People love camping because it’s simply one of the best activities for bonding with loved ones, being one with nature or just for good ol’ stress busting. As you all know, with camping you have to give up several amenities that we have gotten used to in modern society.
One such amenity that you need to do without while out in the wild is modern food preparation. When people think of camping food preparation, one of the first things that come to their mind is cooking their food via campfire.
However, does it really need to be that way? Definitely not – and we’re here to prove that by sharing our Solo Stove & Pot 900 review, updated in 2023 as the product changed a bit over the years.
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We initially wrote this review back in 2016 when the product was relatively fresh on the market – but we’ve been using it since and decided to do a complete overhaul of our review and show you that it’s still a top choice after all these years!
The truth is that if you love the great outdoors or if you consider yourself a survivalist, it is highly recommended to invest in a solo camp stove. And the Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo is a great choice!
And in today’s article, you will see why. So let’s not waste a single second and instead let’s check out our updated Solo Stove review below!
Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo Review
A wood burning stove is always the way to go because it is fast, eco-friendly and offers great functionality. As far as wood burning stoves go, the Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo is definitely worth taking a look at.
For starters, it is 4 5/8″ in diameter and 4 7/8″ high and that’s with the stove and the burner nested inside the pot! It only weighs around 9 ounces and comes with its own sack to easily carry it around
In other words, this stove is ultralight and highly portable: two extremely important things when it comes to outdoors life.
Considering its dimensions and weight, we can’t imagine anyone having a hard time taking this product during their camping trips and the like.
Plus, you don’t have to bring a fuel canister with you which only helps in reducing the load. A potential downside to this is that you must make sure that wherever you go, you will have dry fuel (sticks, wood) easily available.
Clean & Efficient Burning
Unlike campfire cooking or other backpacking stoves for that matter, the Solo Stove produces less smoke which is attributed to its patented design.
While the stove is burning, there is actually a secondary combustion that enables preheated oxygen to fuel the flame which results in a more complete burning.
So you get a hotter, more efficient fire but with less smoke. The nichrome wire gate allows the oxygen to be fed direct to the embers below. This facilitates faster and hotter burning of the wood.
We put this stove against a more traditional MSR stove and it managed to bring water to a boil just a couple of minutes later. But have in mind that this included starting the fire on our side and using readily available wood scraps in the area.
Once the fire is burning, if the two would go head to head, there would be little difference as long as you can keep the said fire going. So it’s a big win, as you have fewer items to carry around.
How does the Solo Stove & Pot 900 work?
As cited earlier, the Solo Stove is a wood burning cook system so it uses leaves, twigs and wood as fuel. It’s really easy to use – a breeze for both the more experienced backpacker, but also beginners.
Here is how easy it is to operate it:
- Before setting it up, find a level ground area for it to sit on and clear away debris around it.
- Place the burner and remove the cooking ring.
- Find an ample fuel source (dried leaves, wood chips, twigs, small pieces of wood) and tinder and fill the stove with them.
- Light a fire inside the stove. (You can use any starter you have to make this easier).
- As the fire starts to grow, replace the cooking ring.
- Now you can boil, roast, cook and brew anything on your stove!
As you can see, using the Solo Stove is about as easy as it gets. Even complete beginners can use this stove with complete ease.
Its biggest potential problem is getting the actual fire started: if you are inexperienced with this, using a firestarter will make your life a lot easier. But if you have basic knowledge in this area, you shouldn’t worry too much about getting the fire started.
Also, depending on how long you keep the pot on the fire, its handle can get really hot. With a bit of practice, you will be able to better position it to minimize this, but you should still be very careful when handling it and ideally have a cloth or something similar to grab the handle with.
Durability and maintenance
Being a stainless steel stove, this one is as durable as it gets. I have used mine for more than 5 years now and it’s still going strong, although it’s no longer looking as pretty as it did back in the days.
But for the small price, you get great value in return. An amazing product for sure which requires little maintenance.
Basically, all you have to do is to clean it once you’ve finished cooking in order to remove char from it… but I got lazy eventually and instead I got a bag dedicated for it so it doesn’t get everything dirty in the backpack.
I still clean it, of course (give it a proper wash at home as often as possible), but it’s good to know that, if needed, I can just toss it in the bag and leave. Just make sure that it had enough time to cool down!
Basically everyone who’s into outdoor activities like hiking and camping will have a lot to love about the Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo.
Regardless if you’re a seasoned camper or a complete beginner, you’ll appreciate the convenience, features and functionality it provides.
It’s also good for unexpected situations – if the power goes down for example and you can’t use a regular stove. Unlike gas stoves, this one will work as long as you have some wood around to burn.
Ultralight backpackers will surely love the overall size and weight of the Solo Stove along with its space efficient design.
