Solo Stove Review

June 10, 2012, by Ken Jorgustin

Solo Stove review: by ‘M14sRock’

I was popping around the internet the other day and ran across a cool looking backpacking stove that burns twigs and sticks. Hmmm….

The stove is made and sold by SoloStove, http://www.solostove.com/.

I liked what I saw, so I ordered one. I 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

Here is the SoloStove with my MSR Titan kettle. The stove nests inside the 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.

solo-stove-parts-and-twigs

And today I tried it out.

I had a few leftover 2×4 ends from a recent project, and took a piece about 2.5″-3″ long and split it into twig sized pieces. Spyderco Harpy for scale.

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.

solo-stove-boiling-water

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.

There is a cool incentive program for people who buy these stoves, so if you want one get together in pairs and order them one at a time. Considering that you will never need to buy fuel for these, they will pay for themselves in just a few trips.