The super durable, super lightweight, and super compact Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium Stove made it on the Top list at #5 this year. Although it is not the best all-around stove or meant for large group cooking efforts, it provides many of the features of the larger stoves at a lower price.
Setup and Design Features
The Lite Max uses titanium and aluminum construction to get it down to a weight of 1.9 ounzes. It burns an isobutane canister fuel mix, has a simmer setting and can boil a liter of water in under 4.5 minutes. Setting up the stove is extremely simple and only take a few seconds. You basically screw the stove into the canister fuel source, flip out the extended pot stand if needed, turn on the burner and light it up.
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The simplicity and ease of use is one of the big benefits with the Litemax and most canister fuel stoves in general. One disadvantage is that fuel costs will be a little higher overall and for longer trips you may need to bring along additional fuel bottles.
The stove will run for 3 hours on 20 ounces of fuel which puts it in the middle to upper segment for backpacking stoves. Take a look at this alcohol stove link for an alternative to canister fuel altogether. The Trangia Spirit Burner is one super lightweight alcohol fuel example.
This stove is a little difficult to compare to the other backpacking stoves because it is made for the specific purpose of being very lightweight. It manages to be one of the lightest canister fuel stoves on the market by using titanium parts and minimizing the total size. The overall dimensions are 2.6” x 3” which make it the smallest by far in the Top 5 list.
It takes a little longer to boil a liter of water with the Litemax than some of the larger stoves, but is not far behind at 4 and a half minutes. The stove doesn’t do as well in the wind since there is no dedicated windscreen. The design was constructed so the burner is protected somewhat from the wind, but might be challenging in extremely windy situations.
If heading high on the mountain or in windy conditions you may want to build some type of windscreen. Because of the small size the pot holder does not support large pots very well. If you need to boil large amounts of water you may want to think about some of the other larger stoves such as the MSR XGK EX. You can also find additional information about MSR Stoves here.
This stove does do a good job at simmering while cooking which is a feature that is not found in many backpacking stoves. It is also very reasonably priced vs the competition. The lightweight and small size is a key feature to many ultralight hikers and is the first feature that gets mentioned for this stove.
The stove comes with a nice little carrying bag, but the bag weighs about as much as the 1.9 oz. stove. Try leaving the bag at home to save a couple of ounces and store the stove inside your cook set. Take a look at this link if you have any questions about Snow Peak Stove models or features. Prices range from $35 to $65.
- Super lightweight
- Stable for a small stove
- Simmer Control ability
- Poor wind performance
- Does hold large pots well
- No auto-ignitor
To increase power in the wind an easy idea is to get a small sheet of aluminum and build a little heat shield to put under and around the burner. This will reflect any heat up towards your pan increasing efficiency. Check out the GSI Minimalist Cookware set if you are looking for a set that the Litemax will fit inside and provide ultra lightweight ability. The GSI weighs about 5 ounces. There are a number of great lightweight cook sets on the market now.
Snow Peak LiteMax Stove Summary
The Snow Peak LiteMax might be the best stove on the market for the price. Any stove that offers this type of durability, ease of use and effectiveness will likely stay on the top for quite some time. There are newer stoves out there with more features, but none that come in such a small package.
At 3” x 2.6” and 1.9 ounces the Litemax has set a standard for minimal size and weight and superior quality. The titanium constructed design provides the lighweight benefit and lasting construction.
Throw it in your pocket as a back up stove to your larger base camp stove for extra security or use it as the main stove for you and your hiking partner. The Snow Peak LiteMax Stove is the best choice if you are trying to decrease weight yet still need a highly effective stove for a variety of conditions. Try it out for yourself and let me know where you were able to utilize the Snow Peaks compact design.
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