The GoSun Sport is a portable solar powered oven that uses an innovative insulated cylinder to rapidly cook your food using the just power of the sun – even on a (relatively) cloudy day.
This not a paid post, however, we did receive this piece of gear for free for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.
What it comes with:
GoSun Sport oven
Silicone Baking Pans (Pro Pack only)
Padded Carrying Case (Pro Pack only)
User Manual & Cookbooklet
WEIGHT: 7 lbs (3.18kg)
VOLUME: 40oz (1.2L) fluid or up to 3 lbs (1.4kg) of food
UNIT OPEN SIZE: 24” (61cm) long x 16” (41cm) tall x 12” (30cm) wide
UNIT CLOSED SIZE: 24” (61cm) long x 8” (20cm) tall x 5” (13cm) wide
MAX TEMP: 550°F (288°C)
WORKING TEMP: 200°F (93°C) – 450°F (232°C)
Disclaimer: This is the first and only solar oven we’ve ever used. So we were pretty blown away by the whole concept in general.
When we first took the GoSun Sport out of the packaging, it felt like we were unboxing a mini satellite. With hyper reflective panels and a dark mysterious glass core, it felt like something out of a sci-fi movie – not a camp stove. We were a little intimidated by it at first, but once we gave the instruction manual a quick once over, we realized how easy it was to use.
How it Works:
The GoSun Sport collapses for easy storage and transport. For use, open the legs, expand the clamshell reflector panels, and face towards the sun. These parabolic panels focus sunlight towards the center cook tube from all directions.
The cook tube is comprised of three different layers. The exterior is made from a heat proof borosilicate glass that remains cool to the touch, even when heated. The middle is an insulated vacuum that allows light to pass through but traps heat inside. The inside of the cook tube has a copper liner that traps infrared light. According to GoSun, this proprietary technology allows users to convert up to 80% of visible light into heat energy.
Food is inserted into the oven using a long tray with a wooden handle. The oblong shape of the tray is ideal for some foods (sausage, root vegetables, burritos, etc) but can require a bit of creative thinking for others (cookies, eggs, fish, etc). While you can cook directly in the tray, we would highly recommend aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.
So what did we think of it?
‣ It bakes! This was a total game changer for us. Whether it’s cookies, brownies, bread, or even a stromboli, the GoSun Sport is the only camp stove we’ve tried the can deliver the (baked) goods. Pretty quickly, too. Our chocolate chip cookies only took 15-20 minutes.
‣ Great for cooking frozen or prepared meals like you might pick up from Trader Joe’s. We filled (stuffed?) a tray with frozen mini tacos for lunch one day and they were amazing.
‣ Works even on cloudy days. Unlike more rudimentary solar cookers, GoSun’s insulated technology allows you to maximize the sunlight you have – even if it isn’t a lot. We haven’t had the chance to try it on a fully overcast day, but on a partly cloudy day it held in there pretty well with only slightly depreciated cook times.
‣ Zero fuel costs. Until somebody figures out how to charge for sunlight, the GoSun will continue to cost you zero dollars to use.
‣ Cool on the outside, hot on the inside. Initially, we were concerned about handling the stove after it had been out in the heat. Do we need welders mitts to pick it up? Is it going to be atomically hot? Nope – the exterior of the tube is perfectly cool, even when it’s interior is scorching hot. It’s safe for kids and absent minded adults.
‣ Amazingly, the GoSun Sport is not affected by outside ambient temperature or wind. It’s summer time for us now, so we didn’t have a chance to test its full range. But early morning cook times (when it was cool out ) didn’t vary from those we saw in the of the middle of the day (when it was super hot out).
‣ Can’t boil water (yet). While GoSun is currently developing a Brewer insert designed to boil water with the Sport, it’s not available at the moment. So, if you’re waiting for a hot cup of coffee in the morning, it might be awhile.
‣ Longer cook times when trying to “sauté”. The GoSun Sport is an oven, so it won’t be as fast when it comes to sauteing over direct heat. If you want to quickly fry up some eggs or some bacon, a propane stove is going to be faster (though it would probably make an excellent omelet!).
‣ Degraded performance in high humidity climates due to light diffusion. We live in the high desert, so this isn’t a problem for us. But folks living in hot and heavy climates (see: Florida) might find they have longer cook times.
‣ Absolutely useless at a night. This is just a fact. When the sun goes down, the kitchen is closed. Not such a big deal in the summer, when the days are long. But during the shoulder seasons, this could definitely be a problem.
Can the GoSun Sport completely replace your propane camp stove? Yes.
Will it? Probably not.
The reality is the GoSun Sport only works during daylight hours, so you can’t rely on it as your only cooking heat source when camping. However, it is an amazing supplemental piece of equipment that opens up a whole new range of cooking options. So while it might not replace your stove, it will allow you to cook things you never thought possible at a campsite.
You have a stove top and an oven at home, right? Well, this is the camp oven companion for your camp stove.
Things to Consider
Do you live anywhere west of the Mississippi River and must abide by fire bans because your state is perpetually on fire? (see: California)
Do you want to cook with a heat source so hot and so powerful you need to stand 92.96 million miles away from it?
Are you ready to kick your debilitating dependency to propane and propane accessories?
Freshly baked cookies. Seriously, need we say more?
Do you want to make hot dogs during your kid’s little league game but are worried that tending a full-sized Weber grill in the bleachers might result in the wrong type of attention?
Why should you have to decide between your love of the great outdoors and your love for Hot Pockets?
Own the one and only camp cooking system that will work in outer space!
You can check out the GoSun Sport on REI or on Amazon, or see their full product lineup here.