Am curently looking at Coleman Exponent Feather 442,The self containment feature is apealing to me. Would anyone like to pass on their experiences with this stove(good or bad) or just offer an opinion on this piece of gear?
don’t owm 1. the Exponent series seems built better than other Coleman gear. I use a small stove and really like it for camping and hiking.
These are the same as the old” Peak 1" 442’s which have been around forever. I have one that is 20+ years old and still works, however, I have replaced it with an MSR Whisperlite for a couple of reason. Having the fuel tank under the burner makes the stove unstable with large pots, while at the same time directing too much heat downward onto the tank. You can not use a wind screen to improve fuel efficiency as this will also cause excessive heat on the tank and also melt all of the plastic fittings (I learn this lesson the hard way). Weight was also an issue these are the heaviest single burner stoves out there.
Coleman Peak 1
I’ve used mine for at least 14 years. Never had a problem with it. It’s as reliable as Old Faithful. The only thing I’ve noticed bad about it is there doesn’t seem to be much difference between simmer and blowtorch mode. Meaning that it is normally in blowtorch.
I bought my 400 which is essentially the same as the 442 except that it has a seperate lever for the flame control. Mine simmers like a pro. Bought it in 1979 and I’ve done nothing except fill the tank and oil the leather. Used it for over 40 days this year and it’s still running great.
Girlfriend has a Feather. Her’s will simmer, but the control while better than anything MSR makes isn’t up to the original.
I too like the single unit idea. But you will probably need a second fuel bottle if you go for more than about 3 days.
I don’t use a whitegas stove near water. For me there is too much chance of spillage. How many people even know that you shouldn’t fill these stoves near water for that reason? I carry a 4lb. LP tank and a Century two-burner stove. I also have a single burner that attaches to the tank but I prefer the bigger stove. Most whitegas stoves will burn food. Having a propane stove, with a built-in windscreen, allows me to turn the flame lower. While the tank is bulky it will hold a week’s worth of gas. About the same as 3 liters a gas. The way I cook.
Used mine for years,
in varying conditions, have both the single and dual burner types. Fuel cans last alot longer than I expected, using one can for a full week. Have not had any leakage from cans or malfunctions.
I was a loyal Feather 400 user for many years. My scout troop owned several of them. I too melted the plastic fittings when I put too big a pot on mine.
I really like the Coleman Exponent Apex II stove. I’ve used mine probably 250 times since I bought it 6 years ago. Its exterenly reliable and I really like not having to fill the fuel bottle, just pull unhook and attach a new one (don’t overfill the bottle or it will not work right).
MSR stoves are also very good and the newer model one will actually simmer (the old whisplite were good for blowtorch and off only)
stove saftey is
a very important issue; and am wondering about shielding the fuel tank from the burner with aluminum foil,if larger pots are used?
I’ve been told by a Scoutmaster friend of mine that shielding the stove can lead to a pressure build up and a blow out.
I’m not sure how accurate that is but I know Backpacker magazine’s articel on stove safety several years ago reccomended a remote fuel stove like the Whisperlite or Apex.
We use the MSR Dragonfly for a couple of resons>> I does well in high altitudes, my Peak 1 did not do very well in Yellowstone last year, and the Dragonfly is very low maintence easy to use…starts like a trooper. No safety issues other than common sense. I know I will really appreciate it when we get to yellowsotne tonight g.Have fun deciding …kim
Its a great stove.I use one when I hiked the Chilkot trail and it lite easily, simmered fabulouly, and was a blowtorch when it came to boiling water. Its the favorite stove of the local mountain guide company here in skagway alaska. Buy it and Im sure you will love it!
"White gas" is actually generally used as a generic term for any of several petroleum derived chemicals. Coleman fuel, being the most common “white gas” fuel, is one of these complex hydrocarbon mixtures. I’m not sure what you’re talking about with this supposed spill risk presented by “white gas” around water. ‘Petroleum ether’ has low water solubility, evaporates quickly, and is biodegradable. It does not, especially in the small quantities carried by outdoor enthusiasts, present a significant water contamination risk.
Also, it should be noted that one need only carry about 4oz of “white gas” per person, per day when the temps are above freezing. That is 28oz for a week, or less than two pounds. For two people that is still only 56oz @ 3.5 lbs, still lighter than that 4 lb propane tank.
no liquid gas
used by me. Atleast not hiking/ paddling. Use the isoprpane mix cans. They seem to last a long time and burn hot. Cold does affect em, but by warming the can under clothing before use it helps.
