Camping dinnerware probably isn’t the most exciting topic you’ve ever researched! And that’s probably why at some point you’ve been guilty of using your normal kitchen plates and bowls; throwing them in the car at the last minute.
The problem with that is it’s heavy, bulky, easy to break…
Or perhaps you’ve gone the disposable route and ended up feeling guilt because of the unnecessary waste?
Buying the best camping plates and bowls will make a difference to your outdoor dining experience. You really want to be looking for products that are lightweight, sturdy and, ideally, nesting. And if your eco-minded, that doesn’t necessarily mean plastic any more!
The best product is, in our opinion, the Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set. But we’ve got a bunch of other recommendation for you to look at too:
- Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set—Best Overall
- Stansport Deluxe 24-Piece Enamel Tableware Set—Best Design
- Wealers Stainless Steel Plate Set—Best Deep Plates
- UCO Camping Mess Kit—Best One-Person Set
- LamiNami Bamboo Fiber Plastic Plates—Most Environmentally-Friendly
- Stansport Stainless Steel Camping Plate—Most Budget-Friendly
Reviews of the Best Camping Plates
These are the best camping plates on the market right now.
Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set—Best Overall
This 24-piece enamel dinnerware set comes with four plates, four mugs, and four bowls, as well as forks, spoons, and knives for four people. So, this set is big enough for the whole family with everything you need. Also included is a roll-up pouch to transport your cutlery easily.
The Coleman tableware is made from metal with a red enamel coating. The top layer is reportedly resistant against cracks and also makes the plates dishwasher-friendly.
With the camping plates and bowls weighing about 0.3 ounces each, the whole mess kit is lightweight enough to carry in a backpack. The cutlery also has plastic handles which further reduces its weight.
Users like that these camping plates and bowls are stackable; however, the cups are reportedly not, and they take up some space in your bag.
The cutlery is sturdy and big, which makes it easy to use for kids as well, and all the tableware is easy to clean with some simple scrubbing.
What’s not as popular among buyers is the fact that the enamel tends to chip when the plates are dropped or after using them for a while. This exposes the metal underneath that rusts rather easily.
Also, the plates reportedly have a rough edge underneath, which can cut you if you’re not careful. Keep in mind that this is the most pricey tableware set on our list as well.
The Coleman camping plates and bowls set is lightweight, comes in a set of four, and has sturdy cutlery. The dinnerware set is a great buy overall but keep in mind that it’s rather pricey, so it’s not the most friendly alternative for your wallet.
Stansport Deluxe 24-Piece Enamel Tableware Set—Best Design
Here’s another 24-piece enamel dinnerware set, including beautiful blue 10.5-inch plates, 6-inch bowls, and 12-ounce mugs for four people. Spoons, knives, and forks for four are also included.
With a blue double enamel coating and edges of stainless steel, this is a durable set that’s unlikely to break due to slipping. You can also wash all components in the dishwasher.
The plates have a lip that makes them great for spaghetti and food that might otherwise spill over. The bowls also have very vertical sides and are deep.
Users love the beautiful rustic look this blue tableware has, and the enamel coating seems to be long-lasting and shouldn’t chip. This is a set that will last you for several years, especially with the durable stainless steel components.
The pieces are rather small, which makes them portable. Buyers also appreciate that the mugs are a good size for coffee.
The biggest issue customers have with this camping set is that it contains lead which can be toxic for humans when ingested.
Also, the cutlery appears rather flimsy, especially the plastic handles. Users state that they feel cheap.
If you want a beautiful-looking tableware kit that’s big enough for the whole family, go for the Stansport Deluxe set. While the plates are great, the cutlery isn’t the best, however. It feels rather cheap.
Wealers Stainless Steel Plate Set—Best Deep Plates
These stainless steel plates come in either a set of two, four, or six. They’re lightweight and have rust and scratch-resistant design, making them very durable. According to Wealers, they can be used in any terrain.
