SNOW PEAK GIGA POWER GS-100 STOVE
BY NANCY GRIFFITH
January 17, 2010
Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and hiking poles.
|Photo courtesy of Snow Peak website|
Manufacturer: Snow Peak
Year of Manufacture: 2009
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.snowpeak.com
MSRP: $39.95 US
Listed Weight: 3.25 oz (92 g)
Measured Weight: 3.1 oz (88 g)
Measured Weight of storage box: 0.8 oz (23 g)
Material: Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Brass
Size: 4-1/8"diameter x 2-5/8" (105 x 67 mm)
Output: 10,000 BTU's
The Snow Peak GS-100 is a compact stove which uses fuel canisters of an isobutane and propane mixture. The GS-100 is the stainless steel version which is slightly heavier than the titanium version. It is called 'manual' since it does not have the piezo electric starter. It consists of a burner head which the flames come out of, four pot supports which fold out and a flame adjustment control. There is a gasket seal on the bottom which seals it to the fuel canister. The pot supports extend out to provide a 4-1/8" (105 mm) diameter base for a pot to sit on. There are 5 grooves in each support to provide some grip on the pot bottom.
It comes with a plastic case that is 1-3/4 x 2 x 3-1/2 in (44 x 51 x 89 mm). With the pot supports folded in and the flame adjustment control in a slightly open position, the stove slides easily into the case.
I have used this stove on 8 backpacking trips and 2 camping trips for a total of 30 days. Elevations ranged from sea level to 10,250 ft (3,124 m) and temperatures ranged from 38 to 75 F (3 to 24 C). I used it with the 110g and 220g Snow Peak fuel and the 113g MSR IsoPro fuel. I used it with the Snow Peak 900 titanium cookset which has a pot of 4.75 in (12 cm) diameter by 4.25 in (11 cm) tall.
Some trip examples include:
Hunters Trail, Sierra Nevada (California): 3 days; 20 mi (32 km); 3,500 to 5,000 ft (1,067 to 1,524 m); 48 to 70 F (9 to 21 C).
Pacific Crest Trail, Sierra Nevada (California): 4 days; 29 mi (47 km); 7,820 to 9,000 ft (2,384 to 2,743 m); 45 to 75 F (7 to 24 C).
Appalachian Trail, White Mountains (New Hampshire): 3 days; 2,032 to 5,367 ft (619 to 1,636 m); 45 to 70 F (7 to 21 C).
Pacific Crest Trail, Central Sierra Nevada (California): 2 days; 9,610 to 10,500 ft (2,929 to 3,200 m); 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C).
Baxter State Park, Maine: 4 days; 1,079 ft (329 m); 38 to 65 F (3 to 18 C).
I held out for years from buying a stove like this just because I hate the idea of using a fuel canister that is neither refillable nor readily recyclable. It seems like a giant step backwards in terms of being environmentally friendly. However, for weight considerations and since my old white gas stove was on the fritz, I decided to purchase the Snow Peak Giga Power GS-100. I chose the one without the piezo starter because of general problems that I have had with them (on my backyard grill) and because I will certainly carry a lighter and/or matches on every trip anyway. I didn't choose the titanium one since it was only 0.75 oz (21 g) lighter yet $25 US more expensive.
I've always carried the stove in the plastic storage case just for extra protection. In order to slip the stove into the case, the flame adjustment control has to be positioned such that it is slightly open. This means that I have to remember to close it completely before attaching it to the fuel canister. I forgot this fact multiple times and wasted some fuel while I scrambled to close it. The plastic case has a sticker on it with some warning in Japanese. I suspect it is referring to this, but since I can't read it, I can't be sure.
I first used it for a 3-day backpacking trip on the La Verkin Creek Trail in Zion National Park (Utah). The elevation is 5,413 to 6,070 ft (1,650 to 1,850 m) and temperatures were 40 to 75 F (4 to 24 C). I used the Snow Peak 110 g fuel canister and made meals that only required boiling water (no simmering). So, I kept track of how many times I boiled water to get a sense of how long a canister would last. On this trip we boiled 24 oz (0.7 L) of water 7 times. There was a swirling wind that was difficult to block during several of these uses. The wind definitely seemed to cause extended boil times but it was workable.
The instructions caution against using a windscreen due to heat build-up around the fuel canister which could eventually get high enough to cause explosion. So, I have been careful to not surround the stove/canister is such a way to cause for heat build-up, but I have many times needed a windscreen just to allow the flames to heat my cook pot. It just isn't practical to not block the wind.
On the next trip I carried the used canister and a new 110g canister since the used one felt light and I had no idea how long it would last. After 3 more boils, the first canister was empty. So in total I got 10 boils from that canister.
We left the stove out one day while we day hiked and it rained lightly for several hours. I had trouble lighting the stove, so I held it upside down with the lighter beneath it to try to dry it out. It lit halfway and after several seconds lit fully. After that if I left the stove assembled and out in the open, I would leave the pot upside-down on top of it.
On two subsequent trips, I managed to boil over the contents of the pot. Once it was beef stew and once it was coffee. This made quite a mess on the stove and also doused the flame. I was able to clean it up and eventually dry it out so that it lit again. I have since been careful to monitor the pot contents during heating.
I used one of the Snow Peak 220g canisters for the 4-day Pacific Crest Trail hike. I used it for 11 boils on that trip, 7 boils on the Tahoe Rim Trail hike and finished it up on an overnighter for a total of 20 boils. I did not always have a full 24 ounces (0.7 L) of water in the pot for every boil but I usually did.
For our trip to the Northeast, I purchased a 113g canister once we flew in to Boston. The store only had MSR brand, so we tried that. The instructions caution against using fuel from other manufacturers due to the valve configuration and pin length being different leading to leaks and ignition problems. Although I would prefer to use the fuel that my stove was designed for, I didn't have any problem at all with the MSR fuel. It lasted for a 3-day backpacking trip (7 boils) and we used the rest while car camping in Baxter State Park in Maine. Again we got a total of 10 boils. On a cool morning in Maine, the canister got ice on the outside during use and barely had a flame, so we switched to using our propane stove instead.
I purchased another Snow Peak 110g canister for an overnighter to Sonora Pass (3 boils) and used it up on a Point Reyes 3-day trip again for a total of 10 boils. On average there was 20 oz (0.6 L) of water in each boil. When packing for this trip I mis-read my hash marks and thus did not bring an extra fuel canister. So, when we ran out on the last day, we used some of our friends' MSR fuel to finish off boiling our water for breakfast. It frustrates me that I need to carry a used and new fuel canister on every trip. If not I would just end up wasting partially used canisters.
The Snow Peak Giga Power GS-100 stove is a light-weight, compact stove with good output. It has been completely reliable with the exception of the fuel canister freezing up one time.
THINGS I LIKE
Good power output
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
Uses fuel canisters that are not refillable
Have to carry partially-used canisters
Fuel canister freezes up in cold temperatures
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
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