Owner Review: FireLite Titanium Esbit Wing Stove - Pam Wyant
- It has been a while since I've done an owner review. I think I am a
little rusty, but here is one for the monthly OR call.
I'm not 100% sure on the manufacturer - I could not find Firelite
anywhere on the web, and the stove says BackpackingLight.com on it,
and their website says it is exclusive, so I've called them the
manufacturer. If this isn't correct, some one let me know and I'll
HTML version here:
Owner Review: FireLite Titanium Esbit Wing Stove
Reviewed October 2007
Photos Opened stove top view
Open stove side view
Name: Pam Wyant
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 165 lb (77 kg)
Shoe size: U.S. women's 9 M
E-mail address: pamwyant(at)yahoo(dot)com
Location: Western West Virginia, U.S.A.
Pursuing a long-time interest, I started backpacking four years ago,
beginning with day-hiking and single overnights. Currently I'm
mostly a `weekend warrior' and mainly hike and backpack in the hills
and valleys of West Virginia, but have section hiked longer parts of
the southern portion of the Appalachian Trail (AT) the past two
years. My usual shelter is a hammock but I sometimes use a tent. In
general my backpacking style is lightweight and minimalist, and I try
to cut as much pack weight as I can without sacrificing warmth,
comfort, or safety.
Manufacturer Website: www.backpackinglight.com
Year of manufacture: 2006
Stated weight: 0.38 oz (11 g)
Measured weight: 0.4 oz (11 g); measured on scales accurate to 0.1 oz
Stated open size: 1.85 x 4.2 in (4.7 x 11 cm)
Measured size: open size consistent with stated size; folded size
approx. 2 x 3 in (5 x 8 cm)
Photo - Closed stove side view
The FireLite Titanium Esbit Wing Stove is a simply designed folding
stove for burning solid fuel tablets such as Esbit. The stove is
made from titanium, and is configured with three 'legs' that fold and
unfold around a small square receptacle in the center sized to hold a
normal size Esbit tablet (approx. 1 x 1.5 in or 2.5 x 4 cm). The
legs are connected to the tablet holder with a small rivet. They
have a unique twisted shape at the base, which changes the vertically
oriented 'pot holder' part of the leg into the horizontally oriented
segment that fits flat under the tablet holder. The top of the legs
are sloped and have small serrations. This configuration is designed
to allow the stove to be allowed with different sized cups and pots.
Larger pots can rest on the top of the legs, and smaller cups can
rest on the serrated edges. The words BackpackingLight.com and
Titanium are etched into the side of one leg.
I received the stove as a Christmas gift from my family in 2006 and
have used it on several weekend backpacking trips during 2007, mainly
in the Monongahela National Forest in eastern West Virginia, along
with a few overnight and weekend trips in western or central West
Virginia. Elevations have ranged from approximately 700 to 4000 ft
(200 to 1200 m); temperatures from 40 to 80 F (4 to 27 C). Weather
conditions have included light rain and light wind, but it has mainly
been used in clear, calm conditions.
Photo - Closed stove top view
I have used the FireLite stove with FireLite 14 g size solid fuel
tablets. Originally I was interested in using it with a pot I made
from a Foster's beer can, but I found the shape of the stove and the
shape of the beer can did not get along. This was disappointing to
me since the main reason I was interested in the FireLite stove was
for weight savings, and the beer can pot is the lightest pot I have
been able to find.
I tried using it with the smaller pot from my GSI Hard Anodized
Boiler Cookset, but I found the design of the bottom of this pot did
not work very well, and the pot seemed very unstable. In fact, I had
it slide off the stove a few times and spill my water as it was
I then purchased an AntiGravityGear 3 Cup Hard Anodized Cook Pot,
thinking the handle less design would keep the pot better balanced on
the stove. It did help slightly, but I have still had trouble with
the pot tending to slide off the stove if it is not perfectly level.
Even clamping a lifter to the pot has been enough to knock it off
balance, so I have to be very careful while lifting the pot off the
stove not to jar it with the lifter.
So far, I have not really found a pot that I feel confident in using
on the stove in the types of areas I camp in. Level ground is really
hard to come by in West Virginia, and not having the stove level
makes it very difficult to keep a pot balanced on the top of the
legs. Due to the sloped design of the legs, a smaller mug style pot
might be easier to keep balanced, but so fair I haven't persuaded
myself to spend the extra dollars necessary to buy a titanium cup.
My $2 beer can pot is still lighter! Unfortunately it will not work
with this stove.
The FireLite tablets fit very well inside the tablet holder. The
stove does seem optimally configured to keep the fuel tablet at the
right distance from the bottom of the pot, based on the fact that
one tablet has always worked to bring 2 cups (1/2 liter) of water to
a boil (using a lid on the pot), and that most of the flame is
concentrated under the pot with very little spilling up the sides.
