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Solo Stove Review

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Solo Stove review by a MSB reader:

 
I came across a backpacking stove on the internet that burns twigs and sticks.

The stove is made and sold by Solo Stove.

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I have several backpacking stoves, but they all need some kind of packed in fuel such as 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.

I liked the concept of the Solo Stove so I ordered one. And today I tried it out.

Solo Stove uses small Sticks & Twigs for Fuel

I gathered up a handful of small sticks and twigs. I split them up into pieces about 3″ long and set them next to the Solo Stove.

I used a piece of folded paper towel and lit it with my firestarter. It took the spark on the first try and I scooped it into the fire chamber of the Solo Stove.

I immediately added a few small pieces of the twigs on top of the burning paper towel. They caught fire right away and all was well.

How long does it take to Boil Water on the Solo Stove?

So I placed a pot 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 minutes, total) the bubbles were bigger and the water was hot enough for stuff like coffee, cocoa or tea.

Just before minute 6 rolled in, I had a rolling boil.

How much Fuel does it use?

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!

The stove is very efficient, and very hot.

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.

Windscreen for Solo Stove

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 Solo Stove is made of Stainless Steel

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 turns over and nests into the stove body when it is not in use.

Lightweight

This stove is a must have for any backpacker who wants to save weight. It weights 9 ounces and is a “gear of the year” winner by Backpacker Magazine. It would also be great in your bug out gear, cars, and disaster stash.

 
Solo Stove Products

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32 Comments

  1. I’ve had a solo stove for about three years and like it very much. I use it as my main stove when camping and keep my fuel stove as backup.

  2. I have a solo stove and keep it in my bug-out bag that goes with me anytime I’m on the road. I like the idea that I can gather fuel while on the move. I also keep a few Esbit solid fuel cubes in case the sticks are wet.

  3. Will add this to the buy list, very nice. I currently have an Emberlit stove (stainless) in my GHB. Also carry different types of fire starters: dryer lint, dryer sheets, Esbit fuel cubes, fat wood, cedar pucks, fire starter sticks, scratch start triangles and Altoids tin with shavings . 2 Sparkies, magnesium stick and disposable lighters. Multiple ways to burn my fingers.

  4. These stoves appear to be a commercial version of the ones we made as Cub Scouts when I was a child. We made them out of coffee cans (yes, they were metal back then) using a “church key” can opener to cut the vent holes with. They worked good then, and I’m sure this commercial version should too. Sign of the times, we don’t get metal coffee cans anymore, except when discount stores bring in cheaper coffee from Mexican plants. When they do, I purchase some just for the cans (that, and the fact the coffee in them lasts longer on the shelf).

    1. Any cleaned out aluminum paint can will do instead of a coffee can since they are not used for coffee anymore.

  5. UGH…..

    I believe that Ken (and others) has decided I have too much worthless cash lying around… HAHAHA

    I just recently invested in a very VERY nice Jet Boil Flash stove, like it a LOT and will be a part of the BOB/GHB/Vehicle Bag/GOOD Bag/Shooting Bag/ or one of the other dozen Something Bags. Ohhhh no, not NRP-Da-Bag-Man :-)

    But I can see a great advantage for the Solo Stove for adventuring out to Never-Never-land for an extended length of time. Once the fuel on the Jet is gone it’s gone AND heavy-ish. Added to the fact the fuel for the Jet-Boil is rather expensive and most of the time wood is free…. I like that idea. Time to get over to Amazon I guess.

    Thanks for the Article “MSB reader”.
    Good job and thanks helping to make sure I have NO pocket cash left, as if Ken don’t have that job down pat … HAHAHAHA

    NRP

  6. I bought this stove several years ago because of the light weight, and the fact that you don’t need to also carry fuel to use it. I have yet to try it out, but I am confident that it will work fine. I like the fact that it will work forever as the fuel needed to run it is all around us.

  7. Ken

    Thanks for trying it/review.

    Have read often about it, and sure like the idea of not having to carry/pack fuel. And, the fuel it uses is abundant near everywhere.

    Am thinking, that in a pinch it may even work on dried out cow pucks.

    1. OK, keeping this slightly on topic (stove fuel): never heard the term cow pucks, cow pies or plops (buff said) in my neck off the woods, but good to learn new words every day.

      1. Cow pies make an EXCELLENT source of fire starters. Make sure they are DRY!
        We use them often to start our garbage burns!!!

  8. We made these rocket stoves in Boy Scouts when we got our camping badges. They worked great. The tin cans back in the early seventies lasted a good little while too. In the late fall we could use them as little heaters with just a handful of small twigs. If you wanted a blast of quick heat, pine bark, a pine knot or pine cone gave you what you needed.

