BRS-3000T – Another One Bites the Dust
Mar 5, 2017 at 11:21 am #3454526
It’s stuff like this, plus the issue of pots sliding off the pot supports, that keeps me using a Starlyte alcohol stove plus Trail Designs Caldera Cone. I don’t mind waiting a few minutes longer to get dinner ready, with no moving parts to mess up. Haven’t had to abandon the alcohol stove due to fire regs yet.
With concerns like these, do cannister stove users conduct a burn test before a hike, to see whether any issues have popped up, or at least when you start a new cannister?
I mostly use a Caldera Cone, but to easily cook a liquid or gas stove is the way to go. Also I find alcohol or Esbit in winter next to impossible to use happily.
Regarding the question of a burn test — I am a maintenance freak. Dripping faucets in the house get fixed uno pronto. Same with anything making a noise in my vehicles. After every trip I clean all my gear and put it away. I always inspect and test a gas or liquid stove before a trip. Inspect means checking for debris, spider webs, tiny insects, cracked o-rings and gaskets. If a stove has required maintenance, I do that. I do the annual maintenance on my MSR liquid stoves using the maintenance parts kit, have a drawer full of o-rings for the fuel bottles that attach to my MSR liquid stoves (WhisperLite and DragonFly), and another drawer full of gaskets for my Svea 123 fuel cap.
I suspect that I may be abnormal. After spending over 50 years in the automotive business, one of the biggest changes I saw during this timeframe is today the majority of people today don’t understand or see the need to properly maintain their vehicles, and I am fairly confident this is the same when it comes to backpacking gear.
I still occasionally use an early 1970’s WhisperLite and a Svea 123 since they still work well because I have maintained them. In nearly 50 years of stove use I have had only one failure in the field, which was user error. I used too much side pressure when attaching a canister to an Optimus 731 mouse trap stove and broke the puncture needle. Other than that, no problems because I don’t buy cheap stuff, don’t abuse gear, and maintain gear. As I posted earlier, I have several “ancient” canister stoves that still work well but the canisters are no longer available.Mar 5, 2017 at 12:47 pm #3454543
For those of us that are comfortable with the limitations of the little BRS, a wise solution would be to just pack two of them on longer treks. You would still be as light or lighter than most of the mainstream stoves, (at less cost) and now have the added safety/redundancy of a spare stove that you would not have with a single brand name burner. I was curious as to how the general population was faring with the BRS, and found numerous reviewers on Amazon and Gearbest giving it from 4.5-4.9 stars out of 5. While the BRS is neither bombproof nor idiot proof, it works just fine with a competent operator.Mar 5, 2017 at 12:57 pm #3454547
For those of us that are comfortable with the limitations of the little BRS, a wise solution would be to just pack two of them on longer treks.
Now there’s an ultralight mindset… take redundant pieces of gear.
;-)Mar 5, 2017 at 1:33 pm #3454554
Nick….When your are trekking solo in the wilds of northern BC in September, a 100 miles away from the nearest road via floatplane, a measly 25 grams is weight well spent. In the southern deserts however, you are absolutely correct. :)Mar 5, 2017 at 1:40 pm #3454557James holdenBPL Member
(note when i try to edit a post it seems to delete it … hmmmmm)
ctually the only CRITICAL failure of the BRS posted so far has been johns (worked with one canister but not a different one)
while bent port supports might be annoying or dissapointing … you just bend it back ant itll work enough for the trip
even a broken pot support isnt a killer … you can hold the water put (remember yr boiling 1-2 cups at most usually with this stove) for the 4-5 min … or use sticks/rocks if needed
what is a CRITICAL failure are those where the stove wont even start …. like the 2 MSR failures and the snow peak failure due the stripped threads as the canister wont even fit …
or even worse the one where the person litemax turned into a flamethrower …
now im sure eventually well hear about one of these type of failures of the BRS as it has aluminum threads which wear out faster than brass ones
heres a jetboil with aluminum thread stripping vs one with a brass thread …
Upon closer inspection it was apparent the raised outer circle coincided with the heat exchanger, I wondered if this was to overcome some users concerns of the separation of the heat exchanger from the ti pot as well as corrosion issues. In other words had there been an updated version released? as I purchased mine in June 2011 and Mark in June 2012. The following day for some inexplicable reason I managed to cross thread the burner thread when attaching the gas cartridge to the burner, thus stripping the thread on the burner an event which Mark described as a catastrophic failure, and it was.
