Forum Index » GEAR » Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups?


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Rafi Harzahav
(rhz10) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 08/31/2011 12:25:54 MDT Print View

Hi,

I'd like to start experimenting with alcohol stoves. I wonder how much more efficient the Caldera systems are compared with other alcohol stove/windscreen configurations. For example, I was considering the zelph starlyte w/windscree. I'd be using a small .5L pot.

Thanks,

rhz

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 08/31/2011 12:34:28 MDT Print View

IMHO a Cone is incredibly efficient.

I routinely boil 2 cups of 45°water on 15 grams of 90% ethanol.
For my wife and I, boiling a liter, we are typically around 22 grams.

This includes priming, spillage, and occasionally, foot care.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 08/31/2011 12:39:01 MDT Print View

You might find this article interesting
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/sierra-prime-trip-planning.html
One brought a homemade set up one a caldera.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
2 cup boil on 08/31/2011 12:41:30 MDT Print View

It takes me about 25 ml to do the same with a cat stove and heine can and foil screen

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 08/31/2011 12:45:48 MDT Print View

I found the thermojet stove to be comparable, if not better than the Caldera cone. But that is definitely anecdotal. I've yet to do a real side by side comparison.

In general, though, testing has shown some stoves greatly outperform others, with Caldera at or near the top.

Don Meredith
(donmeredith) - F

Locale: SouthEast
Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 08/31/2011 13:27:34 MDT Print View

In my experiments I found two things:

1 - The cone increases your heat absorption area by putting a significant amount of heat into the side of your container, not just the bottom. Obviously, it also holds the container and acts as a wind screen.

2 - The 12-10 stove in combination with the cone was a more efficient heat source than other basic (non-pressurized) stoves I tested.

Don Meredith

lightpack.blogspot.com

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 08/31/2011 13:50:07 MDT Print View

From the Sierra Prime link above:

Alan’s Trail Designs Caldera KEG-H system was more efficient than Don’s simpler BPL 900ml titanium pot + tuna can stove + titanium windscreen system - cooking more quickly and with less fuel than Don’s system (8 oz to Don's 12 oz), especially in high winds. [emphasis added]


Pretty dramatic difference.

HJ

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 08/31/2011 14:16:33 MDT Print View

Yes, it is quite efficient. It typically will save about a half to one ounce per day. A lot will depend on the fuel. Ethanol vs. Methanol, and the mixes, all vary. The difference between two stoves often depends on which type of fuel. So, I take most reports of stove efficiency with a grain of salt. Overall, the 10-12 is a good stove, but I have built better using identical fuel to run them. I can beat it's performance by close to (not quite) an eighth ounce. It also boils 2 cups in 9 minutes, not 6. The cone is deinitly worth its weight (about 1.75ounce) over a few days. If you are only out for a weekend(1 or 2 nights, maybe not.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 08/31/2011 15:47:58 MDT Print View

James,

What kind of stove (got photos?) were you using with your Caldera Cone where you were able to get such good efficiency? What kind of fuel were you using? I like the idea of a nice, slow (efficient) boil time.

HJ

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 08/31/2011 16:22:41 MDT Print View

I tried a bunch of alcohol stoves and the Caldera Cone was the best, period. It is a well designed system rather than some kludged together scraps.

Talbot Hardman
(talbotdale)

Locale: Rocky Mountains
CC Efficiency on 08/31/2011 16:27:11 MDT Print View

I think the Caldera Cone really shines in inclement weather. When it is raining the stove is completely protected from moisture and the setup seems much more protected from breezes. I started using the Caldera Cone relatively early in my quest for an alcohol setup, but I have been using it exclusively for the last two hiking seasons, and I love it.

Tal

Joshua Billings
(Joshua) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz,Ca
tri ti on 08/31/2011 17:58:29 MDT Print View

The titanium version is really nice because you can burn wood too if you run out of fuel or just like burning wood.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 08/31/2011 18:25:12 MDT Print View

The Caldera is much more efficient than all the typical alky stoves and windscreen setups that I tried.

But, it's not just pure efficiency that has gained my loyalty as the only alky stove I use. It is such a sturdy setup compared to most alky stoves with a pot teetering on disaster while the flimsy windscreen is blowing away... well, you get the picture.

