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High Efficiency Pots: Optimus Terra Weekend .95L & Olicamp XTS 1L?
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(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
High Efficiency Pots: Optimus Terra Weekend .95L & Olicamp XTS 1L? on 04/14/2013 12:12:43 MDT Print View

Anyone try these two hard anodized HE pots? They are both hard anodized aluminum, and aluminum conducts heat much better than titanium. Both are said to significantly reduce boil times. A few questions:

1) What's the weight of the Optimus Terra Weekend .95L without the cup/fry pan lid it comes with? I found the total weight listed for both as 9.7 oz. Sectionhiker listed the Olicamp XTS + plastic lid at 7.7 oz.

2) Does either pot have a non-stick coating? A few reviews mentioned this, but could be it's just the hard anodized surface which sticks less than ti.

3) Is cooking with Esbit 4g tabs doable? I'm sure soot would collect on the fins, but if the pot were stored in a stuff sack, would it matter? Is there a way to remove the soot by soaking at home after a trip?

4) Anyone try these pots with alcohol? I'm thinking alcohol would work fine so long as you could ensure enough space between the alcohol stove and pot.

5) Anyone try these with a wood stove (not camp fire), like a Caldera Tri Ti? Again thinking soot and enough space between flame and pot would be the only issues to contend with.

In general I think the best use case is for gas for trips of 1-2 weeks, or when you want hot water very quickly, but wondering if the use can be stretched to esbit, wood and alcohol.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Olicamp XTS on 04/14/2013 13:12:14 MDT Print View

Just received that pot in the mail this week. I've only done one boil with Esbit and one with my Soto ODR. Just anodized aluminum and doesn't appear to have non stick coating above that. I only boil water so a non issue for me. I'll post a more detailed initial impressions summary later (off to hockey) but so far it appears to be a little heavy but performs well. Time will tell.

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
thanks, guessing Optimus .95L is lighter on 04/14/2013 13:24:06 MDT Print View

Thanks Ian. You might want to also check out the Terra Weekend HE main .95L pot - guessing it's lighter weight.

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Re: thanks, guessing Optimus .95L is lighter on 04/14/2013 13:37:12 MDT Print View

Another option. On sale right now:

Apply this 35% off code and its only about 13 bucks or so. UNG2310D

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Material AND shape on 04/14/2013 13:39:18 MDT Print View

As the OP said, aluminum pots conduct and s p r e a d heat much better than ti pots.

Also low, wide pots heat their contents faster than tall, narrow pots. (More bottom surface area on low, wide pots)

That's why I got an anodized aluminum 3 cup pot for my T.D. Sidewinder cone stove.

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Anyone weigh the Optimus Terra Weekend? on 04/14/2013 15:57:27 MDT Print View

Charles that's a nice deal but don't think it has a heat exchanger.

Eric that Open Country 3 cup pot is really nice, but I wish they made it and the 2L version with a built in folding handle.

Edited by mountainwalker on 04/14/2013 15:58:21 MDT.

Charles P
(mediauras) - F

Locale: Terra
Re: Anyone weigh the Optimus Terra Weekend? on 04/14/2013 16:20:00 MDT Print View

Oops, apologies, didn't read your post close enough to realize you were looking at heat exchanger pots. Good luck!

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Love to see test of HE + simple windscreen versus non-HE + Caldera on 04/14/2013 16:44:56 MDT Print View

I'd love to see how the HE pots with and without a simple Al or Ti windscreen (like Suluk46 or MYOG) measure up against a Caldera Cone with non-HE hard anodized pot when burning esbit and alcohol.

Note though that the Caldera Ti Tri has the added benefit of being able to burn wood with the Ti floor.

Edited by mountainwalker on 04/14/2013 17:15:56 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Initial impressions of the Olicamp XTS HE 1L pot on 04/14/2013 20:37:24 MDT Print View

I purchased this pot off of Amazon this week for $30.48 after taxes.

Fire Maple seems to sell the same exact pot.

There weren't many reviews available for this pot. I found one from Section Hiker ( but Mr. Philip Werner did not provide his experiences on this pot's performance beyond:

"Heat exchanger fins are built into the bottom of the pot that retain stove heat improving fuel efficiency, up to 40%, according to the manufacturer. I don’t have the means to test that, but anecdotally my Soto OD-1R canister stove boils 3/4 of a liter of water noticeably faster in this pot than in the titanium Evernew pasta pot I’ve been using for the past two years."

From reading his article, it appears that he is expecting better fuel economy and that the fuel savings will make up for the extra weight. I doubt that there will be an appreciable fuel savings but likewise, this assumption is anecdotal.

