Solo Stove and Solo Stove 900 Pot
Editor: Cory McLaughlin
Just the facts:
size: Height 3.8 inches, Width 4.25 inches
Assembled size: Height 5.7 inches, Width 4.25 inches
Weight: 9 oz
Materials: 304 stainless steel, nichrome wire
Fuel: sticks, twigs, pine cones and other biomass
Boil time: 8-10 mins (32 fl oz of water)
Size: Height 4.5 inches, Diameter 4.7 inches
Weight: 7.8 oz
Volume: 30 fl.oz (900mL)
Materials: 304 Stainless steel
Basic Description from Solo Stove:
How it Works
Designed with a double wall, the Solo Stove is a natural convection inverted downgas gasifer stove. The air intake holes on the bottom of the stove channel air to the bottom of the fire while at the same time, channels warm air up between the walls of the stove. This burst of preheated oxygen feeding back into the firebox through the smaller holes at the top of the stove causes a secondary combustion. This allows the fire to burn more complete which is why there is very little smoke during full burn. A more efficient burn also means you’ll use much less wood compared to an open camp fire. The Solo Stove doesn’t just burn wood. It actually cooks the smoke out of the wood and then burns the smoke not once, but twice!
The Solo Stove also features a heat shield between the ash pan and the bottom of the stove. This heat shield protects the ground under the stove from scorching.
The cooking ring’s angled lip also increases efficiency by directing heat towards your pot minimizing heat loss. It also acts as a windshield while still allowing oxygen to flow inward. The Solo Stove is indeed one of the most efficient wood burning stoves you’ll ever own. For a visual diagram of the airflow inside the Solo Stove, click here.
How it Works
The lightweight Solo Stove Pot 900 is the companion pot crafted specifically for use with the Solo Stove. When nested, the Solo Stove fits inside the Solo Stove Pot 900 for easy storage. Made with premium grade 304 stainless steel, the Solo Stove Pot 900 is more durable than aluminum pots and arguably, a safer and healthier choice. The Solo Stove Pot 900 features:
• Easy to use lid with a rubber coated lift tab (lockable in the upright position)
• Pour spout for easy pouring
• Double fold out handles
• Volume markings in oz and mL
Black nylon stuff sack with drawstring
Solo, single, alone, all these words evoke the same thought and feeling of oneness. It is a feeling that can be synonymous with loneliness and generally can be looked upon as rather negative. But what if it was the opposite? What if that singularity was what made a thing great? What if the name incorporated that oneness and used it as a positive promotion of being a standalone and cornering the market? Well, that is just what Solo Stove has done. In fairness the name refers to the stoves ability to provide the soloist outdoorsman with a convenient cooking stove that requires only the fuel that can be found on the trail. The fact that they stand apart from the other cooking devices may simply be a coincidence but it only adds to the legacy of the name. Solo Stove cannot be grouped with others as it is truly in a realm of its own.
I received my Solo Stove at possibly the worst time imaginable. Much of my home state of Washington was on fire and the forests had been shut down for safety concerns. I had to cancel several weekend trips as result of the closures. So, what was I to do? Well, I am a little kid at heart and more importantly I am a father. I had a stove and I needed to test it so I did the only logical thing I could think of. I took my kids into the back yard and we made S’mores. Yup, if I could not be sitting on a hillside waiting for water to boil for my Mountain House meal I was going to make the most of it at home. The girls and I found a handful of small sticks from around the yard and a few flicks from the Bic lighter and we were in business.
It was weeks later on an Idaho elk hunt that I was truly able to test the stove. It was not that I had doubts of how the fire would burn. I had an empty bag of marshmallows as evidence I could make fire and keep it going. It was time to see how this little stove would do at higher elevations and how well it would boil water. With the stove I was sent the Solo Stove Pot 900. The whole package of pot and stove weighs in at only 16.8 ounces and the stove fits nicely inside making the whole kit both lightweight and compact.
I gathered my sticks and pine needles and coaxed the flames inside my stove. After I had worked the fire to an acceptable size I placed the pot holder ring on the stove and finished by adding the pot.
The metal handle on the pot resembles that of the canteen cup I used in the army. They are acceptable for holding the pot but can have a tendency to get a little warm. Caution should be used when handling. The Solo Stove top ring has a great cut out that allows more fuel to be added without removing the pot and I found this feature to be very useful.
It was not long before I had boiling water and was ready to make my dinner. The stove and pot performed flawlessly. I had all the water I needed to make a hot meal and even a quick cup of joe. The combo worked as advertised.
As with all wood burning stoves there is always the lingering issue of soot. The stove and pot are both susceptible to some soot and discoloration. This is to be expected and in my eyes it is not an area that needs any improvement. Using some bar soap on the bottom of the pot before cooking can help with keeping in cleaner.
What could be done better?
This system works wonderfully. It is a great standalone stove that could be used for multiple cooking applications. It could be a great little contained fire pit while on the trail. There are a few things that I noticed. The stove gets hot! I know this should go without saying but it is so hot that you should take very good car to make sure it is where you want it before you start a fire. The pot handles can also get very hot. I could like to see some type of insulator put onto the pot handles. As for the stove getting hot I’m not sure how that would be changed it was more just a note for perspective buyers. All in all the stove and pot combo are great and would be a fantastic choice for backcountry adventures.
I give both the Solo Stove and the Solo Stove 900 Pot five starts for functionality, ease of use, and construction.