GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 Review
Cons: Cooks hot, ignitor is sometimes finicky
Manufacturer: GSI Outdoors
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GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540
Check Price at REI
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|$151 List||$148 List|
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|Pros||Efficient, durable, compact, has auto-ignition||Large cook surface, powerful, burly, impressive wind resistance, built to last||Three burners, snug windscreen, fast boil time, easy setup, powerful burners||Wind-resistant, powerful, even cooking, auto-ignition||Compact, flexible fuel hose, easy to clean, excellent simmer|
|Cons||Cooks hot, ignitor is sometimes finicky||Heavy, bulky, spendy||Awkward and sharp carrying handle, average wind resistance||Unreliable burner regulators, plastic latches on front||No windscreen, fuel stand is separate and could get lost, attachment for fuel hose is flimsy|
|Bottom Line||A sleek and well-functioning stove that boils quickly, is easy to care for, and won't break the bank||A durable, wind-resistant stove that features powerful output but also impressive simmering abilities and easy maintenance||A well-designed and powerful 3-burner stove, with easy setup and a relatively trim design||A high-performing stove as long as the burner regulators don't fail||Slim and sleek, this stove is small but beautifully built and it simmers like a dream|
|Rating Categories||GSI Outdoors Selkir...||Camp Chef Everest 2X||Outfitter Series 3-...||Camp Chef Everest||Primus Kinjia|
|Time To Boil (20%)|
|Wind Resistance (20%)|
|Simmering Ability (20%)|
|Ease Of Set Up (15%)|
|Ease Of Care (15%)|
|Specs||GSI Outdoors Selkir...||Camp Chef Everest 2X||Outfitter Series 3-...||Camp Chef Everest||Primus Kinjia|
|Weight (pounds)||9.8 lbs||13.97 lbs||7.77 lbs||12.3 lbs||8.1 lbs|
|Total BTU per burner (from manufacturer)||20,000||20,000||25,000||20,000||10,200|
|Boil Time (1 quart of water, wind from a box fan)||5.5 min||3.5 min||7 min||3 min||8.5 min|
|Boil Time (1 quart of water, no wind)||4 min||3 min||3.25 min||2.5 min||4.25 min|
|Cooktop material||Nickel-chrome steel||Nickel-coated steel||Stainless steel||Nickel-coated steel||Painted steel|
|Packed Size (inches)||21.4" x 12.9" x 3.8"||27 x 15.5 x 8.25||23" x 12.75" x 4.3"||23.5" x 13.5" x 4"||18.5" x 11.75" x 3.5"|
|Cooking surface dimensions (inches)||17.5" x 9.5"||21" x 9.5"||19.5" x 9.5"||19" x 9.5"||17.25" x 6"|
|Burner/flame diameter||3"||4.75"||4.75" (outer burners), 3.25" (middle burner)||3.5"||2"|
|Distance between burners (center to center)||11"||12.25"||7" (outer to middle), 14" (outer to outer)||12"||9"|
|Number of burners||2||2||3||2||2|
|Type of Model||Tabletop, foldable||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop|
|Mfr. Model Number||56012||MS2HP||212-300-50||MS2HP||P-350111|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The GSI Selkirk 540 performed fairly well across nearly all of our metrics, proving to be a solid option for someone seeking a compact table-top two-burner stove. It boils fast, provides great wind protection, is easy to clean, stows away effortlessly, and looks good — all for a reasonable price.
Time to Boil
The Selkirk boiled a quart of water on a non-windy day in 4 minutes, among the better times in our test suite. This stove may not have the most impressive BTUs — just 10,000 per burner — but 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 consistently cook large camp meals for 5+ people. For the rest of us, this is a great model to consider.
The compact and sleek design of this stove means that it performs well in the wind. One way we test wind resistance is with our box fan test, where we position a box fan 24" away from the stove set to the lowest setting, and measure how long it takes to boil a quart of water. In this test, the Selkirk 540 completed the task in 5.5 minutes, only one and a half minutes longer than without the fan. On particularly windy days, the auto-ignition struggles, but with patience or a lighter this problem is easily overcome. One irksome aspect of this stove, is that the windscreens don't latch perfect. However, they make a tight enough seal with the lid that they stay in place despite not always staying connected.
This is the only category where the Selkirk 540 doesn't perform as well, but that may not be a deal-breaker for you. 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.
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.
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.
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.
While value is highly subjective, it is interesting to make some comparisons about the price and performance of different models. In the case of the Selkirk we think it holds a pretty high value for being a well-performing stove at a reasonable price. There are other stoves that may excel at one or another metric, but most of these stoves fetch a higher price tag or come with hidden costs.
The Selkirk 540 is a great stove for nearly all culinary camping adventures. This stove performed well across many of our tests. It is well-designed, compact, easy to carry, and despite lower BTUs than some of the other models in our review, it boils water fast. The windscreens provide enough protection to make sure you can whip up a tasty meal even on a windy day. Given that this stove 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.
— Mary Witlacil