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.

About This Rating

M Find other top product reviews »

Print Jump to Reader Comments

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.

Print

Reader Comments

You must login to post comments.

New Visitors: Create a new account
Username:
Password:
Remember my login info.

Clikstand T2 Alcohol Stove System Review
Display Avatars
Sort By:
Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Clikstand w/ Trangia on 02/08/2012 11:18:16 MST Print View

Ron Bishop wrote: > 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.
Ron, I don't think you can even use a SP Mini Solo on a Clikstand. The SP Mini Solo would fall through straight onto the burner.

The pot supports on a Clikstand have about a 2"/5cm radius (4"/10cm diameter). In other words, about a 4.25"/11cm diameter pot is the smallest that you could conceivably use, but that's kind of pushing it.

A 4.5"/11.5cm diameter pot will work better in terms of fitting the pot supports, but it will not be all that efficient.

I found that going up to a 1000ml pot with a 5.75"/14.5cm diameter worked really well on the Clikstand in terms of efficiency and stability.

EDIT: The other really nice thing about going with a bit larger pot is that the Clikstand will then fit inside the pot. When I used my 780ml and 850ml pots, the Clikstand would not fit inside. With a 1000ml pot, the Clikstand, burner, spoon, lighter, small fuel bottle, fuel measuring cup, and windscreen all fit inside the pot. See The Clikstand -- A Brief Introduction for more info.



HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Edited by hikin_jim on 02/08/2012 11:47:08 MST.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Clikstand T2 Alcohol Stove System Review on 02/08/2012 11:38:14 MST Print View

Nick Gatel wrote: > 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.
Nick,

I did a comparison of the Trangia burner on a Clikstand to a 12-10 burner in a Caldera Cone a few months back (see Caldera Cone vs. Clikstand Alcohol Stove Tests). The Caldera is more efficient than the Clikstand with a Trangia burner. A Clikstand with an Evernew burner will be even less efficient. I don't think the Clikstand should be chosen for efficiency. The Clikstand is really durable and is more flexible in terms of the pots and pans that you can use with it.

The Clikstand can also be used with Coke/Pepsi can sized DIY alcohol stoves. I frequently use the Clikstand to test my DIY stoves. If you've got a nice, lightweight DIY stove that you like and does what you want, the Clikstand is a really nice option.

There's a lot more choices with a Clikstand than just Trangia vs. Evernew burner. Like I say, the reason to choose the Clikstand is flexibility. If one is looking for efficiency, stick with a Caldera Cone.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving