Good Stove for a Small Camp
Sep 23, 2016
I've used this stove for almost 15 years in a 350 sq ft modestly insulated camp in northern Vermont. As others have noted, the stove has a problem with ash blocking the air inlet. When this happens, its sometimes necessary to crack the door to get a good burn. Regular cleaning of the inlet is key to good performance. I clean the inlet every time I visit the camp - a simple, couple of minute operation. During burns, when the stove burns down, I clean the inlet with a curved spoon - usually once a day. With attention to cleaning the camp stays comfortable down to 10 - 15 below. The stove does not have a super long burn time, and on cold winter nights I restoke a couple of times. I'm quite happy with the stove and although its not perfect, now that I understand its quirks, I'd buy another. And, importantly, it burns clean.
Nov 10, 2014
I bought this stove to heat my 400 square foot cabin. The stove is so air tight that the flame burns out a few minutes after you close the door. This does not allow the stove to burn hot and heat the room. You end up with a stove full of chunk hot coals and no room to add any more wood. I had to clean out my stove two times with in a 24 hour period. I also found that if you leave the door ajar to let air in it will burn hotter and burn the wood until it turns into ash. Bottom line, you should not have to leave the door ajar to keep the fire burning.
Oct 26, 2014
-won't stay lit without door a jar -top cracked -glass also cracked -both due to over heating with the door a jar. -finish chipped off - had it 2 years -other than that it looks pretty.
Mar 28, 2012
bought this stove 6 years ago, sorry to say worst draft design ever seen the ashes build up in front of draft plate inside of stove every other night. i would not buy another vermont stove. make sure to check the stove draft system its very important
Feb 20, 2012
I have used this stove to heat my 600 square foot cabin for the last 5 years. It works great with the larch and lodge pole pine wood we have here. burns about 4 hours on a load of wood once the coal bed is established. The heat mass of the stove still cranks out the heat for at least another 3 hours after the coals die out. The automatic thermostat function works quite well for us and the ash pan makes cleanout very easy. While it claims 26 wood will fit, using 24 wood is optimum. Yes, the stove might be more finicky than others, but it is easy to learn what makes it happy and it keeps my family happy and warm. It is the perfect size for smaller places and can keep up with the -30 and lower temps we get here in MT.
Feb 14, 2012
I have two of these stoves (one for 7 years) and love them, but you do have to know how to run them. For the size and money they are a great stove. We heat 700 square feet with them easily when it is in the low 30's high 20's. I did a ton of research before buying and for the money and in this size this was the best fit. I love the ash pan, yes some ash gets in the back at times but I have a T handle scrapper to get it out easily. These stoves are so air tight that you need to have a good bed of coals BEFORE closing the door. Once you have a good bed of coals you can load the stove and it will keep for a long time. I do this instead of cleaning the vents which the other parties talk about. If you want high heat we lift the handle so that the door is partialy unsealed. If you crack the door this stove will crank out the heat.
Nov 22, 2010
The Aspen is a great-looking little stove. Very efficient; uses little wood to produce a good amount of heat. The ash pan works well though some ash does fall outside the pan, especially at the back, which can be troublesome after a while. It only burns 3-4 hours max when filled to capacity. Ours is somewhat picky too; anything other than very well-seasoned oak, hickory or ash just doesn't burn well. My biggest gripe with this stove, however, is the draft design. It pulls combustion air in from the back through tunnels along the bottom of each side, and over the course of a week or two the air inlet just inside the door at the front of the firebox gets clogged with ash and requires a 5-10 minute cleaning process (after the stove cools, of course). It's not difficult, but is annoying. All in all, I'd buy it again (especially when compared to the alternatives, price and size-wise), but be warned that the stove is somewhat finicky and requires more maintenance than most.
Nov 20, 2010
Nice stove with a design/operational issue. Ash quickly blocks the air inlet, requiring constant clearing of the air inlet. Otherwise, performance drops off. For this reason best for sporadic use, not so good for a steady heat source.