Clikstand T-2 Alcohol Stove System Review

Can 100% titanium justify the price tag?

Recommended

Overall Rating: Recommended

This is a well made integrated alcohol stove system with exemplary stability and good but not class-leading boil speed and wind resistance. It is expensive, and boil times drop with narrower pots. It also works well with a skillet, making it one of the more versatile alcohol stoves around.

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by David Chenault |

Clikstand T2 Alcohol Stove System Review - 1

Editor's note: At the time of writing, the Clikstand T-2 stand sold for $75. The manufacturer has since dropped that price to $60. Corrections have been noted throughout the article, and BPL regrets the error.

Introduction

Alcohol stoves have long been a standard of contemporary ultralight backpackers. Their virtues are well documented. They can be somewhat to extraordinarily lightweight, typically have no moving parts to break, clog, or otherwise misfire, fuel is cheap and easy to purchase, they are silent while operating, and so forth. Aside from cold temperatures, the case for the utility of alcohol stoves need not be made. What might need some justification is an alcohol stove system that costs $127 (*at time of writing, but $112 currently) and doesn’t even include a pot. Considering the popularity of alcohol stoves for ultralight backpackers was built upon the backs of tuna can stoves, which were in essence free, there better be good reason for such a tony unit.

In the case of the Clikstand T-2, there may be reasons to consider dropping that kind of coin on a stove with no moving parts. First, consider that this is the same design which, way back in 2005, was one of the best stoves Will Rietveld tested. The T-2 is virtually identical, with the virtues unchanged: excellent stability, easy to use, compact, and excellent wind protection. The T-2 however, goes to 11. It is, you guessed it, made 100% of titanium and thus lighter and better in every way. The Clikstand T-2 stacks up with leading edge alcohol stove systems fairly well in boil time and weight and boasts unrivaled versatility. The wide range of possible uses may not appeal to all users, however.

The Clikstand is indeed a system and must be evaluated as such. I tested what Clikstand calls their Sierra Titanium combo, which consists of an Evernew titanium alcohol burner, ti Clikstand pot stand, ti foil windscreen, and burner adapter. The ti burner is Evernew’s lightweight version of the classic Trangia burner, a time-tested and powerful design. The Clikstand itself is the centerpiece of the system, and consists of a triangular, four-piece stand which snaps together with authority. It cradles the burner an optimum distance from the pot, serves as a stable, broad based pot stand, provides a rest for the foil windscreen, and serves as the second layer of defense against the wind. The whole thing is quick and easy to assemble or disassemble and fits together well as a unit.

Calling the windscreen "foil" is a bit of a misnomer, as the ti is quite sturdy. The windscreen has a few bends built into it that allow it to hook together at two different widths, to best suit different pots. It then rests on hooks built into the stand. The burner adapter is a pentagonal bit of wire intended to give the Evernew burner better purchase inside the stand. The burner is only just wide enough to sit inside the stand, though my sample was stable enough, and I never found the adapter necessary. The whole thing goes together emphatically and inspires confidence.

Comparison and Assessment

How then does the Clikstand system perform compared to other alcohol stoves? There are an enormous number of stoves available, but at the moment the clear favorite in terms of boil time and wind resistance is the Trail Designs Caldera Cone. The Caldera Cone is by nature built around a given pot, so, to provide as generalizable a comparison as possible, I researched data on the ubiquitous Evernew 1.3 liter ti pot (model ECA 253). Averages from a dozen user tests found in various places online came out to around 4 minutes 30 seconds to boil 16 fluid ounces of lukewarm tap water with a Caldera Cone alcohol setup and the Evernew pot, in “normal” conditions (not too cold, not very windy). My own average with the Clikstand T-2, using the same pot and similar back porch conditions, came out to about 5 minutes 30 seconds over half a dozen trials. That’s as scientific as I care to get, but the consistency of the numbers lend them apparent validity.

Clikstand T2 Alcohol Stove System Review - 2

Interestingly, things changed quite drastically when I used my new-model BackpackingLight Firelite 900 ml pot, with its 4.375-inch diameter, much narrower than the Evernew’s 5.91 inches. Boil times with the skinnier pot, under the same conditions noted above and with the same volume of water, were consistently 2 minutes slower, again across half a dozen trials. I can think of no other conclusion but that the Clikstand stronger favors the broader heating surface provided by a wider pot. Not a stunning conclusion, but with this stove a demand perhaps particularly stark. Examining the Clikstand’s dimensions further explicate this state of affairs. The diameter of the stand is 4.2 inches. To get the rounded edges of the Firelite 900 to sit comfortably, I followed Clikstand’s instructions and bent the three prongs slightly inwards. This did nothing to fill the large gap between the pot and the windscreen, a gap through which much heat evidently escaped. The Evernew, on the other hand, just barely fits into the wider of the windscreen’s two settings, trapping heat admirably and maximizing efficiency.