I love my Apex II, its one of the few stoves that simmers really well. and its multi fuel. I don’t like canister stoves as the canisters are bulky. For the Apex II you can get different size fuel bottles so you can tailor the fuel amount to the “mission” at hand. Very nice for packing light. Although there are slightly lighter stoves then the Apex, they don’t simmer well. at least not the ones I have tried…
Bought it,love it.
Thanks to all for your replies.
Also,decided to eliminate from my kit,all pots,pans,kettles etc. with a circumstance larger than that of the stove,to prevent any overheating of the fuel tank.
solution for big pots
To extend the capacity of a single unit stove when you need to put something really big on the stove, use a lightweight backpackers grill. Set the stove under the grill and the pot on top of the grill.
For a windscreen, Coleman makes a nice aluminum shield that fits all the models of Peak 1 and Apex gas stoves. It has several series of slots to fit on top of the three, four and five arm supports. Since it sits atop the stove instead of around it like the MSR, it shields your stove from the heat instead of trapping it around the stove.
We have used various models of the Peak 1 with Scout patrols for years with no mechanical malfuntions. The MultiFuel is still my favorite, it is a single knob control, is slightly wider and lower, and holds enough fuel to cook for a whole patrol of 8 and warm the dishwater.
Keep your fuel clean, refuel at least ten feet from where you are cooking, oil your pump leather regularly, and enjoy your stove for years.
Why buy expensive backpacking stoves for a boat?
Stoves don’t just use white gas any more.
Becareful around water with liquid fuel stoves.
Different management agencies have different regs. concerning filling gas tanks. Motorcycles as well as stoves use gas in the back country. Can’t be writing regs for every kind of fuel people will be using. I was a contractor and I’d have the rules written into the contract. Imagine trying to get 100’ away from water in a narrow steep canyon. It was a pain at times.
If you’re not a cook a burnz-all stove will work. If you are a cook controlled heat is what you want.
I have worn out stoves with just a couple of years use. That’s because I was using them a couple of hundred times a year. I’ve spent well over 1000 nights camping out over the years. Both at work and at play. I found that there’s no one answer to the question of which stove is best. That is up to the individual.
I have two folding wood burning stoves. One pocket size the other for a large tent. For gas stoves I’ve got a big Camp Chef, small Century, old Peak 1 and a dead Apex. Then there’s the stove top slow cooker/smoker that goes with the Camp Chef.
Make a lean-to out of a tarp and you would don’t have to worry about an extra wind screen. Your paddles make good supports. A good vestible on your tent will serve the same purpose.
Be careful I’ve had an old Optimus blow out on me when I made a home made windscreen many years ago. Heat shouldn’t build up around the stove or tank.
A few thoughts on the subject:
Camping in 40 degree or better temps - I prefer the propane or propane/butane systems. Propane/butane (e.g. Gaz) are clean, compact, light weight & will deliver adequate performance at warm temps (propane tends to be a bit cheaper but the systems tend to be a bit heavier). I tend to also favor these systems when kids and inexperienced folks are about in the campsite (as they tend to be during warmer weather). At lower temps the performance of these fuels are far poorer (preheating, swaping tanks, and gentle external pressure on the tanks can help - but it's a pain in the ...). Downsides are the litter of used fuel tanks and dealing with the occassional stuck tank valve.
Colder weather camping (nearing freezing and playing just below zero) - Coleman white gas systems are the clear choice. Highly volatile fuel readily atomizes and provides reasonably predicable performance. Once the temps begin flirting with freezing I pack away all my non gas fueled stoves and lanterns - this is white gas season. In the wet, winds or coldest days I'm able to get a reasonable flame from this gear. The worst is enduring a preheating or re-presurizing in order to facilitate lighting. At cold temps the issue of relected heat upon a tank is nominal at best, (another reason to look towards propane in warmer seasons). Minor spills that can occur, should you need to do a tank refill, will readily evaporate (of course wait for the evaporation to clear before lighting). The down side is protecting yourself against your own stupid inclinations (and keeping the kids at bay). Needless to say. don't attempt to use the stuff as a fire starter if you prize your eyebrows...