November 30, 2022

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Solo Range Lite Assessment: The Smokeless Hearth Pit Goes Light-weight for the Backcountry

After an extended day on the path backpacking, you need a sizzling meal rapidly. However there’s additionally one thing magical about an actual fireplace within the woods — versus the hissing of isobutane burners.

There are a selection of light-weight range choices in the marketplace lately that attempt to make cooking a breeze. The Solo Range Lite is a straightforward approach to nonetheless have a hearth, with out the effort and smoke of a standard fireplace. The Solo Range makes use of its signature 360-degree Airflow Design that burns gas extra effectively, creating a warmer, much less smoky fireplace.

Solo Range is probably going finest identified for its massive smokeless fireplace pits. The big metal fireplace pits are ubiquitous on social media and glamping websites throughout the nation. Nonetheless, Solo Range additionally has a pint-sized model, particularly aimed toward backpackers trying to go light-weight.

The idea is much like the larger model. It’s a small metal range that generates warmth utilizing small twigs, sticks, and kindling as gas. The Solo Range Lite Gear Equipment ($155) features a nesting pot, an alcohol burner, firestarter, tinder on a rope, and windscreen — and the Lite range itself.

Intrigued by the setup and promise of a low-smoke easy-to-use range, I opted to shelve my gasoline gas range to present the Solo Range a shot on a current tenting journey in Montana, after which British Columbia.

Briefly: Given the proper circumstances and set of circumstances, the Solo Range Lite is a improbable choice to cook dinner meals and boil water within the backcountry. And nothing fairly beats the environment of cooking over an open fireplace. It’s no surprise the Solo Range Lite is GearJunkie’s favourite wood-burning choice for Greatest Backpacking Stoves. 

Solo Range Lite Assessment

Assembling the Kitchen

(Picture/David Younger)

The Solo Range Lite gear package comes with six separate gadgets to hold to create your backcountry camp kitchen, together with the range, pot, alcohol burner, fireplace striker, windscreen, and tinder-on-a-rope.

The center of it’s the ultralight stainless-steel camp range, which weighs in at 9 ounces and stands 5.7 inches tall. If this was all you carried, it will be thought-about ultralight. Nonetheless, as soon as I included the opposite supplies, it clocks in at greater than a pound. Nonetheless, fairly light-weight all in all for a wood-burning range.

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You too can convey as many or as few of the equipment as you want. The range by itself will work nice to supply a small campfire to cook dinner over.

adding sticks the Solo Stove Lite
(Picture/David Younger)

Establishing the range is fairly easy and straightforward. Merely take away the stand that nests on the range and add tinder or sticks to the range. Solo Range recommends utilizing hardwoods resembling birch or maple if potential, which burn extra effectively and assist with the smokeless fireplace. I used some sticks that did produce just a little little bit of smoke, however not lots.

lighting up the the solo stove lite
(Picture/David Younger)

I shaved a little bit of tinder into the hearth and used the Ferro rod to spark the wooden. Whereas maybe not as fast as clicking a starter on a Jetboil, in a short while I had a pleasant little fireplace going. The stand sits within the range, after which the pot sits simply on high and holds as much as 30 ounces of water.

Your entire setup is secure and appears actually glossy with all of the metal. The pot with a foldable deal with and lid jogs my memory of a giant Snow Peak mug. And the varied cooking choices with an precise fireplace are good to have. There’s something about gathering downed wooden to make an actual fireplace that I get pleasure from, as I’m positive many different backpackers, significantly purists, do too.

The wooden fireplace is the differentiator right here with the Solo Range, and likewise could be its downfall. With the variety of wildfires within the West, fireplace restrictions might restrict the usage of any such range. Earlier than setting out, examine with native businesses to make sure that an open fireplace is allowed.

Cooking within the Montana Backcountry

Cooking with solo stove
(Picture/David Younger)

Fortuitously for me, the realm I used to be in allowed fires, so I used to be capable of check out the Solo Range with the river as my backdrop.

