Soto Outdoors OD-1R Microregulator Stove – Long Term Review

Soto ODR-1 Stove with Soto Windscreen

Soto OD-1R Stove with Windscreen in the Catskills

I’ve been using the Soto OD-1R canister stove since the Summer of 2011, so close to 2 years. It’s proven to be an outstanding little canister stove for three season backpacking and it’s the stove I usually bring on a backpacking trips unless I’m trying out something new. Despite being small and ultralight, this stove really packs a wallop in the BTU department (11,000 BTU), can be used to simmer 1-pot meals, and can be easily matched with a variety of other best-of-breed cook system components.

Packability

Packability is always a chief concern when I add a piece of gear to my gear list because I can often get away with a smaller lighter weight backpack if I can reduce the volume of gear that I need to carry. The nice thing about the Soto OD-1R canister stove is that it folds up very compactly enabling me to store it inside my cookpot together with a fuel canister. This also eliminates the need to protect the stove with a plastic carrying case.

Having the ability to store all of the components togther in the cook pot is the reason why I generally prefer using canister stoves over alcohol ones where you often can’t fit the pot, stove, alcohol bottle, and windscreen together into a compact unit (with the exception of the Trail Designs Sidewinder.) Canister stoves can also be used without a windscreen and it’s rare for me to carry one.

I also prefer using unmatched components (pot, canister, and stove) rather than integrated cooksets like the JetBoil. There’s nothing wrong with a completely integrated stove and cookset system, but I prefer systems where you can boil water for a freezer bag meal OR simmer a full meal in the pot, something that the JetBoil isn’t so good for. The trick is to assemble a cook system with best of breed components that packs up like a JetBoil, but where you can simmer a meal and eat out of the pot.

Collapsed Pot Supports

Collapsed Pot Supports and Fold Up Gas Valve

Integrated Pot Stand

The reason why the OD-1R stove packs up so small has to do with the integrated pot stand, which consists of three tiny pot-rests which fold up and lock in place for use. When I first got this stove, I was a little concerned about the durability of these pot-rests, but they are far more robust than they look and I’ve never had any issues with them collapsing under load. They’ve also proven compatible with both cylindrical style pots and squatter ones including the 1L Anodized Aluminum Olicamp XTS and 1L Evernew Titanium Pasta Pot, and the wider 1.3L  Evernew Titanium Non-stick Pot.

Large gas canister and Soto Stove fit neatly into the Olicamp XTS Pot.

Large gas canister and Soto Stove fit neatly into the Olicamp XTS Pot.

The Soto OD-1R works especially well with the Olicamp XTS Pot which has built-in heat exchange fins that reduce your fuel needs by about 30% because they hold onto the heat generated by a stove. The OD-1R stove head fits perfectly inside the heat exchange ring and makes for an ultra-efficient and packable stove system.

Piezo Igniter

The Soto OD-1R stove comes with a push-button piezo-igniter which eliminates the need for matches and makes it much easier to light the stove in wind.  I don’t normally trust this kind of feature to last the lifetime of a canister stove and in my experience they tend to stop working after a year of use. That said, the piezo-ignition still works on my Soto OD-1R stove after 2 years of heavy use. Just the same, I always carry a Light-My-Fire Fire Steel so I can create sparks if it every stops working. That Fire Steel has saved my bacon more than once.

Fuel Valve

In order to light the OD-1R, you need to twist the fuel valve two turns before the gas in the canister will flow into the stove. I imagine SOTO engineered this to be a safety feature, but it’s not a very intuitive thing to remember. After the second turn, you can hear the gas flowing under pressure, but it’s easy to forget to turn it twice when you turn it off, so  I give it a little extra twist at the end to make sure the valve is closed all the way. The same holds when screwing a canister onto the OD-1R. I always make sure the valve is closed completely before screwing a canister on to prevent any accidental venting of fuel. When not in use, the wire fuel valve flips up and is stored under the burner head, next to the folding pot stand supports.

Cold Weather Performance

The Soto oD-1R stove comes with a component called a micro-regulator, which helps insure a consistent flame shape and height while the stove is burning. It’s been claimed that this micro-regulator helps the OD-1R burn canister fuel better than other comparable stoves at 23 degrees fahrenheit and lower. This is hogwash. The internal pressure of a fuel canister depends on its temperature, its internal pressure based on the amount of remaining gas in the canister, and the air pressure outside of it. If anything, the micro-regulator can prevent flare ups if there is too much pressure inside a fuel canister, but it can’t put more pressure into it or make it burn more consistently if the temperature of the gas in the canister dips into the low 20’s Fahrenheit. All canister stoves using a isobutane/propane fuel mix start to fail when the temperature gets cold – this is a physical reality.

Susceptibility to Corrosion

There is one issue with the Soto OD-1R that I do want to caution you about and that is corrosion in the burner head. If you leave the stove wet in a pot for a long period of time, the burner head will start to rust. It’s fine if it’s left wet between uses during a trip, but you want to make sure you take the stove out of the pot to dry once you get home and store your gear.

