Why This Japanese Outdoors Brand Is Our Go-To for Camp Kitchen Gear

Meet the brand beloved by foodies in the outdoor industry, direct from Japan.

Man cooking over Snow Peak Takibi grill in his backyard

You can use Snow Peak’s outdoor cookware while camping or in your backyard at home.

Courtesy of Snow Peak

Welcome to Afar Approved: a deep dive into the travel items that we’re totally obsessed with, never leave behind, and can’t stop telling our friends about.

For many, spending time outdoors is only part of the allure of camping. Yes, nature is the star of the show—especially once the actual stars come out. But it’s closely followed by the opportunity to gather with friends around a campfire to cook a delicious meal. These have always been my most memorable moments outdoors, from childhood campouts listening to my dad tell scary stories while us kids roasted marshmallows, to more recent, food-focused shindigs with friends.

These moments of gathering in nature are exactly the kind that Japanese outdoor gear brand Snow Peak wants to cultivate with its stylish yet functional outdoor furniture, apparel, and extensive line of camping kitchen items that help campers create incredible meals outdoors.

Founded in 1958 by Japanese mountaineer Yukio Yamai, Snow Peak originally sold climbing products crafted by the metalwork experts of Yamai’s hometown of Tsubame Sanjo, in the Chūetsu region of Niigata. The brand, now led by his son, Tohru Yamai, has since shifted its focus to camping and outdoor gear that includes everything from tents to grills. Granddaughter Lisa Yamai has even joined the business, launching the brand’s line of functional yet fashion-forward outdoor apparel.

As someone who loves camping almost as much as I love food, Snow Peak is my go-to for camping kitchen gear. Here’s why.

Quality outdoor cooking gear for serious eaters

Snow Peak’s silver-colored metal Ti-Double 450 Mug, GigaPower Stove, and Collapsible Coffee Drip on wooden table, with water in background

Snow Peak’s Ti-Double 450 Mug, GigaPower Stove, and Collapsible Coffee Drip (shown here) helps you brew fresh coffee anywhere.

Photo by Jessie Beck

While Snow Peak makes all of the essential gear anyone would need to cook outdoors (pots, pans, stoves, mugs, utensils), it’s the brand’s products to support the most ambitious campout chefs that have earned it fanfare among food lovers. The cooking/kitchen line also includes such items as a titanium sake bottle, titanium chopsticks, and a modular camp kitchen table, which you can customize to include a sink, chopping board, grill, or prep station. Most of the items are made from a sturdy titanium or stainless steel and have a minimalist, timeless design that prioritizes functionality.

As a backcountry camper, I love that most of the Snow Peak items I own are also lightweight enough to work for both backpacking and car camping. My camp kitchen essentials from Snow Peak include:

At just 2.64 ounces, the self-igniting GigaPower Stove Manual Renewed is a pocket-size, gas-fueled stove you can bring nearly anywhere. Although small, it’s strong enough to support a full pot of water and with a rating of 10,000 BTUs, about as powerful as your average kitchen stovetop. I use it the most often for bikepacking, backpacking, or simply making coffee on group trips.

The standout feature of the Cutting Board Set, which includes a cutting board and knife, is its design. The bottom of the board has a knife-shaped groove in which you can store the included knife, then fold the board in half, for compact storage and portability. I think it’s an excellent example of Snow Peak’s attention to detail.

Closeup of mushrooms on wood cutting board with knife (L); camping table, with chopped produce, has space for prep and cooking (R)

With space for prep and cooking, this camping table is designed for chefs.

Photos by Jessie Beck

The titanium, double-walled Ti-Double 450 mug keeps hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold and looks like a standard cylindrical mug, but the handles can be folded flat against the body (one of my favorite features), which makes it easier to pack or place in a camp chair cup holder. One con: You need to purchase the Silicone Lid to really keep hot beverages hot for awhile (especially in colder temps).

The Trek 1400 Titanium Cookset, which consists of one pot and one pan, has a similar design, also made from titanium with collapsible handles. I love it because I’m mainly bikepacking or cooking for one to two people. If you usually have larger groups, Snow Peak’s Multi Compact Titanium Cookset is a better choice because it includes two pots and two pans.

For cutlery, the Titanium Spork is a straightforward, won’t-melt-in-the-fire utensil (I have 100 percent used it to flip vegetables over a hot charcoal grill). Meanwhile, the bamboo and stainless steel Wabuki Chopsticks are compact, even for chopsticks: They detach into two pieces and pack away at half their full length for easy transportation.

The Collapsible Coffee Drip, also made of a lightweight titanium, collapses into a flat, easy-to-pack shape. When opened, it sits atop just about any mug, ready for freshly ground coffee beans.

I also want to give the Takibi Fire & Grill, designed to function as both a grill and firepit, an honorable mention because a grill like this can be the centerpiece of a great campfire cookout. Made of a durable stainless steel and weighing only 32 pounds, this grill folds into a tidy rectangle when not in use, and it’s much more portable than the hibachi grill I often drag into the woods while car camping. The only con is that it is designed to use with charcoal or wood, which isn’t an option for campers in some areas (like California) when wildfire risks are high.

Price and value

While Snow Peak is among the more expensive camp cookware, its gear is worth the cost for anyone who cooks outdoors frequently. The products come with a lifetime guarantee in case anything goes wrong, but because they’re well-crafted and built to last, you probably won’t need it.

Although I’ve yet to live a lifetime, all of the gear that I’ve owned from Snow Peak has held up very well so far. After 12 years, the GigaPower stove (an older model) still works as well as when it was new, while the Ti-Double 450 Mug and sporks have survived dozens of camping and bike adventures without a dent or break. The colors may have faded a tad, but they have far outlived my previous (and cheaper) plastic cookware, which melted after a too-close encounter with a fire.

Testing it all in the wild at the new Snow Peak Campfield

Distant view of Snow Peak Campfield in Washington, with a few tents among trees and next to stream

Snow Peak now has a campground in Washington, where you can test its gear in the wild.

Courtesy of Snow Peak

Whether you’re a newcomer to the brand or a long-time fan, one of the most exciting announcements from Snow Peak this year was the opening of its first North American Campfield, a campground in Long Beach, Washington, approximately three hours from Seattle and two hours from Portland, Oregon. (Snow Peak already operates 14 other Campfields; 13 in Japan and one in South Korea.)

It’s a beautiful place to camp on its own, and gearheads will be excited to know that a visit to the Campfield is also an excellent opportunity to test some Snow Peak gear in the wild. Campers can opt to book a tent suite with an already-pitched Snow Peak shelter, camp kitchen setup, grill, tables, and chairs. Yes, you can book a basic campsite and bring your own gear, but you may be tempted to leave it all at home (just this once). All guests also have access to a number of communal spaces, such as a community firepit and café, which encourage campers to connect with each other, as well as a soon-to-open Japanese bathhouse with sauna, pool, and cold plunge (expected in early summer 2024).

The Campfield had a soft opening earlier this spring and will fully open on June 22, 2024. Bookings are available now.

This article was originally published in 2021 and was most recently updated on May 21, 2024, with current information.

Jessie Beck is a San Francisco–based writer and associate director of SEO and video at Afar. She contributes to travel gear, outdoor adventure, and local getaway coverage and has previously lived in Washington, D.C., Malta, Seattle, and Madagascar.
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