Apr 5, 2013 at 11:03 am #1301333
I have an old pocket rocket that I have been using since it came out. I want a new stove. I have a vargo wood burning stove but cant use it that many places in california I go. i also bought a soto Muka stove and hated that dam thing. Only used it once and took it back. Now i bought a snow peak giga power its a little heavier than the PR but it has a piezo starter and I kind of like that. Not to mention the flame control and spread seems to function better.
Did i make a good decision on the snow peak giga or is it just too old now?
Should I keep this stove(I havent used it yet)?
Are there better lighter stoves with a piezo starter and better simmer control?
What would you get right now if you have to buy a new upright canister stove?
Im not interested in alchohol or ezbit stoves. Ive used several and prefer the ease of canister stoves.
I have no problems with my pocket rocket. I really like that stove, I just think its time for a new UL stove. Plus I need the extra for buddies Im trying to get into backpacking.Apr 5, 2013 at 11:38 am #1973120
The gigapower is the gold standard of uprights for a weekend. There are cheaper, lighter, faster, hotter, sexier, uglier, etc versions available but it does have the best balance and minimum of compromise. I love mine and will probably never replace it unless they can make something similar for 1oz (machined aerogel?). Always reliable, compact, light enough, clean burning and just so damn convenient.
You can always take off the piezo lighter if you wanted to save weight down the road.
I've tried alcohol and esbit too and they're fun to play with or to have where canisters are hard to come by, but their minimal advantages are minimal and debatable for anything other than weekend trips.
I am considering getting a remote canister stove like a Kovea or Fire Maple for the added cold weather versatility but there's a weight and cost penalty for limited use.
I was lucky, when I was considering getting a backpacking stove my sister actually got me a piezo gigapower for christmas (uncharacteristic good gift from her and advice from REI staff). I was already leaning towards it at the time but it made my decision easy and I have loved it ever since. I like to constantly swap out gear in an effort to maximize performance but nothing justifies the added cost or fuss factor over my gigapower.Apr 5, 2013 at 12:53 pm #1973149
This stove has worked fine for me since I purchased the optional windscreen. I normally use Esbit so it doesn't see a lot of use. I haven't owned or used a Giga anything for comparison.Apr 5, 2013 at 2:10 pm #1973169
yeah I am looking at:
FMS 300t also just cause its so light, but I imagine the performance would be very similar to my pocket rocket but an ounce lighter. And I dont like ordering things from china if I dont have to.
Snowpeak litemax TI- This shows some promise in weight and price is Low
Jet boil sol TI- I Like the weight and ease of use of this set up. but i like to cook fish and I dont know how easy that would be. Cost is higher. I guess I could get the optional fry pan but that then makes the system heavier
FMS gnat- seems like this stove has been around for a bit and is pretty reliable but is slightly heavier than the hornet above.
Again I dont really need a new stove Im just ready for a change. Honestly the jet boil seems like a cool deal. I feel like Im at the point where I have gone as light as I Care to go now im just getting heavier. On my last trip(summer) I had such a light pack I barely noticed it was there I dont really see the point of going lighter.
Any way if you had to buy a new canister stove right now what would it be and why? no limitations on price or weight.Apr 5, 2013 at 2:14 pm #1973171
It's not (at least to my mind) like there's one upright canister gas stove that is so overwhelmingly outstanding that it outshines the rest in all aspects. Rather, I think it's a series of trade offs. I think one has to decide what is important to them and then choose accordingly.
-The Snow Peak GigaPower is an excellent stove. It's strengths are compactness, durability, and good pot stability. But it weighs a bit more, especially with the piezo ignition.
If you wanted something from the current crop of stoves, here are some thoughts:
-The Soto MiroRegulator is an excellent stove if you want light while still having a piezo ignition. It's not as good on compactness or pot stability (not bad, but not as good as the GigaPower in my estimation). Don't expect cold weather performance to be any better than on any other stove.
-The Fire Maple Hornet (I've also seen it called the Wasp) is the lightest and is very compact, but I doubt its pot stability is anywhere near that of a Gigapower, and it's loud. There have been some issues reported with the jet getting clogged. I don't know how prevalant those issues are (they may be isolated).
-The MSR MicroRocket is a nice stove, far more compact, far more durable, lighter and with better pot stability than the older PocketRocket. If you like the PocketRocket but want some thing lighter and better, then the MicroRocket is a nice one. You could think of it as an improved, lightweight PocketRocket.
