Weight is an obsession amongst backpackers. It isn’t uncommon for some to cut a toothbrush in half to shave a couple of grams off of their pack weight. Backpacking stoves are convenient and practical but many are not super weight efficient. The Esbit Pocket Stove is a great option to satisfy your need to boil water without tipping the scales on your back.
Made in Germany, from electrolytic galvanized steel, the Esbit Pocket Stove folds down small enough that it fits in your pocket. Folded up it measures 3.9″x3″x.9″ (9.3×7.7×2.3 cm) and only weighs 3.25 ounces (6.3 ounces filled with 6 Esbit fuel tablets). It is a solid fuel tablet stove and will boil about 500ml of water in 8 minutes. You don’t need to use Esbit solid fuel tablets, you could easily switch them out for Wetfire, a can of Sterno or some other small fuel source, but the Esbit tabs work really well and weigh next to nothing.
The stove features two cooking positions. This allows a small amount of control over the flame, although, not much. The Pocket Stove is meant for boiling water. Whether for making coffee or to rehydrate your dehydrated meals, boiling water is what the Esbit Pocket stove does well. You could throw a pot or pan on the stove and cook “from scratch” meals with the stove but it isn’t ideal due to the lack of flame control. Also the cooking surface is small and it will be difficult to support a large pan. But this isn’t what the stove is meant for.
The pros of this stove are multiple. It is tiny, comparable to the smallest gas or liquid fuel backpacking stoves. It is very light, close to number one in the weight category. The solid fuel tablets that it uses work at high altitudes and are easily lit whether by lighter, match or ferro rod. It is really inexpensive. You can routinely find this stove for $10 online. Due to the Electrolytic Galvanized steel which resists corrosion, it is durable, despite its diminutive size and lightweight. It does have a 2 year warranty just in case you did have an issues.
The cons are a much shorter list. The stove doesn’t include a windshield. This is easily rectified with a bit of tin foil or some rocks. Hell, even your pack and could be used to protect the small flame from the wind. The tablets don’t smell wonderful when lit, but what burning material does? The flame isn’t very adjustable and you would need multiple tablets to cook a large meal with this stove, but again, this isn’t what this stove was designed for.
If your looking for a easy to use, super packable and lightweight backpacking stove, or an emergency stove to throw in your Bug Out Bag, emergency kit, or vehicle, look no further. The Esbit Pocket Stove does the job it was designed for reliably well and won’t weight you down in the process. Plus it won’t break the bank so you can spend all that money you saved on travel to get to your next adventure! Whether for a redundancy on a long expedition or your go to weekend backpacking stove, the Esbit Pocket Stove will warm that water for your Mountain Mac’n Cheese every time without fail.