A light and compact canister stove with a great feature set and simmering ability, the Snow Peak Gigapower 2.0 Is a solid small canister stove at a reasonable price. The original Gigapower had been a reliable, albeit slow, performer for years. This upgrade is not only lighter but brings the surprisingly high boil times down to the same realm as the competition. With its piezoelectric ignition and excellent stability, it's easier to use than some of the other small canister stoves. If you're looking to shave some weight, the 1.9-oz Snow Peak LiteMax is a stripped down model that performs similar to the GigaPower for a little more dough.
Snow Peak GigaPower 2.0 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Lightweight, easy to use, good at simmering, piezo igniter
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 (great packability, low weight, piezoelectric starter) that are slowly becoming standard. The older model, however, was plagued with mediocre fuel efficiency and abysmal boil time. The GigaPower Auto 2.0 has that same great feature set, with much-improved boil time and fuel efficiency.
Like the other small canister stoves, the GigaPower's fuel efficiency suffered in the wind. In the no-wind test, it performed well, burning 0.4 oz. Surprisingly for our testers, it also just edged out the MSR Reactor in fuel burned.
Once we set it in front of the fan for the 8- 10 mph test, the fuel efficiency dropped significantly. It burned 1.5 oz of fuel in 30 minutes and did not boil 1 liter of water. Historically this has been a problem for small canister stoves. The Editors' Choice award-winning MSR PocketRocket Deluxe and the Soto Windmaster can boil water in the wind.
The GigaPower 2.0 is about average in the weight department compared to similar models. It's considerably lighter than the Classic Trail. Even when you compensate for the lack of a pot to compare it to an integrated canister stove (see how in our How We Tested Backpacking Stoves article), it's lighter than Jetboil MiniMo. Keep in mind that the GigaPower 2.0 comes with a piezoelectric starter (Snow Peak says this adds 0.3 oz) while the PocketRocket 2 does not. It also packs down about as small as the PocketRocket 2 and comes with a slightly smaller plastic case.
Simmering was something that this stove does well. Like the PocketRocket Deluxe, the valve control is sensitive at the low end, and the stove can be turned way down before sputtering out. The Deluxe and Primus Classic are the two highest scorers in the simmering department, earning the only 9 out of 10s.
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, but at 5 minutes and 2 seconds, not that much slower.
As with some of the other small canister stoves, the GigaPower was unable to get water to a rolling boil in the face of an 8 - 10 mph wind. In 30 minutes, it only produced small bubbles on the bottom of the pot. Our testers are not put off by the wind so long as they could place the stove behind a windbreak. Snow Peak sells an aftermarket windscreen for the GigaPower. It offers some wind protection and also helps reflect heat up at the pot.
Ease Of Use
Ease of use is another area where the GigaPower does well. It has one of the longest control valve wires in the test, the MSR Windburner is about 2cm longer, so there is no problem reaching under there quickly when the pot is about to boil over. The pot supports are about 7mm shorter than those on the PocketRocket 2, but more sturdy, and there are four of them. Additionally, the stove is 2.5 cm shorter, 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 won't need to locate it to make your morning coffee. Our testers appreciated the piezo lighters on every stove that has them. We wish they were a standard feature on all models. As with all small canister stoves, assembly and use are only slightly more complicated than your cooktop at home.
We think the best use for this stove is for backpackers who don't mind carrying an extra 0.4 oz (and paying a bit more) for a stove that's easy to use. It's best for folks who won't be above treeline that much and want to eat more than just freeze-dried food from time to time. Hikers who want hot water in a hurry should check out the blazingly fast MSR Reactor, or the only-12-seconds-slower Jetboil MiniMo. Headed out on an expedition? We'd recommend the MSR Whisperlite.
At $50 it's not a bad value, especially considering its ease of use and fuel efficiency.
This is a good stove that gives the PocketRocket 2 is a solid performer. The GigaPower Auto does everything we expect of a canister stove well.
— Ian McEleney