Putting The EcoZoom Dura Lite Stove To The Test

EcoZoom Dura LiteThis past Labor Day week­end fel­low copy­writer Tim Gib­bins and I got to put the Eco­Zoom Dura Lite stove to the test. We head­ed to crys­tal-clear moun­tain waters in Cen­tral Ore­gon for car camp­ing and planned to spend some qual­i­ty time with good friends in the great out­doors. Excit­ed to treat our­selves to back­coun­try culi­nary delights, we brought along goose meat, fig­ur­ing that a good ol’ fash­ioned stew was in order.


Zach’s Review:

Design
The Dura Lite stove uses a clas­sic rock­et stove design, which means that fuel such as wood or bio­mass is burned in a sin­gle high-tem­per­a­ture com­bus­tion cham­ber with an insu­lat­ed ver­ti­cal chim­ney. This ensures com­plete com­bus­tion before the flame ever reach­es the cook­ing sur­face, mak­ing this stove not only effi­cient, but also extreme­ly envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly. I only noticed smoke when I tried to stuff too much wood into the cham­ber, and that was eas­i­ly solved by sim­ply back­ing some of the wood out.

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Dura­bil­i­ty
Not much to go wrong here. Since the design is so sim­plis­tic, my only wor­ry was mis­plac­ing the unat­tached wood feed­er. Set on lev­el ground, the round base made for a sta­ble plat­form and the whole unit could eas­i­ly stand the weight of a heavy cast iron Dutch oven.

Usabil­i­ty
Using this stove was a breeze and extreme­ly fun. I could eas­i­ly adjust the heat of the flame, from a sim­mer to a boil, by adding or tak­ing away fuel. The out­side of the stove stayed rel­a­tive­ly cool while cook­ing and cleanup was a cinch. What an excit­ing way to par­tic­i­pate in the cre­ation of my food. It real­ly just set the scene for total­ly mem­o­rable evening. The goose stew turned out won­der­ful too.


Tim’s Review:

Design
On first look the Dura Lite looks like a poop­er buck­et for a riv­er trip. Its over­all size is a lit­tle small­er than a five-gal­lon buck­et. It has thick walls, and an open top. The two full-grip han­dles make car­ry­ing it very easy. The stove top is super sol­id and sta­ble, but the best part about this stove is what­ev­er they did to make the fire burn so con­sis­tent and effi­cient­ly. The design real­ly max­i­mizes the impact of the fire with­in the chamber.

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Dura­bil­i­ty
The stove is rock sol­id. With min­i­mal mov­ing parts this is a stove you can own for decades.

Usabil­i­ty
We chopped kin­dling from a quar­tered log into two-inch thick pieces. At first I thought it would work as a nov­el­ty-type stove, but it real­ly burned the kin­dling so effi­cient­ly that our stew start­ed bub­bling in a cast iron pot prompt­ly. As dark­ness set­tled in the stove let out such a pleas­ant glow around our camp. It felt like a throw­back to cook over the warm coals of a fire, but we didn’t have to deal with the mess of clean­ing up an actu­al camp­fire. I was real­ly impressed. The over­all expe­ri­ence made me want one of these and kiss the days of using propane while car camp­ing goodbye.

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