Way back in August of 2012 I was contacted by Jeff of Solo Stove to see if I would be interested in testing one of his stoves and sharing my thoughts via my blog. I was just one of many outdoor bloggers that he contacted. Here are a few notable blogs that have reviewed the stove recently: Stick’s Blog, Tim Miner, and Wilderness Dave.
To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of wood burning stoves and this is not my first time trying them, but I agreed to try the Solo Stove in the hopes that this one would be different and might possibly change my opinion of this interesting class of stoves. It didn’t, but that’s me.
Despite my lack of interest in wood burning stoves (it’s a soot thing), the Solo Stove is an extremely well made piece of gear, the finish is superb and it functions about the same as other stoves of this type (hold that thought) that I’ve used, including some that I’ve made myself using a drill and some soup cans.
This is not a review of the Solo Stove though, I have something else I want to discuss with you – something that reared it’s ugly head the minute I shared my first photo via Flickr of me testing this stove. It’s the question around the design of this particular stove and its origins, in particular with regards to the Canadian BushBuddy Stove.
I don’t own a BushBuddy stove, nor do I really care to, but I have friends that own them and use them. They’re very loyal and love their BBs.
Solo Stove vs. BushBuddy
The question around whether or not the Solo Stove is completely original or if it has “borrowed” some of its design from that of the BushBuddy has been the topic of conversations for a long time on backpacking blogs and forums. Let’s face it, it’s not uncommon to see similar versions of a product in the backpacking market – hello, Kelly Kettle and Backcountry Boiler! We see it all the time. Should we actually be celebrating this as healthy competition in the stove making industry that in the end drives down cost and makes gear more accessible for us all? Is $120 versus $70 or the diference in weight all this is really about?
I voiced these concerns to Jeff at Solo Stove via email recently. He responded thoughtfully and was extremely open and upfront about the topic. I’m guessing he gets asked about it an awful lot. There is even a dedicated page on the Solo Stove blog discussing the differences – read it here. So you can’t knock Jeff for not trying to address this, he’s certainly not sweeping it under the carpet. Yet the argument surrounding the Solo Stove versus the BushBuddy remains.
Voice Your Opinion to Win this Solo Stove
So here’s what I would I thought we could do. Leave a comment below regarding your thoughts on the Solo Stove versus the BushBuddy debate for an opportunity to win the Solo Stove that I recently tested – you should read that as “it’s used and slightly sooty.”
Do your homework before going off on a rant. Check out both of the stove maker’s sites (links above) and feel free to Google and see what others have to say about this debate. Above all, keep the comments civilized and constructive – I have no problem deleting offensive comments and banning repeat offenders. My blog, my rules.
I’d like to try and get this all out in the open once and for all and see what you really think about the similarities between the two stoves. There’s no social tweeting or following requirement this time, unless you want to share this post with others. Just leave a constructive comment below to be eligible. It would definitely help to also mention if you do or do not want to be entered to win the Solo Stove – depending on your opinion. I’ll use Random.org to pick a winner one week from now on February 6th.
What are your thoughts on this?
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Thank you to everyone who left a comment on this post, there was a lot of good debate and it seemed that most people had an opinion one way or another. The winner of the Solo Stove (selected from all the comments using Random.org) is Jordan Hipple. Please contact me via email so that I can follow up with the stove.To everyone else, just because the giveaway portion is over doesn’t mean you can no longer leave a comment. Have your say!
Disclosure: Solo Stove provided Brian’s Backpacking Blog with a complementary stove for the purpose of testing.