Best camping cutlery 2024 | Tested and reviewed

Forget about the weather as the make-or-break factor in your camping trip: it's really all about your eating enjoyment, and what could be more paramount than choosing the right camping cutlery?

Best camping cutlery main feature image

by Fliss Freeborn |
Updated on

Camping cutlery is a little camping accessory that is all too easy to overlook when you're planning a big camping trip or hike. Oh, you'll remember the stove, mess tins, pots and pans. You might even have a lightweight chair sorted. But the actual implements of eating are often forgotten - and there's just something so undignified about eating a plate of beans with a house key or tent peg.

So, in order to save you from this shameful fate, we've found the best camping cutlery that you'll pack first out of sheer excitement to use it.

James forest eating in glen coe scotland

There's an array of items available out there, from the humble spork to proper five-piece travel sets. All have their pros and cons and are best suited to different scenarios. That's why it's important to match the right camping cutlery to the right outdoor excursion. Here are our top picks for scran spanners, no matter your scenario.

Our camping cutlery shortlist

Best in test: Gerber ComplEAT

Best value: Primus Campfire Cutlery Set

Best lightweight cutlery set: Full Windsor Magware Magnetic Flatware

Best spork: Sea To Summit Titanium Spork

Best spoon: Optimus Sliding Spoon

Best food container: Stanley Adventure Stainless Steel Food Jar

Best food kit: Light My Fire LunchKit BIO

With a sea of options out there, we've made things simple for you and assembled our favourite cutlery options available for your next camping trip. Tuck in!

The best camping cutlery

best in test

Gerber cutleryLFTO

Rrp: $35.00

Price: $26.93
Alternative retailers
Walmart$35.00View offer

Making something as mundane as cutlery into something interesting is a challenge but Gerber seems to have done it. The German tool brand's ComplEAT cutlery set may have a silly name, but it's actually wicked in all areas, from weight to performance. Call us sad, or even a bit weird, but we absolutely love it and will probably talk about it at the pub unprompted.

It's made up of four components: a spatula, fork, spoon, and multitool. But you can combine the spatula and spoon to make tongs for a fifth tool. The multitool is a bottle opener, can opener, package opener, and peeler.

If you've used Gerber gear before, you'll know it's well-made but also relatively good value. It's the same story here. We also like how the set only weighs 65g, and all fits together into a compact little set. A worthy winner for your dinner.

Pros

  • Very clever design
  • Versatile
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • The peeler isn't that good

Best value

Of all the million and one basic camping cutlery sets, we like this one because it is durable, lightweight and comfortable to use.

The set is 18/8 stainless steel, making it very corrosion resistant and therefore ideal for camping and also the dishwasher. The simple leather sleeve is similarly robust, so although you could spend even less on a cutlery set, this Primus Campfire Cutlery Set is worth spending a little more because of the longevity it offers.

Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Durable
  • Comfortable to use

Cons

  • Not the most compact or lightweight option

Best lightweight cutlery set

Magware Magnetic FlatwareMagware
Price: $34.99

We've used this set for quite some time, and it's a great. It weighs just 56g and manages to do so by being made from 7075-T6 aluminium alloy. This type of aluminium alloy is very light and very strong and often used in the aerospace industry as a result.

So, you've got that to shout about. But this Magware Magnetic set is also very easy to keep together because little magnetic studs hold the cutlery in a firm embrace. The set comes in a recycled polyester pouch with a Velcro strap. The downside? It's a pricey bit of kit only worth having if you know you're not going to lose it down the side of a car seat.

Pros

  • Magnetic
  • Recycled polyester pouch
  • Very strong

Cons

  • Stitching around the Velcro tabs isn't very strong

Best spork

Titanium SporkLight My Fire

If you're a sporker, you're a gram counter. And as a gram counter, you'll be besotted with this titanium spork, which at 12g, is hilariously lightweight. For lightweight camping adventures and overnight bivvies it's our top contender - we just wouldn't recommend trying to eat a full roast dinner with it (we've tried), or attempting to cook anything that involves more than stirring together pasta and sauce (we've also tried).

Going for titanium has other advantages beyond lightness. It's also very strong, corrosion-resistant and food safe. We like the shape, and that it comes with a carabiner. The only disadvantage we can see is that if you lose it, it's relatively expensive to replace. And we've lost three over the course of 10 years. Bottom line though: if you can keep track of it, it'll last decades and weigh next to nothing in your pack.

