Originally posted on the Small Woodland Owners Facebook Group (August 2017)
Morning all. Continuing the theme of small stove reviews I took some photos of our Ecozoom in action this weekend.
Initially when we got our wood we bought a Kelly Kettle Base Camp Kit for around the £99 mark. And whilst it is easy to light and will boil 1.6L of water quickly I must admit to being disappointed. The key negatives of the Kelly Kettle for me are:
- Its stability especially when full – it has to have somewhere flat to balance the top heavy weight of 1.6 litres of water.
- You should only really boil it full – boiling or heating it when half empty reduces the life expectancy of the Kelly Kettle as the water acts to draw away the heat of the flame protecting the metal of your kettle. This means you are boiling a lot of water for say two and cannot really leave it on the stove for that all important second cuppa.
- The Hobo stove attachment is a bit of a gimmick. We’ve attempted to use it twice now and the first attempt to reheat some JO Beans took an age. Despite constant feeding with small twigs we struggled to maintain enough heat to get them hot. We gave up after 20 minutes. Our second attempt was with Bannock Bread and the same issue was apparent. We struggled to get a gentle consistent heat through which we could bake the bread.
So looking around for alternatives we finally settled on and purchased an EcoZoom Versa for around £110 and are so pleased with our purchase.
Since owning ours, we’ve done the essential sausages and burgers on it, cooked veggie stew for 8 using a Dutch oven and made many teas and coffees and in our opinion the stove has a number of advantages over the Kelly Kettle including:
- It has controllable heat as you can pull/push the long sticks from the stove entrance to change how much fuel is available and therefore how hot it burns.
- Because you are using a normal kettle you can boil small or large amounts of water; kettles can be left on the simmer and food to that matter too;
- Its safe to touch even when going (see photo) and is also stable due to the weight of the insulation – great if you have children on site.
If I had to find any negatives I would say the only downsides are:
- Weight due to the insulation
- You can’t skimp on fuel to get it started but that’s just a getting to know your stove issue. Since getting to know ours we’ve successfully lit it from sticks taken from another fire we’ve had going.
They are comparable in price to the full Kelly Kit or if you are feeling the DIY easy to make yourself. This one is made from a chip oil container and piece of flue pipe!