stable stove suggestions for bsa backpacking

8:57 a.m. on March 27, 2012 (EDT)
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Im looking for a stable stove recommendation like the Optimus Stella + (that is no longer made) Propane/butane fuel  light weight with a built in ignighter and very low and wide like the stella for stability with a huge 4q cook pot.

 

Thanks

 

Bill 

9:21 a.m. on March 27, 2012 (EDT)
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6:22 p.m. on March 27, 2012 (EDT)
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Hi, Bill,

With no offense to anyone intended, my feeling is that Scouts might want to stick with brand names.   A no-name from China like the BRS-15 may not be safe.  I have no experience with the BRS-15, but I'm extremely leery of such stoves since there is no recourse if you have a problem.  American liability laws do not apply to Chinese manufactured stoves.

I think the MSR Windpro would suit what you need quite well.

So would the MSR RapidFire which is no longer made but can still be found on eBay and such, usually for less than a Windpro.

The Jetboil Helios is also good but is a bit pricey.

The Brunton Vesper is good but has been discontinued.

Primus makes the Express Spider, but I don't think it would be good for large pot sizes.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

7:54 p.m. on March 27, 2012 (EDT)
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"The Jetboil Helios is also good but is a bit pricey."

Actually, the Helios is AWESOME! :-))  I have the Helios, and it is the most insanely fuel efficient stove I've EVER used. It ALMOST defies the first law of thermodynamics. (As in; it doesn't seem to actually use any fuel.)  Best example: I used it for mostly boiling water on one trip. And after 2 to 4 uses per day for 25 days, --- 1 to 3 cups of water each boil. --- I still had about 1/4 of the fuel left in the 440 gram canister. Plus, not only can it boil water like mad, but you can actually COOK with it too. I absolutely LOVE my Helios!   http://shop.jetboil.com/index.php/helios.html  They also have a Helios Guide and a Group Cooking System.  Enjoy, whatever you decide upon.

Cheers!

7:08 a.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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The Optimus is still available at moontrail.com  http://www.moontrail.com/optimus-stella-plus.php They had 8 in stock as of 3-28-12.  

You mention a 4 quart cook pot. Moon trail list the weight capacity as 5kg or 11lbs.  3 quarts of water is 12lbs.  You'll be pushing the weight capacity.

10:03 a.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Water is 8lbs to the gallon, so I don't think 3qts will be 12lbs.  3qts should be six pounds not 12, yes?

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

10:19 a.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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I thought 3 liters was 6lbs....

Guess I need to fill my bladder and check. I never paid much mind to it other than the fact that I just make sure its full lol.

On the whole stove thing I think personally that any type of built in electronic ignition(piezo, etc) is over-hyped.

Get a WindPro and be done with it. Plus its gives another reason not to overlook packing another ignition source which can pay dividends in the long run.

For what you are looking for in a stove the WindPro is tough to beat.

11:44 a.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Sorry, somehow it got stuck in my head that one ounce of water = one ounce of weight, like the metric system one gram water = one milliliter water.

My mistake.

4:40 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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It's all good.  Made me think.  :)

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

6:05 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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I've got the Brunton Vesper. It is very stable. And if my memory is right, it was made in China.

7:25 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Vesper or Vesta?  I've got one as well.  It's a very nice stove.  I have no objection to things made in China merely because they are made in China.  What I object to is a "no name" stove.  With Brunton, if there's a problem, you have someone to seek redress from -- and Brunton knows it.  With a "no name" stove bought on eBay what real redress do you have?  I guess you could get your money back, but that's little consolation if a cheap stove dies on you when you're out on a trip.  

And if there's a serious problem?  You have no redress.  If you get burned by a defective stove or otherwise get injured, about the most you can do is get your money back.  You can't sue some eBay seller in China.  Stoves have the potential to cause great bodily harm and even death.

Products sold on eBay have not necessarily gone through product safety testing of the type that US based companies normally do.

