Looking for a new hiking, camping, or bug out stove? The folks over at GSI Outdoors, manufacturers of outdoor equipment, sent me the Halulite Minimalist Complete stove system to review. Here’s what I have to say.
The race to create and discover new and improved hiking gear never ends. Camping stoves are no exception. When I first began backpacking in the 1990s, the notion of light and ultralight hiking was still a foreign concept. The answer to covering more miles faster wasn’t to shed weight, but to hit the gym and build leg muscle and cardio to power through. Since that time, innovation and simplicity have given way to new possibilities in hiking light. GSI’s Halulite Minimalist Complete stove system is a reflection of that trend.
I had used MSR’s Whisperlite stove for decades until, on a trip to Iceland, I saw friends using the Jetboil stove, and – for the most part – made the switch. A few years later, the Halulite Minimalist stove came to my attention as another alternative. Like the Jetboil, it runs on the propane/isobutane fuel canisters. While it shares similarities with the Jetboil, it also has (and lacks) other features.
Here are all of the components that came with my Halulite Minimalist:
- Canister Top Stove
- 0.6L Pot/Mug (about 2.5 cups)
- Sip-It Top
- Insulated Sleeve
- Two Telescoping Foons (otherwise known as “sporks”)
What’s important to note here is that, for whatever reason, my stove came with TWO foons and NO silicone gripper (for grabbing hot pieces). Typically, the stove comes with ONE foon and the gripper. I didn’t complain, because I wasn’t likely to use the gripper anyway nor do I plan to use the foons (more on that in a minute).
The Halulite Minimalist delivers on its name – minimalism. It’s designed for ultra-light hiking (or bugging out) where weight and speed are the primary objectives, and is best-suited for the solo traveler. The entire system (with an additional small fuel canister) can fit entirely within the small pot/mug. See this picture to see exactly how small it gets (.223 bullet for comparison):
The dimensions are 4.2″ x 4.2″ x 4.7.” Can a stove system get any smaller!? Without the fuel tank, this system weighs in at a shockingly low 0.59 lbs.
The system is all about efficiency. Combined with the windscreen, flame scorches the cooking mug boiling water for dehydrated food, coffee, or tea in no time at all. Want to capitalize on the efficiency and small size even further? You can opt to leave the windscreen and gripper at home.
Small size and ultralight weight come with sacrifices, of course. One of the most obvious is the lack of lighting mechanism. While preppers planning to bug out know to have multiple sources of flame, hikers looking for lightweight in order to maximize speed will have to account for a lighter or matches. The Jetboil, in comparison, has a built-in lighting system.
While it might be small enough not to warrant it, or may not be necessary with a little practice, the mug does not have any measurement lines etched inside, so you need to know how much water lands about where.
The foon (a.k.a spork) is flimsy (at best). I would not carry it, instead opting for my time-tested, and also ultralight, titanium fork/spoon set. Criticism of the foon is consistent among other reviews.
Also consistent among other reviews is the insulated koozie covering the mug. It has to be removed for cooking purposes, and it is exceptionally tight, making removal and installation a tad frustrating.
The $74.95 price comes in under the $89.95 Whisperlite and the $79.95 Jetboil, but I have to question the price just the same. The “guts” of this stove system is the burner unit, which (on the upside) comes back to the compact size, can fit into the palm of your hand.
This piece, or ones very similar to it, can be had on Amazon for under $10, which means if you just buy a fuel canister and this unit, you just need a small pot to sit on top of it and you’re off to boiling water.
If we cut $10 from the $75 price, we’re down to $65 for the rest of the system. You can get a titanium fork/spoon piece for $14, which is of better quality than the plastic foon. $65-$14 puts us at $51 for the windscreen, mug, koozie cover, and silicone gripper. That is still well above the Petforu Camp Stove, which retails for $23 and comes with the burner unit and cooking pot.
I would not rule out the Halulite Minimalist Stove, but I think it is best-suited for the ultralight solo hiker who is willing to spend a bit extra for the size and weight features that this stove sells itself on. Preppers needing a stove for their bug out bag should also consider this unit if their bug out plans involve extended distances.