Gear Review Classic Stoves - Coleman single burners, Pt 1

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by DKR, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe


    Coleman single burners come in two basic types: Propane and liquid fuel.

    In this, part 1, I will examine the propane side of the single burner family. Part two will look at the far more diverse family of offerings that burn liquid fuels.

    The propane stove pictured above is the 10K BTU model, designed to be supported by a 16 oz fuel bottle. The Vendor lists these obvious 'features'
    • Features a large 8" burner bowl
    • Uniquely designed pot support system distributes heat evenly
    • Designed to help reduce cooking time
    • Output is fully adjustable from simmer to full boil
    • Features a 10,000 BTU high performance burner
    • PerfectFlow regulator provides a consistent cooking performance by producing a steady fuel stream even in cold weather, high altitudes and when fuel is low
    • Limited manufacturer's warranty
    • Model # 2000010642
    The first and most important feature, and something true for most propane stoves is the range of output. Setting these to simmer a dish is no problem, unlike the stoves reviewed earlier. This burner was made to cook with. Sells for around $30 USD, shop around as puce varies with vendor. .

    A cursory look at the web will shows dozens, if not hundreds, of reviews and other articles about this specific stove. Rather than re-hash all of that, lets get to the pros/cons.

    Pros -
    • Easy to set up and easy to light
    • The burner bowl helps to concentrate the heat.
    • Designed to use the ubiquitous 16 oz fuel canister.
    • Will fit on the top outlet of the Coleman bottle tree - here is a photo of the extender

    • Designed to use the ubiquitous 16 oz fuel canister. While the narrow diameter 14 oz bottle could be pressed into service, it would be one of those 'emergency' cases..
    • Sensitive to the wind, just like most 'camping stoves' - it is tall enough that finding a windscreen could be a problem/
    • No fuel gauge. Short of carrying an accurate scale, knowing how much fuel is left in the canister is a bit if a crap shoot.

    These small-bottle fed units are problematic in cold weather. Since Bernoulli's principle applies, I've found through personal experience (and ruined meals) these type of fueled appliances to be all but worthless in cold weather. I have white gas stoves, lanterns and kero heaters for a reason.

    While the unit has a wide base, it is still less stable that other choices, this is further compounded by the height of the unit.

    Bottom line : These are a good choice for storage at home for utility outage where you will be cooking a firm surface, indoors for the most part. For a few days. The fuel stores well, with some cautions, and is safe to use. .

    What else?

    Coleman makes this burner unit which is larger, but far more stable.
    This 'low profile' unit is just 7500 BTU and sells for abound $60.
    Stansport (RoK) makes a very similar unit that sells for around $20.
    In fact, Stansport makes a series of Coleman clones priced at about 1/2 of what the the Coleman units sell for. Parts are problematic and while they work, IMO - they are not quite as stout as the Coleman products. That difference has almost evaporated over the last few years as Coleman has started cost-cutting...

    It is worth remembering that I can still buy factory OEM parts for my dad's 1950's Coleman products....

    Since the title calls out Coleman, I'll stick with that -
    The older, Vintage Coleman model 5418B700 may be found at the thrift store/GROJ sales and is IMO, a much better unit. Even in this style of stove, there are multiple variations. These can accommodate the 14 OZ bottles much better.

    Another propane variation I'll touch on is the minimalist grasshopper style stoves
    The one in my chuckbox is made by Primus - and dates from the mid-1970s. It works, it is a but tricky to adjust for flame. This is lightweight and easy to pack. I keep mine as a curiosity, but frankly, there are better choices these days. Given that it is made to run from metal, one pound canisters, the design seems a bit self defeating....

    Most Coleman products are deigned for the 'casual' camper - not really light weight and not as 'sturdy' as other outdoor products, this has really become obvious in the last few years. Much of their product line is now made overseas - for the oversea market. In China - Coleman is considered a luxury brand. Pretty cool.

    End part 1.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  2. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    The Coleman dual fuel stoves are pretty awesome because you can use naptha fuel or gasoline. I keep two ready to go at all times.
    Dont, Sapper John and Oddcaliber like this.
  3. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Nice info Brokor. I wasn't a fan of Coleman propane stoves until Hurricane Florence left us wet and powerless. It's just nice to have an instant adjustable flame and no fuel smells in the house. I'm keeping my old suitcase stoves and singles, but I'm more accepting of the propane generation now.
    502 and drum after. I grew up with the Coleman 502, and it was my not-so-light bicycle camping stove. With a heat drum it's useful for heating an ice shanty or warming the old Ford tractors oil pan so it'll start easier after the snow has stopped falling and the road needs clearing.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
    Brokor likes this.
  4. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    One of the most important tips for dual fuel stove users who are not accustomed to the preheat process, especially on kerosene, is to have a wet bath towel handy. If the stove fails to preheat and the liquid fuel causes and uncontrollable fire, it can be quickly smothered with the towel. I've seen several USMC issue Coleman Peak 1 dual fuel stoves that have been completely burned down, with all the plastic melted, because nobody thought to smother the flames with a wet towel.
    ghrit likes this.
  5. Oddcaliber

    Oddcaliber Monkey+++

    Keep a single propane stove on hand to. Actually used it to. Awaiting part 2.
  6. hot diggity

    hot diggity Monkey+++ Site Supporter+++

    Me too. :) I just found a Coleman two burner propane stove with electronic ignition. Made in '89 and never fired. Reminds me very much of the kitchen stove from my apartment in Japan. Haven't had a chance to test it yet since it has a broken O-ring.
    Oddcaliber likes this.
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