What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

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What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby Godlykepower » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:49 pm

I've used an MSR Dragonfly for years, but something bust on it and the missus binned it :shock: , now I need go get something else.
It doesn't need to be expedition quality as it's only going to be used for UK trips (for now - possibly Europe at some point) but I don't want something cheap either.

I was looking at a few at Go Outdoors today and they seem to vary in price greatly. MSR seems expensive and I can't remember which models are which. I rather like the look of a Jetboil, but have no idea if they are any good.

What are people using and/or recommending? I'd also like something that can fit neatly into a pot or something like that.
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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby garibeet » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:42 pm

What are you after fuel wise? Gas, Meths/Bio fuel or Petrol? I have at least one of each and they all do something a little better than the others!
Petrol is great for melting snow and boiling water for instance( as you probably know) but pretty poor at cooking as it tends to not simmer etc.
Gas is ok for both but can be problematic to get in some countries, and you always have a cartridge until you can find somewhere to bin it, plus you can never be really sure how much gas is left until it runs out once on the road. Not great in the cold either.
Meths/Bio fuel is very easy to use and surprisingly efficient in the right stove, it is often the lightest option as the stoves can be very simple, so reliable too. Fuel can also be a bit of a problem when travelling, though you can almost always find it if you Know what the local name is. My preference is based on what trip I am doing. For lightweight touring it's meths for it's lightness, packability and reliability etc. In winter I use the MSR as I am just looking to melt snow and boil water for dehydrated meals. Gas is usually for a quick overnighter for the convenience.
So it depends what you are doing with it. If weight isn't an issue I still don't think you can go wrong with a good old Trangia. I still have one and if I was still pannier touring it would still be my first choice for long trips, you can cook proper meals on it which is great after a few weeks on the road as dehydrated meals can get pretty boring pretty quick!
Alpkit make a very good little cartridge stove that would fit in a pan or a mug. https://www.alpkit.com/explore/cookware bugger they have sold out, but you get the idea.
For alcohol stoves a visit to http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/cooking.html would be useful for info.
As you can see there are lots of options that can be made into packable systems, some have more flexibility than others. In regard to the Jetboil, it is great for boiling water etc for drinks and dehydrated meals, but sit a little high and can be unstable unless you hang them. I just think there are stoves that do the same thing for a smaller package and lighter weight, more stability too.
Hope the links help.
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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby FarOeuf » Fri Mar 28, 2014 8:53 pm

why wouldn't you get another Dragonfly ? if you know some things you didn't like about it, it might make it easier to find a similar stove without those problems.

I use the multi-fuel Whisperlite, which I find great (and quieter than a Dragonfly). but it doesn't simmer, it's a bit on/off.
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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby jamesgilbert » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:37 pm

As I'm never far from civilisation I use a gas stove. I've been very happy with the Primus Express Spider, which I guess is mid-range (it cost me around 50 euros). I chose it because it sits on the ground rather than on top of the gas cartridge, packs down small and isn't too heavy (200g). It has a preheat tube for the gas, which helps in cold conditions.
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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby andrew_s » Fri Mar 28, 2014 10:54 pm

Within Europe I use a remote canister gas stove - one with a preheat loop (Primus Express Spider, Optimus Vega, Edelrid Opilio, MSR Windpro, Fire Maple FMS-118, and doubtless some others).
As well as the extra stability of the remote canister, a light windshield is easier, and the ability to invert the gas canister means that it works fine in cold weather, and right to the end of the canister. If the weather is cool, it's best to run with the canister upside down routinely (don't invert until the stove is running). This means that you don't burn off the propane part of the gas mix first, which is why canister top gas stoves don't do so well in the cold or on old canisters.
I've never had a problem judging the canister contents by shaking it, and an adapter will allow the use of the commoner blue camping gas CV canisters.
The MSR and Optimus are a bit better in that they have canister stands, and also a bigger burner that will suit larger diameter pans better and possibly burn your food on a bit less.
The Primus is a bit less good as the upright flame adjuster knob gets in the way of inverting the canister.

