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Coleman Fyrestorm Ti Stove REVIEW

Innovative dual-fuel stove for canisters and white gas and variants that works very well with canister fuel and reasonably well with white gas.

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by Roger Caffin | 2006-08-16 03:00:00-06

Coleman Fyrestorm Ti Stove REVIEW

Introduction

Coleman describes the Fyrestorm Ti as a multi-fuel stove, but it only handles canisters and white gas and variants; it does not handle kerosene. It can of course be used in the summer, but it has been specifically designed for winter use with the first inverted-canister attachment seen on the market. The stove itself has solid wide legs without being too heavy, but is not the lowest - read stability - around. The same connector is used for the tank and the canister support.

What’s Good

  • Handles two fuels: canister gas and white gas ‘liquid’ fuel
  • Light weight, especially for a full-fledged winter stove
  • Solid stable design
  • Comprehensive spares kit
  • Jet changes not needed

What’s Not So Good

  • Unique connector requires canister tripod at all times
  • Priming with white gas can fireball

Specifications

   Manufacturer

The Coleman Company, Inc

  Year/Model

2006 Fyrestorm Ti (also Fyrestorm SS)

   Fuels

Butane/propane mix, white gas and variants

   Power Output

14,000 BTU/hr or 4.1 kW ( butane/propane canister),
10,000 BTU/hr or 2.9 kW (white gas)

  Stove

7.6 oz (216 g) for Ti version, made of brass, steel, titanium, magnesium alloy, braided fuel line

   Canister Tripod

3.28 oz (93 g), brass, aluminium and magnesium alloy

  Pump and Fuel Bottle

2.96 oz (84 g) for aluminium and plastic pump,
4.20 oz (119 g) for aluminium tank, nominal capacity 22 fl oz

  Minimum Field Weight

10.9 oz (310 g) with tripod for canister,
14.8 oz (419 g) with pump and tank

  Boil Time

Claimed: canister 3.2 minutes, liquid fuels 3.5 minutes

  Burn Time

Claimed: canister 45 minutes, liquid fuels 75 minutes, on high

  Stove Leg Radius

3.5 in (90 mm)

  Pot Support Arms

Radius: 2.7 in (70 mm), Height above ground: 3.5 in (90 mm)

  Packing Size

Claimed: 3 ¼ x 5 ¼ x 3 ¾ in (83 x 133 x 95 mm)

  Accessories

Tank cap, spares kit, protective caps, bag, windshield, base plate

  MSRP

US$190 (Ti), $150 (SS)

Performance

The Coleman Fyrestorm Ti stove is the second of a new-generation of flexible-hose ‘multi-fuel’ stoves I have seen, after the Primus Gravity MF stove. However, while it is nice to have a stove which can handle more than one fuel, I cannot say this really is a multi-fuel stove as it does not handle kerosene: dual-fuel would be more appropriate. Even so, it does give us a bit more flexibility in the field. In this case there are actually two models: the Fyrestorm Ti and the cheaper Fyrestorm SS.

Coleman has used a custom screw connector to mate the hose to a conventional pump, and has created a compatible tripod stand for the standard screw-thread canister. However, their use of a screw-thread canister is not conventional: as recommended in our article Selecting a Canister Stove for Cold Weather Backpacking Part II: Commercially Available Canister Stove Systems, the canister is supported upside down! In this configuration, the canister also supplies a liquid feed to the stove. This means the Fyrestorm stove is a good candidate for winter use (see part I of the linked article above for an explanation why), alongside the existing Coleman Xtreme (which uses the PowerMax canister).

In a second departure from convention the Fyrestorm uses not one but two control valves. There is a valve at the canister/tank connection and another one right at the stove. There are some very good reasons for the first valve. With a canister there must be a valve right at the connection, before the hose: without that it would be too easy to connect the tripod to a canister and have butane/propane mix spray everywhere. A similar problem exists when you disconnect the fuel line from a canister. Unless the fuel line is drained first, it could be full of liquefied gas ready to expand out from the open end of the hose. With a conventional fuel tank a similar problem exists: without a valve actually on the tank, you could have fuel spraying out from the pump when the fuel line is disconnected. In effect, any fuel source must have a valve to close it off, and this one does.

