Seek Outside Box stove vs. U Turn?
Sep 27, 2020 at 5:25 am #3677587
I was wondering if folks could share their experiences with the Seek Outside hot tent stoves. I’m excitedly looking to get a tent and stove for late fall/ winter camping primarily in New Hampshire and Maine with my wife and daughter, snowshoeing or skiing in. I haven’t found many reviews of the U Turn, and while the weight savings is enticing, I’m wondering about folks’ experiences with the U Turn’s durability over time–if there’s cracking of the foil sides/back, and a comparison of the ease of setup between the U Turn and the box stoves, especially in the cold (although that sounds obvious–when else would I bring a stove?) Is the ti-foil of the U Turn sharp (i.e. requiring leather gloves for setup)? Thanks in advance! -GregSep 27, 2020 at 4:32 pm #3677666Michael SirofchuckBPL Member
@mr_squishyLocale: Great Wet North
My friend who has done a great deal of tipi/woodstove camping and has tried most, if not all, of them, swears by the TiGoat stoves. I don’t know if they are available any more.Oct 7, 2020 at 1:25 pm #3678720
Thanks Michael; it doesn’t look like they’re in production any more, and I am interested in a flat top stove for cooking/ heating water/ melting snow. Checking in again to see if there’s any more feedback.
An interesting option could be to go with the regular box stove, then get a U-turn conversion kit later. It’s easier to go this direction than the other, and it would save a respectable 7.4 ounces instead of the full 9 ounce difference. But it would still use the wider (and heavier) stovepipe.Oct 7, 2020 at 5:26 pm #3678754
The U-Turn edges are no worse than having to deal with the pipe. You might want light nitrile-palm work gloves to roll the pipe. I take scissors and radius the 4 corners of the pipe foil as that is usually where I hurt myself.Oct 10, 2020 at 12:32 pm #3679114
Philip, thanks for your reply! I appreciate the links–I had found the first one in my recent search but the second didn’t come up for some reason. Even though I replied to the second months ago, I remembered your tip about rolling the pipe but not how much additional info you included about the stove. So I appreciate you directing me back there.
There is a wealth of info in that thread. I really like your use of the rivnuts to create a flat cooking surface. Hopefully SO will go in that direction. I looked up rivnut installation on YouTube and it sounds like it’s easy to install aluminum rivnuts without specialized equipment but that stainless steel ones often require specialized tools. Was that your experience?
Great tip about radiusing the corners of the pipe.
In the other thread, you spoke of cracks and pinholes that can occur in the ti foil sides of the WiFi stove–has that happened on your UTurn yet/ have you had to replace the sides?
Again, thanks for your help.
-GregOct 16, 2020 at 4:28 pm #3680004
Sorry it’s taken me a while to respond. We’ve been out on an elk hunt (with a friend’s size ‘medium’ U-Turn stove).
I have a rivnut setting tool but I’m not sure why stainless would require it verses other rivnut materials. Stainless tends to be pretty soft, but I don’t have enough experience with different rivnut metals to comment authoritatively.
This U-Turn has a spring/summer/fall of field camp use on it. Not sure how many days, but more than most folks would log in a few years of trips, I’d hazard. The sides are doing fine with no apparent degradation in the foil material, though the lack of the channel to hold the upper and lower edges in place has allowed them to pucker a bit and you can see the glow of embers where the sides are bowed away from the top and bottom. This does not seem to cause any issues except when you close the damper and the exhaust gasses are trying to find somewhere to escape the firebox and these gaps offer a route:
The stove has been durable and still consumes less wood than the WiFi. The door is a bit fiddly and hard to slide into place sometimes because of differential heating of the front plate and the door itself. I offered to replace the ‘sliding patio door’ design with a door that just hangs on hooks like the WiFi, but the stove owner is a bit scattered and usually forgets to follow up on this stuff. With the mods I suggested in the other thread it is a good performing piece of kit and we can recommend it highly.Oct 16, 2020 at 5:37 pm #3680017
No need to apologize at all, Philip. Thank you so much for such a detailed and informative reply. This is great info.
I’ve seen some other SO stoves with rivnuts on the Seek Outside Adventures Facebook page, so maybe SO has made that change standard or maybe your mod is catching on quickly.
What a gorgeous scene in the first photo you shared above. Thanks for sharing that as well.
Cheers, GregOct 17, 2020 at 8:32 am #3680068kevin timmBPL Member
@ktimmLocale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
Rivnuts are not standard but we have a few testers out there. Unfortunately we were under a fire ban most of the summer, so it slowed any testing by us. The large U-turn has a channel in the foil that grips the edges.Oct 26, 2020 at 2:50 pm #3681196
Here is the video I made from our elk hunt. We had 2 cow tags. The size ‘medium’ U-Turn was sufficient to keep the 6-man (really a 4-man for sleeping with a stove) plenty toasty with temps down to a bit below freezing, and we were able to dry out even after extended brush thrashes in the rain. We did all our cooking on the woodstove. The rivnuts are key for this because with their flush tops we can fit a big pot on the relatively small stovetop. We lost the spark arrester on a prior trip and had some issues with embers landing on the DCF and melting holes, but repair is super easy on Cuben so no biggie.Nov 9, 2020 at 5:33 pm #3683104
Thanks for the info on the rivnuts and the channel in the foil, Kevin, and thanks Philip for the update on usage. Your videos are fantastic.
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