"I go into the woods to get away from petrochemical-burning
devices, so why would I carry one in my pack? This little
blowtorch devours pine cones, charcoal from old fires, and tiny
twigs, and it just roars! (Company claims 18,000 BTU/min) It
lights easily, and burns wet wood (albeit not quite as well).
Nothing's perfect, it blackens your pots, and you get some soot on
your hands if you're not careful, but I'll take that over smelling like
a gas pump any day!!!"
"This is the stove for people who hate stoves! I added a plywood
base for stability which improved it a lot without adding much
weight. Even in mostly treeless North Dakota we simply began
picking up twigs as we saw them after lunch each day, and by
dinner time had plenty of fuel to cook for four of us. A couple of
handfuls of branches (diameter 1/4" to 1/2" and 2 ft long to be
broken up when used) were all that was needed to fix a main
menu, and hot water for drinks. It does need constant attention,
but it cooks so fast that one of us just takes dinner duty and feeds
it. Tip- take the battery out of the power side and store it in the
storage slot so it doesn't get accidentally turned on in your pack.
One battery lasted 4 of us through 2 weeks of meals and was still
o.k. I keep a ziplock bag of twigs in my pack for emergency dry
fuel on really wet days. But it's true, once you get it going it will
burn even WET stuff. Plan to come home with stained fingers from
feeding it though- this is your proof of having camped for more
than one day."
"This is a marvelous little stove like the other reviewers have stated. I will add that I take along three or four charcoal briquettes in a ziplock bag as my "emergency" fuel. They weigh very little and burn well without a lot of attention. I use the bottom half of a plastic purex bottle to keep my blackened cooking pot in. This doubles as a water carrier, dishpan, multipurpose item with practically no additional weight."
"after much hemming and hawing i sent for a sierra stove. i reasoned that if i had never heard much about them and no one reviewed them they must be duds. wrong. another jewel. it burns anything, cooks fast, weighs little, does burn wet stuff once you get it going, and no small consideration, it is a miniature hearthfire. you do have to tend it closely and is suspect this might put some people off, but i enjoy tending it closely and i love seeing it sitting there burning away, doing its job, and being cheerful."
"Just read all the other reviews of this
little gem. Hopped (almost) someone
would have a negative comment I could debunk.
Just returned from a week in National forest in WV. The only thing that worked to plan was the stove.
Weatherman very wrong, trip planner (me) scheduled way to many miles even if it hadn't rained all week, Tent and pack both kept most water out but let in just enough to make everything damp.
Stove saved the week it fired up and heated coffee/ tea water quickly and got right to breakfast or dinner. Drinks were still hot when dinner was ready.
Thought it was going out at one point then remembered it still had its original battery from 18 months ago , changed it. Away my little blowtorch went.
Have something, I used a plastic bag, to hold your pot when packed, it will be carbon blackened. (Try putting a little soap on pot before using it if blacking really bugs you. But then you will need to wash the out side of the pot as well as the inside :-)
Also have somthing to store grate and windscreen in, gallon zip lock bag worked for us.
Try cotton balls in vasoline as starter."
"This is the best piece of gear I have ever bought. I have resisted buying a stove for a long time. I hate buying and carrying fuel. I hate carrying empty fuel bottles even more...
But this guy is the best. A handful of twigs cooks your lunch.
The downside is that it's really messy. Lots of black carbon build up - but I don't go camping to stay clean - at least that's what I keep telling myself"
"All I can say is “I love this stove!” it has it’s good points and it’s bad points. Good points are it weighs 15 oz and you don’t have to carry fuel as you pick up sticks, pinecones, charcoal from firerings or anything else that will burn (I have even burned nuts in it!). Believe it or not, this stove is very good at simmering. Once you have the food to the boiling point just shut off the fan and then “bump” the fan every once in awhile to keep the coals going. The stove is also very quiet and all you can hear is the fan. One concern is the possible mechanical failure of the fan. The motor used in the fan is the same kind used in cassette tape players. I can’t remember the last time my cassette player failed. Carrying an extra battery is a good idea to combat failures. The other downside to the stove is blackened pots. I don’t even try to clean the black stuff off as it will just come back and black pots heat up better. I found that carrying the pot and stove in a gallon sized zip lock is the best way to keep things clean. While the cost of $50 makes a gas alternative a bit of a leap, the leap is worth it."
