User Review: Coleman Xtreme Powermax Stove
Price Paid: $70
Summary: Lightweight, easy-as-pie workhorse.
This stove has all the things you want from a compressed-fuel stove, plus performance that's better than liquid-fuel stoves, and light weight.
Operation: Take stove out of storage-bag, attach fuel canister by pushing into fitting and giving a quarter-turn to lock into place. Spread the legs while putting down on to flat surface. Turn valve until gas sound can be heard. Light stove. Adjust flame and use. No pumping, no priming, no flare ups, no servicing or replacement of parts, no varnished parts from liquid fuels.
Performance: I generally boil about three-liters of water in a one-gallon aluminum pot, which takes about six to seven minutes or so depending upon water temperature. With outside temps above about 60 degrees, cannisters run nearly full-blast till over 95% exausted (nearly empty). At around 40 degrees, stoves will run nearly full-blast till around 2/3 expended, but remaining 1/3 still useable if cannisters are allowed to rewarm between uses (just let them sit for five to ten minutes, or warm them in your hands if impatient). Below freezing, cannister performance is still excellent for first six minutes or so of use, until rewarmed. Cold-weather performance increases with altitude.
I have been using a trio of these stoves for close to ten years as a backpack-trip leader for a local group of Sierra Club. With these stoves I have lead an average of six trips a year ranging from weekend-jaunts with ten participants up to eight-day back-country trips with twelve. I use the stoves for boiling water for morning hot cereal and coffee, and evening dinners, soups and hot drinks. You can simmer them, but they require constant attention to keep the flame alive.
All together my trio of little-workhorse stoves have cooked for upwards of over three-thousand meals (per person, per meal). And except for an early, manufacured defect that was replaced, these stoves have not needed servicing EVER--not once.
The only drawback is the proprietary fuel cannisters. But, nearly all compressed-fuel stoves have this issue. I have been able to find this fuel everywhere I have gone in the lower 48. Almost any outdoor-recreation store will have them, but call ahead to identify your supplier if flying somewhere.
Very solid performance. Easy to use. Reliable.