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GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 Review

A sleek stove with an above average boil time that is easy to care for and won't break the bank
GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540
Credit: REI Co-op
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Price:  $140 List | $104.89 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Efficient, durable, compact, has auto-ignition
Cons:  Cooks hot, ignitor is inconsistent, poor wind resistance, fuel inefficient
Manufacturer:   GSI Outdoors
By Mary Witlacil ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 12, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 15
  • Time to Boil - 20% 7.0
  • Wind Resistance - 20% 2.0
  • Simmering Ability - 20% 6.0
  • Ease of Set Up - 15% 7.0
  • Ease of Care - 15% 8.0
  • Portability - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

The GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 is a compact stove that mostly gets the job done. It boils decently fast, is easy to set up, and even easier to clean. The slim design and built-in carrying handle make packing and transportation a breeze. It tends to cook on the hot side, but with some patience and finesse, you can simmer well enough for most camp meals. However, it does not have great wind resistance or fuel efficiency. The Piezo ignitor can also be fickle, as with most stoves, so keeping a lighter on hand is a good idea. Whether you're just getting into car camping or you plan to embark on a multi-month car camping adventure, the Selkirk is sure to meet your expectations.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $104.89 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
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Overall Score Sort Icon
61
79
66
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Star Rating
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Pros Efficient, durable, compact, has auto-ignitionLarge cook surface, powerful, burly, impressive wind resistanceLightweight and compact, easy to use and set up, inexpensiveGreat simmering, inexpensive, lightweight, auto-ignitionAffordable, fuel adaptor threads on easier than other stoves, windscreens are adjustable, compact dimensions
Cons Cooks hot, ignitor is inconsistent, poor wind resistance, fuel inefficientHeavy, bulky, on the pricier side, closures not durableMinimal wind protection, slow boil timeBoils water slowly, can be hard to find butane canisters, no wind screen, you burn through lots of fuel cans (lots of waste)No auto-ignition, lower BTUs, small burners prone to hot spots
Bottom Line A sleek stove with an above average boil time that is easy to care for and won't break the bankA wind-resistant stove that features powerful output but also impressive simmering abilities and easy maintenanceThis lightweight single burner butane stove is reasonably priced, portable, and easy to useVersatile and low cost, this single-burner stove cooks well, cleans up easily, and weighs the least of all the models we testedThis is a simple and straightforward two-burner that provides everything you need for basic meals at a very nice price
Rating Categories GSI Outdoors Selkir... Camp Chef Everest 2X Eureka SPRK+ Butane Gas One GS-3000 Coleman Classic
Time to Boil (20%)
7.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
4.0
Wind Resistance (20%)
2.0
8.0
2.0
2.0
5.0
Simmering Ability (20%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Ease of Set Up (15%)
7.0
7.0
10.0
10.0
7.0
Ease of Care (15%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Portability (10%)
8.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Specs GSI Outdoors Selkir... Camp Chef Everest 2X Eureka SPRK+ Butane Gas One GS-3000 Coleman Classic
Weight 9.8 lbs 13.97 lbs 4.94 lbs w/case, 3.49 lbs stove alone 4.1 lbs 9.8 lbs
BTU per Burner (from manufacturer) 20,000 20,000 11,500 9,000 10,.000
Boil Time (1 quart of water, wind from a box fan) 13 min 49 sec 3 min 25 sec 13 min 10 sec 13 min 6 min 25 sec
Boil Time (1 quart of water, no wind) 4 min 7 sec 3 min 17 sec 4 min 36 sec 4 min 30 sec 4 min 45 sec
Cooktop Material Nickel-chrome steel Nickel-coated steel Stainless steel Enamel Coated Steel Aluminized steel
Packed Size 21.4" x 12.9" x 3.8" 27" x 15.5" x 8.25" 15.3" x 13" x 3.6" 14" x 12" x 3.5" 21" x 13" x 3.5"
Cooking Surface Dimensions 17.5" x 9.5" 21" x 9.5" 9.5" x 9.5" 8.25" x 8.25" 18.75" x 10.5"
Burner/Flame Diameter 3" 4.75" 3' 2.875" 3.5"
Distance Between Burners (center to center) 11" 12.25" N/A N/A 7.75"
Windscreen? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Piezo Ignitor? Yes Yes Rotary Yes No
Number of Burners 2 2 1 1 2
Type of Model Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop
Fuel Type Propane Propane Butane Butane Propane
Model Number 56012 MS2HP 2572201 GS-3000 2000020943NP

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Selkirk 540 struggled in our wind test and had lower fuel efficiency than other stoves in our review. It also cooks a little too hot to simmer well. It did much better across our remaining metrics, proving to be a reasonable option for someone seeking a compact stove. In our windless boil test, it boiled fast, despite sluggish performance in our box fan test. It is easy to clean, stows away effortlessly, and looks good — all for a reasonable price.

Performance Comparison


GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 camping stove - the mighty selkirk 540 boils fast, simmers well, is easy to clean...
The mighty Selkirk 540 boils fast, simmers well, is easy to clean and set up, and it looks stylish to boot.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Time to Boil


The Selkirk boiled 1 liter of 58°F water in our windless garage "laboratory" in 4 minutes and 7 seconds. This is among the better times in our review, proving that despite only having 10,000 BTUs per burner, it can still crank out enough power to make a meal in a reasonable time frame. It gets the job done well because the burners are situated close to the cooking grate. For most campers, 10,000 BTUs will provide sufficient heat to boil water quickly for all your camp cooking needs. You may want to seek out a stove with higher BTUs if you plan to cook large camp meals for 4+ people consistently. For the rest of us, this is an ok model to consider.

GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 camping stove - the design of the selkirk lends to fantastic wind resistance, as the...
The design of the Selkirk lends to fantastic wind resistance, as the cooking grate sits close to the burners and the windscreens create a sealed barrier against wind.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Wind Resistance


We were disappointed with how the Selkirk 540 performed in the wind. To measure wind resistance, we return to our garage "lab." We use a box fan on the lowest setting to generate 2-4 mph of "wind," as measured by a pocket anemometer. We then time how long it takes for each stove to boil 1 liter of 58°F water. The Selkirk took 13 minutes and 49 seconds, one of the longer windy boil times in our review. That said, when used in the field in a real-world scenario, the compact and sleek design meant that it performed reasonably well in the wind, shielding smaller gusts adequately.

In addition to evaluating each stove in terms of wind resistance and boiling time, we measure the fuel efficiency across these tests. To do so, we begin by weighing a full 1 lb propane canister. Then we proceed to the wind test, weigh the canister again, do the windless test, and weigh the canister a final time. In the wind test, the Selkirk 540 burned 54 g (1.9 oz) of fuel or 12.11% of the fuel in the canister. In the windless test, it burned 17 g (0.6 oz) of fuel or 3.81% of the remaining fuel. Compared to other stoves, the Selkirk was one of the less fuel-efficient stoves in our review.

GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 camping stove - besides cooking on each stove during breezy variable weather, we...
Besides cooking on each stove during breezy variable weather, we also gave them a rigorous boiling test with a box fan.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Simmering Ability


The Selkirk 540 burns hot, so it doesn't simmer well compared to other stoves. Given the compact design, the burners sit close to your cookware, making the stove cook pretty hot. This is great for boiling water quickly but could spell disaster for meals that require low heat. Our reviewers were able to sufficiently dial down the cooking temps for scrambles, quinoa, soups, and taco fixings, especially when cooking in low wind. However, if your camp cooking plans involve perfectly cooked rice, you may want to check out another stove in our review or consider an inexpensive heat diffuser. For most camp chefs and meals, the Selkirk will meet your needs, as long as you keep a watchful eye when cooking items that require low heat.

GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 camping stove - we were able to dial-down the flame on the selkirk low enough to...
We were able to dial-down the flame on the Selkirk low enough to slow cook a tasty breakfast scramble, proving that this stove has respectable simmer-ability.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Ease of Set Up


To set up the Selkirk 540, simply flip open the stove, slot in the windscreens, attach the fuel adaptor, screw on your propane tank, turn on the burners, hit the auto-ignition button, and you're ready to make a tasty camp meal.

The Piezo igniter is not as consistent or user-friendly with the Selkirk as it is with other stoves. However, we were unbothered by this problem as it is fairly common for these igniters to wear out over time, so we always head out camping with a lighter just in case. Given that these igniters have a limited life span, we recommend always carrying a lighter or matches when you're car camping.

GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 camping stove - to set up the selkirk, simply attach the windscreens and then attach...
To set up the Selkirk, simply attach the windscreens and then attach the fuel adapter via threads on the side of the stove.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Ease of Care


Our reviewers found the Selkirk to be especially easy to clean, owing to the removable grate, the flat cooking surface, and the lack of holes (aside from the burners) on the cooking surface. When a cooking surface has holes in it, water and food particulates can fall into the stove shell, making it challenging to be thorough in your cleaning. In the field, it is easy enough to wipe down with a small scrubby. Then when you have access to a sink, you can do a more thorough cleaning with soap after removing the grate.

GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 camping stove - jade kreurger demonstrates how easy it is to keep the selkirk 540...
Jade Kreurger demonstrates how easy it is to keep the Selkirk 540 clean, even while in the field.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Portability


The Selkirk weighs in at 9.77 pounds and measures 21.4 x 12.9 x 3.8 inches when all packed up. While this stove is not the lightest model in our review, it scores fairly high in terms of its compact dimensions.

GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 camping stove - the selkirk is fairly light for a camping stove, which makes it easy...
The Selkirk is fairly light for a camping stove, which makes it easy to move around for camp cooking or storage.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Value


While value is highly subjective, it is interesting to compare the price and performance of different models. In the case of the Selkirk, we think it maintains an ok value for being a compact stove with an above-average boil time at a reasonable price. Other stoves at a similar price point surpass this stove's performance, but none are as compact. If space is at a premium and you aren't too concerned about wind resistance or fuel-efficiency, this could be a reasonable option. However, if you have a little extra space or are on a tight budget, other stoves could better meet your needs.

GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 camping stove - it's always a good idea to consider what cookware you like to use...
It's always a good idea to consider what cookware you like to use and then assess the cooking grate on any stove you're considering. We like making coffee in a small Bialetti while camping and not all the stoves in this review can accommodate that - it's far too narrow for many of them - but the Selkirk has a smart design that works with even the smallest items.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Conclusion


The GSI Selkirk 540 is a decent compact stove that is easy to carry and boils quickly despite lower BTUs. The windscreens function well enough in the field but provided insufficient protection to ensure a great performance in our controlled wind test. This stove was also among the least fuel-efficient stoves in our review. Given that the Selkirk runs hot, it is not our top choice for delicate culinary masterpieces (such as low-heat sauces or rice); however, the burners get low enough for most camp meals.

GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 camping stove - the selkirk gets the job done in style.
The Selkirk gets the job done in style.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Mary Witlacil
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