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Our Backpacking Stove Reviews

 

solo stove review "A big fan of this stove. Really like it! This solo stove actually works really well to channel the air and extend the flame of my alcohol stove too."
~ Video Review by David Gibson

backpacking stove review "After about a year or less of backpacking and camping this stove will pay for itself by not having to buy fuel. A pretty good design - I'm going to like it for years to come!"
~ Video Review by Jason Dillard

solostove review"Pleasantly surprised. Very well made. Definitely good for kayaking, motorcycle camping or regular camping. Used a hammock hang to cook beans and it did very good!"
~ Video Review by Anthony Johnston


This stove is a MUST have for any backpacker who wants to save weight
Posted by M14sRock

Solo on Titan KettleI have several backpacking stoves, but they all need some kind of packed in fuel. White gas, IsoButane, Alcohol, etc. I have run out of fuel many times, and ended up carrying a dead weight stove for miles, and trying to cook over a fire. The SoloStove nests inside my MSR Titan kettle. Space savings for the win! Communication from SoloStove is superb. Every update in the order gets an email update to match. My stove arrived about 3 days after ordering. And today I tried it out.

I had a few leftover 2x4 ends from a recent project, and took a piece about 2.5"-3" long and split it into twig sized pieces. I took my Blastmatch fire starter (100% GTG for several years), and a piece of paper towel about 4"x4", and folded the paper towel twice, then hit it once with the Blastmatch. It took the spark on the first try and I scooped it into the fire chamber of the Solostove and put a few small pieces of the "twigs" on top. They caught fire right away and all was well. 

So I placed the MSR Titan full of cold tap water on top and started the timer. After 3 minutes the water started to show the small bubbles that come before a boil. Two minutes later (5 min, total) the bubbles were bigger and the water was hot enough for stuff like coffee, cocoa or tea. Not hot enough to reconstitute freeze dried food, and keep it hot, but almost. Just before minute 6 rolled in, I had a rolling boil.

The thing that amazed me most, was that even after maintaining the boil for a few more minutes (playing around) I still had half of my original fuel left! This thing is a fuel miser!!! Literally, the amount of twigs you could gather from just sitting on the ground would be enough to boil water in anything short of winter weather. I'd guess 10 minutes on the long side for icy stream water and 25 degree weather in the Sierras. 

I use a windscreen with all of my stoves and will as well with this one. For the few ounces it weighs it makes the stove far more efficient. They can be made from any kind of foldable or rollable sheet metal, or bought online. The stove uses some kind of alien technology to burn the fuel and the gas that the burning generates. It is very efficient, and very hot.

Now for the construction. The stove has no seams. Very strong extruded stainless steel. It has two moving parts. The stove, and the pot holder-upper. And the pot holder-upper turn over and nests into the stove body when it is not in use. This stove is a MUST have for any backpacker who wants to save weight. It would also be great in your bug out gear, cars, and disaster stash. While not as quick and convenient as something like a Jetboil (I have one and have used it for years in all kinds of environments with 100% satisfaction), it is not far behind. Considering that you will never need to buy fuel for these, they will pay for themselves in just a few trips.


Very Nice Stove, Excellent Service!

Review by Michael A. Petrasek "mdpetrasek" (McMinnville, OR United States)

I ordered the stove on a Friday, and received it on Monday. Does not get much better. The Solo Stove was well boxed, and was in perfect shape on arrival. It is well made and will obviously last a long time. I have been shopping for a third stove as I have a Primus EtaExpress and a simple titanium folding Esbit stove for a back up. I love the EtaExpress, as it is a boiling machine, but wanted something a little more hands on and something I did not have to worry about bringing, or running out of, fuel. I fired the Solo Stove with some Vaseline cotton tinder and some twigs laying around the yard and was impressed how quickly and efficiently the fire was up and running. It did not take a lot of fuel to get a boil on and left little residual in the stove. It is not as fast obviously as the EtaExpress, but I will be packing the Solo Stove most of the time. The Esbit folding titanium stove fits inside the Solo Stove easily with a couple of tabs, in case I am to tired, or there is no wood around to use the Solo Stove. Though, honestly, it takes very little wood, and in the Pacific Northwest there is no shortage of fuel laying around. All in all, an excellent product which I easily recommend to anyone looking for a compact wood burning pack stove. As a side not, while the Solo Stove will fit inside the EtaExpress pot, the pot will not stay on the cooking ring due to the radiator ring on the bottom of the Primus EtaExpress pot. So sadly, I will need to buy another pot. No fault of the product, just an observation for folks who may have similar gear as myself.


