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Heat Exchanger Pot for winter camping
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Yes 1000
Heat Exchanger Pot for winter camping on 12/19/2012 19:35:53 MST Print View

I'm thinking about buying this pot for melting snow and boiling water, I would like to pair this with Primus Omnilite Ti stove. For my summer camping, I have been using Foster beer can pot or Stoic Ti mug.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Heat Exchanger Pot for winter camping on 12/19/2012 22:55:04 MST Print View

I've used that Eta heat-exchanger pot while snow camping, while summer camping (at home in Alaska) and in side-by-side comparisons in the garage. It does melt snow and boil water considerably faster and with less fuel use than a non-HX pot. I found it to be well made and sturdy enough for family backpacking use. I toss it in the dishwasher when I get home and it comes up totally clean.

I'm not recalling the calcs I did at the time, but something like <6 people-days in summer and you're ahead in weight (not cost) to just bring more fuel. The HX always helps your cost unless you burn wood. For longer trips or more people, you're farther ahead on weight and cost with the HX. For winter camping, I'd bring it on any trip. Sometimes the lake/stream is frozen over and you need to melt snow for EVERYTHING. Even on a two-person, one-night trip the HX would come out ahead then. More so, on a winter trip, when you want liquid water, or hot water, you want it NOW. Wanting around outside cools you down and if you could snap your fingers and have hot water, you would. Well, the HX takes you in that direction.

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
Olicamp XTS on 12/19/2012 23:13:13 MST Print View

Thanks to a Section Hiker post I ended up picking up one of the Olicamp XTS pots and I gotta say I'm pretty happy with it. It does as its told and boils water quickly enough. Works great with my Whisperlite. I just wish it had a neoprene cozy like the Jetboils.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Olicamp XTS on 12/20/2012 02:57:35 MST Print View

I've been thinking about the XTS as well. My concern with using it on my MSR WindPro was that the pot diameter would be a little small and the flames would shoot out the sides. But you say that it works well on your Whisperlite, which I think has the same burner size, no?

Have you used it as your mug/bowl as well? Is it comfortable to hold the handles? They look a bit awkward for sipping coffee.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: Heat Exchanger Pot for winter camping on 12/20/2012 08:30:49 MST Print View

I think you'll be stoked with an HE pot, but that the one you're looking at may be too wide for your pot supports. I'm not sure on this, but I've got two more for you to consider.

The first is the Optimus Terra Weekend, which is linked at a killer price on the page you linked to. That one is .95liter and fits on top of your stove, perfectly. I have one of these, with a Crux (and that combo is also on the site you listed at a great price) and can tell you it boils fast and the fact that it will hold a large canister, the Crux and fire bits inside it is great. The HE pot boils noticably faster than non-HE pots, even on identical stoves with the same fuel, based on my experience using if for a few seasons. The handles are excellent and the only trick is to come to terms with the mini-skillet/cup part. I have cooked chopped trout in it and used it to heat water while the HE pot walks away, but that's about it.

The second is that Olicamp pot mentioned above, also known as the Fire Maple...same maker, different colors. It's a little bigger than the Optimus, but has a more shielded HE section and just a flat lid. It's heavier than Non-HE pots, for sure, but it boils water FAST. The weak link in this one is the lid, but the price is excellent!

If you want more photos and some discussion of the pot in its orange trim, there's a thread here on BPL:

Yes 1000
Got one on 12/20/2012 10:18:29 MST Print View

Thanks everyone for the inputs. I'm convinced on the efficiency of HE pot in winter. Last night Purchased one used from our member backpacker Konrad, its a 1.7L pot and I'm sure Primus has taken care of the their stove and pot compatibility.

Marty Cochran
(mcochran77) - F

Locale: Southern Oregon
My backyard test on 12/20/2012 11:09:10 MST Print View

I did a number of backyard tests and found that I could boil one liter of water 20% to 25% quicker in a Heat Exchanger Pot.
I plan to only use the Heat Exchanger Pot on multi day trips where we have to melt snow.

Here are my test pots: (air and water temps were in the mid 30s)
Open Country 2 quart pot + lid + bail at 9.8 oz
Primus ETAPower 2.1 liter + pot grabber at 13.7 oz

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
JetBoil 1 L. pot on 12/21/2012 00:44:17 MST Print View

I use my JetBoil 1 liter pot for winter camping B/C it melts snow a bit faster. The heat exchanger rests nicely on the top of my Sidewinder Caldera Cone ti stove. This causes the heat to exit mainly through the exchanger.

With a roaring wood fire in the Inferno gassifier insert of the Sidewinder I can melt snow fairly fast.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: JetBoil 1 L. pot on 12/21/2012 12:00:53 MST Print View

Eric I am intrigued, which pot is your sidewinder designed for? I assume you use stakes to set the pot above the wood fire, I am off now to experiment.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Sidewinder & n1 L. JB pot on 12/21/2012 18:05:34 MST Print View

Roger, my Sidewinder is designed to take the 3 cup aluminum pot, which is perfect for solo cooking.

The 1 liter JetBoil pot's heat exchanger fins set right on the Sidewinder cone's top edge. This is perhaps why it works fairly well, because most of the heat exits through the exchanger fins.

I have removed the JB pot's neoprene cozy but I will try it with the cozy on. If it gets damaged I have a spare JB pot cozy for just that reason. Keeping the cozy on in winter helps keep the food hot, always a problem in winter.