The Clikstand boils water a bit slower than a Caldera Cone, or a lot, if you have a narrower pot. It’s a bit heavier, depending on the model, though in terms of stability we can assume the Clikstand equal if not superior to the largest Caldera, and thus weight is a wash (see complete comparison chart, below). So why would you spend all that money? It’s not top shelf efficient, but still pretty fast boiling for an alcohol stove. It can be used with a variety of pots, unlike the Caldera system, which bends the cost curve towards the Clikstand depending on your culinary predilections. It’s also ti, and sturdy ti at that, while the aluminum Calderas have had mixed durability over the long haul. Lastly, the ready heat and outstanding stability make it perhaps the premier alcohol stove to use with a frying pan. Fancy some fried trout on your next backpack? Done. Sautéed veggies with your ramen? Easy. Bacon and eggs? If you want to carry the eggs, no problem. The Clikstand is hot enough to cook them any way you like, and stable enough to keep them out of the dirt.

In summary, the Clikstand T-2 is a durable, functional, easy to use, and expensive alcohol stove system best suited to those who use a variety of larger cookware. As a bonus, it works well with a frying pan.

  Clikstand T-2 Caldera Cone
Weight oz / g Burner: 1.1 / 30
Windscreen: 0.7 / 20
Stand: 1.8 / 50
Burner: 0.6 / 16
Cone: 1.0-2.8 / 28-78
Boil times (16 oz H20, "normal" conditions,
1.3L Evernew pot, multiple trials averaged)
00:5:30 00:4:30
Cost (USD) Burner: 46
Windscreen: 20
Stand: 75*
(*at time of writing, but 60 currently)
All components: 35

Disclosure: The manufacturer provided this product to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge, and it is owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to the manufacturer to review this product under the terms of this agreement.

Citation

"Clikstand T-2 Alcohol Stove System Review," by David Chenault. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/clikstand_t2_review.html, 2012-01-24 00:00:00-07.

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Clikstand T2 Alcohol Stove System Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Clikstand T2 Alcohol Stove System Review on 01/24/2012 13:10:09 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Clikstand T2 Alcohol Stove System Review

T N
(tordnado) - MLife

Locale: Europe
Fuel consumption? on 01/25/2012 00:06:37 MST Print View

Did I miss something or did you not state how much fuel was used per half litre boiled? Its easy enough to get quick boil times if you burn alot of fuel.

Edited by tordnado on 01/25/2012 07:53:55 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Clikstand T2 Alcohol Stove System Review on 01/25/2012 00:30:13 MST Print View

Dave,

Nice review. I would like to see a review of the Evernew Appalachian set-up and compare it head to head with a Caldera Cone system, which allows the cone to be stored inside the pot. The Evernew looks beefy, it is a little heavier than most other systems, but if it performs well compared to a Trail Designs system it might be of interest to the community. However, I suspect the Cone will do better.

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
I'm a fan on 01/25/2012 11:31:17 MST Print View

I am a big fan of the Ti Clikstand system. One thing I have noticed is that for larger pots, and larger volumes of water, I get better performance from the Trangia burner. It is a lot heavier though... I found that for pots of around 2L, the Evernew burner ran out of fuel before I was done cooking my meal. With the Trangia, I could boil water and had plenty of time to simmer as well.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
fuel amounts and burner materials on 01/25/2012 13:25:19 MST Print View

Tor, I did not monitor the fuel amounts. By the time I did the timed tests I had a good enough intuitive sense of how much was required without running out of gas (so to speak).

Damain, that's really interesting. By Trangia you mean the good old heavy brass burner, yes? Is the design different, or does the material make a difference?

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: fuel amounts and burner materials on 01/25/2012 13:53:00 MST Print View

David --

Re relative efficiency of an Evernew burner and Trangia burner, here's an excerpt from Hiking in Finland's review comparing a stainless steel Clikstand (using Trangia burner) to a titanium Clikstand (using Evernew Ti burner):

"The Evernew Burner is a lot faster than the Trangia, needing about 5 minutes to bring 500 ml of cold water to a boil, whereas the Trangia needs about 7 minutes. However, the Evernew burns only 7,5 minutes with 30 ml of alcohol, whereas the Trangia goes on for 10 minutes with the same amount of alcohol."

