Coleman Exponent Feather 442 Dual Fuel Stove
By Jeff Ruhle
April 21, 2009
Waterville, Maine, USA
6' 3" (1.90 m)
175 lb (79.40 kg)
I developed a love for backpacking while spending the semester abroad in New Zealand. I enjoy playing games and seeing how little I can pack to keep my pack light, however, I always pack a lot of food. My favorite terrain is steep, rugged, alpine terrain with more vertical and less horizontal. Living in New England, I find a lot of this terrain since the trail makers don't seem to make many switchbacks. I also am highly involved with a large number of other outdoor activities like skiing, kayaking, climbing, and biking. Generally, I like to push my comfort zone.
Manufacturer: The Coleman Company, Inc.
|For size comparison|
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.coleman.com
Listed Weight: 24 oz (680 g)
Measured Weight: 25 oz (709 g)
Fuel Type: Coleman fuel or unleaded gasoline
Measured Dimensions: 6 in (152 mm) height by 5.5 in (140 mm) diameter
Product Specs from Manufacturer's website:
-Fuel capacity is 11.8 oz (349 ml)
-Boil time is 3 min, 45 sec
-Burn time is 1 hour, 35 minutes on high, 7 hours on simmer
The Coleman Exponent Feather 442 (from herein referred to as "the stove") is a dual fuel (Coleman fuel, their brand of white gas, or unleaded gasoline) camping stove. It has an integrated tank, pump and pot support which doubles as a heat shield. There are three feet on the bottom of the tank that fold out to provide a wide base for support.
This stove is one of two stoves (the other being a super-lightweight compact) that I own. Being the heavier of the two, it is usually favored for base camp duty due to its larger size and weight. That being said, it still makes a great backpacking stove in the absence of something smaller and lighter or when weight is not a big deal.
Having been used an estimated 35-40 days, it has been used at low altitudes (less than 2000 ft or 610 m) in temperatures from 20 to 90 F (-7 to 32 C) and most types of weather. As mentioned above, it has been primarily used in a base camp situation; however it has accompanied me on two backpacking trips. One was a fairly flat coastal hike in Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand. It was used to cook for 6 people on the beach for several days, sometimes in very windy locations. The second trip was a three person back country ski trip in Baxter State Park, and we were able to load it in a sled. Most of the food that I take on trips like this is dry, high energy food (pasta, rice, dehydrated meals, soup mixes, etc) which requires boiling water.
Although it is billed as a dual-fuel stove, I have yet to use it with unleaded gasoline. My other stove runs on white gas, so it is just easier to use that for both stoves.
Review of Features
The first thing I have to say about this stove is that it's quite robust. I have not treated it very well, dropped it numerous times, used it on sandy beaches, and never cleaned it. There are a couple small dents, but it still works perfectly and nothing has broken.
Another highlight for me is the fuel efficiency. It appears to be much more efficient than the other stove I have. This is probably due to the double metal plates. Both stoves have one cup shaped plate that directly contacts the flames to direct them upward. This gets red hot after several minutes of use, and probably loses a significant amount of energy to radiation. On the Feather 442, there is a second heat-shield plate which shrouds the first. This directs a lot of radiated energy back into the central part of the stove and the vessel on top.
The stove functions quite smoothly and is easy to operate. Like any liquid fuel stove, I must pressurize the tank by pumping. Since the tank does not need to be removed after every use, I often leave it charged, and often only have to pump it a few times before priming it. Priming involves letting a small amount of liquid fuel out and igniting it to heat the gas line. Yellow flames indicate liquid fuel being burned, so it is ready to cook when the yellow flames have disappeared. I tested the time it takes to prime in calm conditions at 65 F (18.3 C). Keeping the flames low (between 6-12 in or 15-30 cm), it took about 45 seconds for the yellow flames to disappear. After this, the lever on the fuel line can be rotated to control a hot, blue flame.
The manufacturer states that the capacity of this stove is 11.8 oz (350 ml), which seems to be more than sufficient. I have only had to refill it once in the middle of a trip. This was a week-long trip, on which it was used to cook dinner and boil water for 2 people. We made a lot of pasta that trip, which may have meant greater fuel consumption. With my usual menu and portions, I could survive easily without refueling for a 3 day trip.
The folding feet on the bottom of the tank are a nice touch, but I still find the stove to be slightly unstable when there is a large load on top. When stirring the pot's contents, I often need to hold the pot to prevent it from tipping. I think this may be due to the height of the stove.
|Legs folded underneath|
The stove is surprisingly lighter than I had first expected. It does not compare to a lot of the super-lightweight stoves on the market, but it certainly makes up distance in other areas, such as durability. It is rather bulky (although no more than a propane stove and tank), but can easily be secured to the outside of a pack.
-Easy to use
-Good fuel efficiency
-Flexible fuel types
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
-Slightly larger and heavier than the super-lightweight/compact stoves on the market
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