Vargo Jet-ti Stove
Jet-ti Stove

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

Vargo Jet-ti Stove

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

Vargo Jet-ti Stove

Vargo Jet-ti Stove Jet-ti Stove

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; 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; and Snow Peak’s Giga Power ($50 with piezo lighter; 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!

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