Loc: Sacramento, CA
I'm gearing up for my first year of lightweight backpacking, and am going a little bit stove-crazy... I've bought a Westwind Trangia setup, the little folding box Esbit stove, and now this $10 cartridge stove. I know, you get what you pay for, but the reviews on this stove are pretty amazing...
Should receive it tomorrow. Seems like I can't go wrong, especially with those reviews. Anyone here have experience with one of these stoves?
Of course, I'm going to bring both of my other stoves out there with me as well, if only to decide what I want to live with. I boiled 16 ounces of ~50-degree tap water with an Esbit tablet in 7 minutes flat, which is perfectly reasonable to me (I don't go backpacking so I can hurry), but I understand they're sensitive to wind. I've yet to try my Trangia... need to pick up some fuel for it (was going to use Heet... any advice here would be appreciated).
I picked up a pair of the MSR Micro Rockets and love them, then a friend on a budget picked up one of these. It's a little heavier and doesn't fold quite as small (but still works easily in the GSI Soloist and Dualist cooking sets) but otherwise it works very well. Well enough that there are now 3 of them lurking around to match the 3 MSR units. I'd likely end up grabbing a 4th just to have as a back-up myself.
You don't have to worry. Price aside they are all the same thing from the same company. I think we paid on average $8 for them.The only thing I notice that they tend to do is not want to screw on/off without dumping some gas. It's just the way their seals are. Just make sure you aren't smoking or next to a fire until you know if yours is one of them. (2 of them do it, 1 doesn't)
Oh, not uncommon to have to work the arms a few times to get them to loosen up and once in a while you will get one that the 4 'feet' at the top don't want to lay perfectly flat. A little tapping with a mallet or bending against a desk work fine.
Loc: Sacramento, CA
Thanks for the reply, Myk. Sounds like although it may not be the ideal stove, the novelty of getting a stove that *works* for less than the price of the canister of fuel that it connects to just makes me chuckle. ;-)
My sole caution is pay attention to the valve and canister seals to make sure they don't leak, or develop a leak. Those are two areas where cost-cutting can bite one in the arse. I suppose the pot supports, too. Nothing like having a quart of soup go feral.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I've generally found that you mostly get what you pay for. With those cheap canister stoves, I'd be concerned about the durability of moving parts, the fuel economy, and, as mentioned above, leakage of fuel when taking the stove on and off the canister--this last is a big safety issue as well as threatening to leave you without fuel in the middle of the trip.
Carb, don't take my review to be negative. Ideal is always the lightest, most efficient, etc. etc. This, especially for $10, can be idea for those on a budget. It might not be quite as efficient but it definitely gets the job done and cheaply to boot. Watch the seals and enjoy!