stove choices

10:33 p.m. on August 13, 2012 (EDT)
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113 forum posts

i have been picking up gear for about a month now.  I have acquired more stoves than I need for someone who has never done this before.  :)

So, experts, where should I trim the fat?  I know I have some redundancy in my collection.

SnowPeak Max Lite

MSR Superfly

MSR Whisperlite International

Alcohol stove - bottlestoves.com

Coleman Peak 1 Micro Stove (matching lantern and got it all for free, so, this I will keep for sure)

12:18 a.m. on August 14, 2012 (EDT)
MODERATOR REVIEW CORPS
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Hi jonathonsc,

You have three Sit On top canister stoves -SP Max Lite,  MSR Superfly. and Coleman Peak 1 Micro. You could make do with just one good one.

Of those three I would keep the titanium Snow Peak Max Lite (1.9 oz.)

I would sell or trade the MSR Superfly (4.6 oz.). I might keep the Coleman Peak 1 Micro (5.6 oz.) & lantern for car camping or home emergency use if I was determined to keep them as you state, but I would much prefer the Snow Peak stove for backpacking.

I would definitely keep the MSR International for a white gas / multi fuel stove, especially since your canister stoves are all sit on top types and you can't invert the canister for cold weather use like you can a remote feed stove such as the MSR Windpro II. This is where white gas really shines, cold weather - you can burn white gas at -40 F*.  Not to mention that white gas is much cheaper than canister gas when bought by the gallon.

I would also keep the alcohol stove since it is probably your lightest stove option for 1 - 3 days in weather above freezing. I often carry only an alcohol stove on short solo trips.

Since alcohol stoves are so light they can also easily be carried as an extra, or backup stove for longer trips in case you have a problem with your primary stove. Sometimes it's also nice to carry an additional burner just for baking bread or making tea while you cook on your primary stove. I always do this when I'm hiking with a buddy. (Get your buddy to carry the heavier stove, haha)
 An alcohol stove and 4 - 8 oz. of fuel weigh very little.

Anyway, that's what I would do if I wanted to slim down the herd.

Best of luck,

Mike G.

4:12 p.m. on August 14, 2012 (EDT)
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1,469 forum posts

jonathansc said:

i have been picking up gear for about a month now.  I have acquired more stoves than I need for someone who has never done this before.  :)

So, experts, where should I trim the fat?  I know I have some redundancy in my collection.

SnowPeak Max Lite

MSR Superfly

MSR Whisperlite International

Alcohol stove - bottlestoves.com

Coleman Peak 1 Micro Stove (matching lantern and got it all for free, so, this I will keep for sure)

 Keep 

SnowPeak Max Lite

MSR Whisperlite International

5:03 p.m. on August 14, 2012 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
291 forum posts

I'll second the above from Trouthunter. Snow Peak is an excellent stove, keep that.

Not familiar with the Coleman Peak 1 but the lantern isn't part of the stove right? Just screws onto the same canister as the stove? Keep the lantern & nix the stove. Snow Peak makes a cool microlantern also, been lusting over one for a while.

Definetly no reason to give up the Alky stove either, nice lite option for day hikes or overnights/second stove etc...

5:19 p.m. on August 19, 2012 (EDT)
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6 forum posts

In my opinion, there is nothing better than the MSR pocket rocket. Light, fast assembly, boils like a fiend, and easy to use. Also I have never needed a windscreen.

9:24 p.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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113 forum posts

Out of curiosity, are any of these recommendations made based on anything other than weight?

10:53 p.m. on August 21, 2012 (EDT)
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jonathansc said:

Out of curiosity, are any of these recommendations made based on anything other than weight?

 That's a fair (and wise) question.

Of your three Sit on Top stoves the Snow Peak Max Lite is by far the lightest (titanium) and is also of excellent quality.  Fuel canisters are readily available.

The MSR Superfly is also excellent quality, fuel is readily available, but the stove weighs much more than the Snow Peak stove.

The weight difference is 2.7 oz. That might not sound like much, but when choosing gear for backpacking I like to save weight wherever I can without compromising my safety, or the gears reliability. I would feel very comfortable with choosing the Snow Peak...all things considered.

The Coleman Peak 1 Micro is not a bad stove, fuel is readily available, but it is the heaviest one you have and this stove would have to do something special the other two stoves couldn't do in order for me to choose it over the other stoves - and I don't think that is the case.

Of the three stove types you have, canister fuel is the most expensive, but if you use the fuel in an efficient manner it's not so bad.

Canister stoves are also probably the easiest to use, and simmer well.

..............................

The MSR Whisperlite International is very reliable, & gives you the capability to burn white gas, kerosene, & auto gas. These fuels are much cheaper than canister gas (comparing burn times), readily available, and white gas will burn just about anytime, anywhere. That is important because canister gas & alcohol are poorer performers in cold weather compared to white gas.

