It’s been a few months since we first took delivery of our Mummert Phoenix wood burning stove and due to a very kind winter, as in virtually spring-like since Christmas, we’ve had ample time to put it to good use. With the real spring right around the corner, we feel it is time to give the Phoenix a proper mid-term evaluation. Before we dive into the performance details, it’s probably best to start with a proper introduction to the stove itself.
Marc Mummert of California is first and foremost a master craftsman dedicated to the art of making fine knives. He also creates unique tools and just recently launched his Phoenix wood burning stove. Constructed of 6AL/4V titanium, the Phoenix is a lightweight, seven panel stove that folds flat for easy transport. To say it folds flat is a bit of an under statement. With all seven panels stacked tightly together the entire package might be 1/8th inch thick. On our scale it also came in at just under a pound. As wood burning stoves go, that’s impressive but not all together unusual. What is exceptional is the strength, size, and features of the Phoenix. With a wide base and five “winged” pot supports, the Phoenix is capable of shouldering any size pot with a maximum weight of ten pounds. The five-sided structure includes one panel with a generously sized door to facilitate easy access to the flame within, and the elaborately shaped vents keep the fire breathing for an optimal burn.
In use, the Phoenix goes together easily and without any need for instructions. There is an ideal process of assembly, but it’s quickly mastered on the first attempt. Once assembled, getting the fire started is equally easy but does require basic fire building skills. One of my friends, whom we will not refer to as Prometheus, is less than adept in the fine arts of fire making and he had the Phoenix spitting flames at full roar in a matter of minutes with little fuss. Once the fire is burning, maintaining the flame through the main door is easy and requires no sacrifice of knuckle hair. In the picture above, I removed the door to facilitate the initial ignition of the fire. Once the fire was going, I the door in place. The stove even comes with a small titanium poker.
The pot supports are smartly designed to securely hold pots of various sizes. It’s one of the most stable pot platforms I’ve ever used.
Because of the wide base, large cavity to house the fire, and the cone-like shape of the Phoenix, the flame exits the top of the stove at a concentrated point. This serves to amplify the heat as it reaches the pot, bringing one-liter of water to boil in under ten minutes at 5,000 feet. Not too shabby for a pile of twigs as a fuel source. Because of the thin nature of the panels, the whole thing cools rapidly and can be disassembled, cleaned, and tucked neatly in the nylon storage case in no time at all. The tiny packed size makes the Phoenix ideal for motorcycle or even bicycle travel.
Cut with precision, each panel mates perfectly to the next.
A few skeptics have asked me why bother with a stove at all and not just use a good old campfire. For starters, because the Phoenix helps channel the power of fire, less of it is needed to boil water or cook meals. A campfire needs a sizable amount of fuel and some means to support a pot. The Phoenix unleashes the mighty power of the twig making for a very simple system. Unlike a full-blown campfire, I’m able to extinguish the small flame in the Phoenix and disperse the ashes over a large area making my fire “footprint” all but invisible. For those of us inclined to limit our impact on the lands we visit, that’s a considerable bonus. Not having to buy or recycle fuel cans is just one more reason to love the Phoenix.
The hand sewn case is a nice touch. It even has a dedicated slot for the titanium poker. The Phoenix s really a study in detail.
There’s no doubt the Phoenix is a premium product made to insanely precise standards. For those who appreciate fine craftsmanship and well functioning tools, the Phoenix is sure to be a hit. It is at this point, I have to address the value proposition. The Phoenix is not an inexpensive item. As we often say on ExPo, that doen’t mean it’s not a good value. I’m not going to issue any demerits for value as this is a beautifully made product with the promise of a lifetime of loyal use. Like a fine watch, boutique knife, or other upper echelon product, more than enough buyers will pay the money needed to own such a well made product. The more I use it, the more I appreciate it. With the price of isobutane going up every year, I look forward to collecting my next batch of free twigs.
We tested the Phoenix with the new PowerPot charging system. You have to love free energy.
Learn more about the Phoenix and other offerings from Marc at: www.mummertknives.com