Reviews and Interviews
Field reviews from customersMultiple FLAT CAT GEAR Customers
Jack Elliott – Aug. 2015
Just got back from a short 2 day backpacking trip. I still loving this cook system, I cooked bacon, hash brown and eggs the first morning, then for lunch we had a turkey cheese burger, then I cooked up a triple decker pepperoni pizza that was outrageous, why stop there I thought, I still have lasagna to make, well by this time we were all full, [there were 3 of us] so I asked 3 big young guys if they wanted some home made lasagna, they’re answer was “SURE!”
That was definitely a hit with them, next morning before rolling up camp I made cinnamon pecan, and bacon pull apart bread, this had to be the best out back eating I’ve ever done, you may have a few orders out of this trip. Lol
Everyone was very impressed with the cook system and the results, which could not have been possible without your hard work and design, keep it up Jon, here’s some pics, and again “THANK YOU! “
READ THE FULL REVIEWIt’s interview time again! Who better to pester with a great many questions than Jon Fong, the man behind Flat Cat Gear, and backcountry baker extraordinaire! Jon has not only been crafting ultralight stoves for some time now, he’s also been boiling, baking, steaming, simmering, and frying up all kinds of delicious food using his stoves and various techniques. Are you curious about Epicurean? Do Flat Cats pique your interest? Does the idea of baking a cheeseburger intrigue you!? What sort of trail sorcery is all of this?? We’ll get to the bottom of it…
Backcountry Cuisine Nov. 2014
FLAT CAT Stove in the snow? No problem!
READ THE FULL REVIEWAbout a month ago I purchased yet another stove. I know that I have a problem but I just can’t help myself. This stove is by Jon at Flat Cat Gear and is the best alcohol stove I have ever used. First off, the Flat Cat stove is not a pressurized stove, so there is no prime time. You pour the alcohol in, you light the stove and put the pot over it. Done.
Stove Review: Bobcat Kovea Spider
READ THE FULL REVIEWThe Flat Cat Gear Bobcat Kovea backpacking stove is a system for the used to boil water or cook real food in the woods. This stove has a handful of parts, but is simple to set up in the backcountry. I found it to be very efficient during my four season testing in the very wet Pacific Northwest.
This system can be used with esbit, alcohol or canister as a fuel source. I purchased it for the convince use with a fuel canister. Bad winter weather or traveling with a partner, its nice just to flip a switch. I was surprised how efficient it was in the long term.
My stove system was used on a ten day walk across Olympic National Park this last summer. We had two hot meals a day and still had plenty of fuel left at the end of the trip.
Photograph courtesy of Barefoot JakeBarefoot Jake
Snow Leopard Cooking System from Flat Cat Gear
READ THE FULL REVIEWFirst thing you’ll notice about the Snow Leopard is how extremely lightweight it is, weighing in at only 2.1 ounces, or 61 grams. Holy cow! That’s ultralight!
The cup I’m using is a TOAKS 600ml titanium cup. It weighs 3.8 ounces itself, so the total weight of the entire cook kit is less than six ounces. The Snow Leopard is designed to fit down inside whatever cup you’re using, by the way. It’s all self contained, like an alcohol version of the Jetboil.
