White Box Stove REVIEW
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Mar 6, 2007 at 9:38 pm #1222238Benjamin SmithBPL Member
@bugbombLocale: South Texas
Companion forum thread to:Mar 7, 2007 at 2:16 am #1381394Franco DarioliSpectator
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
Roger you have found all of the foibles of the White Box, namely the slow start up and the wide flame. The weight and the flaring are negligible to me because, as you pointed out the extra weight is "slight" and , in my opinion, more than justified by the extra strength and moderately larger diameter, for pot stability.
I have made a modification to one of mine but cannot check the result till I get the other one back, it is on duty in Tasmania right now.
The flaring is a non issue to me because I boil water for soup or coffee or bring water to boil with my food in it and than cover with a home made cozy and layer of clothing and let it "cook" Dutch oven style for 20 min or so.
The reason I use the White Box is because it works every time including windy and down to freezing days. My typical alcohol use is 1/2 oz for coffee/soup and 1oz for dinner for two, almost no difference in any weather.
FrancoMar 7, 2007 at 6:57 am #1381407Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: Homesteading On An Island In The PNW
I use a priming ring (pan) from AGG under my White Box, and get almost instant flames, and don't have to light it from inside.
It also cuts off the amount of time to boil 3-4 cups of water. I used mine with 1 ounce fuel, windscreen and a Primus Lite Tech tea kettle. I did this boil in around 4 minutes.Mar 7, 2007 at 6:58 am #1381408Chad MasonSpectator
I have two of these stoves. One "regular" and the other I sent to Tinny (minibulldesigns) and had him add a wick. The unwicked version takes well over a minute to blossom whereas the version with the wick blossoms on just under 20 seconds.Mar 7, 2007 at 1:50 pm #1381478James LoyBPL Member
@jimbluzLocale: Pacific NW
I agree with the review and most of the comments by readers. The stove & windscreen seem well-made, though I am thinking about trimming the windscreen to fit into a MSR Kettle. I have tested mine a few times in calm conditions in the 42-46 degree range. Yesterday, I was unable to bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a MSR Titan Kettle on 1 oz of fuel due to the time required for the stove to vaporize. Using 1.5oz was more than sufficient, however. When the MSR kettle is used, a pot lifter, in my opinion, is necessary. I also have a Thermojet Microlite and a Caldera Cone setup from Trail Designs and for me at least, I find them both more efficient. Each of these stoves has their advantages and disadvantages, so the conditions of my trips will dictate which one I take with me.Mar 7, 2007 at 6:32 pm #1381522Scott LukkasonMember
Mine works great and has provided many hot meals in cold and windy novembers in montana. I give it a 5 out of 5.Mar 8, 2007 at 3:05 am #1381558Franco DarioliSpectator
@francoLocale: Gauche, CU.
That was the other point, that I forgot. Pot holders are a must with the White Box, again as Roger found out. I use them with gas anyway so I overlooked that , my pots have had the handles remouved. I tried to make a wick ring as shown by Jason Klass but failed, and to think that I was able to tie my shoe laces by the age of 17.
FrancoMar 25, 2007 at 2:37 pm #1383487simon pembertonBPL Member
I have no problems with mine,i use a small priming pan and set up the stove with my stripped down msr kettle on top,slide the wind screen (custom titanium) up to light the priming pan and i have a lit stove in about 10 secs,flame pattern seems to match the bottom of the kettle perfectly,its one of the best stoves i have seen,alcohol or gas.Apr 5, 2007 at 10:39 am #1384935BILL BALLOWEBPL Member
Since I have been contacted by quite a few people over the somewhat lack-lustre review that Roger Chaffin performed, I thought I would add my 2 cents worth.
FYI: BPL had this stove last October and tested it back then. For the record they never published their test results until after Gossamer Gear started selling the stove this February. I received several emails and promises from Roger that he was going to post the review but never did until GG got involved. Could that be part of the reason, in my opinion and opinions of numerous other stove owners, for the lack-lustre review.
