I bought the Optimus Crux folding stove awhile back for summer backpacking when i wanted a change from using my homemade Meths stove.
However, it has never functioned as i consider a stove should function. That is that the gas should be able to be regulated all the way through the range from - to + without dying or spluttering.
So i had been on the look out for something else that wouldn’t cost the earth and hopefully perform better than the Crux. I had set a budget at £25.
As it happens i settled for this Coleman F1 Lite.
Now i had seen this stove many years ago but for some reason i never paid it enough attention. It was quite a surprise that i read it weighed 77gr. so i decided to go and have a look at one.
I think it came onto the market about 2002/3 so it shows that it has stood the test of time.
I walked into Manchester a few weeks ago along the Rochdale Canal and i called into GoOutdoors which is adjacent to the waterway. They had the stove at £25 funnily enough and less if you had the discount card. Unfortunately my card had run out of date.
As it felt a nice light weight stove i thought i would check out some others but keep this one in the back of my mind as No.1 contender.
I ended up leaving the store without a purchase although i could have spent a fortune in the nice new store.
A few days later i was checking out some stoves on the web when i found the F1 Lite for sale at the cheap price of £13.95 from Amazon via Outdoor Value plus £3.99 shipping.
I ordered one and it duly arrived.
Since i ordered it, a few days later it was and still is available from Amazon via the well known Winwood Outdoors for £11.50 plus £4.00 shipping.
So, still pleased with the price i paid i checked out what it weighed in reality.
77gr advertised, 74gr on the scales.
The pouch, which you may or may not want to carry it in, weighed 9gr against the 11gr advertised.
The burner assembly splits into 2 pieces for ease of storage under the gas cylinder. It actually fits better than my folding Crux.
At first attempt at assembly i thought it was a bit fiddly but having used it a few times the job is not that bad.
Make sure leg no.2, (they are marked) goes into the slot and the other 2 between the stop lugs and screw the two parts together. Then screw the assembly to the cylinder.
The good thing is that you cannot over tighten it as the regulator body acts as a stop. Very good.
The F1 Lite assembled
The F1 Lite split and stowedcylinder stand is used.
Also a wind shield will be required in most cases and it was good to see that the Primus wind shield fits ok.
The specifications of this little stove are quite surprising;-
Output 4,600 W. 16,400 BTU
(Now some web sites are showing output as 4,800 W but my instruction sheet shows 4,600.)
Usage rate 330g/h
That’s 50mins on high output and 2 hours on low. 227gr cylinder.
This stove has an alloy body and regulator with a plastic mount under the burner. Initially i wondered if it would cope with the heat. But it seems ok. It says it’s a technologically advanced material called Polyether ether ketone or PEEK for short which is capable of withstanding up to 320℃ and down to -60℃ and is also shock resistant.
The 3 legs/pot stands are steel as is the burner.
The boil time for ?L is 3 minutes and 5mins 40 secs if it’s windy.
No web sites, not even Colemans own site tells you what the volume is it will boil in 3 mins etc. Odd that no companies have queried this and amended the specs. Maybe they were going to come back to it but forgot.
I guess it’s 1L.
The regulator is excellent. Right thought the volume range from minimum to maximum. No problems simmering cooking with this regulator.
I have also used it when my gas cylinder was coming to an end and the supply and regulation hardly changed.
I have been surprised at the massive variation of prices that i have seen with this stove. Varying from £39.99 at the high end to £11.50 at the bottom.
Overall - Very impressed with this lightweight 3 season stove, especially for the price it is available at.