usage: Family

Campingaz Duo Plus CV

Campingaz Duo Plus CV

Campingaz Duo Plus CV

PRO’s: Two burners without the bulk and weight of a large gas cylinder

CON’s: Both burners have same power output

VERDICT: Excellent lightweight family or festival camping stove

OUR RATING ★★★★½ 

If you’re looking for a two burner camping stove but don’t fancy lugging a large, heavy gas cylinder around then the Campingaz Duo Plus CV could be just the ticket.

Similar in design and concept to the Primus Njord Twin Stove the Campingaz Duo Plus CV consists of two individually adjustable  burners separated by a sturdy metal body.  Built in to this is a handy drip tray which is easily accessible and simply to clean.

Mounted above this are the pot supports which are a generous size and will allow decent sized pans to be used.  We had no trouble cooking with two 6″ diameter pots at the same time.  Built in to the pot supports are a windshields for each burner which work reasonable well – on windy days you might just need to shelter the stove with a rucksack though as it is fairly tall.

Suspended beneath the body are two Butane/Propane Campingaz CV470 canisters (it can also accept Campingaz CV270 Plus and Campingaz CV300 Plus cartridges as well), one for each burner.  The are the Easy Clic type and can fitted and removed with a simple twist.  They can be removed even when not empty which is essential as the supporting legs fold beneath the body where the gas cartridges sit when the stove is in use.

Unlike many other double burner stoves, this design means that you don’t need to buy a regulator and hose and so helps to keep the overall cost down.

The burners both have the same power output (1500 Watts) and the burner adjusters offer good control of the flame from a low simmer to a fast boil.  Compared to the Primus Njord Twin Stove the boil time is a little slower (4 mins 30 seconds compared to a little over 3 minutes) but this is down to the lower power output of the Campingaz Duo Plus CV burners.

This is not necessarily a bad thing though – in our experience Primus Njord Twin Stove is a little too powerful and, as  result, has a lower run time thanks to its higher gas consumption.  In contrast, the Campingaz Duo Plus CV runs for a staggering 4.5 hours per burner !

So, are there any drawbacks to the Campingaz Duo Plus CV ?

Well if we were being really fussy we’d have to say that having two burners with the same power output seems a strange choice.  We’d rather have a larger and a small burner so that one could be used for simmering whilst the other is used for cooking but we are being really fussy !

So should you buy one ?

As we said at the top of this review, if you’re looking for a twin burner stove and don’t want to lug a large gas cylinder around then this is the perfect solution.  Whilst it’s not as powerful as the Primus Njord Twin Stove it’s  lot more controllable so we’d be inclined to go with the Campingaz Duo Plus CV instead.  It’s cheaper too!  It’s ideal for family and festival camping.

Highly recommended !

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Campingaz Camping Kitchen

Campingaz Camping Kitchen

Campingaz Camping Kitchen

PRO’s: Large powerful burners, can be used with regular sized pans

CON’s: Prone to draughts from the side

VERDICT: if you’re going camping and expect to get several years use out of it buy this

OUR RATING ★★★★½ 

It seems to us like the Campingaz Camping Kitchen has been around for ever but if you look closely you can see that the edges have been softened in order to make it more contemporary.  But has anything else changed ?

Well, no.  You still get two burners: the larger one is rated at 2300 Watts and the small one is rated at 1700 Watts.  Both rings are large so proper sized pans can be used on them which means that you can bring pans from home if you wish – particularly if you’re working to a budget and don’t want to invest in camping specific cookware.

The burners can be independently adjusted via push to twist knobs which are located well away from the burners.  In use they give excellent control of the flames and allow you turn the flames down to a really gentle simmer.  The time taken to boil a litre of water is a little over 5 minutes.  This is a slower than we expected given the power of the burners but this is due to the fact that there is no wind protection built-in.

Campingaz claim that the lid offers some wind protection and whilst this is true (up to a point) protection from the wind is needed at the sides as well as the back of this stove. Without built-in windscreens you’ll need to use something to deflect the wind.

Surprisingly, though,  there’s no built-in ignition system so you’ll need to pack a box of matches or a lighter in order to get your cooking underway.

A potential gotcha when you buy this is that it doesn’t come with a regulator or hose although some retailers will throw them in at the time you buy.

