What is an Inverted Canister Stove?

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An inverted canister stove is a canister stove that can burn canister gas (an isobutane/propane mix) in lower temperatures than a regular canister stove. It’s good for winter camping when the nighttime temperature drops below 15 degrees (F). That’s the temperature at which point regular (upright) canister stoves like a Jetboil Flash, MSR Windburner, or MSR Reactor begin to fail because the gas inside them can’t vaporize.

But an inverted canister stove can burn gas down to about 0 degrees Fahrenheit because it burns canister gas in its liquid form rather than as a gas. This is done by turning the canister on its side or upside down so that the fuel comes out of the canister in a liquid form rather than a gaseous one. Inverted canister stoves are specially made so that they can burn the liquid fuel feed.

“Remote” Inverted Canister Stoves

Most inverted canister stoves are also classified as remote canister stoves because the fuel canister is positioned separately from the burner and connected by a hose.

This has two benefits.

The first is that you can surround the burner head with a high windscreen to make it more efficient, something you can’t do with a burner head that sits on top of a canister because the canister will overheat and explode.The second is that the stove is much more stable and can be used with much larger cook pots because it’s lower to the ground and less prone to toppling over. Efficiency and stability are very important if you’re melting snow for drinking water in winter, and which you need to bring to a boil to purify.Melting snow with a Kovea Spider Remote Inverted Canister Stove with a windscreen

Better Fuel Efficiency

If fuel efficiency is of paramount importance, and it frequently is in winter, a remote inverted canister stove will burn more efficiently if it’s surrounded by a windscreen, something you can’t do with most upright canister stoves, less they overheat and explode. The one exception to that is a completely enclosed burned head, like the radiant burners used on the MSR Reactor and the MSR Windburner stoves. However, both of those stoves have the same temperature limitation of regular upright canister stoves (like a Jetboil Flash or MSR Pocket Rocket 2) because they can only burn canister fuel in its gaseous form.

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