After using the SoloStove we are considering making it our main emergency stove

Solo Emergency Stove review by Nathan & Laurie Stewart

emergency stoveWe did indeed have a chance to try out the new stove this weekend and must admit we were very impressed. We are in the Pacific Northwest and it rained all last week so we had planned to go out Saturday and practice finding sources of dry tinder to hone our fire making skills. As luck would have it the SoloStove arrived in time for us to take it along.

We are big fans of the Esbit stoves and camp regularly with them and also have them in our 72 hour emergency back packs. However, after using the SoloStove we are considering making it our main emergency stove and using the Esbits as backups.

Once a fire was started in the fire chamber we were impressed at how efficient the stove was using only small twigs to get a good sized blaze. In fact when we added larger sticks it seemed to reduce the efficiency and we had to blow on it a couples times to get it going again. When constantly feeding it with small twigs we had about 8oz of water boiling in 5 1/2 minutes. Also worthy of mention is the fact that the outside surface of the stove never got really hot and could be touched and moved around with bare hands.

We did have one suggestion. We're not sure how you came up with the design, specifically the diameter of the stove but it is just a little larger around than one of the stainless steel GSI Glacier cups that people slide onto the bottom of their Nalgene bottles which is what a lot of people are using I believe. Seeing as your stove won't fit inside the GSI cup is would be great if you offered a stainless steel cup that it would fit in to make it a self contained "kit". 


Very efficient burn design

Solo Stove Review Posted by Healing dog

An excellent stove. Me and my trail friends have tried all three commercially available gas stoves, Bush buddy, Bush cooker, and the Solo stove. All three shares the same design with minor variations but i find this Solo Stove is made the most sturdy. I have made and tried a couple of different designs of DIY gasifier stoves using recycled cans. I find this solo stove has a very efficient burn design than any of my home made can stoves. The winner in my book, for the Price, design, and craftsmanship...Can't beat that.


The design is clean, light, yet strong.
Review by Larry Dang

Received the solo stove in the mail it was well packed and arrived intact and in good time. The design is clean light yet strong. Fired it up with a soda can burner, really enhanced the flame characteristics as well as doubled as a windscreen and potstand. Thanks for a great product.


A light-weight stove that boils water in the 5-6 minute range without undue exposure to smoke and soot
Solo Woodgas stove review by Kelley Coburn

My new Solo Stove has proven to be as good as claimed. Finally a light-weight stove that boils water in the 5-6 minute range without undue exposure to smoke and soot. The Solo Stove has added a pleasant new dimension to my hikes. In addition to watching for newly arriving birds and the first buttercups of the year I now find myself on on the lookout for dry twigs of sage, chokecherry, and aspen. Once my pockets are full I stop for a hot cup of apple cider or herbal tea. The frequent breaks, extra hydration, and time spent just looking around have all contributed to several memorable outings. I'll be recommending your well-designed product to all of those I hike with.


The Solo Stove is a great design, very well built and belongs in every bug-out bag
Stove review by Vesbolk 

I've been a prepper since Jimmy Carter was President, so I often consider how much I want something in light of how useful an item may be in a crisis. I have the usual backpacking stoves that work with white gas or propane canisters and I recently purchased a Kelly Kettle for use with natural fuels. I like it for camping but it's WAY too heavy for backpacking or bug-out bag use. I bought the Solo Stove because it's so light you can carry it anywhere and small enough to nest with popular cookware. A big part of the weight of old style backpacking stoves is the fuel you must carry along with the the container that it's in. With the Solo, you use the fuel that you find around you which has the added advantage of being FREE. You don't have to worry if you brought enough fuel as you can find dried grass/bushes/pinecones/twigs almost anywhere. If you're crossing a barren area, you might toss a few twigs in a bag as you go in case you expect to camp in a place where there's nothing. I can't remember camping in such a desolate place, but it could happen. It might be a good idea to pack some dry tinder in any case along with redundant ways of starting fire (waterproof matches/lighters/magnesium stick/magnifying glass).

With this stove, it's quick and efficient to boil water anywhere for use with freeze-dried food or in situations where water purity may be an issue. Good kit like the Solo Stove that goes with you anywhere and built to last increases your self-reliance enormously.

