Nov 27, 2012 at 6:54 pm #1296532
@maiaLocale: Rocky Mountains
Companion forum thread to:Nov 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm #1931623
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
How does the Xcelerator compare to the Litemax for fuel efficiency? To the Primus Micron?Nov 28, 2012 at 5:42 am #1931682
@zkoumalLocale: Prague, CZ
I have seen this stove sold under a local brand here and now I found they also sell a heavier version (steel instead of titanium) which has a preheat tube:
The construction (burner, legs) seems to be identical, what suggest it is made by the same manufacturer. It is quite possible that the parts are interchangeable, what would make it possible to combine the titanium components with the jet assembly with a preheat tube. The combination would be what Ryan calls for in the review.
The downside is that one have to buy two stoves. The result would be nice, but not worth the money for me.Nov 28, 2012 at 6:18 am #1931689
Jan, there are thread(s) in the forums above us, wherein at least one person has "mix-n-matched" the two stoves to create a ti-version with the preheat tube from the steel. As with you, this option is too expensive for me.
Thanks to Brad and Ryan for producing this very timely and "not major brand name" review! As an owner of the 117t, I have been impressed with the stove and have been putting it through its paces in testing/review for potential use in our Scout Troop as a backpacking patrol stove. I like the low, wide stance of the stove, the ability to wind-screen it without concern over the canister and the minimal weight.
I think the published review could benefit from a quick note or observation regarding the width/stance of the pot supports, especially for those who might use the stove as a personal rig: it's nice and wide for use with skillets and large pots, but the opening between the legs in the center is *too wide* for safe use of narrow pots such as Fosters Can.
Here's the stove with a Foster's Can
Comparison to an Optimus Crux
There are more photos, and my informal reports on this stove, as well as a related Heat Exchanger pot made by the same factory, in this thread on BPL:Nov 28, 2012 at 9:56 am #1931733
When I received the email containing a link to this article, the link included the subheading:
"Finally, a remote-canister stove for winter cooking without the extra weight".
Without a preheat tube, I think it hardly qualifies as a good winter stove, and the content of the article correctly addresses this.
I see, too, that the article itself has removed the "winter cooking" from the sub-title.
Thanks for the review. I enjoyed it, and it's good to see more competition on the market for stoves in general.Nov 28, 2012 at 10:24 am #1931738
I have only played with my FMS 117 Ti stove and am very impressed, however, you should also take a look at these comments regarding pre heat tube and the changes to the burner head over time.
Yes I do intend to use mine, as it is ideal for the wider pots I prefer.Nov 28, 2012 at 10:31 am #1931739
@moxfordLocale: Silicon Valley, CA
Odd that it gets a "recommended" rating with all the negatives and caveats.
I don't know that I'm a fan of that low-hanging fuel line, the 90deg right angle, or the apparent stress from the 90deg hose right where it mounts to the body…seems like it would start to wear through repeated use.
Ryan, if you're not smitten with the uber-fast boil times of the Jetboil …
The new MSR Whisperlite Universal is 6oz heavier than this review, but you don't have to buy a winter stove, it runs on canister (upright or inverted), white gas and you don't need a secondary attachment (cost + weight) if you want to use a pot with it or a fry pan. :)
It's not "ultralight" but then again, neither is the Jetboil line. The Jetboil Sol is about the same weight as MSR Whisperlite Universal + Evernew 900ml pot and lid. (335g vs 358g (258g + 100g))Nov 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm #1931764
@marksanbourneLocale: New Hampshire
I noticed in this review that test stove being done utilizing Foster's beer can. Most of these are coated in BPA to prevent acid corrosion with aluminum.
Certainly hope it was for test run on boiling time and not for food preparation.Nov 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm #1931811
There's a Foster's can in the review? Are you sure?Nov 28, 2012 at 5:08 pm #1931823
@mikemartinLocale: North Idaho
The lack of preheat tube problem looks entirely solvable.
1) Very little preheating is really needed on a propane/butane stove. Could the desired effect be achieved by simply running the flexible hose *near* (not in) the flame? Maybe it could be tied in place with a bit of wire…
2) How is the flexible hose constructed? Would it withstand the heat of running it across the top of the burner *through* the flame?
3) If 1 or 2 isn't feasible, it looks like a conventional preheat loop might be fabricated from brass tubing and fitted to the stove at a weight penalty of less than an ounce or so.
It definitely looks ripe for experimentation (at your own risk, of course).
-MikeNov 28, 2012 at 7:53 pm #1931857
"Could the desired effect be achieved by simply running the flexible hose *near* (not in) the flame?"
