A Great Camping Stove
Great industrial design just stays out of the way and enables a product to perform its role. We have been using and abusing this stove for a while now and it's been performing like a dream. Functional, strong and it looks pretty good as well.
We have a 2 Burner Instastart LPG stove that runs on either regular bottled LPG (propane) or a 465 gram disposable canister.
This stove and a fire are our primary cooking implements. It is bolted to a mini kitchen that slides from the rear of our four wheel drive.
Half of our time is spent travelling through remote areas and this Coleman unit has to supply most of our cooking and heating needs. We enjoy the comfort of a campfire as well but for convenience we tend to do most of our cooking on the stove. When we set up camp late in the afternoon we can have a meal cooking long before we have collected wood and begun a fire.
Because we enjoy great coffee we pull up and make it on the side of the road. It is faster to make properly expressed coffee with frothed milk (ie:cappuccino) than it is to stop at a roadhouse and drink roadhouse slop. We make coffee on a Presso. You can see it here.
The Coleman is the second stove we’ve had in this vehicle. The first one rattled itself to death on the corrugations, potholes and washouts of the Australian outback.
This unit has bounced along nearly 30,000km of the worst the bush could throw at us and it hasn’t missed a beat. Not a lose screw or a fitting coming adrift – absolutely nothing. Again the reason is good design. The pressed aluminium stovetop screw down tightly over the base and the handle is robust and securely fastened.
In transit the stove folds away and the lid self-latches. The lid may well rattle while on the move but we are short on room and pack a host of other equipment on top and we haven’t noticed.
The “aluminized” stovetop surface cleans easily and seems reasonably resilient. Our unit has cooked a lot of meals and shows some wear but nothing unreasonable given its life so far.
This model comes with “instastart electronic matchless lighting” ie:piezo ignition. The right hand burner on our unit has ceased being self igniting, however considering the treatment endured on the road I’m not sure if this can be considered a manufacturing weakness.
With 10,000 BTU’s of cooking power per burner this stove gets as hot as any camp stove I have used and is comparable if not hotter than household gas.
Coleman builds a regulator into the gas line, a welcome addition and unusual for camping equipment. Gas flow is smooth with the regulator eliminating flame flaring or spitting and heat control is good. We tend to slow cook a lot of foods and use a heat diffuser to get the temperature low enough for effective simmering but as this is the nature of most gas stoves it is hardly surprising.
Wind protection is offered by what Coleman terms “the Folding Windblock System” and works better than its appearance suggests but the real strength here are the recessed burners which sit down in the stovetop and shield the flame from wind.
Admittedly the Coleman can get a little hungry when used with disposable canisters but this is the price paid to have large burners and high temperature potential. Coleman claims runtime on a bottle is 4.5hours on low and 1.1hours flat-out and our experience would suggest that this is reasonably accurate.
We use a 3.3kg refillable bottle that gives us about a months fulltime cooking. A screw on gas adaptor comes supplied for using disposable or refillable bottles.
The only real negative is the steel gas arm that supports the disposable canister. It is a shame Coleman hasn’t devised a better method of regulating and connecting the gas. For those who choose to permanently mount this range of Coleman stoves the arm takes up room and is generally unsightly. It is much less offensive when the unit is used for its intended role, which is as a foldup, pack-away occasional camping stove. Realizing this it becomes clear how well designed and constructed this product is when you consider the abuse and use our unit has suffered.
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