FWIW, I actually like the Kovea Camp 56 (the "Supalite") which is fairly light, is reasonably compact, and has good pot stability.Apr 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm #1973179
Just because it may not be the "latest and greatest", the Snow Peak stove (or stoves) don't diminish in utility and value. Those are great stoves and, if you like it, you've got a good one there.
Similarly, I am among those who like the Optimus Crux. Mine's heavier than the current latest and greatest, not to mention the Snow Peak, but it cooks great and does what I want it to.Apr 5, 2013 at 2:40 pm #1973184
Whoops. You replied while I was composing my reply.
I like the Snow Peak LiteMax. It's basically the same stove as the Kovea Supalite. My understanding is that Kovea makes both stoves. The LiteMax is a few grams or so lighter. If I were in the market for a upright canister stove right now, I might get either the LiteMax or the Supalite.
I probably wouldn't get the Jetboil Sol Ti for frying. Yes, you could get the fry pan (aluminum only as far as I am aware), but the fry pan has gotten generally poor reviews (I haven't tried one). Also, the valving is a little wonky on the Sol (at least the two I've tried) in the lower range. It works, but just be aware that you have to fiddle with it a bit. I think the advantage of the Sol Ti is lightweight, fast water boiling. If I planned to do a lot of real cooking, I might get something else. If I primarily were going to boil water and only occasionlly planned to do real cooking, then maybe the Sol Ti would be OK. I'd probably just go with the Aluminum version of the Sol in either case. The aluminum version is cheaper, more versatile in terms of what you can cook with it, and only about an ounce heavier at last check*.
If I wanted to do a lot of frying, I might get a Kovea Spider or MSR WindPro. They can support a good sized fry pan well. The Optimus Vega might be fine for that too, but I haven't got an experience with the Vega.
*It looks like Jetboil has done some things to make the current aluminum version heavier, perhaps in an effort to make the Ti version appear lighter.Apr 5, 2013 at 3:20 pm #1973192
Jim- thanks for your imput. Any thing to say about the jetboil sol Ti? I agree with you about the differences of the stoves being small. I guess thats why im checking out the jet boil also.Apr 5, 2013 at 3:30 pm #1973196
I think I should just keep the new GIGA. Its got all the features I want just a little heavy and as I said before I dont mind adding a pound or 2 to my pack this year. And honestly reliability is my biggest deal. I want it to work and I want it to work consistantly.
Thanks for your input guys.Apr 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm #1973216
I love my Giga. You won't regret it.Apr 5, 2013 at 5:47 pm #1973257
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Jetboil Sol Ti weighs about the same as convention upright+pot+windscreen
Plus, it requires less fuel to heat up the same amount of water
I think that's probably the lightest over-all systemApr 6, 2013 at 4:41 am #1973333
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
I believe there was some problems reported with the SolTi. I don't seem to find the links right off…
Anyway, some of the heat excahanger fins melted. It appears they may not have bonded fully when welded with the ti container. This kind'a points out the difficulties of welding, even spot welding, dissimilar materials.
Also, ti is not as good of a heat conductor as aluminum by quite a bit. And, expansion and contraction are quite a bit different. I suspect these also contributed to the problem. Durability could be a problem with the SolTi…it is hard to send in for a replacement on the trail.
FireMaple and Olicamp (same?) are offering a heat exchanger pot that can be used with most stoves. The advantage that JetBoil had is sort of been made obsolete. The heat exchanger is what really gave the JetBoils their bigest advantage. Depending on the usage, between a 15-40% improvement in time or fuel efficiency has been reported with Heat Exchangers (HE) on pots. Optimus/Primus, Firemaple, MSR are a few that have or are producing heat exchangers on pots. Trail Designs gets around them by simply trapping all heated air using the pot's sides as well as the bottom to transfer heat.Apr 6, 2013 at 5:21 am #1973337
@pgasbyLocale: North Carolina
I have a Gigapower and the stability and reliability keep it at the top of the list … it just works.
It I were buying a new one I'd probably get a SP Litemax – a bit lighter and more compact.
