So here I am, finally getting around to getting a new Research Overload up!

Let me first start off by saying, that researching Stoves had to be one of the most arduous tasks I’ve done in a long time. I thought that researching a tent was hard, but it seemed like everyone loved their brand-x stove more than any other stove for xyz reasons over and over.

I stumbled across many articles such as this one that you see before you, of first time buyers who wrote up comparisons of their findings and continued on with information they found here, or there, and before long I realized after reading a million of them (ok, maybe like 20), that a lot of it was just terrible information. Information, that even myself, not knowing a thing about these stoves, knew wasn’t right.

Lets take a look at the stoves that I eventually narrowed it down to.

So with the exception of the Coleman, all of the other stoves I narrowed it down to where Multi-Fuel. Meaning they burned more than just white gas and auto grade gasoline.

If we take a step back a moment, just to explain why I decided on a liquid fuel stove, versus say a gas canister stove.

First off, the stove will primarily be used on my Motorcycle Adventures. Motorcycles run on gas, and well, there you have it, a supply of fuel.

Secondly, it made more sense to, kind of in part with what I just mentioned above, that it is much easier to find a liquid petroleum source of fuel then it is a canister for x-brand of stove.  So for me, for ease of use and peace of mind, a liquid fuel stove was the way to go.

So with that, the stoves first primary feature was it had to be liquid fuel.

My second feature that was needed was that the stove had to run on Auto Grade Gasoline above all else. This requirement removed stoves like Brunton’s Bantam Stove, which runs on White Gas only.

One would imagine that a white gas stove would be able to run on unleaded fuel, but from the few articles I could pull up about this, people complained that it clogged up to easily on auto fuel, as the jetting did not allow it to burn hot enough to burn properly.

The third most important feature was that it just had to work. I didn’t want to have to worry about it breaking. This would be my main source of preparing food for an upcoming 3 week trip, so I can’t have it breaking on me.

With that, the research began, and I was on my way to learn a lot more about stoves, than I every wanted to. I hope, that the information I am about to present is valid information, as I mentioned above, some of the information I found was terrible information. So terrible I knew it was, but at the same time, there may be information I may not be away of being terrible.

Coleman Exponent Dual Fuel Stove

Coleman Feather 442 Dual Fuel Stove

Manufacture: Coleman
Manufacture URL:
http://www.coleman.com/coleman/colemancom/detail.asp?product_id=442-725&categoryid=2020&brand=
MSRP: $74.99
In the Wild: $59.99 – $79.99

•  Dual fuel stove with integrated fuel tank
•  Adjustable pot supports protect flame in windy conditions
•  Fully adjustable flame control
•  Fold out legs stabilize stove or uneven surfaces
•  Operates on Coleman® fuel or unleaded gasoline
•  One fill up will last through a typical weekend
•  Filler cap with lanyard prevents cap loss
•  Dry weight is 24 oz
•  Fuel capacity is 11.8 oz
•  7,500 BTU
•  Boil time is 3 min, 45 sec
•  Burn time is 1 hour, 35 minutes on high, 7 hours on simmer
•  Made in China

Specs:

Fuel Capacity 11.8 oz
BTU 7,500
Boil Time 3.75 minutes
Burn Time on High 95 minutes

My Research:
As you can tell from the picture, this is an all in one unit. The fuel is stored below the burner, and feet on the bottles bottom fold out to aid in stability. Also from an aesthetics standpoint, it is a very ugly stove. Not that matters when you want a fresh hot meal.

This is the cheapest Multi Fuel stove I looked at, which is apparently noticeable in the quality.  I read complaint after complaint about how the construction of this item was sub par. Everything from receiving the unit without a foot, stripped threads on the filler cap straight out of the box, and poor stampings of the parts.

The other major complaint I read is that the unit does not burn auto grade fuel very well. It apparently does not stay hot enough to burn it cleanly, and it will clog the jet quickly, but it will work flawlessly on white gas, and they just recommend using unleaded fuel in emergency purposes.