READ THE FULL REVIEW“…All you need in order to bake tasty muffin treats on a trek is an ultralight Bobcat system, which weighs less than half a pound, including the pot and a lightweight baking pan. The only weight you’ll have to carry over and above the ultralight cook kit is 3.1 oz (89 g) for a small (4″/10.2 cm) baking pan. You’ll be baking tasty treats in no time!”Jim Barbour
Hikin’ Jim, Adventures in Stoving – Feb, 2013: Bobcat Cooking System
READ THE FULL REVIEWHikin’ Jim has a blog site where he test and reviews all sorts of backpacking stoves. He uses alcohol stoves to white gas stoves and beyond! When it comes to stoves, Jim is pretty much recognized as an expert in the field. Hikin’ Jim has been evaluating our Bobcat Cooking System for the last several months and this is his preliminary review.Hikin' Jim
Hendrik Morkel, from Hiking in Finland – Sept, 2012 Dry Baking
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO REVIEW Hendrik Morkel (the author of the Hiking in Finland blog) just released a video where he is baking a chocolate muffin using the Epicurean Classic stove in the Bobcat Cooking System. It is nice to see FLAT CAT GEAR receiving international exposure.Hendrik Morkel
Brian, from Brian’s Backpacking Blog – Sept, 2012: Dry Baking
READ THE FULL REVIEWBrian reviews Dry Baking the FLAT CAT way. In this article, he describes his experience dry baking a cheesy biscuit. Brian uses the old (obsolete) SRB II stove in the Bobcat Cooking System. The biscuit baked perfectly and it didn’t last in the house very long!Brian Green
Hendrik Morkel, Hiking in Finland – Aug, 2012: Bobcat
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO review Hendrik Morkel is an active UL backpacker and the author of the blog site – Hiking in Finland. Hendrik is also an Ambassador to Gossamer Gear and Hyperlite Mountain Gear. This is his first review of the Bobcat Cooking System. Hendrik will write a Living Review as he uses the Bobcat Cooking System throughout the years.Hendrik Morkel
Jason Klass, GEAR TALK– July, 2011: Bobcat
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO review “One nice thing about this stove is that unlike others, you don’t have to prime it. You’ll see that there is no wick or anything like that and you don’t have to wait for the bloom to happen. Basically, just fill it up, put a windscreen on, put the pot on it and it’s ready to go. So, it starts up very fast without wasting a lot of fuel.”Jason Klaas
Chad (aka Stick) from Stick’s Blog – May 2012, Snow Leopard
READ THE FULL REVIEW“Overall, I have grown quite fond of this system. The Snow Leopard Cooking System is a well thought out, attractive, efficient and dare I say durable, alcohol cooking system. And of course, quite importantly (at least to me), at 2.2 oz for everything other than the cook pot, let’s not forget lightweight! . . . I would like to say that I think Jon has a great system here. And to make it even more appealing, Jon offers 2 other stoves (which use different fuel sources) that can be used with this system, which in my opinion, makes this a very versatile system. I also love the fact that the Snow Leopard Cook Kit is an entire cooking system/kit and that one only needs to add a cook pot to it to make it complete. And even better still, this system will fit a wide range of cook pot’s which allows this system to really fit a variety of hikers specific cooking style.”
(NOTE: Chad just spent several weeks testing the Snow Leopard Cooking System and this is his latest update)Chad (aka Stick)
Brian Green, Brian’s Backpacking Blog – December 2011: Snow Leopard
READ THE FULL REVIEW“Given how much I love stoves; whether it’s making them, testing them, or just having fun using them as intended, I’m reluctant to say that I may have stumbled upon the perfect stove for me. It’s compact, lightweight, efficient, easy to use, and works with my existing mug. I can carry a much smaller amount of fuel than I used to need to carry and I can even use it with an Esbit fuel tab and my new Ti Tray Stove. I’m a little unnerved at the realization that I could, if I were inclined, stop searching for the holy grail of UL stoves as this is most likely it. There really is very little, if anything, that I would change about this entire setup if I had the opportunity. Well, maybe a complete Snow Leopard set made out of titanium”Brian Green
“The Epicurean stove in simmer mode with this setup is a perfect cooking heat source, no burning, scorching, or sticking to the bottom of a Ti pan and just a little soot on the pot bottom. I averaged 3 tabs a day for the trip, 1-1/2 ounces, and did a lot more than just boil water… You deserve a place in the ultralight stove hall of fame for making real cooking and baking work in this genre, and the Epicurean stove is the key!!… Thanks for many great meals to come.”Henry
READ THE FULL REVIEWIn 2012, Chris and Sara completed the Pacific Crest Trail. For their trip, they selected the Bobcat Cooking System with the FLAT CAT Titanium Stove. They used their stove for 5 months (156 days) to cook their dinners. Additionally, I sent them, one to the Bake & Simmer Rings to use as a BETA tester. Chris and Sara have a running blog on their trip which you can read here.
Tal – Backpackinglight.com, April 2012: Snow Leopard Jr.