If you have matches and fuel, you could just light a fire anywhere, but a stove uses far less fuel, is useful in wind & weather, and is safe and legal to use in situations where open fire may not be. What your fire will do with logs, an efficient stove will do with twigs and pine needles. In a country setting, your fuel is unlimited while in an urban setting, trust me, where there's people, you'll never be without trash. On testing my stove, I was not surprised to find the air flow was sufficient to keep my yard leaf litter burning hot and relatively smoke-free. Can't wait to try it with a charcoal briquet. The Solo Stove is a great design, very well built and belongs in every bug-out bag. 


Solo Backpacking Stove ReviewI am very happy to take the Solo Stove on my Velomobile-Expedition
Solo Stove Review by Harry Muller

As a Traveler / Globetrotter my whole life, I know how important equipment is. I am very happy to take the Solo Stove on my Velomobile-Expedition. This Solo Stove will not only save me hundreds of bucks in fuel-cost . . . it also saves me from having to carry heavier stoves and deal with all the hassles I've had with other stoves. I can recommend this Solo Stove to all outdoors enthusiasts.



I just want to let you know how incredibly pleased I am with it
Solo Stove Review Dan Brown

My name is Dan Brown. I just ordered your stove on Monday the 26th and received it today thursday the 29th.

I just want to let you know how incredibly pleased I am with it. I immediately took it out to my local spot where I test all my camping gear. I'm just recently getting into wood burning stoves and I can't say enough good things about this piece. From the solid, well built construction to the ease of use and incredible efficiency of the stove. I boiled 20oz. of water in well under 8 minutes! I have a couple other stoves I'm going to have to sell now since I found my perfect stove. I even tried it with my evernew titanium alcohol stove and it works wonderfully.

Thank you for putting out such an affordable, high quality product. I will be HIGHLY recommending them to my fellow backpacking friends.

I'll be taking this stove over my evernew titanium dx stove on my thru-hike of the Northville-Placid trail this year :) and should you ever come out with a titanium version to shave a few ounces, please make sure and put my name first on the list. Keep up the great work!


Fits into my MSR titan kettle. Superb job, really!
Solo Stove Review by Y.P.

I tried it with a soda can stove and alcohol inside it. It's amazing to watch the upper air inlets fire up the alcohol vapor once the sides of the Solo get hot and heat the incoming air. I think it'll be a great setup. The Bushbuddy is a great stove but I feel a bit more confident that the Solo will survive greater abuse (and I'd be lying if, as a designer, I said I'm not impressed by the fact that your stove seems a much more polished product.). It worked flawlessly with wood, even when some of the wood was damp. And it just fits into my MSR titan kettle (it help to use it with the lid upside down). It is a really great product. Superb job, really.


It's a perfect balance of light weight and strength
Backpacking Stove Review by Toby S from the North woods of Minnesota

A little background info on me. I've been canoe camping for over thirty years and have done some backpacking as well. I've had just about every type of equipment imaginable and used at least 20 different types of stoves, primarily white gas. When I first started camping we did not use stoves. All meals were prepared over an open fire....I wanted a wood burner as a backup. I stumbled upon your website and decided to give it a try.

The Solo Stove arrived in timely fashion. It was packaged well and undamaged. Not much to it! Two nesting parts and a stuff sack. I'm liking it already! The feel of the stove is more than adequate. I was concerned that it would be wimpy. It is not. It's a perfect balance of light weight and strength. It feels good in your hands.

Looks good, feels good, does it work?

I've done several "burns" in the Solo Stove since it arrived. I've used all types of wood. I've used it in the wind & rain. I've primarily boiled water but have also successfully fried eggs and one Walleye! I've enjoyed using it!

Some observations:

  1. As with any stove, use in a sheltered area or use a windscreen for best results. I purposely did not use a windscreen just to see how well the stove performed.
  2. It takes much less wood than I had expected. Wood that was gathered in five minutes lasted for over three burns/boils.
  3. Temperature control or "flame adjustment" was easier than I had suspected. Obviously this will vary but it can be done.
  4. Yes, fire makes smoke & yes, I got soot on my pot. The stove burns much cleaner than I thought it would. Once there is a base of coals the stove burns very clean.
  5. Creates a little ambiance for your dinner in the big woods. Easier than a campfire.
  6. An alcohol burner can be used in the Solo Stove as a backup.

