Does insulating gas canisters improve stove performance?

Several users have asked us if insulating gas canisters improves stove performance.

There are two approaches to insulating gas canisters.

One approach is to insulate the canister from the cold ground by placing it on a piece of foam mat, wood, or snow shovel. This works because it allows heat from the ambient air to warm the canister.

The second approach is to surround the entire canister with insulation, or with a purposely designed canister cosy. This does not work! In fact, insulating the whole gas canisters actually reduces stove performance. This is because gas canisters containing liquified gas reply on the outside air temperature to maintain gas pressure. If you prevent external warmth from reaching the liquefied gas inside by insulating the canister, you simply accelerate the rate at which pressure inside the gas canister drops while using the stove. Your stove performance will start to decline. If you you remove the insulation from around the canister, stove performance will improve again.

The only exception to this rule is if the outside air temperature is way below freezing (e.g. 20 degrees below).

If your stove performance in declining due to reduced gas pressure in cold conditions, it is more effective to gently warm the gas canister with body heat, or place it in a bowl of liquid water. This gentle heat will be sufficient to help maintain gas pressure.