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Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Cook Sets > LuxuryLite Koozy Kitchen > Test Report by Kathryn Doiron
LuxuryLite Koozy Kitchen stove system
Test series by Kathryn Doiron
Initial Report: May 7 2008
Field Report: Jul 28 2008
Long Term Report: Sep 23 2008
From LuxuryLite website
Name: Kathryn Doiron
Height: 5' 8" (1.7 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)
Email: kdoiron 'at' gmail 'dot' com
Location: Washington DC, USA
Brief Background: I started backpacking and hiking seriously almost four years ago. Most of my miles have been logged in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I have recently finished 1200+ mi (2000+ km) of the Appalachian Trail. My style is to be as light as possible while not spending a fortune. My pack weight tends to hover around 25 lb (11 kg) with two days of food and 16 oz (0.5 L) of water. I have recently started getting into winter hiking, snowshoeing and kayaking.
Manufacturer: LuxuryLite Gear
MSRP: US $55
Material: Stainless steel (SS) cup, neoprene sleeve, plastic cup and stainless steel stove
May 7th 2008
The LuxuryLite Koozy Kitchen is marketed as a light weight, easy to use stove that is durable and aimed for hikers who like to rehydrate meals. The whole setup comes with a stainless steel cup which acts as a pot, the stove which uses a canister, a plastic cup and a neoprene coozy. The stove has a diameter of 4.5 in. (11.3 cm) and the cup has a diameter of 3.75 in. (9.5 cm) with the handle sticking out 1.25 in. (3.2 cm) from the cup. The neoprene coozy fits over the plastic cup and can alternatively be rolled down in half and fit over the canister to keep it warm in cool weather. For storage, the plastic cup with coozy fits inside the metal cup and the stove with attached fuel canister fits inside both cups. The stove is as tall as the plastic cup is deep so this is a nice snug fit. Filled to the top, the SS cup holds 26 oz (0.77 L) and the plastic cup holds 32 oz (0.95 L) according to the line markings.
This is a compact stove setup. With the stove nestled inside the nested cups, there is seems to be enough protection for the stove to leave the canister attached to the stove. This is one of the selling points that LuxuryLite makes. In order to prevent loss of gas incurred from screwing the stove on and off the canister, why not just leave it on. The cups nest together and the neoprene makes for a somewhat snug fit. They can be pulled apart with a little effort. The neoprene is more difficult to pull off the plastic cup. According to the website, the stove is best used for heating MREs (meals ready to eat) or rehydrating backpacking foods. The metal cup is used as a pot to boil water and either an MRE is placed in the water or a resealable bag is draped over the plastic cup ready to receive water. With the MRE ready, the hot water can be used to make a hot beverage. For rehydrating, water is poured into the resealable bag and the bag closed for the food to rehydrate. The cup coozy keeps the meal warm and allows for the cup to be handled without burning fingers while eating from the bag. Waste is kept contained and there is virtually no clean up.
This is an interesting system. I have never used a canister-based stove. I like the fact that this stove comes with an integrated lighter so I don't have to fiddle with child-proof lighters. I also like that I can just leave the canister attached and not worry about accidentally cross-threading the canister at night. The stove's pot base is large enough to hold the provided cup although the cup handles seem a little short. I will be looking into how hot the handles on the cup get when heating water in the cup. As I sometimes backpack with a partner, I will be looking into how well the stove deals with a small pot to heat water for two people. My typical cooking style when hiking is to keep it simple and to minimize clean up and waste. I generally do freezer bag cooking and will sometimes scald my fingers on the hot freezer bag. I don't normally eat MREs or backpacking dinners but have been known to on occasion.
Having never used a canister stove before, I found this one was easy to use. The fuel controller is folded out of the way, after straightening it and turning on the fuel flow, I pressed the piezo lighter twice before getting flame. I didn't know how high I should put the fuel flow to get maximum efficiency without wasting gas so the first boil time was about 3 minutes for 1 cup of water. The second time I tried to boil one cup of water, I opened up the throttle and let it rip. I had sufficiently hot water in 1 min 45 sec. By 2 min 6 seconds I had a full rolling boil. This was water that had started at 77 F (25 C). The handles to the stainless steel cup were quite hot though. Almost too hot to handle comfortable. The plastic cup has measurement markings on the outside that are just barely visible through the opaque plastic. As the neoprene koozy can be a little hard to pull on and off, this might be a bit of an impediment to measuring out specific quantities of water.
My test plan over the next couple of months will be to use this stove on all my outdoor activities. This will include backpacking, car camping and overnight kayaking trips. I will be looking into how well the stove stands up to wind, rain and pack abuse. I will be checking out how efficiently the stove heats water and how well the neoprene coozy keeps my food warm and my hands unburnt. I will be bringing this stove with me on my upcoming new moon hike to make hot chocolate and two upcoming backpacking trips and possibly a car camping trip. All these trips will be happening in the Virginia area.
July 28th 2008
I have taken the LuxuryLite Koozy kitchen on one overnight trip and two full moon hiking trips for a total of 4 days of use. The big overnight trip I took this on was a three day two night trip up into the George Washington National Forest in Virginia. The elevation gain was at most 3000 ft (914 m) and we camped at about 2000 ft (609 m). I used the stove on this trip to mostly boil water for oatmeal and tea for breakfast, as well as to boil water to rehydrate in the bag meals. I was cooking for two people on this trip with two breakfasts, and two suppers. Temperatures were in the high 80's F (about 30 C) during the day and at night they would drop to about 50 F (10 C).
The two moon hikes were a relatively easy 2 mi (3.2 km) hike in to a large field to lay down and watch the moon rise. I prepared hot chocolate for several people using this stove. Both hikes had about 4 people on the trip. Temperatures dropped to about 65 F (18 C) from a starting temperature of about 75 F (24 C).