Meths is good for short trips as you need only take the fuel that you will use. For longer trips the lower heat content of meths means that the extra weight of fuel can overcome the weight gains of even a pepsi can stove. The lower heat content also means that cooking times are longer. That's not a problem in itself as you are rarely in a rush to eat, but it does mean that in breezy weather you need an efficient windshield as you can't just turn up the wick as you can on gas or petrol. An efficient windshield really means a full Trangia 27 or 25, rather than a Triangle or (even worse) a Mini, but a full Trangia isn't particularly light and can be bulky when compared to other options.
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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby dbennett1882 » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:47 am

Personally I recently bought a jetboil and would say that it does boil water very quickly but:
1 it is very difficult to buy gas canisters for it abroad. certainly I could find no-where in France
2. the plastic cup that comes as an integral component is very fragile- I broke mine on the first trip.
3. don't bother paying for the piezo ignition option- it only works under perfect conditions
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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby VanDeRooster » Sun Mar 30, 2014 6:53 pm

Maybe look at the Whisperlite Universal. Will run on petrol, white gas, paraffin and gas. I've one on order as a replacement for a lost Whisperlite International.
If you want just gas I would also recommend the MSR Reactor and the Pocket Rocket. Both have been very fine stoves. Which one I choose just depends on whether I'm trying to go lightweight or not.
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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby pjclinch » Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:31 pm

Along similar lines to the above, while I have a multi-fuel stove in the gear-cupboard it doesn't come out much because when gas is an option the multi-fuel is heavier, fiddlier, needs priming and is less controllable. Only comes out if fuel resupply is going to be awkward and will probably come down to petrol from farms or remote garages etc.

We usually use a Primus Gravity EF remote canister gas stove, occasionally a Trangia 25 with the gas conversion. The latter is as stable and shielded as it gets, but you do pay in weight and bulk. We've got a tiny titanium canister-top stove too for when we're being weight-weenies, but don't use it much. Cooking is more awkward because of lower stability and more awkward shielding.

Jetboil looks nice if your cooking is based very heavily on boiling water. Mine isn't so I've not gone down that road.

Piezo ignitions are indeed about as reliable as... sorry, I'm struggling for an analogy that's suitably unreliable...

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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby al_yrpal » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:52 pm

With the hassle with fuel, and with the small cartridges on many stoves like the jetboil, I have now got one of these: http://www.campingaz.com/uk/p-23511-twi ... -plus.aspx Thirteen quid. I also have a pair of plastic thingys that fit around the base of the cartridge to improve stability. Couple of pieces of cardboard make a great windshield. You can get a piezo electric lighting version too.

Big advantage is you can get the cartridges anywhere. I shall be buying a set of these to go with it: http://www.decathlon.co.uk/1-person-hik ... 46405.html

If anyone is interested in a Mini Trianga and Meths bottle please pm me.

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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby pedalsheep » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:11 am

alyrpal wrote
I shall be buying a set of these to go with it: http://www.decathlon.co.uk/1-person-hik ... 46405.html

A straight copy of the Primus ETA Express but considerably cheaper. I've found the Primus pan to be excellent and amazingly speedy for boiling water altho the lid is too small to be much use for cooking.
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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby hamster » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:19 pm

With regards to petrol not simmering, it's not my experience ; I've a Coleman Peak 1 550B and it has a flame as controllable as the gas cooker at home. However they don't make them any more, and I don't know what the newer ones are like.

I have gas, meths and petrol. I'd probably pick gas for overnight, petrol when it's really cold and meths for simplicity.
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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby Neilo » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:38 pm

I use one of these http://www.spiritburner.com/fusion/showtopic.php?tid/13218/post/114502/hl//fromsearch/1/
made it myself though. will burn paraffin/jet fuel, petrol, lighter fluid, meths, and gas. It is heavier than just a cartridge stove, but I love it. You can buy one that will burn all the above except meths from primus, but not cheap, and you have to buy a trangia as well.

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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby al_yrpal » Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:03 pm

Neilo wrote:I use one of these http://www.spiritburner.com/fusion/showtopic.php?tid/13218/post/114502/hl//fromsearch/1/
made it myself though. will burn paraffin/jet fuel, petrol, lighter fluid, meths, and gas. It is heavier than just a cartridge stove, but I love it. You can buy one that will burn all the above except meths from primus, but not cheap, and you have to buy a trangia as well.

Neil


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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby Neilo » Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:33 pm

Ok, try this one, I have a slightly different burner, fuel pipe comes from the side, rather than the bottom

http://luontola.com/luontola/ultimate/kaplorer_eng.htm

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Re: What is a good, mid-range camping stove nowadays?

Postby hamster » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:21 pm

Looks interesting - is it made any more? I couldn't see any for sale...
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