The SOTO Windscreen

Soto makes a small windscreen for the OD-1R stove that fits between the stoves pot supports and provides a little wind protection. However, I’ve never been convinced that it does much and wouldn’t recommend that you buy it. You’ll get a lot better wind protection by cooking behind a natural windbreak like a boulder or behind your tent on the lee side out of the wind.

Wrap Up:

I’ve been using the Soto OD-1R Canister stove on the bulk of my overnight camping trips for the past two years and think it’s the best standalone canister stove available. Weighing just 2.6 ounces and dimunitive in size, it’s ideal for backpackers who want the simmering convenience of a canister stove, but want the ability to pack all of their cook system components including fuel, inside their cook pot for ease of transport.

Manufacturer specifications:

  • Weight: 2.6 oz.
  • BTU: 11,000
  • Duration: Burns approx.1.5 hours with 8 oz.(250g)canister
  • Fuel type: Compatible with all screw-on style isobutane mix fuel canisters
  • Dimensions in use: 3.8 x 3.7 x 3.4 inch(9.6 x 9.4 x 8.6 cm)
  • Dimensions when packed: 2.0 x 2.0 x 3.2 inch(5.2 x 5.2 x 8.1 cm)

Disclosure: Philip Werner received a free sample OD-1R stove from Soto Outdoors but was under no obligation to review it.

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11 Responses to Soto Outdoors OD-1R Microregulator Stove – Long Term Review

  1. Matt June 26, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    Nice review. I also most often use a canister stove on my trips, and I usually put the stove in a fold-over sandwich bag before stowing it in my cook pot. This keeps it away from the moisture left in the pot after I’ve cleaned it, away from the condensation that develops on the canister (also stored in the pot), and pretty much eliminates the jangling sound of the stove in the pot that I could sometimes hear as I hiked.

  2. Ralph June 26, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    For another cooking system where all the components fit into the cooking pot AND can use multiple fuels AND can be tailored to fit a number of pots, check out Flatcatgear.com.

  3. Bryan Bowers June 26, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    Nice review. My family just bought a Snow Peak LiteMax titanium stove for me for Father’s Day. Got to use it this weekend and it did remarkably well and so lightweight.

  4. JJ Mathes June 26, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    Nice review Philip! I’ve been using my Soto OD-1R for about two years and I’m very happy with it’s performance, not as much use as yours though.

  5. Steve M June 26, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    Luv my Jetboil. In minimalist form ( Ti pot and stove only) it is just over 10 oz. Have not had any problems with food burning, but I almost always just do FBC. This looks like a good alternative. BTW Amazon has the Olicamp pot with a titanium stove ( no lighter) for about $62 . This looks like a great budget setup for a lightweight rig.

    Every time I look at someone on Youtube using an alcohol setup, I wince a little. I have no experience with them, and I know they are lighter setups. But some “systems” have so many little pieces to them, it takes more time to put it together than it takes to cook a meal although it seems most cat can type stoves take 8-12 minutes to boils water, vs the less than 2 minutes my Jetboil needs.

    I have done what I can to lower my base pack weight, but I still feel capable of toting a few extra ounces to afford me some comfort and convenience. My Jetboil is one of those.

    • Philip Werner June 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

      I’m a 100% with you. The only reason I’d use an alcoholl stove on a trip is if canisters were hard to resupply where I was going. Since most of my trips last less than 1 week, that’s a non-issue.

  6. Jeff G June 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    what’s the boil time for water with the olicamp pot and this stove?

    • Philip Werner June 26, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      Is that with wind or without, wind speed?, what temperature is the water to start with, what’s the external temperature and what’s the air pressure?

      Boiling time tests are semi-idiotic IMHO because they never consider these factors. What you really want to know is how much fuel is used anyway, not the boiling time, which is under 4 minutes.

  7. Amanda June 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

    I’ve never understood the urgency in knowing the boil times, you’re in camp, it’s time to relax. I’d much rather have a slower boil and use less fuel, but that’s just me.

  8. Matthew B June 26, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    I am not a fan of this type stove as to my understanding the canisters are not refillable? Is this accurate? Seems very wasteful to me. I have a cat can stove and ti-pot. I only ever boil, stand and let cook. While I will carry more fuel with me in a recycled plastic bottle I am ok with this tradeoff.

    You definitely have advantages for a quick on and off for a cup of tea etc… I simply plan the cooking/heating all at once. There are always tradeoffs and what is considered the most important. I have never measured boil time and also don’t care. If you are hungry and tired it is never fast enough!

  9. Nancy July 23, 2014 at 6:08 pm #

    I love my Soto OD-1R stove. It has never failed me, even in inclement weather (though I don’t do winter camping). One suggestion about the corrosion if left wet – at then end of a trip, when I am packing it away at home in my cookpot, I stick a paper towel it the pot, too. That way, any condensation I may have missed when I dried the stove off, can be absorbed by the paper towel and not rust my Soto.

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