My latest portable camping stove is the Snow Peak GigaPower (manual version). It is referred to as the ‘manual’ version because this model does not come with the automatic igniter. Truth is, I never did go out looking for a stove. This one just popped up on an online auction site at a really good price. Snow Peak GigaPower is an iconic stove for backpackers, especially among the ultralightists (is there such a word even?). With the company’s history originating from Japan, I am expecting some quality stuff from this brand name
In many ways, I wish this was the ‘automatic’ Snow Peak GigaPower instead. It would be cool to have a complete micro stove that has its own ignition. I never had good experiences with piezo ignition and was hoping a product from a reputable brand would proof otherwise. I have seen cheaper, some not so known brands like Fire Maple having their piezo ignition failed after just a few users. They seem to be sensitive to moisture…but that’s just a guess at best.
The Snow Peak GigaPower is amazingly compact and light. It weighs almost nothing to what I am used to and it looks tiny on my palm. A far cry from the traditional Optimus 8R or the US Army M1950 Squad stove I posted earlier. I should really compare (size wise) to my other more compact stoves like the MSR Whisperlite and the MSR Dragonfly (note for future write ups)
To me, the downside of using the Snow Peak GigaPower is the availability of the fuel canister. The GigaPower uses the pre-pressurized type EN417 (aka UNEF) threaded valve canister. This type of canister is very common in developed countries but it has only been more widely available in Malaysia in recent years. These canisters must not be confused with the non threaded Camping Gaz brand canister which does not have threaded valves. This Snow Peak GigaPower canister stove is easy to light and gives out a blue flame which I believe burns hot and clean.
The other downside of this stove is the stability issue especially when using with heavier and wider pots. This compact stove has a rather small contact surface area with the pots placed on them. Too big, wide and heavy pot may pose tip overs. During this test however, I used my Evernew Titanium pot which is just the right size. On top of that, the Kovea canister fits snugly inside the pot as well.
The Snow Peak GigaPower retails around USD50 a unit new. It really isn’t all that pricey considering what it is able to deliver. The size and weight makes the stove extremely attractively to anyone looking for simplicity. As for me, I hate having to spend more money on the gas canisters but it is definitely much easier to operate compared to some of the multi-fuel stoves in the market (which usually leaves you all dirty). Its small size is much lighter and makes it easier to carry around, even in the pocket of the trousers!
My final verdict on the Snow Peak GigaPower (manual) is oh yeah…. keep and use!