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