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Coleman Dual Fuel 2-Burner Review


Camping Stove

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  • Currently 4.1/5
Overall avg rating 4.1 of 5 based on 5 reviews. Most recent review: June 7, 2016
Price:   $130 List | Varies from $102 - $130 online  —  Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Powerful burner, great wind protection, easy to find fuel
Cons:  Difficult and time-consuming to start, hard to turn completely off, left burner can never burner hotter than right.
Manufacturer:   Coleman

Overview

The Coleman Dual Fuel 2-burner is the most iconic camping stove of all time. It was revolutionary 70 years ago and remains very popular today. It is durable and finding fuel is easy (just go to the gas station if need be). That said, we much prefer propane stoves like its sibling, the Coleman PerfectFlow 2-Burner which is much easier to use and costs half as much. We only recommend gas stoves in very limited applications or if you just like the old ritual of getting the gas stove going and feel propane stoves are just too easy and feel more like backyard BBQing than camping.

For the ultimate camping stove, we recommend the Camp Chef Everest. Those stoves are easy to use, have high BTU output burners and are about the same price.


RELATED: Our complete review of camping stoves

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
Chris McNamara
Founder and Editor-in-Chief
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Monday

Group Cooking


The Coleman Dual Fuel has the smallest cooking surface of the two-burner stoves we tested. You can barely fit two medium-sized pots or pans. But the bigger drawback is that the left burner can never be turned up past the right burner. This means a lot of shuffling. Want to boil water on the left burner but turn down the heat on the right burner? No luck. You need to switch places.

Time to Boil


The right burner packs an incredible amount of heat in a low-BTU number. This is the stove that made us rethink how import BTU ratings are. It "only" has has 7,500 BTU on the right (main) burner, but somehow boiled water almost as fast as the Camp Chef Pro 60 which has 30,000 BTUs in each burner. Go figure. In fact, the little burner is so powerful, we found we couldn't leave on full blast with a bot without burning the paint off the side of the stove (not the best smell… eeww).

Cooking Simmering


This stove is average for cooking and simmering. One big downside is that using gas (even white gas) will often leave the bottom of your cookware black unless you are very aware of how the flame is burning (yellow flame = black pot bottom and blue flame = no marks). There is just no comparison to cooking with propane for clean burning flames.

One big downside: you can't really turn the stove off. If you turn the burner off completely, the flame keeps burning on low for minutes and minutes. So the only way to turn the stove off is to remove the fuel compartment and then find a safe place to set it. Even then, fuel keeps leaking out. The one minor advantage to this is that you can simmer very effectively for a few minutes.

Ease of set-up


Setting up this stove is a ritual. For the uninitiated, make sure you read the instructions 5 times and keep the stove away from anything flamable. Practice in daylight on your driveway… not at night in the middle of the forest on your first night of camping. We tried to light the stove without reading the manual (I mean, who really reads the manual until something goes wrong?!). The result, nothing… then giant ball of flames. Our problem was we didn't get the pressure right because it wasn't originally obvious to us when the pump was adding pressure and when it felt like it was adding pressure but was really just locked. After a few tries, we got the hang of it. Now its easy. But not nearly as easy as turning a propane tank on and pressing and auto-start button.

Ease of Care


This is the hardest stove to clean we tested. There is no stainless steel pan under the burners. Food drops off and gets hidden (at least the dark background hides it). When you are driving the stove around, the gas smell is much stronger than propane. We recommend airing the stove out for at least an hour before packing it in the car.

Wind Resistance


This is one of the most wind resistant stoves we tested. It has generous wind screens and the powerful burner keeps going even in high winds.

Packed size


This is a compact stove. However, if you store the fuel compartment in the stove (the logical place) this stove will really rattle when you drive. Plan on having some rags around to quiet the rattle.

Value


Since we were having trouble recommending this stove over propane stoves, we wondered if maybe the reason to get this stove is the cost of fuel. After all, those green Coleman 16oz propane tanks can run $5 each or $40 a gallon. If you only ran this stove off unleaded gas, you would save a lot of money over a stove using the green bottles. However, we don't recommend running the stove off unleaded gas station gas. The best results from this stove come from white gas which we recently purchased for $12 a gallon at our REI. Still a better deal than the green Coleman bottles. However, if you hook your stove up to a propane tank with an adapter hose, you again can be fueling your stove for $3-5 a gallon in propane (a much better deal than white gas). So it is hard to recommend a gas stove to the average camper. Maybe if you are camping where there is no propane the Coleman gas stove is a better deal.