Again, that's not to say that China can't produce good products.  I'd just be a little leary of buying a "no name" product from an eBay seller based in a foreign country.

But that's me.  Other people may find the risks acceptable.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

9:07 p.m. on March 28, 2012 (EDT)
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Actually I was right ... partially.   One fluid ounce of water is real close to an ounce in weight avoirdupois (I'm specific about avoirdupois because I don't want to completely high jack the thread with ridiculous banter about gold and feathers weighing more or less that each other).  

Where I went wrong is multiplying by the number of quarts in a gallon instead of the number of pints in a quart.  th_emot-doh.gif
 

10:56 a.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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I just bought the MSR Windpro II and it has been improved by adding a swivel coupling at the hose and the canister connector. It also has a small stand which snaps onto the connector and it allows you to flip the canister over without twisting the hose. It has a windscreen and stove tool included. Now I can get my money's worth out of those canisters.

12:53 p.m. on March 31, 2012 (EDT)
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Yeah, the new WindPro II (basically the same as the Windpro but with a swivel now and the little plastic stand thrown in) is nice.

Running with the canister inverted mainly gives you better cold weather performance; that's the main point of doing it.  In some cases in cold weather, you could get more complete usage of the gas in the canister, but generally you'll get pretty complete usage of the gas in weather above freezing.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

6:25 p.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks everyone for all the input

8:30 p.m. on April 2, 2012 (EDT)
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I found an interesting read on the BRS stoves in another forum. BRS stoves seem to be as safe as some of the better known brands here in the states.   

http://www.spiritburner.com/fusion/showtopic.php?tid/20407/tp/1/fbb_session_id/3e3da2f8869f21aecb626236ad121637/

10:19 a.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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mikemorrow said:

BRS stoves seem to be as safe as some of the better known brands here in the states.   

That's a stretch. From that same thread:

The flame spreader tends to fall off.

and

This stove is Banned here (actually in EU) due to a few happenings

"Happenings" means problems.  Problems that got the stove banned.

 

If you want one, have at it, but not for me.

 

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

10:40 a.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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Who needs a flame spreader?

A blow torch will always come in handy on the trail. Come to think of it maybe I should start carrying my good ol' Benzomatic.

J/k. Felt like having a lil fun. ;)

11:42 a.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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The flame spreader tends to fall off.

It's not falling off.  It's a feature.  Yeah it's a convertible torch.  Those aren't  pot supports, they're safety stand-offs to keep you from getting to close to something when you're using it. 

2:11 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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"A pint is a pound, the world around" for water, that is. So a quart of water is 2 pounds and a gallon is 8 pounds.

Gasoline (white gas, that is, Coleman fuel, which is naphtha) is 6 pounds per gallon (had to learn this to do weight and balance calculations when I got my pilot's license). But one gallon of white gas still occupies 128 fluid ounces of space (fluid measure is a volume measure, not weight, despite the "ounces" being the same word).

One liter of water is 1 kilogram mass, which weighs 1 kilogram weight at sea level on Earth, or 2.2 pounds (avoirdupois).

3:54 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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My point was. Would you buy a stove with the offbrand names as Fire Maple, Bulin, Kovea, or Alocs? Some of us would say no becouse they dont know the name. But there is a very good chance that you already have. All of these companies started as outsourcing manufactures. All are now putting out their own stoves at lower prices.

Tents are going the same way. I've got a very nice winter tent made by Lhotus, bought it for less than half the price of the well known brands. My guess is that they are an outsource manufacture too. Is the stove made by Fire Maple, $25 or a Coleman Peak1, $50 the same, you bet it is. Whats the differance? The box it comes in.

As we live in a world economy, we no longer know who is really making what. Do we really think there is such a big demand for backpacking equiptment that there are hunderds of manufacturers? If I would have to guess I would say 12 tent manufactures, might be 6-7 for stoves as startup cost is much higher. If paying more for a name and custumer service is worth 2+x's to you go for it. I have used custumer service just twice. Once was with a cheap water filter that failed the other time was with a TNF tent. The results were the same. I was happy with both.