Usually it takes from 4-7 minutes to boil a potful of water,
depending on weather conditions. I have often used the stove without
a windscreen in calmer conditions, using a light foil windscreen if
it is a little windy.
When I use the stove I usually place a small scrap of foil around the
fuel tablet forming sort of a tray to fit inside the tablet holder on
the stove. This prevents a lot of residue from being left on the
stove, and I can just wad the foil up and drop it into my bag of
trash to pack out. This does make it a little harder to light the
tablet, so I try to flair the foil away from the tablet a bit at the
top. The routine I've more or less settled into is to find a spot
for the stove, test the pot balance on it, remove the pot, lift the
stove and light one edge of the fuel tablet with a lighter, replace
the stove, add the pot, and loosely wrap a piece of foil around the
pot for the windscreen if needed. Alternately, I can use a match to
light the fuel tablet while the stove is sitting on the ground with
the pot already in place, but this is sometimes a little trickier.
If I'm not careful, I can knock the pot of water off the stove easily
when I light it this way, or the match can blow out. I am just not
coordinated enough to manage to light the fuel tablet with a lighter
when it is near ground level, at least not without burning a finger
in the process.
To store the stove in my pack, I simply swing the three legs
together. They are shaped so they fit nest neatly together on one
side, and the rectangular tablet holder sits on the opposite side. I
usually wrap the stove in a piece of a Handi-Wipe (to prevent
scratching) and stow it inside my cook pot with a small cup, lighter,
matches, and pot lifter. The folded stove takes up very little room.
The stove seems to be of good quality. Other than some slight
discoloration of the metal from heat, no changes in the stove are
evident after several months of use.
I have to say that I am rather disappointed in this stove - not
really in the way it works, but in the trouble I have had finding a
pot that is stable on it. My cook gear philosophy is to be as light,
simple, and inexpensive as possible. The cost of the stove itself
seems reasonable given the materials and workmanship, but I am
disappointed that it cannot be used with beer can pots, which are
both very light and very cheap. I'm also disappointed that it is not
very stable with my other small, light pots.
Although the stove is very light, I would not purchase the FireLite
Titanium Esbit Wing Stove again, since there are options out there
for homemade pots and Esbit tab holders that are not only cheaper,
but lighter, when the whole system is considered together.
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Edit Administration Manager
- Hi Pam,
Thanks for the review for the call. This is a stove? Just kidding.
Colleen showed me hers. I thought it was a three person folding
Edits follow. You can put it here;
EDIT: OK, this took some digging. The actual company is Backpacking
Light, backpackinglight.com is the online presence. The works seems
to be owned by Beartooth Mountain Press, or is it just the publisher?
FireLite seems to be a house brand. I would say go with "Backpacking
Light". (Whew )
***Manufacturer Website: www.backpackinglight.com
EDIT: this link is trying to go to a defunct OR on the BGT site
***Stated weight: 0.38 oz (11 g)
***Measured weight: 0.4 oz (11 g)
Edit: since you are dealing with an item made for and by you gram
weenies ;-) I have no problem with you using the more accurate 10.8
and 11.3 g numbers. Your people will like it better
***which changes the vertically oriented 'pot holder' part of the leg
into the horizontally oriented segment that fits flat under the
EDIT: I am seeing an extra space before segment in the HTML
***This configuration is designed to allow the stove to be allowed
with different sized cups and pots.
EDIT: "used" with different sized cups
I have used the FireLite stove with FireLite 14 g size solid fuel
EDIT: conversion? (0.48 oz)
***Originally I was interested in using it with a pot I made from a
Foster's beer can, but I found the shape of the stove and the shape
of the beer can did not get along. This was disappointing to me
Comment: I was looking forward to drinking lots of Fosters in the
interest of cooking. (He he)
***The stove does seem optimally configured to keep the fuel tablet
at the right distance from the bottom of the pot, based on the fact
that one tablet
Edit: I am seeing an extra space at "the fact"
***Usually it takes from 4-7 minutes to boil a potful of water,
Edit: pot full
***This prevents a lot of residue from being left on the stove
Edit: I see an extra space after "of"
- Thanks Ray. I made all the corrections and got it uploaded.
--- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "rayestrella1"
>Yep, we gram weenies will try to cook on anything as long as it is
> Hi Pam,
> Thanks for the review for the call. This is a stove? Just kidding.
> Colleen showed me hers. I thought it was a three person folding
ultra light. If those darn wooden toothpicks wouldn't catch on fire so
easily we'd be all set.