I wouldn't do that. While the outside of the flexable hose is metal the inside is likely plastic or rubber. If the internal plastic tube gets to hot the fuel would leak out and the hose would start to burn. It's not easy to to make a flexable all metal tube that won't kinking or break.
"If 1 or 2 isn't feasible, it looks like a conventional preheat loop might be fabricated from brass tubing and fitted to the stove at a weight penalty of less than an ounce or so."
Its not easy to modify the stove to accept a hand made preheat tube. In most customized stoves I have seen, people find a stove with a preheat tube and swap parts. Another option I have seen is to run a ribbon of copper from the metal bottom of the stove to the flame. The coper would conduct heat to the base and hopefully heat the fuel before it gets to the jet.Nov 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm #1931859
@mikemartinLocale: North Idaho
"While the outside of the flexable hose is metal the inside is likely plastic or rubber. If the internal plastic tube gets to hot the fuel would leak out and the hose would start to burn."
Yah, I agree. I was hoping it might be silicone on the inside.
"run a ribbon of copper from the metal bottom of the stove to the flame."
That sounds very promising and elegant on this stove. Though it's been used for decades on sit-on-top stoves, I've always considered it risky to directly heat the canister with a copper wire heat exchanger. This stove doesn't seem to have that limitation.
-MikeNov 28, 2012 at 10:44 pm #1931873
@dirtbagclimberLocale: Pacific Northwest
I've been wondering for some time if one could get some single-strand copper wire and wrap it around the fitting where the fuel line entered the stove body, than run the stove in inverted-canister mode. I presume this would not work at quite as low of a temperature as a true pre-heat tube, but it might be enough for a lot of us.Nov 29, 2012 at 1:13 am #1931877
This stove is NOT suitable for inverted canister use.
Could the desired effect be achieved by simply running the flexible hose *near* (not in) the flame? Would it withstand the heat of running it across the top of the burner *through* the flame?
Definitely NOT! The rubber hose is 1) thermally insulating and 2) will most likely burn if it gets hot.
There is a very simple solution when using this type of stove in freezing conditions – simple sit the canister in a pot/bowl of luke warm water, then it will work perfectly.Nov 29, 2012 at 5:16 am #1931894
carlos fernandez rivasParticipant
@pitagorinLocale: Galicia -Spain
Fire maple has a stove suited for upside down use….. and is still lightNov 29, 2012 at 4:10 pm #1932010
To clarify: Both Ryan and I give this stove a "Highly Recommended" rating for its intended use as a 3-season backpacking stove. Also significant: We rate it "Highly Recommended" as based on its design and intended use.
In my opinion this is the benchmark stove for all other 3-season stoves on the market. It is everything a good backpacking stove should be, and nothing more. In my mind it's pointless to have a 3-ish ounce canister-mount stove when you could have one the same weight with all the benefits of a remote canister… more stable, ability to use a windscreen, etc. This is a perfect stove for even young beginners- just about impossible to mess up. The price is pretty great, too.
This is now the first, and likely only, stove that I recommend to people who ask me what kind of backpacking stove they should get. For three-season use, if you're not Ti-Tri savvy or inclined, the xCelerator is the way to go.
THE STOVE IS NOT BUILT OR INTENDED FOR WINTER USE. IT IS A 3-SEASON STOVE.
The twisted minds of many BPLers, however, somewhat perversely leap immediately to thoughts of using canisters upside down for winter use. It doesn't matter to them that the stove was NOT intended for use in winter, because that's what they want to do. If the canister's remote, darnit, these people want to turn it upside down. If you would consider, say, a side-by-side comparison of a Mini Cooper and a Peterbilt for towing capacity, the Mini would not rate very high, despite its other arguably redeeming qualities. Although the desire to make these leaps in comparison is… silly, we know our readers… and let's face it, some staffers… will WANT to use the stove in a way other than intended.
The lower rating is based entirely on those of you who regularly ignore the "intended use" aspect of gear. If you are the type who gets annoyed that your poncho tarp didn't keep you protected from the weather on a recent trip up Mt Washington… you were probably the targeted audience for the lower rating…Nov 29, 2012 at 4:13 pm #1932011
Incidentally, the Whisperlite Universal and the Xcelerator are WORLDs apart. The Universal is a HEAVY BEAST, it doesn't simmer, and it is, in general, a disappointing stove. There is a forthcoming review on the Universal.Nov 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm #1932062
I want more information on the cook kit(s) used in the review of this stove.Nov 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm #1932069
@rexLocale: Central California Coast
"It is everything a good backpacking stove should be, and nothing more."