One other concern I saw repeated throughout my research was more than once, people brought up the overall height of the unit. It apparently sits pretty tall, and the feet are non adjustable so it can become slightly unstable if not on solid level ground.

So while on paper this stove meets the requirements, the overall reviews I read of this stove of peoples personal experiences with this stove, it came across as being cheap and unreliable.

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MSR DragonFly Multi Fuel Stove

MSR DragonFly Multi-Fuel Camp Stove

Manufacture: MSR
Manufacture URL:
http://cascadedesigns.com/MSR/Stoves/Basecamp-Stoves/DragonFly/product
MSRP: $129.95
In The Wild: $99.99 – $160.28

The Dragonfly liquid-fuel camp stove takes precision-simmering performance and puts it in a chassis that’s built to handle a variety of fuels and the frequent use dished-out by global vagabonds. Tough and stable, it excels in institutional and guide service settings. Its dual-valve design gives you the flame control you need for evenly heating large pots (up to 9″ maximum diameter) of crowd-pleasing gruel. Of course, when the need arises to melt snow and brew-up fast, the DragonFly goes from zero to searing at the twist of a knob.

Package includes: Fuel pump, windscreen, heat reflector, small-parts kit, instructions, and stuff sack. (Fuel bottle not included.)

  • Unrivaled Flame Control: We pioneered the dual-valve design of the Dragonfly stove, enabling it to deliver precision simmer-to-boil control with a simple twist of the flame adjuster.
  • Extra Wide Pot Supports: Three wide pot supports hold larger (up to 9″ maximum diameter) MSR® pots or fry pans for group cooking.
  • Multi-Fuel: Burns white gas, kerosene, unleaded auto fuel, diesel, and jet fuel.
  • Compact: Folds to 1/3 of its working size and fits in a 2-liter MSR pot for easy storage.
  • Efficient: The suspended burner cup enables the stove to burn hot and strong while reducing heat lost to the ground
  • Field Maintainable: Shaker Jet technology and smart engineering allows complete cleaning and maintenance in the field.

Specs:

Minimum Weight 14 oz / 395 g
Packaged Weight 1 lbs 2 oz / 510 g
Burn time (white gas) per 600ml / 20 oz. of fuel 126 minutes
Burn time (kerosene) per 600ml / 20 oz. of fuel 153 minutes
Burn time (diesel) per 600ml / 20 oz. of fuel 136 minutes
Boil time (white gas), 1 liter 3.5 minutes
Boil time (kerosene), 1 liter 3.9 minutes
Boil time (diesel), 1 liter 3.5 minutes
Water boiled (white gas) per 100 ml of fuel 5.3 liters
Water boiled (white gas) per 1 oz. of fuel 1.6 liters
Water boiled (kerosene) per 100 ml of fuel 5.7 liters
Water boiled (kerosene) per 1 oz. of fuel 1.7 liters
Water boiled (diesel) per 100 ml of fuel 5.7 liters
Water boiled (diesel) per 1 oz. of fuel 1.7 liters
Country of Origin Made in Seattle, USA

My Research:
The MSR Dragonfly was possibly one of the easiest stoves to find personal experiances with. Not only was I able to find a wealth of information online, some friends of mine actually have this stove as well.

Unlike the Coleman, this stove has 3 major components.

First is the stove, second is the pump and then you have the fuel bottle which is purchased separately and is available in a variety of sizes..

Most people will not hassle with removing the pump from the bottle once they have added fuel, except when they need to add more fuel.

The stove is a true multi-fuel stove, able to burn a variety of fuels that reassures you that no matter where you are, some sort of fuel should be available for it, and it has a reputation of several years of just “working” well.

From my research I found that the jetting is proper so that there is very little build up while burning auto grade gasoline, and that the unit has very adjustable flame control.

