The Vango Compact Gas Stove is really rather good, with only three negatives. First though, what makes it so good: for starters, it’s tiny. It comes in a hard plastic case, and screws directly onto a gas cannister. The three supports for whatever you place on the stove fold up, to fit inside the plastic case, or fold down to support a pot, kettle or pan.
The gas valve, used to control the gas flow, or turn the stove off, has a handle that also folds away. Overall, it’s a very sturdy little stove, that’s well made, and it will bring 500ml of water to the boil in around two and a half minutes, provided you have a wind shield around it. I use a collapsible wind shield that folds flat.
The negatives? The single biggest negative for me is that it doesn’t have a built-in piezo igniter, meaning you need to carry a lighter along. In the greater scheme of things, that’s not a big deal, and there are newer models available with this feature.
The next negative is fairly generic, and certainly not limited to this stove: you need a wind shield around it, else it will take longer and use far more gas before you can have that hot drink.
The final negative is the fact that it screws directly onto the gas cannister. Now, especially in cold weather, that’s a bonus, as it means you don’t need a pre-heat tube, but it also means the footprint is limited to that of the gas cannister, and you’ll have to take care that it doesn’t fall over. I have an after-market plastic base, which clips on to the bottom of the gas cannister, with three legs that fold out and ensures the stove is far more stable.
As long as you’re aware of that from the outset, it shouldn’t be much of a problem, but I would suggest you get yourself a cannister base, which would result in far greater stability for your stove, and therefore less risk of a spilled meal.
As an aside, most camping gas stoves use butane as fuel. That’s fine, until it’s cold, as very cold butane doesn’t burn well at all. If there’s even a slight chance of you having to rely on a gas stove during cold weather, it really is worth getting cannisters filled with a mix of butane and propane. Coleman does an “Extreme Gas” cannister, rated to work at temperatures as low as -27C, and if you’re going winter camping, I suggest you get something like that.
My verdict on the Vango Compact Gas Stove is simply this: if I had to replace it, I would have no hesitation in replacing mine with another one.