Roger included some information with the article that needs to be looked at. Most all alcohol stoves are really made for boiling water and for single users. For the vast majority of the backpackering people in this world a 1/2 ounce extra weight is no big deal especially when it makes the stove many times more durable than a typical pop can stove and again when the stove is designed to be used by 2 or more hikers. Most alcohol stoves are barely capable of handling the needs of one hiker let alone 2 or more.
Also the windscreen shown in the picture in the review isn't the right windscreen. It obviously must be something Roger found somewhere else. Controlling the air flow with a properly designed windscreen is important and it looks to me like his windscreen has twice as many holes as the one I provided with the stove. Also, as per instructions, wrapping the windscreen to tight around the pot, which Roger did, works against the efficiency of the stove. Any "qualified" stove tester should know that.
Roger also claimed flames were licking up the side of his pot. Could be because he didn't place the pot on the stove as soon as the stove blossomed out. But I think perhaps he could possibly have a fuel contamination problem more than a stove problem. If a picture is worth a million words then watch the attached video for yourself to see if the flames go up the side of the pot.
Another point Roger Chaffin brought up is that the stove flares up when the pot is removed. Again this might be because of the fuel he was using. I can disprove that by the video that was produced by Tinny from MiniBull Designs. You might find it interesting to know that Tinny, one of the best and innovative alky stove makers in the world, and a competitor, not a friend, of mine, actually thought the stove was way better than what BPL's reviewer thought. Watch the video and see for yourself.
To counter another "educated guess" by Roger. His comment "If the jets were made a little smaller to bring the flames a little more under control". Making the hole size smaller so you get a smaller flame pattern won't work. If you change the hole size and make them smaller, the stove won't function as good and the flames tend to go out. Also that fact seems to be seconded in Tinnys article and video.
Thanks to all my loyal customers who have contacted me about the BPL review.
ONE LAST THOUGHT: Is it the reviewers job to throw insults during the review. Let me quote a part of Roger's article referring to the number of stoves I've built and sold: "(It also means someone has drunk a huge number of drinks out of those cans – no comment!)" Tell me, what does that have to do with reviewing as stove. To me that shows a true lack of professionalism. Had I known Roger would have written something like that I would have never ask BPL to review this stove. I really feel insulted by the inference that I drink a lot. Any one who knows me will tell you that I haven't drunk and type of alcohol in over 30 years. Can you say that Roger? All of the bottles I use for this stove are scrounged from the roadways and litter containers and recycled into a very good product. Roger if you are reading this you owe me an apology!
Now that I've had my say, again I want to thank all the loyal White Box Stove owners, worldwide, who enjoy the stove and realize it is one of the best made.
Bill in MTJun 3, 2007 at 11:17 pm #1391093Miguel MarcosMember
@miguelmarcosLocale: Middle Iberia
I'm preparing for a 5 day summer stint in the Pyrenees with a pal of mine. Among other things, we needed a stove. After much deliberation and wanting to keep things light, I decided to got for an alcohol stove and chose the White Box which I ordered from the UK. I tested it this weekend in optimum conditions in my mother-in-law's garden and I have to say it works quite well. It's a minor spectacle to see the jets suddently go to work and it was easy to light (hard to see the flames in the the light of day). I didn't suffer from flare up as the review stated.
We'll see how it does in the mountains this July…Apr 7, 2008 at 10:13 am #1427488mark henleyMember
The White box stove fits in the bottom well of a 32 oz Heinie pot PERFECTLY. This gets the bottom of the pot much closer to the jets and, at least from casual observation, seems to improve the performance of this little powerhouse even more, if that's possible.
I own a number of other stoves and this one is by far my favorite setup …. a 2 oz kitchen ROCKS!
In head to head playing around the picnic table last weekend, the overall performance wasn't all that far off from by buddie's jetboil.May 7, 2008 at 8:13 am #1432010Clay LangSpectator
.Jul 21, 2010 at 11:57 am #1631033Leon PantenburgMember
My experience is that the best and safest way to light an alcohol stove is to use a flint stick. Works like magic, and keeps your fingers away from the flame!Jul 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm #1631042Evan McCarthyBPL Member
I use a Caldera Cone (love it, despite the overall weight). It may be overkill for the wallet, the environment, etc. but I use waterproof "flare" matches to light my stove.
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