standout features, it is built using a very reliable formula, and is well-made and reasonably priced at just $50. The 4.8 oz chassis is the heaviest in its peer group, but only by a fraction of an ounce. The handles are more mug-like than pot-like, though we wish they had siliconized grip. But all in all, it’s a great little backpacking pot for a fair price.

  • Price: $50
  • Weight: 4.8 oz
  • Volume: 900ml
  • Material: Titanium
  • Features: Fold out handles.
  • Nests: 8 oz fuel canister
  • Pros: Ultralight. Well-priced.
  • Cons: Heavy end of ultralight. Handles can cause burns. Lid handle is not siliconized.

Expanded Backpacking Pot Criteria

Ultralight Backpacking Pot Criteria

  • Target weight sweet spot: 4-5 oz
  • Target volume range: 800-1000 ml
  • Preferred materials: titanium, but aluminum is okay if it has a heat exchanger base
  • Siliconized handles: preferred
  • Heat exchanger base: preferred
  • Fold out handles: mandatory
  • Silicone lid grip: preferred
  • Functional lid: mandatory
  • Screw on lid: optional for cold soaking
  • Fuel canister nesting capability: 4 oz mandatory, 8 oz preferred

Why the 4-5 oz weight range

Because numerous, completely functional one liter volume ultralight pots exist on the market in the 4-5 oz weight range, there is just no reason to settle for a heavier or bulkier backpacking pot.

Why 900 ml is the perfect size backpacking pot

We think 900 ml is the perfect sized for a backpacking pot. It’s large enough to cook an absolutely massive meal for one person, or a respectable meal for two. When only boiling water, such a for freeze dried meals or making coffee, you have enough volume to boil liquid for two campers at once. All ~900ml pots are large enough to nest a four ounce fuel canister, and most are large enough to nest an eight ounce fuel canister. It doesn’t take up too much bulk in your pack and minimizes weight. Strictly speaking, if you plan to cook a meal for two people out of the pot every time, we would recommend the 1.3 L size. If you only ever, ever cook solo, you might choose a 750 ml. But given that a 900 ml can serve one or two people very effectively, it’s just far and away the most universal option.

Materials Matter – Titanium Pot vs Aluminum Pot

In general, titanium is the most choice material for an ultralight backpacking pot. Titanium is the strongest and lightest weight metal. However, aluminum has some advantages too. Primarily, it is less expensive. But it is still very lightweight, and offers superior heat transfer, from flame to water.

Regarding The Heat Exchanger Ring Base

This is a fairly new-to-market feature that launched with the Jetboil Stash, and can now also be found on the Olicamp XTS. At time of publication, it is only available on aluminum pots. A heat exchanger is comprised of a corrugated aluminum ring affixed to the base of the pot that encircles the top of the stove flame and collects heat directly underneath the pot. The corrugation reduces thermal loss due to wind and prevents heat from drifting away, without entirely cutting off airflow. However, it also concentrates the heat, and is correlated with pots that are better for boiling water and worse at cooking food due to increased likelihood of burning on the interior bottom surface.

More ultralight backpacking pot features

There are a number of other backpacking pot features worth discussing. For starters, we always prefer a backpacking pot with siliconized grip handles and lid knob. Compared to exposed metal, it decreases the likelihood of getting burned, which in turn increases backcountry safety. We also appreciate a pour spout for increased accuracy while distributing boiling water. Another good backpacking pot feature is a secure lid, that can be snapped on and stays on while tilted up to 90 degrees for pouring. A screw-on lid, such as is found on the Vargo Bot XL, is useful for cold soaking and other niche applications, but is not universally necessary.

a titanium pot for backpacking

Ultralight Backpacking Pot Conclusion

Thank you for reading our guide to the best ultralight backpacking pot, where we hope you found your new favorite piece of titanium cookware. In summary, this assortment reflects our preferences in backcountry food prep. That is, we believe these are the best pots for boiling water for 1-2 campers who are traveling fast and light, while still offering the ability cook, and doubling as a bowl to eat out of. Most of the best options are a titanium pots, but at time of publication, the very best is an aluminum pot with a heat exchanger ring base. Happy camping and happy cooking!

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