Review – EcoZoom Versa – Part 1

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For those of you who don’t like cooking outside but really like collecting firewood, like me, the latter isn’t very fun, so how can you go further with less fuel, one way is The guys at Rocket Stove and EcoZoom came up with the product.

What is EcoZoom

Before we see what they came up with, let’s see how they came up with the design.

On the website, EcoZoom “EcoZoom is a social enterprise that provides innovative cooking and lighting solutions. Household products should be healthy, efficient and environmentally friendly for everyone, regardless of socioeconomic status. As a global social enterprise, our products are changing lives in 23 countries around the world..

This is quite a statement, so I wanted to dig a little deeper into who they are.Frankly, they have an impressive background.

As outdoor enthusiasts, we love a good campfire and have yet to hear anyone say, “I love smoke in my face.” This is why the company was born. 21 years ago the first stove was developed. This was the Dura stove. Since then, the company has been very busy.

By the end of their first year, they had gone from developing stoves to working with governments in developing countries. The main goal here was to bring cooking methods that reduce toxins and improve the health and well-being of many. bottom. This growth continued in developing countries and disaster relief, and he delivered another 720,000 units within three years. It’s no exaggeration to say that EcoZoom has truly found a need and fulfilled a desire to change the way people cook with biomass fuels.

Unpacking

So I reached out to Stewart MacLachlan, EcoZoom’s UK distributor. He was more than happy to provide us with the stove setup. He sent me the EcoZoom Versa, power ring, and a fancy carry bag that holds the entire setup and protects it from crashes.

As you can see, this is my kitchen floor and I couldn’t wait to open the box and see the stove for the first time until the sun went down. First, let’s take a look at the packaging, keeping in mind that EcoZoom prides itself on making the world a cleaner place. Here we started with a distinct lack of plastic. The package does not contain any bags. The bottom prevents breakage, and the rest is paper and cards, making it easy to recycle.

Like a child on Christmas morning, I eagerly unpacked the stove. I may have gotten in the way of the better half, but this was an important study, and I set up the Versa to see better. It turns out to be a protruding metal container.

The bottom two doors are hinged on the left side, with the bottom door acting as a vent that allows air and fuel to mix. This gives a chimney effect to the second door, the rocket stove. A vault door allows access for fuel to be supplied to the firebox. The black stand is there to support the long stick, so just keep pushing until the end burns out. Using charcoal will keep the fuel pushed into the center of the firebox, revealing the reason for the vault door.

Looking down at the stove, you can see a rather sturdy grate. Remember that this casting is sturdy and will last about 5 years with daily cooking use. If you use it for camping, and in the world of bushcraft, I’m sure it will last you for years.

Versa has a pot stand on top, which is also sturdy and made of cast iron. With 3 points of contact, you can always use a sturdy pot. They are raised to let the smoke around the pan escape, but not so high that all the heat escapes.

I installed the power ring in place as you can see in this photo. This adjustable metal sleeve is there to place it around the pot so that vital energy is not lost. Aimed at the side of the pot to maximize the energy produced from the fuel.

You can’t see it, but it’s the construction of the stove itself that maximizes the use of this energy. The inside of the metal container is lined with reinforced fireclay covered with a metal lining. This helps insulate the stove and forces all the energy into the cooking pot. , I could feel only a little warmth. I still don’t recommend this, so be warned.

As you can see the Versa has a properly sized fuel feed hole, which is pretty helpful as it helps to move the stick around and heat up when starting a fire.These types of stoves are actually chimneys Effective, putting heat into the body of the stove helps maintain that airflow.

fire time

We had a few sunny days, but I was stuck at home, so I thought I’d bring the Versa to my backyard and play with it before scout camp this weekend. Thankfully I always have a pile of dry sticks on hand, so it’s nice to have everything laid out, especially when using new ones, just to break them down and sort them into sizes is.

To make life easier, I used cotton wool rubbed with petroleum jelly. I love this ignition lighter because it’s fast, cheap, and sparks for the first time. I had a few small, medium and large sticks. You can actually see if there are any.

I have to admit that the first time I used the stove it didn’t go very well. It took quite a bit of work to move the stick around to keep it warm, but this was my first time using a rocket stove. It works fine for 40 minutes.

After a rainy day, we had a second good day, so we quickly returned to the garden. built a few of my own stoves based on the wood gas effect, so some worked and others needed ‘tweaking’.