See: http://tinyurl.com/Clikstand-Review

Damien Tougas
(dtougas) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Gaspé Peninsula
Re: Re: fuel amounts and burner materials on 01/25/2012 14:25:28 MST Print View

I think part of that may have to do with the fact that the Evernew burner has more jets/holes (a set on the upper level, and another on the lower level). Perhaps it burns it fuel more vigorously, and hence extinguishes it's fuel quicker? Maybe the jets around the outer perimeter waste more heat because they are less concentrated on the center of the pot?

Just a couple of theories... :-)

Edited by dtougas on 01/25/2012 14:25:56 MST.

Ron Bishop
(Compass) - MLife

Locale: Ontario
Clikstand w/ Trangia on 01/25/2012 21:33:27 MST Print View

I always understood that the Clikstand was initially designed to be used with the Trangia burner, then was later adapted for the Evernew burner if used with the titanium burner adapter (i.e. a pentagonal-shaped wire). Did you have any problems using the Evernew burner without the burner adapter (i.e. was the Evernew burner loose inside the stand)?

Secondly, I've considered buying the Clikstand for use with my SP Mini Solo Combo Ti (3.75" pot diameter) and/or SP Trek 900 Ti (4.5" pot diameter) but, if what you state is true about the slower burn times with narrower pots, I'm not sure I could justify the Clikstand purchase.

Thanks for the review.

Edited by Compass on 01/25/2012 21:35:15 MST.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
evernew burner on 01/25/2012 21:41:38 MST Print View

Ron, I setup the stove out of the box with and without the pentagonal wire. The evernew burner was a bit loose without it, i.e. I could get it to fall through the hole with an amount of force such that I was not concerned about it happening during normal use. During the many nights/mornings I used in it the BC, I never used the wire and never had any issues.

Ron Bishop
(Compass) - MLife

Locale: Ontario
Further Study w/ Evernew Burner on 01/25/2012 21:48:36 MST Print View

David,

I'd be interested in further study of the Evernew burner with the Evernew Ti Cross Stand and/or Evernew DX Stand, unless it's already been covered in a previous review.

Cheers.

ben wood
(benwood)

Locale: flatlands of MO
nay on 01/26/2012 12:32:18 MST Print View

I may be playing the devils advocate here because I have never had my hands on a clikstand. I really like the idea, looks to be an excellent system.

however...

I think there are a few holes in this review. One being that the only "data" is the cost of a clikstand vs. a caldera cone. Other than that, it is just one man's opinions and untested theories. The thing is, that a comparison to the caldera cone system isn't really the point. Yes, it supports any pot you choose and that is a plus. But to say that it is a big plus in comparison to the caldera cone is just opinion. That totally depends on the style of hiker or trip. Many of us will only use one pot anyhow, so if you are only concerned with weight get something that is both lighter and cheaper. If you want to really cook, get something that is cheaper and can simmer. I'm not saying the clikstand isn't a good system, just IMO, it seems to fall a bit in no man's land.

The reason the system doesn't work well with narrow pots is because of the stove design. Look at the flame pattern of a trangia burner vs. a 10-12 burner. The 10-12 has a more centralized pattern that is much more efficient with narrow pots. The trangia (or copy) has a wider pattern that will work better to have even heat distribution on wider pots. Use your equipment as designed. I wouldn't throw a 4.0 liter pot on a jetboil because it isn't designed for that, neither would i put a tall, skinny pot over a trangia (or copy) type burner.

My other thought is that if you want to really "cook", then the titanium may not be worth the price as much. The T2 clikstand may be light, but the multiple pots necessary to really cook are not. For the price of a T2 clikstand, you could buy a trangia 27 that was recently reviewed by Hikin' Jim, and that includes the ability to simmer as well as two pots and a fry pan. Of course a trangia 27 is heavy, but IMO, if you are going to be willing to bring multiple pots, might as well go all out. I've never actually searched, but i'd bet that you'd have a hard time finding a wind protected simmering capable stove setup that includes 2 pots and a fry pan that weighs much less than a trangia.

I see the T2 clikstand as a possible alternative for someone who likes to really cook occasionally and usually just boils water, but only wants one stove. With a trangia burner and a simmer ring and an extra pot or two, you could really cook. Then use the evernew burner and a wide pot for when you just want to boil water. Then again, I'd think a mini trangia would serve the same purpose for about $40. And if you add the clikstand with a evernew 900 pot and evernew fry pan, or even an evernew pot/pan combo, you are heavier than the mini trangia. Not to mention you will have spent close to another $100 in cookware.

Edited by benwood on 01/26/2012 13:52:44 MST.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Clikstand T2 Alcohol Stove System Review on 01/26/2012 14:21:39 MST Print View

Wonder why they chose not punch a couple holes on the top so stabilizing rods can put through, forming a grill?

