In spite of – and I mean this literally – hundreds of iterations of alcohol stove designs available commercially and in the public domain, the Trangia still remains one of my favorites. It’s durable, has plenty of fuel volume for large boils, the design is aesthetic pleasing and elegant, and is just about as idiot-proof as you can get.
Its primary disadvantages are its weight (a whopping! 100 grams), which means that there’s a lot of mass to heat up (prime), resulting in boil times for mountain cold streamwater creep beyond 12 minutes from the time to light. Another advantage of the Trangia is that it’s ill-suited for use without a pot support. Placing a pot directly on top of the stove quenches the flame.
One thing I really like about the Trangia is that it contains a screw-on lid that keeps unused fuel inside the stove, eliminating the need to proactively meter in some precise quantity of fuel required to boil some certain quantity of water. But this isn’t a deal breaker for me (I appreciate this most on overnight trips when I only need to boil water for two meals and don’t want to take an extra fuel bottle).
In August, yet another company will enter the commercial alcohol stove market with a Trangia look-alike – made out of titanium.
Upon testing it this week, its performance blows away the Trangia – starting with a 20 second prime time (the stove itself weighs only 33 grams, so it heats up fast). This means that combined with its large fuel capacity (about 85 mls), it remains burning at full tilt (by using a pot support that doesn’t partially squelch the flame) for twenty five minutes (plenty of time to boil, say, two LITERS of water). If you place a pot directly on it, the burn time exceeds 35 minutes.
The neat things about this stove are that (1) you don’t need a pot support, (2) it only weighs 35 g but has 85 mls of fuel capacity, (3) you can boil large volumes with it, (4) its performance doesn’t degrade at small volumes because of the fast prime time, (5) its manufacturing quality is impeccable, and (6) you can stand on it (in fact, I can jump on it!). By themselves, these statistics aren’t remarkable. Combined, however, it makes for an impressive product.
What this stove doesn’t do that the Trangia does is store fuel (it doesn’t have a threaded cap), and may not be packaged with a simmer ring, like the Trangia.
Stay tuned at BPL for more about this stove, to be released on … August 19 or so.