Mealtime is one of the most enjoyable parts of any camping trip. Indeed, sitting around the picnic table or the fire with your friends and family while enjoying a gourmet meal is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors.
But, any good outdoor meal requires a functional set of camping dinnerware, which can be hard to shop for because there are so many great options to choose from.
To help ensure that you get the best camping plates for your needs, we’ve put together this guide to doing just that. Coming right up, we’ll introduce you to our list of the best camping meal kits on the market today, and we’ll even offer some tips to help you make the right selection for your next outdoor adventure.
- GSI Outdoors Infinity Deluxe 4-Person Set: Best Overall Camping Plates
- UCO Camping Mess Kit: Best Camping Plate For Solo Campers
- Wealers Complete Messware Kit: Best Value Camping Plate
- Coghlan’s 4-Person Camp Tableware Set: Best For Short Camping Trips
- Bisgear Dinner Plate Pack: Best Camping Plates For Durability
- Cotom Camping Dish Set: Best Camping Plates For Versatility
- GSI Outdoors Cascadian 4-Person Set: Best Family Backpacking Plates
- Stansport Deluxe Enamel Tableware Set: Best Camping Plates For Car Camping
- Light My Fire 8 Piece Meal Kit 2.0: Best Meal Kit For Packability
The 9 Best Camping Plates
1. Best Overall: GSI Outdoors Infinity Deluxe 4-Person Set
- Fully recyclable plastic components
- Includes enough supplies for 4 campers
- BPA-free plastic construction
Crafted out of completely recyclable and BPA-free plastic, the GSI Outdoors Infinity Deluxe 4-Person Set is a solid overall choice for car camping and backpacking.
This set comes with 4 full table settings, which include plates, bowls with lids, cups, and insulated mugs with lids so you have everything you need for a trip into the outdoors. At the same time, the entire set weighs a respectable 3.3lbs (1.5kg), and all the components nest together for easy transport on the go.
If that wasn’t enough, GSI Outdoors also includes a mesh stuff sack with this kit to ensure that packing up camp is as easy as can be at the end of your camping trip.
- Includes four 9-inch (22 cm) plates, four 6-inch (15cm) bowls, four 17 ounce mugs, and four 12-ounce drinking glasses
- With mesh sack for easy carrying
- BFA Free and will not hold any odors
2. Best For Solo Campers: UCO Camping Mess Kit
- Durable TPE and polypropylene material
- Double gasket seal to prevent leaks
- Includes an all in one utensil
A simple solution for solo campers, the UCO Camping Mess Kit is a durable, dishwasher-safe option for any mountain mission.
With this kit, you get an all-in-one combination that includes a bowl, lid, and spork. The kit is made from a rugged blend of polypropylene and TPE for durability and it includes a double gasket to prevent any leaks if you’re transporting food in the bowl.
Moreover, the set includes a spork that’s perfectly curved to help you gather every last bit of food out of the bowl. When it’s time to pack up, the UCO Camping Mess Kit quickly snaps together for a convenient camping plate solution.
3. Best Value: Wealers Complete Messware Kit
- Sleek stainless steel construction
- All-inclusive messware kit
- Lead, BPA, & latex-free materials
When affordability and functionality are your key concerns, the Wealers Complete Messware Kit is a sure bet.
Featuring a full stainless steel construction, this kit’s plate, bowl, cup, and cutlery are designed to last throughout years of use in the mountains. Plus, it’s made from premium food-grade materials, which are free of lead, BPA, latex, and other additives.
The Wealer’s Complete Messware Kit is also designed to stack and nest on top of itself. It even packs easily into its included mesh bag for simplified transport to and from your campsite.
4. Best For Short Camping Trips: Coghlan’s 4-Person Camp Tableware Set
- BPA-free food grade plastic
- A set of 4 plates, bowls, and cups
- Plastic doesn’t absorb food tastes or odors
Designed primarily with simplicity and ease of use in mind, the Cohlan’s 4-Person Camping Tableware Set is a nice choice for shorter family camping trips.
With this meal kit, you get 4 plates, bowls, and cups, so you have enough lightweight camping dinnerware for on the go eating for the whole family. The kit stacks on top of itself, too, for easier packing while at camp.
Additionally, this set is constructed from entirely BPA-free and food-grade plastic for added peace of mind. Once you get back home at the end of your trip, you can even toss the Coghlan’s 4-Person Camp Tableware Set in the dishwasher to speed up the cleaning process.
5. Best For Durability: Bisgear Dinner Plate Pack
- Built from 18/8 stainless steel
- Extra durable construction
- Stackable design for space savings
Crafted exclusively out of stainless steel, the Bisgear dinner Plate Pack is a reliable choice for frequent trips into remote environments.
