Esbit Pocket Stove
|Weight—Small (including solid fuel)||
6.3 oz / 180 g
|Weight—Large (including solid fuel)||
12.7 oz / 360 g
3.9 x 3 x 0.9 in / 9.8 x 7.7 x 2.3 cm
5.2 x 3.8 x 1.5 in / 13.2 cm x 9.6 cm x 3.9 cm
Tiny, lightweight stove. Easy to use, easy to pack.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $6
Tiny, lightweight stove. Easy to use, easy to pack. Best for boiling water for freeze-dried meals and for other liquid drinks and meals. If you are wanting a heavy-duty stove for a group or for cooking things that take a long time or have to simmer, this is not the stove you are looking for.
- Easy to use
- Fuel smells bad
- Flame not adjustable
I took this little stove out for the first time last weekend and it was great. After reading other reviews and having the common sense to look at this stove and not expect to cook gourmet meals with it, I was not disappointed at all. It is easily packable and very light. I was only going overnight, and my intention was to boil water for freeze-dried meals and hot cocoa. For these purposes, this stove was just right.
The solid fuel cubes lit fairly easily, even with a slight breeze. I did set one wood match on top of the cube and then lit another one and held it on the cube until the first match flamed. That seemed to work both times I used the stove.
Once the fuel was lit, it stayed lit and burned at an equal rate until it was almost all gone. With the outside temperature around 45°F, it took about 9 minutes for 16 oz. water to come to a good boil. When I was heating water for hot cocoa, I was able to get it hot enough in about 5 or 6 minutes, and then add some more water to my pot for another round of hot cocoa, before the fuel cube burned out. The package says the cube burns for about 12 minutes. I only timed until my water boiled, but I would say that is about right.
This is a stove for boiling water and is probably pretty limited in its capability to do much else. I haven't tried to cook or fry anything on it, because I bought it specifically for those times when I am mainly using freeze-dried or hot liquid foods, such as soups, drinks, oatmeal, etc.
It does not come with a wind screen and I forgot to bring anything with me, so I just set up two flat-ish rocks on the sides that were most open and I had no problem with the fuel staying lit.
The stove is very stable as it is a little box that opens and is low to the ground. In fact, I was boiling water on the Esbit and my husband was boiling water on a stove using a fuel canister and the stove my husband was using tipped, spilling the water and making us start over the boiling process.
The Esbit cooled down quickly when I was done and the fuel tablets pack up in the foldable box. When it is closed, it is not much bigger than a deck of cards. Super simple design and easy to use.
The great thing about the simplicity of the Esbit Pocket Stove, is that there is not much to break or much to go wrong. The only thing would be if you forgot to bring the fuel tablets.
This is a great little stove for minimalists and backpackers who are NOT wanting to sauté, simmer or stir-fry their camp meals, but want to enjoy a easy meal from Mountain House or Backpacker's Pantry.
Lightweight and cheap, the Esbit Pocket Stove fulfills…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $12.95
Lightweight and cheap, the Esbit Pocket Stove fulfills its purpose — to boil water. It is not, however, well suited for all terrain, and the fuel tablets are relatively expensive, meaning the long-term cost of the product will be high. Still, I would recommend it to anyone who just needs to boil water.
- Low initial cost
- Few moving parts
- Expensive fuel
- Not well suited for all terrain
- Takes longer to boil water
- Non-adjustable flame
I moved to Colorado to start college one year ago. In high school I was able to backpack with a group of buddies, and all of us had different pieces of gear — stoves, tents, water filters — that we would share among us. All by myself now, I was forced to get some new gear.
Being a typical broke college student, I went to REI only to be alarmed by the costs of all the gear I had been using for years. Desperate to start ultralight backpacking again, I decided to buy many new items, one of them being the Esbit Pocket Stove w/ 6x14g Solid Fuel Tablets ($12.95 from REI).
SETUP and TAKE-DOWN
The stove is very easy to set up. It is comprised of three pieces of steel riveted together that simply open up to two different widths. I tend to use the narrower setting because my cooking pot is tall and slim and falls through if I have the stove all the way open.
As far as take-down goes, once the stove is cool it simply collapses back down. Expect some soot/residue to remain on the inside. I keep mine in a Ziploc bag when not in use because I store it inside my cooking pot and don't want to get my pot dirty.
