Whenever a piece of gear comes out that offers a safe place for a cooking fire, I’m definitely interested. A great portable wood stove is incredibly hard to find, especially one that you can easily pack and carry without it hammering the weight you’re carrying. Solo Stove Lite (which is the original Solo Stove – the “Lite” was added to describe the weight and differentiate it from other larger models that were to follow) is the perfect example of a truly outstanding and useful piece of outdoor equipment.
Starting from early on in family camp outs, Cub Scouts, and eventually Boy Scouts, my memories of being outdoors are hugely influenced by camping and that all beautiful thing that always went with camping and which boys & men of all ages will always find hypnotizing: fire.
C’mon, fire is awesome, as all young boys know, and there was no happier chore to draw while camping with the Boy Scouts than being responsible for starting the fire for the meal. It was the literal polar opposite of awesomeness compared to KP duty. No matter what age you are, there is no worse chore than having to wash the dishes. But when it comes to having the ability to
The Original That Started It All
Depending on when you are reading this there are at least three (possibly four) different variations of the Solo Stove and while the outstanding design stays the same, allowing this wood burning stove to efficiently and effectively recycle and “re-burn” the heat and gas so instead of being wasted energy that becomes recurring heat.
A handful of twigs, kindling, and basic burnables can suddenly give the long lasting fire and heat that would require a massively fed campfire for the same result.
The original Solo Stove was, and still is, a big hit and a massive success. Now called the Solo Stove Lite, it’s a model that is small enough and light enough that it can even work with ultralight backpackers while providing all of the benefits of a full wood burning stove. If you’re cooking for one person (“going solo”) then this is a perfect fit.
Even cooking for two people isn’t a problem, and in any wooded area you will be able to find more than enough fuel to really cook a great meal with minimal gathering.
Comparing The Solo Stove Lineup
There’s no question that these are extremely high quality pieces of equipment for making and containing a hot cooking fire, but how do they compare? The truth here is that the same outstanding design is used for each stove, but the sizes scale on up depending on the number of people you are looking to cook for.
The original model was for 1-2 people, the Titan is for 2 to 4 people, the Campfire is for 4 or more, and of course here comes the bonfire for people who love an efficient campsite, and really want to get the heat going. The first two models are of much more use for hikers and backpackers while the Solo Stove Campfire and Bonfire models are much more appropriate for drive up campsites where you can bring the vehicle right in and setup.
These can be especially useful for individuals who find themselves enjoying primitive campgrounds that don’t have the basic amenities, or even conventional fire pits, built in.
More Heat From Less Weight
This is one of the huge benefits that comes from going with the Solo Stove over any other wood stove or even gas stove. The design that contains and “re-burns” energy as opposed to just diffusing it out in the open air. This creates an engineered setup that allows the energy coming off the fuel to be fully used which is why just a handful of twigs, kindling, and the like can give off so much heat in a Solo Stove Lite while being barely enough to light a regular campfire.
That’s a lot more heat and cooking time without having to worry about weight, gas/fuel hookups, or other annoyances that come even with quality camping stoves.
Basic Features & Standards
The full range of Solo Stove Lite specs can be found HERE, but a good summary never hurt anyone, right? One of the things that will surprise you right away when handling the Solo Stove for the first time is just how light it is. This is compounded by the fact that this isn’t cheap metal: it’s specialized stainless steel that can hold up not only to the heavy heat but also to the wear and tear that comes from a heavy duty outdoor life.
The assembled size is only 5.7 inches by 4.25 inches, and packs a lot of heat and a lot of cooking ability and weighs only 9 ounces, or less than a pound. That’s a major part of the reason this effective little stove is such a huge favorite among many hikers and even long distance backpackers.
What’s The Verdict?
At the end of the day it’s rare to find an exceptional piece of new outdoor gear that lives up to its own hype, however Solo Stove manages to do just that. Originally simply called the original and now referred to as Solo Stove Lite as consumer demand has led to bigger and bigger models, there’s a lot to love about the Lite model and everything it brings to the table. Very compact, efficient, and yet with the ability to give off enough heat from small handfuls of kindling to cook an entire meal, this is a product that we feel very comfortable with giving a full 5/5 stars.
While the Titan and Campfire might be better for group campouts at drive up sites, there’s a reason the original became so popular and created the demand for more models. You can feel confident when purchasing this model that you are getting every single penny’s worth!