Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Tiny, very lightweight, piezo ignitor.
Cons: Fragile pot supports, low quality case.
Best Uses: Backpacking.
The Soto OD-1R is the best small canister portable stove we reviewed. It's not only tiny and super lightweight, but also includes a piezo igniter and pressure regulator that allows you to cook at high altitudes and in cold temperatures. Unfortunately, the OD-1R is the least durable and most expensive small canister stove we reviewed. If you venture to cold, high places, this stove is a worthwhile purchase. Otherwise, we recommend the more durable and more versatile Optimus Crux ($20 less). Another alternative, for those who prioritize size and weight over versatility, is the Jetboil Flash ($30 more). The Flash is a better option if you only boil water and don't need a fry pan.
If environmentally harmful fuel canisters and tiny unstable stoves aren't your thing, we recommend the stable, versatile, and durable MSR Whisperlite. This liquid fuel stove will last you a lifetime and only cost you $10 more.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Soto OD-1R is the best small canister stove we reviewed. Its tiny package, which weighs only 2.6 ounces, boasts both a peizo igniter and fuel regulator. The later of these two features, the fuel regulator, maintains a steady flow of gas regardless of canister pressure. While most canister stoves sputter and spout at high altitudes and in low temperatures, the OD-1R keeps burning hot. This is the best performing small canister stove on the market.
The OD-1R's pot supports are the weakest of the nine stoves we reviewed. Although they provide adequate support when extended, we found them to be disappointingly fragile when packed. The included case is also relatively low quality and offers minimal protection. We believe a small cylindrical hard case would protect this stove perfectly.
While we are disappointed in the OD-1R's weak pot supports and lack of a durable case, the stove's other excellent features prevail. We highly recommend the stove, but encourage you to treat it well and use another stove for base camp cooking.
High altitude or winter backpacking.
This is the most expensive small canister stove we reviewed. Other cheaper options work nearly as well for most things.
The Soto Windmaster OD-1RX, $75, weighs 2.3 ounces and works well in windy conditions.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: October 16, 2010
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