While it is almost two times the cost as the Coleman, this unit is well regarded as manufactured very well.

Of the complaints I read, only a couple stood out.

First off, some felt the overall length of the hose from the bottle to the stove could be a few extra inches in length. Stating that because of it being short, the heat generated by the stove at full blast is so much, that it may end up melting the plastic on the pump.

The other complaint came in the pump, in that there is a common piece that breaks often enough to see pop up in more than one personal review. It’s a known piece and it comes in the service kit.

Other than those couple issues, I read lots of praise, and did not see a single review that stated they did not like this stove at all.

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MSR WhisperLite Internationale Multi-Fuel Backpacking Stove
MSR WhisperLite Internationale Multi-Fuel Backpacking Stove

MSR WhisperLite Internationale Multi-Fuel Backpacking Stove

Manufacture: MSR
Manufacture URL: http://cascadedesigns.com/MSR/Stoves/Expedition-Stoves/WhisperLite-Internationale/product
MSRP: $89.95
In The Wild: $69.99 –  $89.95

A multi-fuel version of the legendary WhisperLite stove, the Internationale stove is just as strong and reliable, yet even more versatile. Featuring self-cleaning Shaker Jet technology, it burns white gas, kerosene, and unleaded auto fuel, making this the perfect choice for globetrotting backpackers seeking lightweight and compact multi-fuel versatility backed up by decades of dependability.

Package includes: Fuel pump, windscreen, heat reflector, small-parts kit, instructions, and stuff sack. (Fuel bottle not included.)

  • Proven Reliability: Simple, durable design with over 20 years of proven performance in the field.
  • Multi-Fuel: Burns white gas, kerosene, and unleaded auto fuel.
  • Compact: Folds small and packs into most MSR® pots.
  • Field Maintainable: Shaker Jet technology and smart engineering allows complete cleaning and maintenance in the field.

Specs:

Minimum Weight 11.5 oz / 330 g
Packaged Weight 15.5 oz / 460 g
Burn time (white gas) per 600ml / 20 oz. of fuel 110 minutes
Burn time (kerosene) per 600ml / 20 oz. of fuel 160 minutes
Boil time (white gas), 1 liter 3.5 minutes
Boil time (kerosene), 1 liter 4.4 minutes
Water boiled (white gas) per 100 ml of fuel 4.4 liters
Water boiled (white gas) per 1 oz. of fuel 1.3 liters
Water boiled (kerosene) per 100 ml of fuel 5.3 liters
Water boiled (kerosene) per 1 oz. of fuel 1.6 liters
Country of Origin Made in Seattle, USA

My Research:
Note: If you decide on this stove, check, double check, triple check, just keep checking to make sure you are ordering the right one, and that you receive the right one. MSR Makes 2 WhisperLite Stoves. One is a standard Liquid-Fuel stove that only runs on White Gas. The Internationale is a Multi-Fuel Stove. So make sure you are ordering the Internationale if you want the Multi-Fuel qualities. The cost difference is only ten dollars.

Here was another stove I had no problem finding reviews on, mainly to do with the fact that the WhisperLite Internationale is based off of a design that has proven to be reliable in the back country for over 20 years.

Just like its big brother, the DraonFly, this stove is a multi-fuel stove that will burn a variety of fuels, is 3 separate pieces, and requires the purchase of the fuel bottle.

Reports from individuals using this stove show that it burns Auto Grade Gasoline with little problems, and that the stove is as solid as a stove can be, with people goes years (some 10 or more) without having to replace a single part.

It’s light weight, easy to maintain and small. All important features people look forward to in a stove.

If you shop around, you can pick up this stove with a bottle for under 100 bucks as well, making it a cost effective alternative to the Coleman if you are trying to pack on a budget and are in the market for a Mutli-Fuel Stove.