The control valve at the stove is not a crucial safety requirement like the first one, but does change the stove from being finicky to adjust to being easy to operate. When the only valve is up at the other end of the fuel line, adjustments can be slow to take effect. It takes time for the fuel in the long line to reach a new equilibrium between the valve and the jet. This means it is hard to turn the stove down to a slow simmer without the flame going out. A valve right before the preheat tube, as on the Coleman Fyrestorm Ti, gives far better control.

But the valve at the stove is not a conventional valve. The rotation of the control handle actually moves a length of wire which passes down the preheat tube to the jet. The position of this wire in the jet can throttle the gas flow through the jet and can clear the jet as well. Actually, the Coleman Peak Apex II stove has the same throttle/cleaning wire mechanism, and that stove has good simmer control even with kerosene. I have used one for many years. The wire survives very well inside the tube, and the action does keep the jet clean in most cases. Once when I poured water over the red-hot preheat tube I dislodged enough scale and gunge from the inside that the jet did block hopelessly – at night, in the snow. Cold dinner that night.

Coleman Fyrestorm Ti Stove REVIEW
The third valve, inside the connector

I have described the Coleman Fyrestorm Ti stove as having two valves. This is not quite correct: it really has three. If you look very closely at the connector on the pump you will see a small brass pin sticking out, pointed to by the green arrow in the picture here. That pin is a shut-off valve which is normally kept sticking out in a closed position by an internal spring. Only when the hose is properly connected does this valve get pushed in and opened. So even if you pump up the tank and open the control valve on the tank, you still won’t get any fuel coming out. This idea is quite old: it’s used on the hose for my Coleman Peak Apex II stove from over 10 years ago. A similar shut-off valve is found on the tripod connection.

One could argue that the conventional valves on the pump and the tripod are redundant as this third valve will protect the pumped tank and the canister. I don’t really agree: the conventional valves allow you to stop the flow of fuel down the hose without having to break the connection. This increases the safety of the design.

The pump itself looks the same as the standard Coleman pump found on several other Coleman stoves, including my old Peak Apex II. The pump handle has the same hole at the top which you have to block with your thumb. However, the connection between the pump and the hose has been modified for the Fyrestorm. The modified connector on the pump is not removable – which is probably a good thing. The tank or fuel bottle looks the same too. It is labelled ‘22 fl oz bottle capacity, 16 fl oz operating capacity,’ and you are instructed that the fill level is ‘2/3 full.’ The numbers do not add up exactly, and I measured the bottle capacity as about 23 fluid ounces, but never mind.

The stove itself is a solid thing. The three fold-out legs look big and solid – and heavy. They lock in their open position nicely. However, they are really a thin lattice of very light magnesium alloy painted black and with titanium pot supports riveted to them. I did consider trying to lighten the legs, but decided it simply was not worth the effort. There wasn’t enough solid metal to reduce. One criticism I did see is that the amount of space under the stove could be significantly reduced, thereby lowering the pot height, by an improvement in the part of the preheat tube under the stove. The length of the tube between the bottom bend and the jet surely could be reduced a bit. However, it can’t be reduced too far as this would upset the action of the throttle/cleaning wire.

Coleman Fyrestorm Ti Stove REVIEW
Side view of Fyrestorm stove, cooking dinner.

The upper part of the preheat tube (clearly visible in the picture here) gets plenty of heat from the flame. Then it goes down under the stove and a final bend to point upwards in the conventional arrangement. To see this just follow the preheat tube downwards in the picture. The burner is a large diameter unit, but quite light. Under the burner shell itself there is a radiation shield which will protect the ground immediately underneath the stove from the heat. It has a notch in it for the preheat tube.

Unlike the Primus Gravity MF, the Coleman Fyrestorm Ti stove is supplied with a single jet. You don’t get any tools with the stove because you don’t have to change anything when switching between the two fuels. One assumes this means they don’t expect the jet to block either. This seems reasonable as end-to-end operation of the stove control valve is meant to clear the jet.

This is not the lowest stove I have ever seen, but the large radius on the legs and the strength of the legs make it very stable. I am not sure that the height of the stove matters too much anyhow, as long as the result is stable. And the pot supports grip aluminium pots nicely. The whole thing seemed very stable when I was stirring my dinner - see below.

This stove is claimed to have a peak power output of about 4.2 kilowatts with a canister: one of the most powerful I have seen. I was not able to verify this claim. However, I never run my stoves flat out as that is very inefficient. I am not fussed whether it takes 3.5 or 4.5 minutes to bring my dinner to the boil. I prefer to make sure I don’t burn my dinner.

