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Gear Review: Top 5 Winter Stoves

top 5 stoves

Are you stuck on what stove to purchase for the winter time? Looking for a stove that you can use in summer and winter? Well look no further, Simply Hike have put together our top 5 winter stoves for this season!

 

biolite-campstove

 

In at number five we have the Biolite Campstove. Yes I know what you’re thinking the campstove really?? But just take a second to think about why the Campstove is a great choice for a winter stove.  Yes you got it in one, it’s all about fire. Having such a lightweight wood burning stove is ideal for any winter walker! The fire will keep you nice and warm on those cold mornings and evenings.

The fan that is inbuilt into the charging system isn’t just to aid the charge, it’s also giving you a stronger burn time and increasing the heat of the stove to keep you warmer for longer.

On the cooking side of things, with the Biolite adaptor you can use any pots and pans to cook your food on, and because of the fan system it will cook it efficiently in no time whatsoever! The greatest thing about the campstove is that there is no fuel needed to get this Biolite running.

Although it looks like a modern piece of equipment it’s based on a traditional wood burning stove, so as long as you have access to twigs and kindling you have all you need to get up and running (oh a lighter or matches might help as well). I haven’t even mentioned the main talking point of the Biolite……. (just in case you didn’t know) the charging system on the campstove converts the heat from the wood burning stove into electricity so you can charge any USB device!

The only downside to the Biolite Campstove is that because it’s a wood burning stove it can be a messy affair cleaning it up, which might put the odd wild camper off.

 

Our Rating: bar8  

 

 

 

 

jetboil-joule   

 

At number four we have the Jetboil Joule cooking system. This stove from Jetboil uses an inverted canister which is designed with a liquid feed regulator. This regulator gives you consistent heat all the way down to -12°C (hence whys it’s in our winter stoves blog).

The Joule has the Jetboil “fluxring cup” which can hold up to 2.5 litres of water and is also insulated, how's that for a big cooking pot! The fluxring cup also acts as the Joules storage unit. When you’re not using this stove you just place it into the fluxring cup and then pop it in your backpack!

This stove has an impressive boil time as well. It can boil a litre of water in 2 minutes 40 which isn’t too shabby. If you are using a 230g gas canister it will last for up to 24 litres of boil time, which is pretty efficient. The base of the stove gives you great stability using a three point contact. So even if you have filled the fluxring cup to the top it will still be safe and secure.

The only real downside to the Joule is that the pack size is pretty big! Don’t get us wrong the 2.5 litre cup is a great feature but we can see some people being turned off by this. Other than that it’s a brilliant stove!

 

Our Rating: bar8    

 

 

 

 

msr-reactor

 

In at number 3 we have the MSR reactor stove system. Now this is a pretty cool bit of kit. One of the key positives about this stove is that the reactor stove's heat exchanger (burner to you and me) is completely enclosed. This gives the reactor stove unmatched boiling time (500ml in just 1.5 minutes) which in turn gives it the best cooking time.

The enclosed burner also means it’s pretty windproof, making this stove more fuel efficient than most, which to this date has not been matched by any competitor. Just take a look at the graph below:

 

msr-reactor-gas

 

The reactor stove can boil 22 litres of water when using a 227g gas canister. From a storage point of view the burner and gas canister (depending on size) can all fit in the reactors 1 litre pot. I think we can all agree that’s pretty small. And to top it off for all you coffee lovers out there you can buy a coffee press that fits in with the reactors pot, how cool is that!

Our only concerns with the stove are that at first it can be a bit tricky to light, and the handle can be a bit fiddly at times. Other than that this is an amazing piece of kit, no wonder it has won so many awards!

 

Our Rating: bar9    

 

 

 

 

optimus-novaplus  

 

So at number 2 we have the Optimus Nova Plus Stove. Rather than using conventional gas canisters the Nova Plus uses a multi fuel system. If you can burn it you can use it on this stove, even jet fuel! This stove also uses the optimus powerline, which ensures you have safe flame control.

Using a multi fuel stove can get a bit messy, especially in the burner head. Fortunately the Nova Plus uses the integrated magic cleaning system which will clean the stove in a matter of seconds. The fuel control is simple, once pressurised, turn the bottle one way and this will let the fuel into the burner head chamber. To turn it off simply turn the bottle the other way and let it cut the fuel off! Simple as that.

The Nova plus can boil a litre of water in 3.5 minutes and has a max burn time of 2.5 hours on 450m of fuel. The Nova plus comes with a pump, wind shield, multi tool, stuff bag and some spare parts to get you started.

This Optimus stove is a great one. The only down sides we would say are that they could have made the burner head a little bit bigger, and they could possibly take it to the next level and give you gas integration as well.

 

Our Rating: bar9    

 

 

 

 

msr-whisperliteuni

 

And in at number 1 we have the MSR Whisperlite Universal. This is a classic stove from MSR, it’s a multi fuel stove so no matter where you are in the world if it lights and it’s a liquid you can use it on this stove. The main reason why this is number 1 is that you can change between fuel and gas! Yes that’s right fuel AND gas, this gives the stove great diversity.

The whisperlite uses aircontrol technology for optimal fuel and air mix giving you brilliant fuel efficiency.  The burn head on this MSR stove is nice and wide so no matter what pots or pans you are using they will be stable on this stove.

The Whisperlite uses ‘shaker jet’ to clean the main fuel line of the stove, it’s easy to do (once you get the hang of it) and this means if you are changing between fuels it will clean the line quicker. The Whisperlite is made from aluminium which means it’s lightweight and ideal for backpackers.

The Whisperlite from MSR is a real all-rounder, the fact that you can switch between gas and multi fuel is a great idea and gives backpackers and hikers more options which is always a plus in our books.

The only thing we would say is that the Whisperlite could go down the Optimus route and make the stove simpler to use. Other than that it’s a Simply Hike “must have”.

 

Our Rating: bar10    

 

 

So there we have it, our top 5 picks for winter stoves. We hope that has helped you select the right stove for you. And don’t forget we have hundreds of stoves on our website.

 

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