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Clikstand S-1 Alcohol Stove REVIEW

Product performance review of the Clikstand S-1 Alcohol Stove, a lightweight alcohol stove for backpacking.

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by Will Rietveld | 2005-03-22 03:00:00-07

Overview

Clikstand S-1 Alcohol Stove - 1
An Evernew 0.9-liter cookpot fits the Clikstand stove perfectly

Out of 17 stoves we tested, the Clikstand was one of the four best performers in terms of boil time, fuel efficiency, and ease of cooking. The four-piece pot stand/burner holder is easy to assemble, and as the name suggests, the center section simply clicks into place. The components are made of stainless steel, and weigh a little more than aluminum stove setups, but are far more durable and long lasting. An elegantly made aluminum windscreen fits on three small extensions from the pot stand to protect the flame/pot interface. The stove is sold with a Trangia burner, which works very well with the Clikstand, but the Trangia burner is heavy at 3.9 ounces. To offset the weight of the pot stand/burner holder, I recommend using an aluminum alcohol burner, which would save around 3.5 ounces. Overall, I was very impressed by the Clikstand's design, durability, and ease of use.

Specifications

• Stove ID

Clikstand S-1 Complete Set

• Stove Type

Open jet

• Components Reviewed

Clikstand pot stand/burner holder, Trangia burner, windscreen

• Dimensions

Burner is 3 in diameter x 1.75 in high (8 cm x 4.5 cm); stove setup size is 6 in diameter x 4 in high (15 cm x 10 cm); packed size is approximately 5 in x 4.5 in x 3.25 in (13 cm x 11 cm x 8 cm)

• Weight

Backpacking Light measured weight: 8.4 oz (238 g). Manufacturer claimed weight (stand, stove, windscreen): 6.7 oz (190 g).

• MSRP

$51.95 Manufacturer's suggested retail price

• Manufacturer Contact Information

Ursa Design

Usable Features

Design - The Clikstand's design is a marvel to behold. It consists of three sections of stamped thin gauge stainless steel that connect together precisely, plus a center section that clicks into place. The center section supports a Trangia burner. Other alcohol burners can also be used. The setup will burn Esbit fuel tabs as well by placing the fuel tab on the bottom side of the up-side-down stove. Three ledges on the outside of the pot stand support the windscreen. Air enters from the bottom and exits around the cook pot.

Weight - The stainless steel pot stand/burner holder (3.3 ounces), and Trangia burner (3.9 ounces) are on the heavy side, but the windscreen is light aluminum (1.2 ounces). The Clikstand's excellent durability offsets its extra weight. A lightweight aluminum stove can be substituted for the Trangia burner to save some weight.

Flame Control - Slide the Trangia's adjustable simmer ring to lower the flame by restricting combustion air, or close the simmer ring to extinguish the flame. It also has a cap to seal alcohol in the stove after it has cooled.

Pot Support - There are three projections from the pot support that contact a cook pot. Each has three teeth to grip the pot. The distance from the top of the burner to the bottom of the pot is 1.3 inches. The pot support is very sturdy and will accommodate any pot up to 5.25 inches in diameter in conjunction with the Clikstand windscreen.

Wind Protection - The Clikstand uses an aluminum windscreen 6 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches high. It covers the lower 1.25 inches of the pot and protects the critical stove to pot gap. The windscreen is beautifully made and rolls up into a 3-inch tube.

Ease of Use

Setup - Setting up the stove involves assembling the four parts of the Clikstand, fueling the Trangia burner and placing it in the stand, lighting the burner, and setting the windscreen in place. Time required is about 1-2 minutes. The Clikstand is easy to assemble and disassemble.

Fueling - The open jet stove is very easy to fuel - just pour alcohol into the open cavity.

Priming and Ignition - No priming is needed, simply light a match and hold it over the stove. It lights with a "puff" and stays lit. Warm up time depends on air and fuel temperature.

Flame Adjustment - The Trangia simmer ring is easy to use. It consists of a cap with a slide to adjust the amount of combustion air. For simmering, simply set the slide partially open and drop it on the top of the burner. To extinguish the flame, close the slide completely and drop the cap on the burner.

Cold Weather Ergonomics - Assembling the Clikstand with gloves on is no problem.

Cooking Systems - The Clikstand S-1 was provided for review as a cooking system (sans pot). It is exceptionally well designed, is easy to assemble, and cooks efficiently. This stove was one of the best performers in our lab tests, in terms of boil time and fuel efficiency. It was also quite wind resistant.

Options - The components are sold separately or as a package.

Cooking Performance

Clikstand S-1 Alcohol Stove - 2
Clikstand stove simmering freshly caught trout

I took the Clikstand on backpacking trips in the Southern Colorado Rockies and camped among snowdrifts in mid-June. Daytime temperatures were in the 50's °F and nighttime temperatures dropped into the 30's °F.

