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
Pros:  Lightweight!, small, sturdy pot supports
Cons:  No piezo, small pot supports
Manufacturer:   Snow Peak
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 3, 2019
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 18
  • Fuel Efficiency - 25% 5
  • Weight - 25% 10
  • Simmering Ability - 25% 7
  • Time To Boil - 10% 4
  • Ease Of Use - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium is an impressively light and compact small canister stove. It's the lightest stove in our review. That 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.

If you're looking for something with more features, consider our Top Pick Integrated Canister Stove, the Jetboil MiniMo.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Snow Peak LiteMax
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Top Pick Award  
Price $59.95 at REI$69.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$64.95 at Amazon$144.95 at REI
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$44.95 at REI
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Star Rating
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Pros Lightweight!, small, sturdy pot supportsWorks in the wind, great for simmering, best of the bestLight, works in the wind, great piezo lighterLight, fairly fuel efficient, piezoelectric lighter, can simmerSimple, light, inexpensive, strong hardcase
Cons No piezo, small pot supportsUnreliable piezo igniterNot the most fuel efficientNot windproofUnstable, no piezo
Bottom Line This tiny ultralight stove sacrifices features to save weight.This simmering champ can also perform in the wind.This lightweight stove is easy to use and will boil water when it's breezy.This light, relatively fuel efficient and convenient stove is our Top Pick For Integrated Canister Stoves.This small, light, easy to use stove can actually simmer and is perfect for backpacking.
Rating Categories Snow Peak LiteMax MSR PocketRocket Deluxe Soto Windmaster JetBoil MiniMo MSR PocketRocket 2
Fuel Efficiency (25%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
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6
Weight (25%)
10
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10
10
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8
10
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8
10
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7
10
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9
Simmering Ability (25%)
10
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7
10
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9
10
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8
10
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6
10
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8
Time To Boil (10%)
10
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4
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7
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9
10
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4
Ease Of Use (15%)
10
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5
10
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7
10
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8
10
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8
10
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5
Specs Snow Peak LiteMax MSR PocketRocket... Soto Windmaster JetBoil MiniMo MSR PocketRocket 2
Boil Time (1 liter) 4:31 min:sec 3:22 min:sec 4:10 min:sec 4:06 min:sec 4:41 min:sec
Trail Weight 1.9 oz 3.0 oz 3.0 oz 12.2 oz 2.6 oz
Packed Weight 2.1 oz 3.5 oz 3.5 oz 15.2 oz 3.7 oz
Wind Boil Time (1 L, 8-10mph) 30 min 7:18 min:sec 8:43 min:sec 04:56 min:sec 30 min
Category Small Canister Small Canister Small Canister Integrated Canister Small Canister
Dimensions (inches) 3 x 2.7 x 1.3 in 3.3 x 2.2 x 1.8 in 4.7 x 3.9 x 3.6 in 5 x 6 in 3.5 x 2 in
Fuel Type Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane
Additional items included Stuff sack Stuff sack Stuff sack, pot support 1L pot, canister stand, plastic cup, stuff sack for burner Plastic case
Piezo Igniter No Yes Yes Yes No

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 Snow Peak 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 a respectable 0.3 ounces of fuel to bring one liter of water to boil. In our 8 - 10mph fan test, that efficiency evaporated. In that test, this stove burned through 1.7 ounces of fuel over 30 minutes and failed to bring the water to boil. You should only use this stove when shelter from the wind is available. The Camp Chef Stryker 200 is the most fuel-efficient stove in our test.

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

Weight


The LiteMax Titanium is the lightest stove in our review. Small canister stoves have been dropping in weight, approaching the weight of alcohol or solid fuel stoves (read more about those types of stoves in our Buying Advice article). 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. Hikers who prefer foods that need simmering should look to the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe which only weighs an ounce more but simmers much better.

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, perhaps with the solid Snow Peak GigaPower 2.0

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 4 minutes and 31 seconds with no wind. Once lit in front of the fan we weren't able to achieve a full boil in 30 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


With an MSRP of $60, the LiteMax is only a little cheaper than better 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