Friday, March 9, 2012

Vargo vs. Emberlit Wood Stove Comparison

I thought I'd post a short explanation of why I've chosen the Emberlit over the Vargo wood stove.  Last weekend I had a chance to try out the Vargo streamside during a day-long tenkara outing.

Both stoves are ultralight, compact, and effective.  My choice of one over the other has a lot to do with the diameter and length of sticks they will burn.  In a previous review on this blog I showed how the Emberlit can burn sticks that are a nice diameter and relatively long.  The Vargo cannot do this, and must be fed with considerably smaller sticks.  What this requires is more constant tending of the fire.  I do like the way the Vargo almost assembles itself, since all of the pieces are joined by hinges.  It's a little more tedious assembling the Emberlit, although not difficult at all.

I was able to break some juniper, sagebrush, and narrowleaf cottonwood sticks up into pieces that were small enough to fit inside the stove, but it required me to really stick with it and keep it stoked.

Another feature I like about the Emberlit over the Vargo is the placement of the ventilation/draft holes.  The Vargo has a ventilated floor which gets covered and clogged up with ash and pieces of wood, and the side placement of those holes on the Emberlit seems to draft better and more effectively.  In all, both stoves are great ultralight woodburning trailside stoves that allow you to have unlimited fuel that doesn't have to be carried in your backpack.  Emberlit gets the nod on design and fuel size.

A big thank-you goes out to Randall Haynes for loaning me his Vargo stove.  Thanks, Randall!


  1. Replies
    1. You will be very happy with it. We can take a backpack trip together and burn both of them! Did you get the Ti or the SS?

  2. Ti of course. Every ounce counts!

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  4. This comparison would definitely be useful especially for those who are searching for wood stoves - it manages to explain both sides with a well defined explanation on why you ended up choosing one over the other.