Interestingly, Mark compared his burner to mine and again there was a difference. His had a brass insert (see above) whereas mine did not (below).
A brass insert would make it less likely for the burner thread to be stripped. So that made two differences and upon closer inspection it was also found that there was an indentation around the base of the pot perhaps intended to make it easier to attach the pot to the burner.
note that many many of these UL stoves have aluminum threads … so if yr using them constantly eventually (or after one mistake) you might be better off with a slightly heavier brass threaded stove
as to testing canisters … ALWAYS test the canister with your stove and make sure both work
ross comment about using a BRS as a backup is sound … thats where i feel the niche of this stove truly is … at 25g and the size of a lighter it costs (10$) and weights nothing to take a backup where CRITICAL stove failure (not just bent supports) has consequences …. or for say a winter day hike/climb where melting snow can save your life should you need to bivy (there was rescue here a few years ago where SAR couldnt reach someone in plain view of the city because of avalanche and weather conditions) …
as the BRS fits pretty easily in a small metal cup with a small canister and matches … and is as light as you can get
now for folks in more moderate climates, alcohol of course has a much lower single stove failure rate … probably near zero for a cat stove …
;)Mar 5, 2017 at 5:51 pm #3454612
While the BRS is neither bombproof nor idiot proof, it works just fine with a competent operator.
Right, and so every failure can be put down to “operator error?” Somehow I don’t think so.
Some people have a failure with one cup; others melt snow for 20 minutes and have no failure. It’s a hit or miss stove. You might get lucky and get one that’s fine. You might not.
I’m going to revise my post to recommend a 15 minute run on high with 2 cups of water on before taking it out on the trail for the first time. If it can do that, then one is probably going to be OK.
If one decides to purchase more than one, then perhaps they should space out the purchase such that they get a stove from a different lot. Hopefully the chances of getting two duds is minimized.
HJMar 5, 2017 at 6:51 pm #3454634
I may have been a little too strong in my wording, my apologies if I offended. You do great work and I enjoy your blog. Your recommendations on fully testing (15 min on high) the BRS prior to field use is great advice, advice which perhaps should be applied to all new stoves, I might respectfully add.
I have some old mountainmen/cavemen buddies that think nothing of taking new gear into the mountains without prior setup or testing, and it drives me crazy every time. This is what I meant by “competent users”, which sadly they are not. I will not be recommending the BRS to them anytime soon. :)Mar 5, 2017 at 6:58 pm #3454640Stephen ParksSpectator
I haven’t had a problem with mine (yet?), but I do recall that the metal was very soft when I was filing a hex into one of the supports (for jet removal). I was expecting a fight, but it filed quite easily.
I have another one that I ordered at a separate time, but have never lit it. Maybe I should run a test and see how it does. I’ve only used narrow pots, which has less potential to be off-center and put higher load on one support.
HJ, where does the bend occur? Is it concentrated at one location or is it a longer gradual bend? Maybe if they were going to use low quality material, they should have skipped the cutout in the support and run the reinforcing rib further up.
Ti6Al4V Grade 5, the most common Titanium alloy, is pretty strong even in the annealed state (assuming good quality), at least at room temp. The strength drops faster than steels as temperature increases, but I don’t know how weak it gets at red hot temps. Shouldn’t take much strength to hold up a pot of water though.Mar 5, 2017 at 7:08 pm #3454645Stephen ParksSpectator
I’m going to revise my post to recommend a 15 minute run on high with 2 cups of water on before taking it out on the trail for the first time. If it can do that, then one is probably going to be OK.
And before you do that, you should take it apart to see if the seals are cut and/or it has metal shavings inside.Mar 5, 2017 at 7:26 pm #3454652
I may have been a little too strong in my wording, my apologies if I offended.
Hi, Ross, and I apologize if I came back a little snippy there. Some people have called me (on Facebook and Reddit) a complete idiot for putting three whole cups on to boil and a using a “huge” 1300 ml pot (uh, yeah, you know Evernew is making some pretty ultra heavy pots these days, right?).
It’s irritating when people won’t think. There are those people who seem to have difficulty with the “both and” nature of this life. This stove has both people who have had no problems and people who have had problems. The fact that some people have had no problems does not mean that anyone who does have a problem did something wrong or is an idiot. Neither does one person using the stove with success mean that the stove is consistently reliable.