Forgot which company sold a windscreen that had an integrated grill (think it was discontinued).

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Correction on price on 02/02/2012 14:15:49 MST Print View

The manufacturer of the Clikstand T-2 notified us that the price listed for the stand portion of the system had been reduced this past fall. I've added corrections to the text, and BackpackingLight regrets the error.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
T(rangia)-2 Clikstand on 02/03/2012 11:33:27 MST Print View

The Trangia stove has been around forever, and though the brass makes it heavier than an aluminum or ti stove, it has a lot going for it the other alcohol stoves don't. You can extinguish the flame and leave the fuel in the stove for the next meal (thus you really don't need a measuring cup for the alcohol); you can reduce the flame for warming, simmering, or sauteing.

And it works great with the Clikstand! I use the Evernew 900, which could almost be designed for the Clikstand, and have used it nicely with my MSR frying pan as well (sans windscreen).

Count me as another fan!

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: T(rangia)-2 Clikstand on 02/07/2012 13:22:46 MST Print View

The Clikstand is great, and I'd love to have a Ti version were it not for the price (ouch!).

The one problem I see with using a pan with the Evernew burner is that there's no way to moderate the flame. A Trangia burner has a variable simmer ring, but the Evernew burner is either on or off (unless you DIY something). Seems to me that using a pan with a burner with no control is a great way to enjoy some charcoal. :)

By the way, a Caldera Cone can be used with a pan, at least on the Ti versions of the Caldera Cone. One needs a pan big enough span the width of the opening of the cone (or a pan sized to fit within the opening).

Here, I've cooked scrambled eggs with a pan on a Caldera Cone:


The Clikstand is quite flexible in that it can handle a wider variety of pots and pans (if they're wide enough), but don't count the Cone out completely.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Evernew plus Trangia simmer ring? on 02/07/2012 13:30:52 MST Print View

Can the Trangia simmering ring be used with the Evernew stove?

I'll have to try it this weekend, unless someone already knows the answer.

It still wouldn't allow you to keep alcohol in the burner, as the Evernew doesn't have a threaded top, but if I remember correctly, the Trangia simmer ring is not threaded.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Evernew plus Trangia simmer ring? on 02/07/2012 14:48:36 MST Print View

The Trangia simmer ring is not threaded. It will probably fit although how well it will fit I'm not sure. Sounds like an interesting experiment. Let us know how it goes.

The other thing of note about a Clikstand is that standard Coke can type alcohol stoves will fit in. For example, here's a DIY stove made from standard Coke can sized beverage cans:


Note that there is no rim on the stove to rest on the Clikstand, so either the stove rests on the ground or you have to put something under it. The stove in the photo above is taller than average.

Here's a very short DIY stove in a Clikstand:


I'd probably want to put something under the stove to elevate it slightly.

The Clikstand is a really nice system and is one of the most flexible out there. However, even in Ti, it's not as light as a Caldera Cone set up, and a Caldera Cone is a lot more efficient.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Clikstand/Trangia Combo on 02/07/2012 14:56:48 MST Print View

ben wood wrote: > I see the T2 clikstand as a possible alternative for someone who likes to really cook occasionally and usually just boils water, but only wants one stove. With a trangia burner and a simmer ring and an extra pot or two, you could really cook.
Ben,

One option is to use the Trangia 27 pots on a Clikstand. It's a little hard to see in this photo, but there is a Clikstand underneath the stacked Trangia pots.


The Clikstand is quite a bit lighter than the upper and lower windscreens of a Trangia. You do need to add a windscreen, but a Ti windscreen is quite light. The 1 liter sized Trangia pots are a good fit for a Clikstand.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Evernew plus Trangia simmer ring - sorta.... on 02/07/2012 20:31:19 MST Print View

Pulled out the Evernew ti stove and fired it up. Once burning well, I tried the Trangia simmer ring on it. It sort of worked, but not well.

The lower level of jets on the Evernew is just slightly wider than the bottom of the simmer ring, so about half of them stayed lit. The central flame was also much stronger and harder to control the limiting effect.

At this point, I'd take the Evernew if I was doing a freezer bag only (or other boiling only) style of meal prep, and take the Trangia stove instead if I wanted to do some frying or simmering as well as boiling.

YMMV

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Evernew plus Trangia simmer ring - sorta.... on 02/08/2012 10:44:50 MST Print View

Yeah, that sounds right: Evernew burner for boiling only; Trangia for anything more complicated. Unfortunately the weight of the Trangia burner more or less negates the weight savings of a Titanium Clikstand. Even if you bring the lightweight Evernew burner, the Evernew's higher fuel consumption also negates some of the weight savings.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving