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Adventure, Alpine / February 19, 2017

SOG Approved: Solo Stove

Written by: Kevin Linderman

Editor’s note: The product featured in this review is for sale in the Shoulders of Giants shop. We review all our gear before we sell it, not the other way around.

By now you’ve no doubt heard, seen, or read about the Solo Stove. Essentially a DIY convection stove on steroids, it has a style that makes for outdoorsy social media gold. 

But does it have the functionality to match? I had to find out for myself. (Spoiler alert: it does)

Before we get to that, though, let’s dwell a bit longer on the aesthetics. The stove’s double-walled stainless steel design looks futuristic (in a good way), but its  reliance on wood ensures that it’s also eco-friendly. As a result, the stove makes its user the envy of the campground—when we fired it up, everyone around wanted to see it in action.


The Solo Stove is described as a “natural convection inverted downgas gasifer stove.” That’s a mouthful, but it’s based on some fire fundamentals.

Let’s first review what it takes to create a fire. Everyone remember the Fire Triangle?….anyone…Bueller…(am I showing my age with that reference?) The Fire Triangle describes fire as the product of three ingredients:

  1. Fuel (something that will burn)
  2. Heat (enough to make the fire burn), and
  3. air (oxygen).

In the case of the Solo Stove, the fuel is natural wood and tinder that you have gathered from around your campsite. The heat, initially from a match, is contained within and increased by the double walled cylinder. Then, at ingredient 3, all those fancy descriptive words come into play.

The airflow draws cold air from the ventilation holes at the bottom of the stove and funnels it into the fuel source. Simultaneously, warm air is pulled up the inner walls of the stove and out additional ventilation ports towards the top of the stove. This process forces the stove’s “inverted down gas” or “updraft” effect. It creates a much more efficient fire by burning the smoke itself.

As a result, the Solo Stove emits there’s very little smoke. It’s ultimately a very efficient, natural stove with targeted heat delivered to the pot or pan positioned on the cooking ring.

Now back to the campsite. After the interest in the Solo Stove dissipates, and the rest of the group has boiled their water in 2.5 minutes and have begun to eat their MRE’s, you will still be feeding the tinder to the Solo Stove and encouraging that water to boil. Rest assured, the water will boil and you will get to eat.

We think it’s worth it. Slow it down a little bit. Get closer to the process. Trust me, it makes your meal taste a lot better.

We sell the Solo Stove Lite in our store for $83.99.

about the author

Kevin Linderman

Kevin Linderman is the founder and Chief Adventure Officer for Shoulders of Giants. Kevin has spent his entire professional career in and around the field of information technology, but has always been an avid outdoor enthusiast and a seeker of knowledge.

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