Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Welcome REI Co-op Members!
We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community,
click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

Suggestions for backpacking stoves

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.  


Thanks, all! 

28 Replies

Here are similar "negative" searches for other brands also for comparison with BRS...These show more typically expected occasional failures...  I only posed the search to illustrate the point.  I looked at all this a while back.

BRS Stove Failures 

MSR canister Stove Failures

Soto stove Failures

Optimus canister Stove Failures

Kovea Stove Failures  (Note: Kovea make the MSR stoves)

Snow Peak stove Failures

Jetboil stove failures

Note: I qualified the search with "canister" in a couple of cases to eliminate white gas stove failures.  Those are quite common since white gas stoves are fussy and we are not interested in them here.

Hikin' Jim's test was a casual field test in moderate conditions and the stove failed!  It wasn't supposed to be a wind test.  Sure,  if you want to do comparative performance tests you need controlled conditions but a stove should not fail boiling only 750 ml (25floz) in a moderate wind!   He has tested many stoves and states subjectively he has "never seen a stove this wind sensitive before".  

I don't know how gearlab formed their opinion. 

No I didn't buy one because to me it is not worth the minor weight,  size or cost savings to have something that is potentially unreliable in a dangerous way and has poor performance under typical conditions ( ie moderate wind).

Personally I think your windshield as shown is potentially dangerous and I would not want to be anywhere near it while you are running it.  That sort of sleeve shield should not extend below the burner head on a canister stove.  You need to leave plenty of airflow across the top of canister to avoid overheating it.  Also there should be sufficient gap to allow excess heat to escape between the shield and the pot.  The BRS3000T is a very short stove.  The burner is already close to the canister so that type of windshield with that stove is risky even if it only descends to the burner. 

Manufacturers recommend against using any kind of enclosing windshield with canister stoves so if you are not going to take their advice at least warn others that this design is outside of recommended usage and injury could result.

i've been using my brs knock off for 4 yrs now, still going strong.

got mine from amazon, a 'outsmart' brand, apparently no longer available.

2 weeks ago in bridger wilderness, was using a homemade aluminum foil windscreen which I thought was large enough to NOT hold in hot air and get too hot, went to turn off the stove and burned/branded my thumb and forefinger with the little wire valve....ouch! **bleep** that hurt for a couple of days!

but happy the cannister didn't blow up

REI Member Since 1979

I was about to add a reply that I love my BRS-3000T as well. Sure, it doesn't have a regulator so you can't control the heat (it's on or off), there's no built-in lighter, and the pot support is a bit smaller than its competitors, but for the price I paid, it's been fantastic.

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Backpacking stoves are mostly Butane/IsoButane because Propane requires a higher pressure to store and the bottles are much heavier...generally the smallest you can only get propane is the 1lb disposable or refillable bottles.

Propane has better low temp performance and they put some in the ISO Butane winter mixes that come in the disposable lindal valve canisters but those canisters are too weak to hold pure propane.   Backpacking stoves are not designed to burn pure Propane and the jet size may not be set to allow the stove to burn safely at all settings so use caution if you are tempted to try.

Pure Butane is fine for summer use and will work in winter but you have to keep the  temperature of the canister above freezing.  The recommended method is to sit it in liquid water...but you have to get liquid water first which may not be easy when it is below freezing.

Generally you want a canister stove with a pre-heater tube for winter or if it is very cold move to a white gas stove.


After numerous experiences, I am convinced that "piezo" is Italian for "unreliable," as in "doomed to fail."  "Bic" means "It works!!"

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

LOL! I thought it meant "piece of...".

As to lighters, I ONLY buy Bic (and only in orange).

yeah I know you have that bias.   Like I said,   forgetting the lighter is a much more common failure.  I would not pay $25 to just to get a built in peizo but with the Amicus cookset it is included. 

...there's a version of the Amicus without for $5 less and no pots if you insist.  It is definitely worth $5 and the 0.3 g 


As for accompanying lighters to start the stove, I'll add a different idea than the Bic (which are reliable, cheap, and great to have with you)...

Get an inexpensive ($5 or so) refillable butane lighter (Ronson is the brand that comes to mind) that's used to light cigars. They have a torch flame instead of a soft flame and, therefore, nowhere near as susceptible to being blown out by the wind while lighting your stove. You can also hold it further away from the stove when lighting it.

Plus, since it's refillable, you aren't adding to the landfill with a disposable item.

“Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.” (John Muir)

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

My Backup lighter is a LMF mora knife with an integral ferro rod. Lights any gas unit with one or two strikes - every time,and it is a sensible, effective cutting tool, light in weight.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Ferrocium is fine (especially for lighting gas stoves), but I prefer mischemetal.