Igniting the fuel tablets is not complicated, although it can sometimes be a little tricky if it's windy. The instructions that came in the box stated to use a match to light it. I'm not really a match person, so I use a lighter. I generally place the fuel tablet in the groove in the center of the stove and then hold the stove at an angle so that the tablet slides to one side. I then hold the flame from the lighter near the tablet until part of it ignites. After that I slide the tablet back to the middle and let it finish igniting. Using a match would probably be easier, but in all reality, it just depends on your ability to hold some kind of flame near the fuel tablet until it ignites — any method will work.
Realistically, it would be inappropriate to title this section "Cooking," because the Esbit Pocket Stove is a tool for boiling water. This works well for my purposes because I prepare meals in gallon-sized Ziploc bags that simply require the addition of 2-3 cups of warmish water. But don't plan to simmer a stew or try anything fancy. Boiling water... that's it.
Now be cautious of claims and tests about this product regarding boiling times and heat outputs and other "sciency stuff." It simply comes down to the conditions you are in. Testing this product in the comforts of your kitchen is much different than in the mountains of Colorado. The claim I see the most is that it will boil 2 cups of water in 8 minutes. I have yet to experience this kind of success. I generally can boil 2-3 cups within about 13-14 minutes using two tablets.
If you are doing a test in your kitchen with room temperature water, you will of course find better success than if you are on a windy ridgeline using water from melting snowpacks. I still like this product, but I would recommend that you bring extra tablets and be considerate of your conditions.
As far as dealing with wind, the sides of the stove provide some shielding, but I can say from firsthand experience that wind can severely reduce the stove's efficiency. I have yet to make a windshield, but after trying to use the stove on a 12,000 ft ridge last weekend, I definitely plan to. Still, I have found that even in very strong winds the fuel tablet usually stays lit. Worst case scenario, you can simply move the stove and relight the tablet.
The stove is not the most secure thing in the world, but it does its job as long as you are careful. As I stated previously, I have a tall and slim cooking pot that is barely wide enough to fit on the stove. I just have to make sure I set it on a mostly flat surface. I only had it tip over once, and that was when I was shivering uncontrollably and holding my shaking hands way too close to the stove. You can bet that was a disheartening feeling.
When collapsed the stove measures 4x3x0.75in. This size is convenient because it fits inside most cooking pots. Also, if you so desire you can fit four fuel tablets conveniently inside the collapsed stove. I personally prefer to keep my tablets in their original foil packaging inside a Ziploc bag inside my pot because I usually carry more than four tablets.
The stove itself weighs 3.25oz, and each fuel tablet weighs 0.5oz. This is lighter than most other stoves for most other uses. Alcohol stoves might weigh slightly less, but they generally require twice as much fuel to do the same job. Likewise, products like the PocketRocket also weigh close to the same, but they require fuel canisters that come in predetermined sizes.
One benefit of the Esbit Pocket Stove is that you can choose exactly how much fuel you want to carry, and you don't have to worry whether your canister is almost empty or not. The Esbit Pocket Stove is undoubtedly the lightest option as far as just boiling water goes.
I want to toss this section in there, because as I stated at the beginning, one of the things that appealed to me the most was how cheap the stove was. I wanted to go backpacking, but I had only a little more than $100 to buy a filter, stove, pot, etc. A PocketRocket or similar stove was going to run me at least $50 with fuel, whereas I could get the Esbit Pocket Stove with six fuel tablets for $12.95.
The issue that I did not consider at the time was the long-term cost of the fuel tablets. Buying in bulk, you are able to get the tablets for around $0.50 each. This is more expensive than most other fuel sources (e.g. canisters, alcohol). Still, the difference between a PocketRocket and Esbit Pocket Stove is about $40, meaning I will have to use 80 tablets before the Esbit Pocket Stove equals the price of the Pocket Rocket, and I have yet to reach this number.
Would I recommend this product? YES! It is inexpensive, lightweight, and does what I need it to. If all you need to do is boil water (or have no money) get this product. If you want to do actual cooking, however, you should probably look for a more conventional stove. Though not a perfect solution, the Esbit Pocket Stove's price or simplicity cannot be beaten.
Solid, but (not intended to be) spectacular. This…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: About $10
Solid, but (not intended to be) spectacular.