While these are plates, they’re deep plates with a ¾-inch depth and can be used as bowls as well. This means that you don’t need to bring bowls with you and can save space in your bag. Further adding to the portability is the additional mesh bag that makes it easy to carry your set in one hand.
Another plus is that these plates are dishwasher-safe. They don’t contain BPA or any other toxins like lead, either.
Note that there are no utensils or cups in this kit.
According to customers, the plates stack vertically on top of each other, making them super compact. There are no sharp edges underneath them, and the plates are easy to clean since food doesn’t stick to them.
They further like the convenience of getting two in one: a plate and a bowl and call it the perfect complement to the spork.
While stainless steel will keep food warm for longer than plastic plates, it can also transfer heat to your hands. So be cautious if you have children; they may not be safe to use with hot food. Also, some users report that this camping dinnerware doesn’t sit flat on the ground and that the shape is lopsided.
If you want to save as much space as portable in your backpack, go for these deep stainless steel plates that can be used as bowls. The plate bowl set is also lightweight, stacks up very nicely, comes with a mesh bag, and doesn’t take up a lot of space. However, if you want utensils and cups in your camping tableware set, the Wealers set isn’t for you.
UCO Camping Mess Kit—Best One-Person Set
The UCO Camping Mess Kit is made for one person. It comes with a plate, a bowl, and a 3-in-1 fork, spoon, and knife. The plate works as a lid for the bowl when you transport the set, and the spork can be fastened to the bowl with a tether which makes the dinnerware set rather compact. You can even use it as a food container since the seal is airtight.
The pieces in this set are made from BPA-free silicone plastic. The plate and bowl can also be used in the microwave and are dishwasher-safe, which is convenient.
As an added plus, the components have rubberized grips on the bottom, which prevents slipping. The whole meal kit is available in either venture (gray), blue, or retro sunshine.
Users say that the airtight seal works great, and food doesn’t escape from the container when sealed. Also, the non-slip surface of the bowl and plate makes you able to use them on even wet surfaces.
The spoon is reportedly large and made to fit the bowl perfectly, which means that you can scrape up even the last pieces of food. This 4-piece BPA-free meal kit is super easy to clean, which is another plus, and you can also clean the camping dinnerware in a river or lake by holding onto the rubber tether.
Some people state that the rubber tether holding the spork to the plate isn’t durable. Some users also feel like the meal kit is a little large and not the most portable.
If you’re a single camper and looking for a set including both plates and bowls, this 1-person table set is worth taking a look at. You can even use it as a food container and once you open it, you have a plate and bowl with food already on it. It’s not the most compact set, however, and takes up some space in your bag.
LamiNami Bamboo Fiber Plastic Plates—Most Environmentally-Friendly
This set contains six plates in different colors, so you won’t mix each other’s plates up. They’re made from bamboo fiber that’s BPA-free and food safe. It’s also an eco-friendly and renewable alternative to normal plastic. Note that there are no utensils or mugs included, however.
The plates are 8.9 inches wide each and weigh 1.8 pounds in total. Therefore, the entire set is pretty lightweight. You can also put the plates in the freezer and microwave, and they’re dishwasher-safe.
Another plus is that the material is durable and doesn’t break easily.
According to buyers, the eco-friendly plates are sturdy and a good size for your regular meal. They also like that they’re easy to clean and they dry very quickly afterward.
The high lip on the camping plate is also a feature that customers enjoy, and they state that it makes these good plates for kids and limit any spilling. They also stack on top of each other easily and therefore don’t take up lots of space in your backpack.
However, metal utensils and steak knives tend to scratch the plates. Also, red and brown sauces reportedly stain the tableware as well.
If you want biodegradable plates for a big family where everyone gets their own color, the LamiNami plates are a great option. There are no mugs or utensils in this set, however, so you might have to buy extra tableware to complement it.
Stansport Stainless Steel Camping Plate—Most Budget-Friendly
This single stainless steel camping plate has a flat bottom with a 0.38-inch high edge that keeps food from spilling. The flatness of the plate bowl also makes it compact and easy to pack. But note that it has a 9-inch diameter and is made from high-quality stainless steel that won’t rust over time.