How about reliable and lightweight?
I've had brand-name expensive canisters leak in the back country, cutting trips short. For that reason alone, I will not use any canister stove again, and I don't recommend them for backpacking.
OTOH, I can't imagine any total failure scenarios for Esbit. You can prop a pot on tent stakes or rocks to burn Esbit, if needed.
And for most trips, decent Esbit stoves with fuel weigh ounces less than any canister stove with fuel.
I'm not trying to start canister-vs-Esbit wars. Esbit certainly has drawbacks in various scenarios.
"This is now the first, and likely only, stove that I recommend to people who ask me what kind of backpacking stove they should get."
I am troubled by this blanket endorsement of a stove that has tradeoffs in two important areas.Nov 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm #1932076
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
A few extra points about this stove.
First, it is made by Fire Maple in China with the model name of FMS-117T. The Olicamp branding is purely OEM stuff. The Fire Maple version is gold coloured where the Olicamp OEM version is blue.
Second, it is a 'stretched' version of the FMS-116T stove, sometimes known as a Monatauk Gnat, although that too is just an OEM branding. If you compare the two you will quite easily see how it was done.
Third, the hose is typically PFA tubing with a SS braid cover, and totally unsuited to being put near the flame!!! It will not be silicone tubing because silicone tubing is slightly porous to propane/butane mix.
Yes, there is a winter version in progress, but not as developed. There are other details, but more on that later.
CheersNov 30, 2012 at 11:14 am #1932164
A couple of posts here have presumed that silicone tubing would be suitable to route through the flame, ie is flame-proof. I doubt it! Silicone is not a thermoplatic, so it won't melt. But in a flame, it will degrade and eventually (at a high enough temperature) combust.Nov 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm #1932211
I think the better "solution" to the issue with preheating of fuel and inversion of the canisters with this stove is "to not do it".
I've personally got more shakedown to go with my 117t and the Boy Scouts who may adopt it as their standard Patrol Stove, but the general intent is that it will be a 3-season stove. With use in weather ranging from 20-90 Fahrenheit, I expect the stove will continue to function as reliably and effectively as every other canister stove we've used and enjoyed (even when we have to stash the fuel in the bottom of a sleeping bag). Based on my experience with canister stoves (and decades of use with a variety of white-gas, hexamine/esbit and even butane stoves), I really see this stove as having a lot of potential. It's encouraging to read the conclusions of our review authors on this topic, that's for sure!Nov 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm #1932245
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
I'm not having much luck getting an answer from the reviewers to the question below, so I'll try my luck with you, as a very knowledgable stove person.
How does the Xcelerator compare to the Litemax for fuel efficiency? To the Primus Micron?Nov 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm #1932265
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> How does the Xcelerator compare to the Litemax for fuel efficiency? To the Primus Micron?
This is a good question, but my answer may not be what you were expecting.
With few exceptions,the power put out by a canister stove is mainly a function of the jet size (~0.30 mm) and the temperature of the canister (ie the pressure inside the canister). The shape (or brand) of the burner etc etc really plays little part in this.
However, you can change the efficiency of any stove over quite a large range by how you use it. If you always run it flat out, you will get low efficiency: most of the heat goes up the side of the pot and escapes. If you run it at a moderate rate with a windshield about 15 mm from the pot you will get good efficiency.
Some stoves have a poor burner design. The MSR Pocket Rocket focuses the heat at the middle of the pot for instance. I don't like that design myself (and the pot supports are flimsy). Some stoves put out quite a lot of Carbon Monoxide due to poor air inlet design or pot position, but I don't think alters the fuel efficiency much.
Some pots have built-on heat exchangers. That alters the efficiency to be sure, but that is not really a function of the stove design.
Some people get very poor fuel efficiency because they run the stove flat out and they don't use a good windshield around the stove. Yes, I know the lawyers for some well-known brands have hysterics about windshields. Cretins. And cooking without a lid on the pot wastes a lot of heat too.
Just a thought for those who have little experience with canister stoves. The large hotplate on a domestic electric stove might, maybe, have a power rating of 2.4 kW. Most tiny canister stoves have a power rating closer to 3 kw, and are more powerful that white gas stoves as well.
CheersNov 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm #1932312
@mwgillenwaterLocale: Seattle area
Anyone have any experience or comment on the Fire Maple FMS-118 Volcano for winter use in inverted can mode?
How it might compare with Primus Express Spider
And MSR Windpro II
I'm not sure where you can even purchase the Volcano, but it looks interesting.
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