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MSR Simmerlite vs. Coleman Xtreme
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
MSR Simmerlite vs. Coleman Xtreme on 02/08/2005 21:06:18 MST Print View

This forum thread was created to focus on the discussion of the comparison of these two stoves, as presented in the article (M) Liquid Fuel Stoves Head to Head: MSR SimmerLite vs. Coleman Xtreme by Roger Caffin.

Edited by ryan on 02/08/2005 21:06:38 MST.

Douglas Frick
(Otter) - MLife

Locale: Wyoming
Coleman Powermax fuel on 02/09/2005 00:25:01 MST Print View

Thank you for an excellent article.

Can a standard butane/propane gas canister be screwed onto and power the Xtreme stove if Coleman Powermax fuel canisters are not available? If so and if you have done so, did you notice any obvious change in performance?

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Cartridge Fittings on 02/09/2005 02:12:26 MST Print View

"Can a standard butane/propane gas canister be screwed onto and power the Xtreme stove if Coleman Powermax fuel canisters are not available?"
In short, no.
There are three main fittings for resealable gas cartridges: the screw thread invented by Epigas of UK, the Twist/click invented by Campingaz of France, and the Coleman Powermax twist/click. They do look very similar, but none of them are interchangeable.
There will be slight differences in performance, but these differences will be due to differences in the design of the burners and the different mixes of gases in the cartridges. The fitting itself has no significance.

Bill Valentine
(valentine) - F
Coleman Xtreme fuel availability on 02/09/2005 10:30:14 MST Print View

I have had my Xtreme for four years and find it the easiest to light and best simmering stove I have ever had (and I have had many). The only drawbacks to these stoves that I see is the availability of Powermax canisters in smaller towns and the prohibition against shipping these canisters. When planning my 30 day hike of the PCT last year, I wound up having to carry three canisters for the whole trip since I was unable to ship them in my resupplys and wasn't sure of availability in the resupply towns.
Otherwise, I can't recommend this stove highly enough.
Bill Valentine

Inaki Diaz de Etura
(inaki) - MLife

Locale: Iberia highlands
Xtreme weight, Cartridge fitting and fuel blends on 02/10/2005 13:54:23 MST Print View

I wonder about the reason behind the heavy weight of this Coleman stove
compared to a traditional canister stove. I know the legs are a main
factor and I can think of a few others (having never seen one in person)
but I guess there must be something more as the difference is huge. I
ask because I find this somewhat defeats one of the advantages of the
canister stove over the white gas one and I guess there must be a good
reason... but it might as well be that the Coleman stove is over
engineered to make it look more "solid" given its competition in
performance and capabilities are heavy white gas stoves (and not the
lightweight canister ones).

Apart from the valve connection to the canister being different, is
there any reason why a traditional canister stove couldn't use the
Xtreme canister? is the actual fuel any different? and, on the other
way around, any reason other than the valve connection why a Xtreme stove couldn't use a regular butane/propane canister? I think you're answering just this in your previous message but it's still not clear to me.

Finally, I find and odd strategy (unless there's technical reasons for it) the Coleman Xtreme stove valve connection is proprietary and different from any other given one of its main drawbacks seems to be fuel availability? Wouldn't
had it been more reasonable to make that connection through a regular
Lindal valve?

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Great article on 02/10/2005 14:03:16 MST Print View

Very nice work and writeup, Roger. I love the slow-burn comparision--first time I've seen that ever!

I'd like to add a couple of points, since I also have both stoves:

* The Powermax cartridges feed liquid fuel to the burner. (Most cartridges deliver vaporised gas.) This is why the burner has a generator tube and why stove works well in any temperature and retains the same fuel mixture from start to finish (no fractionating occurs). The clanging one hears in the Max cartridges is the feed tube.

* In my experience, the quality of Simmerlight's simmer depends a lot on how much pump pressure I use. In general, less is better. I've used it with the old and new style pumps, and the new pump seems to aid simmering as well.

It seems to be harder to find the Max cartridges these days (I'm in California). I hope Coleman continues to support the system.

Bill Valentine
(valentine) - F
re: Coleman's commitment on 02/10/2005 14:20:57 MST Print View

Maybe our friends at BacpackingLight can find out from Coleman what it's commitment is to supplying the Xtreme fuel?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Terminology confusion on 02/15/2005 21:33:52 MST Print View

As a new person to these sorts of stoves, I find the terminology being used to describe them very confusing. The title calls the coleman extreme stove a liquid fuel stove, and Roger says he uses it for his winter trips. At the end of the article Roger says he prefers the gas stove...well both of them are gas stoves. In another thread Roger says he has given up on liquid fuel stoves. The article says he prefers this liquid fuel stove. And I thought I even saw it called a canister stove. What is the dealio?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Stove Terminology on 02/15/2005 22:30:45 MST Print View

Great question -

Roger's Australian and there are terminology differences among nationalities. Gas to one is not gas to another!

Roger discusses terminology specifically in the article that appeared in the print mag:

Got Gas? Stove Theory and How They Work

Edited by ryan on 02/15/2005 22:31:13 MST.

Bill Valentine
(valentine) - F
extreme fuel on 02/16/2005 10:20:32 MST Print View

So, Ryan, any chance BPL can find out from Coleman what their future plans are for the Extreme stove and especially the fuel availability? It really is a major resupply problem in smaller towns, especially with the post office's ban on shipping fuel.
Speaking of which, has anyone found a way around shipping fuel ahead to trailheads? Closest I have come is having REI ship fuel to designated address, but there it has to be signed for. I talked with several thruhikers last summer who hid there fuel shipments from the PO.