“After two seasons using my caldera cone with a Snow Peak 600, exclusively, I am trying the Flat Cat Gear “Snow Leopard, Jr.” I like the fact that I can fit windscreen, the ‘pins’ that act as pot supports, a pot lifter, lighter, stove and protective foil base all in the SP600 pot. I have used it about 10 times on my back porch (elev. 5900 ft.) and I have been impressed with burn time and efficiency. I will be using it in the back country for the first time in about two weeks. The weight is right on par with the Caldera Cone/12-10 stove set up. I have not done any scientific testing, but it does not seem to be any “better” than my Caldera Cone setup. I just really like the convenience of being able to pack the windscreen in the pot”.Tal
Vannon – Snow Leopard Jr. & Sr. customer, March 2013.
“I recently purchased both your Snow Leopard Junior and Snow Leopard Senior cooking systems. I am writing to say I am very pleased with both setups” . . . “When I combine that performance with the ability to store the entire system in either my Toaks 600ml pot (Snow Leopard Junior) or 900ml Vargo pot (Snow Leopard Senior) and the ease with which I light your very open and shallow stove you have a combination that has ousted my Caldera Cones as my primary, 3 season cooking setups.”Vannon
Conrad Simas – Bobcat customer – September 2011
“The Bobcat System was nothing short of perfect for my lengthy stint in the woods. It remains absolutely none the worse for wear, even after heating 800 cups of food and drink for myself and my friends with 100% reliability over a six month period. I love that this entire system fits in the cooking pan, is light weight, and efficiently burns easily obtainable fuel. I will certainly be using this simple, effective and affordable cooking system for years to come.”Conrad Simas
Brad – New York, April 2012: The Snow Leopard Jr.
“Hi Jon, I just got back from Florida and wanted to share with you my impressions of the Snow Leopard Jr. My girlfriend and I went on a canoe trip in the everglades where we paddled down from Flamingo to East Cape and back spending a few nights out along the way. The majority of use was on the beach where there were few or no natural wind breaks. The system performed very well. I am including a photo of the system in action on East Cape. We found a cinderblock which we used but otherwise the whole system was exposed to the wind which was a pretty steady 10 mph. I didn’t time the boil but the performance was solid with 1 tablespoon of HEET. Overall, we were really happy with the performance and ease of use. I’m not really a stove nerd [previously I only used a canister or super cat style stove] so I don’t have any super specific notes to give other than job well done! The Snow Leopard Jr. is a great product! I plan to use it this season on my JMT thru hike. “Brad
Ranjan – Sept, 2012: Snow Leopard Original
Ranjan takes one more item off of his bucket list. In September 2012, Ranjan conquers Mt. Whitney (elevation 14,505 feet!). At the summit, he basks in the sun and enjoys the 360 degree views from the top. He celebrates by drinking a nice cup of tea which he prepared on his Snow Leopard Original outfitted with a Snow Peak 700 mug. Congratulation Ranjan!Ranjan
The Epicurean Titanium Stove: Doc – 5/12
“I purchased the Flat Cat alcohol as well as the Epicurean about 3 weeks ago. I tried both stoves at home as well as a hike this week on the Appalachian Trail. I baked homemade biscuits and a Martha White package of cornbread. They both turned out beautifully with a crust comparable to my home oven crust. I also had lentils for the first time, adding garlic infused olive oil and placing them in a whole wheat tortilla was great. I cooked oatmeal on the epicurean and the alcohol stove without burning. Thumbs up.”Doc
Epicurean Titanium UL15: Alex, 3/13
“I’ve used the UL15 four times now to bake muffins and bread, with excellent results each time. I have to congratulate you on the nearly foolproof system you’ve devised. I can’t think of any way to improve upon what you’ve accomplished. The ease of setup, the overall weight, and the ability to bake are what attracted me to your system, and I have not been disappointed.”Alex
The ISO-Clean Family of Stoves: Bob Correll – 5/12:
“The best survival and all-around stove there is……….burns any kind of alcohol you dump in…..and even mix different kinds of alc……..does the job with what you got…..”Bob Correll
The ISO-Clean Family of Stoves: Terry – 5/12:
“The ISO-Clean 2 is a damned fine piece of engineering, Jon. I was able to get a 15 minute burn on my MSR Seagull (stainless) pot today. I’m one happy camper.”Terry