Other Versions


Click to enlarge
Coleman Triton or Triton Instastart
  • 11,000 BTU per burner
  • Good simmering abilities
  • Instastart Includes push button ignition
  • $80 or $100

Click to enlarge
PerfectFlow InstaStart Grill Stove
  • Single Burner with 11,000 BTU output with 11,000 BTU grill side
  • 180 square inch Grill side replaces a second burner
  • Includes instastart push button ignition
  • PerfectFlow system regulates fuel pressure to both burners to prevent freeze-ups or flare-ups
  • $89

Propane Hose Adapter
  • Highly recommended for connecting this stove to a 5 gallon BBQ propane tank
  • $27
Chris McNamara

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: June 7, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)

100% of 4 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 80%  (4)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 20%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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   Jun 7, 2016 - 11:06am
10-4 Mitch · Backpacker · Windsor
I agree with many of the reviews, regarding the original review of this liquid fuel 2 burner.

Liquid fuel is superior to propane in many respects, and especially excels in cold weather camping, due to the fact that the flame is vaporized in the generator, and fuel tank pressure is externally adjustable via a hand pump on the tank. Propane tank pressure degrades when the temp drops low, and as stated, canisters are very wasteful. I believe in Ontario, recycling these canisters costs the province a considerable amount of money each year, and I'm sure this is an increasing problem in many other areas as well.

I use an older model of this same stove, a 1956 Coleman 413E, and when camping is serious, I also have a 1972 426D 3 burner model. These stoves throw huge power and as mentioned, their tanks last a very long time, they are extremely fuel efficient. Your original review stated that the flame leaves residue on pots/ pans. I have not experienced this. I always have a pure blue flame from my stoves. Furthermore, simmering capability is at least equal to that of propane, I never have any issue simmering with these stoves.

I also have a propane converter for this stove, which is approx $20.. I have the stanisport model. Therefore, since you can use propane and liquid fuel on these stoves, this stove is clearly the superior option. A propane canister even fits inside the stove case (or 2 in my 426D), along with the propane converter, and cloths/ cooking utensils.

Problem solved.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Nov 14, 2015 - 06:23pm
Atrendelman · Climber · Los Angeles, CA
I've had my stove for about 4 years now. I'll agree that a propane stove may be a little more convenient to light but for longer trips it is really nice to know how much fuel you have. Ive gone out with friends and their propane stoves and ran out of gas because they thought there was more in the tank than there was. This stove you just top off before you leave and it will easily last 3 or 4 days cooking 3 meals a day with no refill. I just got back from a week of camping and climbing around Bishop. Space was pretty tight in the car so it was good to not have to carry a huge propane tank. Cooked at least one meal everyday and two most, for 4 people and still has gas left. Combined with the duel fuel lantern and you have a pretty sweet set up.
The functions get a little getting used to but it's pretty easy. The left burner only burns as hot as the right burner can. Just put the thing that needs less heat on the left burner and the thing that needs more on the right. Example: water for coffee on the right, eggs on the left.
I'd say if you only do weekend trips, a propane stove will be just fine. If you do week or more trips, the white fuel stove will get you further with less.
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Little trick. Hook a Black Diamond lantern on to the top of the lid and it lights up your pots perfectly.


Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jul 2, 2013 - 11:13am
Jimmy · Camper · Wisconsin
I bought the Powerhouse version of this stove from Amazon in 2011 and this is the third summer we've used it camping. The only differences comparing this stove to my father's from 30+ years ago is the color (his is a lighter green), the metal case is a little thinner (which isn't an issue at all…we haven't dented it if 15-20 times of use so far), and the tank doesn't let you fill it up when it is attached to the rest of the stove (which is a safety thing, and probably a wise decision). Functionally, it lights easier that my father's (likely because the parts are much newer and cleaner) and has burned with a blue flame every time (once it took a while, but every other time it was quick and easy). It also comes with a filter funnel that doesn't let you overfill/spill which is quite handy.

We've been burning the Coleman White Gas which is cheaper and more efficient than stoves that use the propane canisters. It also burns unleaded gas if you need it in a pinch, but I've heard it isn't as clean as the white gas.

The size on this thing is the main draw. You can fit 2 medium-to-large frying pans on this stove at the same time. The Coleman 2 Burner Dual Fuel Compact Liquid Fuel Stove is quite frustrating to use if you want to do serious cooking, one medium sized pan is too large to fit on it, let alone two.

If you would prefer to make this a Triple Fuel stove via propane, you can buy the Century Regulated Propane Converter and use it with propane canisters or, with the addition of a hose, a propane tank. My cousin does this with his 3 burner version (discontinued) and it works great.

I expect to get many more years of use out of this stove. Definitely recommended.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   Apr 5, 2013 - 08:00am
FCAsheville · Mountain Biker · Asheville, NC
Coleman liquid fuel stoves are the superior option and should be the editor's choice. First of all, the canister systems are bulky, wasteful, and unpredictable in regards to knowing the amount of remaining fuel.

Liquid fuel stoves can be started in less than 30 seconds so any complaints about start times are nitpicky at best.

These stoves are also highly repairable and last forever. My latest score was a 1971 Coleman in NOS condition for $20! Nothing on the market today can beat that.

It's stunning that so many environmentally aware people stick to the extremely wasteful canister stoves. Get a Coleman liquid/duel fuel stove and don't look back!

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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