Top critical review
65 people found this helpful
Like so many of today’s products
on July 20, 2017
Update 8/21/17 - Just returned from a 5 day camping trip where I used this stove every meal and I have to drop my rating from 3 stars down to 1. Here are the reasons why I don't like this stove:
1. Extremely poor flame control. It's impossible to get and keep a low flame. If you manage to get it low enough, the slightest breeze will blow it out. Had numerous boil-overs and burnt food from the high heat.
2. No handle, or easy places to grab. This issue went from a nuisance to a real PITA the more I had to move it around.
3. No protection for the knobs/piezo lighter. They will eventually get damaged without protection.
4. Nowhere to easily hold the stove while depressing the piezo lighter with one hand. Again, a seeminly minor nuisance that turned into a real PITA - especially when the stove it hot from the left burner and trying to light the right burner.
5. No type of anti-skid on the bottom of the stove. If you're using any kind of slick surface, like a camp kitchen, it will slide all over the place especially when trying to light the burners.
I’ll jump to the bottom line first – if you’re looking for a high quality, durable camp stove that will last for decades – they don’t seem to exist anymore. Like so many of today’s products, they are manufactured to last a season or two and then replaced with the next great thing. To be fair, I’m comparing it to what it’s replacing: my 50+ year old Coleman dual fuel. But, the more I look at these new stoves, the more I think I’ll just stick with my old one. It still works great, I just wanted a new and shiny two-burner and the convenience of propane.
Here’s the highlights:
Lightweight (can also be a con)
Fit and finish
Poor temperature control on low
Plastic lid latches
Poor two-burner flame on a small bottle
I did a lot of research and really wanted to love this stove (still do). My current camp kitchen consists of a Coleman 413E gas stove and a Coleman 5418 single burner propane stove. Little did I know that I’ve been cooking on vintage stoves for many years! I recently added a Camp Chef EX60 two burner Explorer with a large steel griddle. Yes, this was a MAJOR upgrade. It’s a beast and requires a big propane bottle. Don’t know what I was thinking, but I love it.
After the disappointment of this Camp Chef Everest, I did a lot more research and went out and actually touchy/feely’d all the other comparable stoves I could find at REI, Walmart, Target, etc. I’ll just say that I think all of these stoves, regardless of brand name, come from the same completely unsupervised and un-credentialed factory in China. There may be minor differences, but there are too many similarities to be coincidence.
So here’s the details on the Pros: It looks pretty. Sitting in your campsite it will be the envy of the campground. And when you splatter grease all over it when cooking, at least it wipes down fairly easily. It can fit a 12” and 10.5” skillet at the same time centered over the burners with the windscreens up. That’s nice. And it’s light - because it’s made out of thin stamped metal and lightweight pop-rivets.
Now for the Cons. I figured almost nothing else mattered if it performed. But it doesn’t, and so everything else does matter. Ask yourself why you think you need a “high output/high BTU” stove. Presumably to boil water faster. It’s certainly not for cooking because you’ll never use high output for regular cooking. And high output does not equate to better performance. I’ll bet there are 11,000 BTU burners that will boil water just as fast as these. Frankly, these burners just don’t perform very well at low, medium, or high settings. At the very lowest setting there is a huge yellow flame that just won’t go away. Same on high. Only somewhere in the middle do you find a sweet spot for the flame, but it’s too hot for normal cooking. With two burners going, the small propane bottle just can’t keep up and both flames become unmanageable. I didn’t try using the bigger bottle lacking a hose. Which brings me to the regulator. It’s garbage, I don’t trust it, and I’m sure it will fail in short order. Both of the points where the tube joins the connectors shows very poor quality control. Not to mention it’s crooked when hooked up to the stove – meaning the connector part of the stove is not centered in the hole.
All of the bad reviews you read about poor fit and finish are true. There are sharp edges where the drip pan meets the body. The wind screens don’t line up without actually bending the pieces to achieve a “custom fit”, but that’s easy because the metal is flimsy and they used cheap pop-rivets which insures everything is loosely attached. The hinges that attach the top to the bottom are a joke – stamped aluminum and poorly attached with pop-rivets. There is no way the plastic lid latches are going to last – I’m surprised they survived shipping. I can’t stress enough how un-durable this stove is. But, it’s exactly the same as all the others.
To test out the cooking ability, I’ve cooked 3 things: pan roasted potatoes, pan roasted cross-cut ribs – both in cast iron skillets, and scrambled eggs in a non-stick pan. All 3 of these require good temperature control at low to medium-low setting. Note: I can do all of these perfectly on my Coleman 513E. On the lowest setting, my potatoes were over-crisped before cooking completely through. The cross-cut ribs probably would have been ok, but I missed the sweet spot for a second and they over-cooked. The scrambled eggs actually turned out ok, but I was very careful and moved the pan on and off the flame as needed while cooking. All in all, I think you can turn out good food on this stove, but for me it’s going to take way too much attention and fussing. I think I want something with lower BTU burners that perform and adjust better.