Author Topic: Snow Peak Geo Shield stove  (Read 1430 times)

Snow Peak Geo Shield stove
« on: October 27, 2017, 07:42:30 pm »
I bought this last summer, tried it a few times at home but last Tues./Wed./Thurs. is the first time I used it in the field. I was camping in the San Juan mountains in southern Colorado, at about 10,300 ft/ 3140 m above sea level, with overnight temps to about -3 C.

The windshield/stove stand takes a little figuring out, but the second time around I had it set up in about a minute. With the stove set low in the windscreen, I had room for a 1.5 liter MSR stainless steel cook pot with the MSR heat exchanger wrapped around it. Without the heat exchanger I probably could have fit a 2 liter MSR pot inside the windscreen. This is a definite plus, I prefer to use wide pots because the flame from the stove heats the entire bottom of the pot instead of traveling up the side of the pot and wasting heat. The stove is much more stable than any of the stoves I've used in the past, since the burner sits so low and the pot supports are so wide.

Ease of operation: setting up the windscreen is the tricky part, and even that was manageable after my first fumbling attempt. Definitely easier overall than the liquid fuel stoves I've used, but a bit more involved than traditional gas cartridge stoves with the burner on top of the cartridge. It's also more effort than the different Trangia cooksets. The remote cartridge means it's easy to change cartridges when the gas cartridge runs out.

Noise: Much quieter than my MSR Dragonfly or the MSR EX-GK, but that's not saying much. Louder than an alcohol stove. Noise level is comparable to an MSR Whisperlite.

Heat Output/Cold weather operation: Not as hot as a liquid fuel stove, but much better than an alcohol stove and better than traditional gas cartridges with the burner on top of the cartridge. The Geo Shield has a pre-heater loop in the fuel line, which improves fuel pressure in cold temperatures. The remote gas cartridge setup means the cartridge can be inverted and lifted up above the level of the burner. This improves heat output noticeably in cold temperatures or when the canister is almost empty, which is nice. Theoretically the stove would be usable even in temperatures low enough to liquify the gas in the cartridge, just by elevating the stove and inverting the cartridge. I was able to balance the cartridge on an overturned food bowl, but keeping the cartridge inverted like that was tricky.

Wind protection: the windscreen is pretty worthless, since it doesn't reach very high and has a lot of holes in it. I ended up using an MSR windscreen.

I'm not sure what user group this stove is aimed at. It's a fairly good winter stove for someone who doesn't want to deal with liquid fuels. The stability and ability to handle larger pots make it useful for groups of 2-3 people. It would be a much better stove if Snow Peak were to offer a real windshield to go with it. It's definitely a clever design, but there's really no area where it dramatically outperforms any other stove on the market.