Coleman Feather 442 Dual Fuel Stove
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: £66
The easiest liquid fuel stove I have come across. Also, instant flame which can 'simmer' in a manner of speaking. The all-in-one feature of this stove is a great idea but it is also its 'Achilles heal'. Too heavy for a solo trip but pretty good for 2+ as it cannot be split. Used in conjunction with the rectangular pan and lid which also functions as a box it is protected from bumps and dropped packs but bulky. Fuel consumption is excellent especially if it isn't turned up to full blast.
- No fuss ignition for a liquid fuel stove, much better flame control than an MSR.
- Competitively priced compared to other liquid fuel stoves
- Built like a tank.
- Heavy and can flare up if not handled properly and the instructions followed.
- I would not use anything other than Coleman fuel (white gas) as vaporisor is easily clogged with soot.
I don't quite know what to make of this stove. I am not sure whether I like it or not. I was initially impressed with the no hassle ignition and flame control. Unlike an MSR Whisperlite which produces quite a flame while priming the vapourising tube, once the unit is pressurized it goes from 0 to full on roar more or less right away!
Having said that, one time I was tired and not thinking straight after a long journey and failed to follow the instructions clearly printed on the side. The resulting fire ball was spectacular and had I lit it in the tent vestuble it would have been disastrous!
Once lit, the stove flame is more controllable than most liquid fuel stoves which is a real bonus if you demand more than tasteless and expensive boil in the bag food! The maximum output is quite fiercesome and can bring an MSR Titan kettle to the boil in under 3 minutes. It has an integral wind shield but I would still recommend using an additional shield as I am not certain it would offer full protection from stronger winds.
The fuel tank is connected to the burner to produce an all-in-one unit. This saves the hassle of having to connect the stove to a fuel bottle. However, I am not sure if I like this, for me this is the stove's Achilles heal. Yes it is convenient but it means it cannot be split to stow the fuel bottle separately. Consequently, when combined with the mess tin and lid it is very bulky (I recommend this to protect the vapourisor and wind shield). For me, this rules it out as a solo option.
Furthermore, it is more inflexible when it comes to two sharing; particularly if there is a discrepancy in what each person is capable of carrying (husband and wife team like us for example) where splitting is essential. For me it is more suited to base camp duties where its ease of use and powerful flame come into its own.
Over all, this is a well constructed and powerful stove that is as close to using gas cannisters as you are going to get. It is well priced and economical ( a tank will last a weekend). The flame requires virtually no priming and has a large degree of control though, for me, the jury is out on the 'all in one' design.
Price Paid: $40
I currently keep this stove in my inventory for some versions of car camping. Otherwise I will use the 2 burner Coleman stove.
I have had the Feather 442 since 2005. Originally, I used the feather on backpacking trips. It has always served me well. The red plastic handle melted in the beginning, due to the high heat from cooking.
Meals were cooked efficiently, quickly, and with no failures from the stove itself. I did notice that the stove burned a little loud on high. The simmer control on low levels really was never a simmer, but lower levels of the burn was accomplished.
Wind resistance is good, the included windscreen works very well to deflect the wind. It boils water and cooks well with windscreen on.
My satisfaction level is average. Coleman makes a good stove, solid products, and I would recommend this as a stove to be used in camping.
Price Paid: ?
I have owned this stove for almost 20 years (it was called the Peak in those days). Mine has performed flawlessly with all original parts. I use it for backpacking as well as car camping when space is tight.
This stove produces everything from a bare simmer to a roaring flame, the best cooking backpacking sized stove I have used. My best friend also owns one and his has been as trouble free as mine.
The only knock that I can muster is that some of the modern backpacking stove seem to be a bit smaller and less hefty at a pound and a half.
All said, I would buy another without hesitation.
Price Paid: $49 in 1987
This stove has the best white gas flame I would argue... I have a 20 year old Peak 1 version. Never a problem lighting or using. All original parts and has been used about 200 times by my calculations. The stove is heavier than others, but it is a one piece unit and the cooking flame is the best. I think the best use is for weekend backpacking, fill up and go. For long hikes it's too heavy.
Price Paid: $40
I have been using this model stove for 8 years. I have used it in hot desert conditions to cold mountain conditions. It works every time.
In cold weather and high elevation, technique goes a long way when lighting, but once lit will deliver boiling water in minutes. Coleman makes a nice carry bag under the Peak 1 name for about $10, worth getting.
It is relatively fuel efficient and will last a couple of days on a tank (about 6 to 8 meals/coffee). It is a little heavier than other models available today, but I think worth the weight for the reliability. I carry a spare parts kit but have never had to use it.
Price Paid: $55
I bought this stove 2 years ago when I started backpacking. It has never failed me. It consistently starts on the first try and keeps on going. I also throw it in the trunk for all of my car camping trips as a backup. It's nice to have another single burner on the side to whip up something quick for the kids when they get hungry.
The only downfall is the awkward shape of the stove. Its inability to break down into smaller pieces combined with the sharp edges on the top make it a pain to pack. I've recently started looking at different stoves to address my packing complaints with the 442. But, I will always love this stove and may go back to it if more packable stoves lack the performance of the 442.
Price Paid: $60
The 442 is a marginal performer when compared to an MSR or even Coleman's Apex II, primarily because of start-up problems. I've experienced recurring problems, specifically with this stove's tendency to flood. Getting the fuel to vaporize in the generator tube, even at temperatures in the 40's, requires serious nursing of the flame for longer than one should have to.
In order to get decent performance, I've resorted to a generous dose of alcohol gel in the center of the burner to pre-heat the generator tube. Once the gel is close to being consumed, I start the fuel flow (ala MSR) and the stove then works fine.
Good points include the folding legs that facilitate storage and the "one piece" design of the integrated tank (the 442 is seemingly among the last of the breed). I've relegated this stove to car camping scenarios when it serves as a backup or supplemental stove.
Price Paid: $35
I love the reliability of Coleman stoves. The MSR plastic parts and poor simmer capabilities caused me to find this stove. It works flawlessly and simmers as low as I need. It always lights and fits perfectly in an air tight water tight 2.7 qt. snap top container made by Lock and Lock. Great combination.
Got mine on sale at the BX at Nellis AFB for $35. Runs on cheap Coleman fuel and no lead gas but I always run white gas. Can't see paying twice the money for plastic MSR products. These little stoves are trouble free.
Where to Buy
We found the Coleman Feather 442 Dual Fuel Stove at 1 outdoor retailer: