– BTU: 4-9K depending on wood
– Weight: 16.2 oz including snow and ash pan
– Stove comparison chart
First off, 180 stove sent me a replacement because they wanted to analyse the warping.
That warping was pretty easily cleared up as i was essentially over-abusing the stove, both in terms of going way too hot and cooling things down way too fast.
So, that being said, I decided to try some other stoves in the search for a perfect stove. Actually, i have quite a few stoves, including 5 gas canister stoves of varying shapes and sizes, a multi-fuel stove, two alcohol stoves, a fuel tablet stove, a sterno stove, and now, 5 wood stoves (vargo, emberlit, emberlit mini, firebox, and this one).
Specifically around wood stoves, of the five i now own, each has its uses, advantages, and disadvantages.
I now split each stove depending on the type pf trip.
For extended duration (more than two weeks) with a base camp, the firebox. The firebox is a bombproof stove that could be used every day, for extended periods per day, and never break.
As a backup to a gas stove or multi-fuel stove, the emberlits (full-size or mini)
As a bugout bag kit, the vargo (no parts to lose)
For everything else (up to a couple of weeks), the 180 stove
Of all the wood stoves, the 180 stove really is the best all-rounder.
It’s the best of the bunch in that juxtaposition between
– flexibility of fuels,
– surface area for variety of cups, pots, pans, and even a weighty dutch oven.
I have cooked fish on here wrapped in foil, setup a 9.5″ tall wind screen with foil along the top to create an almost oven-like setup, made chili and re-hydrated several pot meals, and of course, pots/kettles/cups of water.
Combined with the ash/snow pan, this stove is extremely versatile, allowing better fire starting on wet ground or snow, and also simplified cleaning up ash.
The 9.5″ tall wind screen i mentioned earlier. Is another reason i like the 180 stove. Unlike many other stoves, the 180 stove has a much lower height, which makes the wind screen/heat reflector particularly effective with cups/kettles/pots/pans as it keeps the sides warm and equally protected from the wind.
I’ve used this stove about a dozen times now and it’s starting to warp.
It’s clear now that my initial concerns are confirmed. They should have used a heavier gauge steel for this unit as it’s just not thick enough to resist heat for too long.
I really wish someone would figure out that some folks want compact & durable.
Will continue to keep this unit as an emergency, but hope someone makes a better version with thicker walls in the near future.
After reading the 1 star review for this 180 stove, i got really excited because unlike most people, what i seek in an emergency stove or backpacking stove like this is MORE weight, thicker walls that don’t bend easily and can withstand several hours worth of heat without warping. I still like a compact size but compact stoves bend easily when u least expect it and i really loathe equipment failure in the field.
Unfortunately, while it’s true that this unit is heavier than other compact stoves, it still bends easily and is not nearly as heavy as the 1 star review suggests.
The other complaint from the same reviewer was that u can’t put any large pots on it. In my case, i felt the oppsite to be true. Because most of these hiking compact stoves are designed either without good walls or become smaller at the top to improve heat flow, i find them to be less stable with larger pans or pots. The 180 easily held a 10″ skillet for some pan fry cooking and a larger 3 quart pot as well as my 32oz and 44oz kettles and was stable.
And while heat was significantly less efficient than other designs, the advantage was the wood burned slower too, so i could keep the fire going for a few hours and the stove required less attention than rocket stoves which burn fuel very quickly. On moist ground or where u have a lot of kindle but not much branches, this suffices as a small camp fire.
the three walled structure is fine for me and posed no problems. It meant one less piece to carry and allowed me to continually stoke the fire over time, not dissimilar to larger side loading rocket stoves.
One thing that can’t be argued with is the reviewer’s complaint on how to get heat to stay close in when trying to cook. The solution is a panel folding heat reflector. I like the 11″ tall duogreen heat reflector that i use with all my stoves for wind protection but most people i would imagine don’t want yet another piece to carry. I love the folding screen though and use it for gas stoves, dutch oven cooking small camp fires and small charcoal grills as it seems that everywhere i cook wind is a problem as it whisks away heat too fast. In the case of the 180 stove, this poses an interesting dilemnma: air flow. With the windscreen really close in to the 180 stove, there isn’t enough air to keep the fuel going. So u need to put some distance between the two, but every inch of gap translates to a significant drop in heat reflection, so there’s a balance there but isn’t too hard to figure out.
If the walls were just a bit thicker and resistant to bending and warping, it’d be a perfect compact stove for my kind of solo hiking and small group day trip uses. As it is, this unit has earned a spot as my primary fire gear with a smaller alcohol stove and tiny gel stove as backup.
The last whiny thing i would venture is that the ash & snow pan should be included with the 180 stove standard and still be about $50. The 180 stove plus the ash pan cost me $65 and frankly, considering the thin material, it doesn’t really feel like $65 worth of stove, but that’s just me.
Would i recommend this product? Yes, as long as you understand the pros and cons, this unit may be as good for your uses as a main or secondary emergency or hiking stove as it is for me.
Either way, best of luck and happy camping.