Lite vs. Ceramic Rocket Stove Insulation August 29 2013

Lite vs. Ceramic Rocket Stove Insulation EcoZoom rocket stoves come in two different styles. One with solid ceramic insulation and the other with a lightweight ceramic fiber. So what’s the difference between these two types of rocket stove insulation? We get a lot of customers writing and calling to ask what the difference is between the Dura and Dura Lite or the Versa and Versa Lite. Just by looking at the two models one can’t tell a difference, they are made with the same specifications and have the same color. It isn’t until one picks up the two models that they can feel the difference. The Lite models save 8 lbs in weight compared to their regular counterparts, which is a very noticeable difference when you have to transport the rocket stove. If you go a step further and take the top off of each of the stoves the difference then becomes apparent. The regular models have a solid piece of golden colored diatomaceous ceramic, which is a fancy way of saying that the ceramic is very porous compared to other types of ceramic, making it very good at insulating heat. The Lite models are also fully insulated, but instead of a solid piece of ceramic they use a ceramic fiber that looks and feels much like the insulation found within a home. The white ceramic fiber weighs significantly less than the solid ceramic while not compromising anything in terms of durability or insulation threshold.

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The peice ceramic on the left is the insulation used within the Dura, Versa, and Plancha. The Dura Lite on the right shows the lightweight ceramic fiber that fills the inner body of the Lite stoves.

Now having explained the difference in the insulation, the question that needs to be answered is which is best for you. Here are some things to consider: Camping or Hunting If you are going to be going camping or transporting your stove a lot, it may be best to go with the Lite rocket stove insulation. The difference in weight is very noticeable and will make a difference when carrying your stove between your car and camp. Also, rough handling of the stove may result in cracking of the solid ceramic. While this doesn’t affect the overall lifetime of the stove, it can result in ceramic dust coming out of the bottom of the stove. Emergency Preparedness If you don’t plan on transporting your rocket stove a lot, or are going to keep it stored until needed, the ceramic model may be your best option. Its higher weight density allows the rocket stove to be stored easily without having to risk being damaged or shifted among other supplies. The heavier weight of the ceramic insulation feels more rugged and can be used as a base to stack other supplies on top of it within a 5 gallon bucket. As a regular user of EcoZoom stoves, I prefer to use the Dura Lite and Versa Lite because of the weight savings that comes along with the ceramic fiber rocket stove insulation. I also do a lot of camping and appreciate the weight savings of the Lite insulation, which allows me to transport the stoves more easily between my car and the basecamp. That being said, the EcoZoom Versa is our most popular model and many customers don’t seem to mind the extra 8 lbs in weight that comes with the heavier solid ceramic insulation. It really is up to you to decide which type of rocket stove insulation is preferred!   About the Author: is an EcoZoom employee and likes to cook outdoors with his EcoZoom stove on camping trips or sunny days. You can email him directly at tom@ecozoomstove.com.