Finally a lightweight, compact, durable and easy-to-use backpacking stove!
When I initially opened the Solo Stove Lite from the packaging, the first thing I noticed was how light it is. Coming in at only 9 ounces, this thing is much lighter than other biomass stoves on the market. I know 9 ounces may be too heavy for some ultralight hikers, but it is light enough for me. Further, now that I can pick my fuel up along the trail, I no longer have to carry the added weight of a fuel canister for my gas stove or alcohol for my beer-can stove, making my pack that much lighter and eliminates the fear of running out of fuel.
Not only is it light, but this stove also packs up pretty small. When in use, the stove stands at 5.7 inches in height since the cooking ring is placed on top of the stove. However, when packed, the cooking ring is placed inside the stove allowing it to shrink in height to a tiny 3.8 inches. To give some perspective, that is shorter than a Coke can. Also, it comes in a nice draw-string pouch so that you can carry the stove without getting your other gear dirty.
Now, even though the Solo Stove Lite is small and does not weigh much, it still feels durable. Nowadays it seems as though many companies compromise durability for making a lighter product. That is not the case here, although still handle with some care. The Solo Stove Lite is made with 304 stainless steel and nichrome wiring on the inside. This stove feels like a quality product.
Lastly, but most importantly, it is really easy to get a fire going in the stove and even easier to keep the flame burning. On my first try I was able to start a fire in minutes. Don’t get me wrong, you need to have some fire making skills, but it is still less demanding to light than other biomass stoves I have tried. If you start with small, dry twigs, and work up to thicker branches, it is simple to get the fire burning hot.
Once lit, the Solo Stove Lite burns steadily and takes 8-10 minutes to boil 32 ounces of water. It is pretty straightforward to keep the fire going. All you have to do is slide a few twigs or thin branches through the opening in the cooking ring. However, you must continuously feed the flame since the stove burns the fuel so efficiently. The good thing is though, the design of the cooking ring allows you to feed the fire without having to take your boiling pot off the fire. For those hikers accustomed to gas stoves, which require very little attention, I could see how they may find this annoying. However, I did not mind having to tend the fire, and actually found it fun and relaxing.
I own many hiking stoves and am truly impressed with The Solo Stove Lite. With all things taken into account: weight, size, ruggedness and ease of us, I think this may be my favorite backpacking stove. I also like that it allows me to reduce my carbon footprint by avoiding the waste associated with empty gas canisters. That being said, the Solo Stove Lite is an awesome biomass stove, perfect for backpacking, camping or any emergency situation. It is a great piece of gear to own.
Price: Check Price
Dimensions: PACKED – H: 3.8 inches, W: 4.25 inches; ASSEMBLED – H: 5.7 inches, W: 4.25 inches
Weight: 9 oz. (255 g)
Boil Time: 8-10 minutes – 32 oz. of water
Fuel: Twigs, sticks and other biomass