What is also doesn’t come with is a gas cylinder (it requires the Campingaz R904 refillable gas cylinder or the larger Campingaz R907 refillable gas cylinder) but that’s not really surprising.  Many people are astonished at the price of these (a large one costs more than this stove) so here’s a tip: cylinders are expensive to buy because the bulk of the cost is the cylinder itself.  See if you can find an empty one by advertising on Gumtree or Freecycle, then take it along to a local supplier and get it refilled.

The Campingaz Camping Kitchen is designed to be used on a table but legs are available as an optional extra as is a carrying bag. The box ours arrived in is what we used to store it in but it soon got tatty. The proper Campingaz carry bag is highly recommended.

So should you buy one?

If you’re a family and planning on going camping for a few summers then the answer is a resounding YES? Although the Campingaz Camping Kitchen seems inexpensive, don’t forget that you’ll need to buy a regulator and hose too – many retailers will bundle these in.

Even if they don’t include them, don’t forget that a stove, hose, regulator and a gas bottle will work out cheaper in the long run than buying something like a Coleman Perfectflow two burner stove especially if you plan on using it for a few summers.

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Campingaz Camping Chef Vario Stove and Grill

Campingaz Camping Chef Vario Stove and Grill

Campingaz Camping Chef Vario Stove and Grill

PRO’s: Updated version of Campingaz Camp Chef but better looking

CON’s: Grill is still very puny

VERDICT: If you need a dual burner stove you can put on legs buy this one but there are better options

OUR RATING ★★★½☆ 

New for 2012 is the Campingaz Camping Chef Vario which looks destined to replace the trusty Campingaz Camping Chef.  Is the new model worth it or should you buy the older one ?  Read on to find out.

Just like the Campingaz Camping Chef the idea behind the Campingaz Chef Vario is that you shouldn’t compromise on what you can cook just because you’re away on holiday so to help rustle those culinary delights you get two burners and a small grill situated below.

Whilst you may think that one burner will be sufficient, if you’re away for more than a few days and you can fit in the extra bulk then a two burner unit like this one makes a lot of sense.  After all, with two burners you can stumble out of your tent and get your morning cuppa AND your fried breaskfast underway at the same time !

Just like the original Camping Chef you get piezo-electric ignition on both burners and the grill so there’s no need to take matches with you.  All the burners are independently adjustable and feature child-proof switches which should prevent inquisitive little ones from playing with the cooker.

And just like the original it too uses the timelss blue Campingaz gas cylinders, the high capacity R907 refillable gas cylinder for which you’ll also need a hose and regulator.

Like its predecessor, the Campingaz Chef Vario sports a grill and, like it’s predecessor, it’s undersized.  Publicity shots for the old model showed two slices of toast under the grill which was just daft – you could barely fit one under it and it was so far away from the elements that it barely toasted.

We’re pleased to say that on the 2012 version Campingaz have reduced the distance  between the grill and toast but only by a small amount.  However, it does mean that your toast will actually toast, albeit slowly.  At least it won’t burn !

The stove packs up into a compact, easily transported suitcase style case complete with carrying handle.  The case is robust (try as we might we couldn’t twist it) and has fold down flaps at the sides of the hob which act as wind breaks.

In theory these should help to direct heat from the burners into the pots rather than allowing it to be blown away by the wind but, in practice, we found that they made little difference.  This is borne out by the time taken to boil a litre of water – just under 7 minutes – which is about the same as the Campingaz Camping Chef Stove and Grill that it replaces.

The styling of the old version was very agricultural but we still liked it.  The styling of the new version is much improved and reminds us of the Go Systems Dynasty Trio.  That’s no bad thing – we think that it’s a brilliant stove.

So would we buy one ?

Maybe.  It’s good at what it does but it currently costs more than the older model (the Campingaz Camping Chef) that it replaces.  At the moment, we’d still go with the older model simply because it’s being reduced as retailers clear out remaining stocks and the £20 price difference between the two can be put towards a regulator and bottle of Butane gas.

