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Best stove under $75
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Michael Bailey
(mbailey729) - F

Locale: Southeast
Best stove under $75 on 03/15/2012 08:27:47 MDT Print View

Looking for a new stove and don't want to spend a lot of money. I don't really care what kind of fuel it uses. Any recommendations are greatly appreciated.

Diana Nevins
(artemis) - MLife

Locale: Great Plains
Can't beat free! on 03/15/2012 08:40:31 MDT Print View

If you genuinely don't care what fuel it uses, and if you own some aluminum foil and a paper hole punch, you can't beat the cost of a Fancy Feast alcohol stove. Scrounge a cat food can or a tuna fish can out of the recycling bin, spend a few minutes punching holes in the can and fashioning a windscreen from a strip of aluminum foil, and there's your new stove. It doesn't get any simpler or cheaper than that!

Diana Nevins
(artemis) - MLife

Locale: Great Plains
Oh, and another suggestion on 03/15/2012 08:43:56 MDT Print View

You might also want to take a look at the Caldera cone systems (the Tri-Ti and the Sidewinder, in particular). They're slightly over your budget at $80, and you may need to replace your current pot if it's not one that works with the system, but it can burn alcohol, Esbit tablets, or wood. Very versatile!

Michael Bailey
(mbailey729) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Oh, and another suggestion on 03/15/2012 09:10:22 MDT Print View

Thanks for the suggestions Diana.

Philip Delvoie
(PhilipD) - MLife

Locale: Ontario, Canada
Fancy Feast on 03/15/2012 09:29:51 MDT Print View

Another vote for the fancy feast stove.

Here is a great how-to video that Skurka had put together:

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Best stove under $75 on 03/15/2012 10:45:21 MDT Print View

Really need to know how you cook and how you hike.

I normally use a Caldera Cone set-up with Esbit first and alcohol second. But this is really just for boiling. Also the Cone and pot (if using a beer keg) are easily subjected to damage. But Trail Designs will have a system that fits your budge.

For best all around stove I would recommend a Snow Peak manual GigaPower ~ $40, a Monatauk Gnat ~ $60, or a Snow Peak LitMax ~ $60. Keep in mind that the LiteMax has aluminum threads for the canister and can be easily damaged if you are not careful. The Gnat is the lightest. These stoves do not do well in wind or cold weather under freezing.

For cold weather, then you are probably going to need to exceed your budget. The MSR WindPro II can use an inverted canister and comes with a windscreen. Stove alone almost weighs 7 oz. Cost is ~ $99. You could also go with a liquid gas stove such as a MSR Whisperlite or Dragonfly, both above your budget.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: cheap stove on 03/15/2012 11:09:15 MDT Print View

Cat food can for warm weather solo cooking. 35 cents

Primus Express Spider for all-season and bigger groups. 50 bucks.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Best stove under $75 on 03/15/2012 11:20:10 MDT Print View


Do you drink beer, eat soup and own a paper punch?

Budweiser Aluminum Beer Bottle Stove

Uses Yellow Heet or Everclear for fuel.

Soup can lid underneath the stove is the priming pan. Use the paper punch to make the holes in the stove. Cut the bottle to the desired length with a hacksaw and file or sandpaper edges smooth.

After the jet holes blossom the stove serves as its own pot stand.

Party On,


Edited by Newton on 03/15/2012 11:21:59 MDT.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
stoves on 03/15/2012 11:28:21 MDT Print View

Depending on Fuel or season, I recommend the following:

Alcohol: Cat Can stove

Esbit: Caldera Cone (preferably with the Heineken Keg can, if still available, or the
Fosters Pot)

Gas Canister: 3-season use: Monatauk Gnat; 4-season use: Primus Express Spider, or
Jetboil Sol (either Ti or Aluminum)

White Gas: I'm not going to Everest, so this is useless to me.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
go used on 03/15/2012 11:30:02 MDT Print View

I bought a new MSR Dragonfly the other day on eBay, but the pump was damaged, but I had a pump that will work with it. A stovie buddy got a used once once with a good pump and goodies for the same price a few days later. I also got a SP Giga Power GS100 for $25, used lightly which may be more in line with what us bpers may use more often.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Best stove under $75 on 03/15/2012 11:54:31 MDT Print View

Hi, Michael,

I'm with Nick that it really matters what you want to do with a stove.

There are some good recommendations here that I've seen so far.

The cat food can stove is a good one if you just want to check out alcohol stoves without a lot of investment or commitment. Alcohol stoves are typically very light, but they're slow and don't usually have good flame control (but there are exceptions).

The Snow Peak GigaPower that Nick recommended above is a really nice canister gas stove. It's my pick for a "starter" stove. The LiteMax that Nick recommended is also great but a little more money. You can buy the Kovea Supalite (sometimes called the Camp 56) which is basically the same stove with a different label for a lot less. Kovea is a relatively unknown brand in the US but if you buy Kovea, you can often get a cheap deal on a good stove.

If you're looking for a winter stove, those are generally more.

A good wood burner is also more, but you do same weight and dollars since you just scavenge fuel off the forest floor.

ESBIT type stoves are super light, but the fuel's a little pricey, and there's no flame control.

Adventures In Stoving

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: re: cheap stove on 03/15/2012 12:01:42 MDT Print View

David Chenault wrote: Primus Express Spider for all-season and bigger groups. 50 bucks.
Good pick. As David says, the Primus Express Spider has all season capabilities, probably down to 0F/-18C if you run with the canister upside down and use a 80/20 isobutane-propane mix.

Adventures In Stoving

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Best stove under $75 on 03/15/2012 12:02:25 MDT Print View

If your hikes are mostly under a week and your 'cooking' is limited to boiling water to rehydrate oatmeal and dinners... then I heartily second Diane's alcohol stove recommendation! Alcohol stoves are the lightest, most compact stoves around. They work! And they are dirt cheap.

Gigapower is a good stove. I've got one. But I find myself using my home made alky stove much more often.

Michael Bailey
(mbailey729) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Best stove under $75 on 03/15/2012 12:58:39 MDT Print View

Just for clarification, most of my hikes are 2-4 nights and rarely occur below freezing (I do live in Georgia after all). I appreciate all the responses.
Id like to purchase a stove, maybe the gigapower, and also make an alcohol stove. From the way it sounds, that shouldn't be too hard. Thanks again

Keith Bassett

Locale: Pacific NW on 03/15/2012 13:02:44 MDT Print View

For your alcohol stove reading,

They have lots of different designs to choose from. The fancy feast is hard to beat, but the pressurized stoves made from pop cans are really fun to build. :)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: Best stove under $75 on 03/15/2012 13:24:38 MDT Print View


I'd encourage you to make your own, as your type of hikes is PERFECT for alky stoves!

But if you want to buy a Gigapower, then I urge you to buy in person at a brick/mortar store if there are any within reasonable distance. Why? Take a look at the pic below:

Looks like the stove compacts down nicely. But in reality, when compacted down, the 'closed' position of the adjustment wire valve may not align at all, but jut out anywhere from a few degrees to an annoying 45 degrees! That means you have to leave the valve at some open position in order to have it collapse down properly. And then before you screw the stove onto your fuel canister, you have to remember to FIRST shut the valve completely -- or face an annoying fuel blast when screwing the stove onto the canister!

I looked at probably 6 or 7 Gigapower stoves at REI before finding the one I now have -- where fully closed, the valve folds down nicely aligned with the stove body -- and everything compacting down properly.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Valve settings and handles on 03/15/2012 14:49:07 MDT Print View

Hi Ben

Yes, you are correct that the valve must be left in a slightly open state if you want to fold the handle up. Ever thought that this otherwise fine stove might be like this for a very good reason?

By requiring you to crack the valve open before you store it away, they have protected the valve against jamming and damage. It's a feature, not a fault. (And typical of careful Japanese engineering.)


Randy Nelson
(rlnunix) - F - M

Locale: Rockies
Oh no! on 03/15/2012 14:56:22 MDT Print View

"For your alcohol stove reading,

They have lots of different designs to choose from. The fancy feast is hard to beat, but the pressurized stoves made from pop cans are really fun to build. :)"

There goes any free time he had for the next few weeks. :)

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Valve settings and handles on 03/15/2012 15:12:50 MDT Print View

@ Roger:

Yeah, I've read about this too. But IMO, it's a solution in search of a problem. Yes, maybe somebody cranked the valve so tight as to damage it. But really, how prevalent is this?

I used to own a PocketRocket and a Coleman F1 -- and no problem whatsoever with keeping their valves at "closed" position.

As well, playing with the 6 or 7 stoves at REI, the adjustment valves jut out at all different directions (angles) when turned to the closed position -- including one that just happened to align nicely with the stove body (mine). This tells me they are most unlikely the result of any precise Japanese design / engineering with forethought. More likely, it was an after-the-fact marketing non-explanation issued to the public as to why these things jut out all differently -- and not compacting down nicely as they should.

Edited by ben2world on 03/15/2012 15:22:25 MDT.

Steven Hanlon
(asciibaron) - F

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Gigastove on 03/16/2012 06:42:34 MDT Print View

i have a Gigastove with a piezo and love it. never had any problem folding the handle, mine gets wrapped in a bit of bandana and then placed in my Snowpeak 700mL pot with the fuel canister. i don't use the plastic case that came with it - way too heavy and it doesn't fit in the pot!

the cat stove is a good choice for warm weather when all you need to do is boil water. i'm making a new one today for my overnighter this weekend. 2 ounces of fuel and 0.4 oz for the stove and i will have hot water for dinner and coffee the following morning :)