I started with a 12" aluminum dutch oven my mother bought me as a gift. I'm sure it was an accident, but I have certainly appreciated it. I didn't use it much until I went on a handcart pioneer trek reenactment. Pulling handcarts was fun, pulling extra weight was not. We had taken both a cast iron and a my aluminum dutch oven and after that, decided aluminum is the way to go. If weight is an issue, there is nothing better. The next time we went on a pioneer trek, we purchased a 14" hard anodized oven for our second oven. Now we use them both often, cooking in our backyard and elsewhere. The 12" doesn't let the lid of the 14" close when nested, but the 10" does nest inside the 12". 10" models don't come with feet, but the 12 and 14" models do. I purchased some GSI lid stands from Sportsman's. I ordered one extra to use as feet for the 10" oven. Aluminum is an excellent heat conductor, which means that heat is spread in the ovens more evenly. This is nice if you're trying to make that perfect bread or casserole. Aluminum also gets the goods up to temp faster which means less cooking time and if you're cooking a large amount of food, less coals. Aluminum dutch ovens can be seasoned if that's what you want, but I just clean mine with soap and water. I've heard people say they melt too easily, but I've never melted mine. If your food is up over the 1000 degrees required to melt the ovens, it won't turn out well anyway. I stack my ovens with friends' cast iron dutch ovens and the've held the weight. Having used both cast iron and aluminum, I definitely prefer aluminum.