Engineered using 18/8 stainless steel, these plates are non-toxic, stain and odor-proof, and rust-resistant. Since they’re made from steel, they’re also durable enough to withstand frequent use and they’re even safe for use in the dishwasher, refrigerator, or freezer.
Moreover, the Bisgear Dinner Plate Pack comes with a set of 4 8.5” (21.5cm) plates, all of which stack together neatly inside the included mesh bag for easier transport.
6. Best For Versatility: Cotom Camping Dish Set
- Includes a collapsible water bucket
- Full tableware set for a family
- Highly durable stainless steel construction
For family camping trips where versatility is key, the Cotom Camping Dish Set is hard to beat.
This fully-featured set comes with 24 individual pieces, including small and large plates, small and large bowls, side dish plates, and cups, so there’s enough tableware for the whole family. Each piece of this set is also made from food-grade 304 stainless steel which is non-toxic and rust-resistant.
For added value, Cotom also includes a collapsible water bucket with this set, which can be used to transport water or as a mobile dishwashing station when you’re on the go.
- Includes five plates (8.6 inches/21 cm), five plates (7 inches/17 cm), four bowls (6.2 inches/15 cm), four bowls (5.5 inches/14 cm), two sauce plates (3.5 inches/9 cm), four cups (250ml/8 ounces)
- With one multi-function folding water bucket
7. Best For Family Backpacking: GSI Outdoors Cascadian 4-Person Set
- 100% recyclable materials
- Stacking design for space savings
- Durable polypropylene construction
For family backpacking trips where weight savings are imperative, it’s hard to go wrong with the GSI Outdoors Cascadian 4-Person Set.
Crafted out of eco-friendly polypropylene – which is 100% recyclable – this set is designed to last, even in harsh conditions. At the same time, it’s light enough (1.6lbs/725g) to pack on more remote adventures where you want to keep your pack weight at a minimum.
Moreover, in addition to its 4 plates, bowls, and mugs, this kit comes with its own mesh storage bag for simplified packing on the trail.
8. Best For Car Camping: Stansport Deluxe Enamel Tableware Set
- Rugged enamel construction
- Double-glazed for increased durability
- Rustic and classic style
If car camping is more your style, then a homestyle camping plate kit, like the Stansport Deluxe Enamel Tableware Set should be high on your list.
The only model in our review that’s made from enamel, this kit’s plates, bowls, and mugs are all built out of double-coated glazed enamel that’s laminated on high-quality steel. As a result, they’re durable as can be, all without sacrificing style and functionality in camp.
If that wasn’t quite enough, this set also comes with a stock of spoons, forks, and knives, so you have everything you ended to enjoy a gourmet meal, wherever your adventures take you.
9. Best For Packability: Light My Fire 8 Piece Meal Kit 2.0
- Unique Swedish design
- All-inclusive kit for a solo camper
- Highly portable construction
Versatile and packable as can be, the Light My Fire 8 Piece Meal Kit 2.0 is your do-anything option for a lifetime of adventure.
With this kit, you get a bowl, lid, collapsible cup, spork, and 2 food storage containers, all of which are made from BPA-free, and microwave-safe polypropylene plastic. The best part? All of the components of this kit pack down and nest inside the bowl and lid for easy transport to and from your campsite.
Moreover, the bowl and lid both double as cutting boards and, when you seal them together, you can even use them as a colander for straining pasta or doing other kitchen tasks. For added convenience, Light My Fire even designed their spork with an included serrated edge for cutting veggies and prepping food on the go.
How To Choose The Best Camping Plates
Camping plates might seem like simple pieces of gear, but there’s actually a whole lot that goes into crafting the perfect model for your adventures. So, here are some key considerations to keep in mind as you shop:
Number Of Pieces
Most camping plates are sold in a set, rather than individually. As a result, the number of pieces of tableware that you get with your dinnerware set is of the utmost importance.
That being said, there’s no “ideal” number of pieces in a camping plate set.
While a large family that’s heading out on a car camping trip might prefer a 20 or even 30 piece set, like the Stansport Deluxe Enamel Tableware Set, a solo ultralight backpacker might prefer something simpler, such as the UCO Camping Mess Kit.
It’s also important to keep in mind that sets with larger numbers of included pieces tend to cost and weigh more. So, it’s essential that you balance your desire for more bowls, plates, and other accessories with affordability and weight savings.
Materials & Durability of Camping Plates
Modern camping plates are made out of a whole host of different materials, each of which affects the performance of that plate in the real world. Here’s what you need to know about the most commonly used materials:
Camping plates made from plastic tend to be very lightweight. They’re also generally a bit pricier than campers tend to realize, but this really depends on the quality of the plastic used, with higher-end, more durable models costing more.