My next fire was much better, so I put the stove in my bag, filled the kettle with water, grabbed a handful of dry sticks, and headed out into the garden. I lit it again with cotton wool and a small stick and went to the kettle before moving on to a thick stick. I used a Tranga copy that was pretty battered. My suitable one is only used on gas because I like to keep it clean. The kettle was full to the brim, so 3 cups or 700ml and so on.

I decided to use a power ring which to be honest is not really designed as it should be placed near the pot but my kettle is small. It helped prevent the wind from backing up the chimney. I also closed the main feeding door and dropped a few thick sticks under the chimney.

And here you go, boil water at 8:45. This certainly wasn’t the fastest I could get the job done, but this was my second time using the stove and I’m still learning how best to give the fire.

I brought the kettle to a boil, so I took it off and, well, I’m a Yorkshire guy and I didn’t like wasting perfect hot water, so it was time for tea. I dropped a few chunks of charcoal on it to see how it would go with this one.

Closing the feed door and opening the bottom air door works incredibly well and actually belts out the heat. was able to control this.

The main design feature of the stove is to reduce smoke, and on a few occasions the flame went out and the smoke swirled around for a while. , this all comes down to that practice, but when you’re burning like you should, all you get is heat and a smile.

design

Simple but at the same time very technical. I mean, it’s a rocket stove, so the fuel and air are on the bottom, and the heat and flame are on the top, but the folks at EcoZoom are very particular about the internal dimensions. I’ve built a few stoves and when I resize the flue, if it’s too small the heat doesn’t go out, it comes out the air intake. Too big and you won’t get the heat from the chimney. effect. Again, consideration is also given to the size of the firebox to ensure effective and efficient combustion. They also looked at heat loss through radiation, so it’s insulated so nothing is lost. All these points together help reduce the amount of fuel you need to do the task at hand.

I also like the free standing wire log stand. Obviously flush with the bottom of the feed door, so the fuel is sitting there patiently waiting to be pushed into the flame. Both doors have positive locks to ensure an airtight seal when needed. Equipped with high quality hinges. As I said above, these stoves have a lifespan of 5 years with daily cooking, so I’m pretty sure they’ll last much longer with weekend use. However, if anything goes wrong, the Versa comes with his two-year warranty.

Another feature offered is the bag. Yes, this is extra unless you get a kit that includes a power ring. This is a padded bag with a zipper that opens at the top and is padded so it retains a round shape that allows the stove to fit inside. Set the power ring larger than the size of your stove, place it inside the ring and bag, and place the log stand completely over the stove. Zip up the bag and all the soot and fire odors are in the bag for convenient transport and storage.

To move the Versa around, we found that it has sturdy handles on each side that never get hot when caught on fire, so if you need to move it in an emergency, you can do so without burning your hands. , safety first, I recommend some good heat resistant gloves…

What does EcoZoom say

Normally I’d share what companies have to say about their products, but the website there is chock-full of information, so it’s probably best to find out for yourself. Here are some pictures of what it comes with.

box

price

If you look online, you’ll find plenty of companies stocking Versa products, but you can get the stove, power ring and bag as a package direct from EcoZoom UK for £118.95. Save £25 on each item. Purchased individually.

At £118.95 for a wood stove, you might think it’s pretty steep, but to be fair to the Versa, you get more than just a wood stove. It reduces the amount of fuel needed to do it. In the case of an open fire, once burned, there is almost no smoke. At £4 each, I think it’s a bargain!

good point

  • looks good, really nice
  • Exceptional history and world record
  • Easy to use and easy to carry
  • ecologically sound products
  • strong design
  • less fuel needed
  • well thought out product
  • very stable countertop
  • relatively inexpensive

bad point

  • Heavy but base camp stove
  • that’s all i have.i really like it

final thoughts

I like this stove not only because it takes less fuel to make coffee, but also because of what EcoZoom stands for. They were there when people needed them, helping families have hot food and safe water when disaster struck developing countries. I am immersed. I’ve seen cook stations around the world set up with piles of sticks and large cast iron pots bubbling up with food ready to satisfy hunger.

I also love the functional and good looking design, right down to the paint finish. The gray and black work perfectly and I can’t wait to put them to a really good test.

what Next

To see how young people with basic skills improve their ability to cook outside, we have scouts put the stove to good use. It will have to wait now, so take a look at this space.

where to buy

Check them out here…

https://ecozoom-uk.myshopify.com/



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