Chris Townsend reviews a lightweight upright canister stove.
This review was first published in the August 2018 issue of The Great Outdoors.
The WindMaster is an interesting stove with some big claims made for it. Take the name for a start. ‘Superior performance under windy conditions’ says Soto, explaining that the ledge around the burner and the concave shape of the burner head along with the narrower-than-usual gap between the burner and the pot protect the flame from wind. Does it really? I tried the stove in a wind gusting to 10mph – not that strong – and the flame did move slightly in the gusts but still quickly brought water to the boil. I think in stronger winds a windshield will still be needed, but that’s something I need to find out. The stove was the last to come in, just a few days before writing this, so I haven’t had much chance to use it yet.
Soto also makes a big thing about the stove having a micro regulator that maintains a consistent output in cold weather. I haven’t had the chance to use the stove in freezing conditions yet but generally I’ve found that regulator stoves don’t perform much differently to standard ones, and the latest models all outperform those of not that many years ago whether they have a regulator or not.
The WindMaster is unusual in coming with two sets of detachable pot supports, one with three prongs and one with four. The latter is also wider and designed for better support with bigger pots. I tried the stove with the three-arm support. This clips on easily and securely and folds flat when removed. I was concerned about losing the detached supports – they’re not very big or distinctive. Then I picked up an idea from the excellent Adventures In Stoving website – use a mini karabiner to connect the supports to the control lever. This adds just 4g to the weight.
So far, the WindMaster has worked well. I need to use it in colder and windier weather to come to a firm conclusion, but initially I’m impressed.