Gear Review: Soto WindMaster
A versatile stove that works great in windy conditions.
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This unique cooker stands out for two reasons. First, it has interchangeable pot supports: Pack the small, three-armed support (included) on solo trips, and invest in the sturdier, stabler four-armed one (the 4Flex) if you often cook for groups; it costs $15 and worked well under a giant 5-liter pot when I cooked for eight in Tasmania. Second, the WindMaster’s 1 3/4-inch burner head is concave, and impressively thwarts wind—even without the use of a windscreen—because the flame holes are recessed below a lipped rim. The stove simmers nicely and boil times average 3:30 for one liter in controlled conditions (windless and 65°F at sea level). And because it incorporates Soto’s Micro Regulator technology (a fingertip-size valve that manages the flow of fuel in cold weather), it burns hot even down to 15°F, rare among canister stoves. $75; 2.7 oz. (4Flex is 1 oz.); sotooutdoors.com
All-weather chefs who want group-size versatility
When Nov. to March
Where MA, OR, WA, Tasmania; 30°F to 65°F; wind, rain
“The sturdy, low-profile Piezo igniter is immune to bending or breaking, unlike all the others I’ve used.”