Backcountry Boiler Unpacking | Quick Look

Backcountry Boiler Cover

Well my Backcountry Boiler has just arrived (Christmas eve) and I bummed mostly because I won’t have much time to fiddle with it over the next few days. The new sleeve casing/cover looks like a great enhancement so I’m pleased that I chose this version instead of the regular neoprene sleeve.

The laser etching on the top of the stove looks great and as you can clearly see from the photo below, I have Kickstarter #16.

Backcountry Boiler #16

The new stopper is nicely made too and fits perfectly. I did notice that the inside edge of the filling hole is very rough and burred up, not at all what I had expected. The biggest surprise was the quality of the bottom fire cup. Take a look at the photo below and you’ll should be able to see how badly finished the hole on the side of the cup is.

You can see that the edge of the cut out is seriously gnarly looking, in fact its full of razor sharp burrs and is not even a very neat circle. There are two sections of the cup’s rolled under lip that are missing chunks of metal – that is not shown here. The overall quality of this piece is not acceptable. I’ll fix the burrs on the inside of the filling hole, but this cup will need to be fixed.

Gnarly looking edge to the cup hole. Razor sharp!

I’m hoping that this was just a one-off bad sample of the cup and that the rest of the production pieces are not as unfinished as this one. I’m pretty dissapointed in the initial quality of the Backcountry Boiler partly due to the fact that there were delays in production while tweaks and improvements were being made – so I’m not sure how this slipped past QA.

I’ll reach out to Devin at Boilerwerks and see what he has to say about this. Knowing him, he’ll have this rectified in no time at all and will be even more horrified than I am about this.  I’ll be holding off using the Boiler until I’ve had an opportunity to speak to Devin about this.

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  • http://www.mylifeoutdoors.com/ Steven Smith

    I bad initial review…how about that. I hope it everything gets fixed and it turns out to be a false alarm.

  • http://www.mylifeoutdoors.com/ Steven Smith

    I bad initial review…how about that. I hope it everything gets fixed and it turns out to be a false alarm.

  • PaulOsborn

    Thanks for the honesty! This was not what I would have expected, especially with all the other photos I’ve seen of the prototype.

  • http://profiles.google.com/orthotomeo Paul Osborn

    Thanks for the honesty! This was not what I would have expected, especially with all the other photos I’ve seen of the prototype.

  • http://www.hikinginfinland.com/ Hendrik Morkel

    Lets give Devin a break. I am certain he will swap/ fix/ exchange any problems with your BCBoiler, and that with shipping some 600+ boilers out a mistake like the one you present above hopefully is a exception. While Devin should have spotted this in QA, it is the original manufacturer in Canada who should get the blame for shipping such a BCBoiler.

    I received my BCBoiler goodies a few weeks ago, and am really happy with them, nice additions to my “Build in the USA” BCBoiler ;) 

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      What are the two metal plates on the left for? Are they part of the firefelt kit?

  • http://www.hikinginfinland.com/ Hendrik Morkel

    Lets give Devin a break. I am certain he will swap/ fix/ exchange any problems with your BCBoiler, and that with shipping some 600+ boilers out a mistake like the one you present above hopefully is a exception. While Devin should have spotted this in QA, it is the original manufacturer in Canada who should get the blame for shipping such a BCBoiler.

    I received my BCBoiler goodies a few weeks ago, and am really happy with them, nice additions to my “Build in the USA” BCBoiler ;) 

  • Snctool

    Brian,

    I have been a machinist for 32 years and I agree with you the machine work on the Backcountry Boiler is unacceptable. It looks as if they cut the hole with a hole saw…a rushed batched job. It would be fine to hole saw the opening under size and then use a boring bar to finish the hole and clean it up.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      I have to agree, this must clearly be a mistake or oversight. I know that Devin will be upset about the quality of this and possible that I’m sharing this publicly, but my intention is not to ruin him or hurt his sales. I see this as an excellent opportunity to show that sometimes things go wrong and mistakes are made, but the beauty of working with small cottage manufacturers that produce more or less on-demand is that they can very quickly adjust to accommodate the changes.

  • Snctool

    Brian,

    I have been a machinist for 32 years and I agree with you the machine work on the Backcountry Boiler is unacceptable. It looks as if they cut the hole with a hole saw…a rushed batched job. It would be fine to hole saw the opening under size and then use a boring bar to finish the hole and clean it up.

