A Review of the Three Best Survival Stoves Today

For outdoor lovers and survival enthusiasts alike, weight is an obsession. This is the main reason why 9 out of 10 backpackers prefer survival tools that are lightweight, portable and with multi-function properties. One of the most commonly used and carried survival tool among campers is the survival stove; a stove that is not only portable, convenient and practical but most importantly, lightweight.

In this article review, we will be looking at three of the lightest and best selling survival stoves in the market today. What each product has to offer and what sets them apart from all the other portable survival stoves that are being used today.

1. Esbit Ultralight Folding Pocket Stove with Six 14g Solid Fuel Tablets By: Esbit ($10.99)

Product Description:

  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 1 inches ; 0.2 ounces
  • Shipping Weight:4 ounces
  • Simple, stable, and durable
  • Made from galvanized steel
  • Includes 6 smokeless, Esbit 14 g solid fuel tablets
  • Each tablet burns approximately 12 minutes
  • One tablet boils 500 ml of water in about 8 minutes
  • Two cooking positions suitable for cups, pots, and pans (not included)
  • Dimensions-closed: 3.9 inches x 3 inches x 0.9 inches (9.8 x 7.7 x 2.3 cm); Weight, including solid fuel: 6.3 ounces (180 g)
  • Made in Germany; 2-year manufacturer’s warranty

Review on the Esbit Ultralight Pocket Stove

Since its invention more than 80 years ago, the Esbit Ultralight Pocket Stove was the ultimate choice for millions of campers and backpackers when heating food and water in the wilderness is concerned. Made from electrolytic galvanized steel, this camping stove is small enough when folded to easily fit in your pocket. The Esbit Ultralight Pocket Stove measures just about 3.9″x3″x 0.9″ when folded and it can boil half liter of water in just 8 minutes. When you purchase this portable stove, you will also be getting the 6-14g hexamine fuel tablets.

This lightweight camping stove features two cooking positions that allows you to have a little control over the flame. You can fix the walls of your stove to be at 90 degrees or you can use the hinge that allows the stove’s walls to lock at 45 degrees which is better for smaller items.

Like all survival stoves out there, the Esbit Ultralight Pocket Stove also has its pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of the Esbit Ultralight Pocket Stove

Pros

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Low initial cost
  • Few moving parts
  • Simple
  • Works quickly

Cons

  • Fuel smells bad
  • Fuel tablets can be expensive
  • Not well suited for all terrain
  • Takes longer to boil water
  • Non-adjustable flame

The Esbit Ultralight Pocket Stove is one good portable stove to have around with you if you plan to go on an outdoor adventure weather for the long run or just for the weekend. It’s not only a very effective survival stove but it is also very easy to use, easy to pack, and of course, lightweight. The only downside for me is the limitation to type of fuel and though the stove itself is quite affordable, the fuel can cost a bit more.

2. Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove By: Emberlit ($38.60)

In the wilderness and in any survival situation, preparing food as well as boiling clean water is very crucial. This is the main reason why portable survival steel stoves were invented. In today’s survival toolkits, survival stove products that are portable, easy to use, lightweight, and budget friendly can be considered as one of the most important survival tools that should always be in one’s survival backpack.

Now, let us look into one of the most talked about and best selling portable stoves in the market today: the Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove.

Product Description:

  • Folds flat for easy packing
  • Can burn nearly anything
  • Stainless steel
  • Quick and easy to set up
  • Efficient rocket stove design
  • Great for a bug out bag
  • Versatile and stable for cooking
  • Good even in windy conditions
  • Product dimensions: 6×5.5×4 inches
  • Shipping weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Review on the Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove

Set Up and Take Down
Setting up the Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove is so easy it saves precious time. Just fallow the assembly instructions that come with the product and you can easily assemble your Emberlit Steel stove on the fly. The only thing to remember is that the front side with the fuel feeder opening goes last. The simplicity of this stove’s design is an advantage because you can assemble the stove even if you are in a hurry.

Taking down the Emberlit is as easy as setting it up. After the stove cools down, you can just wash the remaining ashes and embers left in the stove. Fold, repack, and break camp without living any trace of camp fire around.