Field Testing – Canister fuel

Coleman Fyrestorm Ti Stove REVIEW
The Fyrestorm cooking dinner with the inverted canister.

Hooking up a canister in the field is very simple. I just remove the protective plastic caps from the connections on the tripod and screw it onto the canister. After I did this the first time it occurred to me to check whether the valve was shut. In the event it was, but if it hadn’t been shut the valve in the connector would have blocked any release of gas. There is much merit in this idea, but I am not going to rely on it every time. Then, having confirmed that the valve is indeed shut, I connect the hose to the tripod. Since the coupling ring for the hose spins freely I do not have to twirl the stove around: I can keep everything flat on the ground. The stove is now ready to light. I gently open the valve on the tripod while holding a butane lighter near the burner, and the stove is running.

I found operation of the stove with the canister upside down on its tripod very straightforward, and the stove runs very smoothly. The operation is quite flexible, ranging from a very low flame suitable for a simmer to a quite aggressive flame for a very fast boil. The air inlets around the jet are quite large enough because the flames remain short (and blue) even at full power. This is very good. Control over the range using the valve at the stove is smooth and convenient, albeit with some hysteresis as mentioned below. The only caution I would mention is that I always start off with the flame on low, to allow the preheat tube to warm up. I don’t want liquid fuel coming out the jet! The preheat tube does warm up fairly quickly, actually getting very hot after a while as shown in the picture below. But I can put the pot on as soon as the stove is lit: I don’t have to wait.

Coleman Fyrestorm Ti Stove REVIEW
Flames and the glowing preheat tube.

A small surprise was that the control valve at the stove does not turn right off: it only varies from simmer to roar. I had to think about this for a moment. I believe Coleman has done this deliberately so you can’t use the stove valve to turn off the flow of fuel: you must use the valve at the canister or pump. This means that the fuel line will drain through the burner flame, rather than venting suddenly later when you disconnect the hose. This is safe. However, it does mean I need to decide about 30 seconds early when I want to turn the stove off. Fortunately, the low setting is very low, suitable for a gentle simmer.

I found that there is considerable hysteresis in the operation of the stove valve. That is, after turning the valve right down, I have to rotate the valve a considerable distance in the other direction to get any increase in power. This is normal, and is due to the movement of the wire inside the preheat tube. While this may be slightly irritating, the benefit is that the wire does automatically clean the jet at the same time.

In the standard configuration I normally bring two cups of water (500 mL) to the boil from ‘room temperature’ in somewhere between four minutes and four and a half minutes. Sure, I can make it boil water considerably faster, but I choose to be economical with the fuel I carry, and that’s fast enough for two cups of coffee. When cooking dinner I usually have the stove turned down to a quite slow rate as well. The stew shown above was being cooked on Whipcrack Hill at about 1,000 metres (3,000 feet), in winter time. The pot lid is sitting on the canister for the picture; normally it would be on the pot.

I often run my stove for short periods while cooking dinner, with gaps in between. Turning this stove off is simple and obvious – you just turn the valve at the tank off. However, there is that 30 second delay before the flame goes out, which makes managing it more complex than a simple ‘upright’ canister stove. Turning it back on is equally simple: turn on and light. You simply cannot do this short-burst operation with ‘liquid’ fuel stoves as they always need priming and warm-up, at a huge cost in wasted fuel. There is no priming with butane/propane mix: the Coleman Fyrestorm Ti is a very nice stove in this configuration.

Field Testing – White Gas

The stove burns Coleman Fuel, white gas and variants using a standard Coleman fuel tank and the slightly modified Coleman pump. I have exchanged the new tank for an old one from a Coleman Peak Apex without any problems. The pump is quite solid and works very easily – much more easily than some plastic pumps which seem to drag at the shaft. The two valves at the pump allow you to pump up the pressure without the stove connected.

As usual, you only fill the tank two thirds full, so there is some air space to pressurize. That means you put about 16 fluid ounces of fuel in the bottle. There is a line on the outside marking this. The Coleman instructions have a really neat way of judging whether you have over-filled the tank. If your finger, stuck down through the opening, can touch the fuel, the tank is too full. Very simple! Coleman says you should give the pump 40 strokes before lighting the stove, and then, when it has warmed up, give it another 40 strokes. This is quite a high pressure. I suspect it might be difficult to over-pump as you have to use your thumb to seal a hole at the end of the pump to make it work.

