Esbit Solid Fuel Stove and Cookset

Review: Esbit Solid Fuel Stove and Cookset

The Esbit solid fuel stove and cookset is a lightweight option for backpackers that cook simple meals. We have been using the Esbit for one year in all seasons and have found it to be a reliable stove.

Having said that, this Esbit doesn’t have the ability to boil water as fast and efficiently as other stove models.

Given its extreme ultralight specs, we’ll be more than happy to give it a pass.

When I first opened the Esbit box I thought, what the heck? I mean it looked like something I would buy at the 5 & 10 store. It looked cheap.

However, after a year of use and abuse, this simple lightweight stove has outlasted and outperformed other more expensive stoves we have used.

Light and not so fast

The Esbit and integrated pot are light. Tipping the scale at 7-oz you barely know it’s in your pack. The pot holds up to 20 ounces has markings in ounces and milliliters for fluid amounts. It also has handles that fold and is coated with silicone to keep you from getting burned. The base of the Esbit acts as a windshield and holds the fuel tablet.

Esbit Solid Fuel Stove and Cookset
Esbit Solid Fuel Stove and Cookset

The fuel tablets are small and likeweight and burn to 1200 – 1300 degrees Fahrenheit. The 14-gram tablet has a burn time of about 12 minutes. In good weather conditions, it can boil 17 ounces in 8 minutes according to the manufacturer.

Esbit Solid Fuel Stove Burning Hot!
Esbit Solid Fuel Stove Burning Hot!

However, since we are filling the pot with a higher volume of water 20+ ounces, we have noted that we never get a hard rolling boil but rather a simmer even with about 10 minutes of burn time. For us, it doesn’t matter as we get water at temperatures high enough to cook dehydrated meals and have hot tea and/or coffee.

The Esbit is simple to use

Unlike other backpacking stoves which require a fuel source in a container that must be screwed on, the Esbit uses small tablets that you light in the base / windscreen. The pot fits right on top of the base / windscreen. The tablets come packaged in a waterproof container. For our meals, we use 2 tablets (one for food, one for drink). For a 3 day outing, we will bring 10 or so tablets.

It takes one teaspoon of water to extinguish the flame if it has not burned out.

Esbit Solid Fuel Stove Burning Hot!
Esbit Solid Fuel Stove Burning Hot. Will be put out with one cap-full of water.
The Esbit flame out after a cap-full of water
The Esbit flame out after a cap-full of water

After you put out the flame, simply clean up the remainder of the tablet residue, put it in your garbage bag and you are done!

The Esbit is a good backpacking stove which has pleased us. We have several stoves including propane/butane gas and white gas but we keep opting to bring the Esbit. With the ultra lightweight, easy use, apparent sturdiness, and the low price tag ($17 – $30) it’s hard to go wrong.

Our Esbit with base nested in pot with tablets for three day outing. Carrying bag.
Our Esbit with base nested in pot with tablets for three-day outing. Carrying bag.

Likes:

  • Ultra lightweight
  • The base fits in the pot and you can store tabs in it also to save space in your pack
  • Mesh sack to hold system
  • Easy of use
  • Inexpensive

Dislikes:

  • We have had problems getting to a hard rolling boil
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