After a few years, I am getting back into backpacking (now that I'm retired) and need some current updates as to stoves. Previously I used a Primus stove (which is now long gone) and packed the fuel in in bottles. Now I see stove using propane are pretty popular. What is the current view of you folks out there as the best, lightest options for stove. Imagine a 10 day trip with no possible hope of resupply. And, specifically, what stove in the REI store do you recommend. I have my eye on the Soto Amicu Stove cookset.
I use the MSR PocketRocket 2, and I can get by on a 220gr can of fuel for ten days. I only heat water for freezer bag meals and coffee, and I eat non-cook lunches but always have to heat water for breakfast and dinner. I use the 220gr cans because that's usually all I can find close to me. I also have a transfer device so that I can take 1/2 can if I'm going out for 5 days, etc.
My enter cookset consists of this stove, a 650ml TOAKS titanium pot and a TOAKS long titanium spoon.
I've used it down to less than 10F by warming the gas canister in my jacket before dinner and in my sleeping bag in the morning.
Another Pocket Rocket fan here. I have a 2, but still mostly use the 1 that I purchased twenty years ago. Thy are combined with a miscellaneous bunch of pots and pans, survivors from various cook sets. In some situations, an alcohol stove is preferable, anything from a classic brass Trangia to homemade.
For cooksets, my best buy ever was a milsurp Army Mountain cook set, two aluminum pots and a frying pan/lid. Cost about five bucks back in 1958....
I have that pot set too. The lid was stainless with folding handles and perfect for frying flapjacks. One pot sprung a pinhole leak so the pots are retired now but I am still using the lid.
The soto amicus cookset is the best value cookset that REI currently sells since you get free pots for the price of the stove pretty much
The stove itself gets excellent reviews, has a built in peizo igniter which while you should not trust absolutely (ie. take a mini BIC lighter) means you can still light the stove if you forget to bring your lighter...a much more common failure than the peizo itself failing. They do wear out eventually but you can get a replacement. Also they tend not to work at altitude (8000 feet +) although Soto's is supposed to be better. I haven't had a chance to try it at altitude yet
The cookset pots are a nice size 1L and 0.5L and are aluminum which spreads the heat better at the cost of being slightly heavier than titanium. Overall it is a bit bulky but will contain a 220 size canister which you might want for a 10 day trip. You can remove the spring steel handles and use an MSR pot grabber or similar to save a little weight...or just take one of the pots depending on your trip. The Snow peak Hot lips work on the pots.
If you want to go more ultralight later you can combine the stove with a Toaks 650 or if you want a bit more volume for actual cooking, an Evernew IL pasta pot.
For longer trips I also like JetBoils...the Zip or Flash if you are just going to boil or the Minimo if you think you may "cook". These are more convenient and efficient and than standalone stoves but they are more heavy bulky and expensive.
M-m-m-m we-e-ell, due respect to Pocket Rocket fans, there are a lot of good "mini" stoves, and Pocket Rocket is one of them. But if you're looking for a GREAT "MICRO" stove, I like my BRS Titanium!!!...
HALF the size, HALF the bulk, HALF the weight of the Pocket Rocket!! (at least!). However, there are a few VERY similar designs sold by different companies that make the design almost generic; Olicamp, Fire Maple, etc. and the price for this design is usually less (even half, or less) than the Pocket Rocket.
Fuel consumption? That depends on YOU (and whatever tips-n-tricks you use) and a lot of variables; altitude, type of food (instant, or longer cooking), using cold or warmer water, etc.
As for me, I can get a small MSR gas canister to last up to TWO Weeks. Just sayin'.
Wind is also big factor that affects fuel consumption.
The BRS-3000T is noted for terrible wind performance so to use it effectively it must be shielded from wind which is generally not to hard. However, do not to use a full wind shield since this will allow the canister to overheat and explode.
The BRS-3000T is also noted for quality control issues probably because it is made in many different factories. It is a design more than a brand. The typical failure is that the pot supports just bend when they get hot...probably this can be avoided by not running it on full.
That said many people have through hiked using these stoves and they are extremely light weight
The Soto Amicus supposedly performs a much better in windy conditions and compares favorably with the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe which copied Soto's Windmaster burner design which many consider to be the "best" performing backpacking stove available. I have not compared these personally. The Amicus does not have a regulator like those stoves. Regulators allow the stove to operate more consistently as the pressure in the canister changes. This may provide slightly improved cold weather performance but the main benefit is just a more predictable control setting.
Ah, but what all competitors fail to say, and some users fail to understand, is ALL mini/micro stoves with a similar "open flame" design need a windscreen (including the Pocket Rocket). That's just common sense.
As to the support arms getting "hot", it's a MICRO stove, it's not meant to be used for extended periods to make multi-course meals for a group of people. The size alone suggests solo use for simple meals.
Durability? I bought mine AT LEAST five years ago (and you KNOW how often I'm on the trail!) and it's STILL going strong! Before the "3000" model, I think (you are relying on revenues, I'm relying on EXPERIENCE... again).
