Cons: Small burner head, poor wind performance, not great fuel efficiency
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|Pros||Tiny, light, cheap||Lightweight, works in the wind, great piezo igniter, fuel efficient, very stable for a small canister stove||Compact, lightweight, works well in the wind, great for simmering||Ultralight, fuel efficient, affordable, quick to boil even in wind||Good at simmering, simple operation|
|Cons||Small burner head, poor wind performance, not great fuel efficiency||Pot supports pack up separately from stove||Unreliable piezo igniter||A bit loud, possibly less durable pot stabilizers||No piezoelectric igniter, slow to boil, bulky, somewhat heavy|
|Bottom Line||A shockingly small, ultra lightweight, and straightforward backpacking stove at an impressively low price||Our favorite small canister stove, providing the best performance for most backpackers||A fantastic and reliable option that simmers well, works in the wind, and is very compact||This affordable and fuel-efficient canister stove is also tiny and ultralight, perfect for your next backcountry adventure||This standard small canister stove is good for simmering but bulky and a bit heavy in your pack|
|Rating Categories||BRS-3000T||Soto Windmaster||MSR PocketRocket De...||Soto Amicus||Primus Essential Trail|
|Fuel Efficiency (25%)|
|Simmering Ability (20%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Boil Time (10%)|
|Specs||BRS-3000T||Soto Windmaster||MSR PocketRocket De...||Soto Amicus||Primus Essential Trail|
|Category||Small Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister|
|Essential Weight (stove or stove + integrated pot only)||0.9 oz||3.0 oz||3.0 oz||2.79 oz||4.5 oz|
|Trail Weight (stove, fuel, pot)||12.63 oz||15.63 oz||15.13 oz||14.92 oz||16.63 oz|
|Wind Boil Time (1 liter, 2-4mph)||14:45 min:sec||5:46 min:sec||5:27 min:sec||6:30 min:sec||10:10 min|
|Boil Time (1 liter)||5:13 min:sec||4 min:sec||3:14 min:sec||3:52 min: sec||5:30 min:sec|
|Packed Weight (stove + all accessories)||1 oz||3.5 oz||3.5 oz||3.5 oz||4.5 oz|
|Dimensions||2" x 1.2" x 1.3"||4.7" x 3.9" x 3.6"||3.3" x 2.2" x 1.8"||3.9" × 0.7" × 6.5"||4.3" x 2.4"|
|Additional Included Items||Stuff sack||Stuff sack, pot support||Stuff sack||Stuff sack||None|
Our Analysis and Test Results
All small canister stoves are just that — small. However, like an Olympic gymnast standing next to a regular-sized person, the BRS-3000T makes the other stoves look big. It has a weight to match: 0.9 ounces! A number of online reviewers experienced durability issues, but we haven't throughout our months of testing.
Fuel efficiency is one of our most important metrics. The behavior of the stove user has an enormous impact on stove efficiency. Nevertheless, the performance of the stove itself is relevant. The BRS did not wow us in this department.
In calm conditions, the BRS burned 0.47 ounces of fuel while bringing one liter of water to boil in 5 minutes and 13 seconds. It used slightly more fuel and took a bit longer than the top-performing small canister stoves and integrated canister models but was better than the liquid fuel stoves.
The wind test is where the BRS was unable to compete. When subjected to our test fan blowing 2-4 mph, the BRS boiled one liter of water in 4 minutes 45 seconds (at 5,000 feet in elevation). During this test, it consumed 1.55 ounces of fuel or 35% of a 4 oz fuel canister. In previous tests at 8,000 feet, it was unable to bring water to boil after 15 whole minutes and consumed 1.1 ounces of fuel in this effort. When camping above treeline, you will want to find a sheltered spot for this stove or consider using it in a well-ventilated tent vestibule.
Weight (and bulk, which we also consider in this metric) is where the BRS really shines. Though weight differences can be significant when comparing different types of stoves (say, small canister to liquid fuel), within small canister models, weight is becoming less important. Modern small canister stoves weigh between 1 and 4 ounces, and our testers think this isn't the most productive place for backpackers to shed weight. That being said, the BRS is impressively light --- just 0.9 ounces (about 25 grams)!
