Canister Stoves


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5 affordable and inventive outdoor products from this summer's Outdoor Retailer

Plus, the differences between liquid fuel and pressurized canisters

Every stove claims it's the fastest. We pitted them head-to-head in a winner-takes-all boil-off.

Of the dozens of poles, stoves, multitools, and other essentials we tested this year, we kept reaching for these six, from the Brunton Get-Back GPS, which stores up to three waypoints and steers you to the trailhead, to MSR SureLock TR-3s, which, at 20 ounces a pair, aren't ultralight, but they are quite sturdy and strong.

The fiberglass mashup is stable, fast, and light, and thanks to the unique seating system, you can pilot it kayak style (double bladed) or with a canoe paddle.

What's the best lightweight gear for a weekend backpacking trip?

I'm hiking the Wonderland Trail, the loop around Mount Rainier, in mid-September. I've decided to bring a canister stove to save weight. For two people, which models are best for a long-distance backpacking trip?

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Jetboil Sol Ti stove.

Pocket Rocket When you want the hyper-efficency of a Jetboil stove, but need to cook for two to four people, it’s hard to beat the Helios. The company’s proprietary FluxRing (a baffle on the bottom of the included two-liter pot) helps conserve energy, while the upside-down canister stand lets you…

JETBOIL‘s ultra-efficient GROUP COOKING SYSTEM has a 1.5-liter pot for melting snow.

Why It’s CoolStability in the heat of battle is a Markill trademark, a reputation augmented by the steady new Spider. Three heavy-gauge stainless-steel legs uncoil from a grenade-size package, creating a footprint seven inches in diameter—an inch bigger than most other stoves. Even hard nudges to the supports couldn’t unsettle…

Why It RulesThe first effort from a scrappy New England startup, the Jetboil represents a total rethink of backcountry cookery. A tall one-liter pot—aluminum, with a hard anodized cooking surface and insulating neoprene cozy—docks (and locks) to the stove’s burner. A ring of heat-conducting baffles attached to the pot’s base…

Why It’s CoolThe canister version of MSR’s liquid-fuel SimmerLite shares its twin’s huge burner head, with similar pot supports that rotate into place and double as the feet. The legs endow the WindPro with the second-largest pot platform of all the cookers we tested, and the steadiness of a cast-iron…

Why It’s CoolThough this stove is sweet enough at rest—when folded up, it’s so small it fits into the hollow beneath its own fuel canister—the Crux unfurled is engineering elegance: The burner head rotates on a ball-and-socket joint and locks into place with a reassuring snap. Small pot-support arms swivel…

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

I understand the MSR Reactor stove has an internal pressure regulator, but do you think this stove will perform in very cold temperatures (-10F and colder) or at high altitude (above 10,000 feet)? Justin Tacoma, Washington

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