Cons: Small burner head, poor wind performance
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Our Analysis and Test Results
All small canister stoves are just that — small. However, like an Olympic gymnast standing next to a regular-sized person, the BRS-3000T makes the other stoves look big. It has a weight to match: 0.9 ounces! A number of online reviewers experienced durability issues, but we haven't throughout our months of testing.
Fuel efficiency is one of our most important metrics. The behavior of the stove user has an enormous impact on stove efficiency. Nevertheless, the performance of the stove itself is relevant. The BRS did not wow us in this department.
In calm conditions, the BRS burned 0.7 ounces of fuel while bringing a liter of water to boil in 4 minutes and 43 seconds. This is more than the top-performing small canister stoves and integrated canister models, but better than the liquid fuel stoves.
In the face of our test fan blowing 2 - 4 mph, however, the BRS was unable to bring water to boil after 15 whole minutes. 1.1 ounces of fuel were consumed in this effort. When camping above treeline, find a sheltered spot for this stove or consider using it in a well-ventilated tent vestibule.
Weight (and bulk, which we also consider in this metric) is where the BRS really shines. Though weight differences can be significant when comparing different types of stoves (say, small canister to liquid fuel), within small canister models, weight is becoming less important. Modern small canister stoves weigh between 1 and 4 ounces, and our testers think this isn't the most productive place for most backpackers to try to shed weight. That being said, the BRS is crazy light --- just 0.9 ounces (about 25 grams)!
The other impressive characteristic is how small this stove is. When folded for transport it measures about 2" x 1.5" x 1.5" (5 x 3.8 x 3.8cm). Our testers find bulk to be a pretty important real-world metric because we like to be able to store all of our cooking gear in our pot when on the trail. The BRS fits easily into any of our tester pots with room to spare. This stove could pair well with a small titanium cup used as a pot on a solo trip.
While some backpackers are happy to eat freeze-dried food for days on end, for others, the ability to cook a more complicated meal is important. The first characteristic we look at when considering simmering is the character of the control valve. The BRS has smooth and even resistance throughout its range. This makes it easy to turn waaaay down, to the point where the flame looks like that of a single candle. It was much easier to do this with the BRS than any liquid fuel stove.
Another important quality when it comes to actual cooking is the size of the burner head. A broad burner head helps distribute heat more evenly around a pot or pan. Obviously, big burner heads weigh more and take up more pack space. Anyone who's read this review to this point can probably guess that the burner head on the BRS is tiny. Cooking anything that requires simmering (oatmeal, refried beans, etc.) with this stove calls for attentive and continuous stirring.
Ease Of Use
The small canister stove is a fairly simple piece of backpacking gear. As such, they're generally easy to use. Aside from its stuff sack, the BRS has no parts or accessories to keep track of (or lose). Getting the stove and fuel canister assembled and ready to light is simple and fast, as it should be. It has a decently sized wire valve control handle, something we've come to expect as standard.
We were pleasantly surprised with the stability of the BRS. Because the stove is so small, it has a low center of gravity, which helps. No canister stand comes with the stove, but our testers found that the increased mass of an 8-ounce fuel can improved stability.
We also really like how steady the three pot supports are. Once snapped into place, they formed a platform more rigid than that of some much more expensive stoves. Though we wouldn't want to make a habit of it, the BRS was plenty stable under our 1.5L test pot, even when it was holding a liter of water. We have read several reviews on the internet that mention the stove arms melting and deforming under load, once they're hot. If this happens during use, it could lead to the spilling of scalding hot water and the end of a meal. We have yet to experience this, but it seems too widespread to discount.
The biggest item this stove is missing when it comes to ease of use is a piezoelectric igniter. Our testers find that they make every meal a little easier. However, we don't think a small canister stove could be this light and compact with one on there.
Our testing team thinks that boil times are a relevant, but not overly important consideration. That being said, nobody likes to wait for a hot cup of coffee or tea on a cold morning. In our testing, anything in the 4-minute range was respectable. The BRS brought 1 liter of water to boil in 4 minutes and 43 seconds with no wind.
Historically, no canister stoves have performed well in the wind. That is starting to change, and the BRS is a little behind the curve in this regard. Our fan blowing a 2 - 4 mph wind kept this stove from boiling water in 15 minutes. Though it was able to generate active fisheyes, water temperatures stayed in the 160's F (71 - 76C).
This stove is an excellent example of technology that has been around for long enough for the price to come way down. It's a "middle shelf" small canister stove at a "bottom shelf" price. We think it is a good value, especially for ultralight backpackers or those who are occasionally out solo for a night or two. It's inexpensive enough that it's easy to justify buying it as a second (or third) stove.
We try to keep our expectations low when reviewing products that are less than half the price of the best in their category. With the BRS-3000T, we came in with low expectations and were impressed by an average performance. This stove brings water to boil at a decent time, has good valve control for simmering, the pot supports are remarkably stable for their size, and the burner is light and shockingly small. It's clear why this tiny stove walked away with one of our coveted Best Buy Awards.
— Ian McEleney