Think you’ve done the hard part by finding the right gas stove for your adventure? Suddenly you realize that you’re missing the cartridge that goes with it. Once you get to the front of the line, you have a multitude of choices: Jetpower, Power Gas, Isopro, Optimus, 100g, 230g or 450g. Do you think it’s the same thing? Make no mistake, these cartridges all have a different purpose, which leads the Speck-Sports team to clarify the subject for you.

 

What type of cartridge?

 

 

 

To be drilled

These cartridges are the least common due to their many disadvantages. Indeed, they are not the safest or most practical. Once you have pierced this cartridge, you will not be able to remove the stove until it is completely finished. 

This is why the Speck-Sports team recommends that you use the following cartridges, called valve cartridges.

 

 

 

 

Cartridge with unthreaded valve

This type of cartridge is said to be clip-on, i.e. it does not have a thread. The best known are the Campingaz brand cartridges. They are very easily found in the trade. Unfortunately their use remains rather restricted since they are only compatible with Campingaz stoves or a minority of Primus type stoves.

Primus stoves compatible with this type of cartridge have for the most part the term “DUO”, which appears in their name. For example “Microntrail Stove Duo V2“, “Essential Trail Stove Duo“, “Easy Fuel Duo Piezzo” or “Powertrail Stove Piezo Reg Duo“. 

Unlike piercing cartridges, these can be removed without having to be emptied and reused the next time.

 

 

 

 

Threaded valve cartridge

These cartridges are the most widespread in the outdoor environment. They are equipped with a screw thread that can be screwed directly onto the stove. They comply with the EN417 standard and are compatible with all MSR, Jetboil, Optimus and Primus gas stoves. However, they are not compatible with Campingaz stoves! You can therefore use a Primus cartridge with an MSR stove. This is absolutely no problem, although we recommend that you use a stove and cartridge of the same brand for optimum performance.

As with previous cartridges, these cartridges can be removed even when they are not empty, allowing them to be reused as many times as possible.

 

 

 

 

Which composition to choose?

 

Contrary to popular belief, not all cartridges have the same composition, even within the same brand. Before buying a cartridge, think about the conditions under which you will use these cartridges and then make the right choice. 

The three gases used are generally butane, propane and isobutane, all with different properties. 

  • Butane 

Butane is the filling gas, which is inexpensive, but unfortunately does not resist well to low temperatures. It does not change well from liquid to gaseous state at low temperatures. 

  • Propane 

In addition to butane, manufacturers add propane. This gas has a very low boiling point (-42°C), which, when mixed with butane, will lower the temperature at which your cartridge can be used. Thus, the higher the proportion of propane, the more your cartridge can be used at low temperatures. 

  • Isobutane 

Finally, the third element found in some gas cartridges: isobutane. This gas has a boiling point of -11.7°C, which makes it very resistant to cold, but it has the advantage of being a propellant gas with a high calorific value, which will allow your cartridge to have a constant pressure down to -11.7°C.

In summary, for a cartridge to be used in mild conditions such as we can have in summer or spring, it is better to prefer a cartridge composed of butane and propane, namely the SUMMER GAS by Optimus cartridge composed of 80% butane and 20% propane, ideal between 15°C and 40°C.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a more versatile cartridge, for a 3 seasons use, it is better to go for a cartridge where the proportion of propane is higher, or cartridges containing isobutane in addition. 

You will have the choice between the following cartridges: 

  • Power Gas by Primus: 20% propane and 80% isobutane
  • Isopro by MSR: 20% propane and 80% isobutane
  • Energy by Optimus: 50% butane, 25% propane and 25% isobutane
  • Jetpower by Jetboil: 2% butane, 25% propane and 73% isobutane

Three-season cartridges are designed for temperatures between -15°C and 25°C.

Some manufacturers go even further, notably Primus by offering a cartridge specially adapted for winter: the Winter Gas. Composed of 5% butane, 25% propane and 60% isobutane, its particularity lies in the presence of a Vapour Mesh inside the cartridge which maximizes the yield for temperatures between 10°C and -22°C. This Vapour Mesh, made of absorbent paper, increases the usable surface area during the evaporation process. 

This type of cartridge delivers 9% extra power over 60 minutes of use and 15% over 120 minutes. 

 

Which capacity to choose?

 

Finally, the last element to take into account when choosing a cartridge: the capacity. It depends on many factors, such as how long you’re going, how many people you’re going to, or the weather conditions.

There are three volumes: 450g, 230g and 100g of gas. The composition does not change from one volume to another for the same brand. It should be noted that on average, a 230g gas cartridge has an autonomy of 1h30. This figure should be put into perspective as it depends on the outside temperature and the power used.

We hope you found this article useful.

We would also like to make you aware of the environment by reminding you that the place for an empty cartridge is not in nature but in a more appropriate place.

See you soon,

The Speck-Sports team.