A Brief Review of the Lixada stoves I bought.
This is a kit of 2 stoves and an adapter to use them on the “hairspray” shaped cans of butane that are a lot cheaper than the “flat” cans of camping butane / isobutane / butane-propane mix. About $2.50 / can instead of $5 to $8.
Here’s the item / kit in question:
Lixada makes a mixed product line from lighting to clothing to camping and outdoors gear and more. I’ve got some other of their stoves and in general I’ve been happy with them. (They also make a SOLO style knock-off per their web site). Fit and finish is generally good with only minor “surprises”, like for my “alcohol and wood” stove, about 1/10 mm too tight a fit for the Trangia and Esbit burners (you can force them in, but…) while the Lixada burner just drops right in. On the larger of these two stoves, one leg is a bit too stiff on swinging it out into position. Will the hinge / rivet loosen over time? For now I just move it slowly and carefully.
$26 at the time I bought it. As the adapters were selling for about $8 +/- a few, and I wanted one of the larger stoves with the remote fuel bottle, buying the kit was cheaper than just buying those two as separate items (or about the same for the lower end adapters that had questionable reviews). Essentially, I got the small (very small…) stove for no added money. I already have a very high end version of that same design, but in Titanium, and weighing only 11 grams, so didn’t see the utility in duplicating it in heavier metals; but hey, “almost free” I’ll take.
The Small Stove
To give you an idea how small, folded, the little stove is about 1.5 inch diameter and 2 inches long. 33 mm x 52 mm per their picture. At 45 grams, pretty darned light. It comes in a small cloth bag, inside a very tiny box, with a lot of Chinese characters printed on it. It also has 3000W printed on it, in a list of size specs, so I think it’s a 3 kW stove.
So far I’ve only used this stove with a different adapter (that I already had) for propane canisters. I used it to cook a small pot of barley. ( 1/3 cup barley flakes, 2/3 cup water, in a glass “Visions” pot / lid of about 1 qt. size. This is a heavy glass pot, but lets me see what’s happening to the food in the cooking process). Turned up to high, it covers the whole bottom of the pot with flame. I didn’t run it on high as, on propane, that’s likely over spec fuel flow. It WILL turn down to a very low simmer setting too, though the valve is a little bit touchy. The threads are not precision so a bit of push / pull on the adjuster can modulate the flames a little bit. In actual practice that’s not hard to fix – just turn the knob without the push / pull.
It worked very well, and I was impressed that even with the large heavy pot on it, the burner was not looking stressed. The flame is generally concentrated in a very small area (having a very small burner) so there IS a hot spot in the center of the pot. About 2 inches in diameter. On high the flame will reach the edge of the large pot, but the center spot still gets more heating. I got to stir the barley a couple of times during the cook… For use with a more appropriate Sierra Club Cup or small mess kit / billy it would be fine.
The stove gets HOT in use. Not surprising, really. You have a pretty big flame all of about an inch from the bulk of the stove. It conducted noticeable heat into the adapter and into the top of the propane canister (only the screw thread neck part was significantly warmed). On a camping butane tank, this might be a feature as it would help warm the fuel in cold weather. Used with a wind screen in summer for a long cook, you better check the tank temperature. For one cup of instant coffee and a bowl of instant oatmeal, I doubt you could get it overheated if you tried.
Overall, I like the little guy. One of these and the small camp butane canisters would fit easily in a coat pocket or small pocket of a bug out bag, and would get the job done. Don’t forget to include a sparker or matches as it does NOT have an igniter built in (as the igniter would be as big as the stove ;-)
The Larger Stove
This is one of those stoves where the fuel canister is ‘remote’ on the end of a metal sheathed fuel line. It has a much larger burner head, about 2 inches as a guess, and folds up to 2.8 x 3 inches ( 75 x 60 mm ) while the open diameter is 6.7 inches ( 170 mm) and 2.8 inches ( 70 mm) tall with legs unfolded. With the included adapter, it runs nicely on the “hairspray” shaped butane canisters. There’s a control valve at the canister, and a sparker on the stove, so operation is fairly easy.
When first confronted by it, all folded up, the ideal mode of unwrapping the hose and unfolding the stove is not rapidly apparent … It works better to unfold the legs first, THEN unwrap the hose. (Don’t ask…) Swing the legs out to the side, then unwrap the hose (that will be starting to unwrap itself anyway), then fold down the bottom half of the legs. Stow it by folding the feet up first, wrapping the hose, and then folding the leg / pot supports in to the stove.
With the flame all of 2.8 inches (or less given the flame has a thickness) from the surface under the stove, that surface gets significantly warmed up. I used this on top of a notebook (protecting the counter) and it did not scorch, but did get warm. This was with a “less than 2 minute” cook. I’ll be putting a pie tin under it for future indoors use, and then set that on an insulating pad / notebook.
This stove has a BIG power output. Using a standard sized tea kettle (with whistle ;-) and with about 15 ounces of water in it: On full, the flame extends beyond the edges of the kettle. So I turned it down to where the flame ended about 1/2 inch from the edge. At that setting, I had whistle in under 2 minutes (barely under) using cold tap water. If you want to cook fast, this is your stove.