Final thoughts, I love it! I'm going to use the Solo Stove as my primary stove for an upcoming trip. I'm certain I will be using this stove for years to come!


I wont be be buying fuel anymore
Backpacking Stove Review by Jason D

I like the idea of using natural fuel. Plus it will pay for itself after several uses since I wont be be buying fuel anymore. Most places you camp or backpack there is usually plenty of sticks and twigs. I have tried the stove several times now and I really like it. Free fuel and it seems to heat fine. I think for survival, backpacking, and camping its a good piece of gear to have.


Works Great, Well Made
Backpacking Stove Review by Jay C

Nicely made, I like the one piece outer, and the sturdiness of the stove. It would not need to be protected in a pot, but it does fit in the Snow Peak 900 just right. Burns very well, I have already had a sub 5 min boil time.
Great addition to my collection.


This thing is beautiful!
Backpacking Stove Review by Kyle Christopherson from Augusta, GA

Today I got my Solo Stove. I discovered this stove in my quest for a wood-burning stove over on hammockforums.net. I almost missed the delivery today because I was expecting a package at the door. This stove is so compact that it fit inside my mailbox double-boxed for protection. Delivery arrived in 3 business days from order! Oh and did I mention FREE SHIPPING? First impression when opening the box is that this thing is beautiful. Seriously it is a piece of art. Also, it comes in a lightweight cloth bag so that I can nest it in my Backcountry.com 1650ml titanium cookset without having to worry about it rattling around. Not that I would be worried about the stove being damaged because the steel construction is solid! An added bonus is that the pot stand should be compatible with my DIY alcohol stove. I haven't yet been able to test it out but if it works half as well as what others are saying, I will be saving some serious money on alcohol over the next few years. Thanks Solo Stove!


Very Well Made Stove, Gonna Use for Bike Camping
Review by Joshua D Mitchell

I have built a number of do-it-yourself backpacking and camping stoves over my years as a scoutmaster. Stove designs have ranged from simple wood box stoves and cat food can alcohol stoves to more elaborate double wall inverted down draft (IDD) gasifying stoves (bean can inside a peach can). When I saw the Solo in a sidebar ad somewhere (Facebook maybe?), I was very intrigued.

After having received the package (very quick shipping, by the way), I can say the workmanship and forming on this little stove is top notch. I have to admit I was surprised at how diminutive it was... then again, for it to fit in a 900 ml camping pot it would need to be. Looking at the air ports, everything seems right on with the DIY IDD designs I've seen. I'll report back with a burn test. Though, with this weekend being Easter, I may not get time away from the family to use this.

I have a feeling this is going to become a permanent part of my bike-packing kit.


Hardly smoked at all, burned very efficiently
Testimonial by Donna Ferguson

I tried out the Solo Stove and was quite impressed. I am a city girl, gathering items for a 72 hour kit. I purchased the MSR Windpro II for our go bag, and being the obsessive person I am thought, what happens when I run out of fuel. Then I searched, woodburning backpacking stoves and found your site. I ordered one (well, two) and we tried it out the other day in our garden. We gathered leaves from the garden, some pieces of dried corn stalks, small twigs, got our little fire going and heated milk for hot chocolate (much creamier that way). We had to keep feeding the fire, which was fine, and it took about 6 minutes to heat the milk. So we drank our hot chocolate, kept feeding the fire and relaxed under the stars. The fire was VERY contained and under control, hardly smoked at all, burned very efficiently, there was little residue left and it was very easy to clean. I didn't use the best pot, so I wished for an extra ledge on the pot stand to help stabilize it. Other than that, I plan on purchasing more of these for my family. I thought they were amazing. Thanks for a great product.


Fits inside the Primus LiTech kettle
Review by jpegli

This stove is a great excuse to jump in and play with a wood gasifer unit, if you haven't already done so. Got mine a few days ago and had a chance to try it out in the desert. You don't need to be in the forest to find fuel for this little stove. Bring along some kindling or fire tabs if you are the cautious type. Once it gets going and heated up, all manner of wood/debris/trash burn hot and relatively clean. By clean, I mean smoke free but you will of course have soot to deal with on the pot. No getting around that issue.

There are lighter stoves you can find, but probably none more versatile IMO, and you couldn't do too much better for an extended backpacking trip (or survival situation), when the combined stove/fuel weight is factored in.

And it fits inside the Primus LiTech kettle with the coffee press, just in case there are any other hard-core caffeine heads out there.

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