The wilderness is not a fun place to be without survival essentials. You might be out there hiking, camping, bird-watching, hunting, or just surviving. All these activities will be successful if you have shelter, food, and water among other outdoor requirements. To prepare food and keep yourself warm in winter you will need fire, and there is no better gear for producing a campfire than the Solo wood camp stove.
There are certainly different types of camp stoves in the market, some you can even design at home if you have the appropriate skills and materials. However, what distinguishes the most efficient stoves from the rest is the design and performance features. You can talk of alcohol burners and canister stoves, but it is obvious that they present some significant drawbacks for a backpacker in terms of performance and efficiency.
Alcohol burners are extremely resourceful for ultra-light backpacking, but they do not produce the energy you need to prepare a proper meal. Canister stoves are resourceful, but the fuel is costly and you will be forced to deal with added weight of fuel. With that said, you are left with wood camp stoves, which are conveniently lightweight and use free fuel.
Our best pick is the Solo wood camp stove. There are numerous specifications and performance features that make this stove the ideal choice for outdoorsmen, especially overnight backpackers. This Solo wood camp stove review does not only introduce you to this stove, but it also takes you through the various specification and performance features that make the stove great and how it compares to similar models in the market.
- The Solo Stove is the #1 wood-burning backpacking stove recommended by Backpacker Magazine.
- The patented design features a unique double wall that creates ultra-clean gasification and a secondary combustion.
- Solo Stoves use twigs, leaves, pinecones and wood as fuel.
- Solo Stove weighs only 9 oz.
- Boils water in 8-10 mins (34 fl oz water).
Any backpacker will definitely want to deal with ultra-light stoves to avoid the added weight. What most backpackers have not realized is that there are wood camp stoves out there that pack light, and feature remarkable product specifications and performance.
Solo Wood Camp Stove is one such stove. It does not only feature a patented design, but an abundance of specs that are aimed at providing you with the best performance.
Measuring 5.1 by 6 by 6.2 inches and weighing 1.4 pounds, the Solo wood camp stove comes in a lightweight box, which is not only compact, but also suitable for repackaging. This compact stainless cooking gear comes out of the box in a drawstring bag. You will find the pot holder stockpiled in an upturned position.
Measuring 4.5 inches in height and 4.7 inches in diameter, the Solo pot 900 is well-packed in its own box. Out of the box, the stove weighs 9 ounces and the pot weighs 7.8 ounces. The combined weight is convenient for backpacking. Generally, the compact design of the stove fits inside the companion pot. They occupy less space in your backpack when packed as a unit.
Design and Durability
The Solo wood camp stove is made of stainless steel material. Usually, there are two types of materials used in the engineering of wood burning stoves: stainless steel and cast iron. Between the two, stainless steel is the most preferred because of the numerous performance features it has, which include but not limited to less heat loss and corrosion resistance.
The specific stainless used in the making of this stove is 304-stainless steel, which has remarkable resistance to atmospheric elements.
Apart from the 304 stainless steel design, the stove’s reputation is attributed to its patented double wall construction. The double wall design is necessary for the stove’s performance, which includes two processes: gasification and secondary combustions. At first glance, you will see vent holes near the base from the outside. The compartment that is visible the moment you retrieve the stove out of the box is the pot stand.
The pot stand will be in an up-side-down position. To use the stand, you will have to turn it around. The pot stand is incorporated with pot holders, vent holes, and an opening for adding the fire with wood. There is a mesh positioned inside the stove just few inches from the base. The mesh positions the fuel just above the vent holes. This ensures that the burning wood gets a continuous supply of air for efficient combustion.
The vent holes (airflows) are essentially important part of the Solo wood camp stove. The vent holes and the double wall transform this cooking gear into an inverted down-gas gasifier stove. The airways at the bottom deliver air to the burning wood from the bottom. They also direct warm air through the walls to the upper airways.