However, once stocks of the old model are gone then it becomes a toss up between this and the Go Systems Dynasty Trio.  If you want the option to add legs and a storage tray beneath your Campingaz Vario then go for that one.  You can buy the Deluxe version or buy the legs and tray seperately.  Otherwise we’d still be inclined to go for the Go Sytems Dynastry Trio which is rebadged and sold by Mountain Warehouse as the MountainLife Double Burner with Grill via their online store.

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Campingaz Camping Chef Stove and Grill

Campingaz Camping Chef Stove and Grill

Campingaz Camping Chef Stove and Grill

VERDICT: A puny grill but worth buying if you’re on a budget & find it discounted

PRO’s: Compact, runs on Propane and Butane. Often heavily discounted.

CON’s: puny grill which lacks power. Grill difficult to clean. Prone to gusts of wind

OUR RATING ★★★☆☆ 

On the face of it the Campingaz Camping Chef Stove and Grill is perfect for family camping as it sports two powerful burners and a radiant grill. And if you buy the version which comes with a regulator and storage bag then all you need to add is a gas cylinder. But is it any good ?

There no way around it – it’s simply not possible to cook for four people on a single burner stove. Two burners is what you really need whilst the inclusion of a grill widens the range of meals that can be prepared. The two burners on the Campingaz Camping Chef are widely spaced which means that two large pots or pans can be used at the same time.

Sitting immediately below the two burners is a grill. In theory this is a plus but in the case of this stove it’s been poorly executed and lets the stove down. The main problem is that the grill is actually smaller (6 inches x 2.5 inches) than two slices of bread placed side by side. This means that you’ll need to constantly rotate the slices. A further problem is that the grill is located too far below the element which means that a lot of the heat is simply wasted. Whilst this means that your toast is extremely unlikely to burn, you’ll probably end up holding the toast nearer the element to speed things up and this probably will result in it burning.

The lower section of the stove which holds the grill is designed to collapse. Whilst this means that it packs away into a smaller size than it otherwise would do, setting up and packing it away does involve take a little longer especially if the grill has been used as this is fiddly to get at to clean. In order to keep the grill clean we’d just use it for doing toast. Sausages would be better of fried rather than grilled.

Frustratingly the sides of the stove are fixed and offer very little protection from the wind for either the two burners or the grill. The metal lid does act as a windbreak but only protects the back of the unit. When in use it’s a little too far back for our liking. Because the sides don’t extend up above the level the burners (unlike the Coleman Perfectflow 2 burner stove) as soon as the wind changes direction you’ll have to re-align the stove.

All of this contributes to the relatively long boil time of seven minutes and the poor performance of the grill already noted above. The burners and the grill each have individual control knobs all with good adjustability although none of them have piezeo-electric ignition. To light any of them you’ll need to use matches.

At the bottom of the stove a pair of thin but relatively sturdy metal legs fold out to raise the stove a little. Unfortunately these don’t have a rubberised feet on them so on metal camping tables there’s a chance that the camping cooker could slide around. Campingaz actual produce an enhanced version of this stove called the Campingaz Camping Chef Plus which includes a collapsable stand although this can also be bought seperately.

A plus point of this stove is that runs not only on Campingaz Butane cylinders (specifically the Campingaz R904 refillable cylinder or the Campingaz R907 refillable cylinder) but also will run on Propane too which means that a fuel supply should be easy to find wherever you are.

So, would we buy one ?

Possibly, but not at the recommended retail price as we feel, given the various shortcomings of the design that it offers poor value for money at the full price. That said, by mid-June this stove is often heavily discounted by outdoor retailers and that’s when we would buy one.  Bear in mind also that Campingaz have launched the Campingaz Camping Chef Vario stove and grill which has led to further discounting of the older Campingaz Camping Chef.

There are undoubtably better stoves out there but at the discounted price that you can pick this up for (often with the regulator and carry case thrown in) then it does offer good value as long as you’re aware of the flaws.

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Coleman Two Burner Unleaded Petrol Stove

Coleman Two Burner Unleaded Fuel Stove

Coleman Two Burner Unleaded Fuel Stove

VERDICT: A rugged and dependable dual-fuel stove from Coleman that’ll last years.

PRO’s: Burns petrol and Coleman White Gas. Folds up for easy storage and transportation. Very sturdy.