If I were buying a new remote stove I'd like to try the Kovea Spider.Apr 6, 2013 at 7:45 am #1973360
Only if you are boiling water. Any kind of cooking will be better performed by a regular canister stove. Plenty light, more flexible.Apr 6, 2013 at 8:07 am #1973368
@rossLocale: Beautiful BC
The Jetboil Sol does include a separate pot/frypan support ( 1.3 oz.) that allows the use of any pot or fry pan you like. The speed at which my jetboil produces hot water still amazes me.Apr 6, 2013 at 8:09 am #1973370
But the JB is not known for being a simmering stove. It's designed for speed only.Apr 6, 2013 at 8:58 am #1973378
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
I really like the optimus crux because of how well it stores. With other stoves i always had a hard time fittine the canister stove and wind screen in the pot so the lid would fit on.Apr 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm #1973445
Jim- thanks for your imput. Any thing to say about the jetboil sol Ti? I agree with you about the differences of the stoves being small. I guess thats why im checking out the jet boil also.
The Giga is a classic. It's a good balance of compactness, durability, and good pot stability. Maybe a little heavier than the current crop, but if you're not sweating the grams, it's a great stove. Definitely a good all arounder.
A Jetboil is a different class of stove. With it's integrated design, it really is significantly more efficient. I did a trip a few years ago with three guys for 5 days (really a half day on either end, so call it the equivalent of 4 days). We used about 100g of gas. That's 25g/day for three people. We had cold lunches every day, and a couple of cold breakfasts, but still, that's pretty good. You can't approach that level efficiency with a Giga and a regular pot. The JB is also more windproof.
But on the other hand, the JB weighs more and at least the Sol with it's wonky regulator valve is harder to do real cooking on. On the plus side, you can bring the supplied adapter and use any pan you like with the Sol. I have a series of posts on the Jetboil Sol on my blog. Personally, I'd probably get the aluminum version if I chose the Sol. The Ti version is restricted in terms of what you can cook, is only marginally lighter, and is $30 more last I checked.Apr 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm #1973446
I believe there was some problems reported with the SolTi. I don't seem to find the links right off…
Here you go: Titanium Jetboil Sol — Caution.
In all fairness to Jetboil, they have slightly modified the design of their pot. The newer design might make the HX fins less likely to separate from the pot, but you still have the issue of bonding two metals that expand at different rates when heated.
As mentioned elsewhere, you really want to stick with water only for the Ti version of the JB Sol. I just don't see it: more expensive, less durable, more restricted as to what you can cook, and $30 more? For about an ounce weight difference? I'd rather have the aluminum version.Apr 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm #1973452
I have a Jetboil Sol Ti that I picked up for a good price, and it's my favorite most of the time since I usually just need hot water (and it makes it fast!). It does not simmer well, but I've had no problems with it just heating up water and hot beverages.
For real cooking and colder weather use, I've been really pleased with the Kovea Spider that someone mentioned above. It has nice wide supports for using a fry pan or bigger pot, and has handled all my cooking needs well.
-DavidApr 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm #1973469
That's a good "division of (stove) labor." JB for warmer weather and water boiling. Kovea Spider for cold weather and real cooking. I often break things out in a similar fashion although I've been using alcohol stoves a lot for good weather solo trips.
The place where something like a JB really shines is when it keeps you from having to bring a second canister. Say you're out on a 4 day trip with a friend. You figure that it'll take about 30g/day of canister gas for two with something like a GigaPower. But with a JB, you can cut it down to 25g (I've gotten by with less than that with a JB). Standard canisters are 110g or 220g. With the JB, I can take a 110g canister and reasonably expect to have enough fuel for 2 people for 4 days. With the Giga, I have to take a larger canister. Not a huge deal, but it is extra weight and bulk to take the larger canister (of course the JB is usually heavier to begin with depending on your pot choice and burner selection).
Also, the JB has some built in wind resistance whereas something like a Giga typically needs an external windscreen.
I'm not knocking or promoting either set up. I'm just trying to throw out some of the variables. I will say that if someone were new to backpacking and didn't want to spend a lot of time trying to dial in their stove system, the JB is a nice option. A newb can pretty much do just as well as a veteran on a JB. (I actually find the JB a little dull — I mean where's the challenge) :)Apr 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm #1973530
I've been using a Litemax for the last two seasons, and I've nothing but praise for it. On the SHR I used one small cannister for 8 days, boiling water once each morning, and once each night. With a cozy for my 2 1/2 cup cup, I had fuel left over when I reached Mammoth! Pretty impressive!
Simple and reliable, all the other praiseworthy stoves are similar. Keeping it simple!Apr 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm #1973533
Eight days? That is good. I usually figure five, maybe six full days for a small canister on a solo trip.
Were you doing anything to shield the stove from wind? Were your first and last days "full" days (boils at both breakfast and supper)? What kind of pot?
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