The warm air that is channeled between the walls to the upper vent holes is necessary for secondary combustion. The preheated oxygen ensures that most of the gases and smoke are completely burnt. This ensures that there is continuous production of efficient energy with less smoke. As a result, you are able to boil water or cook food in the shortest duration possible.
The stainless steel material is not immune to soot, and it will definitely darken as you boil water or cook food, but that does not mean that it is hard to clean. The soot is easy to remove; you just need something to clean it off. You can even use plant leaves. All the design features combined make the Solo wood camp stove highly resourceful and durable.
The best companion pot
The Solo wood camp stove is not complete without the companion pot. Commonly, you can use any sizeable pot that can comfortably fit on the pot stand to boil or cook food with the stove. However, if you do not have a good pot, you can choose to buy the complete setup. The complete package includes the stove and pot 900-combo at approximately $104.98.
The pot combo 900 weighs 7.8 ounces, and measures 4.7 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches in height. The pot has a maximum capacity of 30 ounces, which is enough for two people. It is fitted with a single hand handle that you can use to carry the pot on and off the pot stand. There is also a lid with a small holder that you can use to lift the lid off the pot. You can vividly see the calibration on the pot from the outside.
This is in fact one of the reasons why the Solo wood camp stove has gained popularity among outdoorsmen. When compared to gas and alcohol, wood is freely given by nature. Canister stoves and alcohol burners require you to spend a substantial amount of money on fuel. How long gas and alcohol fuel last depends on the number of times you use the stoves.
You do not have to carry wood with you in your backpack, even though some campers and hikers prefer to carry dry tinder in a small mesh bag. You only need firewood fetching skills to have a continued supply of fuel. In actual fact, Solo wood camp stove does not require large pieces of wood. It works effectively on pinecones, leaves, and twigs.
This stove ensures that all the brushwood and associated elements (including gases and smoke) are completely burnt. This ensures that there is unceasing production of efficient energy with less smoke. Well, smoke is inevitable when burning wood, but the little smoke produce is not only environmental friendly but easy to clean off the pot and stove.
Value for money & Guarantee
The Solo stove is worth paying every penny for. Its value is reflected by its reputation. It is a Gear of the Year Winner, and leading entities such as Backpacker Magazine and Matt Graham of Discovery Channel have recommended this stove. You can see the worth of your money in the patented double wall construction and the exceptionally performance on the field.
The Solo wood camp stove and the companion pot combo 900 are found on Amazon at approx. $104.98. This is the estimated price after a discount of 30%. The stove and pot are sold by Solo Stove and then fulfilled by Amazon. Free shipping and giftwrap are available for this product. There is no warranty info on Amazon, but you can contact the manufacturer for the information.
Similar products/ close competitors
Toaks titanium backpacking wood burning stove
Toaks Titanium Stove is one of the best wood-burning backpacking stoves. In one ways than one, this stove fulfills all the requirements of a backpacking stove.
To begin with, it is remarkably lightweight weighing in at 0.5 pounds. It is made of titanium, a material that has all the features required for producing efficient energy. The stove is good for campfire cooking after a long hike.
Toaks stove’s design is convenient for extended expeditions that can last up to a week. It is made to perform exceptionally both on low and high ground. You can use it up to 10,000 feet limit; all you need are a few twigs to boil water in a considerable amount of time.
It is beyond doubt that the stove’s design is ingenious. In fact, the gasification and secondary combustion processes are made possible because of the design.
The design of Toaks titanium and Solo wood camp stoves operate on the same principle of double wall construction. They both have vent holes at the base and near the top for continued supply of air for combustion and gasification. However, the Toaks features a rather solid stand with lots of airways as compared to the Solo stainless steel stove. Both pot stands have an opening for feeding the fire with firewood.
Extraordinarily, both stoves are award winners. The Solo wood camp stove won the Gear of the Year Award in 2014 from Section Hiker and 50 Campfires. On the other hand, the Toaks Titanium Backpacking Stove won the Friedrichshafen Outdoor Industry Award 2015. This simply means that they both have highly reliable and versatile designs that will certainly offer the best performance.
