This part assembles the information from our testing and evaluations of integrated canister fuel stoves and provides a review of each stove.
State of the Market Reports
State of the Market Reports offer an in-depth assessment of an entire product category, with a comparison summary of notable products in that category, and an evaluation of their applications, technologies, features, and performance. Heavy emphasis is placed on a technology overview of the product category, a discussion of performance comparison criteria, and a performance comparison (with ratings) of each product presented in tabular format. Performance is to be based on evaluation of the products in the field.
Tired of solo trips? Ditch the tiny tarp for one of these multi-person shelters and share the weight with your friends and family. You may even save a few ounces!
Integrated canister fuel cooking systems have advanced substantially in every way – they’re lighter, faster, more efficient, and have more cooking capacity and versatility. In this part we highlight this evolution, explore how these stoves can be very weight-efficient, and identify the top performing stoves for different situations and needs.
The Jetboil Personal Cooking System was a major innovation back in 2004. We reviewed it in-depth and reported on its strengths and drawbacks. It’s wonderfully fuel-efficient and wind-resistant, but heavy, a bit slow, and low in cooking capacity. Fast forward to 2011; now we have eight backpackable integrated canister fuel stoves. They are fast, fuel-efficient, wind-resistant, some are cold-resistant, they have a much higher cooking capacity, and some are truly lightweight and can be pared down to as little as 7.5 ounces (213 g). Got your attention?
Do they have any advantages over simple trail runners? And who makes lightweight W-I-D-E shoes for hikers with duck feet?
Why use an airmat instead of a slab of foam? Two reasons: an airmat is thicker and more comfortable, and an airmat has a higher insulation rating or R-value, to protect you from the cold underneath. But you don’t want excess weight, so this survey is restricted to airmats weighing less than 400 g (14 oz) for summer use and 800 g (28 oz) for winter use. In Part 1 we looked at the sort of properties we might want in an airmat; in this Part 2 we look at actual airmats.
Why use an airmat instead of a closed-cell foam pad? Lightweight airmats that rival a closed-cell foam pad in weight now exist, so you don’t need to carry extra weight to get good comfort anymore. This survey is restricted to airmats weighing less than 400 g (14 oz) for summer use and 800 g (28 oz) for winter use.
The second in a series exploring the use of minimalist footwear for backpacking, Damien explores what works when summer is gone. Keeping your feet warm in barely-there shoes is no mean – ahem – feat.
For lightweight backpacking, how does a larger volume frameless backpack compare with a lightweight internal frame backpack? We address that question, provide specifications and ratings, and identify the standouts among 10 larger volume frameless packs. Plus we pick the best packs for “Sherpa duty.”
Ultralight backpacking is by far the most popular use of frameless backpacks. We provide specifications and ratings, and identify the standouts among 23 packs currently available. Overall, the majority of these packs really rock, but some meet user’s specific needs better than others.
We “lab” test thirteen frameless backpacks to compare their performance in terms of load carrying capability. We also address the debate of whether a coiled or folded sleeping pad is better for creating a “virtual frame” for weight transfer to the hips. And we compare frameless backpacks with stays inserted to lightweight internal frame backpacks. Our data reveal some distinct differences among the packs and a few surprises.
We put eleven different wood-burning models to the test. Check out which performed best, and which stove had catastrophic failure during testing. But don’t worry: no forests were harmed in the making of this SOTM!