The camping plate has a polished, shiny surface and is light as well, weighing only 0.4 pounds. This further makes it a great fit for your camping bag.
People like the smooth surface that food doesn’t stick to and state that the plate is easy to clean with only soap and water. They also keep their shine even after a few washes and if there are ever any problems, just polish them with some bicarbonate.
The stainless steel is also thick enough that the plate feels sturdy. It doesn’t break either, even if you drop it on the ground.
But one thing customers have complained about is that there are stickers placed on the middle of the camping plate where you’re supposed to put food. Some users say that the glue and sticker are hard to peel off.
Stainless steel also picks up whatever temperature their surroundings are. Buyers complain that the plate gets too hot when you put hot food on it and too cold in cold climates.
If all you want is a single camping plate for an affordable price, go for this one. But if you want more plates or accompanying mugs and utensils, this isn’t the product for you.
What To Look for in the Best Camping Plates
When you’re out camping, you want tableware that fits in your backpack without weighing much and is easy to clean when you’re out and about. You also want it to be durable since tough outdoor environments aren’t as forgiving as tidy kitchens and dining rooms. So, consider these features.
You have a few high-quality options for material when it comes to camping plates and bowls.
This is a common material in plates that’s safe to use, and its best feature is that it’s very durable, due to having high corrosion resistance. These types of plates won’t scratch easily and can withstand falls as well.
Since stainless steel is a good conductor of heat, it can also be used as cookware. With stainless steel plates, you only need to bring this tableware and no additional cookware, which will save space in your backpack.
While cheap and lightweight, plastic doesn’t look as nice as metal tableware. Also, you need to make sure that the plastic you use is BPA-free to prevent toxins from being released into your food and making you sick. One plus is that these types of plates are easy to clean as well.
Wood, Fiber, or Paper
Camping plates made of wood are increasingly gaining popularity since they look and feel amazing. Paper or thin wood is an eco-friendly alternative if you want single-use plates that aren’t made of plastic.
Titanium plates are probably the most expensive. But they’re also durable, rust-resistant, lightweight, and heats up well.
In order to save space in your bag, your best bet is to go for outdoor plates that can also be used as cookware. This way, you can both cook on and eat from the plate and don’t need to bring additional equipment that takes up room.
I love to light my fire and cook food on top of my plates out of convenience when I’m camping—so it’s critical to make sure that they don’t melt from the open fire. I’m always cautious not to light my fire too close to my tent, however, and you should be as well.
Look for plates that are microwavable if you usually have access to a microwave when camping. Being dishwasher-safe is always a bonus, so when you get back from your camping trip, you can give the entire set a good clean before you put it away in storage.
Size of the Set
The more compact, the easier to carry around. Foldable plates or those that can be stored in a smart way are the best for camping. Some are stackable, whereas others have special slots for cutlery or lids that save on space.
Size of Camping Plates and Bowls
In terms of size for the plates, go for the type of plates that suit your needs the best, whether that’s large or small. If you invest in a set, you want one that comes with mugs, bowls, and utensils as well. Naturally, you also need plates for all the campers in your group and not just yourself.
What Are Camping Plates Made Of?
Camping plates are made of a variety of different materials. Plastic and stainless steel are the most common materials camping plates are made of. But you are increasingly seeing more eco-friendly materials come available, like these bamboo camping plates >>
These are among the best camping plates and bowls you can find on the market today. But our absolute favorite is the Coleman 24-Piece Enamel Dinnerware Set.
This set comes with all the tableware you need for a family of four when you’re out camping, and the cutlery is sturdy while the plates and bowls are stackable and lightweight. These features, along with the beautiful enamel coating, make these the best camping plates on the market right now.
For our runner-up, we have the Stansport Deluxe 24-Piece Enamel Tableware Set that’s also a set great for four people, and the plates have an elegant rustic design. This is a cheaper mess kit alternative to the Coleman set.
But which outdoor plates are your favorites?