Why My Firebox Nano Goes on Outings and My Solo Stove Stays Home

Discussion in 'Cooking & Water Purification' started by pab1, Oct 4, 2018.

  1. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I still use both stoves and this is not meant to put down the Solo Stove. After using both for a while now I find myself opting to take the Nano most the time. Prior to the introduction of the X-Case for the Nano, the Solo Stove was my favorite.

    On soft/wet ground one or more of the Nano's feet would sink in causing instability. The X-Case has eliminated that problem and also locks the legs in place. One thing I like about the Nano as opposed to other stoves is that its one piece. There are no pieces to lose. Here is a comparison of the two which shows why the Nano is winning.

    Here are the two side by side. The legs/supports of the Nano can be turned in if you are using a small pot or cup. The Solo Stove is 5-3/4" tall and 4-1/4" wide. The Nano is 4-7/8" tall and the stove body is 3-1/4" wide. The Solo Stove weighs 9oz and the stainless version of the Nano weighs 6oz.

    Firebox Nano - Solo Stove Comparison 004.JPG

    The Nano works much better with larger pots and pans. With the Solo Stove cooking ring placed over the Nano you can see how much more support the Nano provides.

    Firebox Nano - Solo Stove Comparison 006.JPG

    Here's the Solo Stove cooking ring seated on the Nano. Each Nano support extends about 1" beyond the edge of the Solo Stove cooking ring.

    Firebox Nano - Solo Stove Comparison 013.JPG

    Here is where the Nano really starts pulling ahead. With the cooking ring stored in the stove the Solo Stove is still 4-1/4" wide by 3-7/8" tall. Collapsed the Nano is 4-7/8"X3-1/4"X1/2".

    Firebox Nano - Solo Stove Comparison 017.JPG

    The X-Case adds a little size and weight to the Nano but I feel its definitely worth it. The X-Case measures 5-1/4"X3-7/8"X7/8" and it weighs 2.2oz. That makes the combined weight of the X-Case and the Nano 8.2oz which is still lighter than the Solo Stove.

    Firebox Nano - Solo Stove Comparison 022.JPG

    When I first started using the Nano, I reasoned that since I had to carry a pot anyway the size of the Solo Stove didn't matter. I usually use the Solo Stove 900 pot which the Solo Stove nests in. That logic really didn't hold up since I was able to store other items in the pot when packing the Nano, freeing up space in my pack.

    On short trips I often just carry a cup to make tea. The Nano can fit in the cup in needed, saving space.

    Firebox Nano - Solo Stove Comparison 026.JPG

    Here's the same cup with the Solo Stove. This combo will take up a lot more space compared to the Nano.

    Firebox Nano - Solo Stove Comparison 030.JPG

    While the Solo Stove design is supposed to burn hotter than other stoves, it can also be a disadvantage. The burned fuel builds up and eventually has to be emptied. This isn't a problem if you're only boiling water but if you're cooking a meal it can be annoying. The opening in the fire grate of the Nano allows burned material to drop out onto the X-Case.

    On this trip I shot a cottontail and made stew with it. By the time the meat was almost done the Solo Stove was full. I had to empty it, light it again to boil water and cook the meat/vegetables. About the time the stew was done the stove was full again.

    Hunting Lunch - Solo Stove Meal 114.JPG

    Both stoves can be used with an alcohol burner. Accessories for the Nano make it more versatile. A fuel plate allows block, tablet or gel fuels to be used. A gas burner allows it to be used with butane canisters. A grill/grate is available allowing you to cook steaks (or any meat) using charcoal. You can feed longer branches through the side openings, twigs through the top like the Solo Stove or use a mini Swedish torch setup for long burns with the Nano.

    That's my take on the two stoves. Hopefully this information is useful to anyone considering purchasing one of them. You really can't go wrong with either stove.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2018
  2. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Nice write up!
    That little Firebox stove is intriguing!
     
