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Unless you’re in the desert, the Solo Stove Lite has an advantage over most other stoves. When it comes to backpacking, there are a lot of good choices out there. You can get stoves that burn isobutane, white gas, and alcohol, but you have to carry the fuel in addition to the stove. Solo Stove makes wood-burning stoves in a wide variety of sizes to suit different needs. Using a wood burning stove means you don‘t have to carry fuel and you‘ll have an almost endless supply of fuel on the trail. As long as you can find dry sticks and twigs to burn, the Solo Stove Lite will cook your food.
The main body of the Solo Stove Lite is double walled. This double wall system is used to feed more air to the fire. Holes at the bottom of the stove let air in. Air is drawn into the bottom of the inner chamber to boost the flames there, but the air flows up the sides as well. This air gets pre-heated traveling up the side of the stove and it flows into the combustion chamber at the top. The additional air here steps up the fire even more and helps keep the fire hot.
The fire rests on a wire grate to allow air to circulate at the bottom. An ash pan catches what is burned and keeps the airflow open. Solo Stove says the design of the stove promotes a more efficient burn and it cuts down on smoke. I found that the smoke is pretty low if you keep the fire rolling inside, but my pot still gets a bit sooty. Not that bad really but I did get some.
The Solo Stove Lite uses a ring at the top for a pot stand. This ring flips upside down and nestles into the stove to keep the pack size down. A gap in the cooking ring makes a place to feed more wood into the fire while you are cooking. The ring fit all of the pots that I carry while backpacking and it should work for anything over 3 inches in diameter.
The stove measures 4.25 inches in diameter by 5.7 inches tall and that‘s from the bottom to the top of the pot supports. When the pot support is flipped over and stowed, the stove measures about 3.75 inches tall. It weighs in at a smidge over 9 ounces in the stuff sack. In addition to burning wood, a Trangia or Esbit style alcohol burner fits inside so you can have a backup in case of rain. A stuff sack is provided with the stove so you can keep the dirty stove packed away.
Solo Stove says the Lite will boil 32 fluid ounces in 8 to 10 minutes. You‘ll need a little time to the get the fire going and that time is going to vary depending on the fuel. The tests that I ran gave similar results. Construction feels very solid, as the Solo Stove Lite is made from 304 stainless steel. Solo Stove offers a warranty for manufacturing defects so they stand behind their products.
The Solo Stove Lite has an MSRP of $89.99 but Solo Stove is running a Christmas sale right now. As of December 8th, the stove is selling for $55.99. I don‘t know how long the sale will run. Overall, I like the stove. Mostly because I like making and tending fires, and it gets the job done. On windy or dry days I often don‘t feel comfortable making a regular campfire. I‘ll keep a little fire going in the Solo Stove because I still enjoy watching the flames. Click HERE to visit the Solo Stove website.
Thanks to Solo Stove for sending out the Solo Stove Lite for testing and review. We have to budget our cash around here just like everyone else and it is a real privilege to be able to pass along information on our testing.