I purchased this direct from the manufacturer, and got the deluxe bundle which included two extra sticks, and the various tops (grill plate and cut-out for cups), and also the bag.
Wow, this is some serious technology, and if I was going to go disappear in the woods for a month, there’s no question this would be my goto stoves.
I own quite a few stoves of various types, from wood stoves, to alcohol stoves, gas canister stoves, multi-fuel stoves, liquid only stoves, and fuel tablet stoves.
By far, this is the best wood stove I own. It is built of very thick steel, folds compact, and resists warping from long duration fires. The grill tops are the weak point, however, and both of my optional tops have warped somewhat, which is rather annoying. The tops should have the same thickness and gauge as the rest of the stove.
[EDIT: As you may note in the commend, I have been told by the seller that the thickness of the grill and cup cutout tops are the same gauge and thickness of the rest of the unit and I was simply using it wrong. So if you use it correctly, you should not experience warping.]
Having the two extra sticks is very nice as the two that are placed into the holes can get very hot, and you need those sticks to do regular maintenance throughout the life of the fire. Mostly to clear the ash pan, as too much ash in the ash pan decreases air flow and diminishes heat.
What’s nice about the firebox is that there really aren’y any failure points. The other long duration wood fire stove I have is the vitagrill, which is also impressive and about the same weight. However, the fire in that stove is much smaller and it has failure points (namely the battery pack and the fan, which is used to force air to the fire).
As great as the firebox is, though, there are a few reasons to be a little more thoughtful before selecting this stove. First, for those who are fairly new to back-packing or new to stoves for car camping, it’s worth nothing that wood fires create a tremendous amount of soot. So if the rest of your gear is brand new, pristine, and you don’t want to get soot and ash everywhere, you might re-think wood stoves in general and perhaps lean towards gas canister stoves, which are the cleanest burning of all portable stoves on the market.
Next up is the weight. As much as I love this stove, I would never take it on shorter back-packing trips where every ounce counts. it’s just too heavy for a single purpose item. Consider the numerous other wood stoves on the market, many of which are very useful, effective, and much lighter.
And that’s about it. One of the great advantages of the firebox is that it’s just large enough that you can put some larger pots on it and it will work. There is a central hot spot that forms, but this stove is so strong and durable, you can place a heavy cast iron pan or pot on it and it will remain stable.
Steel, for all it’s issues compared to titanium, has durability on its side.
I’ve been a big fan of titanium and still have titanium stoves, but titanium has a critical flaw, in situations where you have rapid temperature change, e.g. winter cooking, titanium can crack. It’s great in cold, and great as a stove, but for, say, winter cooking, titanium can crack pretty easily. I’ve already broken two stoves that were titanium, one which is a wood burning stove, and another which is a multi-fuel stove. It was so bad I had to purchase another one to replace it. what a bummer. So steel may be heavier, but it is by far the most reliable.
So if you’re looking for durability and want something that is field ready time and again, perhaps daily use for a couple of weeks, with lots of long duration fires (1 hour plus), this is the stove you want. If you want something lighter for shorter duration backpacking where you’re not planning complex meals and only need short periods (under 1 hour cooking/boiling), this stove is not a good candidate.
2 thoughts on “Firebox 5″ Folding Campfire Stove + Grill Plate Review”
The Folding Firebox’s Grill Plate is made of the same thickness of material as the rest of the stove. The Grill Plate is not intended to be used as a pot stand with a full fire under it rather as a Grill, which needs food on it to regulate it’s temp (like a pan on the stove needs food to prevent warping) That’s why it’s designed to be positioned using the Fire Sticks. This way a big fire can be allowed to burn to hot coals, then the Fire Sticks can be used to attach the Grill when the fire is at a cooking temp rather than a burning temp. If you have warped your grill you have had it over a full flame for extended periods. Please contact me and I’ll send you a new grill so you can reevaluate it with proper use as a grill rather than as a trivet or pot stand. That’s what the Fire Sticks are for which can handle a full flaming heat to boiling in a small pot or cup.
Thanks for the comment. Considering I just put this review up on this brand new blog, it’s awesome that you took the time to respond. I see the logic of what you’re saying and will take better care going forward.
Appreciate the offer to send me another grill too.