Best Cartridge Stove
5,505 forum posts
"Best Cartridge Stove" opens up the whole personal preference/favorite can of worms. There are so many compressed gas stoves that, frankly, are about equal, that it is hard to say "this is the very best one." There are tradeoffs on size, weight (size and weight are only partly correlated), heat output, adaptability to the two different connectors (the "industry standard" threaded connector and the non-threaded Bleuet connector), cost, etc, etc.
For small size and weight, I like my wife's Markill Hot Rod, but it is a bit slower than my MSR Superfly (a lot slower than the Superfly with the hanging kit and its heat exchanger setup - fastest stove of the 17 I own - at least in warm weather, and the Superfly is the only stove at present that fits both types of widely available cartridges). The Primus MFS and Omni (in the Himalayan series) can switch between liquid fuels and compressed gas, so overall, my MFS is my favorite stove - use liquid fuel most of the time, especially when the weather gets cold, but switch to the compressed gas in summer Sierra/Cascades/Rockies (I don't go to the Smokies in summer - can't stand the 90-90 weather any more).
There are other small stoves besides the Hot Rod - Primus makes one, as do MSR, Snowpeak, and others (they all have titanium versions, and all have a version that fits with stove and small cartridge inside a very small 2-cup pot).
I would guess that there must be something like 40 or 50 cartridge stoves out there that fit the Bleuet or standard threaded connectors. I didn't even mention the Coleman X-stoves (like the XTreme, XPedition, etc). That system uses a different connector, with the cartridge design allowing use in much colder temperatures than the other two types. And I have left out the old-style puncture cartridges. Although the puncture cartridges are still available from several companies (at least the 200 and 206 size), there are very few stoves still being sold that take them (Markill does sell an adapter for these cartridges to attach to the standard threaded connector).
Ok, so here are the main trades to look at - size and heat output. Generally small size means slower heating (comparison - the Hot Rod takes 4:30 to boil a liter of water, where the Superfly takes 3:00 without the hanging kit and 2:45 with, but about 3 or 4 times the bulk and about 3 times the weight). Then look at cost (are you willing to pay 2-3 times as much for a titanium version?).
The real answer is to get 4 or 5 compressed gas stoves and 4 or 5 liquid fuel stoves (preferably switchable between white gas and kerosene). Then you can spend endless hours boiling water in your back yard and trying to decide which stove to carry this trip, like Jim S and I do. Oh, I forgot - add the different weights of pots, with and without the black header paint coating.
747 forum posts
"Best Cartridge Stove" opens up the whole personal preference/favorite can of worms
I see little difference between them. My 10 year old Markill weighs 5 ounces and screws onto the industry standard butane bottles. I prefer iso butane because it has better performance in colder weather (Spring and Fall) but the short little 100 or 110 gram bottles make a stabler light weight stove that has all the energy required for a weekend trip. MAybe the only real difference is the flame shape - does it fit the pan? In other words - if you only heat coffee water in a titanium cup get a small burner, but if you want to simmer in a large pan get one with a large burner that spreads the flame more (It will weigh more BTW).
That said - my 3 real favs are my Bibler hanging stove and my Coleman Xtreme (11oz) that I use in cold weather, and the Coleman Expedition TWO (2) burner model that weighs more (25oz) but it is lighter than an XGK with a base and if you want instant lighting and excellent cold weather performance in a stable two burner stove - it can't be beat. I mean - don't you want the sauce and the pasta to finish cooking at the same time? Or how about making coffee from melted snow while you cook lunch? The Coleman stoves have one problem - they may lose pressure in cold weather if the bottle isn't punched down into the snow so that it is either vertical or atleast below 45 degrees to horizontal - can't really explain why though I have some theories. The Bibler may need a heat source to be applied to the fuel bottle unless you modify it to take an Xtreme burner.
So fire em up and Boil On Dudes - don't know about Bill's "can o'worms" - is that a new freeze dried meal?
a.k.a. Scott Kent
You know of what i speak, if you have ever owned one of these turds. I like MSR products but the whisperlite is the worst stove of all time. People say they are field maintainable, they bloody well have to be, to keep this shitburger running correctly. It sounds to me that for your type of needs, that maybe you should look for a better white gas stove. I do own the pocketrocket canister stove for boiling water on ultralight trips, but I have an XGK Shaker for high altitude. As you can see, I have no "beef" with most MSR products, but the Whisperlite and their tents suck ass.
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