  • Paul

    I have a large and small Kelly Kettle and love them.  Regardless of the bad review, I still want one…expensive or not.  Hopefully the quality will come up and the cost down.  Cheers mate.  Paul

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      I really wish that people wouldn’t think of this as a bad review. Overall the Backcountry Boiler has a lot to offer, I wouldn’t have been a financial backer of the project if I hadn’t believed that – and I still do. However, things can and do go wrong and sometimes need to be addressed. I don’t know yet whether or not this is a one-off or whether this is a problem with all of the Boilers, but I fully expect to be able to show how well Devin take care of this and use it as an example of what to do.

  • Paul

    I have a large and small Kelly Kettle and love them.  Regardless of the bad review, I still want one…expensive or not.  Hopefully the quality will come up and the cost down.  Cheers mate.  Paul

  • JJ_Mathes

    Does anyone know what the price point will be on these one Devin gets into full production

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      JJ, I’m not sure that Devin has published the standard prices yet. He’s still heads down fulfilling all of the Kickstarter orders and has more than his share of setbacks as Hendrik points out.

      • JJ_Mathes

        Thanks Brian- I checked Devin’s website prior to posting here and didn’t see and current info on prices or dates for selling from stock, was hoping you or one of the many Kickstarter supporters might have inside info.

        I’m thinking this might be the stove that goes with me for my  2012 AT section hike 600+ miles. I used wood in 2010 for 500-miles and liked using natural fuel.

  • JJ_Mathes

    Does anyone know what the price point will be on these one Devin gets into full production

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    I have to agree, this must clearly be a mistake or oversight. I know that Devin will be upset about the quality of this and possible that I’m sharing this publicly, but my intention is not to ruin him or hurt his sales. I see this as an excellent opportunity to show that sometimes things go wrong and mistakes are made, but the beauty of working with small cottage manufacturers that produce more or less on-demand is that they can very quickly adjust to accommodate the changes.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    I really wish that people wouldn’t think of this as a bad review. Overall the Backcountry Boiler has a lot to offer, I wouldn’t have been a financial backer of the project if I hadn’t believed that – and I still do. However, things can and do go wrong and sometimes need to be addressed. I don’t know yet whether or not this is a one-off or whether this is a problem with all of the Boilers, but I fully expect to be able to show how well Devin take care of this and use it as an example of what to do.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    JJ, I’m not sure that Devin has published the standard prices yet. He’s still heads down fulfilling all of the Kickstarter orders and has more than his share of setbacks as Hendrik points out.

  • JJ_Mathes

    Thanks Brian- I checked Devin’s website prior to posting here and didn’t see and current info on prices or dates for selling from stock, was hoping you or one of the many Kickstarters might have inside info.

    I’m thinking this might be the stove that goes with me for my  2012 AT section hike 600+ miles. I used wood in 2010 for 500-miles and liked using natural fuel.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jwpreston35 Jeff Preston

    I also received a Boiler last week.  Overall I am happy with it but the holes on mine could have used a little extra deburring.  Honestly, I fired it up today, my guess is that after using it you will not mind the surface blemishes.  As you well know, burning wood is not clean.

    One problem I had was getting air flow to the back of the fire chamber.  I will have to play with it some more to develop a better technique, like raising the fuel off the floor to allow airflow under it.  Maybe I just had to much fuel loaded.  Otherwise I may drill another smaller (1/4″ or so) hole or two on the back side.

    So far I am very happy with my purchase.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Jeff you’re right about the surface blemishes and I don’t really care much about them. But the gnarly cut hole and burrs around the water hole will need to be addressed before Devin goes into full tilt production.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Good feedback Jeff, thanks. Overall I am very happy with the BCBoiler, that’s why I funded it on Kickstarter. I was just disappointed about the quality of the finish on the cup. I’ve since chatted with Devin about it and he agrees it was unfortunate and that it should not be the norm.

      I’ve completely cleaned up the burrs on mine and have been using the Boiler quite happily since. For ome reason this is a favorite with my two small kids :)

  • http://profiles.google.com/jwpreston35 Jeff Preston

    I also received a Boiler last week.  Overall I am happy with it but the holes on mine could have used a little extra deburring.  Honestly, I fired it up today, my guess is that after using it you will not mind the surface blemishes.  As you well know, burning wood is not clean.

    One problem I had was getting air flow to the back of the fire chamber.  I will have to play with it some more to develop a better technique, like raising the fuel off the floor to allow airflow under it.  Maybe I just had to much fuel loaded.  Otherwise I may drill another smaller (1/4″ or so) hole or two on the back side.

    So far I am very happy with my purchase.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Jeff you’re right about the surface blemishes and I don’t really care much about them. But the gnarly cut hole and burrs around the water hole will need to be addressed before Devin goes into full tilt production.

