Soto Windmaster Hands on Review
Outdoor enthusiasts, backpackers, survivalists, and campers could all benefit from taking a small stove with them on their adventures. Doing so ensures access to boiled water and hot food when you need it most.
The Soto Windmaster backpacking stove is a great option in this category for several reasons, including its lightweight and resistance to the wind. It is among some of the highest-quality portable stoves available and has more bells and whistles than just a standard stove alone.
It offers complete control to those using it and is dependable despite any treacherous weather or terrain conditions that are thrown at you. Bringing one along for your next hike or camping trip could save you a lot of effort and energy in the long-run.
The Soto Windmaster uses a gas canister of isobutane-propane, and the recommended canister size is between 4-8 oz. To put its fuel-efficiency in perspective, a 4 oz. gas canister would allow this stove to burn for 45 minutes, and an 8 oz. canister would enable it to burn for an hour and a half. Because of the products rapid boiling time, which we discuss below, even just a 4 oz. gas canister could boil a little over 11 liters of water in its 45 minutes of burning. This is considered extremely fuel-efficient for a backpacking stove.
Even on longer trips, the Soto Windmaster will be able to use a small gas canister efficiently enough to last throughout a few days. Because of this, the Soto Windmaster is a worthwhile option for hikers and campers who don’t want to pack more than one fuel canister for their trip. This saves room for other outdoor gear in your bag and saves you money in the long run that you would otherwise be spending on gas canister replacements.
Time to Boil
Despite its size, the Soto Windmaster backpacking stove boils water quickly at a rate of 1 liter every 4 minutes. To put this in perspective, a 4 oz. gas canister, which burns for 45 minutes, could boil a little over 11 liters of water. Even more impressive, an 8 oz. canister, which burns for an hour and a half, could boil 22.5 liters of water before needing a replacement. This makes the Soto Windmaster a great option for long trips on which you plan on boiling a significant amount of water or cooking food for a larger group.
This stove works much faster than many other portable stove options and is even more impressive when taking into account the stove’s fuel efficiency. After a long day of hiking or setting up camp, it is nice to know that the Windmaster can have water boiled in just 4 minutes with almost zero effort on your part. This also comes in handy for those of you who want a quick cup of hot coffee in the morning or who don’t want to use up all of the gas you’ve packed when cooking a meal. You’ll be able to spend more time enjoying the great outdoors and far less time boiling water and cooking.
This product offers versatility in many forms. First, the stove’s micro-regulator and flame adjuster both offer the user versatility in fuel pressure and flame size. This gives you complete control over the stove and the tasks you are trying to achieve with it. When the fuel canister is running low, you won’t have to worry about issues with low pressure or a flickering flame. The flame will burn steadily until the canister is completely empty thanks to the micro-regulator.
Second, the Soto Windmaster offers versatility in the pot sizes that it can handle. The product comes with an included three-pronged pot stand. This is suitable for fairly small pots and pans to be held and remain stable. However, a larger four-pronged option can be purchased with this product that can hold larger and heavier pots more easily. This offers far more versatility during use and is particularly useful for those who travel in groups rather than on their own.
Weight & Packed Size
The Soto Windmaster weighs only 2.3 ounces, which is incredibly lightweight compared to almost any other backpacking stove you’ll find. This weight and the stove’s packed dimensions of 2.4 inches x 4.3 inches x 7 inches make it a fantastic options for backpackers and other lightweight travelers. It takes up very little physical space in a bag, and the weight is hardly noticeable at all while carrying it along with you. Backpackers, who travel long distances with minimal equipment, would benefit from this light and compact product the most.
The three-pronged pot holder slides right off of the stove’s burner and is collapsible. This allows the stove to be broken down and more compact than it already first appears. However, it can be fairly easy to misplace the small pot holder once removed from the burner. Make sure that you keep all the stove’s parts together after breaking it down.
This backpacking stove stands upright, so its balance is important. On its own, the Soto Windmaster stands stable. After setup, none of the parts are flimsy or in danger of falling. This product has been constructed with high-quality and durable materials that don’t bend or break easily. This product is not shaky and is typically even stable on rough terrains or rocky surfaces. Although, it is recommended that users remain close-by in the unlikely case that something does cause the stove to tip over.
While holding pots and pans, the stability of this stove depends on the user’s decision to use it as instructed. It is recommended that the included three-pronged pot holder be used only for smaller and very lightweight cookware. If this recommendation is followed, then the stove remains stable throughout use. However, using cookware that is too large or heavy for the pot holder may cause the stove to topple over during use. Users who wish to use larger cookware can purchase the larger pot-holder option.
The only significant limitation that this product has is the weight restriction on cookware. With what’s included in the product box, this stove can only support lightweight and fairly small pots and pans safely. This may be an issue for families or groups who are trying to boil large quantities of water all at once or cook larger meals.
The Soto Windmaster is an excellent backpacking stove that is best used by just about anyone who spends a good amount of time outdoors. Backpackers, campers, hikers, survivalists, and more can use benefit from this stove. Backpackers may find it the most appealing because of its compact size and barely noticeable weight. It is amazing for quickly boiling water, but also works well at heating up food.
|Best Use||Backpacking, Camping|
|Burn Time (Max Flame)||(8 oz.) 1 hr. 30 min.|
|Average Boil Time||4 min. 2 sec.|
|Dimensions||4.7 x 3.9 x 3.6 inches|
Other Versions & Accessories
The one accessory sold for the Soto Windmaster is the Windmaster stove 4Flex pot holder. Like we mentioned above, this pot holder has four prongs as opposed to three, and is much wider and stronger than the pot holder included with this product. It is 5.1 inches in diameter and can hold more heavy-duty pots and pans. This accessory is a great option for those who camp or travel in groups rather than on their own.
The MSR PocketRocket Stove is even more compact than the Soto Windmaster and is far more affordable. If offers similar boiling time and could be a great option for lightweight backpackers or campers who want a more budget-friendly portable stove option. However, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that the Windmaster has. The most noticeable are that the PocketRocket offers absolutely no protection from the wind, so users risk the flame going out or not reaching the pot effectively.
Snow Peak LiteMax
The Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium portable stove is a good option for those who want the Windmaster’s durability, stability, and compact size at a lower price. This product is in the middle-range as far as prices go, so you can be sure it is reliable and constructed with quality materials. However, what you give up when buying this more affordable option is the wind protection, ability to perform effectively in cold weather, and all the control that the Windmaster’s micro-regulator offers.
Soto Micro Regulator
The Soto Micro Regulator Stove is the ideal option for those of you who want all the benefits of Soto’s high-quality design but know that you won’t be using the product in windy environments. The Micro Regulator Stove, also produced by Soto, is almost identical to the Windmaster minus the wind barrier around the burner. If you love the key features of the Windmaster but want to save a little money, this may be the best option for you.