Pros

  • Incredibly light
  • Strong
  • Carabiner included

Cons

  • There are cheaper sporks out there

Best spoon

Optimus very long spoon for far away cerealOptimus

Those who eat camping meals directly from the pack can save themselves carrying extra kitchenware. Sporks are usually only just long enough to reach into the pouch, which can mean you can't get to all the food properly and end up with chilli-con-carne smeared hands. Not ideal.

Optimus' extending spoon is the solution to these problems because it can extend by 6cm (17.5 to 23.5cm). In giraffe mode, it can easily reach into the pack while keeping your fingers well away from the contents. Sure it might feel like a bit of a gimmick at first slide, but if you're genuinely only eating MREs and freeze-dried food, it's actually a bit of a lifesaver. It's also great value for its weight.

Pros

  • Space-saving
  • BPA-free
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • You may prefer metal cutlery

Best food container

Stanley Classic Legendary Food Jar with sporkLFTO
Price: $69.99

This looks like a food jar with a spork attached, and you might wonder why it's in a cutlery article. But if you look more closely, you'll see it's actually a spork with a food jar attached. So, it's welcome here.

For your hot and cold meals alike, this design from Stanley is a winner. It'll keep contents hot or cold for up to 12 hours, and it features the brand's highly reliable leakproof seal. Along with a spork, you'll also find a removable compartment in the lid you can use for food storage too. We really like using the Stanley food spork and associated jar for winter warmers: you'll be the envy of everyone on the hill when you're spooning hot stew into your face at minus 2 and they're stuck with a half-frozen sandwich.

And sure, it's not the lightest spork option on test, by Jove is it durable. We love it and wouldn't be seen on the hill in the chilly weather without it.

Pros

  • Suitable for hot or cold food
  • Extra compartment inside lid
  • Leakproof

Cons

  • Heavy

Best food kit

Light my fire lunch kitLight My Fire

The LunchKit gives you bountiful and versatile food storage. Despite being called a ‘plate-to-mouth delivery system’ we like the LunchKit for its clever design and eco credentials.

There are three bowls, with the smaller two fitting inside the larger for a compact packed size. The lid for the larger bowl is 500ml, so is large enough to be used as a fourth receptacle. A trusty plastic spork is included and there is a holder for it on the large bowl lid.

The LunchKit is made from a biobased plastic called Ecozen, which is both microwave and dishwasher-safe.

Pros

  • Quite compact
  • Made from biobased plastic
  • Rounded edges make it easy to clean

Cons

  • Not leakproof

What to look for when choosing camping cutlery

Woman eats breakfast in a tent in the outback.
©Sea to Summit

It may seem like a trivial decision, but choosing the right camping cutlery for the job is of great importance. There's nothing worse than having to use something that annoys you, even if it's only for 15 minutes a day. You'll also need to decide whether you're after something minimalist and lightweight, or fully comprehensive setup for longer trips, where sawing at a hunk of protein with a plastic spork will get very dull, very quickly.

Size and weight

Sea to Summit camp kitchen wild camping
©Sea to Summit

Apart from no cutlery at all, the spork is the best lightweight option. It's the bivvy bag of cutlery. At the other end of the spectrum, a multi-piece set is comprehensive but bulky - and if you're car camping, then just taking a set from home that you don't mind much about and storing it in the glovebox seems to do the trick. We also love the fact that camping cutlery can be used out and about just about anywhere - a folding or magnetic set does wonders for work lunches without having to use and throw away any single-use plastics or energy-intensive wooden forks.

Material

Sea to Summit cookware 1
©Sea to Summit

Plastic cutlery tends to be the cheapest, but the knives made from plastic, in particular, aren't usually great to use over longer periods of time. However, metal options made from stainless steel are very durable, while titanium ones are more expensive but very lightweight and strong. If you're choosing things made of bamboo or other wood, be sure to treat them carefully, keeping them clean and dry so they don't rot.

What are you eating?

spork against a coastal background
©LFTO

For those eating straight from the food pouch, a spork or spoon will see you right - no fuss needed. But for those whipping up something a little more sophisticated, get a set. You'll already be bringing a stove and some cookware, so it'd be silly not to have the right cutlery too.

How we tested

Fliss testing the primus stove
©LFTO

This article was compiled by Fliss Freeborn, who is a writer for LFTO and lifelong user of camping cutlery. She once ate a full roast dinner with a spork to prove that you can (you can - but it's difficult) and is Glasgow's leading extendable spoon enthusiast. She has use made use of the wider knowledge and experience of the LFTO and Trail Magazine Team in this article, editing their many recommendations down to the best of the best.

You can find out more about how we test here.

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