Pros: Pros: High output, durability, compact, easy to use, reliable.
Cons: Cons: No automatic igniter.
30 years of experience with Coleman.
This stove is only 4 years old, but the basic design has not changed much in the past 30 years. This seems like the same exact stove that my parents used when they took us camping with the only exception being the valve on top of the propane inlet. As a young child I had no problem using it, in fact I thought it was kind of fun to use.
Why I bought this stove
The primary reason I bought this stove is because of the high BTU rating. This is important to me because the primary thing I heat is water. Other forms of cooking do not require the high heat output.
The second reason is because the stove I used in my childhood is still around today. It is still being used by my brother when he goes camping. Talk about dependable. So I dont plan on replacing this stove for at least another 20 years or more.
How does it work?
The stove is stored in a flat rectangular shape that is easy to store. I slide it right next to my ice chest. All you do to open it up is depress a button, lift the lid, slide out the wind guard arms and hook the arms in. To hook up the propane you screw in a wand to the right side of the stove, then screw in the propane tank. It takes me 15 seconds on a good day.
To light it you turn on the gas valve for the stove to a very low setting and at the same time light a match. Then you put the match flame to the burner and watch it ignite. Just remember, if you have the gas on too high, you will get burned. After that turn the gas valve to the desired setting and start cooking.
It is just like any other gas stove, except that the burner is small. This is a problem if your cookware is thin in that it will cause sauces to splatter, burn, and cook unevenly. A copper bottom, cast iron, or a thick piece of steel will help with this problem.
Water for coffee heats very fast. I barely have time to go to the facilities by the time its boiling. No complaints here.
Frying foods, like fajitas, takes as long as your normal stove top. The only issue is the heat is not as well dispersed as I would like. Just move the food around more or do smaller portions.
Sauces and canned food will splatter if at high heat. What I do is just turn down the heat and let the sauce cook longer. This really doesnt matter because the other burner usually has something that takes 10 minutes to cook.
I get a little concerned when I cook a BIG pot of spaghetti. The stove is not that big so it does not sit in the center of the stove. If someone isnt careful and bumps it, the pot will fall off. You could solve this problem by putting the wind guard down, as long as it is not windy.
How fast does water boil?
Coleman says that a quart of water boils in 4 minutes 30 seconds. From my experience in boiling water for coffee I would have to agree with them. But I had to see how long it would take a quart to boil for myself.
I took 4 minutes and 40 seconds for one quart of water to boil. Water was at room temperature and was boiled in one of my cheap Teflon pots. No salt was added.
How long will a canister last?
For me it will last for one weekend. If you cook for a large group then expect to go through 2-3 canisters in a weekend.
Advantages of Propane
-Propane works well down to 0?F.
-Convenient, clean-burning and easy to light.
-Does not require priming. Just screw the bottle in and light.
-Can be adjusted easily.
-Will not spill if the bottle is dropped.
Disadvantages of propane
-Propane canister also weight a lot more.
-Canisters are non-disposable.
-More expensive fuel.
-Some people feel white gas burns hotter.
Why I think it is better than the other Coleman stoves.
The primary reason is that this stove burns hotter. Since I boil water more often that anything else, I want my hot water fast.
Ive used the lower BTU stoves. One camping trip I decided I did not need my stove because I could use my father-in-laws and my sister-in-laws stoves. Both sucked and seemed to take forever to heat up the water. I was very disappointed and I will never use their stoves again (even though they were self igniting.)
Ease of cleaning
This stove is fairly easy to clean. All I ever do is get a wet rag and wipe it down. Some times you do need to scrub with a scouring pad and you can remove parts of the grill in order to do that easily. I personally would put any part in a dishwasher.
How to improve stove performance
-Use a lid when cooking.
-Use a windscreen.
-Use a heat-exchanger on trips of more than a few days (to improve fuel economy).
-Learn how to clean and maintain your stove properly.
The only problem some people may encounter is that you have to light the burners with a match. An easy solution is to use a lighter wand. I do not use one because a lighter wand doesnt fit easily in the stove, where matches do. I also have no problems with using matches.
This is a great, no frills, 2 burner, propane camping stove. For the price and what you get out of it, its the best on the market.
Why the high rating?
I gave this stove a 5 out of 5 because I dont believe it can be improved upon. There really isnt an improvement I want because it would mean something else would have to be compromised. Yes there are better camping stoves out there but they are also heavier, require more fuel, cost much more, etc. So until I start cooking for a small army, then this is the perfect stove for my family and I.
The other thing that sets it apart is its durability. My familys old stove has outlasted every other camping product I used in my childhood, and my brother is still using it today.
Warning: Boring stats. From rei.com. Here for your convenience.
This double burner stove is capable of delivering 10,000BTU per burner, heating a quart of water in 4.5 minutes
One 16.4-oz. cylinder of fuel will last for 1.1 hours with both burners on high and 4.5 hours on the low setting
High pressure regulator provides a constant performance in all weather conditions
Lid and fold-out side-shields block wind from the burner surface; wind baffles in the burners help shield the flame from the wind
Easy to clean aluminized steel cook top wipes clean; removable heavy-duty nickel chrome grill
Durable textured steel case
Weight: 11 pounds
Dimensions: 23.25w x 14.75d x 5.5h inches
Average boil time: 4.5 minutes
Fuel capacity: 16.4-oz. cylinder
Burn time (max flame): 1.1 hours
Heat output: 10,000 british thermal units (BTUs)
Distance between burners: 9.5 inches
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