The other impressive characteristic is how small this stove is. When folded for transport it measures about 2" x 1.5" x 1.5" (5 x 3.8 x 3.8 cm). Our testers find bulk to be a pretty important real-world metric because we like to store all of our cooking gear in our pot when on the trail. The BRS fits easily into any of our tester pots with room to spare. This stove could pair well with a small titanium cup used as a pot on a solo trip.
While some backpackers are happy to eat freeze-dried food for days on end, for others, the ability to cook a more complicated meal is important. The first characteristic we look at when considering simmering is the character of the control valve. The BRS has smooth and consistent resistance throughout its range. This makes it easy to turn the flame waaaay down to the point where it looks like that of a single candle. It was much easier to do this with the BRS than with any liquid fuel stove. That being said, simmering only works in the absence of wind. If you require reliable simmer ability and plan to camp in the mountains, you might want to check out one of the small canister stoves that simmer well and deliver good performance in the wind.
Another important quality when it comes to actual cooking is the size of the burner head. A broad burner head helps distribute heat more evenly around a pot or pan. Obviously, big burner heads weigh more and take up more pack space. Anyone reading this review can probably guess that the burner head on the BRS is tiny. If you want to do cooking that requires simmering (oatmeal, refried beans, etc.) with this stove, you better be prepared for attentive cooking and continuous stirring.
Ease Of Use
The small canister stove is a fairly simple piece of backpacking gear. As such, they're generally easy to use. Aside from its stuff sack, the BRS has no parts or accessories to keep track of (or lose). All you have to do to use this stove is swing the stabilizer arms into position and attach the stove to a fuel canister. If you plan to use your stove with its stuff sack, you will need to open the fuel gauge slightly to make it fit into the bag, so before using, make sure to close the valve to avoid spraying fuel everywhere. Otherwise, using this stove is simple and fast, as it should be. It has a decently sized wire valve control handle, something we've come to expect as an essential feature.
We were pleasantly surprised with the stability of the BRS. Because the stove is so small, it has a low center of gravity, which helps. No canister stand comes with the stove, and most weight-conscious backpackers would prefer a 4-ounce canister, but our testers found that the increased mass of an 8-ounce fuel can vastly improved stability.
We appreciate the sturdiness of the pot stabilizers. Once snapped into place, they form a platform more rigid than some of the more expensive stoves. While we wouldn't want to make a habit of it, the BRS was plenty stable under our 1.7-quart test kettle, even when it was holding a liter of water. We have read several reviews on the internet that mention the stove arms melting and deforming under load once they're hot. If this happens during use, it could cause a boiling water disaster and ruin your meal. Our reviewers did not experience this while testing the stove, but complaints of this kind seem too widespread to discount.
Our biggest complaint about this stove's ease of use is the lack of a piezoelectric igniter. That said, we don't think a small canister stove could be this light and compact with an igniter.
Our testing team thinks boil times are a relevant consideration but definitely not the most important one. Still, nobody likes to wait for eons for a hot cup of coffee or tea on a cold morning. In our testing, anything in the 4-minute range was respectable. The BRS brought 1 liter of water to boil in 5 minutes and 13 seconds with no wind.
Historically, small canister stoves have struggled in the wind, and most have failed our box fan wind test. This is starting to change, and the BRS is a little behind the curve in this regard. When situated adjacent to a box fan blowing 2-4 mph (at 5,000 feet), this stove barely managed to boil one liter of water before our 15-minute cut-off time, squeaking in at 14 minutes and 45 seconds. In previous tests at 8,000 feet, a fan blowing 2-4 mph kept this stove from boiling water in 15 minutes at all. Though it was able to generate active fisheyes, water temperatures stayed in the 160s F (71 - 76C).
This stove is an excellent example of when technology has been around for long enough for the price to come way down. It's a "middle shelf" small canister stove at a "bottom shelf" price. We think it is a good value, especially for ultralight backpackers or those who are occasionally out solo for a night or two. It's inexpensive enough that it's easy to justify buying it as a second (or third) stove.
We try to keep our expectations low when reviewing products that are less than half the price of the best in their category. With the BRS-3000T, we came in with low expectations and were impressed by an average performance. This stove boils water in a decent time, has good valve control for simmering, the pot supports are remarkably stable for their size, and the burner is light and shockingly small. It's clear why this tiny stove walked away with one of our coveted Best Buy Awards.
— Mary Witlacil and Ian McEleney
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