Coleman Apex I stove

5:57 p.m. on September 22, 2006 (EDT)
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I just bought a used Coleman Apex I (not the newer II) stove. I don't see any reviews on this particular stove, but do see a few on the II model. I get the impression that this, and maybe most of these type stoves, are just a small version of the Coleman two burner gas stoves everyone uses for family camping. A couple of quick questions, please:

The II has mixed reviews, and I can only guess the it has some improvements over the I model (although newer isn't always better). Can anyone give me an accurate idea about the I model, and how you have used it?

Does anyone know if the I model uses the same fuel bottle as the II model, or the MSR stoves, or both?

My first stove, and be aware: Hiking Status = complete rookie.

Steve

8:17 p.m. on September 22, 2006 (EDT)
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Steve, here is some info I found on the Apex I-
http://tinyurl.com/lqd7k

Couldn't find much else, but here are some tests of the Apex II that might help.

This is a detailed test of an Apex II
http://tinyurl.com/ngxnp

More reviews of the Apex II
http://tinyurl.com/rzwy9

8:26 p.m. on September 22, 2006 (EDT)
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Arghh! I hate not being able to edit these posts after posting-spotted a grammar error. Anyway, I'm not sure about the bottle-it looks the same as other fuel bottles from the picture. It comes with one, but you can check if it's the same as MSR by testing if the pump fits. They almost all say "only use our bottle" but that's usually not true. I've got three different brands of bottles and they all fit the same MSR pump.

What prompted you to choose this stove? It seems kind of heavy to me.

10:07 p.m. on September 22, 2006 (EDT)
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Tom,

I didn't spot the error, so our vision must be nearly the same.

Why did I pick this stove? Well, for one thing, I got it very cheaply. Another thing was the reviews were almost all great, no matter where I found them. Convenience might have played a little bit of it, as it doesn't require a windscreen, so I'm not going to mess that up. It's supposed to be easy to light, so I'm not going to go through the "learning" mode that I see is necessary with some of the MSR stoves.

The weight is a bit more than those other stoves, and although it isn't a lot more, and I know every ounce on my back counts, I felt for the rookie that I am, and the short length of any upcoming hikes with daypack I would be taking, that I would probably be able to keep things down to a minimum. Output isn't up to what some of the others are either, so I'll need more fuel for the same amount of meals, but my trips aren't going to start out as long trips, perhaps a night or two, so this may not come into play anyway.

Being a rookie, I would like a stove that is easy to use the first few times out. I'll still try and get a Dragonfly when I get the money. Because this one is supposed to adjust to a simmer easily, I just felt it might fit my needs for the first few times.

All in all, I just thought it would be a good idea to try different, less popular gear as well as the mainstay, and the price was right with which to start my tests. If it doesn't work out, I only mess up a hike or two and I won't feel real bad about it. As long as it works before I start out, I feel pretty comfortable with it.

Thanks for the links you provided. Googling pretty much found similar results, mostly to the II model. I hope I find this to be a diamond in the rough, but if not, no big deal. I have to learn somehow.

Steve

11:54 p.m. on September 22, 2006 (EDT)
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Steve, the mistake is where I said "here is some tests." I can't fault your logic at all. And best of all, you now have a stove. One less thing you need to get. I found those links the same way you did. I do a lot of online research, so I'm usually pretty good at finding things.

As for the Dragonfly, I don't know. I've seen it in the store, but that's about it. You've got the right idea though. If the Apex works, great, if not, there's always eBay. I wouldn't worry too much about the output; unless you are boiling water all day long, I doubt it would make much difference.

Just be sure to fire it up a few times at home to make sure all the gaskets and seals are good. You don't want the pump leaking. I had that happen in my kitchen while I was testing up my old XGK and it ain't pretty. I got the fire out before the pump was fried. Yeah, pretty dumb thing to do. Hehehe.

7:04 a.m. on September 23, 2006 (EDT)
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Tom,

EBay is where I purchased this stove. I haven't received it yet, so I have no clue at all about the stove itself, the condition, or anything else. I just trust that the seller described it accurately.

I see, in the forums, some threads where it seems people have one of everything ever made. I guess this is a natural thing for people who have years of experience. I really find it interesting that a lot of these people like the older stuff, sometimes, more than the new. I just thought it couldn't hurt to see for myself about this older stuff.

Still, it bothered me that this stove seems so "hidden" from the reviews, and that it wasn't for sell in some of the Outlet/Closeout sites. I can think of a few reasons for this - some good and some bad.

Thanks, and it's always good to have someone enforce my thought processes.

Steve

10:18 a.m. on September 23, 2006 (EDT)
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I've got one of those Stoves, Steve. Works pretty good but you ought ot figure out how to disassemble it and clean it and plan on doing it once a year. I think Bill S & I are on opposite sides of this table (from a past discussion) but he's seen a lot more use of different stoves by the Boy Scouts he works with than I. Take care of it best you can & it'll take care of you. It's bit bulky but it heats fine. I made an aluminum 'can' for it to fit in so it wouldn't get damaged when I was realy stuffing the pack. Can't remember the name of the one I use now (dragonfly? legs fold up) but the Apex 1 worked for me quite well. IIRC don't think the bottles are interchangeable.

ag

9:48 a.m. on September 25, 2006 (EDT)
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Hi Steve,

To me stoves are one of those things that you get used to using over time. They all seem to have their own idiosyncrasies, and you just learn to adapt to each one from experience. Practice with the Apex at home several times and more likely than not you'll enjoy using it in the field. I recommend practicing in the garage vs. the kitchen because sometimes things just happen that are better dealt with outside and on concrete.

I don't get too hung up on the tests people do comparing boiling times and the like. If I like a stove I don't care that a different model or brand will boil water 30 seconds faster or weighs two ounces less, but that's just me. Outside of some major winter trip most stoves on the market will suit you just fine.

I've not used an Apex, but I'm sure you'll like it just fine, Coleman doesn't turn out too many duds. I have used a Dragonfly once this past spring at a girl scout camp and it worked well for our group. That is, it boiled up large pans of water quickly and it did simmer quite well for some baking we did using an outback oven. The Dragonfly is owned by the girl scouts, not me, so that weekend was my only experience using it.

I collect stoves and have around 40 or so. I also post regularly on the spiritburner.com forum. One of my very favorites is an Optimus 80 (Svea 123) followed by an Optimus 111 for larger groups. Although after buying and using a Trangia stove I do find them very appealing.

In the end it's all fun, you get to play with fire without getting into trouble. For me I have trouble finding time to play with all of my collection.

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