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One of the problems every walker faces in choosing a stove is how to compare their performances. The claims by the manufacturers are notorious for spin, hype, and in a few cases a bit worse. In this series of articles we present solid scientific measurements of the performance of a wide range of canister stoves, principally in terms of heating efficiency (grams of gas required) and heating rates (aka boil times). Part 3 (this article) presents a 'shootout' between most of the heat-exchanger stoves currently on the market, plus a comparison of them with the stoves listed in Part 2, to see under what conditions (if any) the heat-exchangers deliver a net weight reduction.

  • Part 1 of the series explained how we made these measurements, including a test rig developed especially for the task.
  • Part 2 surveyed a wide range of conventional Upright and Remote canister stoves for performance.
  • Part 3 (this article) surveys Heat Exchanger stoves and see if and when they offer a weight advantage.
  • Part 4 will examine various other aspects of stove efficiency, including pot diameter.

What is a 'heat exchanger' stove? Actually, in nearly all cases the heat exchanger has little to do with the stove. Rather, the term means that the pot has a ring of heat-sink fins around the base. The flames from the stove, or the hot gases from the flames, go through these fins, which will hopefully improve the efficiency of heat transfer from the flames to the pot.


  • Introduction
  • Test Measurement Principles - Recapitulated (again)
  • Interfering Effects
  • The Stoves
  • Test Results
  • Analysis
  • Heat-Exchangers vs the Rest
  • Burner Heads
  • Stove Efficiency vs Flame Diameter
  • Stove Efficiency vs Power Output
  • The Efficiency of Heat Exchanger Fins
  • Efficiency in Real Life
  • The Crunch Line
  • Summary
  • Addendum: Comments on Individual Heat Exchanger Stoves
  • Jetboil GCS
  • Jetboil Helios
  • MSR Reactor
  • Primus Eta Power
  • Primus Eta PackLite
  • Primus Eta Express

# WORDS: 7360

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