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Home > Gear&Tech > Equipment > Coleman Alpine Stove

Coleman / retailers description:

Low profile burner with separate cartridge, windshield and collapsible legs
Serrated pan supports & fully adjustable flame control
Constant Power System provides improved performance in extreme conditions & helps maintain power as the cartridge empties
Operates off Coleman Butane/Propane cartridges 100, 250 or 500
Size: 23.5x8.5x6.5cm

Weight (accurately measured by us): 425g (451g including the 26g zipped carrying pouch).


Over the last few years we have used several gas-cartridge stoves of two types - the kind that screw directly to the cartridge (direct types) and those attached by a tube (remote types).
The first ones we tried were direct types for weight reasons - they are very significantly lighter, however we became increasingly dissatisfied with their stability. They were stable enough on reasonably firm and level ground but that seldom happens, it is more usually thick springy grass or heather and we had to watch them constantly for the first signs of the pan slowly starting to tilt over. Another disadvantage was that if the cartridge was nearing empty during a boil, we could only wait until it became too feeble, and then wait further for the stove to cool down enough to change the cartridge.

The first remote type we tried was the Coleman Summit stove, now owned and marketed by Go-Gas. The 'wings' opened out to give a considerably more stable base and an empty cartridge could be replaced immediately and quickly. Being remote, the cartridge could also be warmed with the hands and shaken to extract the last of the gas. However after a couple of months, the screw thread in the coupling must have become cross-threaded and the gas cartridge would not go on. Needing a speedy replacement, and not wanting the hassle of chasing a new Summit tube from Go-Gas, we bought the Coleman Alpine.


First impressions made us a little concerned about stability as the folding legs felt loose and quite flimsy, but it was an illusion. This is easily the most stable stove we've ever used, and this slightly loose structure helps to make it so. The spidery legs feel slightly jointed and splay out horizontally to provide a very confident tripod base, and we can place it virtually anywhere within reason and it just stays put. The tops of the legs are serrated to give a good grip on the pan and help prevent sliding. The tube is permanently attached to the stove and the legs are in a perpendicular plane to the disc of the burner, which makes it a rather awkward shape for packing but this is not a problem once inside the supplied pouch.

The burner is considerably quieter than the roar of the Summit but it seemed to boil water faster, though this is subjective as we did not time the boil on either stove, and in any case we don't consider such timings meaningful as they are so dependent on temperature conditions and the amount of gas left in the cartridge. The stove uses the CPS (Constant Pressure System) which is supposed to help maintain a steady gas delivery rate to the end of the cartridge, but we found that near the end the rate dropped off considerably, and we could revive the performance by gently and carefully shaking it from side to side every few seconds. We don't consider this a problem and in our experience, it is certainly as good as the other stoves in this respect and we can extract the last of the gas by this method. In fact, in very cold weather, shaking the cartridge may be regarded as good gas management due to the differing properties of the butane and propane in the mixture: propane boils at a much lower temperature than butane, so in very cold conditions with a static cartridge, the propane will boil but the butane will remain there inactive, ultimately giving the impression that the cartridge has given up prematurely.

Some people have reported that it can be hard to light in very cold conditions, but we have never had the slightest problem, even with a half-empty small gas cartridge in temperatures of below -10C it lit immediately.

The coupling on the tube for the cartridge is heavy chunky metal and we wonder why it cannot be made lighter, but then we are not engineers and there may be a good safety reason for it. It certainly contributes a fair amount of weight to the total. It has the same basic design as the Summit so we will be particularly careful when screwing the cartridge on and try to ensure that cross-threading doesn't occur as it did last time.

One other point worth mentioning about the remote tube design is the safety aspect. The cartridge is well separated from the burner which in the event of a fault, damage or human error, minimises the risk of gas escaping and burning uncontrollably. We have read reports about stove manufacturers cutting corners in their designs to reduce weight, but at the expense of reducing the safety margins. The reports detail some cautionary tales of serious burns and even exploding canisters, which is a fearsome scenario.


We are very pleased with the stability and performance of the Coleman Alpine, though admittedly the Coleman F1 direct-type weighing in at a featherweight 77g is very tempting!.

Update:- Recent events have prompted a serious review of our kit weight and distribution, and we have reluctantly adopted the F1 after all. The weight and volume difference of the Alpine is so significant that we can no longer justify it, but we will miss its convenience and stability.