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Snow Peak Gigapower Canister Stove

I bought my first canister stove about 2 months ago and finally tested it out this weekend. I bought the Snow Peak Gigapower Stove with auto ignition. It is simply mind blowing. I’ve been an alcohol stove user for a few years now and denatured alcohol is great because it’s easy to resupply at any hardware store regardless of where you are. But alcohol stoves are very sensitive to wind and cold weather, which affects their reliability when you need it the most.

Before I bought the Snow Peak, I also considered the MSR Pocket Rocket and the MSR Superfly. The SuperFly has auto ignition which is a real important feature for me. Last year I had the hardest time keeping my matches dry and I was looking for a solution. In contrast the Pocket Rocket requires matches, but it is about 1.6 oz. less than the Superfly which weights 4.6 oz. Shaving ounces is important for me, so I got the Snow Peak which has auto ignition and weighs 3.0 oz, the same of the Pocket Rocket.

Canister compatibility was also an issue for me, but the Gigapower can use Snow Peak and MSR isobutane canisters which make it easier to resupply if required.

Snow Peak Gigapower Stove, Titanium Auto Ignition

As you can see the Gigapower is tiny and folds up for storage in a protective plastic carrying vase. The case only weighs 1 oz and I stow it in a Snow Peak Titanium 700 cooking pot with my bear bag rope to keep it from rattling around while I’m hiking.

Snow Peak Gigapower Stove, Titanium Auto Ignition

To use the stove, you open it up and turn the simmer control clockwise until it’s closed so that when you screw the stove onto the isobutane container, you prevent any gas from leaking. Once the stove is attached to the canister you vent the tiniest amount of gas possible using the simmer control and push in the grey plastic button at the base of the stove to ignite the gas. It sparks and lights the gas immediately, but if you let out too much gas (you can hear it), you’ll have a startling mini explosion when the gas ignites.

Next place your pot of water on the stove supports and adjust the simmer control to turn up the heat which will boil 1 Liter of water in a little over 3 minutes. As a point of comparison, it is very hard to adjust an alcohol stove flame, or even see it in daylight, and it takes an alcohol stove about 10 minutes to boil a pot of  water. That is a long time on a cold morning!

In the picture above, there is glowing piece of wire next to the flame. This is used to automatically reignite the gas if the wind blows out the flame. It works great, eliminating the need to carry a windscreen.

A full Snow Peak Gigapower isobutane canister weighs 7oz and will burn for about 45 minutes at full power. The stove outputs 10,000 BTU and can operate down to temperatures of 14 degrees F. If temperatures at night are below freezing, it is best to sleep with the canister in your sleeping bag to help with fuel vaporization in the morning when you cook breakfast.

This is a really nice stove. I will to be going on my first backpack of the spring next weekend and I’m really looking forward to cooking with it, especially since night time temperatures are going to be in the 20’s F.

Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
Written 2008.


  1. What will you do when the Piezo ignition stops working, because they do, often when you need the stove the most. A better solution is to carry a bic lighter with you. Easy to replace, has many uses and are not effected when wet.

  2. I've had odd experiences with bic lighters and carry those heavy duty emergency matches instead: you know the kind that are supposed to burn underwater. But you raise a good point about the piezo ignition. How long do they normally last before they stop working?

  3. I can't answer that from personal experience but I know that Chris Townsend says exactly the same (google him if you don't already know of him – or have books by him!)

    He also says that a Light My Fire firesteel is the answer. The mini works very well.

    Hang on a minute – all that's supposed to a blog entry on my own site!

  4. Oh – and I'm glad you like the stove – this entry turned up when I was searching for somewhere to buy one! :)

  5. I used it again this weekend and it's really great for a short section hike where you don't have to worry about fuel cannister resupply. Incredibly easy to light with the piezo ignition and it boils water fast. I'll probably still use alcohol for longer hikes, but it's nice not to have to fuss around with lighting this stove.

  6. the ignition is very robust and the beauty of the Giga over the other auto's is that it's easily replaced for very little money.

    I have one from the original release, YEARS ago and it still rocks. hundreds of meals and never a single problem.

    just an observation from here…

  7. I'm looking for my first stove- I want light, self ignition and not too costly. what is your favorite? and would you get duel fuel?

  8. Good question. I'd get the Snow Peak Gigapower Titanium reviewed above. It burns isobutane out of canisters. All brands of isobutane canisters are interchangeable in the US. However, if you are going to winter camp you will need a liquid fuel stove to crank out the BTUs required to melt snow and because isobutane can't vaporize under 10 degrees F. That means 2 stoves. However, I wouldn't buy a liquid fuel stove and hump it around for 3 season use to avoid buying a second stove. It's a hassle, I think. But, since I know you tend to hike in groups, especially in winter, chances are good that someone would share a liquid fuel stove with you if you carried your own fuel. In that case, I'd go with the snow peak reviewed here.

  9. It took almost 2 years for the piezo ignition to stop working. I now use a fire steel to light the stove.

  10. I've got both this stove and the MSR Pocket Rocket, among others. I like the GigaPower a lot – it is hot and fast and the flame is simple to control with a little practice. They are excellent 3-season stoves, but not great in the cold of winter. The gas settles in the can and pressure is decreased. The main downside to these two stoves is their vulnerability to wind. A breeze without a windscreen can change a liter's boil time from a couple of minutes to more than 12. So get a good piece of foil for a partial windscreen – you never want to completely enclose the fuel can unless you like shrapnel with your oatmeal – and be aware of stove placement. I like my GigaPower so much I keep it in my workshop to light cigars when I'm not tromping. Also, you can carry a butane lighter as a backup starter – all you need is the spark.

  11. it seems to me that even in very cold climes, putting a canister in your pocket for just a couple of minutes would easily get it up to operating temperature…?

    • there are ways to take a canister below twenty degrees but you need to ask if its worth the risk. it is dangerous to use a canister with a windscreen. they turn into grenades

  12. I’ve used this stove for about 6 years. I reckon I’ve done close to 2000 clicks on the piezo ignition and it’s just starting to become weak so I carry a mini bic lighter with me now. From memory Snow Peak say it’ll do 1000 actuation’s so it’s already far exceeded that. I’ve just bought the replacement piezo for about $15 posted on amazon so I’m looking forward to another 6 years of flawless use!

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