Snow Peak GigaPower 2.0 Review
Cons: A bit heavier and bit pricier than the competition
Manufacturer: Snow Peak
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Snow Peak has been making the GigaPower Auto for many years. The previous version of this unit had features that are slowly becoming standard, such as great packability, low weight, and a piezoelectric starter. The older model, however, was plagued with mediocre fuel efficiency and abysmal boil times. The GigaPower 2.0 Auto, on the other hand, has that same great feature set with much-improved boil time and fuel efficiency.
In our no-wind test, the GigaPower performed well, burning just 0.5 ounces of fuel. Surprisingly for our testers, it matched some of the integrated canister stoves in regards to fuel burned. Like other small canister stoves, however, it suffers in the wind. Once we set it in front of the fan for the 2 - 4 mph test, the fuel efficiency dropped considerably. It burned .9 ounces of fuel in 15 minutes and was not able to bring 1 liter of water to a boil. Historically this has been a problem for small canister stoves, though now there are a couple of models that can do it, making it more disappointing when one can't.
The GigaPower 2.0 is about average in the weight department compared to similar models. Keep in mind that it comes with a piezoelectric starter (Snow Peak says this adds 0.3 ounces), while many other models do not. It also packs down pretty small and comes with a small plastic case.
Simmering is something that this stove does well. The valve control is sensitive at the low end, and the stove can be turned way down before sputtering out. Your oatmeal will be happy.
Ease Of Use
Ease of use is another area where the GigaPower does well. As with all small canister stoves, assembly and use are only slightly more complicated than your cooktop at home. This stove has one of the longest control valve wires in our test, so there is no problem reaching under there quickly when the pot is about to boil over. The pot supports are shorter than some but quite sturdy, and there are four of them. Additionally, the stove is fairly short, achieving the overall effect of more stability.
This unit comes equipped with a reliable piezo lighter, and while it's probably a good idea to carry a lighter as a backup, you likely won't need to locate it to make your morning coffee. Our testers appreciate the piezo lighters on every stove that has them and we wish they were a standard feature on all models.
Boil time is not particularly important to our testers; indeed, one prefers a slightly slower stove because it lets him multitask. The GigaPower 2.0 is slightly slower to boil 1 liter of water than the other small canister stoves at 5 minutes and 53 seconds.
As with some of the other small canister stoves, the GigaPower is unable to get water to a rolling boil in the face of a 2 - 4 mph wind. In 15 minutes, it only produced small bubbles on the bottom of the pot. Our testers were not overly put off by this so long as they could place the stove behind a windbreak. Snow Peak also sells an aftermarket windscreen for the GigaPower that offers some protection and also helps reflect heat up at the pot.
The GigaPower is not a bad value, especially considering its ease of use and fuel efficiency. Folks who won't be camping above treeline that much and want to eat more than just freeze-dried food from time to time will get the most out of this stove.
The GigaPower 2.0 Auto is a solid performer. We expect to see more small canister stoves that perform well in the wind as time goes by, and that is going to affect its ratings. For now, the GigaPower does everything we expect of a canister stove and does it well.
— Ian McEleney