View Full Version : White Gas stoves - What's out there?

03-18-2005, 22:26
I'm wondering what different white gas stoves are on the market. I LOVE my Dragonfly, and have been backpacking with my Simmerlite a couple of times and it is OK (it really does simmer!) but I haven't looked much past MSR products. Although I have owned a Coleman Apex II stove - excellent for big meals and group cooking.

What else is out there? Lighter stuff? Better stuff? I tried the switch to alcohol, but it is just not for me - I still like to cook...

Thanks for the feedback! :banana

03-19-2005, 11:08
There's another active thread on SVEA stoves that you might want to check out. I don't know if they're currently available anywhere other than on eBay. I've got a Coleman that I don't really like, probably because I've never mastered the priming procedure and usually end up with a bonfire before I can get the stove going. Once the stove is properly burning, it's got nice heat output. The Coleman is also pretty darn heavy.

That's the extent of my knowledge on this subject.

03-19-2005, 11:29
There has been an evolution of backpacking stoves over the past couple of decades.

In the beginning, there was the Svea and Optimus stoves. Some of them are still going strong. The Svea is known for roaring. You appreciate the sound of silence when it's turned off. And there are many stories about how to get it going. Usually, douse it in gas and throw in a match.

The MSR Whisperlite largely replaced the Svea stove, because it's lighter and quieter. But, like the Svea, it was either on or off. Hard to simmer.

And Coleman got into the act the Peak 1 stoves and later Apex.

More recently, MSR came out with the Simmerlite, which simmers, and is lighter yet.

Meanwhile, other stoves, including the dragon fly are still selling. Each has their own niche. For example, the Simmerlite is too lightly built to support a large pot, if cooking for a group. For group use, bring along something else.

And there are canister stoves to be considered also. Pocket Rocket is one that's lightweight. JetBoil has been on the market the past couple of years.

Like all gear, there are choices to be made. There is no one product that suits all people. It all depends on personal choice.

03-19-2005, 11:59
If you plan on doing "Real" cooking on the trail, few packing stoves are better suted for that than the Dragonfly. It will heat water quickly at full throttle, yet will simmer at least as well as most at home stoves, and most anything in between.
If weight is a consideration, the Apex II (By Coleman) simmers as well, but with a slower boil time, yet is a few Oz lighter, esp if you leave off the 3 legs.
If you find that all you do once you are "Out there" is heat water, you can always switch to an alcohol stove. Or, even carry one along, they only weigh about 1 Oz. plus fuel, & most do a full burn on 2 to 1/2 Oz or less

03-19-2005, 12:55
There's lots to choose from, MSR, Brunton(Optimus), Primus and Snowpeak to name 4. The Snowpeak was the most interesting -no priming, real no kidding simmer -most expensive, and is suffering from a pump related recall. . Sveas are still for sale brand new by the way - if you are commited to looking rustic.
Having spent a liesurely afternoon last winter playing with about 7 different WG stoves in the demo area at my local outfitters, I think the overall quality from the Primus line was tops closely followed by Brunton (Optimus) and MSR came in last (BUT FIRST IN PRICE) which may be why the brand is so popular because I just didn't think that the line was in the same league with the first 2. I had to reserve quality judgement on the snowpeak because of the pump, but there's lots of dirty liitle rumors that MSR plastic pumps are even worse. By the way they say the pump problem is fixed but I'm not 100% sure all the stoves out there have the new item installed. More info at http://www.snowpeak.com/Recall%20notice.htm

All that said, the next hoop to jump through is what kind of liquid fuel do you want burn? Lots of choices here, and some even give you the option of re-jetting for the fuel and and using a cannister type blended butane fuel too.

Best I can do is suggest you spend a day actually touching and feeling at a good store that has demo units and someone who knows each one. Factor in the cost of all the "accessories" cleaning kits, pump repair kits, windscreens, fuel bottles etc, and then go look at the cannister stoves, cause unless you plan on lots of sub zero high altitude cooking off in the third world somewhere, no one need all that aggrivation.