Stansport Outdoor Review
Cons: Requires a large propane tank, no windscreen, no auto-ignition system
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Outdoor Stove is excellent for large cookware and big groups. It has a simple, durable design, and the removable legs allow it to be used either freestanding or on a tabletop or tailgate. However, while the powerful burners do pack a punch, the open design and lack of windscreen mean you may have to re-light the burner whenever a breeze is present, and there's no auto-ignitor to help expedite the process.
Time to Boil
This stove boasts a whopping 70,000 total BTUs, more than any other model in our review. However, months of rigorous testing revealed that other models with a more compact design — despite having far fewer BTUs — perform more efficiently more consistently. Wind is the culprit here, as the Stansport does not have a windscreen, but even on calm, non-windy days, we found this to be a trend. This stove boiled a quart of cold water in 4:15 on a calm wind-free day — not the fastest of our test suite, but still a very decent time. However, when we added wind as a component, this time increased dramatically, as discussed in the next section.
Most of the stoves in our review that lack a windscreen ended up near the bottom of the pack for overall performance. Wind resistance plays such a huge role in boil time and simmering ability, and thus the entire cooking experience. The Outdoor could power through some things decently due to the sheer size and force of its burners, but it definitely struggles with the wind. With no windscreen and so much space between the flame and the cooking surface, there are a lot of areas for pesky breezes to infiltrate. It comes equipped with an oxygen regulator to help adjust the flame when it's windy, but we saw a minimal benefit to this in most applications. During our box fan test, where we set up a fan 24 inches to the side of the stove while boiling a quart of water, this stove took 9:30 to boil a tea kettle — not a very impressive time.
The Outdoor does adequately with simmering and low cooking but isn't the best. The low setting is still pretty high, which doesn't come as a huge surprise considering the burners are 5.5" wide (the largest of any stove we tested). The main issue we noticed is that it's easy to turn the flame off by accidentally going too low. This was made exponentially worse when a breeze came around. Simmering a pot of rice on a breezy day, we had to relight the burner twice, which requires moving your pot and relighting the burner with a lighter as there is no auto-ignition system. It's hard to feel fully confident when simmering on this stove, and our testers were constantly checking the flame to see if it was still lit.
Ease of Set Up
Despite the size of this stove, it is very easy to set up. At 30 pounds, the Stansport is a manageable weight to lug around and requires only screwing the legs into place and attaching the fuel hose to be ready to go. And if you're setting up on a table or tailgate, you don't need to bother with the legs at all, making the whole process lighter and more straightforward.
Ease of Care
This is one of our top picks for ease of care due to its open and airy design. Most of the other stoves we tested have a drip tray of some kind under the burners that collects dropped food bits. With this one, anything you spill will simply fall through to the ground (which could be seen as a pro or a con depending on what environment you are in). Additionally, this model is painted entirely black, so it doesn't show dirt and grime very readily. The only complaint we have concerning the paint job is that, when new, it off-gasses some nasty smelling chemicals as it burns through the initial layers of paint. Definitely not pleasant when preparing food, but also something that we understand is temporary. We recommend running the burners on full blast without food for a bit when the stove is new to help mitigate this.
This stove measures 30.75 x 15.75 x 6.75 inches without legs. While it's not nearly as cumbersome as other freestanding models, it's still a huge stove, and you will need to be able to accommodate both the stove and a large propane tank in your vehicle and at your campsite. But, if you're planning to cook for a large group, this is arguably a completely reasonable and desirable trade-off.
The Outdoor has increased in price over the time we've had it in our test suite. It's still a pretty decent value, but not nearly as much as it used to be, and when you consider that other almost identical models perform better while also being cheaper? Well… it's hard to justify choosing this one. But if you find the Stansport Outdoor on sale for a price that feels fair, we say go for it.
This is a nice stove with a sturdy design that cooks quickly and professionally. If you are someone that regularly prepares camp dinner for a lot of people and your cookware tends to be large and burly, this is a great stove to consider purchasing. It's easy to set up and even easier to keep clean. Be prepared to be on your toes if there's a lot of wind and you're trying to simmer something, though, as this is one notable area of weakness. Also worth mentioning is the height of this stove: several of our taller testers feel that the cooking surface is awkwardly low when set up on the legs.
— Penney Garrett