What has four legs, and goes “Woof!”?
Muz and I, trying to light this stove.
I received the Edelrid Hexon Multifuel stove to play with some time ago and it’s seen a few outings now, so I’ll admit to being both scared witless and deeply in love with it.
The stove and connecting hose are a thing of beauty. Edelrid is a German company and they’ve struck a great balance between chunky utilitarian design and exquisite finish. This is a piece of engineering like a Mercedes – it feels brilliantly made as if it will last forever.
It was the first time that I’d had a chance to use a Multifuel stove (read our guide to stove types here), so I searched out some fuel – I used Primus white fuel – and set about reading the instructions carefully. I watched the Edelrid instruction video (shown at the bottom of this review) and let out a boyish “whoah” when I saw the foot-high flame you get when you pre-heat the burner. I couldn’t wait to try it.
So, the day came in a field in deep, dark Wales when we decided to cook breakfast on the Edelrid. I set it up, primed it by pressing down the plunger 20 times and opened the valve for a couple of seconds to fill the burner with a little fuel.
Muz and I gathered near, and I lit the long match to light the stove.
Ho-lee-crap. I kid you not, the flame reached 5-feet high and both Muz and I shot backwards like scalded cats. It was the most scarily awesome thing we’d seen, ever. And it wasn’t even turned ON!
After the flame had died down, our pulses had slowed and our wives had stopped laughing I turned the valve to re-start the fuel flow. Cue a new round of adrenalin hits as the stove kicked in and sounded like a hot-air-balloon. It’s LOUD, wow.
We stuck a pan full of eggs on the stove and they cooked merrily, if somewhat quickly. We found that it wasn’t the easiest thing to turn down the stove’s heat. Sure, there’s a valve, but it’s either HOT or HOT, such is the output of the stove. (quoted at 3000w)
A couple of minutes later, the eggs were done and so was the pan. My fault entirely, but I’d used a teflon coated Trangia pan on the stove, and the Edelrid had burnt the Teflon off. Oops… but something you should be aware of if you’re considering getting a Multifuel stove. On the other hand, the Hexon can be used with Trangia’s wind-shield and pan system if there’s a big gap between flame and pan.
A little note about fuel. The Edelrid Hexon can be used with standard gas canisters, which is easy and safe(r). It burns really well in light wind but doesn’t have a self-igniter, so you’ll need a match or lighter.
It can also be used with the liquid fuel canister, which you pour in fuel and then pressurise with the plunger. You can use white fuel, petrol and kerosene which makes it viable as an expedition stove if you know that you’ll find it difficult to locate a specific fuel type.
It’s size also lends it to being a decent expedition stove. The stove head packs down to about the same size as a tin of baked beans (slightly wider diameter, but slightly shorter) and weighs 225g (80z). The fuel bottle and valve weigh 250g and would fit in the mesh pocket on the side of most daypacks.
A moment about suitability for the stove. In my opinion you have to know what you’re doing with a liquid stove. Would I take it to a festival? No – too close to other tents. Would I use it around children? No – 5ft flames and 5-year olds don’t mix well. Would I take it backpacking? Yes – but I wouldn’t use it in the porch of my tent!
Also to note that a multfuel stove like this, burning liquid fuel, doesn’t turn off immediately. It takes 30 seconds or so to go out after you shut off the fuel.
The Hexon is supplied with a windshield and maintenance kit. I can’t comment on those, I wasn’t sent either to test. Sorry.
Pricing for the Edelrid Hexon is around £110, which puts it in direct competition with multifuel stoves from MSR, Primus and Optimus. I’ve had a play with some of the competition in-store and in terms of build-quality the Edelrid is certainly as good as any of them. It’s smooth pot supports could also be ‘better’ than the jagged edged arms on the Optimus stove when packed in a backpack. I’m not a fan of sharp edges.
SUMMARY: I absolutely love the danger and risk of using a stove that could remove my eyebrows when it’s turned off. It’s built well and packs down nice and small for backpacking, and the ability to use a variety of fuels is great for expeditions or travelling. It’s easy to use (once you’re familiar with it) and priced keenly with its competitors. I can’t find any reason to fault it.
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