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For winter camping it’s good to have a heat source in your shelter. We all know the dangers of open fires and barbecues and the obvious solution is a stove. However most stoves are both heavy and bulky, This titanium flat pack stove is light and combustion chamber to heat a sizeable shelter.
Manufacturers Description & Specification.
The Seek Outside difference is that we use superior materials for a lightweight stove. It is our execution that results in a more airtight box for better long term performance. It’s in our simple but very functional design that provides ease of use, and superior performance in a packable, lightweight, and durable stove. It’s the Seek Outside difference.
- Damper to control air flow and regulate heat output
- Integrated spark arrestor
- Fully removable door for easy loading
- Packs flat for easy carry
Specification for Large Size.
- Construction: Titanium
- Volume: 940 Cubic Inches
- Dimensions: 8.25 * 8.25 * 14 inches long
- Height 12″
- Average Weight 44 ounces including standard pipe
- Pipe Diameter 3.125″
Once the pieces of the stove are laid out it’s a simple process to assemble the stove. Each piece fits together quite nicely forming the main body of the stove. It’s important to think about the position of each piece. The first time I assembled the stove I fitted the front door section the wrong way up with the ventilation holes at the top. The titanium body becomes rigid when you insert the 4 threaded bars through it. Each bar has a flanged nut that acts as the top stopper and another for the feet. It takes a little practice to get everything stable but once assembled for the first time the nuts are in the correct position so it becomes easier. Seekoutside recommend that you assemble the stove and give it a good burn at home prior to use in the field. This is sound advice as the stove flue is made of extremely lightweight titanium foil and has very sharp edges.
To form the flue the chimney is rolled out, coiled lengthwise and the wire rings supplied keep it in place. It’s important to take your time with the flues pipe as it is easily dented and can bite back.
Seekoutside supply a good number of wire rings to evenly secure the flue pipe. There was some debate amongst the testers how best to connect the pipe to the damper. After a little experimentation it was decided that the flue was most stable inserted inside resting on the damper. Once assembled the beauty and weight of the stove can really appreciated. It’s incredibly light but feels suitably robust.
The stove door is incredibly simple. A folded sheet of titanium with wire handles that slide in two runners. I was concerned that in use the wire loops would become extremely hot and there would be a risk of burning yourself. So far using the stove without gloves I have not managed to burn myself on the door.
With practice I have reduced the set up time to less than 10 minutes.
OK so now how good a stove is it? We all know titanium is light so that is no surprise. It’s a flat pack stove so once assembled there are plenty of gaps around the joints and especially around the damper piece at the junction with the main stove body and the flue. I was concerned that this would affect its performance.
The test unit is the large model so it’s not too difficult to get a good fire going. There is plenty of space for kindling and the door is just the right size to allow larger pieces of spilt logs for a more sustained burn. The flue provides a really good draw and once the door is closed the little stove turns into a blast furnace and you can hear the air being forced through the vents. The gaps in the joints become less important as the titanium heats up and expands.
The damper valve works well in reducing the flow rate and reducing the rate at which wood is consumed. This type of stove is not really designed to be filled with wood and then left overnight gently warming your tipi on a slightly chilly winter evening. This stove produces a lot of heat for its size. As the photos show we managed to get most of the body of the stove and the flue glowing cherry red.
It requires attention being fed medium sized spilt wood every 20 minutes or so depending on the type of fuel used. I burnt a variety of different species of tree to see how well it coped with less premium wood and if the flue would cope with deposits of tar residue. You really don’t want a fire half way up your chimney in a tipi miles from nowhere. The spark arrester copes well and I didn’t have any issues burning damp punky oak and sweet chestnut. It is important to create a sizeable bed of embers in the stove first or you may have to relight it if left.
As with all stoves inside tents you need to aware of ensuring good ventilation to prevent excessive carbon monoxide and ensure you don’t touch the stove as it gets extremely hot. It’s a stove after all. We managed to boil cold water in a coffee pot on the stove in under 10 minutes. Not bad for titanium which a poor conductor of heat compared to stainless steel. Once the stove has been fired a few times it takes on a nice used patina like a carbon blade it shows it’s history.
The biggest advantage of this stove is its incredibly low weight for its size. Every time I use it I am surprised all over again how little it weights compared to conventional stoves. It allows one to consider taking a stove back packing or snow shoeing. It takes up a tiny amount of space in my dry bag so is great for canoe trips. I was impressed with its draw and the simplicity of the design. Seekoutside understand that simple and efficient design makes for a product that works well and keeps the weight and costs down.
As with almost every product on the market there are things I would prefer to change. I would like to see a method of reducing the air flow at the front of the stove in the door or along the bottom vents. The feet attached to the threaded bar could do with a method of fixing them in place as they are easily lost. Also it would be nice if they were anodized in a bright colour so easily spotted in the snow.
Having used the stove now throughout the winter season it has performed very well. It has proved robust and durable despite its low weight and some harsh treatment from my clients.
Ratings are out of 5, 1 being bad and 5 being the best
Fit for Purpose – 5/5
Versatility – 4/5
Durability – 4/5
Value for money – 4/5 Pricing around $350
Overall – 4/5