Faulty stove fuel canisters are a common problem with portable stoves that have plagued me on a few different occasions. Even with working fuel canisters, some stoves don’t offer any wind or weather resistance, making them harder to use.
This Solo Stove Lite review addresses these issues by demonstrating what the right micro stove can offer on a camping trip. If you do your research before purchasing a wood stove, you’ll be able to find a product that takes up minimal space while cooking without fail in most weather conditions.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Wood Burning Stove
First, decide if you want to go through the trouble of buying additional equipment for the stove you would usually use. These stoves often come in the form of fuel canisters or specialized fuel that you need to buy separately. For those of you who prefer a less costly, more environmentally friendly fuel option for cooking meals outdoors, a wood burning stove might be the way to go.
Solo stoves are designed with quality in mind and usage for years to come. Decent quality should be expected for any conventional wood burner since their straightforward design and lack of mechanical or chemical components prevent complications that could otherwise arise in other portable stove methods.
Keep in mind that while your fuel is virtually free and your stove has a foolproof design, the amount of time spent cooking will likely take a bit longer than most canister-fueled stoves. You will want to make sure that the stove you decide on has sensible heat-spreading features and takes portability into consideration.
A Look at the Solo Lite
The Solo lite stove is a perfect wood burning stove for personal use. The Solo lite is designed to take up as little space as possible while providing the user with enough room to store their twigs and brush long sufficient to cook food. For those camping in groups, it might be advisable to consider a larger wood burning stove.
The Solo lite makes wood burning as clean and efficient for the user as possible with its innovative airflow system. Holes in the bottom of the stove allow for oxygen and cold air to enter, making for a cleaner flame. If twigs and wood material aren’t readily available, a secondary alcohol burner (sold separately) makes it possible to run the stove on alcohol.
- Fuel is readily available in most camping environments with scattered biomass.
- Enclosed container makes it easy to control your flame.
- Unique design makes for a cleaner, longer-lasting flame.
- Boil time is a little longer than conventional canister fuel stoves.
- The stove itself is a little heavier than canister fuel/stove combinations.
- While the Solo Lite offers an option for a secondary fuel, the alcohol burner is sold separately.
Benefits and Features
Solo stoves have a unique design that other portable wood burning stoves have adopted. The canister where you burn readily available twigs and pinecones come with a wired casing with holes near the top and bottom of the stove. This design fuels the fire with oxygen to prevent the flame from going out while cooking. This design also minimizes the amount of smoke put out by the stove.
This feature might be a deal-maker if consistent flame and decreased smoke levels are essential for cooking. Perhaps the least enjoyable aspect of outdoor cooking is all the smoke that it generates, especially if you use dry material is to create it. Even though the fuel for these stoves is free to pick up off the ground, it has the potential to make the user smell smoky if it isn’t regulated properly.
If you have an alcohol burner, you can store alcohol as a backup source of fuel. Using alcohol doesn’t generate nearly as much smoke as burning wood does. Even though the Solo lite stove is specifically designed to eliminate as much smoke as possible, the secondary fuel option expands on this concept. Still, the need to use this feature is rare with the Solo Lite’s efficient design.
Compared to other types of portable camping stoves, wood burning stoves tend to be a bit heavier. If you look at the picture below, you will know that this isn’t saying much considering the Solo lite can fit into the palm of your hand. This Solo model includes a carrying pouch to separate it from the rest of your gear.
The Solo lite is a smaller version of the Titan. This stove is designed to provide enough heat for cooking equipment suitable for one or two people. If multiple people are coming along on your next camping trip, you might want to either go with something larger or else pack additional cooking units.
Weighing in at 9 ounces, the Solo Lite still packs on more weight than many conventional fuel-based portable stoves. Still, I consider anything that weighs less than a pound to be portable. The fact that you don’t need to pack additional fuel (although this stove makes it an option) makes up for the few extra ounces of your stove. This concept applies to all portable wood burners, not just Solo-made ones.
Easy to pick up and use
To begin cooking, all that you need to do is remove the pot supporter, place your burning material in the canister, and light it. As soon as you build up a decent flame in the canister, you can replace the pot supporter and begin using your stove to cook.
Personally, I think the easiest part of cooking with wood burning is coming up with materials to make it work. As someone who associates camping with campfires, the Solo Lite would provide me with a sense of nostalgia while keeping the amount of smoke minimal.
Patience is a virtue when it comes to cooking with these things. Even though the Solo Lite stove boasts a boil time of 8-10 minutes, this is still relatively long compared to standard fuel canister stoves. Still, being able to pick your fuel up off the ground and begin burning it within minutes is a bonus that makes it worthwhile.
Before deciding on a wood burning stove for outdoor cooking, consider the pros and cons of different cooking methods available. While wood burning stoves might be one of the most nature-friendly and convenient ways to cook food in the middle of nowhere, it’s always good to have a backup plan if there’s no wood available.
Solo Stove Lite vs. Titan
The Solo Stove Lite is a smaller version of the Titan. By design, the Solo Lite is meant to cook food for one or two people If you are willing to spend an additional $10-$20, the Titan will save you a couple of extra minutes of cooking and will allow you to cook larger portions. The Titan has all of the same features that the Solo Lite has, but with a shorter cooking time and increased stove size.
- The Titan has all the same essential features of the Solo Lite.
- The Titan can cook larger portions at a time.
- The Titan’s boil time is much quicker.
- The Titan runs off any available biomass.
- The Titan weighs 16.5 ounces, making it almost twice as heavy as the Solo Lite
- Optional alcohol burner sold separately.
- The Titan costs a little bit more than the Solo, but not significantly.
Solo Stove Lite vs. Ohuhu portable stove
While Solo certainly delivers high-quality portable wood stoves, the Ohuhu stove offers the same essential features with a couple of extra features for only a fraction of the cost. The three-armed potholder design is meant to distribute heat evenly throughout the pot over the fire. The stove is also designed with air vents at the bottom and includes an alcohol plate if you wish to have a secondary fuel option available.
- Includes an alcohol burning pan that the Solo doesn’t.
- The Ohuhu uses a wider, more efficient means of spreading heat.
- The Ohuhu portable stove is offered significantly cheaper by many retailers.
- Similar air intake design.
- Less flame enclosure near the top of the stove.
- Thinner pot support arms are more accident-prone than thicker, more sturdy arms.
- Stainless steel material makes the Ohuhu a little bit heavier.
Any wood burning stove with a design like Solo’s is a good option if you want to conserve space and fuel while enjoying the feeling of cooking over an open fire. Wood stoves are easy to use, easy to fuel, and easy to clean up. Don’t limit your options only to Solo products, though; while their innovative stove design and high-quality products are notable, other great options with a lower cost also exist.