Not your parents' camp stove

The Coleman Exponent Rendezvous Stove is a portable kitchen for gourmet campers.

I stopped camping about the time I moved out from my parents' house, which had plenty of storage space. Few urban apartments have room for bulky camping gear--at least, mine haven't.

However, I began to rethink that old hobby when a friend sent me a link to the Coleman Exponent Rendezvous Stove. A far cry from my parents' chunky, metallic green camping stove, the Exponent Rendezvous is a minikitchen in highly portable form. Closed, it looks like a rugged, Bond-esque black-and-silver briefcase. When opened, the stove's lid folds out to reveal a hard-anodized basin with customizable storage bins, plus an antimicrobial cutting board and a griddle. There are also four hooks to keep utensils within easy reach.

Coleman Exponent Rendezvous Stove
This compact case...

Coleman Exponent Rendezvous Stove open
...opens to reveal a minikitchen.

The cooktop is stainless steel, as is the cooking grate; both are removable for easy cleaning. The two burners are independently controlled and can be sparked via the battery-operated ignition. The recessed cooktop and folding screens shield the flame from wind, and Coleman claims the stove will produce a steady fuel stream, even at high altitudes and when fuel is low. As you'd expect for a portable stove, the Exponent Rendezvous uses 16.4-ounce propane cylinders, though you can also use a bulk propane tank with an adapter (sold separately).

The whole package measures 25 inches wide, 16 inches deep, and 8 inches thick when folded, so it won't take up too much room in transit (or in your closet). Carrying it is another matter: at 25 pounds, it's best for car camping.

There's also the matter of cost; its $365 price tag represents quite an investment. But it could be worth the cost if (like me) you like the idea of roughing it, gourmet style.

About the author

    Tech expert Michelle Thatcher grew up surrounded by gadgets and sustained by Tex-Mex cuisine. Life in two major cities--first Chicago, then San Francisco--broadened her culinary horizons beyond meat and cheese, and she's since enjoyed nearly a decade of wining, dining, and cooking up and down the California coast. Though her gadget lust remains, the practicalities of her small kitchen dictate that single-function geegaws never stay around for long.


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