CON’s: No grill

OUR RATING ★★★★½ 

Coleman have been making camping cookers for years and it shows when you look at the Coleman Two Burner Unleaded Petrol Stove. It’s not the best looking camping cooker on the market but it is one of the most rugged – we know one someone who’s been using one of these for ten years without a single problem.  If you’re looking for a serious camping cooker for family or group use and don’t want to haul a load of gas cylinders around with you then this could be the stove for you.

It’s a self-contained stove that doesn’t need bulky gas bottles because it runs on unleaded petrol or Coleman White Gas (a form of refined petrol which is readily available worldwide).

When not in use it folds down into a compact, flat package complete with carrying handle. Yet it still has two powerful burners (the boil time for a litre of water is a very reasonable 4 minutes) which can take large pans and two adjustable windshields on either side of the stove with a third non-adjustable one behind.

If the thought of a petrol stove puts you off there’s really no need to worry. It’s just as safe as a non-petrol stove but with the added flexibility that you can buy the fuel for it almost anywhere in the world. We can’t deny that lighting the stove, like any other liquid fuel stove, is a little more involved than something like the Coleman Perfectflow 2 burner stove but we actually like the ritual that you need to undertake. It just makes the cooking process seem that little more real somehow. Or perhaps we just need to get out more !

Anyway, the process is simple. You just fill the detachable fuel tank using the supplied filter funnel to remove any sediment that may be floating in the fuel, pressurise the tank by pumping the pump around 40 times and then slot the fuel tank into place. At this point the right hand (master) burner can be lit using a match and, in our experience at least, it’ll light first time, every time no matter how cold the weather.

For optimum performance the stove should really be run on Coleman gas and should run for around two hours from a full tank although.

Although the design may look a little Heath Robinson, it’s rugged and tough and features a safety cut-off system which turns off the burners should the front mounted fuel tank be dislodged in use whilst the stove is in use.

In terms of cooking facilities there’s nothing fancy like a grill on this stove. What you do get though are two powerful burners with large pan supports which can take large pots with ease. The right hand burner is the primary one whilst the left hand is the secondary and can only be turned on when the primary is already on. Both have independent controls and can be adjusted from a simmer to a satisfying roar!

When you’ve finished cooking, once everything is cool, the fuel tank can be removed and stored under the grill. The sides fold in, lid folds down and everything clips shut.

In our view this camping cooker is ideal for base camps and expeditions pretty much anywhere in the world as well as family camping trips. Don’t be put off by the price – although it costs more than your average stove we’d consider this to be an investment that won’t let you down no matter where in the world you take it for many years to come.

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Go Systems Dynasty Trio

Go Systems Dynasty Trio

Go Systems Dynasty Trio

VERDICT: The perfect camping cooker for a small family. Powerful, easy to clean & store, it’s highly recommended. Not that easy to find though.

PRO’s: Double burner and grill combination, folds in to own slim travel case, can operate from a variety of gas cylinders

CON’s: Can be tricky find in store & online

OUR RATING ★★★★★ 

The Go Systems Dynasty Trio is, if it’s possible, the sexiest looking family camping cooker on the market today.  Boasting a double hob that floats above the base which acts as an easily accessible drip tray it still folds down into a compact package.  In fact, we reckon that this is the slimmest family camping stove that money can buy.

Now with the name ‘Dynasty Trio’ you’re probably expecting a third design feature and you won’t be  disappointed to learn that it’s one of the best grills and toaster that we’ve seen on a camping cooker.  That’s right: it’s the super sim yet it manages to squeeze in two burners and a grill!  Both the grill and each of the hobs have independent ignition and a full range of adjustment from a low flame to a satisfying roar.

Like many other Go Systems camping cookers, this one uses their own Butane cylinders such as the Go Systems Powersource 220 gas canister or the Go Systems Powersource 445 gas canister but it also has the ability to connect to other, larger cylinders via a regulator.  This added flexibility, coupled with a three year warranty (most of their competitors offer only one year), make this an excellent choice in our opinion.  It’s worth noting that it will also work with the smallest Go Systems Powersource 125 gas canister but the runtime will be so short that we don’t recommend this.

Whereas the Coleman Perfectflow Stove and Grill is ideally suited to small families (two adults plus a child) due to it’s single ring, the Go Systems Dynasty Trio is better suited to larger families with more children.