However, overall, plastic plates tend to be less durable while winter camping because many plastic polymers become brittle in the cold. As a result, plastic is best for summertime car camping and backpacking trips where weight savings are key.
When it comes to durability in the outdoors, stainless steel is second to none. As one of the most rugged materials out there, stainless steel is a sure bet for rough conditions in the mountains.
Therefore, stainless steel plates are popular among families or groups where gear tends to see frequent use. Many steel plates are also quite affordable, though what you gain in price savings, you often lose in weight savings and portability.
Perhaps the most traditional option for a camping plate set material, enamel is a fantastic choice for car camping trips. Although it’s not as popular today as it was during the 20th century, enamelware is basically powdered glass that’s bonded onto steel using heat from a kiln.
Enamel is known for being exceptionally durable and it’s even dishwasher safe. Camping plates made from enamel are affordable and they sport a classic look, so they’re popular among outdoor enthusiasts. However, they tend to be heavier than their plastic counterparts, so they’re less ideal for backpacking.
A key concern for any piece of camping gear – plates included – is packability. Although portability is more of an issue for backpackers, who have to fit all of their gear into their pack, it’s also an important consideration for car campers, who may be limited in the amount of space they have in their vehicle.
When it comes to camping plates, most manufacturers try to increase the portability of their gear by creating nesting dinnerware sets. This means that they try to design all of the pieces in a camping dinnerware kit so that they fit nicely together for space savings.
Additionally, it’s worth looking for family camping plate sets that come with a handy mesh storage bag for transport. Or, if you’re a solo camper, opting for a model like the Light My Fire 8 Piece Meal Kit 2.0, which is a camping plate set and storage container all-in-one, is a great idea.
Since most camping plates are sold in a set with other pieces of tableware or cutlery, it’s worth paying attention to the accessories that you get when you purchase a specific kit.
Although accessories vary quite a bit from kit to kit, some of the most common (and useful) accessories you’ll see are cutlery sets, cutting boards, bowls, cups, and mugs. Some sets also include fun add-ons, like colanders, water buckets (for doing the dishes), or tea towels for added convenience in your camp kitchen.
Regardless of what kind of gear you’re buying, affordability is generally a concern, and camping plates are no exception. With camping plate sets, affordability is usually a factor of the materials used and the number of pieces in the kit.
Affordability vs. Number of Pieces
As you can imagine, larger kits, with more pieces and accessories, tend to cost more.
Therefore, if you’re working with a tight budget, it’s often best to make a list of the various accessories that are most important for your needs. As you shop, you can then use this list to guide your decision making so you spend your hard-earned money only on gear that you really need.
Affordability vs. Materials & Durability
Alternatively, when it comes to materials, affordability is almost always a trade-off with weight savings. That’s because heavier options, like stainless steel and ceramic, are often the most affordable.
While you can certainly find reasonably priced plastic options out there, these aren’t always the most durable models.
Any good camping trip involves some delicious food, but being able to enjoy that food requires a quality camping plate set.
After reviewing 9 of the best camping plate kits on the market, one model stood out from the rest: the GSI Outdoors Infinity Deluxe 4-Person Set.
In particular, we like how this set is durable and includes everything you need for a camping meal besides cutlery, all while being portable enough for backpacking and car camping.
Moreover, we particularly like the durability, affordability, and classic style of the Stansport Deluxe Enamelware Table Set for car camping adventures. Alternatively, if value is your top priority, the Wealers Complete Messware Kit’s stainless steel construction is a solid choice.
Is It Better For The Environment To Wash Dishes Or Use Paper Plates When Camping?
It is better for the environment to bring reusable dishes while camping that you can wash with biodegradable soap. This is because doing so reduces the amount of trash you produce during your camping trips.
What Are Camping Plates Made Out Of?
Most camping plates are made out of either BPA-free plastic, steel, or aluminum. However, some models that are made for car camping are made from enamel, which is effectively a highly durable type of glass that’s bonded onto steel.
How Should You Clean Camping Plates And Utensils?
You should clean camping plates and utensils with biodegradable soap and water. That being said, it’s important to be at least 200ft (60m) from any lake, river, or stream as you wash dishes to prevent any contamination of nearby water sources. Finally, when you’re done washing your dishes, you can set them out to dry or you can wipe them down with a packable camp towel.
Are Camping Plates Dishwasher Safe?
Generally speaking, camping plates are dishwasher safe. However, whether or not a specific camping plate is dishwasher safe depends on a number of different factors. So, always follow the manufacturer’s directions when washing your camping dinnerware.