Robens Volcano Tent Stove Review

Robens Volcano Tent Stove Review
Our Review

Review Summary
We really liked using the Robens Volcano stove in our tent. It provides a lot more character than an electric heater to warm your tent when it is cold, and you have the added value of using that heat to boil water or to cook.
The Good Stuff
The Robens Volcano Stove is a perfect fit for the Robens tents that have a stove pipe fitting. We found it kept the tent very warm, and it's also a good place to cook.
The Not So Great
You may find it fiddly to put up the first time you try it. Practice at home first. You'll be glad of that when you get to the campsite.
Rating

Overall Rating

Value for Money

Quality


Last Updated: September 10, 2017

We mentioned in a previous article about why you would want to use a stove in your tent, as well as the sensible precautions you need to take.

Well the guys over at Robens sent a review sample of their new Volcano stove that was introduced in 2015. It complements the Robens range of explorer tents such as the Robens Kiowa, Mescalero and Klondike.

Putting together the Robens Volcano Stove

Robens Volcano Stove kit contents
The stove comes in a box complete with a very long flue, spark arrester, and heat shield to protect your tent.

There’s no real assembly required, other than slotting the flue together, which is what you’d have to do each time you pitch your tent.

If your tent is shorter than the flue you don’t have to use all the sections of the flue, but the flue does need to be higher than the top of your tent.

On the end of the Robens flue you place the spark arrester, which is used to prevent hot sparks coming out of the flue and putting a hole (or worse) in your tent.

From the spark arrester you can hang the heat shield.

The height of the heat shield can changed by adjusting the length of chain that is supplied with it. This is so you can adjust the height so the shield protects your tent when the stove pipe exits.

Adjusting the heat guard for the flue pipe

On the Robens Kiowa tent we used the stove with, the Kiowa was so tall that we didn’t need to use the chain.

I do recommend you try fitting the stove at home first.

I had to use a file on the heat guard to get rid of some solder joints that stopped it fitting correctly, and you may need a step ladder too until you are familiar with fitting the stove pipe on your tent.

Set-up your stove at home first

Placing the stove in your tent

The position of the stove is going to be determined by where the opening for a stove pipe is in your tent. Other than that, you’ll want to place the stove away from combustible material (including the sides of the tent), but also where it’s not going to be an obstacle… You don’t want anyone falling onto a hot stove.

The instructions for the Robens tent said that the groundsheet must be rolled back so that the stove is placed on the ground. This is what we did when first testing the stove.

However, the instructions on the Robens Volcano stove said either roll the groundsheet back or place on a fire retardant mat (like a heat blanket).

With 5 of us in the Robens tent, plus gear, the thought of rolling back the groundsheet wasn’t going to be practical, so I bought a large flame retardant mat and a fire blanket.

Protecting your tent

In the end we had the groundsheet down, a Robens Kiowa carpet, fire proof mat, and then the stove.

Needless to say, the stove must be on level ground, whatever you place underneath it.

In the Robens Kiowa we position the front pointing towards the door, where we could have a flow of fresh air coming into the tent.

Lighting the stove

This is just like lighting any other wood burning stove. Start off with some newspaper and small bits of wood, and make sure you have a good enough airflow through the door.

Adjusting the air flow

There’s no airflow valve on the Robens Volcano stove.

Instead the stove’s door can be partially closed in a position that allows air to flow through the stove.

It’s important that your tent is well ventilated with a good supply of air.

Cooking on the Robens Kiowa Stove

On the top of the stove is a ‘hot plate’.

This can be removed so that you can place cast iron cookware directly over the fire.

We found a cast iron griddle works really well.

Cooking on the Volcano Stove

You can also place items at the back of this stove so that they can be kept warm by the hot stove surface.

Both an Outwell Collaps kettle and a metal whistling kettle warmed water when sat on the back of the stove. It wasn’t long before the kettle began to whistle. Not as quick as boiling on a gas stove, but it still works well for boiling water, and a great way to use all that ‘free’ heat.

We also found a small pie iron worked well on the back of the stove.

Boiling water on the Volcano stove

Putting away the stove

All the flue pipe sections can fit inside the Volcano stove. However, you’ll need to transport the spark arrester and heat guard separately.

It goes without saying that you should remove all ash from the stove. You should also clean out ash from the flue pipe as a big build up of ash could cause a chimney fire.

Packing away the Robens Volcano Stove

Robens Volcano Stove vs. Frontier Stove

If you’ve been thinking about getting a woodburning stove for your tent you have probably come across the ever popular Frontier Stove from Anevay, and certainly the Robens Volcano stove looks very similar. So what’s the difference?

Well the Robens Volcano stove has all the bits necessary to work with their big tipi tents such as the Mescalero and Kiowa.

This includes enough length of flue to reach out the top of the tent, a heat shield designed for the flue port on the Robens tents, and a spark arrester.

Although the price for the Robens Volcano stove may at first look much more expensive than the Frontier Stove, you would need to buy a few stove pipe extensions, spark arrester, and heat guard for a Frontier Stove to get the equivalent kit. When you top that all up, the Volcano stove is a very similar price.

 

Conclusion

We really liked having a warm stove in the tent and I can see it going to increase our camping season throughout the year.

The Robens Volcano stove was simple to put together and easy to use, so it gets the thumbs up from us.

Disclaimer: Many thanks to the guys over at Robens for supplying a Volcano Stove for us to test and review. All opinions are our own.

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Gav Grayston
Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.
Gav Grayston

@getoutkids

Family adventures, activities, camping, holidays, OS #GetOutSide champions 2017 & 2018 #DofE brand ambassador @Craghoppers Partnership @campandcarvan @_elddis_
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8 Comments
  1. Is there a difference between the Robens Denali stove and the Volcano stove? The Robens web-site only seems to stock the Denali and the Kobuk. The Kobuk looks great, but is a bit more money than the Denali/Volcano. Is the Denali basically the Volcano, but under a new badge! Is the Kobuk worth the extra? I am getting a Kiowa tent. Thanks.

    11:18 pm on July 13, 2018
    • Hi Simon,
      I can’t see any difference between the Robens Denali and Volcano stoves. I think it’s just a name change.
      We’re lucky to have the Kobuk stove too, and so we’ve retired our use of the Volcano. I prefer the Kobuk as it takes up less space yet appears to take a bit more fuel, and you can see the fire too. It’s much more like a mini-version of a woodburning stove you have at home.
      We also have the water heater with our Kobuk, though I believe that would work on the Denali too.
      Hope that helps.
      Cheers,
      Gav

      9:29 am on July 15, 2018
  2. Hi,
    Just read the great review of the robens stove, question around cooking on it, does this not make the tent smell?? That is my main concern, I don’t want to unpack the tent and it always smell of stale cooking?!

    11:24 pm on April 24, 2018
  3. Hi great review, thanks. How long did the stove take to cool down before you could pack it away please? Thanks

    5:25 pm on January 14, 2018
  4. Hi, loved your review of the Roben’s stove, and tents very helpful, thank you – please could you advise where you got your fire resistant mat from? Many thanks, Laurie and family

    12:04 pm on August 16, 2017

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