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Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
BushBuddy vs Ti-Tri Caldera Cone on 03/09/2012 17:33:40 MST Print View

Recently, I reviewed the Sidewinder Ti-Tri Caldera Cone and the BushBuddy Ultra. Today, I thought I'd do a quick comparison of the two.


Please join me as I compare a Sidewinder Ti-Tri Caldera Cone vs. a BushBuddy Ultra on today's Adventure in Stoving.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Edited by hikin_jim on 03/09/2012 17:35:47 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: BushBuddy vs Ti-Tri Caldera Cone on 03/09/2012 17:49:52 MST Print View

Very nice review. I've been shuttling allegiances between the two, and your articles has gotten me thinking. The Caldera Cone might just be the one I spend most time with.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: BushBuddy vs Ti-Tri Caldera Cone on 03/09/2012 18:51:18 MST Print View

Hi, Miguel,

Thanks for your comments.

They're both good set ups, but I'd have to say that my preference is the Ti-Tri Caldera Cone. The Ti-Tri is pretty tough to beat, particularly if you need to use fuels other than wood for part of a trip.

HJ

Adventures In Stoving

kevperro .
(kevperro) - F

Locale: Washington State
I think you should add the FireFly on 03/09/2012 19:20:16 MST Print View

It is the wood burning solution that interest me most. Weight, compact, inexpensive and simple construction.

Could be used as a pot stand/wind barrier for Esbit or Alcohol too.

http://www.qiwiz.net/stoves.html

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: I think you should add the FireFly on 03/09/2012 19:42:21 MST Print View

Interesting.

I'll add more stoves as time permits and people make them available to me. The two stoves featured in this comparison were provided by BPL members Christian D. and Randy N. Thank you to Christian and Randy!

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Phillip Colelli
(pdcolelli42)

Locale: AT, follow@ www.thruperspective.com
Re: Re: I think you should add the FireFly on 03/11/2012 18:56:24 MDT Print View

Good article Jim. From what I've read the ti-tri and bush buddy are top competitors in the wood stove market. It took some time for me to make the choice to buy the ti-tri and after reading your comparison I'm glad I did. My experiences with the stove have been similar to yours and I like it for the same reasons. Sometimes it's nice to have a second opinion to make you feel better about your choice.

Thanks,
Phillip

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: I think you should add the FireFly on 03/12/2012 11:53:34 MDT Print View

Hi, Phillip,

Thanks. Glad the article was helpful.

I think both the BushBuddy and the Ti-Tri Caldera Cone are good wood burners. After my testing, I feel that the Ti-Tri came out on top in the wood burning category.

The place where the Ti-Tri really shines is in non-wood operation. The BushBuddy is really just a wood stove. Yes, you can operate it on other fuels, but it doesn't really excel. On the other hand, the Ti-Tri is a true multi-fuel set up. If one is going on a trip where you can burn wood 90+ percent of the time, then the BushBuddy will serve you well. But if one is going on a trip where you're going to need to burn other fuels, the Ti-Tri is the clear stand out.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Edited by hikin_jim on 03/12/2012 12:29:53 MDT.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
A differing opinion on 03/14/2012 12:37:20 MDT Print View

I previously owned the standard ti-tri (sidewinder and ULC were not available for my pot) and recently acquired the bushbuddy ultra. After using it for about a week, I happily sold the ti-tri without regret. I was using them primarily in wood burning mode with esbit as backup.

My comparison went something like this:

Simplicity/ease of use: Bushbuddy
Just invert the pot stand, insert handful of twigs, and light up. In contrast, the ti-tri with inferno and floor had 9 pieces (ti-tri, inferno, floor, grate, grate holder, 2 stakes, gram cracker, caddy). On cold winter mornings, anything I could do to speed morning departure and avoid cold hands was key. I preferred the easy stowing of the bushbuddy to the more time consuming disassembling of the ti-tri. I also had to be much more vigilant about not losing the stakes or grate holder which seemed apt to disappear into leaves or snow somewhat readily.

Storage: Bushbuddy
Fit easily in my pot, taking up no extra space. Backup esbit and firestarter could be stored inside the body of the bushbuddy. In contrast, the standard ti-tri needed a separate caddy (I used a plastic cup for weight savings) which took up more space. Tightly rolling all the parts to fit in the caddy was more effort as well.

Weight: Comparable, edge to Bushbuddy
Bushbuddy weighed 4.9 oz. Caldera (with inferno, floor, grate, 2 stakes, gram cracker, plastic cup) weighed about 5.8 oz. Some weight could have been saved by omitting the inferno if desired.

Wood burning efficiency: Bushbuddy
Able to achieve a 3.5 cup boil with a handful of twigs. Did require stoking once during process but this never bothered me. Ti-tri inferno could be packed with more wood to decrease need for fire maintenance, but required more fuel overall to achieve a boil.

Versatility: Ti-Tri.
If you are looking for an alcohol/esbit burner that can also burn wood, the ti-tri is the clear winner. Where I live, wood is plentiful and I found one backup (esbit) to be sufficient. I was able to achieve a 3 cup boil in the bushbuddy with a single esbit. I didn't find the ti-tri to be significatly more efficient to ofset the other disadvantages above.

