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Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Snow Peak Giga Power SS Stove > Test Report by Andrew Buskov


Snowpeak BoxSnow Peak Giga Power Stove Auto
Snow Peak's classic Stove with igniter.
Andrew Buskov

Initial Report - May 24, 2007
Field Report - August 5, 2007
Long Term Report - October 1, 2007

Tester Biographical Information

Name: Andrew Buskov
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Email: Rescue(at)Corridor9(dot)net
City, State Zip Madisonville, Kentucky  USA

Giga with CanisterBackpacking Background:

I started backpacking and quickly became hooked on the outdoors, hiking various environments from the green mountains of the Appalachians to the barren desert of Arizona. I enjoy the solitude of deep backcountry, and prefer colder weather but global warming is making that tougher all the time. I’m usually a moderate weight hiker, but as an Emergency Medical Technician I’m trained to be prepared, so my pack usually weighs between 20 to 30 lbs (9 and 14 kg) while soloing, to 50 lbs (23 kg) when leading. Additional information about the author can be found at http://www.corridor9.net.

Product Information:


Item: Snow Peak Giga Power Stove Auto
Manufacturer: Snow Peak
Website http://www.snowpeak.com
Year of Manufacture: 2007
MSRP: $49.95 US
Actual Weight: 3.6 oz (102 g) Without Case
Listed Weight: 3.75 oz (106 g) Without Case
Weight with Case:4.7 oz (133 g)

Product Overview:

Described as the smallest and lightest canister stove for years, exceptionally well built and sought after by lightweight backpackers, the Snow Peak Giga Power stove is Snow Peak's classic canister stove design. Its four collapsible pot supports have serrations to ensure that pots remain where they are placed. The large flame adjuster makes burning fingers a thing of the past, and the auto igniter quickly and easily lights the gas. 

Initial Impression:

The Snow Peak Giga Power arrived in a plain brown box. Inside I found the retail packaging containing the stove, instruction sheets, and a carrying case. It was in good condition, complete and undamaged.

Contents of BoxI was lucky enough to get a few canisters of fuel only a few days before and was itching to test this stove out. As I had never owned my own canister stove prior to testing this one, I wasn't exactly sure what to expect. Upon opening the box I went through the required measurement and weight session to get accurate measurements.

 After finishing, I immediately started playing to get a general idea of what to expect. As I was connecting the stove to the canister for the first time I was startled by the amout of gas leaking out. I was curious if this much gas would leak out of the canister each time I connected it to the stove. However, after a second or two, I messed with the valve to make sure it was closed. It wasn't, and as I turned it to the closed position, I found that the leak stopped. Unfortunately because of the design of the stove and the carrying case it fits in, the valve is not fully closed when it is aligned so that the stove can be placed in the carrying case. Because I'm so used to my valve being closed unless I'm using the stove, remembering to close the valve prior to placing it on the canister is something that still escapes me on occasion.

High FlameAfter making sure that the valve was fully sealed, I didn't experience any leaking gas when connecting the canister to the stove. There was still a minute amount of fuel escaping into the air when removing the stove from the canister, but this is to be expected as there will always be a bit of fuel below the stoves valve, but above the canister valve during removal. There wasn't enough fuel to cause a hazard, and only slightly enough to even be noticeable by smell.

The Giga Power looks to be a very well designed stove. It provides the backpacker with high heat, a stable platform for your pot, easy adjustment of the flame, and a piezo igniter all in a lightweight and compact package. In my mind these qualities equate to a very valuable stove for backpacking. These qualities have also been noticed by the backpacking community as evident by the Backpacker Editor's Choice Award dating back to 1999.

Being as how this weighs considerably less than my other stove,  is much more compact, and seems to provide all the qualities I'm looking for in a canister stove, I'm pretty sure that I'm going to completely enjoy testing this stove. I'd like to thank Backpackgeartest.org and Snow Peak for allowing me the opportunity to participate in this test.


Field Report - August 5, 2007

Field Locations:

I've been able to use the Snow Peak Giga Power stove on 3 occasions over the past 2 months. The first occasion was cooking outside my back door. The elevation for the area is roughly 400 ft (122 m), and temperatures for that day were around 78 F (26 C). The second and third outings were in the Pennyrile State Forest. Elevation for that area is between 400 -700 ft (122 - 213 m). The temperature for those outings were roughly 85 F (29 C). On none of my outings did I experience any rain or precipitation of any kind.

Performance:

I've been exceptionally pleased with the Snow Peak Giga since setting it up for the first time. Setup is exceptionally quick and easy. In less than a minute I can have the stove setup and boiling water. It really is as simple as screwing the stove onto a canister then pressing the igniter button. This stove also appears to work with any fuel canisters available as I've tested this with Jetboil and MSR canisters, though Snow Peak recommends only using their brand of fuel.

Boiling WaterThe stove is quick to fire, usually on the first press of the igniter, and burns hot almost instantly. I have never had to use any other ignition source as of yet. There isn't any flame other than that coming out of the burner. Other stoves I've seen have flame shooting around the canister connection so I was a bit worried when I first set this up but this stove doesn't function like them.

