Base stats:
– BTU:  10,500 (White Gas)
– Weight:  13.2oz min
– Weight:  17.2oz max

As the original and therefore de facto king of fuel bottle based liquid fuel stoves, there isn’t much about the stove that hasn’t already been said a thousand times over, in reviews all over the world, and in every language.

The XGK EX is arguably the linear, direct descendant of the original fuel-bottle based liquid fuel stove, created by MSR founder Larry Penberthy in 1969, after realizing it was inefficient to carry a fuel bottle in addition to a stove + tank “lunchbox” type stove.   Continue reading

MSR Whisperlite Universal review

IMG_4121 copy

Base stats:
– BTU:  5,300 (LPG vapor)
– BTU:  10,300 (LPG liquid-inverted)
– BTU:  9,500 (White gas)
– BTU:  7,300 (Kerosene)
– Weight:  11.5 oz min, 19.4 oz packed
– Stove comparison review

The short:  If you’re looking for a liquid fuel stove, and are willing to compromise on a little weight and size to get better reliability, the MSR Whisperlite Universal is hard to beat.  It is the goto choice for many experienced backpackers who need reliability in the field.

Continue reading

Primus Omnifuel 2 Review


Base stats:
– BTU:  10,500 (White gas)
– Weight:  12.3 oz min, 15.9 oz packed
Stove comparison review

The skinny: An evolution of the original Omnifuel, more refined, more precision focused, with a detail oriented addition of features, while still remaining rugged and reliable.

Caution:  There was an issue with an earlier version of the OmniFuel 2 stove.  See photos in addendum A at the end of this review.   (damaged omnifuel photos courtesy of BC).  

NOTE:  This appears to have been fixed with the current version.  See comment from Scott Boyce on Feb 22nd, 2017 in the comments section.

Continue reading

Edelrid Hexon Review

Base stats
– BTU:  10,326 w/ White Gas
– Weight:  7.1 oz, (16.1 oz incl. pump, bottle)
Stove comparison chart

There are such great features in this stove, I want this to be my favorite.  Scratch that, with one modification (see addendum 1 below), this is now my favorite compact liquid fuel stove.  It is beautifully designed, solves one of the biggest issues with liquid fuel stoves (compactness), and does so without sacrificing value in most other areas.  With one exception, this is a marvel of engineering, and beautifully thought out. Continue reading

Clikstand Appalachian Ti Gas Combo Review


Base stats:
– BTU:  7K (Really the BTU of the Trangia burner)
– Weight:  2.7 oz
Stove comparison chart

If you’re looking for a light Trangia stand that has a good windscreen and fits in a 1L titanium pot, this is a solid buy.

However, if you’re looking to also add the option of a gas stove, take note. There are slits in the triangular wall for the holder “plate” to go into. Continue reading

Bushbox Titanium Outdoor Pocket Stove Review


Base stats
– BTU:  4K-9K (depending on wood)
– Weight:  17 oz including pump (Not including bottle or carry bag)
Stove comparison chart

This little number is not that much lighter than the steel version. I thought it would match the Emberlit mini in weight, but it’s far heavier.

Still, it’s also thicker than the Emberlit, and that gives greater confidence in terms of durability. Continue reading

Trangia 27-2 & 25-2 Ul Stove Kit Review

Base stats:
– BTU:  7K (The Trangia burner)
– Weight:  36 oz (2lb 4oz) for the larger 25-2
– Weight:  29 oz (1lb 13oz) for the smaller 27-2
Stove comparison chart

If alcohol fuel (and optionally, also multi-fuel) is more your thing than LPG gas canister stoves, but you want to cook with it and maximize heat efficiency with a really good wind screen, this set is very hard to beat.  Some of the most experienced backpackers swear by these cook sets as they work in horrendous weather conditions, maximize the limited fuel efficiency of the Trangia stove, run silently, and avoids the mess and hassle of setting up and putting away liquid fuel stoves. Continue reading