Efficiency
The  Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove burns with little or no smoke. It burns everything that dealing with ash is no longer a problem. The efficiency of this camping stove is due to its great design. When you buy your own Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove, you will notice that the base of the stove is larger than it is at the top. This design allows the stove to have a more stable base and also keeps the fuel away from the bottom edges of the stove where the air holes are located.

Clean Up 
Cleaning up the Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove after use is rather easy. Just use soap and water to clean the stove and you’re done.

Pros and Cons of the Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove

Pros:

  •  Incredibly packable
  • Versatile fuel source
  • Easy to use
  • Stable and can be used in many cooking applications
  • Solid build quality
  • The floor of the stove keeps your fire off the ground which is great in wet or snowy survival scenarios.
  • Reasonable market price
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Takes a little more time and care than a liquid or solid fuel stove to boil water.
  • Need to wait for it to cool before packing it up

Verdict

The Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove is one good survival tool that could make your survival tool kit stand out. With its simplicity, durability, versatility and easy to use functions, the Emberlit Stainless Steel Stove is worth your every penny.

3. Solo Stove Lite By: Solo Stove ($69.99)

First things first and I know what you are thinking: Isn’t that a Bushbuddy Ultra portable stove? Well, the answer is NO! The Solo Stove lite is not the Bushbuddy Ultra Portable stove but a Bushbuddy clone. So, you’re either okay with it or you are not. It’s up to you. Now that we got that out of the way, let us now look further on what the Solo Stove Lite is all about.

Product Description:

  • Gear of the year winner and recommended by Backpacker Magazine
  • Patented design
  • Less Smoke
  • Fuel is free
  • Lightweight
  • Compact space saving design
  • Fast Boil time: 8-10 mins (32 fl oz of water)
  • Packed size: Height 3.8 inches, Width 4.25 inches
  • Assembled size: Height 5.7 inches, Width 4.25 inches
  • Weight: 9 oz
  • Materials: 304 stainless steel, nichrome wire

Review on the Solo Stove Lite

The Design
With a diameter of just 4.25 inches and a height of 3.8 inches, the Solo Stove can be considered as one of the smallest yet effective survival portable stoves in the market today. The Solo Stove Lite is made from 304 stainless steel and weighs just over 7 ounces. When using the Solo Stove, the pot stand portion of the stove flips over and nests within the stove in order to save space. Doing this also makes the Solo Stove become a “Natural Convection Inverter Downgas Gasifier Stove”. It means, the air intake holes at the bottom of the stove allows air to flow at the bottom of the fire and at the same time it channels warm air up between the stove’s walls.

How to use
It’s very easy to use the Solo Stove Lite. Just collect small twigs and put them at the top where your cooking ring will be placed. Light up your collected twigs to start your fire.  Wait until your fire is self sustaining before placing your pot or pan on top of your cooking ring. Continuously add your collected small twigs into your fire until you have finished your cooking and boiling chores.

Clean Up
The Solo Stove Lite will self-extinguish once all the fuel burns up. The ash that was left behind on the stove can be easily collected and buried leaving no trace of camp fire in the area. You can just wipe your Solo Stove Lite until it becomes clean or you can wash and clean it with water-soap solution.

 Pros and Cons of the Solo Stove Lite

Pros:

  • No moving parts to break
  • Lightweight but durable
  • Fuel can be found just about anywhere
  • No carrying/no waste from canisters and other types of fuel
  • Quiet and leave-no-trace
  • Can be used in combination with home-made alcohol stove
  • Comfort of having a small fire
  • Airplane and ferry travel friendly

Cons:

  •  More effort and longer boil times than a canister stove
  • Produces some smoke and blackens bottoms of cookware
  • Wood fires may not be allowed in certain Areas/circumstances

 Verdict

The Solo Stove Lite may be more expensive compared to other available portable survival stoves in the market today. But be that as it may, the Solo Stove Lite  packs more helpful features than most of the other portable stoves today. The stove is also simple, easy to use, and functional. A well designed camping stove that can be a very good addition to every outdoor enthusiast’s survival toolkit.

Final Take

All three portable survival stoves reviewed in this article are all well designed, easy to carry, and fun to use. While all three stoves are a little bit small, they can still do the job necessary (boiling water, cooking or reheating simple delicacies) that it was designed to do. It is now up to you to decide and choose the type of survival stove you wish to add in your survival tool kit.

If you have any survival item you’d like me to review next, just let me know in the comments section below.

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