Review: Speedster meths burning stove

I have been enjoying camping for a good few years now, but there was one part that was never quite clicking for me and that was my cooking set up. I have bought several light weight camping pots trying to find the right set up. But never once did I consider changing my stove.

Up until recently I always used a Pocket Rocket style stove, that screws on top of a gas canister and using MSR legs to stabilise the pot. Tried and tested works fine, but once you have a pot of water sitting on top of the stove, it is quite unstable and you have to babysit the pot, whilst your water boils/food cooks. They’re quite noisy too!

A couple of my friends switched to the Trangia set up and they both swear by them since. Whilst the stability of the Trangia set up definitely appealed, they looked a bit fiddly and I wasn’t willing to throw that kind of money into buying a whole new cooking set up. I decided to make do with what I’ve got, even if it wasn’t perfect, If its not broken, why fix it?

It wasn’t until I was chatting to some like minded people on Twitter, when Speedster Stoves popped up into the conversation. I decided to have a look.

Speedster Stoves is a small independent UK based company that is ran by an outdoor enthusiast. Gary the entrepreneur behind Speedster Stoves  basically saw a gap in the market and began making and selling cheap, simplistic meths/alcohol burning stoves that work well.

A 30ml meths burner will set you back £3.50 + postage. Also for £16.00 + postage Gary will make you a custom combined windscreen/pot holder if you email him your pot measurements before placing your order.

This was ideal and I decided to  give it a go. I purchased a:

  • custom made windscreen/pot holder – £16.00
  • 30ml burner – £3.50
  • 100ml meths bottle – £1.20.

So for just under £25 (including postage), I had a whole new cooking set up but I could still use my MSR Quick Solo pot as the  windscreen/pot holder was custom made for my pot.

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How did I get on?

Initially, terrible! On the first test I took the stove down to the local harbour but had to bail before the water boiled as waves were crashing over the wall, soaking me and the stove. On the 2nd test, I wasn’t overly impressed. It took 20 minutes to boil 700ml of water! But I messaged Speedster Stoves via his Facebook page and I think two factors affected my boil time, 1) being the volume, I was boiling nearly a litre of water and 2) the vegetation was blocking the small venting holes on the bottom of the windscreen, make sure these are free so the burner can breath.

That a side, being a bit put off I opted to buy the bigger 60ml. burner and tested on our summit camp on Saturday. This time, I only boiled the water I needed and it took 6 minutes to boil 400ml of water for a freeze dried meal and 8 minutes for 700ml of water for two cups of tea. Far better results, I was a happy man and content with this set up.

How much meths did I use?

I took 200ml of meths , but only used 100ml. This was just enough for 5 separate boils of water for two of us for one night on the hill:

  • 1x 400ml boiled (freeze dried meal)
  • 1x 400ml boiled (freeze dried meal)
  • 1x 700ml boiled (for 2 cups of tea)
  • 1x 700ml boiled (for 2 cups of tea)
  • 1x 400ml boiled (for 2 porridge pots)

On this basis, 100ml is more than enough for 1 person for 1 night or just enough for 2 people out for 1 night. 100ml may stretch for a solo 2 night trip. I think to be on the safe side, I would take 75ml per night out for solo trips.

Much does it weigh?

2016-05-30 09.53.50.jpg

In the picture above, weighing in at 225g, you have:

  • windscreen/pot stand in it’s bag.
  • 60ml burner
  • 100ml of meths.

Verdict?

Once I got over my initial teething problems, I was happy with the results. There might still be lighter set ups on the market. But this is still lighter than my original cooking set up and all the items in the picture above stow away nicely in my pot with room to spare. The stability is also a big selling point for me, I’m able to  do other things whilst the water boils away nicely.

It is also worth considering taking some tin foil to place under the burner to prevent burning the vegetation.

Others on Social Media seem to get on fine with the 30ml burner but my advice would be to go with the 60ml burner for peace of mind and obviously boil only what you need to cut down your boil times.

Pros:

  • Cost
  • Weight
  • Stability
  • Quiet.

Cons:

  • Possibly too quiet – sometimes difficult to tell if it’s still burning
  • Can leave soot on your pot (bio ethanol burns cleaner)

Any question or comments, then please use the comments box below.

Cheers

Robin

 

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8 thoughts on “Review: Speedster meths burning stove

  1. Andrew D

    Great review Robin. I find the bio ethanol stuff burns hotter Robin. No soot and if you spill any no stink and I dont think you need to use as much.
    I also use the cosies as you know. The one for my 1.5 litre titanium pan weighs bugger all but means you can boil nearly a full 1.5l in one go and use for both your meals and it will genuinely keep hot for at least 20 mins to make a cuppa without having to re boil it. I also have them for the titanium mugs too.
    When i worked out how much we used We did 11 full boils on our last trip using 27ml per 100ml water boiled.
    No going back to gas for you now.

    1. Cheers Andy, I’ve got a bottle of bio ethanol. Just need to use up the last of the meths. After the slight hiccup. I’m definitely not going back to gas. Maybe car camping to use up the remaining canisters.

  2. Mark

    Talked with you about this kit the other week. Think I’m going to give it a whirl, so thanks for the reminder.

    If you add about 10 per cent water the mineral meths it doesn’t blacken the pan as much. Don’t know why but seems to work.

  3. Pingback: 2016 – The year of the tarp – Robinho Outdoors

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