Home / Product Reviews / Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium Stove

Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium Stove

manufactured by:
Philip Werner
Version:
1
Price:
50.00

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On September 4, 2015
Last modified:November 1, 2016

Summary:

Weighing just 1.5 ounces, the Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium Canister Stove may well be the lightest canister stove you can buy today. But does the 1-2 ounce weight savings you get over other stoves like the Soto Windmaster or the Snow Peak Gigapower Auto really matter? Not if ease of use and safety matter to you. While minimalist backpacking is exciting to contemplate, I prefer canister stoves that have built-in igniters, are compatible with a wide range of cook pots, and which are more or less idiot proof to use.

The tiny Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium Stove might be the lightest canister stove in the world, but is it Stupidlight?
The tiny Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium Stove might be the lightest canister stove in the world, but is it Stupidlight?

The Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium Canister Stove is tiny and cute, but is quite limited in the value it provides. Under-powered, over-priced, with a very small pot stand, and poor wind resistance, you’d be better off getting a slightly heavier, more powerful, and safer-to-use canister stove.

The Ion Micro Titanium stove has a very small burner head which is better for boiling, rather than simmering.
The Ion Micro Titanium stove has a very small burner head which is better for boiling, rather than simmering.

Burner

The Olicamp Ion Micro has a very small burner head that throws out a very narrow and concentrated flame making the stove more suitable for boiling water, but much less so for simmering because the flame is not spread out and diffused across a wide surface area for more even cooking. The shape of the burner head, which is flat, also provides very little wind resistance (unlike stoves with recessed burners and side flanges like the Soto Amicus or Soto Windmaster, for example), which noticeably degrades the Ion’s performance in the slightest breeze because it blows the flame away from the pot. The small burner head also generates less heat (only 8900 BTU on full power or 10-20% less than larger stoves), although this shouldn’t matter that much  in practice since most people don’t turn on their canister stoves to full for 3 season backpacking or camping and this isn’t a stove I’d recommend for winter backpacking.

Top down close-up of the burner head and integrated pot stand
Top down close-up of the burner head and integrated pot stand

Pot Supports

The Ion Micro has fold away pot supports that have a spread of 3 inches and are best suited for a very small diameter cook pot, something like the 24 ounce lidless Olicamp space saver mug (which has a 3 and 7/8 inch diameter), which many retailers bundle with the stove, or the Esbit 25 oz Titanium Cook Pot w/ Lid, which has a diameter of 3 and 11/16 inches. Wider cook pots become increasingly less stable on the Ion’s tripod pot supports, the wider they are .

Safety

But my biggest concern about the Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium Canister Stove is safety because there’s very little space (2.5 inches) between the top of the canister and the bottom of a cook pot, barely enough to fit your hand to adjust the Ion’s simmer control. Like the stove, the wire simmer control on the Ion has been miniaturized and is only 1 inch long, meaning you have to scrunch your hand up to fit it under a red-hot pot if you’ve already started cooking to adjust it.

If you cook in low light situations, you have big hands, or limited dexterity, I’d encourage you to get a stove that provides a lot more vertical clearance between the canister and the cook pot bottom, as well as a longer simmer control. I came awfully close to cooking  the top of my hand when reviewing this stove and quickly decided that carrying a stove the weighs 1 or 2 ounces more than the Ion Micro was well worth the extra ounce of prevention.

How small is the Ion Mico Titanium Stove. Real small. Oh yeah, you need an ignition source with the Ion because it doesn't have a built in piezo igniter.
How small is the Ion Mico Titanium Stove? Real small. Oh yeah, you need an ignition source with the Ion because it doesn’t have a built in piezo igniter.

Assessment

Weighing just 1.5 ounces, the Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium Canister Stove may well be the lightest canister stove you can buy today. But does the 1-2 ounce weight savings you get over other stoves like the Soto Windmaster or the Snow Peak Gigapower Auto really matter? Not if ease of use and safety matter to you. While minimalist backpacking is exciting to contemplate, I prefer canister stoves that have built-in igniters, are compatible with a wide range of cook pots, and which are more or less idiot proof to use.

Dropping features and compromising user safety just to make a product lighter weight is a stupid trade-off in my opinion. If you want to eliminate all of your stove weight, get rid of the gas canister and the stove and cook with Esbit cubes. They’re even lighter weight than the Ion Micro Titanium stove and a heck of a lot safer too.

Disclosure: Olicamp’s parent company, Liberty Mountain, provided Philip Werner (SectionHiker.com) with a sample Ion Micro Stove for this review.

