EcoZoom: The Versa vs. The Dura

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Guest post by RightWingMom.  This is a review of the two models of EzoZoom stoves, the Versa and the Dura.

Disclaimer: Our EcoZoom demonstrations were conducted while on a camping trip in Colorado.  The elevation at our camp site was 7703 feet.  The morning temperature was in the mid 40’s.  As with all meal preparations, cook times will vary depending on elevation and outdoor temperature.

The Versa is a duel fuel stove.  It can burn both wood and charcoal.  The Dura is a wood only stove.  For this head-to-head comparison, we used charcoal as the fuel for the Versa.  We prepared the same about of quick oatmeal, however the pot sizes were different because we were camping and did not have access to 2 pots of equal size.  We used a 2 quart pot on the Versa and a 1 quart pot on the Dura.

Igniting the stoves

VERSA

Starting the fire for the Versa, we used 15 charcoal briquettes (Kingsford original).  We soaked them in 2 – 3 tablespoons of lighter fluid for 2 minutes.  When loading the briquettes, make sure the large upper door is closed.  We dropped the briquettes from the top.  Next, we opened the small lower (vent) door and ignited the briquettes with a lighter wand.  We left the small lower door open for ventilation.  A rocket burn was almost immediate and once the lighter fluid burned off, within 1 minute, we were able to put the pot of water on the burner.

DURA

We had a similar experience starting the Dura’s fire as with our Mac and Cheese with Spam demonstration.  The only change was the use of paper towels for kindling rather than leaves.  Next, we used similar twigs and small limbs to build the fire until we achieved the rocket burn.  As before, the Dura’s rocket burn was ready in about 7 minutes. There was some smoke until the wood was fully engulfed….then virtually none.  At the 7 minute mark, we placed our pot of water on the Dura stove.

Cooking on the stoves

We placed 2 ½ cups of water in both pots and surrounded them both with EcoZoom’s metal sleeve.  This sleeve focuses the heat and increases the efficiency of your cooking.

VERSA

The pot of water on the Versa came to a gentle boil in 18 minutes.

DURA

The Dura’s pot of water came to the same gentle boil in 25 minutes.

The final step was the same for both stoves.  We added our pre-measured oatmeal and a dash of salt.  Because this was quick oatmeal, it was ready almost immediately for both stoves.

As an extension of our test, we placed a second pot of water with 2 ½ cups of water on the Versa.  The burning charcoal was able to bring the second pot to a gentle boil in 19 minutes.  The Versa simmered the water for an additional 15 minutes before cooling.  Total burn time for the 15 briquettes in the Versa was 52 minutes.

Final conclusions

The Versa and Dura both performed very well.  Choosing a unit may be a simple matter of where you live or your personal preference.  If you are in a heavily wooded area where fuel will never be an issue, you may choose the Dura.  If you need to stockpile charcoal as an alternative fuel source, the Versa is very efficient in its consumption of charcoal.  The Versa has the added benefit of burning wood also.  After burning wood on both the Versa and Dura, we found they were about equal in their performances.  In our opinion, the Versa gets a slight edge on the Dura because of the ability to burn duel fuels.

Read previous reviews:

Camping Eggs on the Ecozoom Versa

Cooking with the Ecozoom Stove

 

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I'm the original Survival Mom and for more than 11 years, I've been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more with my commonsense prepping advice.

6 thoughts on “EcoZoom: The Versa vs. The Dura”

    1. okiewife,
      We have not made a DYI rocket stove, but I've looked at the instructions. If you're trying to be frugal, that's the route to take. The EcoZooms seem to be well built and durable. If you have the money in your budget, I'd consider them a prepper/SHTF investment.

  1. Thanks for the "demo". Very much appreciate the time and effort you put in. Loved the pictures (I'm a visual learner) and from your description I think we will go with the Versa – I like having the option of wood or charcoal.

  2. I have looked at the Versa, and I think the benifit of dual fuels is a great advantage, but I do have some questions:

    #1) If the rocket stove creates a rocket like fire, does it create a "hot spot" on the bottom of the pan and burn the food in the center?

    #2) Should the pans used be a heavier variety such as cast iron, which would take a lot longer to heat up?

  3. #1) The EcoZoom has a surprisingly even burner. So far I have had no problems with "hot spots" while cooking. The stove does require some attention, increasing and decreasing wood to achieve the level of heat needed.

    #2) I've used everything from cast iron (Dutch oven, griddle, and skillet) to a 6 quart pressure cooker, and camping pots. (I believe the camping pots are titanium.) All performed very well on the EcoZoom. If I were forced to choose, I would cook on cast iron. It's the best!

  4. I live in a fairly wooded area but was looking at the versa but don’t know if I need the coal optino.. UNLESS you can MAKE coals from already burned wood?

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