Soto Amicus Review
Cons: A bit loud, possibly less durable pot stabilizers
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|Pros||Ultralight, fuel efficient, affordable, quick to boil even in wind||Good at simmering, simple operation||Tiny, light, cheap||Lightweight!, small, sturdy pot supports||Simmers well, easy to set up, inexpensive|
|Cons||A bit loud, possibly less durable pot stabilizers||No piezoelectric igniter, slow to boil, bulky, somewhat heavy||Small burner head, poor wind performance, not great fuel efficiency||No piezo, small pot supports||Slow, heavy, fuel inefficient|
|Bottom Line||This affordable and fuel-efficient canister stove is also tiny and ultralight, perfect for your next backcountry adventure||This standard small canister stove is good for simmering but bulky and a bit heavy in your pack||A shockingly small, ultra lightweight, and straightforward backpacking stove at an impressively low price||This tiny ultralight stove sacrifices features to save weight||This inexpensive, heavy, and bulky stove takes a while to boil, but simmers reasonably well|
|Rating Categories||Soto Amicus||Primus Essential Trail||BRS-3000T||Snow Peak LiteMax||Coleman Peak 1|
|Fuel Efficiency (25%)|
|Simmering Ability (20%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Boil Time (10%)|
|Specs||Soto Amicus||Primus Essential Trail||BRS-3000T||Snow Peak LiteMax||Coleman Peak 1|
|Category||Small Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister|
|Essential Weight (stove or stove + integrated pot only)||2.79 oz||4.5 oz||0.9 oz||1.9 oz||6.5 oz|
|Trail Weight (stove, fuel, pot)||14.92 oz||16.63 oz||12.63 oz||13.63 oz||18.63 oz|
|Wind Boil Time (1 liter, 2-4mph)||6:30 min:sec||10:10 min||14:45 min:sec||>15 min||>15 min|
|Boil Time (1 liter)||3:52 min: sec||5:30 min:sec||5:13 min:sec||5:06 min:sec||7:08 min:sec|
|Packed Weight (stove + all accessories)||3.5 oz||4.5 oz||1 oz||2.1 oz||6.5 oz|
|Dimensions||3.9" × 0.7" × 6.5"||4.3" x 2.4"||2" x 1.2" x 1.3"||3" x 2.7" x 1.3"||5.1" x 5.5" x 4.3"|
|Additional Included Items||Stuff sack||None||Stuff sack||Stuff sack||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Soto Amicus is an impressive addition to a competitive field of canister stoves for backpacking. It is affordable, incredibly lightweight, and very fuel-efficient. The long fuel valve and push-button ignitor make it easy to use. The stove reliably produces a blue flame to ensure fast cooking temps, and the pot stabilizers provide sufficient support for 1-2 liter pots. Whether you're looking for your first backpacking stove or you're looking to shave some grams from your kit without sacrificing durability, this stove is a worthy contender.
For being such a tiny stove, the Amicus performed surprisingly well in our fuel efficiency test. Using our wind and no-wind boil tests as a guide, it used an average of 8.9% of a 4-ounce fuel canister to bring 1 liter of water to a boil.
To determine fuel efficiency, we tested the stoves in our garage "lab" at 5,000 feet in Fort Collins, CO. We started by weighing a new 4-ounce fuel canister and then boiled 1 liter of 58° F water in the presence of a box fan on "low." We used an anemometer to measure the fan's "wind" to ensure it was constant at 2-4 mph. Once the water boiled, we weighed the fuel again, brought another 1-liter kettle of water to a boil, and weighed the canister one final time. We determine the percentage of fuel used in these wind and no-wind boil tests and take the average between the two to determine fuel efficiency.
The Soto Amicus is one of the lightest stoves in our review. The stove alone weighs only 2.79 ounces — though stove weight alone isn't the whole story.
To help you make an informed decision about which backpacking stove to buy, we determined the "trail weight" for each stove. This allows you to effectively compare stand-alone models with integrated stoves that come with their own pots. Trail weight refers to the weight of the stove sans accessories (like stuff sacks), plus the weight of a small fuel canister (7.35 ounces), and the average weight of the five most popular 1-liter titanium pots (4.78 ounces). We really like the 5.6 oz TOAKS 1100ml Titanium Pot, because it is lightweight and has a lid that doubles as a frying pan. The trail weight of the Amicus with a pot and canister is a scant 14.92 ounces. You can find a more lightweight stove, but not one that works as efficiently as this one.
The Amicus performed well in this metric owing to the long wire fuel valve, which allows you to dial down the burner to sustain a low enough flame to simmer without flickering out.
To evaluate simmering ability, we test how well each stove can make slow-cooked oatmeal without scorching the pot. The Amicus could handle a low enough temp to cook our oats without leaving a char mark on our pot — a win-win if you ask us. While the wind hampers the stove's ability to simmer, if you can shelter the stove, it can still deliver a consistent low flame to avoid destroying more complicated meals.
Ease Of Use
Like other small canister stoves, there is practically no learning curve with the Amicus.
This stove has a Piezo ignitor that worked occasionally, which is why it didn't ace this metric. You can buy the stove without an ignitor to save $5, but why would you when an ignitor makes the stove so much easier to use. Even though the ignitor on our test stove didn't prove to be 100% reliable, we would probably still choose to pay the extra $5 because when it does work, it beats searching for your lighter when all you want is to smash dinner.
The wire fuel valve is long enough that you can reach it without scalding your hands, should your pot boil over. The pot stabilizers rotate on a spring rivet and secure with a small metal tab and hook. Once in place, these feel secure. The Amicus is stable enough to use with most 1 liter pots and is likely stable enough to use with lower profile 2-liter pots. In our fuel efficiency tests, we were able to test the stove with a large 1.7-quart kettle without the stove threatening to topple over. The spring rivets are a novel design feature, but in our experience, components like these may weaken or get dirty over time — but for our use, they seem sufficiently durable and stable.
If you decide to travel with the stove's stuff sack, it is made out of a burly fabric that is burn resistant enough to handle putting a hot stove inside after a quick round of coffee (though we don't recommend testing it by sticking it in a fire). One reason we docked points in this metric was that you have to open the fuel valve to slot the Amicus in its stuff sack. We understand this is a fickle complaint, but when you're up for a 4 am alpine start and need to make coffee, it can be hard to remember to close the valve before pairing it with a fuel canister.
Without the presence of wind, the Amicus boiled water in 3 minutes and 52 seconds. In our wind test, it boiled water in 6 minutes and 32 seconds.
To determine boil time, we took the average between the two boil tests to compare the stoves across the review. The Amicus had a competitive score, ranking it near the top of the pack. In truly inclement weather, we recommend creating a windbreak for your stove with rocks to ensure a more consistent flame.
The Amicus is an excellent value if you ask us, and if you're here, you kinda did. It is an affordable ultralight canister stove that is fuel-efficient, easy to use, and boils quickly regardless of conditions. The pot stabilizers provide impressive stability, the ignitor lit the stove fairly consistently, and it commands minimal space in your pack. Can you find stoves that perform better in one of our metrics? Sure, but we haven't found any that perform as well across all metrics at such an affordable price.
Our review team was thoroughly impressed by how consistently the Soto Amicus performed across all of our review metrics. If you are in the market for an affordable but ultralight stove to boil water for dehydrated food and coffee, this stove might be an ideal option for you.
— Mary Witlacil
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