User Review: Soto Muka
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $125 on sale
The claims of efficiency are correct, and the stove is quite powerful. The pumping requirements are a con. All this aside, there are major safety concerns that need to be addressed!
- No soot or fuel dripping
- High output
- Light and compact
- Easy fill of fuel bottle
- Flexible fuel hose
- Pumping requirement is disproportional
- Releasing air pressure releases cloud of gas fumes
- Major potential for fires!
The operating procedures for this stove are similar to other liquid fuel stoves, but the priming and decompression are a bit different. One thing to note is the VERY high output, so when you are lighting the stove beware of the potential to burn your arm hair. This stove burns at two levels, high and extremely high output. I would only use for boiling water, and it does this in similar amounts of time to other stoves.
With other liquid fuel stoves, one must unscrew the pump to de-compress the fuel which leaks fuel. This stove offers the "air" setting which is very handy but releases all of the air tainted with fuel and can be nauseating in small quarters.
This stove is not as windproof as other stoves I have owned, the flame would flicker in breezy conditions. The Muka is similar in efficiency to other stoves, perhaps a bit less efficient.
Engineering-wise, the Muka is stable and solid and packs into a small size which is quite lightweight. The quick-connect fuel line is brilliant and is much easier to use than other stoves.
Now for the really important stuff.
I was using this stove on a 3-day trip in the summer at about 7,000 ft and discovered two potential disaster scenarios! When the stove first starts up in the "start" mode it runs thin order to heat the fuel line that runs over the burner. Theoretically the flame turns blue and you switch it to "run" with no problems, which is what happened most of the time.
HOWEVER, once during this trip the flame did not turn blue and when I switched to "run" the flame jumped quite high, then fuel actually began to spill out of the stove and spread onto the rock which I was cooking on! This is the only time I have ever un-intentionally started a liquid fuel fire using any stove for many years. Luckily, the emergency stop feature worked and none of us were injured.
Also, the pump is threaded and removable for some reason. Im my case, I went to pick up the pump and fuel bottle by the pump handle and to my surprise and alarm it popped off leaving a pencil sized hole in the pump through which I could see inside the fuel bottle! In other scenarios this would mean fuel spilled all over my kit or even worse!!!
The stove is nice, but the excessive pumping and potential for danger make it something for the pawn shop.