  • Devin

    Hi Brian,

    Your review is totally fair, and I’ll email you about getting a better bottom cup. I’m glad you like the etching, stopper and sleeve though!

    It is and was issues just like this that are a big part of the reason why the Boilers have been so delayed. This particular deburring issue is one I’ve addressed with the manufacturer several times in the past and that I thought was fixed. I must have missed catching it on yours, and I’m sorry about that.

    There has been a lot that has been going on behind the scenes to get these out to everyone, and I think I’m still too wrapped up in it all to make the final analysis of lessons learned. Right now, I’m somewhere between “no man is an island” and “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”

    Best,
    Devin

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Devin, I’ve been in your exact situation before with manufacturing gear and relying on vendors for quality, in my case we ended up having to switch manufacturers completely and lost almost a year in the process, it can be very frustrating to be at the mercy of others – but there’s only so much you can do yourself.

      I figured this must have been a quality control issue, especially based on what you’ve already said about your constant struggles to maintain quality and your dedication to ensuring the stoves are up to your own standards. Things don’t always go exactly as planned and I think we all understand that.

      How about this, finish up doing what you are doing and when you have time to breathe and things settle back down you can reach out to me about a new cup. I’ll tidy up the one I have which will at least allow me to use the boiler in the meantime. There’s no rush to get this fixed immediately – it is what it is. I know you will take care of it and for that I am more than happy to let you do so when you have the time.

      I’ve been holding off using the boiler until I had heard from you and with the Xmas holidays slowing me down you were ahead of me sending you an email. I’m taking my kids out this weekend and looking forward to showing them the boiler and having hot meals from it.

      Cheers Devin!

  • Devin

    Hi Brian,

    Your review is totally fair, and I’ll email you about getting a better bottom cup. I’m glad you like the etching, stopper and sleeve though!

    It is and was issues just like this that are a big part of the reason why the Boilers have been so delayed. This particular deburring issue is one I’ve addressed with the manufacturer several times in the past and that I thought was fixed. I must have missed catching it on yours, and I’m sorry about that.

    There has been a lot that has been going on behind the scenes to get these out to everyone, and I think I’m still too wrapped up in it all to make the final analysis of lessons learned. Right now, I’m somewhere between “no man is an island” and “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”

    Best,
    Devin

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    I’ve been in you exact situation before with manufacturing gear and relying on vendors for quality, in my case we ended up having to switch manufacturers completely and lost almost a year in the process, it can be very frustrating to be at the mercy of others – but there’s only so much you can do yourself.

    I figured this must have been a quality control issue, especially based on what you’ve already said about your constant struggles to maintain quality and your dedication to ensuring the stoves are up to your own standards. Things don’t always go exactly as planned and I think we all understand that.

    How about this, finish up doing what you are doing and when you have time to breathe and things settle back down you can reach out to me about a new cup. I’ll tidy up the one I have which will at least allow me to use the boiler in the meantime. There’s no rush to get this fixed immediately – it is what it is. I know you will take care of it and for that I am more than happy to let you do so when you have the time.

    I’ve been holding off using the boiler until I had heard from you and with the Xmas holidays slowing me down you were ahead of me sending you an email. I’m taking my kids out this weekend and looking forward to showing them the boiler and having hot meals from it.

    Cheers Devin!

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    What are the two metal plates on the left for? Are they part of the firefelt kit?

  • http://thehikehouse.com/ Hiking Sedona

    True, fair review of a product. Also great discussion here and very proactive reactions.

  • http://thehikehouse.com/ Hiking Sedona

    True, fair review of a product. Also great discussion here and very proactive reactions.

  • http://www.briangreen.net/ Brian Green

    Good feedback Jeff, thanks. Overall I am very happy with the BCBoiler, that’s why I funded it on Kickstarter. I was just disappointed about the quality of the finish on the cup. I’ve since chatted with Devin about it and he agrees it was unfortunate and that it should not be the norm.

    I’ve completely cleaned up the burrs on mine and have been using the Boiler quite happily since. For ome reason this is a favorite with my two small kids :)

  • Richard

    This needs to be updated, A short while ago I received this stove ( engraved with 9.12 serial number ) and has none of the burrs. Great item to have in my kit. Functions very well, plus made here in USA! It is a shame that there are rip-off’s on the market.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      Richard – you’re right and I do owe Devin an update. I did however post updates via my social channels showing the superb 2nd Gen version of the cup that was indeed flawless, I’m pretty sure he knows this and that he responded. This was a QA issue that he had with his first production run manufacturer, he’s since change and QA is excellent.

    • http://www.briangreen.net Brian Green

      I should add that, out of the blue Devin sent me (this) replacement cup at not charge – great customer service!