How to use it and performance check!
BY TRAIL MAIDEN, NOV 30, 2016 11:00 AM
Esbit Pocket Stove
Solid Fuel Stove
$9 - $13
Perfect lightweight stove! Easy to use, pack and transport. It's ideal for everyone looking for a small stove to boil water for re-hydrating your meals or preparing hot drinks.
For a while I was in search of a small, lightweight stove that would replace my gas stove when going on short weekend trips or hiking in summer. I did my research and found this little guy - Esbit Pocket Stove. It’s a great little stove to take as a backup cooking setup or a main set when conditions are fairly friendly.
Let’s learn more about this cool piece of gear and by the end of that review you will be convinced you need one as well.
Esbit Pocket Stove weighs 3.2oz / 90g and when folded it measures 4x3x0.75in /10x7.7x2cm which gives us a really small and light item. If you’re carrying a slightly bigger pot you can fit the small esbit inside reducing the space it’s taking. You can also carry the solid fuel tablets inside your folded stove however I would not recommend that as they smell pretty bad and intense. You might also need more than 6 tablets which the amount that fits in the stove.
Esbit Pocket Stove belongs to the lightest water boiling options out there. You might argue if alcohol stoves are lighter but the fuel added weight makes Esbit a lighter choice.
This lightweight stove is very cheap. The stove itself is available in price ranges between $9 - $13 which is truly unbeatable if you want to buy a stove and not to make one yourself. The solid fuel tablets might increase the long term costs a little bit however if you buy them in bulk the cost per tablet lies around 0.60c per piece.
Igniting the solid fuel is not really difficult however if you want to follow producer’s instructions and use matches you’ll be out of luck. I tried using matches in a really light breeze and the ignition failed every time. In the end I used a lighter and after around 20-30 seconds I had the tablet burning. Once it’s on it burns with an equal rate for around 12 minutes just as stated by the producer. Even if you have wind gasps it will stay on - the efficiency will decrease but the fuel will keep on burning.
Additional advantage of the solid fuel is that it can be used as an emergency fire-starter.
In my test I used one, 14g solid fuel tablet to boil 2.5cup / 600ml of water. The conditions were good with little wind. The water got hot yes and I could see small bubbles coming from the bottom of the cup HOWEVER I never got my water to a rolling boil.
Now this is not a real problem if you know your water is clean but if you’re cooking it to purify it you’ll be out of luck. Probably using a power of two tablets you would get your water to a rolling boil but that’s not really a point.
It took around 8 minutes to get the water to its hottest. The tablet was burning for another 4 minutes which could be used for keeping your food or drink warm before consumption.
As mentioned this stove is lightweight, small and pack-able. After you’re finished boiling your water it cools down very fast and can be packed back into its ziploc bag.
What you need to know is that solid fuel leaves a residue on your stove as well as at the bottom of your cup. You can protect your stove by putting a little bit of aluminium foil under the tablet. The residue from your cup can be washed off pretty easily however I would also recommend putting in into it’s own mesh bag.
As mentioned before the solid fuel have a slightly unpleasant smells which tends to be pretty strong. Pack the tablets into a separate ziploc bag (I actually use 2) and in the outside pocket of your pack. It might sound like too much but I found my gear smelling like Esbit fuel after keeping it inside my pack.
This is a great little stove its adjustable for different size pots I've used it countless times and its held up well. Great product!
A great small stove for everyone looking for a simple way to boil water for making drinks or re-hydrating meals. It's lightweight construction won't add much weight and ease of use will keep things simple. Solid fuel is easy to ignite and burns a considerate amount of time. Perfect stove for backpacking light.
Your perfect companion on all and on and off the grid adventures! Be prepared and carry this small stove as you main or backup cooking system!