The GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 is a well-functioning compact stove that checks all the right boxes. It boils fast, blocks the wind well, is super easy to set up, and even easier to clean. It tends to cook on the hot side, so it struggles with precise simmering, but nothing so bad as to cause concern or frustration. If you know yourself to be someone that always cooks things that require a low and slow simmer, you may want to consider another model, but for the typical camp chef whipping up most meals, this stove is perfectly adequate.
GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Efficient, durable, compact, has auto-ignition
Cons: Cooks hot, ignitor is sometimes finicky
Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The GSI Selkirk works well, looks good, and comes at a fair price.
Time to Boil
The Selkirk boiled a quart of water on a non-windy day in 4 minutes, one of the better times in our test suite. It doesn't have impressive BTUs — just 10,000 per burner — but the design is compact and efficient. If you don't need super high BTUs but don't want to sacrifice performance, this is a great model to consider.
As mentioned above, the compact design of this stove means that it performs very well despite not having super high BTUs. When given our infamous box fan test where we set up a large fan to the side of the stove while boiling water, the Selkirk completed the task in 5.5 minutes, just a minute and a half longer than without the fan. Other models in our review did better, but not by a ton, and many did much, much worse. The stoves that performed better in this test all had double or triple the output amount of BTUs, too, which makes a strong argument for the efficiency of the Selkirk. On a particularly windy day, the auto-ignition on this stove did struggle a bit, but we eventually got it working in between gusts just fine.
This is the one category where the Selkirk is just mediocre. It's fine if you're not cooking anything too delicate, but it does cook hot due to how close the burners sit to your cookware. With a lot of wind present, as with most stoves, this issue worsens a bit. Just be sure to keep a watchful eye when cooking sensitive items, and all will be well.
Ease of Set Up
This is a no-brainer and just like most every stove on the market. Flip open and slot in the windscreens, attach the fuel adaptor, screw on your propane tank, turn on the burners, and hit the auto-ignition button. A few times, the burners on our model didn't want to light immediately (a common issue with Piezo igniters), but we eventually got them lit every time. If this worries you, it's never a bad idea to also have a lighter on hand.
Ease of Care
Again, this is as simple as any standard compact two-burner. Simply remove the grate and wipe everything down.
The Selkirk is 9.77 pounds and measures 21.4 x 12.9 x 3.8 inches when all packed up. These are pretty standard numbers for a stove like this, though a smidge lighter and smaller than models like our Editors' Choice winner. That might be important to you, though if you're already car camping, it's doubtful that a couple of pounds or inches is going to make that big a difference.
Value is, of course, highly subjective, but it's always interesting to make some comparisons. In the case of this stove, it's pretty middle-of-the-road regarding value. It's a well-performing stove for a reasonable price, but there are others in our review that are almost as good for quite a bit less. On the other end of things, our Editors' Choice has twice the BTUs, better wind resistance, and superior simmering abilities for not that much more cash. If you find this one on sale, though, it's worth it.
The Selkirk 540 is a great stove for most culinary camping adventures. It performed well across almost all of our tests but also didn't blow us away as anything spectacular. It's just a good stove that does what it's supposed to, nothing more, nothing less. It's got a nice compact build that allows it to boil fast and stay decently impervious to the wind. It sets up and breaks down easily and is a bit smaller and lighter than quite a few other models. The one place it shows weakness is in the simmering department: it runs hot, so getting a low and even simmer can be tricky. But if camping for you is mainly oatmeal, coffee, and pasta, then don't fret, this is a good stove that will get you fed.
— Penney Garrett