The only thing against this cooker is that it’s not that easy to find online although whilst browsing through our local Mountain Warehouse shop recently that they sell a rebranded version of this stove called the MountainLife Double Burner with Grill.

Whether you can find one online or not, this camping cooker is highly recommended!

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Go Systems Dynasty Compact Stove

Go Systems Dynasty Compact Stove

Go Systems Dynasty Compact Stove

VERDICT: Compact & self-contained.  A good alternative to the Campingaz version although, being more widely available, the Campingaz version is cheaper.

PRO’s: Compact, self-contained unit. Includes carry case.  Three year warranty

CON’s: Short runtime, need to carry a spare cylinder. Pricier than the Campingaz equivalent

OUR RATING ★★★★☆ 

The Go Systems Dynasty Compact stove is Go Systems take on the single burner ‘suitcase’ format camping stove made popular by the Campingaz Camp Bistro.  And if it looks familiar then that’s because it is – the chassis is exactly the same as the Gelert Portable Gas Cooker and the Hi Gear Portable Gas Cooker as well as other non-branded versions so if your budget can’t stretch to the (slightly) more expensive Campingaz version then this could be a good alternative.

So what do you get for your money ?

The stove consists of a steel body which houses a click-in bayonet fitting gas cylinder containing a mix of mostly butane with a small amount of propane as well.  Each Go Systems 220 bayonet gas cartridge contains 220 grammes which is enough fuel for a constant run time of around 1.5 hours – enough for a weekends camping but not much more so ensure that you have a spare cylinder with you.

In use, the stove is simple to light thanks to it’s built-in piezeo-electric ignition system with a powerful flame that’s easy to control from a gentle simmer to a full boil.  The pan supports are serrated for grip and are of a good size.

Like the Campingaz version, this one also comes with a protective carry case but offers a three-year warranty whilst the Campingaz Camp Bistro only offers one year.

In our opinion there’s very little to choose between the two stoves but if you really had to push us, we’d say that despite the extra warranty the Campingaz Camp Bistro is still the better choice.  But if you can’t find one, this is a worthy alternative and offers the advantage of a longer warranty.

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Coleman Perfectflow 2 Burner Stove

Coleman Perfectflow 2 Burner Stove

Coleman Perfectflow 2 Burner Stove

VERDICT: The Coleman Perfectflow 2 Burner stove is a well designed, compact stove suitable for festival goers and families

PRO’s: Two burners, clever windshield design. Quick boil time

CON’s: Gas cylinders still hard to find. Take a spare

OUR RATING ★★★★☆ 

The Coleman Perfectflow 2 burner stove is a sturdy little unit with two independently adjustable burners which means that your sausages and beans can cook to perfection !  It’s ingenious built-in windshield (similar to that found on it’s cousin the Coleman Perfectflow Stove and Grill) ensures that as much heat as possible is directed into your pots.  Neat design touches such as this ensures that the boil time for a litre of water is a very respectable 5 minutes.  And it’s built-in piezo electric ignition system ensures that you won’t need to carry matches either.

Although it folds down quite small this stove still feels quite sturdy and feels like it could take some abuse.  On the face of it then, this camping cooker looks like the perfect solution for families, festival goers and even solo travellers who don’t want to compromise on luxury.

So what’s not to like ?

A minor criticism is that both burners are the same size.  In our experience of camping it’s extremely rare that you have two pans on the stove at the same time which are the same size.  More often than not you’ll have a frying pan and saucepan, or two different sized saucepans.

In an ideal world it would make sense to have one larger and one smaller burner so that the ring (and the heat output) could be tailored to suit the size of the pot because this would help to reduce the stoves fuel consumption.

And talking of fuel, we move on to the aspect of this stove that we like the least although it’s by no means a deal breaker.

This stove uses Colemans own high-pressure propane gas canisters which only last for around one hour.  Annoyingly, because these canisters contain propane at high pressure the stove cannot be used with larger, low pressure propane cylinders.

At the time of writing these cylinders are still relatively new and not that easy to find so it’s worth buying a few spares when you buy the stove.  Many retailers realise this and will offer you a discount which is well worth taking advantage of.  Without it, this stove could be expensive to run.