"Boy let me tell you all these reviews are on the money on the dot. My original want was a butane or gas stove. for weeks i looked at stoves and finally i sent for info on this little gadget. ITS GREEEAAAT!! i just cant say enough. the owner of the company sent it to me direct and even sent it overnight as i told her i would need it in a day. these people at sierra are just great.
Went into the woods and it got cold. so cold that i actually couldnt feel my feet in the morning. it took a couple of minuites massaging my foot to get it going, I had my stove there, and all i had to do was pick up a few twigs and branches, feed it into the stove and put my feet over it. this little guy saved my feet and made my day. it heated up my meals, warmed my food and kept my tea hot.
the best part about this stove is that u can barbecue food. try that with any other stove. its wind grate is great when there are high winds, and it makes it possible to cook food inside your tent. ive barbecued chicken, beef, and even fish on this thing without fail. If there is one stove you should get it should be this. no mess of fuels, no worries of running out of fuel, no pumping, no nothing. YEs pots do get a tad bit black, but that improves heat efficiency and helps cook food faster, besides you can always clean up after you get back home."
"I love my little zip stove!! I've had mine for several years now. It goes with me anytime I go outdoors and there's a possibility of cooking something. I've even taken it along with a good book to the park in the afternoons after work and cooked up some chili when life is too hectic and I can't get away for a real outing.
Now for the particulars.
For starters it's small and light. It and all it's cookware nests together. It fits nicely in it's pouch that came with mine. The blower unit detaches eaily - no tools required. I love it's simple design. It's one of those Items that you ask your self "why didn't I think of that". I need carry no fuel - as nature provides that. Sticks, twigs,( dead fall of course-remember nature is your friend) pine needles,cow pies whatever you throw into this thing get's consumed--even wet material once the stove is going good. (iguana droppings not recommended - don't ask)
I also love the fact that this is actual fire - like a tiny contained campfire. The fire color is a warm yellow instead of the impersonal cold blue of gas stoves. I also like the sound of this little stove once it's really going. It's like a little blast forge. It warms the heart and rests the spirit to watch it burn, Very nice for those of us who enjoy that kind of thing.
I would also like to mention the customer service is awesome!!
My little frying pan broke while it was still under warranty. I called the place and asked who I would talk to about getting a replacement. The guy who answered said " I suppose that would be me-I'm the owner". Wow! I explained the situation and he sent me a COMPLETE cookware set as a replacement! I wound up with an extra pot.. You don't get service like that anymore.
The only drawbacks that I have found are: the little electric motor can get a little noisy if you accidently bend the fan a bit. I don't like the need to have fresh batteries.( I bet a person could wire up a solar panel and use batteries on cloudy days) It also has a nasty tendency to blacken the bottom of the cookware with soot. The fuel also tends to smoke a bit at first . ( unless you take some charcoal with you). The biggest drawback is that in really cold conditions-say below freezing- the batteries die off a little and you have to warm them up occasionally or you won't get the whole 18,000 BTU. This happened to me while ice fishing once. (if you have the stove inside the ice shack ((NOT RECOMMENDED because of carbon monoxide problems)) 18,000 BTU goes a long way towards heating!!)
But these are minor when compared to the advantages.
Like all stoves this one has it's quirks. But the people who invented this have a great idea, a simple product, and a good
attitude. I'll put up with sooty pans for that....."
"ok..so my review is under "zip stove". Let me put a negative up here just to be different. I have an older model that 'had' a crappy wire spring for a switch. I rigged a 2 AA battery set-up with a rheostat switch to control the flame from blast furnace to simmer. Will out do all your stoves now!...lol. My complaint?...i emailed the company and expected them to adopt my idea....haven't seen it yet..lol
ps..i also own a new model with the hi-lo switch that i bought on sale in case my old one wears out"
"Wow. I absolutely love this stove. I packed it for a month long bike trip across the country and never looked back. It burned everything from pinecones to cow droppings to dried cacti and kept going. I bring a small bag of cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly to start it and with that it even starts on wet fuel. I initially brought a set of 4 spare batteries (AA) in case the first one died. But I have yet to see it go out. This is almost 1 year since first use. Incredible! The downside that has been noted is that, depending on your fueld, you can get carbon deposits on your pans. Minimize this by selecting old, dry wood and removing the bark."