Which canister fuel type is best for low temps?

12:47 a.m. on June 15, 2003 (EDT)
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I've heard different things about the various canister fuel mixes handling low temps but do any of you have recommendations on which type operates does best in low temps? I have available the Primus, the MSR, the Snow Peak, and the Coleman at my disposal.

2:41 p.m. on June 15, 2003 (EDT)
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There really is not a lot of difference among the ones you mentioned. However, the Coleman "X" cannister design allows use at much lower temperatures, although you are probably talking about the industry standard threaded connector type, which is what is on the Primus, MSR, and Snowpeak, as well as one of the 4 or 5 types that Coleman sells. The "X" only fits on their "X" series stoves (Xtreme, Xpedition, etc).

There are some small differences that you can look for. MSR's standard cannister is a mix of isobutane and propane, hence will go to lower temperatures than the Primus, Snowpeak, and Coleman threaded cannisters, which are mostly straight butane (Primus mixes some isobutane in). Markill has a low temperature mix that is mostly isobutane with some propane that, in my experience, goes maybe 5 deg F colder than the MSR. Also, you may be able to find MSR's pure isobutane cannisters. These will go to something like 5 deg F.

Your other alternative is to use some type of heat supply for the cannister - set the cannister in a pan of water (discussion of this on Trailspace in the past week or two), use a handwarmer or the Primus "cold weather kit" (the chemical warmer in that is basically a chemical handwarmer), or try to rig a "heat pipe" as has been discussed in RCU and RBU a number of times and is several places on the web. None of these heating methods, by the way, are officially authorized by the manufacturers, except for Primus with their own cold weather kit. So you are strictly on your own (if you blow up your stove, you have been duly warned not to go against the manufacturer's official recommendations).

4:06 p.m. on June 15, 2003 (EDT)
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Coleman X

Quote:

I've heard different things about the various canister fuel mixes handling low temps but do any of you have recommendations on which type operates does best in low temps? I have available the Primus, the MSR, the Snow Peak, and the Coleman at my disposal.

Beyond a doubt the coleman X has the best cold weather performance because it delivers liquid fuel to the burner and does not require "gasification" inside the fuel bottle to deliver fuel (A lot like an MSR whisperlight type). The liquid propane/butane is gasified in a coil in the burner flame. They do not have industry standard connectors, however few of the "summer stoves" with industry standard connectors deliver enough heat for winter use. I have used a Coleman X (Xstreme model) stove at -5F with only one problem - the fuel bottle cannot be horizontal - it must be punched into the snow at an angle between 45 and 90 degrees to horizontal in order to keep the feed tube in the liquid fuel in the bottom of the bottle. This can be a problem at any temp below freezing.

Jim S (:->)

December 18, 2014
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