Lightweight Stove
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john braun
(Hitman) - F

Locale: West Florida
Lightweight Stove on 01/07/2009 19:25:45 MST Print View

Do I get the pocket rocket which burns butane?

Or the Lite Max which burns propane?

Is it a matter of which gas is lighter?

Supposedly, the Lite Max simmers a little better and has 15 minutes more "burn time" (whatever that means)

cameron eibl
(cjeibl) - F

Locale: San Diego
Re: Lightweight Stove on 01/07/2009 19:55:26 MST Print View

They both use the same canisters which is usually a butane and propane mixture. So there is no difference in the fuel that can be burned. I have not used the Lite Max but I dislike the pocket rocket's pot supports because I find they move too much. If you have not already I would encourage you to read the reader reviews and search the forum for other peoples experiences with the stoves.

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: Lightweight Stove on 01/07/2009 20:52:34 MST Print View

Stove choice depends heavily on application and personal preference. There are some white gas and canister stoves which are great cookers (have a good range of adjustment for simmering), but weigh quite a lot. Similarly, there are some canister stoves that are fast boilers, but weigh even more. The lightest canister stoves tend to be slower, less fuel efficient, and less wind resistant for boiling water, but the difference in weight of fuel carried due to this is rarely noticeable.

Alcohol stoves are the lightest, but since the fuel doesn't burn very hot, a lot of alcohol must be carried for longer trips, which can outweigh (literally) the weight saved over canister and white gas stoves. Alcohol stoves are also the least wind resistant and slowest to boil. However, for shorter trips (4 days or less), they are indeed the lightest option. For overnighters, there's no beating them on weight.

For trips with more than 5 days in between re-supply, I'd go with a white gas stove or canister stove, as they are lighter than alcohol when carrying fuel for this much time. Additionally, they perform better in cold, wind, and in general. However, keep in mind that even on longer trips, if your re-supply period will be less than 5 days or so, alcohol stoves make a lot of sense: you can buy more stove fuel at just about any gas station, convenience store or hardware store. Although the more expensive white gas stoves let you use gasoline and kerosene, alcohol stoves still have the advantage of having no parts to break (and even if one does break, you can improvise a new one out of some garbage using your pocket knife). By contrast, I've had a white gas stove break on me more than once. Something like that could surely complicate a long distance hike.

I've used alcohol stoves seriously for backpacking in the past two years and have only missed canister stoves in colder weather, when they are very slow to boil. For this problem, I recently picked up a Vargo JetTi because it's supposedly the lightest canister stove at 2.7 ounces (2.9 on my scale), and I like the way the potholder packs down; however I just got it today and haven't gotten a chance to use it yet, so I'll withhold my recommendation.

Edited by artsandt on 01/07/2009 20:58:37 MST.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Lightweight Stove on 01/08/2009 08:30:11 MST Print View

John-
Yup, they burn the same fuel. The canisters from the two companies both use a isobutane/propane blend--although Snowpeak's uses about 5% less propane.

I prefer the Lite Max because the pot supports are much more stable (IMHO), it's slightly more compact, an ounce or so lighter.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Lightweight Stove on 01/08/2009 21:16:30 MST Print View

John,
As long as you're in evaluation mode for canister stoves, you ought to add the Primus Micron to your list of candidates. The standard model weighs 3.5 oz. and the titanium model weighs 2.75 oz. The Micron is one of the most fuel efficient stoves on the market. Lots of other good options, though. You shouldn't have any trouble finding something suitable. Good luck!

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
Re: Lightweight Stove on 01/09/2009 01:07:57 MST Print View

I agree that the Primus Micron is worth a look, it's been a really good stove. Unfortunately, Primus has replaced the standard (non-titanium) model with the Primus Express.

The Express seems to have the same burner as the Micron but the pot supports have changed so the stove is not as compact as it once was (it won't fit in my ti pot the way my Micron does). The standard Micron has a built in igniter that is fool-proof and the Express comes with or without the igniter.

The titanium Micron does not have the built in igniter and I'm not sure why anybody would buy it as it's only a quarter of an ounce lighter than the Express but costs about twice as much.

I did manage to pickup the standard Micron for my son for Christmas but it was old stock, so it might be hard to find now.

Edited by skopeo on 01/09/2009 01:11:29 MST.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: Lightweight Stove on 01/09/2009 07:22:37 MST Print View

Another vote to check out the Micron. I'm extremely happy with this as my canister stove.

Worth a glance at the Trail Designs Caldera alcohol stoves too- I've found that the Caldera Keg system is so efficient and easy that I typically leave my canister stoves at home.

If canister is what you're looking for though- you'll be very happy with the Micron!

Best, Doug

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Lightweight Stove on 01/09/2009 08:31:00 MST Print View

Mike - you said
"The standard Micron has a built in igniter that is fool-proof and the Express comes with or without the igniter."

At what elevations are you operating this stove?

Somewhere above 8000' (2438 meters) most piezoelectric starters don't put out enough volts to jump the spark gap.

If you (or anyone else) has a piezo that works consistently above 9000' I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks.