  3. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    It is. I didn't know you could put a Trangia in it.
     
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  4. Kona9

    Kona9 Supporter Supporter

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    I want a Nano now. Thanks. Lol

    I get what you mean about the small chamber on the Solo Stove. I have experienced the same thing. I also like the side feeding of other stoves better than the top. The price is not bad on the Nano. Titanium version is tempting.
     
  5. wvtracker14

    wvtracker14 Hardwoodsman #9 Supporter Hardwoodsman

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    Nice comparison! The nano is my go to stove as well, I don't carry it nearly as much in the summertime but when winter comes it never leaves my pack.
     
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  6. Rarrapuda

    Rarrapuda Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Great write up... but now I want to buy a nano... Thanks... :dblthumb:
     
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  7. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

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    Nano is a great stove... no real comparison to the Solo Stove. I have a couple Nanos and really like the addition of the x-case. Solo stoves are too bulky and I don’t like the top feed at all but they were my gateway drug into back packable wood burners.
     
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  8. atlastrekker

    atlastrekker Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    These types of cook stoves never really made sense to me, since we are in a complete fire ban here over half the year. The other half the year I would want a fire for heat as well as cooking, usually a couple rocks would be fine to hold a pot or pan. I little while back I found the owner of Firebox had a YouTube channel and I started watching his videos, which are excellent by the way. Now that I see how he uses the Nano I get how useful they are. I would never carry anything bigger than a Nano, but I do see how it would be a useful tool to keep at hand. Does it seem like this thing will last for a long time @pab1?
     
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  9. outkastblast

    outkastblast Scout

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    Does the nano cook as completely as the solo? I did a DIY wood gas stove similar to the solo years ago and really liked that once it was all done, you had just a tiny bit of ash left.

    Nice write up regardless, very neat designs. I'm a recovering pot addict in that I have so many damn stoves and pots for camping because I like them far too much. :)
     
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  10. xrayit

    xrayit Supporter Supporter

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  11. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    Really like my nano .

    Folds up and in the xcase is about the size of a smartphone
     
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  12. vdeal

    vdeal Guide

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    I have an Emberlit UL which I really like but the Ti Nano has been on my buy list for a while just because of the one piece design. These stoves work really well.
     
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  13. GreySwampFox

    GreySwampFox Supporter Supporter

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    Great review @pab1 and thank you! After reading your other posts on the nano and watching the YouTube videos put out by Firebox showing how versatile they are I pulled the trigger. The Nano, X case, and fuel plate for Esbit tabs arrived this evening. Very eager to put it to use.
     
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  14. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    I should have gotten the plate for fuel tabs .
     
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  15. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Thanks everyone!

    I'm sure you could damage the legs/pot supports if you were rough with it. With typical use I think it will last a long time. The X-Case definitely provides more protection when its in a pack than the D-ring Cordura case.

    Meals cooked with the Nano also result in a small amount of ash with some burned wood remnants similar to the Solo Stove. It doesn't have a secondary burn like the Solo Stove but it burns wood pretty thoroughly.
     
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  16. to Ha

    to Ha Supporter Supporter

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    What a great writeup, pab1! Thank you.

    I picked up a Ti Nano w/ X case, grill, leather case, etc from a guy in CA - he sold it due to the burn ban. It is sweet!
     
  17. trailhermit

    trailhermit Supporter Supporter

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    I have the SS Nano which I purchased before all of the awesome accessories came out. I really like how it works with just twigs and some diy tinder. It came with a tiny little cotton drawstring bag. Its easy to overlook it when it migrates to the backpacking bin.
     
  18. R Stowe

    R Stowe Hobbyist Hobbyist Supporter

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    Awesome comparison! I’ve been a huge fan of the Nano and the X case is great for storing the stove and carbon wind screen. Plus the Trangia is a sweet option for quick brew sessions.
     
  19. trailhermit

    trailhermit Supporter Supporter

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    [​IMG] 15388518194221033810610.jpg
    my esbit stove I just need to the plate to raise it up.
     
