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M Lightweight Integrated Canister Fuel Cooking Systems State of the Market Report 2011: Part 1 – Overview and Performance Evaluation

by Will Rietveld and Janet Reichl

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Article Summary:

Canister fuel stoves are the darlings of lightweight backpackers. Their main attributes are speed, adjustability, and convenience. Lightweight conventional top-mount and remote canister stoves were just as plentiful ten years ago as they are today. With a lightweight cook pot, a typical two-person cooking system weighs around 9 ounces (255 g). However, the conundrum with conventional top-mount canister stoves then, as it is today, is that they are inefficient in the wind and not amenable to use with a windscreen. Any amount of wind simply blows the heat away, drastically reducing their efficiency.

The Jetboil Personal Cooking System was introduced back in 2004, and Backpacking Light pronounced it to be "one of the most innovative products to hit the market" in our Jetboil PCS Review.

The key components of an integrated canister fuel stove that make it more fuel-efficient and wind-resistant compared to a conventional top-mount canister stove are:

Thus, the beauty of the integrated canister fuel stove lies in its convenience, compactness, fuel efficiency, and wind resistance. It is an integrated cooking system, optimized for efficiency.

But the original Jetboil PCS has drawbacks too:

Today Jetboil has a whole family of integrated canister fuel stoves, and competitive products have reached the market from Primus and MSR. Jetboil is introducing four new stoves this spring and Primus is introducing one.

The current lightest top-mount stove is the Monatauk Gnat at 1.6 ounces (48 g), and an ultralight Titanium cook pot with volume equivalent to the Jetboil Sol Ti weighs about 3.1 ounces (88 g), for a total of 4.7 ounces (133 g). Adding a windscreen brings the weight up to around 5.5 ounces (156 g). The integrated system is still a bit heavier, but its convenience, fuel efficiency, and wind resistance may make it well worth the extra weight.

The key questions this state of the market report will attempt to answer are:

To address these questions, this state of the market report is divided into three parts:

Lightweight Integrated Canister Fuel Cooking Systems State of the Market Report 2011: Part 1 – Overview and Stove Performance Evaluation (this part) Provides an overview of the integrated canister fuel stove in relation to the conventional top-mount canister stove. Reports the results of our comparative performance tests (boil time, heating rate, fuel consumption, and gas mileage from a single canister of fuel) for four test conditions (calm, wind, protected from wind, and cold).

Lightweight Integrated Canister Fuel Cooking Systems State of the Market Report 2011: Part 2 – Trends, Stove Ratings, and Selections - Highlights new developments in integrated canister fuel stoves. Presents our ideas for achieving weight efficiency and fully utilizing the advantages of integrated stoves for backpacking. Provides comparative specifications for lightweight (backpackable) integrated canister stoves, rates them according to appropriate criteria, and identifies the standouts for different situations and needs.

Lightweight Integrated Canister Fuel Cooking Systems State of the Market Report 2011: Part 3 – Wrap Up and Reviews of All Stoves Included Presents our overall conclusions from the project and provides a review of each of the stoves evaluated.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

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