Review: Esbit Solid Fuel Stove and Cookset

Esbit Solid Fuel Stove and Cookset
Average read time 3 min

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

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 stores. 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.

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
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking Esbit Solid Fuel Stove and Cookset

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

Esbit Solid Fuel Stove Burning Hot!
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking 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. One may want to use 2-tabs to get that hard boil.

The Esbit is simple to use

Unlike other backpacking stoves, which require a fuel source in a container that you must screw-on, the Esbit uses small tablets that you light in the base/windscreen. The pot fits right on top. The tablets come packaged in a waterproof container. For our meals, we use two tablets (one for food, one for a drink). For a three-day outing, we will bring ten 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!
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking 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
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking The Esbit flame out after a cap-full of water

After you put out the flame, 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 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.
Scott | copyright Challenged Hiking 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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