I’m excited to be reviewing the Coleman Fyrestorm PCS backpacking stove as I really like portable stoves. This style is especially cool as it is a highly portable stove and contains everything you need to prepare a whole meal. The PCS in the stove’s name actually stands for Personal Cooking System, which is exactly what this stove is.
As I said, the Fyrestorm PCS contains everything you need and this is because of the ingenious design which includes a cooking pot that everything, including the required gas canister fits inside. This makes it very efficient when it comes to size, space and weight. The pot is only 20.4 cm x 13.6 cm but will take 1.25 litres water. Weight is the most important thing when it comes to backpacking and trekking and this will impress ultralight enthusiasts as mine weighs in at just 940 grams including my almost full C300 gas cylinder.
The design of Fyrestorm has some great little touches and features. One of my favourites are the pivoting legs which allow for great stability on the ground which also pack down tightly when inside the pot.
Another great little addition is the Piezo lighter. This neat little inline gadget stops you needing to worry about bringing matches or a lighter and rules out the risk of sitting down to start boiling water for your cup of tea only to realise you’ve left it at home!
The Fyrestorm PCS uses some of the same technology as the Fyrestorm stove (which I reviewed here); this makes it really hot in all weather. As you can see, it has the wind-block design around the burner. This really does limit the effect of the wind and makes it an awesome stove to use in bad weather. In fact, the PCS is even quicker and can boil in 6min 35sec at 3m/s wind speed and 4min 30sec at 0m/s wind speed. The little copper coloured pipe you can see is a pre-heating tube which means you can cook in very cold conditions. Both of these features make the Fyrestorm a great choice for taking up mountains in winter!
It’s hard to capture the power of the burner in a photograph. It has an adjustable and precise power control on the gas connector and when you put this thing up to full, it roars! In fact, on full it will be at 2500W; it is a super powerful burner and the way it is designed, the stove takes full use of all this power.
The pot sits right down over the flame and further wind protection help it to be as efficient as possible. I also like that inside the pot it has markings for different amounts of water. This is useful when cooking and ensures that you’re not wasting time and fuel boiling excess water. Around the pot is a synthetic rubber sleeve which allows you to pick it up and move it around with ease and without burning yourself!
I really like the way the gas canister is connected to the stove by a long flexible pipe and isn’t screwed in from underneath. This has several advantages over systems that screw the stove directly onto the canister. Firstly, it allows more flexibility when placing the stove on uneven surfaces. It also gives the whole set up a lower centre of gravity and further keeps it out of the wind. If you are on really rough ground, then you can actually peg the feet into the ground.
One final excellent touch of design is the translucent lid which allows you to keep an eye on your cooking without having to remove the lid and loose heat. It even has a pour spout which makes pouring water into your mug or thermos a breeze.
I think the Coleman Fyrestorm Personal Cooking system is a great bit of kit. Even though it is called a ‘personal’ cooking system I think it would actually work well for two people hiking together. The capacity is large enough to cook most meals and drinks for two. What is even better is that with two people sharing the weight of the stove, pot and gas canister, it would be even easier to carry. If you’re in the market for a PCS then there aren’t any that can compete with the Fyrestorm at its price point and convenience of use.