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First I made a decision simply to strive boiling some water contemplating that’s typically the extent of cooking within the backcountry. The range completed this with little effort. Inside a couple of minutes, the water within the metal pot was roiling and prepared for espresso, tea, or a backpacker freeze-dried meal.

One observe: The pot does get highly regarded, so it’s good to have a glove or bandana readily available to make use of whenever you seize the handles.

If all you’re doing is boiling water, this setup could possibly be thought-about overkill. A number of the different techniques resembling Jetboils or MSR’s WhisperLites are as mild, if not lighter, and might boil water quicker.

Cooking with solo stove kit

Nonetheless, when you plan to do any cooking the Solo Range is a superb choice to have. I combined up some recent soup within the pot and it labored nice. Solo Range sells varied equipment that make cooking in a pan or skillet simpler, too. It’s additionally pleasurable to have just a little campfire going as soon as you’re performed cooking to eat by or get pleasure from a drink subsequent to.

Cleanup with the system is fairly straightforward as effectively. Merely clear the pot, extinguish the hearth, empty the ash, reassemble the range within the pot, and you’re good to go.

I had fairly good climate and dry gas to make use of when testing out the range. Nonetheless, if you end up in moist or windy circumstances, it may be just a little more difficult to get the range began. That’s the place the windscreen or alcohol burner can turn out to be useful.

The light-weight eight-paneled windscreen folds out and might encompass the range to assist block the breeze. And the alcohol burner is a pleasant backup gas choice. It holds denatured alcohol and includes a flame regulator as a failsafe firestarter as wanted.

Solo Range Lite: Definitely worth the Effort?

I view the Solo Range Lite as much like cooking over an open fireplace versus a propane grill when automobile tenting. There are pluses and minuses to each.

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Solo stove lite
(Picture/David Younger)

When you get pleasure from cooking over an open fireplace, then the Solo Range is a superb choice for backpackers. It’s light-weight, easy, sustainable, and comparatively straightforward total. Plus, you get the pleasure of the snap, crackle, and pop related to a wood-burning fireplace.

In comparison with a light-weight isobutane range setup, it does require just a little bit extra work upfront to collect wooden and begin a hearth, and it might take just a little longer to cook dinner with this setup.

Nonetheless, there’s no want to hold gas with this range that’s excellent for a few folks and nests completely into the pot. In case you are flying someplace for a backpacking journey, comfort is good when you carry Solo’s Lite Equipment — don’t fear about discovering gas whenever you arrive.

When cooking, I had to verify to repeatedly feed the hearth, even eradicating the pot at instances so as to add gas, as a result of the system does burn by means of sticks and twigs relatively rapidly. It’s not a set-it-and-forget-it system. It requires you to have a tendency the hearth to make sure that it continues burning.

Solo Range Lite: Specs

Lite Camp Range

  • Diameter: 4.25 in.
  • Top: 5.7 in.
  • Weight: 9 oz.
  • Supplies: Stainless-steel

Solo Range Pot 900

  • Diameter: 4.7 in.
  • Top: 4.5 in.
  • Weight: 7.8 oz.
  • Supplies: 304 stainless-steel
  • Quantity: 30 oz. (900 ml)

Alcohol Burner

  • Diameter: 2.9 in.
  • Top: 1.8 in.
  • Weight: 3.5 oz.
  • Supplies: Brass
  • Gas: Denatured alcohol

Windscreen

  • Top: 9.5 in.
  • Weight: 7.4 oz.
  • Supplies: Anodized Aluminum

Closing Notes

Solo Range’s gear package just isn’t essential, however it’s a good addition to get. I don’t know if I’m offered on buying and selling out my isobutane range for this setup but, however I’m undoubtedly a fan and plan to make use of this on backpacking journeys this fall.

When you’ve got the flexibility and need to cook dinner over an open fireplace, the Solo Range Lite is a stellar choice.

Examine Range Lite Value at AmazonCheck Equipment Value at Solo Range