To deal with the wind issue, I designed a 'hobo stove' that nests with my mess kit and can be used as a windscreen. It can also be used with the pot lid (if I run out of gas) so I can burn wood or chemical tablets. But that's just my ingenuity (and experience) showing.
The TRUTH is, the design is sound, otherwise it wouldn't have been around this long or have been imitated by other companies.
Actually I was going by this search...
Just because you got lucky and didn't get a bad one doesn't mean it is not a problem.
The BRS 3000T is a popular stove notably because it is small, cheap and light. If you get a good one it is better than it should be but it is definitely not a "great" stove comparatively speaking.
Independent tests demonstrate a considerable difference in wind performance between stoves.
This comparison is kinder to the BRS 3000T than the above test...They give it a "best buy" but note its poor efficiency and wind performance. They also note that they got a good one...
It has not be "imitated by other companies" . It is just mass produced from a published design by many different Chinese factories which possibly explains the variable quality. Sometimes it is private labelled by importers. Just because it says BRS 3000T on it does not mean it is made by BRS ...there is such a company http://www.brs.net.cn/index although it is not actually clear that they are responsible for the BRS stove designs of which there are many or are just another packager with more coherent marketing.
Wait, let me be sure I have this right... you don't own a BRS, nor have you EVER owned a BRS (otherwise, you would have mentioned it by now), so in order to minimize or negate any claim of the BRS being "GREAT", you did a search SPECIFICALLY on BRS "FAILURES"?
Then based on that negatively biased search, you chose to rely someone ELSE'S questionable opinion?? Sounds like more GUESSING to me, but let's review for a more EXPERIENCED, FIRST-HAND overview...
HANDS-DOWN WINNER! Anyone looking for a MICRO-stove, like the BRS, is looking for an ultralight, ultrapackable option. For them, a stove like the BRS is AWESOME!! About HALF the size, HALF the weight and even HALF the price (or less) than, for example, the Pocket Rocket. Packability... CHECK!
Obviously, even if it's a bargain, it's worthless if it constantly breaks or fails WITHOUT cause. Even then, it must stand up to at least reasonable use. So, how do you define "reasonable"? The BEST answers would have to come from EXPERIENCED people with FIRST-HAND accounts, over an EXTENDED time.
I've had mine for AT LEAST five years and I go out for WEEKS at a time just about every month of the year into the backcountry. I have used it (and a few times, abused it) rain and shine, summer and winter, and it has performed FLAWLESSLY each and every time! It has NEVER failed to light, NEVER leaks at all, and ALWAYS shuts off when I want it to! Dependability and durability ... CHECK!
If the dependability is high and the price is low (particularly if the stove performs as intended the entire time), then that is not only a GREAT value, I think I paid about $20. Value... MONSTER CHECK!
Fuel consumption is a secondary, but important, consideration. As I said, this depends more on the user than the stove. However, as stated, I can get a SMALL MSR gas canister to last for up to TWO WEEKS with my little BRS, so clearly, the stove is not a problem here! Fuel consumption... CHECK!
Frankly, all other arguments are irrelevant NOISE, nevertheless...
YOUR REVIEW/LINK REFERENCE?
I looked at the "review" you regurgitated, and as expected, it was an attempt by a NON-scientist to give a scientific-ISH opinion focusing ENTIRELY on what he GUESSED were flaws. I, on the other hand, am science-oriented in addition to having considerable outdoor EXPERIENCE, and more to the point, considerable experience with the BRS micro-stove specifically. To start:
FLAWED WIND "TEST"
The wind "test" should NOT have been done in the field, it should have been done indoors, where the simulated wind could be measured and controlled, then applied EQUALLY to other MICRO stoves! THAT'S how it's done!! Nevertheless, the reviewer acknowledged ALL stoves with an open flame design are vulnerable to the wind! (just as I said), but what was NOT CONSIDERED (by he or you) was the ingenuity of more EXPERIENCED, like myself.
Pictured is what my cook setup looks like
nested, my setup using the 'hobo stove' I designed as an integrated windscreen, and my setup in wood-burning, hobo-stove mode (yes, it can use chemical fuel, too). A design that compliments the BRS by adding virtually NO weight OR bulk while preserving the functionality of the BRS, a BRILLIANTLY simple design, if I say so myself (and I DO say so myself!)
OTHER FLAWED OPINIONS
-The pot supports get "hot" after TWELVE+ minutes? Are you kidding me?? I use my BSR for about 3 to five minutes, MAX, and it has ALWAYS been enough to make a meal! Moreover, there's no way I could get up to TWO WEEKS out of a small gas canister, let alone by apparently turning the flame up to HI like the reviewer does!!
-The arms "deformed" under heavy loads? What's he cooking, a 20lb TURKEY?? Again, LOOK at it, it's a MICRO stove, obviously made for SOLO use!! I use a 750ml Titanium pot, THAT'S the type of thing it's made for!!! I could easily go on!
Just making sure people get good, ACCURATE advice/opinions, as always. Bottom line, I suggest the only people who are happy with their BRS (and its like) are the only ones who have what it takes to use them correctly.