Of course there are some very small manufactures that make very high end gear. They are the exception to the rule. Are they worth it? If you need that type of gear, THEN YES!!! But for most of us, no.

BTW Brunton outsources to the lower bidder. Dang paid to much again! :)

4:15 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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Mike, I understand what you are saying but at the same time let's say I am in the 4 season tent market. Now if I were going to drop my money on a Hille, would I maybe say no and drop a smaller amount of change on a tent to serve the same purpose by a company that I have never heard of nor can I find any reliable feedback on?

NO WAY.

My safety and well being are on the line. At the same time so is a nice hit to my bank account.

Money lost is money lost regardless of amount.

I guess what I am getting at here is lack of popularity somewhat equates to a lack of faith in some regards to companies that one can't seem to dig up much info on.

I will go with what I know works from tons of research and tons of feedback. If the product costs 3 times more than the unknown so what. It may last 4x longer which will save me coin in the long run.

At the same time when you compared the Coleman Peak 1 to a Fire Maple(I think those were the ones ya compared) you may want to take into condieration that there may be a possibility of "reverse engineering" at play.

Appearence wise the product may look the same but at the same time this doesn't necessarily mean that it is built of the same quality materials or care(attention to detail) that was given to the over all manufacturing process as the original in which the design was pirated from.

When this happens the differences are typically alot more substantial than just the box it comes in.

It happens all the time.

I am in complete support of sticking with a well known based on the fact that scouts may be involved...

Is a few bucks worth taking a chance?

ABSOLUTELY NOT.

5:54 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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Like I said if you need a Hille you get the Hille. Safety is an issue. In the far east Fire Maple is well known and respected, so is Alocs, and Bulin (BRS here) is gaining strength. I have an Alocs stove that I have been using, and a BSR windscreen. I know I will never have to make, or replace the windscreen in my lifetime. I understand that there is a risk to buying from an unkown. But remember that at one time Hille was as unknown as these makers.

Boy I better get to typeing those reviews of the un heard of stuff I've been using so others might be willing to buy them.

As far as the scouts. I think they should make some Alcohol stoves. :)

BTW the two stoves are the same. Fire Maple makes both of them.

6:03 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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Mike said:

As far as the scouts. I think they should make some Alcohol stoves. :)

BSA won't let them use homemade stoves anymore. 

http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/680-013WB.pdf

My guess.... lawyers.  

I can kind of understand the no alcohol because of the almost invisible flame.  Coleman white gas is okay,  unleaded is not?

6:10 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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Maybe its an import premium based on they are made over there. I can by a pair of new Air Jordan's in their country of origin(vietnam or somewhere like) that for $20-$30.

Same shoes on the shelf at Footlocker here in the states for $150 and up.

I dunno. If one wants it bad enough and they make it regardless of price somone will buy it lol.

Anyone interested in buying a Pet Rock that ya don't have to feed or anything? You can even name it.

I have a whole creekbed full of them at my buddies house. :)

6:40 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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I was just giving the options. What isn't known here might be well known in other parts of the world. I've got a Brunton Vesta thats collecting dust. I used it for just one season. And though I like it, I don't like the idea of carrying compressed gas around. Plus tossing the containers into the landfill just doesnt seem right (LNT) right. :)

8:34 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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OK, we're talking about some very different situations here.

1.  First, if you buy a brand name product from a company with a presence in the US, you have a company with an established reputation and they are relatively easy to seek legal redress from, regardless of where a product is made.  It matters some if you buy from a retailer, like REI, or an individual, as on eBay, but either way the company whose brand is on the product can be accessed for redress.

