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Eco Zoom versa rocket stove
18 October 2014, 11:01,
Eco Zoom versa rocket stove
Been meaning to do a review on this for a while now, probably won't be of interest to anyone intending to bug out with minimal kit on their own, probably of more interest to anyone who is likely to bug in or bug out in a vehicle or has a group of people to consider.

I've played around with various homemade rocket stoves for some time now, made from every thing from old bean tins to bricks and mud and everything in between with varying degrees of success, there are loads of ideas on you tube and the rest of the internet and they can be built fairly easily with minimal tools.

The ones I've built have either been none portable (the bricks and mud variety) or have not lasted very long ( old bean tins) and without access to heavier gauge metals or better still stainless steel and having a bit of spare cash for once, I treated myself to an Eco zoom versa rocket stove.
[Image: 24914015.jpg]

A bit pricey at £110, I did actually get it a little cheaper as it was on offer which you could look out for, but then I see this as a bit of an investment as I use this sort of thing to cook on, on a regular basis.

The actual stove is not as big as it may appear it stands at less than 30cm tall and is about the same wide, but even so it will comfortably take my largest 8ltr Dutch oven

[Image: 24914011.jpg]

And my largest frying pan when browning off 2kg of mince.

[Image: 24914004.jpg]

and when fired up will boil a couple ltrs of water in about five minutes, from cold a good bit longer.

[Image: 24914002.jpg]

The thing I like about this and other rocket stoves is that they are very fuel efficient and you only need a good handful of sticks to get your food cooked and you are not reliant on fuel that you need to carry with you like gas or petrol, and it isn't fussy, any biomass that will burn weather it is scavenged from pallets off a building site to dry hogweed from the side of the road it will still get the job done, that said the fuel needs to be as dry as possible and hard woods work far better.

The difference with the versa is that it has two doors, the largest the main door for feeding the fire with sticks and similar fuel, the smaller door at the bottom is for air flow into the stove.
For normal rocket stove use both doors are open, but by closing the main door and leaving bottom door open the stove can be filled with charcoal or some other form of dry biomass and lit from the top and used more like a top lit stove (TLUD), giving it a bit more flexibility.

Things I like about it:

It's reasonably solid, there's not a lot to go wrong, should last awhile.

It's fuel efficient and will burn most things, if dry hard woods are used will produce very little smoke, could even be used inside a building at a push with care, I do use it in my open fire place at home.

It is portable it weighs less than 5Kg, you don't need to carry fuel with you.

It can take my 8ltr Dutch oven with ease and work effectively.

You can generally scavenge the fuel for this for free so cost nothing to run.

The not so good things:

If you are not used to cooking on open fires, it can take some getting used to in controlling the heat and constantly having to feed the stove to maintain a given temperature, you have to constantly keep coming back to the stove to maintain the fire, but this comes with experience with using such stoves.

Using one of these stoves will cover your pots in black sooty deposits that will get everywhere if you are not careful and is a nightmare to clean, this is the same for nearly all the rocket stoves that I've used , burning very dry hard woods will reduce it, but it's not something that you can avoid.

Even though the makers claim to use cool touch technology the exterior of this stove gets hot to the touch and the base gets extremely hot, in the pictures I have the stove stood on a piece of scrap ply wood to protect the table it didn't! It needs to be stood on something that is fire proof.

The stove is reasonably robust, but I don't think it would take a lot of harsh treatment as this would break up the insulation inside the stove body.

Hope this is of some interest to people, on the whole I really like this stove I have used it considerably all ready and hope to for many years to come and is one of my backups when the gas and electricity give out.
18 October 2014, 12:05,
RE: Eco Zoom versa rocket stove
Thanks T-oddity, great review and it looks like a really useful piece of kit for an extended bug-in or for feeding a group when bugging out.
18 October 2014, 12:43,
RE: Eco Zoom versa rocket stove
I got my rocket stove here http://wildstoves,
18 October 2014, 23:03,
RE: Eco Zoom versa rocket stove
Useful review, thanks for that.
19 October 2014, 06:09,
RE: Eco Zoom versa rocket stove
great review thanks
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