Overall this is a well designed stove, with some neat features but spoiled by the relative poor supply of fuel canisters.  In time this situation will improve so we still have no hesitation in recommending this stove, just make sure that you buy (and carry with you) some spare gas canisters.

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Primus Njord Twin Stove

Primus Njord Twin Stove

Primus Njord Twin Stove

VERDICT: A highly portable twin burner stove that doesn’t need a large gas bottle. Highly recommended

PRO’s: Two powerful burners, big enough for large pots

CON’s: Doesn’t come with gas canisters

OUR RATING ★★★★½ 

Now imagine that you’re a successful manufacturer of gas stoves and you want to make a double burner model.  You could go back to the drawing board and design something from scratch.  Or you could simply devise a way of holding two of your existing burner units side by side . . .

Well that’s what Primus appear to have done with the Primus Njord Twin Stove and a rather good job of it they’ve done.

They’ve devised a large, stable but lightweight frame which sits on top of two foldout legs.  Although these look flimsy they most certainly aren’t – the stove is perfectly capable of taking two 5 litre pots with ease.  And because of it’s length you can get two larger diameter pots on to it at the same: a frying pan and a saucepan for example.

The support incorporates the two burners and their surrounding pot supports/wind shields.  Beneath these go two small gas canisters, one for each burner.  Each burner can be individually controlled by the front mounted controls and they are powerful, very powerful being capable of heating a litre of water in around 3 minutes.

If you’ve been looking for a highly portable dual burner stove but have been put off by the need to lug around a large gas bottle to power it then the Primus Njord Twin Stove is the stove for you.

It can  accept a variety of Primus butane gas cylinders ranging in size from the smallest 100 to the large 500 sizes and because these cylinders are resealable the stove can be easily packed and moved.

In our eyes this makes it one of the best stoves either for family or festival use.  Highly recommended.

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Coleman PerfectFlow Stove & Grill

Coleman PerfectFlow Stove And Grill

Coleman PerfectFlow Stove And Grill

VERDICT: A compact stove and grill combination that offers great performance in a small easy to transport package.

PRO’s: Grill doubles as second burner, drip tray for easy cleaning

CON’s: Only one burner plus grill, new Propane cylinders still hard to find

OUR RATING ★★★★☆ 

Coleman produce a huge range of camping equipment include camping stoves and cookers.  The Coleman PerfectFlow Stove & Grill offers both a standard hob and an open grill with a driptray beneath it to catch any fat drips.  This makes cleaning it a breeze!

At first glance it looks like a winning combination – perfect for campsite fry-ups as well as more elaborate evening meals such as kebabs.  But does it deliver all that it promises ?

Both the burner and the grill have seperate controls and both also have piezo-electric ignition so there’s no need to faff about with matches which is a plus point in our book.  The grill can also be used to simmer a pot so if you’re cooking a meal which requires two pots on the go at once, spaghetti bolognaise for example, then you won’t need juggle them around.

However, if you’re looking for something with two burners and a grill we’d recommend that you take a look at the Go Systems Dynasty Trio which offers two burners and a grill all of which can be used at the same time.

To get the most heat out of the burners the lid connects to the two sidewalls in order to make a substantial windshield.  This helps to  reduce fuel comsumption by directing more heat into the pots.  Not that it’s any slouch – heating a litre and a half of water in around 8 minutes.

The cooker uses Coleman’s propane cyclinders which connect via a steel connector and regulator.  The hose which connects the stove to the cylinder is a bit short which means that it’s not that easy to  position if you’ve got limited space on your camp table.  However, Coleman have informed us that it’s perfectly safe to simply dangle the cylinder over the side so long as it’s not inverted.

Propane is a better fuel that butane as it’s more efficient, every last gram in the cylinder gets burnt and it works better at lower temperatures and altitude.  However, as we noted in our review of the Coleman Perfectflow 2 burner stove (basically a two burner version of this stove) the availability of the fuel cylinders, in the UK at least, is still rather limited although this situation will only improve over time.  We suggest buying a couple of spares when you buy the stove.

In our opinion this is a fantastic little camping cooker and will be equally suitable a family summer camping adventure or a few nights based in the Cairngorms in November.

Highly recommended !

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