2.  Second, if you buy a product via eBay from an individual seller made by a company with no real presence in the US but with a good reputation, you at least have that company's reputation to go on.  Kovea and Fire Maple for example have pretty good reputations.  In particular if you buy a specific product that has been out for a while and has gotten good reviews, you have a little bit more to go on.  For example, the Kovea Supalite gets good marks as does the Fire Maple FMS-116T (aka the Monatauk Gnat).    Seeking legal redress against a company with no presence in the US would be difficult if you buy from an individual  based overseas via eBay.  If you buy from a US retailer, you could seek redress from the retailer.  

3.  Third, you could buy a brand with a lesser reputation, like Bulin.  Bulin has had a number of problems associated with it and has had a number of products banned in the EU.  Bulin and Fire Maple may be owned by the same company, but they are not the same any more than Volkswagen and Porche are the same even though VW and Porche were both under the same ownership (or at least they were at one time).  Again, seeking legal redress against a company with no presence in the US would be difficult if you buy from an individual  based overseas via eBay.  If you buy from a US retailer, you could seek redress from the retailer.  

4.  Fourth, you could buy a "no name" stove, a stove with no known brand and no known affiliation.  I case 4, you've got nothing to go on.  What you get is a crapshoot in terms of safety, reliability, and functionality.  As with cases "2" and "3" above, seeking legal redress against a company with no presence in the US would be difficult if you buy from an individual  based overseas via eBay.  If you buy from a US retailer, you could seek redress from the retailer.  

Each of these is a different case.  Personally, I wouldn't buy something in the fourth case, and certainly not via eBay from an individual seller based overseas.  I would be hesitant to buy something in the third case, unless I knew of a specific product with a good reputation.  I have and will continue to buy products in the second case (I own a Supalite and a FMS 116T).  I wouldn't even give it a second thought for the first case.

In short, yes, I'm aware of the international nature of manufacturing these days, but there are different cases, some of which involve risks I'm not willing to take.

HJ 
Adventures In Stoving

P.S.  Note here that I am not a lawyer.  I'm telling you my high level, very general understanding.  Note that I'm speaking in very general terms and that I am not giving legal advice but am rather stating more high level "consumer tips."

9:42 p.m. on April 3, 2012 (EDT)
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Hey Jim we have drifted off the ops post a bit. I see you as the TS expert on stoves. I'm alcohol stove person now working with the ALOCS Spirit Burner CS-B03. And in some ways it might be better than the Trangia. But more testing is needed. And I only test in the field. I was wondering if you would be willing to test a couple of these stoves found on Ebay? I think it would be interesting to see if they really do hold up to your testing standards. I will be willing to buy them and send them to you. I know many people are looking for reviews and just can't find anything on them. I think some incite for people would be great.

Mike 

6:10 p.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Mike,

I'd love to, but I have to decline at this time.  I'm starting a new job on Monday, and I'm going to be commuting a lot.  My time is going to be really really limited.

HJ 
Adventures In Stoving

7:13 p.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Thanks for the link Jim. Its hard to find reviews on this inexpensive stuff. Maybe in time we will see more reviews on the less expensive gear that might tempt people like me and newbies to try out. I mean anyone (with 400-700 dollars) can test a Hille and give it 5 stars. But who's out there testing the 24-50 dollar tents? Same with nearly all the backpacking gear.

There is cheap, and then there is inexpensive. A big difference. 

8:27 p.m. on April 4, 2012 (EDT)
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Hi AlanCar -

I would recommend a Primus ETA Power EF Stove. It includes a 2.1 liter pot w/ heat exchanger, a frying pan lid, the best efficiency available for a cannister stove, even allowing it to be used down into the teens with good efficiency (personally field verified), includes a windscreen, peizo ignition, an integrated wind screen, super low/stable profile, and exellent simmering abilities. reviews are here: http://www.trailspace.com/gear/primus/etapower-ef/

It is available as a cooking system for just over $100 here: http://www.gearforadventure.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=PRIEtaPowerEF&click=16

Cannot be beat for the money, ease, and efficiency of cooking for groups. Better yet, it can also cook with any pot/pan, unlike the Jetboil setups. Find them on Ebay as well for less than $100 including shipping!

 

 

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