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Snow Peak LiteMax Review

This tiny ultralight stove sacrifices features to save weight
Snow Peak LiteMax
Photo: Snow Peak
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Price:  $60 List | Check Price at REI
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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54
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 19
  • Fuel Efficiency - 25% 3
  • Weight - 25% 9
  • Simmering Ability - 20% 6
  • Ease Of Use - 20% 4
  • Boil Time - 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, and it offers very little wind resistance. This stove is suited for spartan solo backpackers on short trips with a favorable weather forecast.

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Pros Lightweight, works in the wind, great piezo lighter, very stable for small canister stoveWorks in the wind, great for simmering, best of the bestLight, fairly fuel efficient, piezoelectric lighter, can simmerCompact, light, fast boil time, stable, insulated potLightweight, easy to use, good at simmering, piezo igniter
Cons Not the most fuel efficient, pot supports pack up separately from stoveUnreliable piezo igniterNot windproofSmall pot size, not versatileA bit heavier and bit pricier than the competition
Bottom Line Our favorite small canister stove, providing the best performance for most backpackersThis simmering champ can also perform in the windA great system for backpackers and alpine climbers relying on dehydrated, simple mealsThis basic model still has all the frills, and is a great value if you want to boil water immediatelyThis stove does everything well
Rating Categories Soto Windmaster MSR PocketRocket De... JetBoil MiniMo Jetboil Flash Snow Peak GigaPower...
Fuel Efficiency (25%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Weight (25%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
Simmering Ability (20%)
8.0
8.0
5.0
3.0
6.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
9.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
Boil Time (10%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
3.0
Specs Soto Windmaster MSR PocketRocket De... JetBoil MiniMo Jetboil Flash Snow Peak GigaPower...
Category Small Canister Small Canister Integrated Canister Integrated Canister Small Canister
Trail Weight 3.0 oz 3.0 oz 12.2 oz 12.3 oz 3.0 oz
Wind Boil Time (1 L, 2-4mph) 7:24 min:sec 7:20 min:sec 5:09 min:sec 5:18 min:sec 15 min
Boil Time (1 liter) 4:42 min:sec 3:39 min:sec 4:09 min:sec 4:10 min:sec 5:53 min:sec
Packed Weight 3.5 oz 3.5 oz 15.2 oz 15.7 oz 3.9 oz
Dimensions (inches) 4.7 x 3.9 x 3.6 in 3.3 x 2.2 x 1.8 in 5 x 6 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, pot support Stuff sack 1L pot, canister stand, plastic cup, stuff sack for burner 1L pot, canister stand, plastic cup Plastic case
Piezo Igniter Yes 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 is above average at simmering, but not the best.
This stove is above average at simmering, but not the best.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Fuel Efficiency


When kept away from the wind, the LiteMax 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 wasn't a top performer in the wind. If your plan calls...
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.
Photo: Ian McEleney

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 just 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.
Photo: Ian McEleney

With 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 Ability


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.
Photo: Ian McEleney

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 does sacrifices a couple of features that are becoming common in backpacking stoves to save weight though. These are a piezoelectric ignitor 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...
The LiteMax has 3 average sized pot supports, select your cookware accordingly.
Photo: Ian McEleney

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 a fan, however, we weren't able to achieve a full boil in 15 minutes.

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

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 fits comfortably in this 1-liter pot.
The LiteMax fits comfortably in this 1-liter pot.
Photo: Ian McEleney

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