I find that I don't always crank the heat up all the way when heating water. Generally I am not in a hurry for hot water as I am setting up for the meal. I seem to average about 3 minutes to boil about 2 cups of water. The first meal with the LuxuryLite was a rehydrate in the bag meal. The second meal was a Lipton Rice Side. For this meal, I boiled the water in the stainless steel cup, I poured the Lipton Side in a zippered topped bag draped over the neoprene covered plastic cup. I then added the water to the bag and sealed it up to 'cook' for 10 minutes. This would have worked out better if I had used a sturdier bag with a better zippered top. The neoprene cup did work well to catch the extra juice that leaked from the zippered top and to keep the meal hot over the 10 minute cook time. I let the rice go another 5 minutes and found it was still quite hot. In fact, the meal was still hot enough to burn my mouth.
As I have no feed back for when the fuel starts coming out, I think I might be hitting the lighter a little later then I need to. But this does mean that I get the stove to light in one shot of the lighter. The stove set is very easy to set up and work and I have had no difficulties with using it yet. I have not noticed any stability issues and the cup seems to sit well on the support. So far, I have been careful to make sure the stove is level and have not had any issues with the cup sliding. I like that the set nests together and I don't have to worry about removing the canister from the stove. The nested stove and cups fit nicely in my pack, better than my pot normally fits.
I have had fun using the stove over the last two months and look forward to the next two months. I will be looking into using this stove for more than simply boiling water with. I will see how well it works to cook meals directly on the burner and if it can simmer. I will also look into how well the pot supports grip a pan when I need to stir as I have not yet had to stir boiling water. The more ways I can cook on this the more useful a stove it is to me overall.
Pros so far are ease of use and compact nature. Cons are that the cup handle gets very hot.
Long Term Report:
September 23rd 2008
I took this stove set out on three more trips for a total of 8 days and 7 nights, with 6 meals cooked. I have been pleased with the use and durability of the stove cookset. The long shape of the cup and stove together make it easy to shove the cylinder down into any crevice in my backpack. The versatility of the cook set to either reheat an MRE type meal, or to boil water make this a good system, but being able to actually cook on the stove with another pot, gives this a much more versatile option especially when traveling with a companion. The quality of the meals I was able to cook went up when I had someone along to share the weight of the cooking pot. I found that the neoprene helped keep the contents of the cup hot. Enough so, that I wasn't left with crunchy rice or noodles. I found that packaged meals that need to be boiled require less water when being rehydrated.
The first trip was a three day, two night backpacking trip out to the Canaan Valley into the Dolly Sods in West Virginia. Over the three days, meals cooked included 2 breakfasts, and 2 suppers, plus some hot chocolate on one night. Cooking was for two people for all meals. The first supper simply required boiling water and was hydrated right in the bag. Both breakfasts required hot water and enough water for tea. The second supper was a Lipton rice side and was cooked in a pot over the stove. I also used the lid of my pot to fry some summer sausage to add to the rice dish. The stove handled the pot very nicely. The pot has rings in the bottom and the pot teeth on the stove helped to secure the pot to the stove. Although the stove was set on a level surface, I felt more comfortable holding the pot while stirring. I was able to achieve a simmer with the stove while cooking the rice dish, then I jacked the heat back up and fried the summer sausage easily. Just like a gas stove at home, I had instant heat when I turned it up and no heat once it was off. When I killed the heat under the frying pan, the frying stopped almost immediately.
The next trip out was an overnight 10 mile trip in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and included only supper. I boiled up enough water for the meal then dumped the water, plus Lipton noodle packet into a freezer bag, sealed it and let it 'cook' in the Koozy. After about 10 minutes I added some tuna and stirred things up. Noodles were cooked and the outside of the bag still felt quite hot to the touch. I learned that the canister must be shaken before each trip as I discovered after finishing the meal that I was running on fumes. I feel I got some good use out of the canister. I did keep an ear out for the hissing of gas when I turned on the stove and it is very difficult to hear. It is there but I had to have my ear right down near the stove. As the canister was nearly out, this may have led to a softer hiss. I didn't hear it on other occasions but might have been distracted. I have never had any trouble getting the stove to start. The piezo light has been great and consistent with each starting.
The last trip out was a car camping trip in West Virginia for the Gauley Festival. The nights were down to about 50 F (10 C) and the days up to about 90 F (32 C). I ate cold breakfasts to get a quick start on the day and only ended up cooking one meal on the stove setup. The meal was spaghetti and I had pre-dumped the spaghetti in a quart sized freezer bag. I draped the bag over the sides Koozy cup and heated the 2 cups of water the meal called for. I then dumped the water in the bag and let it sit, stirring occasionally. The spaghetti stayed hot through out the cooking process and if I needed the heat to stay in longer, I could have also covered the plastic cup with the metal cup. I ate the meal from the bag still draped over the cup while walking around. The cup is quite deep and my normal sized spoon wasn't up to the task of reaching all the way down to the bottom. I had to remove the bag from the cup to get at the last few spoonfuls of the meal. The meal stayed warm to the end.
In summary, I have really enjoyed using the stove system. I am not sure if this would fully replace my alcohol stove, but the versatility of this stove will definitely make is a great addition to my current gear. I liked the lightness and compactness of the system. As the fuel canister stays on the system, there is no loss of fuel from repeatedly screwing and unscrewing the canister to the stove. The handles on the metal cup sometimes get very hot after boiling water, but knowing that, I now keep a bandana handy while cooking. This stove was used with one to two people. I didn't try to feed more then that at one time.
This concludes my long term report on the LuxuryLite Koozy Kitchen. I hope you have enjoyed following this test series.
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