After a long, rigorous day of hiking during a backpacking expedition, one of the first things I look to do is cook up a hot meal. I do this to not only satisfy my hunger, but also to reward myself for the miles covered.
I don’t know about any of you, but I don’t see myself switching over to the cold-soaking method of backcountry cooking anytime soon.
“It saves so much weight.” One friend explained to me.
“Cold Ramen noodles don't taste as bad as you might think!” another friend tried telling me. A third friend swore to me that I would switch to cold-soaking before I finished my AT thru-hike, but I never did. Getting rid of my cooking system in its entirety simply won’t fly for me.
I have been a loyal Jetboil user, but I was intrigued when given the opportunity to test out a new cooking pot: the Sierra Magna by Vargo.
Titanium Sierra Magna Specs
- Price: $69.95
- Weight: 6.3 oz (179g)
- Top Diameter: 6.2 inches (158mm)
- Bottom Diameter: 4 inches (102mm)
- Height: 3.1 inches (80mm)
- 900 ml capacity
What I Love
Lightweight: My first reaction when unboxing the Sierra Magna was “Wow, this thing practically weighs nothing!” This is because the Sierra Magna is made out of titanium and comes in at 6.3 ounces.
You get a lot with this pot for six ounces; a very wide bowl structure, a strainer lid, and a foldable handle. From first glance, you might think that it would be heavier.
Size and structure: At first, I was hesitant about how big the Sierra Magna appeared; I am used to the smaller, cup-style cooking pots such as Jetboil or Toaks. The Sierra Magna is much more of a bowl than it is a cup, and can hold 900 ml of water. I used an MSR Pocket Rocket stove with the Sierra Magna, and I had no problem placing and keeping the pot on top of my stove when cooking.
You can cook a lot of food in it, which is key when your hiker hunger is at its peak during a thru-hike. I cooked one packet of Ramen on my most recent hike, and I could have easily fit three times that.
I also found it easier to cook in this bowl-style pot over other cup-style models I’ve used due to the wider opening on the Sierra Magna. The slanted sides make cooking, eating and clean-up easier.
Versatile: The Sierra Magna is an all-in-one cookset unit, meaning that it functions well for both cooking and eating. It features a strainer lid that helps with preparing meals, while the foldable handle makes it easier to both cook and eat.
The size of the Sierra Magna also makes it functional for much more than just backpacking trips. It can be the perfect basecamp cooking pot, and will be useful on other types of outdoor expeditions, such a canoe outing, bikepacking trip, etc.
What I Didn’t Love!
Larger Size: I struggled to find anything that I did not like about the Sierra Magna. The only criticism that I could use against the Sierra Magna is its larger size; smaller backpacking cook pots/ mugs might fit easier inside a pack, and these smaller models will almost always still get the job done.
Furry Friend Confusion: The large, bowl-style structure can potentially be confused as a dog’s water dish by your furry backpacking partner. The second I began pouring water inside of the pot, my black lab, Maverick, came spriting over in an attempt to score a few licks.
Good To Know
I found the measurement labels very easy to identify and read thanks to the wide size and slanted structure of the bowl.
There is enough space to store basically all other cooking items that you own. I was able to store two sporks and my MSR stove inside, with leftover space.
The Sierra Magna comes with a black mesh bag for storage.
- The Sierra Magna is the largest size pot that Vargo sells, but Vargo also manufactures smaller cup-style models that can be found on Garage Grown Gear.
Personally, I love the size and features of the Sierra Magna, and at only six ounces, it’s proven to be a good addition to my backpacking cook set.