This is also recommended for campers who want to reduce their carbon footprint and be more environment-friendly since they’ll never have to pollute the air with petroleum gas.
The lack of need for expensive fuel also makes this stove a great option for budget-conscious survivalists and the fact that it is so durable and efficient actually make it one of our favorite stoves.
Now let’s check out its Pros and Cons for an easy overview!
- Ultra-lightweight and compact
- Solid & durable, made of stainless steel
- Easy to pack, setup and use
- Boils quickly
- No need to spend money on fuel
- No need to bring energy canisters and batteries
- Might need a firestarter to start the fire (depending on your experience)
- Handle on the pot can get really hot
- Can get really dirty with char after each use
What do others think about this product?
We’ve checked what other customers have to say and we were really happy to find out that their opinions are, generally, on par with ours.
As of this writing, the Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo has an almost flawless 4.6 out of 5 rating from over 600 reviews. So it’s easy to say that customers do love this cookware system: you can read the reviews on Amazon for this product here.
There are also reviews stating that they enjoy the very minimalist design of the Solo Stove. For the majority of the reviews, users have describes that the stove is very easy to operate and it’s quick to get it burning.
Customers also say that they were able to boil water in as fast as 8 minutes and they appreciate the fact that they can save on cost since spending on gas or batteries is not needed.
There are also customers that appreciate how green and environment-friendly this product is. Reviewers have found use for this product in many different situations from camping to emergencies.
As for the drawbacks, many reviewers stated that you will need an actual firestarter to use the stove especially if you don’t know how to start a fire.
There are also complaints about how the stove and pot can get too dirty with soot which can be a chore to clean.
Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo main features
When buying a wood burning backpacking stove, it’s important that you consider its features and see if the product is right for you.
We have already touched them in our review above, but it’s always good to have them neatly organized for a quick glance.
1. Patented design with less smoke: Most experienced outdoor person knows that cooking via campfire is not the best way to go. There are many drawbacks to campfire cooking and one of the most prominent ones is the excessive smoke.
Backpacking stoves are designed to produce less smoke and this product is no exception. The Solo Stove sports a patented design that creates ultra-clean gasification as well as a secondary combustion. The design enables the fuel to burn more completely, thus producing less smoke.
2. Free fuel: A lot of people are apprehensive when it comes to portable stoves because fuel can be quite expensive. True enough, white gas and liquid canister fuel cost a lot of money. If you camp very frequently, the costs can really add up.
To get the Solo Stove up and working, you only need to use dried leaves, twigs, pinecones and many others as fuel which is of course available everywhere when outdoors.
This also allows you to free up some space in your backpack since you don’t need to bring fuel or batteries.
3. Lightweight and fast boil time: If you are still on the fence to take a stove with you because you’re worried that they will be heavy and bulky, there’s no need to fret.
The Solo Stove only weighs about 9 oz although it’s made from premium stainless steel. It’s a good option for backpackers who are looking for a lightweight stove system. The stove also features a fast boil time of only 8 to 10 minutes (32 fl oz water).
4. Compact, space saving design: This wood burning stove system is a combo of a stove and a pot but still manages to be efficient in terms of space.
Thanks to its compact space saving design, this cookware system shouldn’t take much space in your backpack. The Solo Stove Pot 900 is about 4.5 inches in height and 4.7 inches in diameter.
5. Backpacker Magazine recommended: If the opinion of experts matter to you, it’s worth mentioning that Solo Stove was recommended by Backpacker Magazine as well as Discovery Channel’s Matt Graham. It’s also a popular choice among survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts.
Our Final Thoughts
A reliable backpacking stove system is always a great addition to one’s collection of outdoor gear and tools.
There’s no better way to spend time in the wild than having a hot cup of coffee or oatmeal at the ready. That’s when you realize that your backpacking stove is all worth the investment.
With that said, we highly recommend that you give the Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo a look if you’re in the market for a good wood burning backpacking stove to take into your outdoor excursions.
There’s a lot of things to love in this cook system including its light and compact design and the fact that it’s utilizes bio-fuel which is both free and environment-friendly.
If you are tired of spending money on fuel and batteries for your stove, we can’t recommend this product highly enough.
Solo Stove Review
Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo Review Summary
Light, portable and compact, the Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo is easy to pack and carry around. And despite its small size, it is extremely efficient and also eco-friendly, with the biggest potential con being that you will need an actual firestarter if you don’t have experience starting a small fire.
User Review( votes)
Did you have any experience using this solo stove system? If so, feel free to share your experiences for the benefit of our readers.
Additionally, we’d appreciate if you could spread the word and share this review with your outdoor buddies who might be interested in a portable stove system.
Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.