The Snow Peak LiteMax is one of the lightest camping stoves on the market, weighing a mere 1.9 ounces. The stove doesn't include a cooking pot or isobutane-propane fuel canister, but the diminutive burner folds up so you can easily stow it in your pack. Reviewers say the Snow Peak LiteMax is a good budget choice for backpackers, and it earns a Best of Adventure award from National Geographic Adventure magazine. It also tops the list in a test of six camping stoves conducted by Backpacker magazine. The Snow Peak LiteMax has three pot supports, and reviewers say they are stable and sturdy. In several tests, the LiteMax boils a liter of water in roughly five or six minutes, but it is vulnerable to wind, which decreases the stove's efficiency. One test from BackpackingLight.com indicates that the Snow Peak LiteMax has high carbon monoxide emissions, so don't burn it in or near your tent. If weight isn't a concern, the MSR Reactor (*Est. $140) is heavier at 19 ounces, but it includes a cooking pot and boils water in less than three minutes.
The most comprehensive testing of the Snow Peak LiteMax comes from BackpackingLight.com. This subscription-only site conducts exhaustive and detailed tests on several stoves, and the subscription fee is well worth it if you regularly buy camping gear. While it is less technical, Backpacker magazine also tests and rates the Snow Peak LiteMax. A good number of user reviews help round out the opinions on this lightweight camping stove.
This detailed test from BackpackingLight.com focuses on carbon monoxide emissions, but the Snow Peak LiteMax is also subjected to general boiling tests. Full details are available to subscribers.
Review: Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or Not?, Roger Caffin
In a test of six camping stoves, the Snow Peak LiteMax is named the best all-around stove. Casey Lyons says the LiteMax is versatile and lightweight, but he notes that the pot supports (while sturdy) don't lock into place.
Review: Gear Review: Snow Peak LiteMax Stove, Casey Lyons, June 2009
3. National Geographic Adventure
The Snow Peak LiteMax scores a Best of Adventure award from National Geographic Adventure. While there are few details, Steve Casimiro says the stove is surprisingly durable for being so lightweight.
Review: Best of Adventure: Must-Have Gear Photo Gallery, Steve Casimiro
Buzzillions.com compiles more than 20 individual reviews on the Snow Peak LiteMax, and most are highly favorable. Most are impressed with how small the stove packs up, although some caution that it's not very stable.
Review: Snow Peak LiteMax Stove, Contributors to Buzzillions.com
In this short review, which isn't based on personal testing, Seth Porges calls the Snow Peak LiteMax one of the best new pieces of outdoor gear for 2009. No negatives are mentioned.
Review: 7 Best Outdoor Gear Picks for 2009, Seth Porges, Jan. 28, 2009