- Works quickly
- Gets pretty grimy (typical of fuel tab stoves, though)
This stove is compact (about the size of a cassette tape case), easy to use (just fold it out), and does everything one could expect of a fuel-tab stove.
I've typically used this only when hiking solo, since I think it's a bit small to handle larger pots. I can fit two tabs on the stove at once for higher heat, but one tab works fine for boiling water fairly quickly.
I generally dehydrate my own food and prepare it by covering it in water and bringing it to a boil. One tab will do this job well, but if I'm doing a larger batch or cooking for two+, I'll need to add a second tab before it's over.
The stove itself offers some wind protection, with its book-end shape, but if you're expecting gusty days, I would recommend bringing or making a screen of some sort. As long as it's on a fairly flat surface, this stove is stable. I wouldn't try to balance a larger cookset on it, though.
In sum, I would say that as long as you're not expecting Jetboil performance out of this, you'll like it. Recognizing it for what it is (a very simple, collapsable, fuel-tab stove) will help. It's about one step up from just putting your pot on the campfire, technology-wise, but it's a handy little thing to have around.
This is a very doable experience for the backpacker.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $8
This is a very doable experience for the backpacker. If you plan to cook a good meal but only go backpacking once or twice a year this may be great option.
- Really cooks hot
- Really cooks fast
- Easy to light
- Pocket sized with fuel storage
- Needs somewhat flat surface, dirt/rocks okay
- Uses fuel fast, you may need to add during cook
This stove is very storable, pops out quick, and lights with a single match. It is also quiet in operation and is probably easier to clean than most stoves.
Very fast boil in only three minutes, but watch out, you will have to add more fuel cubes during cooking of large meals. This con may make the stove less useful for people planning to cook several meals or on a longer trip because you would have to carry a good number of cubes with you.
The price is still excellent, definitely beating the other backpacker stoves. I have two now and can cook two dishes at once—eggs and bacon or pancakes and sausage. Really went well when I was frying garden burgers for four people last year.
The Esbit Pocket stove is overall good quality, as…
Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (My Scoutmaster)
The Esbit Pocket stove is overall good quality, as it is very light (12.7 ounces including all of the fuel) and boils water effectively.
- Boils fast
- Starts to smell like fish after use...
- Gets slightly dirty and may require washing
The setup is extremely easy! Just pop it out of your pocket, unfold it and ignite a piece of fuel. Every single time I've attempted to ignite the fuel, I've done it with a single match. It does not take much effort to light the fuel. It comes with six fuel cubes, so if you're planning to make more than three meals, purchase extra fuel. It works very well as a backup stove.
The burner or how hot the flame is unfortunately cannot be manipulated, just as a real fire. Although, the stove can boil sixteen ounces of water in ten minutes or less with just one of the solid fuel tablets. It is very effective for how light it is, which is about thirteen grams. It can also grill and fry any food. It will also stay lit in the wind but for max efficiency, make a small wind block out of rocks or tin foil.
It is very stable and safe to set as large of a pot as your heart desires on it. It doesn't come with any kind of pot or cooking tool. All the features work nicely and in normal circumstances never has problems.
I suggest that you only use the cubed fuel packs, because that is what this stove is designed to best use. It is very strong, light, cheap and very durable. I went on a overnight backpacking trip for Scouts and used this model. I cooked three meals in it and all I can negatively report is an odd, fishy smell from it.
Packable stove with excellent heating capability,…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Cash
Packable stove with excellent heating capability, fire steel ignition, sturdy stand and replaceable fuel tablets. Works well with canteen cups and mess kits. Light, low profile that's great for backpacks.
- Lights easily with match, fire steel or lighter
- Small and foldable for easy carry
- Good heat
- Tablets smell bad, so use it in open air
I bought this stove at an army surplus store for $5.95. It fits inside my mess kit with fuel tablets enclosed when it's folded. Boils 2 cups of water in 6 minutes. Fuel tablets are available at sporting goods stores.
Best used in the open air because burning tablets smell. Folded, it measures about the size of a small cigar pack. Easy to light and burns hot even in the wind. Stove folds out to create a Stand which can hold canteen cups or mess tin.
Simple and practical, I would recommend this stove to hikers, bush crafters, emergency preparedness kit builders and home disaster kit builders.
I've used an Esbit for many years. It works, it's…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $5 US
I've used an Esbit for many years. It works, it's inexpensive, and it's small and light.
- See above
- You'd have a real hard time cooking a steak on it:)
- Kind of small for a large pot or pan
The old guys I grew up hiking with used them to make tea on the trail and we always called them 'twig stoves' as they burn twigs and scrap paper, etc quite well but do work best with a fuel tablet.
They carry four tablets when closed and will fit in a shirt pocket.
It's an excellent emergency or back up stove. I carry one with my Swiss Volcano, which also burns twigs, paper and tablets.
Coleman's Military Surplus now has them on sale-temporarily, I suppose until they run out, for something like four of them for $14. That's a great price and four should last your lifetime or make nice gifts or as I'm doing, outfitting the grandkids. A few years ago I gave two to boys who I was mentoring as Eagle scouts.
Very durable Great deal Extremely versatile fuel source…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $10
Extremely versatile fuel source
- Versatile fuel sources
This is great stove that is compact, light, extremely versatile, and is reasonably priced. I liked that it was made in Germany because they make great products, but that's beside the point. It's a great stove that I highly reccomend to all.
This is a nice compact dependable cooking stove ,that…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $11.99
This is a nice compact dependable cooking stove ,that is easy to set up and use! Its design is for boiling 2 cups of water. Great for the cook in bag meal users.
- Easy use
- Dependable fuel
- Not very light
- Doesn't come with wind screen
- One tablet only boils two cups of water no more than that
When using this stove in a light wind with a DIY wind screen it was able to boil water in 8 minuets. Heavy wind would mean the use of two tablets as well as more than two cups of water would also. It unfolds great and is very durable, as well it also is small when folded and can easily slide into your cook pot for storing.
This stove is a good backup and a great front runner for you lightweight hikers where space and weight mean everything!
Great little cooker. Really great stove this. I got…
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: 1 pound
Great little cooker.
- Boils water fast
Really great stove this. I got mine from an army kit resellers, so it was a bit dinged about, but even in that state it can do what it is meant to do with ease.
My only reservation is not a con. It is that it does take around two fuel tablets to boil a litre of water, but at least it boils fast.
Really great, I can see why the army uses it!
This is NOT a stove to cook a chicken over. It is…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $11
This is NOT a stove to cook a chicken over. It is a lightweight stove for boiling water. Used for this purpose it is great!
- Light weight
- Boils 2 cups of water in approximately 8 minutes
This little gem is perfect for what it is intended for — to boil water. Need to purify water? Water for MRE's? Coffee/Tea?
I purchased this stove mainly for my emergency kit when winter hiking. How good would a hot cup of tea or cup of soup taste if someone is injured on a cold winter day? Two cups of water take approximately 8 minutes to boil.
It is inexpensive — approximately $11. It is lightweight at 3.25 oz. Easy to light the non toxic fuel which you can blow out if you don't use it all (you may need a type of wind block for which i pack some tinfoil).
I usually just pack a tin cup in which the whole stove/fuel fits. Perfect!
Pocket stove that works anytime any place Nice way…
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $5
Pocket stove that works anytime any place
- Light but sturdy
- Four small rocks work too.
Nice way to boil a cup of water, using four stones can do the same thing or digging a small hole in the ground. The stove keeps any unfriendly impact to a minimum. Burns clean with its fuel table, can use military fuel tabs too.
I love this stove. It weighs next to nothing and…
Price Paid: $9.99 for stove and some fuel cubes
I love this stove. It weighs next to nothing and is fine (3 season) for my freezer bag cooking. I have resorted to all freezer bag cooking to minimize cleanup, so now I don't always need my Svea 123.
If I was on a long trek or in winter conditions I might bring the 123, but I have had no problems with the Esbit boiling a cup of water in five minutes or less. There is usually enough left over from one solid fuel cube to also boil a cup for a hot drink.
I was also able to use a solid fuel cube on a very rainy group backpack where we wanted a fire and could not find any dry tinder. We had dryer lint but it did not keep going long enough to light the tinder.
Very good stove.
Great for boiling water. Due to compact size and ease…
Price Paid: $5
Great for boiling water. Due to compact size and ease of operation, I keep one in the glove box of the car and take one on every hike just for emergencies.
I wanted a hassle-free, light, compact, and safe stove…
Price Paid: $6
I wanted a hassle-free, light, compact, and safe stove for backpacking and this bad-mamma-jamma delivered. With some help from tin-foil (wind-screen), this stove is perfect if your meal's preparation consist of adding hot water, stirring, and eating.
