Coleman Cascade Classic Review
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Coleman Cascade Classic
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|$190 List||$140 List||$30 List|
$25.00 at Amazon
|$64.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Piezo igniter, fuel efficient, reasonably priced, easy to clean||Large cook surface, powerful, burly, impressive wind resistance||Affordable, straightforward, compact, great wind resistance, good simmering ability||Great simmering, inexpensive, lightweight, auto-ignition||Lightweight and compact, easy to use and set up, inexpensive|
|Cons||Slow boil time, average wind resistance, below average durability||Heavy, bulky, on the pricier side, closures not durable||Cannot store regulator inside stove, average boil time||Boils water slowly, can be hard to find butane canisters, no wind screen, you burn through lots of fuel cans (lots of waste)||Minimal wind protection, slow boil time|
|Bottom Line||An affordable, portable, and fuel efficient two-burner stove with slow boil time and low wind resistance||A wind-resistant stove that features powerful output but also impressive simmering abilities and easy maintenance||A compact and reasonably priced stove that simmers well and provides great wind protection||Versatile and low cost, this single-burner stove cooks well, cleans up easily, and weighs the least of all the models we tested||This lightweight single burner butane stove is reasonably priced, portable, and easy to use|
|Rating Categories||Coleman Cascade Cla...||Camp Chef Everest 2X||Kovea Slim Twin||Gas One GS-3000||Eureka SPRK+ Butane|
|Boil Time (25%)|
|Fuel Efficiency (25%)|
|Simmering Ability (20%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Specs||Coleman Cascade Cla...||Camp Chef Everest 2X||Kovea Slim Twin||Gas One GS-3000||Eureka SPRK+ Butane|
|Weight||9.71 lbs||13.97 lbs||9.94 lbs||4.1 lbs||4.94 lbs w/case, 3.49 lbs stove alone|
|BTU per Burner (from manufacturer)||10,000||20,000||10,500||9,000||11,500|
|Average Boil Time (1 liter of water, wind & no wind)||6 min 39 sec||3 min 21 sec||4 min 58 sec||8 min 45 sec||9 min 13 sec|
|Boil Time (1 liter of water, wind from a box fan)||7 min 56 sec||3 min 25 sec||5 min 20 sec||13 min||13 min 10 sec|
|Boil Time (1 liter of water, no wind)||5 min 23 sec||3 min 17 sec||4 min 36 sec||4 min 30 sec||4 min 36 sec|
|Cooktop Material||Aluminized steel||Nickel-coated steel||Nickel-plated steel||Enamel Coated Steel||Stainless steel|
|Packed Size||21" x 13" x 3.5"||27" x 15.5" x 8.25"||23.4" x 14.7" x 3.3"||14" x 12" x 3.5"||15.3" x 13" x 3.6"|
|Cooking Surface Dimensions||20" x 12"||21" x 9.5"||20.5" x 12.5"||8.25" x 8.25"||9.5" x 9.5"|
|Distance Between Burners (center to center)||11"||12.25"||10.5"||N/A||N/A|
|Number of Burners||2||2||2||1||1|
|Type of Model||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cascade is a reasonably priced tabletop stove. While it features below-average wind resistance and a slow boil time, it is compact, easy to use, and simmers well. It wasn't a top performer in any of our metrics, but it does well enough to be a decent option for the budget-minded car camper looking to get a stove without breaking the bank.
Time to Boil
To evaluate boil time, we set up each stove in our windless garage at 5,000 feet in elevation and did two boil tests — one with "wind" and one without. We measured how long each stove takes to boil 1 liter of 58°F water in a 1.7-liter tea kettle. The Cascade had an average boil time of 6 minutes 39 seconds, which placed it right in the middle of the test suite. In the wind test, we time how long it takes each stove to boil 1 liter of water in the presence of 2-4 mph of "wind" from a box fan on the lowest setting. This stove took 7 minutes 56 seconds, which was also a fairly average result in our windy test. In the wind-less test, it took 5 minutes and 23 seconds, which was the second slowest score in our review. Several other stoves with 10,000 BTU burners performed better in this test. We think the slow boil time is due to the gap between the cooking grate and the burner; this means the burner has to work much harder to heat up your pots and pans. It would have done worse in the wind test if it weren't for the great design of the Coleman windscreens, which can be adjusted for better wind protection or extended to accommodate larger pots.
In addition to evaluating each stove for windy and windless boil times, we also looked at fuel efficiency during these tests. To measure this, we first weighed a brand-new propane canister, performed our wind test, and then remeasured the canister. We repeated this process for the non-wind test and then averaged the results. The Cascade performed surprisingly well in this metric, burning an average of 0.69 ounces or 4.35% of the fuel in a canister over the two tests. In the windy test, it burned 0.81 ounces or 5.15%, and in the wind-less test, it burned 0.56 ounces or 3.56%. These results rank this stove as the most fuel-efficient tabletop stove in our review. It may have sluggish boil times, but it uses fuel very efficiently, a boon for anyone looking to conserve fuel, reduce waste, and save money.
For this metric, we made a pot of rice to see how well the stove could handle maintaining a low enough flame to produce fluffy rice. The Cascade performed pretty well in this category. We could absolutely dial down the knob to get the burner to produce a low enough flame to cook rice. The burner is somewhat recessed in the stove body, which means that the low flame was decently resistant to gentle breezes when used on low. All of this is fantastic if you want to cook sauces or rice at a reasonable price.
Ease of Use
The Cascade is as intuitive and straightforward as they come. The regulator pairs easily with its receiver, which is critical to avoid cross-threading the delicate brass threads. The igniter is an easy-to-turn knob on the front of the stove. It worked fairly consistently for the duration of our review. While these tend to wear out with use, we were able to get it to spark within 2-3 rotations nearly every time we tried to light the stove. The closure latch also works pretty well, though we wish there were two of them to ensure the durability of the closure system over time.
This stove did not earn the highest marks in this metric because the windscreens take a little effort to slot into position. Once disassembled, there is nothing to hold the windscreens in place, so you have to hold them to close the lid. While neither thing is a dealbreaker, this kept the Cascade from earning perfect marks.
The Cascade is also easy to clean, lift the cooking grate and wipe down the drip pan. For the most part, there aren't any holes for noodles to be forever lost, but you will want to be mindful of the large circular hole at the back of the drip pan. We were also disappointed with how the aluminum drip pan puckered at one of the corner seals. Over time, this could be a point of failure, and if it gets worse, it could also attract errant food scraps.
The Cascade weighs just 9.71 pounds and features a generous carrying handle, making it a very portable stove. The stove's packed dimensions are 21" x 13" x 3.5", which means it will command very little space in your kitchen kit owing to its trim dimensions.
Should You Buy the Coleman Cascade Classic?
Maybe? We think the Cascade is an ok value. It is a reasonably priced two-burner tabletop stove with excellent fuel efficiency and simmering ability, but that boils slowly and has slightly below average wind resistance. There are other stoves that boil faster and have better features for not too much more, but this is a decent improvement in quality from other budget stoves in our review.
What Other Camping Stoves Should You Consider?
If you came to this review hoping for a perfect budget-minded option but left feeling like you want a more consistent performance, the Kovea Slim Twin is a great option. It's less expensive, highly portable, boils quickly, and isn't much less fuel efficient. If you're okay with a single burner, the Gas One GS-3000 is a super affordable model great for one-pot meals.
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