Edited by greg23 on 01/09/2009 08:31:57 MST.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Lightweight stove on 01/09/2009 08:45:19 MST Print View

I have used my Snowpeak canister stove several times over 8,000ft it has a piezo igniter. It is a little heavy at 3.7oz but I am sure I have used it at even higher elevation. I did have to give a few extra clicks to get to stove to ignite. A Snowpeak windscreen really helped the process along.

Daniel Fosse
(magillagorilla) - F

Locale: Southwest Ohio
Stove Choices on 01/09/2009 10:13:58 MST Print View

I love the stove/cookware discussions. There are many variables and choices. Cooking could be considered a luxury. There are plenty of ways to eat without cooking but most people, like myself, enjoy a hot meal/beverage. I still don’t have the “perfect kitchen”. I think the stove choice should take in to consideration the following:

Are you actually cooking or just boiling water?
What is the temperature/altitude/how windy?
How long before resupply?
How much patients do you have to fiddle with a stove?

For me it stacks up like this:

Lightest********
Stick your pot in the campfire

Light*******
Wood stoves: heavier stove but no fuel to carry. I can’t speak of the fiddle factor or ease of cooking because I’ve never used one.

Alcohol Stove: very light, especially if it is a Supercat style. Potential high fiddle factor, low flame velocity (finicky flame), high boil time. Liquid fuel must be handled with care. Fuel is very easy to find. Short burn time. Takes a lot of patients to cook –vs- just boil on the stove, frequent refueling required.

Esbit: very light, you could get away with a piece of foil and a few tent stakes for a stove. Lower fiddle factor. Fuel is pre-metered and will burn in damp, or cold conditions. Fuel cannot be found as easily. Low flame velocity and high boil times. Forget about cooking on one.

Not as light******
Propane/butane: Heavier stove canister combo. Almost no fiddle factor. High flame velocity. Low boil time. More impervious to cold temperatures and wind. Can be used to cook as burn time is only limited by the amount of fuel in the canister. Flame level adjustment can be finicky. Fuel can be more difficult to find than alcohol.

White Gas: I used this for years. Some can burn gasoline which you can get anywhere. They are usually very heavy stoves. If this fuel leaks it will certainly ruin gear and could start a dangerous fire. (I caught my arm on fire with a white gas stove once. When I pressurized the canister and turned the valve to light, unbeknown to me, the stove sprayed a good amount of fuel on my left arm. When I lit the stove my arm lit as well. No injury was sustained, just a burnt shirt and a good story.). From my experience, the white gas and pro/butane stoves have similar performance.

Impractical*******
Solar stove


I don’t camp when it is below 30* and I don’t cook so it’s a tossup between Esbit and alcohol. Lately I am favoring Esbit because it is very light and has a low fiddle factor. I have a Ti wing stove. Plop a tab on, light, put pot on top, done.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Lightweight Stove on 01/09/2009 12:28:28 MST Print View

My Primus Micron with piezo lighter works just fine at 10,500 feet. It is an older model--I bought it on closeout at REI Outlet three years ago. I'm extremely satisfied with it!

Snow Peak makes an excellent stove, too; I almost got one but then found the Primus Micron on sale. I decided against the Pocket Rocket after looking at it in the store because the pot supports seemed too fragile. The Pocket Rocket has lots of satisfied users, though. At that time those were the lightest models, but there are quite a few equally light stoves that have shown up since.

By the way, even though manufacturers insist that you use their own brand of fuel, all stoves and fuel canisters with Lindahl valves are uniform (I understand that we can thank the EU for that). I've used my Primus stove with half a dozen brands of fuel canister, mostly depending on the size/price at the moment. If there was any difference in performance, I couldn't detect it!

Edited by hikinggranny on 01/09/2009 12:32:11 MST.

Daniel Fosse
(magillagorilla) - F

Locale: Southwest Ohio
Fuel on 01/09/2009 13:40:56 MST Print View

Good point. You can get fuel canisters at Wallmart where I live. That is a nice factor.

I remember when you could get Esbit anywhere that had a sporting goods section but I havent seen fuel tabs on a store shelf in a long time.

john braun
(Hitman) - F

Locale: West Florida
The right stove on 01/09/2009 22:29:54 MST Print View

Good deal.

I was considering the alcohol stove as I used to use one made from a coffee can.

I'm hiking for a week, so from what I gather, the fuel may be lighter with something like the lite max?

The other considertion is I'd rather purchase an alcohol stove and the anti gravity gear site was kind of confusing as to what I needed to get.

Edited by Hitman on 01/10/2009 08:49:38 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Lightweight Stove on 01/10/2009 02:28:28 MST Print View

> Somewhere above 8000' (2438 meters) most piezoelectric starters don't put out enough volts to jump the spark gap.

Just decrease the gap slightly.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Lightweight Stove on 01/10/2009 02:36:33 MST Print View

The little Snow Peak stoves are my Gold Standard. Their burner head is the best I have seen.

The Pocket Rocket has very weak pot supports. A silly design.

As Mary said, by and large any screw-thread stove will mate with any screw-thread canister. The stove manufacturers do not make their own canisters anyhow.

Cheers