We’ve been testing out the Robens Volcano tent stove, which has been great for keeping the tent warm and even cooking.
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
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 be 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.
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.
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.
In the end, we had the groundsheet down, a Robens Kiowa carpet, fireproof mat, and then the stove.
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 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 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 well.
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.
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.
Robens Volcano Stove vs. Frontier Stove
If you’ve been thinking about getting a wood burning 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 the 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 stovepipe 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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