My Italian Espresso Pot just fits on the inner ends of the pot support with about 2 or 3 “teeth” worth of contact distance. At 6.7 inches, you can also use larger frying pans. Inspection of the flame when making the tea kettle run, and when using it on propane with the glass pot, shows a minor hot spot effect of about 4 inches diameter, but not significant. This ought to cook eggs evenly in a small frying pan, and it certainly will heat water in a pot for cereal without issue.
Flame control is easy and has a very wide range. From “way more than I need” for a full sized tea kettle all the way down to “very small simmer” flame size. This was tested without wind and there’s no wind screening by the stove (either stove really) so outdoors in a wind you will need some kind of wind blocking device or a sheltered area to use a low flame / simmer on a windy day.
Overall, a very nice general use stove.
The Propane To Lindal Adapter is a different brand bought a year or three ago. “Jeebel Camp” JBL-G005. It works fine, no leaks and no issues. I was pleased to find that it has a check valve in it so you can treat it like a regular Lindal tank (i.e. unscrew the stove and the gas does NOT come spewing out).
The Butane “Hairspray” to Lindal adapter from Lixada works fine. No leaks, no issues. You can’t really use it with the small stove (well, it WILL work, but you have a very tall stove on a small can base prone to easy knocking over) so I didn’t try it. I did use it with the bigger stove and it worked great. It, too, has a check valve in it. Nice that.
Using the bigger stove on the propane adapter was a bit more tricky in that the hose is not quite long enough to have the propane tank standing up… it will work, but the hose is very close to the flame then. Laying it down you risk liquid propane in the fuel line. I just held the tank off the edge of the table slightly below the stove. In an emergency, I’d be willing to use it, but with some care. Using the small stove on the propane adapter on the tank was very easy and stable, especially with the plastic base from my single burner propane stove on the tank.
Oddly, the base worked more solidly with the tall skinny 14 oz propane tanks as it is a tight fit to the metal base of the tank. The Coleman 16 oz tanks have a plastic “cup” on the bottom and a slightly rounded shape, that tends to have a little bit of ‘drift’ in the plastic base if you push it. What added stability the short tank giveth, the plastic cup taketh away…
Yet to arrive (due in mid January) is a small brass device that supposedly lets me refill the camping style canisters from the “hairspray” style canisters. We’ll see how well that does when it gets here.
My expectation is that I’m mostly going to use both these stoves in a “Car Kit” when on the road, making coffee and meals at rest stops, and using butane or isobutane canisters. I like the idea of having the small stove making coffee while I cook something on the larger stove. These will let me shrink the size of my Car Kit while also letting me run them in California without needing to search for alcohol fuel… I WILL carry one alcohol kit in the car too, just because they are very small, silent, and work well indoors.
The bigger stove comes in a plastic carry case. The small one a cloth bag. It all fits in a modest pocket in a go-bag. While the little one has no sparker, if you set up the large one first, you can always light the little one off of it.
Overall, I’m happy with the stoves. For $26, hard to beat it. Were I doing hard core assents of some mountain above the snow line, I’d likely pop for the $100+ originals that these are copied from. For driving across Arizona or making coffee in the garden, these are Just Fine. Post Quake I’d be happy with just these in the go-bag. For day-to-day cooking indoors, I’d go for the GasOne stove (Asian Style at the table cooker). More on that once I set up the duel-fuel one and test it, a bit later.
I’ve also come to appreciate my single burner propane stove more. Yes, it’s a bit tall. BUT, that also means the table top does not get heated at all. It works reasonably well indoors.
A Note On Pot Supports:
Yes, you CAN make 3 pot supports work. Barely. With Care. I’d rather have the extra weight of the 4th pot support. Both these stoves have just 3 pot supports. That gives you 3 lines of “easy tipping” between them and for many pots you need to align the pot handle over one of them to reduce tipping. 4 pot supports is significantly better and 5 or 6 is ideal; but never seen in backpacking stoves.
My single burner propane stove comes in 2 variations. The one I’m using right now has only 3 pot supports. The one I have with 4 pot supports is MUCH better in use and I don’t really have to think about it. With only 3, you make sure you juggled right…
Part of why I like the alcohol stoves I have is the better pot support. Especially an alcohol burner in the cheap Sterno Stove. With a wire grid you can set anything on it in any orientation and just not worry. That’s also a large part of why the GasOne Asian Stove is a winner for “daily driver” indoors. A very nice pot support layout.
Yeah, I “get it” that hard core backpackers care about every gram and shaving that 5 grams or so “matters”, but how much does it help when you just spilled 250 grams of food you packed in because the pot tipped?
I’m thinking I may buy a round wire grate and test it on the 3 support stoves. See if it helps or not. It likely won’t as it is just a “pot bottom with holes” in it so will tip too. Maybe if it were wired in place…
So I’m not unhappy with the stoves for being 3 pot support. I knew this when I placed the order. I CAN be a careful and slightly paranoid cook ;-) But if you are not prone to that care when making your first cup of coffee of the day, look for stoves with 4 pot supports (or more). Part of why I like my Coleman single burner… it has a kind of bent X pot support that’s not prone to pot tipping at all. But markets are as they are, and the camping butane canister stoves are largely 3 pot supports for the minimal weight. There are 4 support versions, but few and often not the best deal on price. Oh Well. Is what it is. Just make an informed choice.