Specifications and Features
|Year and Model||2010 gnat Titanium Stove|
|Materials||Titanium and Aluminum|
|Weight||Measured weight: 1.72 oz (48.8 g) |
Manufacturer weight: 1.6 oz (48 g)
|Features||Large area burner head, three serrated retractable pot supports, wing valve|
|Included||Burner, hard plastic storage case with screw lid|
The Monatauk Gnat is currently the lightest canister fuel stove in the world, with a claimed weight of 1.6 ounces and 1.72 oz (48.8) g measured weight. That’s as light as some alcohol stoves.
The Gnat is constructed of Titanium and Aluminum alloy, has a 2-inch (5-cm) diameter burner head, and three serrated pot supports that swing out to provide a 4-inch (10-cm) footprint. To save weight, the stove does not have a piezo igniter, and also does not have pressure regulation technology.
The Gnat (1.7 ounces/48.8 g) combined with a Backpacking Light Firelite 900 SUL Titanium Cookpot (3.1 ounces/88 g) is just 4.8 ounces (136 g). Add a 4-ounce (113-g) canister of fuel and a lightweight windscreen and you have an extremely lightweight canister fuel cooking system.
The stove produces a dark blue flame that is adjustable down to a fine simmer, and the flame does not fade after being set.
The downside, of course, is wind. The performance of most conventional canister fuel stoves is severely impacted by any amount of wind; the wind simply blows the heat away. Some type of wind protection is warranted, but in doing so, one must be careful not to overheat the fuel canister.
The performance of the Monatauk Gnat depended on the testing conditions: with a moderate flame its heating rate was the slowest in the group, at full throttle it was in the middle of the group of integrated stoves tested. Unprotected in a 5 mph (8 kph) wind the heating rate was extremely slow, and with windscreen protection the heating rate was still quite slow because of turbulence effects. In cold conditions, the Gnat was the fastest of the unregulated stoves. Fuel consumption with a moderate flame in warm/calm conditions (the best conditions) is one-third more than the Jetboil Sol integrated stoves.
In general, a conventional top-mount conventional canister fuel stove, like the Gnat, is relatively inefficient in transferring heat to the contents of a cook pot. Heat is mainly absorbed through the bottom of the pot, so it helps to conserve fuel by using a moderate flame as much as possible. Use of a windscreen helps to route heated gases up the side of the pot to increase heat transfer. Cookpots with heat exchanger fins attached to the bottom are available from Jetboil and Primus that are meant to be used on a conventional canister fuel stove. These pots can increase heat transfer efficiency as much as 50%, but they are much heavier than an ultralight Titanium pot like the one mentioned above.
The bottom line is that although it’s possible to achieve a very lightweight cooking system with the Monatauk Gnat stove, the system only achieves efficient heat transfer in calmer conditions, and even then it’s not nearly as fuel efficient as an integrated stove.
- Well designed and solidly constructed
- Extremely lightweight
- Good fuel efficiency in calm conditions, but not as good as an integrated stove
- Good performance in cold temperatures
- Excellent burner control
- Wide and effective pot support
What’s Not So Good
- Very susceptible to wind; wind protection is essential
- Performance is still reduced by turbulence when protected by a windscreen
- Slower heating rate compared to Jetboil Sol stoves and MSR Reactor
Disclosure: The manufacturer provided this product to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge and is owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to the manufacturer to review this product under the terms of this agreement.