The AOTU “Orange” lightweight canister backpacking stoves only costs $20.44 and is a best-buy for normal camping and backpacking use. We consider it one of the 10 best backpacking stoves because it’s such a good deal compared to similar and much more expensive stoves. The question that comes to mind is what you have to sacrifice for the price break, whether this stove is safe to use, and what kind of value the AOTU Orange stove provides. For example, is it safe and sturdy enough for boy scouts and more casual backpackers to use? How fast does it boil water? What are the best cook pots to use it with to boost efficiency?
Weight-wise, the Orange stove weighs 3.3 ounces and comes with a protective orange plastic carrying case weighing 0.6 ounces. In comparison, a Snow Peak Gigapower stove weighs 3.0 ounces and comes with a 0.8-ounce plastic carrying case, so the two stoves are pretty comparable in terms of weight.
The Orange stove comes with a collapsible pot stand that folds away accordion style for storage. The stand has tiny feet at the end of each support member that rotate out to help hold a wider pot.
Unfortunately, I found that the stability of a narrow pot filled with water isn’t ‘t that good, and you can’t take the lid off the top of the pot, without worrying about whether it will tip over. In fact, the bottom of a narrow pot doesn’t even come into contact with the feet and instead rests on top of the metal rivet that fastens them to the vertical support member.
Wide pot stability is much better, however, and the bottom of a wider pot has complete contact with the feet, so you can open the lid and peek inside without having to worry about your dinner spilling out. This is a consideration for younger campers who might be a little less coordinated than adults in such matters.
With a narrow pot, the Orange Etekcity Ultralight Backpacking Stove boils 600 ml of water in 4:45 and in 3:00 in a wider pot. As a point of comparison, the much more expensive Snow Peak Gigapower takes 5:30 to boil 600 ml in a narrow pot and 8:45 in the wider pot. That was an eye-opener for me!
I attribute the difference in the boil times to the size of the stove burner on the Orange Etekcity stove, which is much flatter and wider than on the Snow Peak. This also explains why the Etekcity stove’s boil time on the wider pot is faster than on the narrower pot because less heat escapes up the outside of the pot.
I’m very impressed with the performance of the AOTU Orange Ultralight Backpacking Canister Stove.
At $20.44 it’s a great value for any backpacker. However, to take advantage of its speedy boil times, I do recommend that you use a wide pot like the Titanium Non-Stick 1.3L I used for testing this stove, to take advantage of the stove’s larger burner surface area and improve its efficiency.
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