Deliberately priming the stove with alcohol is not that easy. It would be nice to be able to put a little alcohol on the radiation shield under the preheat tube, light it, and have the stove take off. But there is a long length of preheat tube below the stove, after the preheat zone, and a large solid jet arrangement. I found that these have to be at least a bit warm for the stove to work properly – otherwise the fuel will not vaporize at the jet well enough in cold weather. I am left to wonder whether the metal-work could be reduced in size a bit. I did find that the common ‘fireball’ priming technique is quite effective in getting the jet region hot enough in cold conditions. (This involves letting some fuel come out of the jet and dribble below the stove.) Fortunately, this does not seem to have affected the nice black paint on the stove legs, but it isn’t the sort of thing you do inside a tent or on a flammable surface.

I found that it is possible to light the stove without the fireball method if the tank is pumped to a high pressure and the valve opened cautiously and the weather is not too cold. I can’t say it always worked perfectly, and there were fairly high flames on many occasions, but it is possible. I think this is how Coleman recommends lighting the stove.

Once the stove was warmed up and burning, it seemed to run reasonably well. Sometimes there were some flickers of orange at the flame tips, which I do not like as they can spell trouble with carbon monoxide (more on this in a forthcoming article), but otherwise the flames were fairly short and blue, as with butane/propane fuel. If the flames weren’t short and blue I could usually correct that by giving the tank another 20 – 40 strokes of the pump. Yes, this stove needs a very high tank pressure.

Like the connection on the Primus Gravity MF stove, the connection on the fuel line on the Fyrestorm can swivel around. One would like to think that this could be used to flip the tank and clear the fuel line before shutting the stove down, but this was not possible. Understanding why turned out to be a little complex.

Coleman Fyrestorm Ti Stove REVIEW
The fuel delivery tubes inside the tank - Coleman diagram.

Fuel is picked up from the bottom of the tank at the aluminium elbow which sits down there, and exits via tube #2. A length of tube #3 projects up from this to the top of the tank. Initially I thought that tube #3 was just to keep the elbow at the bottom of the tank, but it turned out that the elbow contains a complex little valve which can allow fuel to be collected either at the elbow or at the tip of tube #3. Why this is included I do not know, but anyhow it prevents me from clearing the line by tipping the tank upside down. Fuel just keeps flowing.

What was more interesting was that sometimes the stove made a chuff-chuff noise and the flames flickered in sympathy. (In Australia stoves used to be known as ‘choofers’ because some of them did this.) Listening closely to the tank, I could hear the source of this flickering: the little valve in the elbow was clicking away.

Under some conditions I could also hear a spluttering noise from the stove. I am fairly sure this was being made as the fuel hit the very hot part of the line and flash-boiled. It did not seem to present a hazard.

While the stove does run satisfactorily with white gas, I have to say that running it with a canister is so much simpler and cleaner there is just no comparison in my mind. It is also more efficient and lighter.

Field Testing - Kerosene

This stove is not specified for use with kerosene. I did try it, but the stove simply could not get enough air to mix with the fuel, and very long orange flame resulted most of the time. This is not a kerosene stove.

Safety Warnings

The manual for this stove presents some fascinating contradictions. At the front of the manual there are no less than eighteen text blocks with headings like “Danger” and “Warning”. This is surely a massive overkill, to the point of being seriously counter-productive. No-one is going to read through all those repeated warnings. In particular, there are several warnings to never use the stove “in an enclosed space such as a camper, tent, car or home.” One might think this was a bit extreme, considering what use the stove is meant for. However, on the fuel tank in huge lettering the following is found: “This camp stove consumes air. To ensure its safe and proper operation, provide a fresh air opening of at least 10 square inches.” Simple, direct, and easy to follow.

I will strongly endorse the recommendation about 10 square inches of ventilation, and I will also recommend that you do not try to prime this stove inside a tent.

What’s Unique

  • The tripod for holding a standard screw-thread canister inverted for winter use – brilliant!
  • The custom hose connector with built-in shut-off valve – safe!
  • The very solid but very light magnesium alloy stove and tripod legs
  • The fire-proof paint on the legs of the stove

Recommendations for Improvement

  • Reduce the amount of metal between the preheat zone and the jet
  • Lower the stove by reducing the pipe length near the jet
  • Allow the fuel line to be cleared by inverting the tank
  • Further reduce the weight – of course

Citation

"Coleman Fyrestorm Ti Stove REVIEW," by Roger Caffin. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/coleman_fyrestorm_ti_stove_review.html, 2006-08-16 03:00:00-06.