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Brunton Vapor All-Fuel Expedition Stove
Brunton Vapor All-Fuel Expedition Stove

Brunton Vapor All-Fuel Expedition Stove

Manufacture: Brunton
Manufacture URL: http://www.brunton.com/product.php?id=428
MSRP: $227.00
In The Wild: $102.10 – $227.95

After winning about every major award, from Outside’s “Gear of the Year,” to Backpacker’s “Editor’s Choice,” and Popular Science’s “Best of What’s New,” we decided it was time again for Brunton to unleash the next icon generation of liquid fuel stoves. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you the ultimate stove, Vapor® AF. Not only does it burn butane, but every liquid fuel too – white gas, kerosene, diesel #1, auto fuel, jet fuel and others. With a simple turn of the burner cup, you can adjust for any fuel you want to use without replacing jets or fiddling with loose parts. The new revolutionary design makes older-style liquid fuel stoves a thing of the past. It’s convenience from a device that, until now, was never designed to be convenient. We’ve cleared off the next shelf in our trophy case for this one.

  • Single jet for all liquid fuels & butane
  • Precision simmering control
  • Quick-priming burner
  • Aluminum / stainless steel / brass construction
  • Self-purging flipstop pump
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Fuel: Butane, White gas, Kerosene, Diesel #1, Auto Fuel Jet Fuel & others
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime

Specs:

Overall Dimensions 4.1″x5.2″x2.3″ folded
Weight 16 oz
Aprox BTU rating 10,000 Liquid fuel – 12,000 Butane
Burn Time Up to 2.5 hours-high output
Boil Time (1 L of water) Down to 3.5 minutes

My Research:
If there is a Mercedes of stoves, this is it. Not only in price, being the most expensive of the ones I researched, but in function and support.

Not only is this stove able to use a wide variety of liquid fuels, it also can use butane and propane fuels as well, so for those who are looking for a stove that will function, no matter what you have available. This is it.

Because the reviews for this stove seem to favor it well, much like the MSR stoves, I will just list the negatives I came across.

First off, people had issue with the stove stand design. They felt that the solid straight stand/support pieces could have been better designed to take up less room.

Secondly, apparently the pump is less then desirable in construction. It seems to function well, but the materials used begs into question of how reliable it would be with years of use.

Other than that, there is not much more about this stove to say. If you really want the security of knowing no matter where you are, you should be able to find something to burn, then this is the stove.

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Optimus Nova Multi-Fuel Stove
Optimus Nova Multi-Fuel Stove

Optimus Nova

Manufacture: Optimus
Manufacture URL: http://www.optimusstoves.com/seen/optimus-products/products/katadynshopconnect/optimus-outdoor-kocher/optimus-nova-1/
MSRP: $139.95
In The Wild: $104.08 – $139.99

The legendary OPTIMUS NOVA is the benchmark for today’s multifuel expedition stoves. This award winning workhorse has cooked millions of meals in the wilderness, and has become a favorite among serious backpackers.

Why?

A patented quick-priming burner, the self-purging aluminium pump and a built in magnetic cleaning needle are all features that ensure reliability and ease of use in all conditions.

The single jet multifuel technology provides versatility throughout the world.

Thanks to the collapsible turbine shaped pot support, a folding flame control and a new stuff bag, pack size is minimal. Despite the small format, OPTIMUS NOVA offers stability for large sized pots. So go out and get cooking! Weight: 325 g (including pump). Measurements: L 140 mm x W 90 mm x H 65 mm. Average burn time: up to 2.5 hours at maximum output (using 450 ml fuel). Average boil time for 1 L of water: as little as 3.5 minutes depending on climate, altitude, etc. Includes burner, pump, wind shield, tool, stuff bag, wear parts and lubricant (fuel bottle not included).

