The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Snow Peak LiteMax Review

This tiny ultralight stove sacrifices features to save weight.
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Price:  $60 List | $59.95 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight!, small, sturdy pot supports
Cons:  No piezo, small pot supports
Manufacturer:   Snow Peak
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 11, 2019
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58
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 19
  • Fuel Efficiency - 25% 3
  • Weight - 25% 9
  • Simmering Ability - 20% 7
  • Ease Of Use - 20% 5
  • Time To Boil - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium is an impressively light and compact small canister stove. That being said, it's light on features as well as weight. It doesn't have a piezoelectric igniter, something that's becoming standard on many styles of stoves. The pot supports, though sturdy, are small. It offers very little wind resistance. This stove is suited for spartan solo backpackers on short trips with a favorable weather forecast.


Compare to Similar Products

 
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Snow Peak LiteMax
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award   
Price $59.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$64.95 at Amazon$69.95 at REI
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Pros Lightweight!, small, sturdy pot supportsLightweight, works in the wind, great piezo lighter, very stable for small canister stoveWorks in the wind, great for simmering, best of the bestCompact, light, fast boil time, stable, insulated potLightweight, easy to use, good at simmering, piezo igniter
Cons No piezo, small pot supportsNot the most fuel efficient, pot supports pack up separately from stoveUnreliable piezo igniterSmall pot size, not versatileA bit heavier and bit pricier than the competition
Bottom Line This tiny ultralight stove sacrifices features to save weight.This lightweight stove is easy to use and will boil water when it's breezy.This simmering champ can also perform in the wind.This basic model still has all the frills, and is a great value if you want to boil water immediately.This stove does everything well.
Rating Categories Snow Peak LiteMax Soto Windmaster MSR PocketRocket Deluxe Jetboil Flash Snow Peak GigaPower 2.0
Fuel Efficiency (25%)
10
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3
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6
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6
Weight (25%)
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7
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8
Simmering Ability (20%)
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7
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8
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8
10
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4
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8
Ease Of Use (20%)
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7
Time To Boil (10%)
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3
Specs Snow Peak LiteMax Soto Windmaster MSR PocketRocket... Jetboil Flash Snow Peak...
Category Small Canister Small Canister Small Canister Integrated Canister Small Canister
Trail Weight 1.9 oz 3.0 oz 3.0 oz 12.3 oz 3.0 oz
Wind Boil Time (1 L, 2-4mph) 15 min 7:24 min:sec 7:20 min:sec 5:18 min:sec 15 min
Boil Time (1 liter) 5:06 min:sec 4:42 min:sec 3:39 min:sec 4:10 min:sec 5:53 min:sec
Packed Weight 2.1 oz 3.5 oz 3.5 oz 15.7 oz 3.9 oz
Dimensions (inches) 3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in 4.7 x 3.9 x 3.6 in 3.3 x 2.2 x 1.8 in 4.1 x 7.1 in 4.2 x 2.6 in
Fuel Type Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane
Additional items included Stuff sack Stuff sack, pot support Stuff sack 1L pot, canister stand, plastic cup Plastic case
Piezo Igniter No Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

If you're the kind of backcountry traveler who values low weight over all else, stop reading right now, the LightMax Titanium is the stove for you. If weight is pretty important, but you'd like to have some of the features that modern backpackers have come to expect, read on to learn what you give up to save weight with this model.

Performance Comparison


This stove was above average at simmering  but not the best.
This stove was above average at simmering, but not the best.

Fuel Efficiency


When kept away from the wind the LiteMax Titanium used 0.7 ounces of fuel to bring one liter of water to boil. In our 2 - 4 mph fan test, that efficiency evaporated. In that test, this stove burned through 1.2 ounces of fuel over 15 minutes and failed to bring the water to boil. It was able to generate bubbles on the bottom of the pot and bring the water temperature into the 170's F. You should only use this stove when shelter from the wind is available.

The LiteMax fits comfortable in this 1-liter pot.
The LiteMax fits comfortable in this 1-liter pot.

Weight


Small canister stoves have been dropping in weight, approaching the weight of alcohol or solid fuel stoves. The LiteMax Titanium continues this trend, tipping the scale at 1.9 ounces, or 53 grams. Yes, you read that correctly. In the outdoor gear market, many companies play fast and loose with terms like "ultralight" and "superlight." When it comes to this stove, those labels are accurate.

The LiteMax weighing in.
The LiteMax weighing in.

The folding pot supports and wire handle, this stove folds down to an almost two-dimensional shape when it's time to pack up camp. The included velvety storage sack adds 0.2 ounces.

Simmering


The LiteMax offers good valve control; it's sensitive enough at the low end that the stove can run at an almost-but-not-quite-out level. However, this does little to make up for the narrow burner head, which focuses the heat in the middle of the pot regardless of how low the stove is running. Not a problem with smaller cookware, but our testers found that this stove was not well suited to pots much larger than 1 liter, or any but the smallest of frying pans.

The LiteMax in compact form with its mini stuff sack.
The LiteMax in compact form with its mini stuff sack.

Ease Of Use


This model is pretty average when it comes to ease of use. The control valve wire is easy to find and use when your pot is about to boil over. The pot supports are not wobbly at all. The LiteMax sacrifices a couple of features that are becoming common in backpacking stoves to save weight. These are a piezoelectric lighter, and wider pot supports. Backpackers looking for a stove with more creature comforts should be prepared to carry a few more ounces.

The LiteMax has 3 average sized pot supports  select your cookware accordingly.
The LiteMax has 3 average sized pot supports, select your cookware accordingly.

Boil Time


Like most of the small canister stoves we've tested over the years, the LiteMax puts in a decent performance in calm conditions but withers in the wind. We boiled a liter of water in 5 minutes and 06 seconds with no wind. Once lit in front of the fan we weren't able to achieve a full boil in 15 minutes.

Best Applications


This stove is best for folks traveling in fair weather and counting the ounces. It's ideal for solo backpackers out for a night or two and cooking simple meals in a small pot.

A wire control like this one has become a standard feature on all types of backpacking stoves.
A wire control like this one has become a standard feature on all types of backpacking stoves.

Value


The LiteMax is only a little cheaper than our top-performing (though slightly heavier) small canister stoves. We think it's an average value.

The LiteMax wasn't a top performer in the wind. If your plan calls for an open bivy find a sheltered spot or consider a different stove.
The LiteMax wasn't a top performer in the wind. If your plan calls for an open bivy find a sheltered spot or consider a different stove.

Conclusion


The 2-ounce weight and small size of this stove are impressive. Our testers had a hard time imagining how a small canister stove could be much lighter or smaller. While we're glad that the backpacking stove market has a place for models like this, we think many backpackers will be happier with a model that has more features.


Ian McEleney