In fairness to Olicamp, they only advertise 40% faster boiling times and do not make any claims to improve fuel efficiency.

So here we go....

Specs on this pot per my measurements:

Width 4 1/2"
Height 5 1/8"
Weight of pot without handles or lid 5.7oz
Handles .9oz
Lid 1.1 oz

For the next four tests, the water was 16oz and 40*. Fuel used was Jetboil/Jetpower:

Soto ODR with optional windscreen and Olicamp XTS pot:

.Soto solo

*With heat output throttled down: 2:45 to full boil / 8 grams of fuel
*With maximum heat output: 2:09 / 7 grams of fuel

.Soto w olicamp

(Seems that the best way to use this pot with a canister stove is full blast.)

Soto ODR with optional windscreen and Snowpeak 700 pot:

.soto snowpeak

*With heat output throttled down to width of pot: 3:12 to full boil / 7 grams of fuel
*With maximum heat output: Dunno.... ran out of fuel. My experience has been that since this pot is so narrow (3.5" compared to the 4.5" Olicamp), that maximum heat output is a waste of fuel and my fuel consumption is typically in excess of 12 grams.

I won't waste anymore of your time describing my Esbit/Coghlan performance with the pot other than I see no noticeable improvement. I suspect that alcohol wouldn't do any better. Daniel Fish created a thread on his Frankenstein Esbit system which also seems to indicate that the heat exchanger technology is lost on Esbit fuel:

I'm going to boil some more water with this pot but I suspect that I'd be better off with a 1L titanium pot than with the Olicamp XTS.

To be continued....

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Oops on 04/14/2013 20:42:56 MDT Print View

My bad. The third picture was supposed to be a picture of a size comparison of the Snowpeak 700 but it really doesn't matter.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 04/14/2013 20:44:00 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Hiram's reviews on 04/14/2013 22:23:27 MDT Print View

Here are some of Hiram's reviews using alcohol. He doesn't comment on the volume of fuel used when he used the Trangia but the boil time was respectable:

Super Venom didn't work:

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 04/14/2013 23:06:17 MDT Print View


Edited by on 06/09/2013 09:38:39 MDT.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Esbit Under Heat Excahnger on 04/14/2013 23:40:07 MDT Print View

Sorry in advance for the thread drift.

I used a ti wing stove with it.

The Esbit cook system is so light to begin with that it's difficult to make these HE systems pay for the weight penalty in fuel efficiency... if any fuel efficiency can be found. I'd be happy for someone to prove me wrong.

I heated 16oz of 40* water with a .25 Coghlan tablet and 32 oz of 40* with a .5 oz Esbit tablet enough to rehydrate a meal or enjoy an scalding cup of coffee but I found no noticeable difference than what I was already achieving with a regular ti pot.

Hopefully the OP will have better success with his alky stove.


.esbit 2

Edited by IDBLOOM on 04/14/2013 23:47:42 MDT.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Esbit Under Heat Excahnger on 04/15/2013 04:40:38 MDT Print View

Yeah, esbit is probably not a good thing for heat exchangers. They tend to burn a bit sooty and thus will reduce the efficiency. Add in that they don't produce a high heat and you get close to the same results, anyway.

If you have good efficiency with a stove, HE pots won't help much. They work by trapping *excess* heat and putting it back into the pot. There are no free rides.

Postive to negative is general flow patterns. If you can put your hand over a pot and lift it, chances are there is not enough heat lost to care wether the heat is being transfered through a heat exchanger, or, conduction along the bottom of the pot. Follow? I would allow *some* heat loss, because with none, it wouldn't work. We think of fuel as the only combustable, but in fact there are three parts: hexamine, oxygen, and inert components. During combustion, we typically reduce the general size of things. For example: Hydrogen + Oxygen -> Water. A LOT of Hydrogen and oxygen are needed to produce a teaspoon of water. The extra heat sort of drives fresh air into the burners, a primary burning component, and flushes away expended fuel. (Glossing over a lot.)

Or, think of it this way, if you want: The heat from the stove is transfered at the heat excanger, leaving the so called heated air, cool. Cool air does NOT transfer heat, if anything it will remove heat from the pot. Tall pots are more prone to this type of cooling than shorter wider pots. (Actually, thermodynamics dictates that both heating and cooling take place at the same time, but, I am glossing over this for simplicity...not that I remremem...uhh...ber that much from 45 year old class work.)