    I just checked out the Solo on Amazon and it looks pretty tough. There’s a compact and a large, as well as a nice wind screen that folds down completely flat. I like the idea of not packing in fuel as well.

    1. We made those in Scouts too. I made a couple out of some metal coffee cans to show to people. It seems the store brand coffees sometimes have metal cans. They do work well.
      The Solo has good reviews. On the list to buy…

        1. Ditto that. We used to leave the bottoms intact and cooked right on that. I have one out in the shed. Grand kids use it to cook burgers on. I made another one and used a ball peen hammer to make the top concave. A sort of hobo-wok. I was able to concave it deep enough to cook French fries in it.

  9. I have a similar type of stove, a kelly kettle, wonderful thing which has come in really handy when camping.
    You can never have too many stoves or tp :)

  10. I have a Solo Stove for when generating smoke won’t matter. During the first six months after the comimg collapse and I’m caught outside and needing to cook I’ll be using a folding sterno stove that will fit down inside a Dakoda stove to minimize my thermal signature and not generating smoke for security reasons.

  11. The Solo Stove is a must have for anyone who spends time outdoors, camping hiking, fishing, hunting etc. Yes you can make one like we all did in Scouts but for the price, the quality is superb. Its a solid emergency stove a well as a good stove for the above mentioned activities.

    Good review.

    God Save This Great Republic

  12. We have the small ones in our GHB in the cars, don’t forget your cup! And have the larger one in our Go bag. With the pot.
    I’ve had them for years since I first discovered them. Can’t say enough good things about them.

  13. We keep the Solo Stove in our GHBs, and we’ve used them camping–they work just fine. Yes, they’re just plain old rocket stoves, but they are so much more portable than old coffee cans, especially if you get the pot that it nests inside. They’re definitely more expensive than the coffee can rocket stove, though! I would suggest checking out their website (solostove dot com). It seems that they run a sale on many holidays. Labor Day is just around the corner, so it might be worth looking at buying one then.

  14. Been really wanting to get one of these, and have visited Amazon and SoloStove dot com several times….. BUT $130 for the stove, pot and windscreen, OUCH!!! That’s a LOT of money for a fancy tin-can :-( :-(

    Need to think on this one for awhile…. $130 is a lot of extra food storage.

    NRP

    1. Actually the Solo Stove is $69. With that said, if you’re making a limited budget choice between food and a ‘gadget’, you should choose the food. You can light a fire and cook on it without needing a rocket-type stove, however you can’t eat without having any ‘food’…

      1. @ Ken,

        Yes the stove it $69, than add the pot, and the wind guard….. I mean if yar going to do it, do it right the first time. :-)

        NRP

        1. Ohhh and let’s not forget the 1/2 bottle Gin to figure out all of the moving parts…. HAHAHA

          NRP

        2. True, if you purchase the accesories, but again if you’re choosing between food or the gadget in your limited budget – then choose food…the logical choice ?

  15. Tanqueray (never tried 10), Bombay Sapphire, Hendrick’s? T-n-T, with lime wedge, warm evening, good time.

  16. These look nice, but not yet top of my list.

    FYI, here’s a lower-quality item (not stainless steel), but lower cost and widely available.

    From Homedepot dot com:
    Weber Model 7416 Internet #100657893 Store SKU #655297
    “Rapidfire Chimney Charcoal Starter” $15 at the “orange place” as of this writing.

    IMHO, this item is too tall for ideal stability, if SHTF seems close, I’m gonna attack mine with sheet metal shears and pack it (and any charcoal handy) for quick load-out.

  17. I own and LOVE the Solo Stove. I have the Titan Model, the slightly bigger brother to the Solo Stove Lite (backpacker model). The Solo is “the stove” for motercycle camping and touring. It can also help save your life if a bikr breakdown happens on backroads during early evening rides. Temps drop to lows and the Solo Stove puts out great heat! Flames are high enough to keep most predator animals at bay while waiting for your tow to arrive. On cool summer nights it is a great mini-fireplace for the table top too. All in all, it simply does what it is suppose to do, does it with little fuss, is bombproof. In short, always a pleasure to use with bio fuels, a Trangia burner, Esbit, Sterno, Charcoal pieces, etc. The Solo Titan Stove and a Trangia Stormcooker are my Go-To, Take-Anywhere cook sets and have been for years!

  18. BTW here’s a DIY Mod for The Solo Stove…

    Don’t laugh, it works wonderfully!
    Buy one of those stainless steel Beer Can Chicken Holders. Turn it upside down and insert it into the top of The Solo Stove pot stand. It will make the pot rest area twice the size for larger scale pots or when using a full size WOK. Works great and makes it really stable in higher winds!

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