You do great work and I enjoy your blog. Your recommendations on fully testing (15 min on high) the BRS prior to field use is great advice, advice which perhaps should be applied to all new stoves, I might respectfully add.
Thank you, and that last recommendation is I think a good one (test all stoves). I pretty much test all gear when I buy it (well, OK, maybe not Chapstick). I never take a stove out in the field on an overnight without prior testing.
HJMar 5, 2017 at 7:33 pm #3454655
And before you do that, you should take it apart to see if the seals are cut and/or it has metal shavings inside.
Good idea… And I’m a little hesitant to recommend that the average person disassemble their stove. Hopefully a 15 minute burn is a sufficient test. Hopefully.
HJMar 5, 2017 at 9:19 pm #3454682
Nick Gatel’s reminiscing about his MSR annual stove maintenance got me thinking about the MSR Whisperlite repair kit that I packed around (and used to save my bacon more than once) for almost 20 years until I switched to cannisters about 15 years ago. Anyhow for the fun of it I weighed my MSR “repair” kit at 37 grams versus 25 grams for the little BRS stove. The MSR is now a shelf ornament in my shop more than anything.Mar 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm #3454694
Nick Gatel’s reminiscing about his MSR annual stove maintenance got me thinking about the MSR Whisperlite repair kit that I packed around (and used to save my bacon more than once) for almost 20 years until I switched to cannisters about 15 years ago. Anyhow for the fun of it I weighed my MSR “repair” kit at 37 grams versus 25 grams for the little BRS stove. The MSR is now a shelf ornament in my shop more than anything.
Which is why the Svea 123 was my go to stove and the MSR saw limited duty as my winter stove. Back then canisters were butane.Mar 6, 2017 at 6:11 am #3454706James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Hey, ha…My 123 is STILL my go to. It is very hard to beat the simplicity, reliability, compactness and durability of the thing.Mar 6, 2017 at 8:37 am #3454729Bob MoulderBPL Member
@bobmny10562Locale: Westchester County, NY
How much does the Svea weigh… something like 450g for the basic stove?
My entire kit — including BRS, Titan+4Dog lid, full 110g fuel canister, winter adapter kit (HX strip+cozy), spoon, lighter and stuff sac — together weigh 417g. I have used this for solo, 2-night winter trips where all water is derived from melting snow, and for 2-people trips when not depending upon melted snow for water. Just yesterday morning a friend and I used it at 4°F to make coffee, tea and breakfast. (And water for dinner the night before at 18°F.) It is definitely not the ideal snow melting setup, however.
Sure, there some BRS duds out there, perhaps a higher percentage than other stoves, but it seems that if you’ve got a good one it can go the distance. I bought two of them and the one above (in its cute little stuff sack given to me my Gary Dunckel) has got a huge amount of time on it… I couldn’t even begin to guess how much because I used it many hours for cold-weather fuel testing and fuel consumption testing… and have used it a lot in the field. I did witness some of the pot support creep early on when running it full bore with large pots. However in actual practice in the field I never do this, typically using it only with the Titan with 3 cups of water and running it around 60% of max (very subjective number, yes) which was about the ideal setting for fuel consumption when I was testing such things.Mar 6, 2017 at 9:47 am #3454740James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Hey, ha, ha….I will wait to see how it fares in 40 years.
All kidding aside, yes, the old SVEA is heavy. But, it only has two moving parts: the valve and the fill cap. Any canister has as many just in the Lindal valve without mentioning the stove. Reliable, Well, I have dipped it in a lake and fired it up…40 years of use says it all. Durable, no repairs or rebuilds except when I dropped an armload of wood on it and bent it. With the pot, it is very compact, perfect for a lunch of rice/noodles and butter. It is fairly fuel efficient at 8-13L per 4oz. And it has no temp limitations, high or low that I ever bothered to explore. Even adding it to my UL kit, I come up under the 10lb base mark for a week or longer. It works well in a vented tent as a secondary source of heat, running about 5 hours on low. But, yes, it is a heavy stove.Mar 9, 2017 at 12:01 pm #3455396BrianBPL Member
I don’t believe it!
A $10, Chinese made stove, that weighs as much as couple of nickles surely should be of the highest quality and structural strength.