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Coleman Fyrestorm Ti Stove REVIEW
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Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Fyrestorm on 03/19/2011 20:10:00 MDT Print View

Roger! Thank you so much. That's just the information I was looking for.

Now, if I'm understanding things correctly, the mixture used would be quite relevant. For example, if I have a gas blend of 65% butane and 35% propane (Powermax), it should work at a lower temperature than a blend of 80% butane and 20% propane (Glowmaster), yes?

So, is -10F a good safe bet no matter the blend? Or does the -10F figure assume I'm using one of the better brands with say 80% isobutane and 20% propane?

HJ

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Fyrestorm on 03/20/2011 03:08:49 MDT Print View

Hi Jim

You should read the last URL I gave. It covers the techie details of the gas mixtures.

The more propane, the lower the temperature. I think I was quoting for a 70/30 mix, which is usually available. You can't go much better because the canisters are not rated for more propane-rich mixes.

Cheers

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Fyrestorm on 03/20/2011 05:52:50 MDT Print View

Hi, Roger,

Thanks. I did read the last article, with great interest. It talks mainly about upright canister stoves. I was wondering about remote canister stoves in liquid feed mode. Can I develop any reasonable numbers from the charts for a given mix for remote canisters?

HJ

P.S. By the way, 70/30 mix is not available in the US, at least I've never seen it or heard anyone discuss it. The best mix in a standard threaded canister is MSR at 80/20 that I know of. Jetboil is a bit cagey about their figures, but they may also be 80/20. Snow Peak follows fairly closely at 85/15 which I think wouldn't amount to a whole lot of difference in practical terms.

P.P.S. To clarify, I'm speaking of isobutane/propane mixes. 70/30 isobutane/propane mix is not available in the US that I'm aware of.

Edited by hikin_jim on 03/20/2011 11:10:51 MDT.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Fyrestorm on 03/20/2011 07:25:58 MDT Print View

Jim,

Check out this link to 70/30 mix at WalMart.

Party On,

Newton

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: Fyrestorm on 03/20/2011 11:06:34 MDT Print View

Ah, yes, but that's 70/30 ordinary butane/propane. What I was talking about was 70/30 isobutane/propane. Huge difference. Sorry I wasn't clear.

HJ

Edited by hikin_jim on 03/20/2011 11:23:55 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Fyrestorm on 03/20/2011 16:32:55 MDT Print View

Hi Jim

The MSR IsoPro is 80/20 isobutane. I am not sure what is available in the USA better than that. It sometimes seems the availability of gas blends varies by country.

For that matter, it also seems to vary by year as well!

Cheers

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Fyrestorm on 03/20/2011 22:44:24 MDT Print View

Looking at Fig 4 from The Effect of Cold on Gas Canisters, when the canisters are at 100% full, 80/20 isobutane/propane (blue line) is at about the same height (temperature) on the graph as a 70/30 n-butane/propane mix (pink line).

In inverted canister use the mixture of gases should remain relatively constant. It would seem that a 70/30 n-butane/propane mix would work just as well as an 80/20 isobutane/propane when used with the canister inverted.

And, if I'm understanding things correctly, a 15/85 propane/n-butane mix would only be good to at the lowest -15C/+5F, yes?



HJ

Edited by hikin_jim on 03/20/2011 23:16:48 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Fyrestorm on 03/21/2011 03:22:18 MDT Print View

Hi Jim

> a 70/30 n-butane/propane mix would work just as well as an 80/20 isobutane/propane when
> used with the canister inverted.
Only while the canister is full if upright. A huge difference develops once you start to use fuel out of an upright canister.

However, for an inverted canister as you asked, you do use the 100% figure right to the end. Well, better use the 90% one, as one sometimes starts the stove with the canister upright.

Why do we have these mixtures - or why can't we have better (more propane-rich) ones? Because there is a limit to the pressure rating of the canister, and that limits the ratio of gases possible. The large diameter of the canister is a problem.

> a 15/85 propane/n-butane mix would only be good to at the lowest -15C/+5F, yes?
Correct!

Cheers

Edited by rcaffin on 03/21/2011 03:22:47 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Fyrestorm on 03/21/2011 09:37:29 MDT Print View

Excellent. Thank you for bearing with me, Roger. Slow learner, but the light bulb does eventually come on.

HJ