  20. bosque bob

    bosque bob Scout

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    Thanks for a great review. The comparison photos really helped. In my experience Solo Stoves will eventually burn out in the upper inner ring area. How does the Firebox Nano hold up in this regard?
     
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  21. to Ha

    to Ha Supporter Supporter

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    The Ti version will not have an issue with this.
     
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  22. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    No issues yet but I'll post if anything comes up.
     
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  23. wrath0r

    wrath0r Supporter Supporter

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    The X-Case has been on my to-buy list for a bit now. It's much more stable than the carbon felt I've been using. Still, it would be very nice to be able to easily nest a stove in a pot with a pan lid. I haven't done the homework for that yet.
     
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  24. Birdman

    Birdman Guide

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    How do boil times / burn efficiency compare?

    I'm in a similar boat. I have the Toaks wood stove, and the Vargo Hexagon.
    The hexagon is also one piece, and packs nice and flat. It goes on more outings due to this.
    However the toaks burns hotter and cleaner. Seems much more effecient.
    That's why we keep both I guess. :dblthumb:
     
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  25. Red Yeti

    Red Yeti Mostly Harmless Hobbyist Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Excellent thread, thanks for the conversation folks!

    I am relatively new to to twig stoves, having for years just burned the wood on the ground like some kind of a barbarian...

    I used a biolite heavily on a couple week paddle trip a couple years ago, mainly for the battery charger it provides. That's pretty cool.

    Then out of curiosity, I made an IKEA stove a year or so ago and have used it a dozen or so times. I like it and it seems pretty space efficient because I use a pot that nests well inside and my nalgene fits inside that.

    Then I also got a nano with the x case to slip in a small day pack. Have used it about 10 times and I like it too and +10 on the benefits of the base already discussed above. It does need constant attention for feeding.

    Honestly, I go back and forth on the value of a twig stove vs a simple fire. The ability to have a clean fire with no scar on the ground using the x case mostly tips the ballance for me. I like to leave a place like I found it as much as I can...

    I do really enjoy seeing other folks experience and ideas here. Thanks for sharing!

    :38:
     
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  26. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    I haven't timed the two to see which reaches a boil faster. My guess is the Solo Stove would be slightly faster. Between the two the Nano is easier to feed. You can also do a mini Swedish torch with the Nano for a long burn without having to feed it.

    That's a big part of the appeal of these stoves.
     
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  27. crewhead05

    crewhead05 caffeine, nicotine, knives and nature. Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Good comparison
     
  28. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    There is an "Overkill" mod now to combine two Nano's. This gives it the ability to use longer sticks for a much longer burn time and higher BTU output. The stoves can be combined or used individually. I have two Nano's but I doubt I'll do this mod. A single Nano has worked fine for me.

     
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  29. PAcanis

    PAcanis Supporter Supporter

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    In the Esbit Stove thread there was talk of using tins to set the fuel tabs in when they burn. This way you could snuff out the tab if you didn't need it all and also the tin would collect the melted portion and increase burn time.
    I just got my Nano in and was going to cut out a fuel tab tray for it, when just for the heck of it I grabbed a tin with sliding top that I had.
    And what do you know, perfect fit.

    Nano with tab tray.jpg
     
  30. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Nice!
     
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  31. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    Thats a stellar idea! Thanks!
     
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  32. Big ian

    Big ian Tracker

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    Welp, I'm sold. Next $70 I have free is spoken for.
     
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  33. Lars

    Lars Angry German Supporter

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    It is a great modification. My overkill setup with two titanium Nano's combined like this (with one of the bottom grates removed) weighs only 6.75 ounces and the output seems much higher than using one Nano. Less feeding required, too.
     
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  34. kronin323

    kronin323 Supporter Supporter

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    I've never used a twig stove but I find them attractive and have been reading up on them lately. Thanks for the contribution of this thread.
     
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