:) I do own one of these, and its exactly what I expected, a cheap, light, flimsy stove.Mar 11, 2017 at 11:42 am #3455878
I have been planning on using a BRS3000T with a Jetboil Sol Ti cup on a 14 day trip to Alaska this summer, but now am having reservations. Since 2008 I normally use a Caldera Cone and a 500ml Evernew Ti pot but the math worked out where the BRS 3000T and Jetboil Sol Ti cup was lighter for two people. I will be boiling water for oatmeal most mornings and for dinner at night – no cooking in the pot. One nice thing about the BRS 3000T other than the weight – is the “diameter” of the pot supports fit nicely with the jetboil cup (whereas my old Snow Peak Gigapower does not).
On a trip that long – fuel effecintcy – and thus weight are much more important than speed – I am used to an alcohol stoves so everything will feel fast.
After reading you review of the BRS 3000T and the Amicus and Windmaster – I wonder if the extra weight of the stove would be worth the savings in fuel? I have used this setup some, but not in the exposed places that I may experiance in Alaska. I have also not done a 15 min boil with the stove maxed out but I guess I can (I might not use my jetboil pot though). I am not sure I have ever run a canister stove at full blast as I never had the need to.
What are your thoughts on the 3000T and Jetboil Sol Ti setup or other stoves that would work well with it (that have narrow enough pot supports)? I don’t want to carry more weight than I have to in either fuel or stove, but I hate to have a stove fail halfway through a two week trip either.Mar 11, 2017 at 1:55 pm #3455905Gary DunckelBPL Member
Brad, how do you use your JB ti pot with the BRS-3000T? Do you have a pot riser disk, or do you just set the pot’s flux ring on top of the stove? Josh Leavitt of Ruta Locura first came up with the idea of using the BRS-3000T with a Sol cup when, 3 years ago? His approach was to bend the stove’s support arms just right so that they slipped in between the folds of the flux ring. It was a bit fiddly, but it was fairly stable once things were in place. You couldn’t turn up the flame past maybe medium-low though, as we found that not enough oxygen could get to the burner and the flame would be quenched. The stove was too close to the bottom of the pot, and the flux ring prevented proper air flow to the burner. Steve Parks and I happened upon the same solution simultaneously – a donut-shaped ring that the flux ring sat on, with a properly sized hole in the center to allow the full flame to pass through. This positioned the stove about 1/2″ further away from the pot, which turned out to be perfect for this particular stove. I’ve found that the best efficiency is when the flame is on a medium setting (actually, ALL stoves are most efficient at that flame level; well, maybe not the MSR Reactor).
As you’ve learned, not all stoves will work with the JB Sol cups. I bought a Fire Maple Hornet (FMS-300T) to compare it with the BRS-3000T. This was likely the one that the BRS-3000T was copied from. But they are not identical–the Hornet certainly fits nicely in the Sol, and it has superior details and function. However, its height from burner head to the support arms is a bit greater than that of the BRS-3000T, which reduced its efficiency when used with the pot riser disk. Every well designed stove is made to work with the usual “pot on stove” concept. But we change the game when we try to make a non-Jetboil burner work with a Sol pot. The BRS-3000T is the only stove I’ve found that hits a bulls-eye when used with a pot riser disk.
Now Jim has done us a good service by starting this thread, and letting us know that bad things can happen to some people. We all know that the construction quality of this little stove is not great, and we might surmise that the quality of the titanium used in making it is a bit suspect. But here is my experience…
I have used two of these stoves for nearly 3 years now. I almost always use them with Jetboil pots (both aluminum and titanium Sols, and a MiniMo), all with one of the pot riser ‘thingies’ that I make. I sometimes would use a MSR Titan pot (without a ‘thingy’ of course). I expect that I have done over 150 boils, which includes 15-20 minute burns while doing snow melting duties. I always set the flame at a medium setting, and never any higher. I have not experienced even a hint of metal fatigue or the like. One variable I am not sure of–maybe the pot riser disk somehow mitigates any ‘bad things’ from happening.
The thing I like best about this setup, besides the overall weight, is that I consistently get 4.5 gram boils of 2 cups of cold water (I test mine with 42 degree water that I keep in the fridge). The key here is the efficiency of the JB pots with their flux rings.
I certainly appreciate your concern about a possible breakdown while on a 2-week AK adventure. It might be worth it to carry a few extra ounces as insurance. One way would be to take a stock Jetboil Sol burner (pretty dependable, but the piezo always goes bung). The one that came with my original aluminum Sol weighs 3.65 oz. (the one that came with the MiniMo is a full oz. heavier, but man does it do a superb simmer). The other, lightest, way is to take a second BRS-3000T as a backup. That’s what I would do.
