Simply put, the Solo Stove is a lightweight, easy to use solution for those looking for a small biofuel stove to keep in their bug out bag or pack. In this review, we’re looking at the Solo Stove Lite model, found here on Amazon.
What I like about the Solo Stove is the simplicity. No moving parts, no fuel to buy, store, and pack. The stove itself consists of two parts, which nest together for storage.
Made out of stainless steel and nichrome wire, when packed up it is roughly four inches high and four inches wide (3.8” x 4.25” for you exacting types). It comes with a handy nylon bag to keep it all together and prevent soot from getting all over your other gear in your pack.
Assembly merely consists of flipping the top around and resting it on the base.
The Solo Stove burns biofuel – sticks, twigs, pine cones, all that good stuff. There is a wire rack inside the stove on which the fuel rests. This wire mesh, combined with the holes around the bottom of the stove, allow for excellent air flow to the fuel. This means a hotter and more efficient fire.
For my test run, I put in a bit of dryer lint and some dried grass, then tossed in a few dry twigs. In just seconds, I had a good fire burning and after adding a few thicker sticks, it was burning quite hot.
The Solo Stove 900 pot holds 30 oz and is found here on Amazon. I filled this with cold water from the tap and placed it on the fire to see how long it would be until it boiled. Now, I have to admit, the test was a little flawed on my part because I got distracted and wasn’t feeding the stove fuel like I should have been. Feeding in more fuel is easy via the small opening shown here:
However, I’d underestimated just how efficient this stove is when it comes to fuel consumption. It burns hot and fast, so you need to have a good supply of dry twigs at the ready. I did not do this and my test suffered because of it. I’m told a rolling boil is very likely within 8-10 minutes. It took me about 12 minutes to see a boil. Still, even at that, not bad. And I’ve no doubt if I’d have kept on top of things, I’d have had boiling water much sooner.
What I really like is that the disassembled stove fits right inside the pot, which really saves space in the bug out bag or pack.
One downside I found is that many of the edges of the stove are fairly sharp. Not “Oh My God I just opened an artery” sharp, mind you, in fact I doubt you’d even break the skin if you tried. But, still, sharp enough to get your attention. Another reason I appreciate the nylon storage bag.
All in all, I really like the Solo Stove as an option for cooking food or boiling water while bugging out. It is small, lightweight, yet durable. I’ve little doubt this stove will last quite a while. Plus, the fuel is all around you in most areas of the country.