Richard Sullivan
(richard.s) - MLife

Locale: Supernatural BC
MSR WindPro on 02/17/2005 16:47:05 MST Print View

Hi Roger, have you tried the canister version of the Simmerlite which is called the WindPro? If so how would you rate it in comparison to the Xtreme?

Jason Livingston
Simmerlite vs. Xtreme on 04/30/2005 18:30:47 MDT Print View

I enjoyed the article. However, I think a better comparison would have been between the MSR WindPro and the Coleman Xtreme. There are people, like you, who have a bias (that was seen in this review from the start) towards using a cartridge stove, and those who would rather use white gas/multi-fuel stoves because of major advantages and disadvantages. Because of this, many folks, like me, would like to see the indepth analysis that is done so well on this website comparing two stoves of the same family rather than stoves that are as different as the two reviewed here. Albiet the Xtreme is a closer cousin to the white gas/multi-fuel family than other canister stoves, it is still a cansiter stove. I would have found more value in this comparison if it had been between the WindPro than the Simmerlite that would have eliminated, somewhat, your "gas" stove bias.

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Shipping butane/propane on 11/09/2005 12:08:49 MST Print View

You can ship butane, isobutane and propane via USPS (not sure about fedex or ups) as long as its less than 1L. Which means you can mail one of those big green 32oz Coleman propane containers (used for car camping lanterns, stoves, etc.). You don't need speical paperwork, stickers, etc. You just have to declare the contents when you drop off the package and the post master will mark it "Sufface Mail Only".

See my write-up on Canister access along the AT here.

Edited by tlbj6142 on 11/10/2005 08:38:55 MST.

Bill Valentine
(valentine) - F
Coleman PowerMax fuel on 11/09/2005 12:50:58 MST Print View

Thanks, Tony. Only, I am a bit confused. The PowerMax container I prefer is 300g or 10.6 oz. Are you saying this would be accepted for shipping by the PO? (I still don't have the grams to liter conversion down.Coleman's website doesn't even list fuel for on-line ordering anymore. So we are really at the mercy of the resupply sites we use.
The smaller cannisters mean carrying more bulk over longer distances,a bit of a pain.

paul johnson
(pj) - F

Locale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
REI and Fuel shipments on 11/09/2005 18:53:13 MST Print View will sell and ship both liquid fuel and canisters via ground. While this doesn't help with the issue of resupply raised in some of the Posts in this Thread. It does further support Tony's very informative post that some fuel shipments are possible.

Tony Burnett
(tlbj6142) - F

Locale: OH--IO
Fuel shipments on 11/10/2005 08:38:14 MST Print View

I should edit my above post, because those big green propane canisters are really 32oz, not 16oz. So, yes you should be able to USPS the 300g Powermax canisters. Just be prepared to mention Pub52 when you arrive at the PO. As mentioned in my FAQ, most PM "just say no".

I'll edit the message now to reflect the 16-32 edit.

Edited by tlbj6142 on 11/10/2005 08:41:00 MST.

David Bonn
(david_bonn) - F

Locale: North Cascades
Re: Fuel shipments on 11/10/2005 08:46:15 MST Print View

I've shipped approved canisters via USPS quite a few times. Like other posters have said, most post offices automatically say no. So you need to be prepared to recite chapter and verse to them.

FedEx ground will also ship canister fuel.

In both cases, common courtesy and common sense require that you tell the people who are taking your package that approved canisters are in the package. After you win the argument they reward you by putting a no-smoking sticker on your package.

Re: Simmerlite vs. Xtreme on 11/20/2005 15:26:17 MST Print View

I'll second Jason's comment that it is really the MSR WindPro that should be compared to the Coleman Xtreme. The WindPro can be operated with the canister inverted, delivering liquid "butane" to the preheat loop, just like the Xtreme. That addresses the issues of cold weather performance and inability to use a windscreen. Every manufacturer makes a remote canister butane stove that can be operated with the canister inverted--these are what should be under consideration for winter use. And as Paul J says, why are we looking at actual boiling? That's wasteful and unnecessary. The bare WindPro weighs 7 oz.

Bill Fornshell
(bfornshell) - MLife

Locale: Southern Texas
Modified Coleman Xtreme Stove on 11/20/2005 15:38:26 MST Print View

I agree with the comments about the Wind-Pro. I have the much older big brother a 12 to 15 year old MSR Rapid Fire remote canister stove that I really like. I get around the cold problem with a canister cozy and a heat pack.

That said the Coleman Xtreme will weigh in about the same as the Wind-Pro when I am finished with it and you can buy the Xtreme for $50 at several places.

I also think the Wind-Pro has or can be adapted to the PowerMax canister.

Edited by bfornshell on 11/20/2005 15:39:42 MST.

Michael Martin
(MikeMartin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Simmerlite + Powermax on 11/20/2005 16:58:38 MST Print View

Bill writes:

>> I also think the Wind-Pro has or can be adapted to the PowerMax canister.

Bill, any hints on how to do this? I've found the Powermax is the lightest weight fuel system available. Combining it with a windpro is a cool idea.

I Googled around and discovered this, but it weighs 75g!

Edited by MikeMartin on 11/20/2005 19:09:02 MST.