The only downside is that the system is more bulky than most alky setups. But, that's a small price to pay, IMO.

Javan Dempsey
(jdempsey)

Locale: The-Stateless-Society
Re: Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 08/31/2011 19:43:17 MDT Print View

From my experience, the caldera cone, with supplied stoves, are generally, pretty close to on par with the most efficient specialized alcohol stoves. That being said, a number of stove specialists, have met or beat the caldera cone numbers with their designs. Zelph has a couple of versions that meet or beat it no problem. I'm sure Tinny does also.


I'd really like to see a custom stove tuned to the caldera cones, because from what I've seen, the stove is very basic(read: inefficient), and relies on the design of the cone to hit it's good boil times. I've made a couple of stoves that out boil the cones I've used, but due to the stability of the cone setup, I often favor taking it for trips where I"m not cooking anything elaborate. Ironically, having tried those same stoves (which'll do 12-15ml boils of 500ml water), in the cone I have, they hit exactly the same boil times, with approximately the same fuel consumption, however it wasn't really any better performance than the default stove.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
CC ti Sidewinder on 08/31/2011 21:36:09 MDT Print View

What Josh said. The ti Sidewinder is VERY versatile, burning alky, ESBIT and wood (if you get the woodburning Inferno conversion kit). The entire setup is a bit spendy due to the use of titanium but very durable and efficient.

I am amazed at how little ESBIT is needed to boil 3 cups of water compared to my Vargo Triad W/ ESBIT & an MSR windscreen.

As for wood burning, few seem to understand that Trail Designs has converted the basic Caldera Cone into a wood gassifier stove like the Bush Buddy. It is Extremely efficient - and HOT! Thus the need for the stove to be made of titanium, not aluminum as other Caldera Cones are.

For winter camping the CC Sidewinder/Inferno woodburner setup is amazing. No fuel to carry but some Vaselined cotton ball tinders in a small Ziploc.

Edited by Danepacker on 08/31/2011 21:37:52 MDT.

Tim Haynes
(timalan)

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Caldera cone on 09/01/2011 09:08:48 MDT Print View

In looking at Trail Designs website and at reviews, it's hard to tell how large a pot needs to be to fit everything inside. I've got a tiny Isobutane Snow Peak and a couple of different pots that work great for taking groups of friends camping -- somewhere around 4/5 people, the efficiency and convenience makes the weight worth while -- but I need to get something small for 1 or 2 person trips. Everything I've read has the CC Sidewinder at the top of my list.

However, I do like the idea of fitting everything seamlessly into the cooking pot for protection and pack space. Does anyone know what's the smallest pot everything will fit into? I don't own any titanium pots, and I figure if I'm going to get the CC, I will just go ahead and get the pot that matches it best. I'm leaning towards ~1.3L as a great size for two people, and functional for more if need be, but I don't know if it will fit.

Thanks.
Tim

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Caldera cone on 09/01/2011 10:15:03 MDT Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/32457/index.html?skip_to_post=276352#276352

Rafi Harzahav
(rhz10) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Re: Re: Is the Caldera cone so much more efficient rather other alcohol stove set ups? on 09/01/2011 21:24:05 MDT Print View

Hi Javan,

Your response is interesting. Have you done head-to-head type comparisons with, for example, the Starlyte stove and windscreen or other similar set-ups?

thanks

rhz

Rafi Harzahav
(rhz10) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Using the Ti Caldera Cone in wood burning mode... on 09/01/2011 21:28:54 MDT Print View

Here's an incidental question: Can the Ti CC be used as a wood burning stove without the $45 inferno option?

thanks,

rhz

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
No Inferno kit on 09/01/2011 21:44:33 MDT Print View

Rafi,

Yes,one COULD use the Sidewinder as a woodburner without the Inferno in an emergency.

But... the wood would not burn nearly as efficiently B/C the inverted ti cone and bottom screen setup turns the Sidewinder into a highly efficient and hot wood GASSIFIER stove like the Bush Buddy.

With the Inferno's inner ti cone, round screen and 1/2" high circular screen stand you can still fit it all into the matching pot along with the outer ti cone and ti "floor"' sheet. The elegant simplicity, versatility and usefulness of the complete 3-fuel Sidewinder system is amazing.