Gear Shed

Q:

Which is easier to travel with: a canister or white-gas stove?

My son is headed to New Zealand for the spring semester. Things sure have changed since I went to college! He will have some time to backpack, and he’s not sure if a canister or white-gas stove will be easier to travel with and refuel. We have been eying the Vargo Jet-ti. What do you think? Mike Front Royal, Virginia

Jet-ti Stove     Photo: courtesy, Vargo

Vargo Jet-ti Stove

Jet-ti Stove

A:Indeed, things have changed since you and I were in college. That whole Internet thing, for instance. Think that will last?

Anyway, sounds like a great trip. I’d absolutely recommend a canister stove. Butane/propane canisters are available just about world-wide, particularly in a place with a lot of backpacking such as New Zealand. So there won’t be any issue there. Plus a canister stove should be easier to get through airport checking; sometimes white gas stoves get flagged. Even at that, check with your airline first to make sure there will not be a problem. I’ve heard stories from travelers who have had their clean stoves confiscated.

Vargo’s Jet-ti ($65; vargooutdoors.com) would be an excellent choice to take. It’s a fairly new, super-light (2.7 oz.) stove that uses a butane/propane canister with a Lindal valve. It’s easy to use and puts out plenty of heat. And its stove supports are sturdier than most other canister-top screw-in stoves. MSR’s SuperFly stove ($60; msrgear.com) and Snow Peak’s Giga Power ($50 with piezo lighter; snowpeak.com) are comparable in use and performance. They are very slightly heavier, though an ounce will hardly make much difference.

Tell your son to send us some photos!

The 2008 Winter Outside Buyer’s Guide is now online. From snow sports to trail-running to camping, get reviews of more than 300 new gear must-haves.

Ask a Question!

Our gear experts await your questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

By submitting above, you agree to the Outside privacy policy. * We might edit your question for length or clarity.

Comments