I was recently asked about whether the brand of butane/propane canister used on a camping stove makes a difference.
In other words, are MSR or JetBoil canisters better than Primus and Colemans? Or are they all the same, just with different logos on the side?
You can read all of the responses on Twitter but here’s the summary:
- Some people seem to think that certain brands give a more consistent flow and let you use the full canister better. But that’s not widely experienced, there’s no obvious consistency in which are the best/worst brands, and I don’t know of any reason that would be true (ultimately, they are just metal pots filled with gas).
- In fact, there are only a few canister manufacturers in the world and they manufacture all the different brands. So, two different brands often come off the same production line in Korea. In other words, most canisters are exactly the same.
- What does make a difference, rather than the brand, is the proportion of propane to butane. More propane = better cold weather performance. The exact mix of propane, butane and isobutane is usually secret, and it might be that a particular brand has a better blend than another.
- However, above 5 degreees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit), you probably don’t need any butane so the blend isn’t very important.
- Finally, it’s worth saying that the stove set up (e.g. stove model, windshield, heat reflector, heat exchangers on the pots) is a much bigger factor than the canister type.
I’m not an expert on this stuff so further feedback is very welcome.