Capacity - The Clikstand will accommodate cook pots up to 5.25 inches in diameter. The Evernew 0.9-liter titanium pot and the MSR 1-liter titanium pot work well for solo cooking with the Clikstand. For two people a taller 1.5 to 2-liter pot less than 5.25 inches in diameter is needed, such as half of a Mirro aluminum double boiler. The stove can accommodate a wider cook pot by substituting a wider windscreen for the Clikstand windscreen. The Clikstand's Trangia burner has plenty of capacity to cook for one to four people.

Versatility - The Trangia burner has a very nice adjustable simmer ring that allows the user to adjust the flame to any desired level, with some practice. I used the Clikstand stove to melt snow, boil water, make macaroni, and boil fish. It performed all tasks well. However it is a bit impractical to expect an alcohol stove to melt snow and boil the resultant water; it simply takes too much time and fuel.

Wind Effects - I tested the Clikstand under windy conditions in lab tests and in the field. It was one of the more wind resistant alcohol stoves we tested but still required twice as much fuel to boil 1 pint of water under windy as compared to calm conditions. The Trangia burner has plenty of capacity to hold the extra fuel needed for windy conditions. The use of extra wind protection in addition to the stove's windscreen is desirable in order to conserve fuel and increase efficiency.

Cold Effects - With morning temperatures in the high 30's °F, I found that warming the alcohol filled stove in my hands was all that was needed to get it to light. Once lit, the stove took about 30-60 seconds longer to heat up to cooking temperature, but that was the only difference I noted.

Heating Efficiency

The Clikstand was one of the four best performing stoves, on the basis of consistent good results, in the Backpacking Light lab tests. It is interesting to note that the Trangia burner performed much better in the Clikstand than it did in the Mini-Trangia setup or Liberty Mountain Westwind setup.

See performance results for all the stoves we tested in Performance Comparison Testing of Lightweight Alcohol Stoves.

Table 1: Boil Time and Fuel Consumption for Optimal and Windy Conditions
Optimum Conditions Boil Time for 1 pint of water (minutes:seconds)Optimum Conditions Fuel Consumption (g)Windy Conditions Boil Time for 1 pint of water (minutes:seconds)Windy Conditions Fuel Consumption (g)
Clikstand6:0011.37:5523.0
Average of All Stoves Reviewed6:0915.78:2032.8

Durability

Clikstand S-1 Alcohol Stove - 3
The Clikstand stove collapsed. All components fit into a 0.9-liter cook pot (not included).

Packability - The stove components (pot support/burner holder, burner, windscreen) will fit inside an Evernew 0.9-liter cookpot.

Durability - The Clikstand setup is the most durable of all the stoves tested. The stainless steel Clikstand and brass Trangia burner will last a long time under normal backpacking conditions.

Maintenance - None required. With proper care, it should provide many years of service.

Value

The Clikstand is exceptionally well designed and well built, and extracts remarkable performance out of a Trangia burner. At $51.95 for the complete set, the Clikstand costs more than most aluminum stove setups, but it is built to last. The price is comparable to the cost of a canister stove or the Brasslite Turbo II-D, and you get a complete system (sans pot). The Clikstand is a very good value considering its great design, high quality, good performance, and durability.

Tips and Tricks

Clikstand S-1 Alcohol Stove - 4
Clikstand stove with an aluminum soda can alcohol burner

Although the Trangia burner has good design and features, it is heavy (3.9 ounces). To offset the 3.3-ounce weight of the Clikstand, a lightweight aluminum stove weighing around 0.4 ounce could be used, yielding a weight savings of 3.5 ounces. According to the Clikstand website, an aluminum cat food can works just as well as the Trangia burner, and is basically free. The bottom side of the cat food can (or other alcohol burner) can be used to burn Esbit fuel tabs with the Clikstand setup.

The Clikstand stove can easily cook for several people, but its windscreen limits pot diameter to 5.25 inches. A wider windscreen can be made from aluminum roof flashing or an aluminum bake pan. It is best to tailor the windscreen to the pot, allowing a quarter to half-inch gap around the pot, and cutting air intake holes at the bottom of the windscreen.

Recommendations for Improvement

The Clikstand S-1 is an excellent product. Some suggestions to make it a better system are:

  • Offer a lightweight aluminum alcohol burner as an option.
  • Include a simmer ring and snuffer ring with the aluminum stove.
  • Offer the system with a lightweight pot and tight fitting lid (one that the other components fit into).
  • Offer lightweight 8 fluid ounce and 16 fluid ounce fuel bottles that measure the amount of fuel dispensed.

Citation

"Clikstand S-1 Alcohol Stove REVIEW," by Will Rietveld. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/clikstand_s1_alcohol_stove_review.html, 2005-03-22 03:00:00-07.

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