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18 comments

  1. Isn’t this the Fire Maple FMS-300T with a new color and a different brandname? Fire-Maple, a chineese make is sold all over the world under all kinds of different brand-names. Adventures in stoving did a review back in february 2013.

  2. Wow, I am surprised you didn’t like the little stove. The burner is different. It uses the external air in a vortex to provide a very clean burning flame. In several tests done at Backpacking light, it had very low, nearly the lowest, CO (carbon monoxide) output. The short distance between the pot bottom and burner head creates the vortex that needs little from the jets to get complete mixing of the gas and air. Note the small size of the air input jets compared to other stoves.

    I performed several burn tests and got excellent efficiency out of it, ie 9gm/liter in 3 season conditions(50f water.) I got as good in the field with a JetBoil pot. The low CO output indicated good efficiency but I was a bit surprised to be getting 4 and 5 gm boils after just 2 tests. It usually takes 5 tests to locate and hold the “sweet spot.” Fairly easy to use to get good efficiency. ( I usually get about 18-19L per 220gm tank, or, enough for about a week of two 1L burns morning and night, depending on water temp, what I am cooking.)

    Very easy to use. The large valve sweep means it can handle a warm cartridge (as in 100F day) or a cold one (as in a 35F day.) Warm cartridges produce much higher pressures needing a finer adjustment. Or, just crank it open in 35F weather to continue to use the stove. As a “topper,” it was never designed to be used in winter, but with tricks I am sure it will work.

    The small pot stands work well when coupled with a JetBoil pot with minor bending to slip between the heat exchanger fins. On the Fire Maple Stove (300t) the pot stands were made of titanium. On the Olicamp, they are made of stainless steel. The Olicamp is a clone since I have had the FMS-300t for a couple years now. It replaces the JetBoil burner/base with the simpler design. At 1.5oz, it is about as efficient as the JetBoil burner and weighs about 6oz less.

    I hope Olicamp fixed the problem with the filter. Read more: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=68986&disable_pagination=1

    Anyway, I find it to be a good little stove.

    • Jim, no disrespect intended but I find most stove boil time tests to be a meaningless metric since cooking outdoors (wind, temp, etc) and with different pots is so different from the real outdoors world.

      My principle objection with this stove is safety. UL for the sake of being UL is well…

      • Philip,
        Sure, I understand about efficiency. It is more of a “user thing.” It makes a good replacement for the JetBoil burner head, though and saves about 6oz with the same efficiency. There is also a MYOG heat shunt that can be added to the canister and flame (an aluminum or copper strip held on by an insulating “coat”) for winter use down to about -10F.

        I thought it was pretty unsafe with larger pots, too. It handles anything up to a 5″ pot fine, though. As far as saving 6oz goes, why carry more when you don’t need to?

      • You only save those 6oz if you use it as a Jetboil replacement though an dhow many non-stove-nerds are going to do that?

        Get yourself a safe 2-3 ounce canister stove. Just about anything is safer for a boy scout to handle than this thing…

      • Actually, the radius of the pot diameter is about the same as the SVEA, well an 1/8″ less. I fail to see where it any more dangerous in that regard. Anyway, it gets a good to excellent rating from me based on efficiency, ease of use and durability. However, it does require a bit of dexterity to adjust with a wind screen.

      • The length of the simmer control is the safety problem. It’s too short and the pot is too low above it. My opinion only.

      • Simmer seems to be easy to replaced if one wants to adjust the length. I lost the set on my Kovea, don’t ask how, and replaced it with paper clip.

  3. The lightest one is BRS-300T at 25 g. And Roger Caffinn started offering custommade remote canisters for winter foor parts supplied plus 200 for labour.

    He recommends FMS-300T (45 g) for winter camping because of the threading. BRS has aluminum annd wears out relatively quickly.

  4. Thank you for bringing a voice of reason re: over-the-top extreme UL. Its one thing when manufacturers impact gear utility in an effort to shed that last gram (often just for a spec war or bragging rights for a gram weenie), but another when it affects safety. I’ll take my Jetboil or Microrocket, thank you. If I’m that worried about weight, I’ll drop a couple of pounds and enjoy my gear in comfort and safety.

  5. I’ll stick with my cheap Chinese Pocket Rocket knock of with a 3 5/8 inch diameter pot stand, weighing in at 3.3 oz. with Piexo0electric ignition for a whopping $7. Or my 12 g alcohol soda can stove weighing 42 g with the wire pot stand and costing me $0.05 (got the pot stand material for free). It may take me 5 minutes to get a cup of water boiling but that just leaves me time to cut up some cheese, open packaging, etc.

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