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buddy heater,big buddy heater vs single,double sunflower heaters


stubby1

Question

I am thinking of getting a buddy heater and was wondering how they really compare to a single head sunflower heater.The single head unit is all I have and it works well but on really cold days its a little short of being comfortable in the portables.I am wondering does the buddy heater have the same heat as a single sunflower heater or more.Is the big buddy heater that much better.Is the plastic housing on both unit strong enough for rough rides in the back of a portable sled.I am just not into 10 mph rides on the lake.Are the buddy heater really worth the cost??Just wondering.Thanks

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I just did some researching and here is what I found.

Single head sunflower heater-- 8000-14000 btu's $40

double head sunflower heater-- 8000-28000 btu's $75

buddy heater-- 4000-9000 btu $70

big buddy heater-- 4000-1800 btu's $100+

hose $25

filters $9 ea

looking at the btus the big buddy has just a little more btus plus it has a fan to circulate. My question stands.Is the big buddy worth the $125-$150 vs $ 40 single head sunflower heater??Its 4000 btu's difference and $100 more???

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the buddies are nice for permanents because of the low oxygen shut-off feature, if you are only going to be using it in a portable i would suggest getting a sunflower, as they crank off more heat.

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I'd thought I heard the Buddy heaters had trouble with staying lit on earlier models.

Maybe it's fixed.

All I know is last weekend I was out in the portable in a group of people and the guy next to me had a Buddy in his portable. I heard LOTS of clicking like would come from one of those push-button igniters, but I don't know for sure it was from the Buddy.

It has not been real cold much this winter, but I seldom run my single sunflower higher than the lowest setting in my Otter Lodge - but then I'm a firm believer in layering and make good use of high performance Polartec clothing so cold is seldom much of an issue.

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I have both the Buddy and a sunflower heater. I will say the Buddy heater is more convenient and compact to use, store, etc., but it does not compare to the heat the sunflower will throw. I've used the Buddy in 20 degree temps and it keeps the portable "comfortable"...not toasty warm. With the mild winter we're having, the Buddy has worked fine, but I'd prefer the sunflower on a "typical" MN winter day.

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In anything bigger than a 1 man portable I would go with a sunflower. The buddy heaters dont kick out as much heat and arent as reliable. Im on my 4th buddy heater.

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I bought a buddy heater and junked it after the first couple days that I used it because it didn't produce enough heat. I went back to the sunflower.

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I use one of the small sunflowers that fit on a 1lb tank and it works great in the one man. I would have stuck with that, but the Buddy's went on sale for $40 so I had to pick one up. It'll get it's first work out Saturday....We'll see.

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no its not fixed. they blowout in a slight breeze and sometimes when you move them. I've talked with customer service and they said they are not designed for outside use and they recommended the daisy style heater for icefishing.

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The buddy heaters claim to fame is that it will not kill you with carbon monoxide or by using up all the oxygen in your shack.

A sunflower can kill you with either.

The btu rating of 9000 on the buddy is input btu, (that tells you how much gas you can expect it to use) not output.

Ive never checked the sunflower specs, but Id guess the 9 or 18000 btu's they are talking about are output.

I like the buddy because I have my 9 year old in the shack and I don't want to fry her brain. Its been warm and we get by with the buddy, despite frequent relighting and lower heat output than the sunflower. Also, my portable is insulated, yours probably is not.

If a real minnesota winter hits, Ill be bringing the sunflower too because I doubt the buddy will cut it when it gets below zero and windy.

Im glad I have both. My advice is if you want to save yourself or someone else a few brain cells or spare them a headache, consider the buddy. If that stuff is not a problem for you, the sunflowers win, hands down.

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I use 2 buddy heaters.

I don't like the burning eys and throat that I get with the sunflower heaters.

Menards on main st. in Coon Rapids has buddy heaters for $54.00 including a case. I think the sale is still going on.

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I have the FT Pro and use a Big Buddy. Some may say overkill, but I can control the heat, have the option of 18000 BTu on high, it has a blower fan for efficiency, and isn't much larger than the standard buddy. In my opinion, the best of both worlds. PS, anybody have an opinion on using/not using a filter when the 20# tank is hooked up?