Phillip Asby

Locale: North Carolina
HE pot on 04/15/2013 12:18:27 MDT Print View

My first pot was a Coleman Max anodized aluminum set - mostly used the 30oz pot. With an F1 Ultralight stove a lot of the flame went up the sides on full blast.

I picked up a Primus ETA Powerpot 1L which - while heavier - did seem to capture the flames better and while I have no science to back it up seemed to boil water a good bit faster. On my last trip I kept pace in boil times roughly with two Jetboils guys were using. The 1.3L pot that came with the Primus ETA Packlite is also really efficient particularly on that stove - given the remote setup allows a windscreen... but it is bigger and heavier (albeit rock solid stable). The 1L ETA Powerpot seems to be a nice mix between efficiency size and weight (particularly if you can put a different lid on it...). And it has a decent nonstick coating.

I picked up one of the Primus aluminum 1L kettles from STP to have a lighter option and smaller pack size due to losing the fry pan lid of the PowerPot - I need to see if it fits the PowerPot as it would save some weight and size... It's a nice pot and quite light for the size - not quite as well made I think as the ETA powerpot but still better than the Coleman (which is itself not a bad set - it will go to my son when he is stove certified).

All that being said this weekend I used a Vargo Ti light 750 I recently picked up and for solo stuff I'm going to be hard pressed to use something else if boiling water is all I'm doing.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Esbit Under Heat Exchanger on 04/15/2013 12:21:00 MDT Print View

"They work by trapping *excess* heat and putting it back into the pot."

I don't think that the heat got out of the pot in the first place.


Edited by --B.G.-- on 04/15/2013 12:21:41 MDT.

Erik Basil

Locale: Atzlan
Re: High Efficiency Pots: Optimus Terra Weekend .95L & Olicamp XTS 1L? on 04/15/2013 13:17:59 MDT Print View

EJ, I own both Heat Exchanger pots you mention and have used them both with canister stoves, but neither esbit nor alcohol. I would only use Esbit in a moment of need, as I wouldn't want to coke up the fins on either pot. I'm not sure which alky stoves either pot will comfortably rest upon, but I am sure they both sit on my wood-burning stove and work well with it.

I've used the Optimus pot side-by-side with both the smaller, non HE Optimus Terra Solo pot and an un-anodized but blackened, aluminum pot that's nearly identical in size to the Weekender HE. With the same volume of water, from the same source, both on top of Optimus Crux stoves using Snow Peak fuel, the Weekender boils faster.

Crux with HE pot and windscreen

[EDIT] Since you asked, here are the various weights of the Optimus Weekender HE pot:

Optimus Weekender HE grams
267 grams complete.

Optimus Weekender HE grams lower
190 grams for the lower.

Optimus Weekender HE grams upper
77 grams for the upper.

The Fire Maple XKS and Olicamp XTS 1l are identical, other than that the FM version has orange trim and the Oli has blue. I own the FM and my Scout troop owns the Oli's. I know exactly what these weigh with the lid:

XK6 pot 214 grams

The FM/Oli pot holds just a skootch more water and doesn't include that little pan for a lid. It boils water quickly, too. When combined with the FM 117t stove and using water from a common source with other folks at a big training session where we cooked water, ha ha!, for meals and where I presume the amounts were similar since we were using similar MH meals, I boiled a lot faster than everything else including Jet Boils and a Whisperlite. The output of the FM117t is essentially the same as that of the Crux (pretty much the same head).

Edited by EBasil on 04/17/2013 13:18:14 MDT.

Daniel Fish

Locale: PDX
... on 04/16/2013 13:40:00 MDT Print View


Edited by on 06/09/2013 09:33:45 MDT.

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Erik weight of .95L Terra Weekend? Daniel, agree - which pots are you using? on 04/16/2013 14:50:50 MDT Print View

Erik, what's the weight of the Terra Weekend .95L pot and of the lid? One source said 4.2 ounces for the .95L pot, but not sure how accurate they are. If only 4.2 ounces, a lightweight Ti lid would hardly add weight, and it would be lighter than the Oli/Firemaple pot.

Daniel, I'd agree. I like the idea of a light HE pot for use with a gas canister, especially if boiling for 2 people. For solo esbit use, I'd stick with a flat bottom pot. If using a Caldera Cone, the cone will help make up for a narrower pot, though a wider pot will still perform slightly better.

For gas note that a taller narrower pot has the advantage of containing gas + small stove.

Daniel, which pots are you using for esbit and gas?

(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
What's your favorite solo and 2P HE hard anodized Al pot? on 04/16/2013 14:58:02 MDT Print View

Any favorites?