By the way, one BRS-3000T weighs the same as 5.333 nickels.Mar 11, 2017 at 6:30 pm #3455977Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
You know, the weight of the BRS-3000T stove is probably less than a good swig of water out of your pack. Are you fussing too much?
CheersMar 11, 2017 at 7:01 pm #3455986
Gary, I do use the riser disk with the Jetboil Ti pot. It has worked really well in a few overnighters and in backyard testing. I bought the Ti-Goat set that has the modified BRS3000T but bought a plain BRS 3000T too, and with the riser disk, I think the regular BRS3000T works better. I do see how you would need the modded stove if you needed the supports to fit in between the fins of the Jetboil though.Mar 11, 2017 at 11:14 pm #3456058
Well, maybe you take two week trips to Alaska all the time and it’s not big deal, but if it were me, I wouldn’t want to screw up what would be for me a special trip. I would want to have confidence in my stove — and I think that kind of confidence can be had.
First, watch this video:
This gentleman runs his stove on high for 30 minutes and has… no problems. But is your stove one of the good ones like his or is it one of the bad ones like mine? I think you have to test it.
I would do a test run on high for at least 15 minutes with the maximum amount of water in the pot that you plan to boil on your Alaska trip. If you experience no problems, I’d say chances are you got one that is fine.
You could also build confidence by taking out your planned set up on short overnight or even day trips. Honestly, the great majority of my stove testing is, yes, in the field, but it’s on day trips. I can’t imagine taking any stove system out on the trail on an overnighter that I hadn’t taken out on day trips first.
However, if what I’ve outlined above doesn’t feel like it’s going to be enough for you to have a sense of confidence going into your trip, then, yeah, a WindMaster is a good stove. I would say it’s light, but not ultralight (I’m looking for under 2 oz for UL), but at 2.4 oz, it’s not exactly a boat anchor either. It definitely has superior wind handling, wind handling that no BRS-3000T will ever have. I believe you’ve seen my review of the WindMaster, but check out the section on the pot support. In my opinion, you have to have a method in mind before you take the WindMaster out into the field to deal with the pot support (to make sure that the support doesn’t get lost). I’m not pushing you one way or the other (BRS-3000T vs. WindMaster), but I do note that CampSaver.com has been having a lot of deals on the WindMaster lately if you decide to go that route. I think if you sign up for their email list, you get an extra 10% off.
HJMar 12, 2017 at 1:24 pm #3456131
Alright first off than you Hiking Jim for your help. I did fill an evernew 900ml pot to the 25oz mark took the stove outside and ran it for 30 minutes this afternoon. Temps were in the mid to upper 40’s and there was a decent breeze going, so boils took a long time. I boiled 25 oz of water, poured that out (my kids got hot chocolate – and then I boiled another 25oz never shutting off the stove. I didn’t use my jetboil Sol Ti as I was concerned about running full blast with it as I am not sure it was designed to be used with a stove with that high of BTU output.
The BRS3000T seemed to survive fine but the pot supports did seem softer after it had been running a while and I checked the water and put the lid back on (the lid fits tight) – but perhaps that was just me.
With the wind and the regular pot it took a long time to boil. I did have it sitting on the handrail of our second story deck so it was about as exposed as it could be, but while winds today are 10 mph at the airport a few miles away and that felt about right to me.
I will keep my eye out for a sale on the windmaster though one some people have said, 2 BRS stoves are lighter than one windmaster – but if it could lead to significant fuel savings, it would be worth it.
I get to do one big trip a year (I generally go to the Sierras or Rockies for a week) and there will be at least one other stove on the trip – probably a MSR Reactor, which is an amazingly stove but I just couldn’t bring myself to carry a stove that heavy.Mar 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm #3456138Cameron MBPL Member
@cameronm-aka-backstrokeLocale: Los Angeles
“Are you fussing too much?”
YES! Is that not the point of BPL?Mar 12, 2017 at 2:06 pm #3456141James holdenBPL Member
I would be more worries about crossthreading the aluminum threads and rendering the stove inoperable than the pot supports (even if they bend or break its not a killer)
As with the links i posted above even experienced folks can have brain farts and screw the threads up
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