There is no windscreen with the stove, and from all the information I've read most manufacturer's caution against the use of a windscreen. This is due to the rising possibility of a BLEVE when a windscreen is used. BLEVE is an acronym for Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion. This can generally be thought of as a chain reaction with explosive results. Because a windscreen tends to trap heat, the liquid inside the can boils at a faster rate than it does in the ambient air. This causes the vapor pressure to increase inside the canister. As the pressure increases the canister weakens and eventually fails at its weakest point; usually the seams.

That being said.... I have used a windscreen with this stove with good results. Since the whole objective of a wind screen is to block wind, I elected to use an oversize windscreen with vent holes in the bottom to allow rising air to cool the canister. This worked out great and didn't overheat the canister. At no point did the canister feel hot to the touch, or difficult to handle.

So far, I haven't finished the single 8 oz (227 g) MSR IsoPro canister that I've been using on my trips, so I can't elaborate on canister usage yet. I also haven't had to clean it, and haven't seen any dirt or debris on the stove at all. Using my Evernew Ti pot, I was able to boil 2 cups (0.47 L) in approximately two minutes and 18 seconds.

So far, I'm expectionally pleased with this stove, and look forward to more good meals in the backcountry.

Long Term Report - October 1, 2007

Field Locations:

During this test period I was only able to use this stove on my trip last weekend to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I was able to use this stove 7 times for cooking both breakfast and dinner. The temperature during dinner was usually around 60 F (15 C) while breakfast was about 45 F (7 C). I didn't see any precipitation at all, though there was a bit of frost and dew on the ground in the mornings. The elevations I was able to use this at ranged from 2420 ft (738 m) to 6475 ft (1874 m). The area was quite mountainous and proved to be real windy, especially during the evening meals. A couple of times I saw half the burner flame out due to the wind.

Performance:

Snow Peak with PotI've been exceptionally pleased with the Snow Peak Giga Power stove over the entire testing period. From setup to take down, it's one of the fastest, cleanest, most powerful stoves I've used. In short, it will definitely become the main stove that I take with me on any of my backpacking trips. From solo trips, to multi-person excursions, this stove has powered through everything I've thrown at it. I've been able to quickly boil water for breakfasts, simmer Angel Hair pasta for dinner, and even fry up an omelet. This stove works as well at low flame as it does at high flame.

I've been able to use fuel from 3 manufacturers over the testing period: Jetboil, MSR, and Snow Peak. While this stove was able to run on all fuels, I was surprised that the Snow Peak fuel gave me the most problems. When screwing the stove onto the canister, I found that only the Snow Peak brand fuel let fuel escape between the threads before seating the canister completely with the gasket. Neither of the other brands let any fuel escape.

Snow Peak with MSRIn addition, The Snow Peak fuel was more apt to flame out in windy conditions. Although the entire flame around the burner head never went completely out, there were a few times that up to half of the burner was out. I never experienced this with the MSR or Jetboil fuels. I was happy to be able to use different sized canisters well and still have the stability to boil 6 c (1.5 L) of water without worrying about tipping it over. While I didn't fully consume any of the fuel canisters, I did find that I was able to use an 8 oz (227 g) canister for more than 1.5 hours. Most of the time I was simply boiling water, but I did cook some tortellini once and had to boil the water for 20 minutes. Throughout the entire time the stove powered right on and didn't sputter or lose power once.

All of my cooking was done with Evernew Slick Titanium Cookware. I've heard the term "Ever-glue" before, but not experienced it till this past weekend. While I was cooking my omelet, the pan became so hot from the flame that the eggs fused to the coating and stuck just like "glue". I didn't even realize that the stove was that hot because there was very little visible flame, but apparently it was quite warm. I ended up scraping a good deal of the non-stick coating off my pot in order to fully clean it. I would definitely recommend caution when using such a powerful stove with any sort of titanium non-stick cookware.

Unlike my other stoves, I never burned myself once with the Snow Peak Giga Power stove. Not only was the handle long enough that I didn't have to worry about touching a hot pan, but the stove cooled off really quickly. On the last morning of the trip I had boiled 4 cups of water for a rice dish. I poured the water into a freezer bag that I was using to cook the rice, placed it in a cozy, and almost immediately began to take down the stove. There wasn't more than 3 minutes of lag time yet the stove was cool to the touch. That's pretty good for steel that was glowing red hot just a few minutes earlier.

In total, over the life of the test I may have found little quirks that I've had to learn to deal with being as how this was the first canister stove that I've used, but nothing sticks out in my mind as a hassle or problem. The only thing that I feel could be improved is the valve itself. As stated above, when the valve is fully closed, the stove won't fit into its carrying case. I have to crack the valve 1/8th of a turn to place it in its case. I'm still leaking fuel on occasion because I forget to seat the valve fully before connecting it to a canister. If this were changed so that the valve was fully seated when the stove was placed into its case I would be completely pleased.

I'd like to thank Snow Peak and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to test this stove.





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