Workmanship/Durability: Comparable. Bushbuddy was a work of art, but required more care in handling to avoid denting. A titanium bushbuddy would be a significant improvement.

In summary:
I think both are outstanding stoves.

Owning a sidewinder or ULC may offset some of limitations of the ti-tri (mostly packability). Those interested in a multifuel stove will prefer the ti-tri

For me, the bushbuddy was the hands down winner for reasons of packability, wood burning efficiency, and simplicity of design. I just wanted to offer this alternate opinion for those looking primarily for a woodburning stove.

ti tri in snow
ti-tri in woodburning mode

bb
Bushbuddy in esbit mode

bb2
A thing of beauty

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: A differing opinion on 03/14/2012 13:15:18 MDT Print View

Please tell me that the plastic bag label is not "Beaver Stew."

--B.G.--

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: A differing opinion on 03/14/2012 14:11:50 MDT Print View

@Ike,

I actually don't think we're all that far apart. If I had to store the cone externally, I might think differently in terms of weight and packability. With the Sidewinder, the weight and packability are pretty sweet.

I don't see the set up of a Sidewinder as a big deal compared to gathering wood and getting a fire going, but that could just be me.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
I Like Ike! on 03/14/2012 15:30:35 MDT Print View

I'm with Ike on this one.

I have both the Sidewinder and the Bushbuddy Ti, and greatly prefer the Bushbuddy for its simplicity and efficiency. The Sidewinder is so fiddly to set up and take down it drives me nuts. It's also a pain to pack - way too many pieces that don't fit together in packed form.


If anyone wants a Sidewinder that fits an Evernew 900 ml, I can make you a great deal!

brent driggers
(cadyak) - MLife

Locale: southwest georgia
wood quantity on 03/14/2012 15:39:01 MDT Print View

How much wood do you need to gather? Usually one smallish (3 ft. long, 1/2" on the thick end) limb will do the job unless you are talking liters of water.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: I Like Ike! on 03/15/2012 09:54:49 MDT Print View

I'm with Ike on this one.
Yeah, I think a lot of people prefer the ease of set up of the BushBuddy. I get that.

To me the set up wasn't a big deal. When Randy N sent me his Ti-Tri Cone so I could do a review, I set it up and did my entire review without ever having seen any instructions* or having seen one in use -- but I came in already having a couple of years of aluminum Caldera Cone use.

Both systems are good systems. Can't go wrong either way, and as shown by the discussion here, your style and preferences should inform your choice.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

*I only emailed Rand at Trail Designs after the fact for a copy of the instructions just to make sure that my already finished review wasn't going to say something totally stupid. To me the Ti-Tri Cone with inferno is very intuitive, but then I am kind of a stove guy. :)

I'm Madnik
(Madnik) - F
Great review. on 03/15/2012 11:07:25 MDT Print View

Great review. I especially appreciate that you compared and contrasted these two popular options. Good job.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Great review. on 03/15/2012 18:25:27 MDT Print View

Thanks, Erik.

And thank you to everyone for a good discussion.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
RE BushBuddy Vs TiTri inferno convenience/set-up-speed: TiTri speed-up? on 03/16/2012 15:49:11 MDT Print View

To improve the TiTri ease/speed of set-up, instead of using the multipart inferno option you could, perhaps,


simply place a single wall (MYOG?) can style burner or zelph woodgaz (i.e single wall style "gasifer") inside the cone which then makes it double wall....


Also, I wonder if some of the inferno's efficency is just that it is a smaller fire which , so less wood is needed to keep it going.

Edited by ahbradley on 03/17/2012 17:49:17 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: I Like Ike! on 03/17/2012 03:29:42 MDT Print View

edit: msg removed by it's poster

Edited by jcolten on 03/17/2012 03:55:09 MDT.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: RE BushBuddy Vs TiTri inferno convenience/set-up-speed: TiTri speed-up? on 03/20/2012 10:45:26 MDT Print View

Alan Bradley wrote: > Also, I wonder if some of the inferno's efficency is just that it is a smaller fire which , so less wood is needed to keep it going.
I don't think size is the issue. The air flow provided/facilitated by the Inferno option and grate is what I believe makes the difference. Also, the bowl shape of Inferno insert focuses the heat.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Inferno option on 03/20/2012 12:19:46 MDT Print View

I have the Sidewinder with the Inferno. That inverted cone & screen stand was very specifically designed to be the most efficient gassifier conversion possible.

Substituting any other stove inside the outer cone would only serve to decrease the gassifier effect and thus reduce efficiency.

@ Ike >
If the Inferno loses any combustion effeciency compared to the BushBuddy it more than makes up for it in trapping heat at the top where the pot fits in the outer cone. A lot of the BushBuddy's heat is lost at the pot/stove interface.

To me the Trail Designs Tri Ti/Sidewinder Inferno stove is now the state-of-the-art in gassifier stove OVERALL efficiency.

Edited by Danepacker on 03/24/2012 12:24:41 MDT.

Alan Bradley
(ahbradley)
Re: Inferno option alternative on 03/20/2012 16:13:04 MDT Print View

Eric Blumensaadt said >
"Substituting any other stove inside the outer cone would only serve to decrease the gassifier effect and thus reduce efficiency."


It might or might not......