I personally use white gas stoves a good bit because the fuel is cheap, and I can depend on the stove to operate very well even in temps well below freezing.

This stove type also has a remote fuel bottle (via the fuel line) which keeps the fuel away from the heat generated by the burner. This allows you to use a full windscreen fairly tight around a pot without having to worry about overheating the fuel like you do with the Sit on Top type canister stoves you have. It is possible to overheat a canister with a stove like the Max Lite or Superfly where the fuel is directly below the burner if you trap too much heat in with a tight windscreen around a larger pot. It is best to leave the windscreen open a little bit so the canister does not overheat.

You don't have to worry about that with a remote fuel stove ( white gas or canister type) like your Whisperlite International and that means you can burn fuel in a more efficient manner by making better use of a tight fitting wind screen and concentrating the heat around the pot for quicker cooking or boil times.

These stoves take a little bit of practice, especially to simmer, but it's a great all around stove to have.

.............................

As far as the alcohol stove goes, I think that is (arguably) a no brainer.

You already own it, they are generally extremely lightweight, highly reliable, and fuel can be found everywhere - hardware stores, auto stores, building centers, grocery stores, etc.

Having an alcohol stove in a stove collection gives you a very lightweight option on short trips - solo or with a buddy.

Compared to white gas stoves, alcohol stoves are not as fuel efficient, which means you have to carry more alcohol fuel (more weight & bulk) for the same burn time.  For trips up to about 3-4 days they are a good lightweight option because the alcohol stoves themselves are so light. For longer trips the weight of the alcohol fuel you will need to carry will start to resemble the weight of a canister or white gas stove & corresponding fuel.

In temps above freezing I can do a quick solo weekend trip with an alcohol stove, fuel, titanium mug & spork, etc. and still be below 12 oz. with the whole kit - and with a very reliable stove that is fun to use. That whole kit weighs 3.6 oz. less that the MSR international stove without fuel.

The stove I use most is a Minibulldesign Bios 4, you can set a pot directly on top of the stove, no pot stand needed. Lots of good ones out there though.

Each stove & fuel type has its own strong points and weaknesses, so having a stove from each category (canister, white gas, alcohol) gives you a good set of options for backpacking trips in varying conditions.

You may even want to add a wood burning stove at some point if you backpack in an area that has lots of dead wood & fires are allowed. This too is a very lightweight & highly reliable option once you get a little practice using one.

So my recommendations are based on reliability, versatility, fuel availability, fuel cost, and yes..weight.

I hope that helps,

Mike G.

1:28 p.m. on August 22, 2012 (EDT)
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Jonathan,

Stop buying equipment and get out there.  It will clear up all the questions in your mind.

4:09 p.m. on August 22, 2012 (EDT)
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ppine said:

Jonathan,

Stop buying equipment and get out there.  It will clear up all the questions in your mind.

Fish or cut bait fish or cut bait!  Darn, what knife to use, Buck or Gerber?  Or what pole to use Shakespeare or Cal Rod?  Research or field test?  Too many choices!  Forget about this outdoor thing, it is too stressful! 
Ed

9:40 p.m. on August 22, 2012 (EDT)
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113 forum posts

That hurt.

1:28 p.m. on August 23, 2012 (EDT)
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262 forum posts

Puter glitch.

1:28 p.m. on August 23, 2012 (EDT)
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The Superfly will get you some money, not much on eBay or sell on this forum, it can use different type canister fittings is all.  White gas stoves are cheaper to use in the winter.  If not going out in the winter/snow, sell the Int'l, it won't burn kero very long before clogging up, not designed to do that for very long for some reason.  Yes, get out, warm weather will be over soon and you'll be stuck back inside.  The Coleman Exponent F1 has way higher btu's than most other stoves of its type, can be had on eBay for $21 + shipping.

Duane

3:51 p.m. on August 23, 2012 (EDT)
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291 forum posts

wildepirate said:

In my opinion, there is nothing better than the MSR pocket rocket. Light, fast assembly, boils like a fiend, and easy to use. Also I have never needed a windscreen.

 First, he's talking about which of the several stoves that he has, should he get rid of...

Second, I'm guessing you don't have much experience with any other stove but the pocket rocket. The SnowPeak stoves, in this class, are an order of magnitude better build quality. I'll take my Gigapower over a rocket any day.

8:44 p.m. on August 23, 2012 (EDT)
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second that motion. have had my gigapower in everything from 90 degree heat to snow and it hasn't failed yet. one bulletproof stove, definately a keeper. I'll say keep the whisperlite but only for white gas. that is another snowcamp stove. Keep the coleman since you got it for free, if only for that reason. Keep the alcohol for a good backup light and fast stove. Dump the superfly, or maybe keep that too, not sure how much you could get for it. So much for trimming the fat!

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