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My buddies and I have had buddy's sense they came out. we heat an 8x8 permanant with one I have a clam 6800 and only on the coldest days 20-35below I need back up. I will on occasion use a sportcat and place it under my chair for added heat but with a lantern and the buddy Im fine.But I dress right to!If you want Noise Headaches Weird Mucus go for the sunspot they are hotter but what a price to pay! I sleep in my clam and I doNt want to have my bag ignite like it weould with the sunspot>I have a buddy who heats his 16 foot camper with one all winter plus a propane light. I would reccomend them to anyone!

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First off thanks every one for your input.I knew I'd find a good all around answer here.Eckie, I think you answered my question the best and yes Dave1 I put what you have to say into consideration.I think the buddy heaters are the cats meow if you have a stationary house or insulated portable,other than that who knows.Alot of the time I fish alone so I am not to worried,I do open the door quite a bit so there's plenty of fresh air.It looks as I may just stay with what I have,the single sunflower heater.I can still get just about any part for this at any outdoor store or hardware store to fix the sunflower heater without sending it away.It just seems to be the best thing for me at this time.I was looking more for size and convienence but that does not seem to be a big enough of a pro vs all the cons.May be in the future I may change to this style of heater or maybe something "new".Thanks again Stubby

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one thing better about the mr heaters is they sit low in the house, remember heat rises. the one problem I have with sunflowers is the fact they sit too high, and on cold days, the holes freeze and your feet freeze.

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I also like the sunflowers, but I use the Mr. heater/cooker. Mostly because I can set it right on the ice. I get the full heat from it then in my portable. Hope this helps. Mike

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Well, I had three days to ponder this question this past weekend during my trip to Selkirk, MB...

I was out fishing with my dad, and iffwalleyes and his dad... we both were fishing in otter lodges and were both warm... in -12F weather on Saturday and Sunday morning.

iffwalleyes has the big buddy and I've got the cooker.

The nice thing about the big buddy is that you've got more of a range for heat - the big buddy starts out at 4,000 btu's and goes up to 18,000 btu's as compared to 8,000 to 14,000 on the cooker. The point I'm getting at here is that the big buddy can go lower than the cooker, which is nice as on late saturday afternoon it'd get to hot (we had the door open about 1/2 way, we'd shut the heater off and close the door, then about 1/2 hour later it'd be too cold, so we'd start the heater and repeat the cycle again... and yes, we could have opened the door further, but at that point it kind of seems like a waste of propane to me. I'm pretty sure the 4,000 btu setting the big buddy has would have been about right.

The cooker put out enough heat to keep us warm when needed, and I don't recall ever using anything other than low. One time two years ago I was out fishing at lake of the woods when it was about -15 and a pretty good wind and the cooker wasn't enough on high... we were warm, but our feet were getting cold... the extra 4,000 btu's the big buddy offered would have been nice.

The other nice thing about the big buddy is the fan... that really circulates a lot of heat as compared to the cooker. Without the fan on it seems to me that the cooker puts out more heat... perhaps due to the high pressure system the sunflower style heaters use as compared to the regulated system the big buddy uses, but with the fan on it really circulates the heat nicely.

Another nice thing about the big buddy is that it's fairly compact and you can put it up against the fishhouse wall without worrying about melting the canvas... you can do something similar with the cooker, but it's a little bit deeper and the housing gets hot enough to melt the canvas if you get too close...

The good thing about the cooker is that we cooked our lunch on it, which worked great, and didn't require an additional coleman stove, etc...

And the sunflower style heater has been around for forever... I've had mine for at least 5 years and the only part I've replaced is the wire guard for cooking on... plus it's a lot cheaper... but you do get a lot more fumes from the sunflower style as compared to the buddy style...

As far as I know iffwalleyes hasn't had a problem with his big buddy in regard to the pilot light blowing out.. he did before the recall last year, but the one he got this year has been pretty good...

One thing here.. all these comparisons are for the big buddy.. not the buddy... I don't think the buddy would put out enough heat to keep me warm in my otter lodge on the colder days...

At some point I hope to upgrade to the big buddy... but it's not on the high priority list at this point...

Sorry for the long winded post...

marine_man

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