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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 camping stove review
The Selkirk gets the job done in style.
Credit: Penney Garrett
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Price:  $140 List | $139.95 at Amazon
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  ⋅  Nov 10, 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
56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 15
  • Boil Time - 25% 3.0
  • Fuel Efficiency - 25% 6.0
  • Simmering Ability - 20% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 6.0
  • Portability - 15% 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.

Editor's Note: The Selkirk 540 review was updated on November 10, 2022, to account for new tests, metrics, and comparisons across our entire lineup.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Top Pick Award  Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $140 List
$139.95 at Amazon
$140 List$100 List
$100.00 at REI
$60 List$30 List
$35.98 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Efficient, durable, compact, has auto-ignitionAffordable, straightforward, compact, great wind resistance, good simmering abilityPiezo igniter, fuel efficient, reasonably priced, easy to cleanAffordable, fuel adaptor threads on easier than other stoves, windscreens are adjustable, compact dimensionsGreat simmering, inexpensive, lightweight, auto-ignition
Cons Cooks hot, ignitor is inconsistent, poor wind resistance, fuel inefficientCannot store regulator inside stove, average boil timeSlow boil time, average wind resistance, below average durabilityNo auto-ignition, lower BTUs, small burners prone to hot spotsBoils water slowly, can be hard to find butane canisters, no wind screen, you burn through lots of fuel cans (lots of waste)
Bottom Line A sleek stove with an above average boil time that is easy to care for and won't break the bankA compact and reasonably priced stove that simmers well and provides great wind protectionAn affordable, portable, and fuel efficient two-burner stove with slow boil time and low wind resistanceThis is a simple and straightforward two-burner that provides everything you need for basic meals at a very nice priceVersatile and low cost, this single-burner stove cooks well, cleans up easily, and weighs the least of all the models we tested
Rating Categories GSI Outdoors Selkir... Kovea Slim Twin Coleman Cascade Cla... Coleman Classic Gas One GS-3000
Boil Time (25%)
3.0
7.0
4.0
6.0
3.0
Fuel Efficiency (25%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
2.0
Simmering Ability (20%)
6.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
7.0
Ease of Use (15%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Portability (15%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
9.0
Specs GSI Outdoors Selkir... Kovea Slim Twin Coleman Cascade Cla... Coleman Classic Gas One GS-3000
Weight 9.8 lbs 9.94 lbs 9.71 lbs 9.8 lbs 4.1 lbs
BTU per Burner (from manufacturer) 20,000 10,500 10,000 10,.000 9,000
Average Boil Time (1 liter of water, wind & no wind) 7 min 14 sec 4 min 58 sec 6 min 39 sec 5 min 30 sec 8 min 45 sec
Boil Time (1 liter of water, wind from a box fan) 13 min 49 sec 5 min 20 sec 7 min 56 sec 6 min 25 sec 13 min
Boil Time (1 liter of water, no wind) 4 min 7 sec 4 min 36 sec 5 min 23 sec 4 min 45 sec 4 min 30 sec
Cooktop Material Nickel-chrome steel Nickel-plated steel Aluminized steel Aluminized steel Enamel Coated Steel
Packed Size 21.4" x 12.9" x 3.8" 23.4" x 14.7" x 3.3" 21" x 13" x 3.5" 21" x 13" x 3.5" 14" x 12" x 3.5"
Cooking Surface Dimensions 17.5" x 9.5" 20.5" x 12.5" 20" x 12" 18.75" x 10.5" 8.25" x 8.25"
Burner/Flame Diameter 3" 3.25" 3.25" 3.5" 2.875"
Distance Between Burners (center to center) 11" 10.5" 11" 7.75" N/A
Windscreen? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Piezo Ignitor? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Number of Burners 2 2 2 2 1
Type of Model Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop
Fuel Type Propane Propane Propane Propane Butane
Model Number 56012 168,970 2157477 2000020943NP GS-3000

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 review - 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

Boil Time


The Selkirk had an average boil time between our windy and wind-less tests of 7 minutes and 14 seconds. To evaluate each stove for its boil time, we timed how long it takes them to boil 1 liter of 58°F water in our windless garage "laboratory" at 5,000 feet. For the windy test, we use a box fan set to "low" to generate 2-4 mph of wind, as tested by a pocket anemometer. In the windy test, this stove took 13 minutes 49 seconds to boil 1 liter of water, one of the longer windy boil times in our review. For the wind-less test, it took 4 minutes and 7 seconds, which was among the better times in our review. This proves 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. While it didn't boil fast in our lab tests, 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. 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 review - 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

Fuel Efficiency


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-pound propane canister. Then we proceed to the wind test, weigh the canister again, do the windless test, and weigh the canister a final time. To determine how each stove ranks, we take the average over both tests. The Selkirk 540 consumed an average of 1.25 ounces or 8% of the fuel canister per test. In the wind test, it burned 1.9 ounces of fuel, or 12.11% of the fuel in the canister. And in the wind-less test, it burned 0.6 ounces 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 review - 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 review - 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 Use


Like other table-top propane stoves, the Selkirk 540 is among the easiest stoves to use. To set it up, simply flip open the stove, slot in the windscreens, attach the fuel adapter, 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 as it is with other stoves. 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 review - 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

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.

gsi outdoors selkirk 540 camping stove review - 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 review - 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

Should You Buy the GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540?


While value is highly subjective, it is interesting to compare the price and performance of different models. In the case of the Selkirk 540, we think it maintains an ok value for being a compact stove with an above-average boil time at a reasonable price. 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, other stoves could better meet your needs if you have a little extra space or are on a tight budget.

gsi outdoors selkirk 540 camping stove review - 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

What Other Camping Stoves Should You Consider?


For the same price, the Kovea Slim Twin is a compact and higher-performing option. It has better wind resistance, better fuel efficiency, and faster boil times. If you are hoping for a less expensive option, the Coleman Cascade Classic might have slower boil times, but it is more fuel efficient and less expensive — a trade-off you might be willing to make. Alternatively, for a little more, we can easily recommend the Camp Chef Everest 2x; it delivers top-shelf performance across nearly all metrics.

gsi outdoors selkirk 540 camping stove review - 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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