Snow Peak LiteMax Stove Review


Base stats:
– BTU:  11K
– Weight:  1.9 oz
Stove comparison chart

I own quite a few of thee types of miniature gas canister stoves. And this would have to be my second favorite of all. It has some wind resistance from being blown out, which is nice, and the flame egress surface faces outwards to cover wider pots. It is also well suited for small pots and any cup designed for this purpose. Continue reading

Optimus of Hiker+ Stove Review

OptimusHiker+  IMG_8408

Base stats:
– BTU:  9,725
– Weight:  3.4 lbs (A bit of a beast)
Stove comparison chart

The Optimus Hiker+  is probably among the most reliable stoves I’ve ever used.  While it may be true that many years ago, it was likely considered a backpacking stove, these days, most folks, me included, use this as a car camping, or home emergency stove, and it works well in that regard.
Continue reading

Optimus of Sweden Nova+ Stove Review


Base stats:
– BTU:  9,725 (on white gas)
– Weight:  15 oz with pump (not including bottle)
Stove comparison chart

2013 November:  I just picked up the Nova+ at AnyMountain.  There have been some bad reviews of the Nova+ but so far, I can’t find a real fault with it.  Since I already own the Primus omnilite ti (and now a few others), I can compare the two.

[NOTE:  Since this review, I have gathered a few more.  Check the Optimus Polaris Optifuel review for more comparisons with this Nova+. Continue reading

Optimus Vega Review


Base stats:
– BTU:  12,500 in liquid LPG mode, 4,750 in standard LPG mode
– Weight:  6.28 oz
Stove comparison chart

I’ve purchased quite a few gas canister stoves in the search for that perfect one, and also have gotten into  alcohol stoves, liquid fuel stoves, and wood stoves.  Sort of a strange hobby, but comparing these stoves in actual usage is the only real way to understand them.

The Optimus Vega, among LPG stoves, is my first choice when heading out and planning on doing a fair bit of group cooking, while still keeping weight and pack space at a minimum.  Rafting weekends are ideal. Continue reading

Soto Windmaster + 4Flex Stove Review

SotoWindMaster IMG_0774 copy

Base stats:

– BTU:  11K
– Weight:  2.3 oz
Stove comparison chart

Truly the best of the best of compact stand-alone LPG gas canister stoves.  It has become my goto.

While it’s too bad that it doesn’t fit in a cup along with a gas canister and utensil, which would be ideal, this gas canister based unit has one incredible advantage in addition to the wind resistance, and two small negatives. Continue reading

Soto Compact Foldable Stove Review


Base stats:
– BTU:  11K
– Weight:  5 oz
Stove comparison chart

This thing is truly a work of art.

It’s hard to believe that a stove setup could be this small.

This stove has two critical advantages:

First, it’s so small that when all folded up, it can fit inside a GSI Halulite mug (solo) sideways. SIDEWAYS!!! This means that I can have a gas canister, silicone pot holder, tiny folding utensil, AND this stove in the GSI mug and still completely close the silicone lid. Continue reading

Primus OmniLite Ti Stove Review

Base stats:
– BTU:  8900
– Weight:  2.6 lbs (including pump and bottle and bag)
Stove comparison chart

(Long Term use update at bottom)

I own most of the currently sold liquid fuel stoves as well as quite a few older ones, and to my mind, the Primus Omnilite is the best choice of a fairly good sample of liquid fuel stoves for flexibility, compactness, fuel efficiency, and reliability, though, it has couple of small negatives.
Continue reading

180 Tack 180 Stove Stainless Steel 10.4. Review

180Stove  IMG_7544

Base stats:
– 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. Continue reading

UCO Grilliput Portable Camping Grill Review


Base stats:
– BTU:  4-12K depending on charcoal
– Weight:  2lbs (32 oz)
Stove comparison chart

SHORT ANSWER: Great idea, Kinda Meh.


Here’s the short review: If you can deal with the extra lb, this device is a good device to have in a pinch.
It’s highly compact, weighted well indicating a reasonable level of quality, and because something is better than nothing, I highly recommend this for when wood burning campfires are your only option. Continue reading