The Folding Firebox Stoves Gen 2 Nano is a well-made, versatile, and very capable piece of backpacking gear. I’ll go into more detail in my review, but that first sentence sums it up. Firebox sent a Gen 2 Nano Combo Kit for testing and review, which includes a stainless steel Gen 2 Nano stove, a Cordura carrying case, the new solid fuel plate, and the new flame guard.
For flexibility, the Gen 2 Nano is designed to be used with a variety of fuels for your fire. Using the included Nano Sticks, this wood burning stove basically becomes a stand for solid fuels like Esbit cubes, the Trangia alcohol fueled burner, and the Trangia gas burner. So far, I have only cooked with wood in the Gen 2 Nano, but I definitely plan to use solid fuel and alcohol fuels. Maybe I can score a Trangia gas burner as well and you can bet I would use that also.
One of the first things I noticed about the Gen 2 Nano is its construction. The stove is pretty substantial without being overly heavy. Heat warping of the metal panels is not all issue with this stove and some pretty good pressure is needed to bend the panels. I applied quite a bit of pressure to the stove with my fingers and although I could get the metal to flex a bit, the stove wasn’t permanently bent.
Another noticeable feature of the Gen 2 Nano is that the stove does not form a square when it is set up. At first I wondered why in the world the stove wouldn’t be square, but being the engineer nerd that I am, I quickly realized that the stove will not fold flat if it forms a perfect square when set up. Each of the four panels of the Gen 2 Nano is made so that the stove folds down to approximately ¼ inch thick. I was concerned about fiddling when the stove to set up it and re-pack but that is a non-issue. All of the panels are hinged together so no assembly is required. The stove almost unfolds by itself and the bottom plate just falls down into place. Folding the bottom plate up is required to pack the stove, and once this is done the Gen 2 Nano just seems to re-fold itself. Minor fiddling with the legs is required to get them in place, and the Nano Sticks need to stored, but folding the stove up is super easy.
For those that love to tinker and master a new skill, the Firebox Stove Gen 2 Nano is a dream come true. While building a fire in the stove is no more difficult than making a campfire, managing the heat produced and finding ways to prolong the burn are skills to practice. The Firebox Stoves YouTube channel (here) has a wealth of information for using the Gen 2 Nano and for using wood burning backpacking stoves in general. Videos showing how to bake bread, roast a whole chicken in a pot, prepare breakfast, and more Gen 2 Nano videos are available. The guys at Firebox are pretty passionate about their product and they have made several videos testing the Gen 2 Nano using Trangia burners and more. After watching some videos on the Firebox Stoves YouTube channel, I have begun to understand how much thought has gone into the Firebox Stoves products.
My Gen 2 Nano by itself with the included fire sticks weighs just over 6 ounces. The Gen 2 Nano is about 3″ wide and the stove is approximately 4 ¾ inches tall. Two of the panels have the Gen 2 Nano have holes in which to feed sticks of wood. Firebox calls it their cross-feed fuel delivery system. By feeding the fuel in from two directions, airflow is enhanced and the two access points are just handy. Firebox says the Gen 2 Nano stove can bring 2 cups of water to a boil in just over 3 minutes. I would assume the fire needs to be started and brought up to full blaze first. The legs of the Gen 2 Nano can be positioned so that large and small diameter pots may be used with the stove. This allows the use of both frying pans along with smaller cups to heat water.
Firebox engineers and manufactures its products in the USA, which I like a lot. I have found each of the components of the combo kit to be very functional, plenty sturdy, and light enough to carry backpacking. Check out the Firebox Stoves products on their website here.
I’d like to thank Folding Firebox Stoves for providing the Gen 2 Nano for this review. Like most people, we have a limit to the funds we can spend on our gear. So to be able to review it, then share that review with our readers, allows us to pay it forward in a way that we hope will benefit everyone.