With my 4qt. pot and two fuel blocks, I was able to boil enough water to rehydrate two meals (Backpacker's Pantry Beef Stroganoff & Pad Thai) and two cups of hot chocolate (to enjoy while we waited for the meals to "cook"); that's roughly 9 cups, so a little more than 2L in about 12 minutes. In the morning I heated 3 cups in about 6 minutes with half a fuel block.
I know there are faster, more efficient stoves out there that look high tech with neato colors, but if you're not in a rush to eat, enjoy your scenery while you wait for your water to boil.
Oh, it packs down to the size of a deck of cards and the fuel fits within; all of which, wrapped in the foil, went inside my pot along with unused food and drinks. Win.
I have been bushwalking for many year on and off and…
Price Paid: 5
I have been bushwalking for many year on and off and have always have had an Esbit stove. I use it now in combination with shellite fuel stove (optum svea 123R amongst others) to simmer food or maintain the temperature of food already cooked.
While I cook another dish, so I don’t have a train smash and have something that looks like a good meal, and for the coffee on the trail, it’s perfect, you don’t have to muck around with liquid fuels, and if you can find an Aussie Army mess kit the combination is cheap, compact and works well for short hikes.
I can’t speak highly enough of this stove, it’s never let me down, and always will carry one of these stoves. As for time it takes to cook a litre of water, I don’t care, and it’s a waste of information for a keen hiker as time is what you have to enjoy the great outdoors.
I got a used one at an Army/Navy surplus store for…
Price Paid: $3
I got a used one at an Army/Navy surplus store for three bucks! A fantastic little stove about the size of a deck of cards and super light weight. The fuel even packs inside. The Esbit brand fuel tabs can get a little pricey but the generic army fuel tabs are smaller, lighter, cost about 2/3rds less and work just as good! The only thing is that the Esbit brand tabs pack in the stove better because they are the correct rectangle shape.
One tab brings one pint of water to a boil. 6 tabs pack in a stove. These suckers get hot, too hot to cook on without having something half raw half burned.
Size, weight performance. The krauts used these stoves…
Size, weight performance. The krauts used these stoves on the Russian Front during WWII (what else do you need to know)?
Use propane or butane for car camping, but the Esbit can't be beat in the field. Use hexamine or trioxane fuel tabs (get em at surplus store) and don't worry about expiration date.
If you pay more than $3 for an Esbit you got ripped. The leftovers from WWII and the Cold War are still working just fine.
I love this stove for the long hauls. I use dehydrated…
Price Paid: $6.99
I love this stove for the long hauls. I use dehydrated meals mostly for long trips and this does the trick! It is light, reliable, easy to use, really cheap and uses safe fuel. It is not the fastest at boiling but hey, I'm in the wilderness and time is what I have!
The only problem I have is with Esbit fuel. It has sort of a fishy smell. I always hang it with the food stuff in bear country. We usually take a different stove on short hikes or winter camping but take the Pocket Stove for a backup! A great product!
The most useful stove I own. Weighs almost nothing.
Price Paid: $5
The most useful stove I own. Weighs almost nothing. Fits into (almost) any pocket. Fuel is stored in the stove for convenience. Solid fuel, no messes. Fuel can be used as an emergency fire starter in wet conditions, burns for 10 to 15 minutes per tab.
ONLY downside, a windscreen MUST be used. A piece of tinfoil folded over a couple of times works well. As long as all you're doing is boiling a cup or two of water for rehydrating dehydrated meals, this is the perfect stove.
You have to have an efficient setup to take full advantage…
You have to have an efficient setup to take full advantage of this design. Use a lightweight "pot" and try and keep it to about 2 cups with one tab. With a windscreen, it can boil up to 2 cups with one tab. More than that and it will take more than one tab. I am using it on the AT (thru-hike) and it gets the job done :)
It is not bad as an emergency backup. I had a hard…
Price Paid: $10
It is not bad as an emergency backup. I had a hard time bringing any more than one cup of water to a boil per tablet, so I started building little twiggy fires as the tablet died down.
Gets the job done. Not the quickest but at the price…
Price Paid: 6 dollars or less
Gets the job done. Not the quickest but at the price and weight it is hard to beat.