Solo stove titan
This is the bigger version of the original Solo stove. It is bigger in size; therefore, it is a more convenient choice for backpacking (not portable), camping, and survival (emergency preparedness).
It is bigger enough to cook for more than two people. Weighing 16.5 ounces, it packs 5.6 inches by 5.1 inches. It is a suitable option for backpackers with unlimited space.
The design is basically the same as the smaller version. In actual fact, nothing has changed other than the size, weight, and the introduction of the heat shield that is situated in between the bottom of the stove and the ash pan.
With this feature, there is no need to worry about the surface beneath the stove getting scorched while the stove is burning wood.
It is indeed difficult to forego the original Solo stove, but you do not need to. This is so since you can use the smaller version for light backpacking, and the Solo Titan for regular backpacking. With the larger version, you can use longer twigs, and it also has a sizeable space that can accommodate a larger amount of firewood for sustaining the fire for a longer duration.
Both the Solo wood camp and Solo Titan have similar patented design. The only adjustment apart from the size and weight is the inclusion of a heat shield that protects the surface below the stove from scorching. Their operations are based on gasification and secondary combustions; processes that ensure there is production of more efficient energy and less smoke.
Solo stove stainless steel titan and solo pot
This is a larger version of the original Solo stove, which is suitable for backpacking (not ultra-light). It is bigger enough to provide the energy required for boiling water or cooking meals in the shortest time possible.
With Solo Stove Stainless Steel Titan, you can boil water in a span of four to six minutes. It is a perfect choice for backpackers with unlimited space.
The size, weight, and heat shield are the bestselling features of this unique wood burning stove. However, the design’s brilliance is seen in the construction material.
The rugged stainless steel structure will last for years; you will not need replacement in the near future. It fits conveniently in the 1800 companion pot for easy backpacking. The energy produced is efficient and less smoky.
Both the Solo stove stainless steel titan and Solo wood camp stove have patented doubled wall constructions that are based on gasification and secondary combustion operation. However, the Solo stove stainless steel titan has a heat shield and produces more energy. Actually, the time you take to boil water with this stove is less when compared to the original version.
The Solo wood camp stove will arrive well-packed and in good condition in a compact box. The experience gets better when you retrieve the stove out of the box for the first time. It appears sturdier and a stove worth winning an award when you set your eyes on it for the first time. You will feel how solid it is when you squeeze it or when you try to bend the pot stand.
The Solo Stove pays attention to detail. Apart from providing you with an abundance of specifications through the design; the manufacturer also offers a short set of guidelines found on the outside of the shipping box. The directions are pretty simple to follow, by the way. Irrespective of the many positive features delivered by this stove, there is one significant demerit that is almost impossible to ignore, and that is soot.
- Award winning design that is recommended by Backpacker Magazine and Matt Graham of Discovery Channel. You do not need a second invitation when buying this stove. The design will serve you for a long time without replacement.
- It is all natural when operating this stove. You do not need a gas canister or denatured alcohol, but a few twigs. The stove uses less wood. Essentially, a sizeable bunch of firewood will sustain a fire for more than half an hour.
- Fast and efficient; it outshines most camp stoves you can find in the market. The energy it produces is enough to boil water in four minutes.
- It is an award winning stove, but the one thing that you cannot overlook is the soot. Well, the manufacturer claims that the gasification and secondary combustion gets rid of most of the smoke. However, what you will observe at the bottom of your cook pot is soot, which you definitely have to deal with every time you want to repack the stove and companion pot.
- No temperature control, you have to use the energy as it is produced. Also, the energy is limited and the cooking area is small, thus not convenient for a group of people.
There is no shortage of performance features when dealing with the Solo wood camp stove. It has a patented compact space saving design, it is lightweight, uses free fuel, and it is Gear of the Year Winner that is recommended by Backpacker Magazine and Matt Graham of Discovery Channel.
Did you buy the Solo wood camp stove and use it during your outdoor adventure? If so, we’d appreciate if you shared your experiences with us in comments.