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GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 Review

A sleek and well-functioning stove that boils quickly, is easy to care for, and won't break the bank
GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540
Photo: REI Co-op
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Price:  $125 List | $124.95 at REI
Pros:  Efficient, durable, compact, has auto-ignition
Cons:  Cooks hot, ignitor is sometimes finicky
Manufacturer:   GSI Outdoors
By Mary Witlacil ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 10, 2021
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73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 14
  • Time to Boil - 20% 7
  • Wind Resistance - 20% 8
  • Simmering Ability - 20% 6
  • Ease of Set Up - 15% 7
  • Ease of Care - 15% 8
  • Portability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 is an efficient and compact stove that checks all the right boxes. It boils fast, blocks wind fairly well, is super 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. The Piezo ignitor can be fickle, as with most stoves, so it's a good idea to keep a lighter on hand. 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 $124.95 at REICheck Price at REI
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$30.77 at Amazon$54.95 at REI$53.00 at Amazon
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Pros Efficient, durable, compact, has auto-ignitionLarge cook surface, powerful, burly, impressive wind resistance, built to lastGreat simmering, inexpensive, lightweight, auto-ignitionLightweight, compact, easy to use, easy to set up, highly portable, inexpensiveAffordable, fuel adaptor threads on easier than other stoves, windscreens are adjustable, compact dimensions
Cons Cooks hot, ignitor is sometimes finickyHeavy, bulky, spendyBoils 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 timeNo auto-ignition, lower BTUs, small burners prone to hot spots
Bottom Line A sleek and well-functioning stove that boils quickly, is easy to care for, and won't break the bankA durable, wind-resistant stove that features powerful output but also impressive simmering abilities and easy maintenanceVersatile and low cost, this single-burner stove cooks well, cleans up easily, and weighs the least of all the models we testedThis lightweight single burner butane stove is decently inexpensive and easy to useThis 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 Gas One GS-3000 Eureka SPRK+ Butane Coleman Classic
Time To Boil (20%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
4.0
5.0
Wind Resistance (20%)
8.0
9.0
3.0
2.0
7.0
Simmering Ability (20%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
6.0
Ease Of Set Up (15%)
7.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Ease Of Care (15%)
8.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Portability (10%)
8.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
Specs GSI Outdoors Selkir... Camp Chef Everest 2X Gas One GS-3000 Eureka SPRK+ Butane Coleman Classic
Weight (pounds) 9.8 lbs 13.97 lbs 4.1 lbs 4.94 lbs w/case, 3.49 lbs stove alone 9.8 lbs
Total BTU per burner (from manufacturer) 20,000 20,000 9,000 11,500 10,.000
Boil Time (1 quart of water, wind from a box fan) 5.5 min 3.5 min 13 min 14.5 min 6.25 min
Boil Time (1 quart of water, no wind) 4 min 3 min 4.5 min 5 min 4.75 min
Cooktop material Nickel-chrome steel Nickel-coated steel Enamel Coated Steel Stainless steel Aluminized steel
Packed Size (inches) 21.4" x 12.9" x 3.8" 27 x 15.5 x 8.25 14" x 12" x 3.5" 15.3 x 13 x 3.6 21" x 13" x 3.5"
Cooking surface dimensions (inches) 17.5" x 9.5" 21" x 9.5" 8.25" x 8.25" 9.5" x 9.5" 18.75" x 10.5"
Burner/flame diameter 3" 4.75" 2.875" 3' 3.5"
Distance between burners (center to center) 11" 12.25" N/A N/A 7.75"
Windscreen? Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Piezo Ignitor? Yes Yes Yes Rotary No
Number of burners 2 2 1 1 2
Type of Model Tabletop, foldable Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop
Fuel Type Propane Propane Butane Butane Propane
Mfr. Model Number 56012 MS2HP GS-3000 2572201 2000020943NP

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.

Performance Comparison


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.
Photo: Mary Witlacil

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 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.
Photo: Mary Witlacil

Wind Resistance


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.

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.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Simmering Ability


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.

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.
Photo: 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.

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.
Photo: 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.

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.
Photo: 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.

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.
Photo: Mary Witlacil

Value


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.

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.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Conclusion


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.

The Selkirk gets the job done in style.
The Selkirk gets the job done in style.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Mary Witlacil