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Brunton Raptor Canister Stove REVIEW

Wide pot supports and rugged - but heavy - stainless steel construction, for only 40 bucks.

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by Will Rietveld | 2005-11-15 03:00:00-07

Brunton Raptor Canister Stove REVIEW - 1
The Brunton Raptor has a piezo-electric ignition, 6-inch diameter pot supports, and rugged stainless steel construction for only $40.

Introduction

New for 2005, the Brunton Raptor incorporates some great features into a $40 canister stove. While other base level canister stoves don’t have any extras, the Raptor includes piezo-electric ignition, 6-inch wide pot supports, and stainless steel construction. This review details the results of my tests of the Raptor in the lab and in the field.

What’s Good

  • Standard piezo-electric electric ignition
  • Wide pot supports make it particularly suitable for large pots and group cooking
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Precise flame control
  • A great value for $40

What’s Not So Good

  • At 5.7 ounces the Raptor is heavy compared to mini-canister stoves
  • Very sensitive to wind, needs wind protection
  • Small burner creates a hot spot in the middle of a cookpot

Specifications

  Manufacturer

Brunton

  Stove

Raptor top-mount canister stove

  Weight

5.7 oz (162 g) as measured; manufacturer’s specification 5 oz (142 g)

  Size

Open 4.5 x 5.25 x 3.25 in (11 x 13 x 8 cm); packed size 1.75 x 1.5 x 2.5 in (4 x 4 x 6 cm)

  Materials

Stainless steel

  Features

Piezo-electric ignition, wide pot supports, nylon carry case

  Heat Output

11,000 BTU/hr

  MSRP

$40

Performance

At 5.7 ounces (without the 1.2 ounce carrying case), the Raptor is a heavyweight compared to many mini-canister stoves, which weigh around 3 ounces. However, compared to other stoves we reviewed, the Raptor gives you more features for your money.

The Raptor’s wide (6.25 inches) pot supports allow it to hold larger pots and pans. The pot supports also lay flat, giving it lots of contact. I had no problem cooking with an 8-inch fry pan. This feature makes the Raptor especially suitable for group cooking. Brunton offers a plastic stand for the canister to make the stove even more stable with larger pots (top mount canister stoves are known to be top-heavy).

Normally, stoves with wider pot supports also have a wide burner head to spread the flame across the bottom of a wider cookpot, but the Raptor has a small burner. I found the small burner works fine at a low flame level for fine simmering or a high flame level for boiling water, but it creates a hot spot when cooking with a moderate flame. Sautéing onions and green peppers in a titanium pot required a low flame and patience to avoid scorching. The same was true with cooking pancakes or an omelet. In this respect the Raptor performed similarly to many of the mini-canister (small burner) stoves.

The piezo-electric igniter on the Raptor works well at warm and cold temperatures. For best results, open the value until you can hear gas coming out then hit the igniter. Like most piezo-electric ignition systems, it does not ignite very well if you open the valve too far and release too much gas pressure.

The Raptor’s flame control is precise. It goes from a candle to a blow torch in less than one quarter turn. There is no rebound or flame creep that requires re-adjustment. I did find, however, that it is easy to unintentionally turn the stove off while trying to adjust for a low flame.

On one snowshoe outing I tested three canister stoves' ability to melt a pot full of snow by melting 2 pounds of snow plus 1 pound of water in a 1.5-liter titanium pot and boiling the resulting 1.4 quarts of water. The results for the Brunton Raptor are shown in comparison to the other stoves in Table 1. First note that the boil times are huge - three times longer than optimal conditions. The Raptor used a little less fuel than the other stoves. More important, note that it requires twice as much fuel to melt snow and boil the water (1.0 ounce, or about a quarter of a small canister) than it does to boil water under optimal conditions. Furthermore, about the same amount of fuel is consumed to melt snow and boil the water as boiling the same amount of water unprotected in a direct wind.

Table 1. Comparative time and fuel consumption for three canister stoves to melt 2 pounds of snow plus 1 pound of water and boil the resulting 1.4 quarts of water. Air and water temperatures were 40 °F.
Stove Boil Time (minutes:seconds) Fuel Consumption (grams)
Brunton Raptor 14:06 28.4
Kovea Camp 3 13:56 36.9
Markill Peak Ignition 13:27 31.2

The heating efficiency of the Brunton Raptor is summarized in Table 2, in comparison to the averaged performance of 13 canister stoves tested to date. For more detailed information see the Performance Comparison Testing of Lightweight Canister Stoves Fall 2005: Controlled Data Evaluating Key Variables of Temperature, Wind, and Windscreen Use for Five More Canister Stoves.

The Raptor’s performance is a mixed bag. Under optimal conditions, its boil time is a little slower than average, taking almost a minute longer to boil a quart of water (no big deal). More important, its fuel efficiency ranks with the better performing stoves we have tested. Unfortunately its performance falls down under windy conditions; it was one of the more wind sensitive stoves we tested.

Table 2. Summary of boil time and fuel consumption data for the Brunton Raptor
Test Optimal Conditions Full Flame 1 quart water Optimal Conditions Moderate Flame 1 quart water Optimal Conditions Full Flame 1/2 quart water Cold Conditions Full Flame 1 quart water Windy Conditions Full Flame 1 quart water Wind + Wind screen Full Flame 1 quart water
Raptor Boil Time (min:sec) 4:24 6:14 2:26 9:57 95 degrees* 8:56
Average Boil Time for all stoves tested (min:sec) 3:34 5:12 2:21 8:02 77 degrees** 6:31
Raptor Fuel Consumption (g) 13.2 10.8 7.5 12.4 31.2 19.5
Average Fuel Consumption for all stoves tested (g) 15.4 11.8 8.2 12.2 30.3 20.2
Raptor: Water Boiled Per 4-ounce Fuel Canister (qt) 8.6 10.5 7.5 9.1 - 5.8
Average Water Boiled per 4-ounce fuel canister for all stoves tested (qt) 7.6 9.7 7.0 9.3 - 5.9
 

Optimal conditions are 70 °F air and water, no wind. Cold conditions were simulated by putting the stoves and canisters in a freezer overnight at 10 °F, then boiling 40 °F water. Windy conditions were simulated with a box fan providing a 12 mph wind; water and air temperatures were 70 °F.

*Degrees Fahrenheit water temperature was raised after 10 minutes at full throttle. The Brunton Raptor did not boil the water.

**Average amount water temperature was raised after 10 minutes. Of the twelve stoves tested with 1 quart of water, only two stoves (the Coleman F1 Ultralight and Brunton Crux) reached boiling within 10 minutes.

What’s Unique

The Brunton Raptor is targeted to provide a good value for a base level canister stove. It includes piezo-electric ignition, wide pot supports, and stainless steel construction for $40. The only other stove we have reviewed with similar features and price is the Primus TechnoTrail. The TechnoTrail at 6.4 ounces is a little heavier and its fuel efficiency is not as good as the Raptor. The Coleman Exponent F1 Ultralight and MSR PocketRocket also sell for $40. Both are much lighter than the Raptor and perform better, but lack the Raptor’s features. Overall, the Raptor is a good choice for a base level stove, especially for group cooking.

Recommendations for Improvement

Like many canister stoves, the Raptor loses a lot of efficiency in windy conditions. This has a lot to do with burner design. The Raptor’s burner is very similar to the Snow Peak GigaPower, which is also very wind sensitive. Some engineering improvements would be desirable to make the Raptor more wind resistant.


Citation

"Brunton Raptor Canister Stove REVIEW," by Will Rietveld. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/brunton_raptor_canister_stove_review.html, 2005-11-15 03:00:00-07.

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