Specs:

Average Boil Time (1 L of Water) ~ 3.5 min/1 l water, depending on climate, altitude etc.
Average Burn Time up to 2.4 h at maximum output (using 450 ml fuel)
Dimensions (in) 5.5 x 3.5 x 2.6
Output (BTU) 9725
Weight (oz) 15.34

My Research:
Note:
There are two Optimus Nova models. There is the Optimus Nova, and the Optimus Nova+. The Nova+ is the newer, updated model. This research is on the older Nova.  The main difference in the new model vs. the old model is there is now only 1 control valve.

So here we are at the last stove.

Here is another one of those stoves that has been around for awhile.

The Optimus Nova has a reputation of being one of the top performing stoves over the years from the research I was able to find on it.

Reviews favor this stove over many other brands, and I was in all of my research only able to find 2 reviews that had negative comments about this stove.

The first negative review was that the pump could not be removed from the bottle. Remember how I stated above that I found some terrible information? Yah, well I figured I would share that one.

The pump is just like any of the others above and it can be removed from the bottle to fill with fuel or if you want, to just recap the bottle.

The negative  second review I read was more or less a complaint about the lack of cleaning and service instructions that comes with it, as he has a plugged fuel filter.

So that brings up an important point. No matter what stove you purchase, take the time to familiarize yourself with the instructions on how to properly disassemble your stove. Every stove I’ve researched, when I looked at the instruction manuals, has an exploded view of the parts, and how it goes together with a listing of part names.

I also read a review where the individual mentioned the connector on the bottle broke to the fuel line, spraying gas everywhere.

Now, I’m not going to discredit this review, but I have a hard time believing that with proper care, that a piece of metal is just going to break. These are delicate pieces of equipment. Yes they are rugged enough to toss in your backpack or pannier or car trunk, but like anything you own, you should take proper care not to be too aggressive with it.

So back to the Nova.

As I mentioned I found lots of praise for this stove, and being the second most expensive model, that comes with a price like the Brunton.

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Final Thoughts:
When it comes right down to it. All of these stoves, except for the Coleman, are trustworthy stoves from the reviews I have read.

They are all built upon years of experience in manufacturing, and some of them are old designs that they just never felt the needs to update. If it works, why fix it, right?

So what did I end up with?

I ended up with the Optimus Nova.

My final 2 that I was looking at for purchase was the DragonFly and the Nova.  I could find the DragonFly at the time of purchase for around 100 bucks.  The Nova, although its MSRP is much higher than the DragonFly, I was able to purchase on Black Friday (Yes I actually purchased it that long ago) for an astonishing $89.00.

In my mind it would have been stupid not to go with the Nova, being that it is one of the highest rated stoves on the market. Especially at the price I got it for.

So basically what I am saying is, if you can find the Nova cheap enough, I do not feel you would be disappointed in it over the DragonFly.

So with that, here are some photo’s of me finally getting around to playing with it. What a better way to test it out then make a hot cup of coffee?

My Optimus Nova - My pick for my Motorcycle Adventures
My Optimus Nova – My pick for my Motorcycle Adventures
Testing Complete! A fresh cup of coffee!
Testing Complete! A fresh cup of coffee!

Final Note:
Some of you may notice I did not list any Primus Stoves, and the answer is pretty simple.

When I went to Primus’ website to do research on stoves, I was put off by how it was laid out. I was lost on what stoves did what, as the descriptions were terrible.  After spending about 20 minutes not being able to really get any worthwhile information, the got scratched off of my list.

Additional Notes of Information:
I find this is important information to have as well.

If you have a MSR Stove, use MSR Fuel Bottles. The other manufacture bottles are interchangeable, however the MSR apparently does not use an O-ring.

I read reviews where people had used an Nova or other stove with an MSR Bottle. It worked fine down to about 30 degree’s Fahrenheit, and then it started to leak. This is because the other stoves pumps are meant to be sealed with an o-ring surface. If I can find the exact review again, I will post the URL here. I am not 100% certain on the validity of it, but it is something to keep in the back of your mind.  For me, I was able to get the Optimus 1 L bottle for $10.00 on Black Friday as well, so it wasn’t much of an issue.

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