I am by no means an expert about backpacking stoves, but on my last tour i was freezing in the rain, eating a pb&j, thinking how much some warm food would really help me out. Well, we'll call that tour a learning experience, and it taught me I need a stove.
North American Gear was kind enough to send me the ETA Power MF stove. I was given a lot of choice, and I knew I wanted a mutlifuel because who knows where I'll end up, and having the ability to burn LP gas and liquid fuels- such as white gas, gasoline/petrol, kerosene/paraffin, and if necessary even diesel, makes this the perfect stove in my eyes.
This model came with a pot, frying pan/lid, and a small bowl. All in one convient package. Using the stove wasn't to difficult after I got it. I meant to set it up and try it out, but never got the time. I tried a few times but never actually started it. So on tour was my first attempt- I mean, how hard could it be?
After reading the instructions and filling the fuel bottle, I was ready to go. I feel it went real smooth. The stove has to be primed and warmed up- basically you put pressure in the fuel bottle and release a small amount of fuel to the stove, and light it. The key here is a small amount- I let out way too much and had a pretty big flame, but it warmed the stove fast. After the initial flame dies out out, you release more fuel and there you go- a hot blue flame that boils water in 2.5 to 3.5 min.
This is true! I would put on some water and boom! It would be boiling...it also cooked some boco burgers in minutes flat. I feel there are two temperature settings here- hot and very hot, so cooking a gourmet meal might take some practice. The stove comes with .35 liter fuel bottle and looks small. I thought "well that's going to be good for one cooking session". When they say this stove is efficient, they're not kidding.
We used the stove two nights for about 45 min. each time, and there was no noticeable change in the amount of fuel in the bottle. I bought the larger 1 liter fuel bottle because it will fit in my water bottle cage on my bike, so I won't be carring fuel in a pannier, and I feel if I fill it before I leave, I would be good for at least two weeks.
The whole set up is a little big- it takes up half of my front pannier, but to be honest, it works so well and everything is all in one place I really don't mind. And at around 2 pounds, it seems fine to me. I really like this stove (me too! -B) and plan to keep it and take it on many more journeys.