November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
best lightweight alcohol stove
Display Avatars Sort By:
(ardavis324) - F

Locale: High Sierra
Re: best lightweight alcohol stove on 09/27/2013 21:14:56 MDT Print View

Titanium Caldera Cone, Starlyte Stove.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Packafeather XL on 09/27/2013 23:14:24 MDT Print View

Not to be contrarian, but... My next stove will be the 1.4 oz Packafeather XL. I like the idea of an adjustable alcohol stove, and I like the idea of outrageous fuel efficiency.


It's not the fastest boiler out there, but it is efficient with alcohol. And you can adjust from full flame to simmer on the fly. My Supercat is a lighter stove (by a factor of seven!), but the XL will allow me to get a smaller pot and save weight and volume there.

Edited by Bolster on 09/28/2013 00:19:17 MDT.

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Caldera Cone Sidewinder with a 2-quart Open Country pot? on 09/27/2013 23:44:41 MDT Print View

Hey BER,
I've never seen a Caldera Cone made for an Open Country 2-quart pot. Could you possibly post some pictures either here or in a separate thread?

Apologies to the OP for this semi-hijack of your thread.

John Coyle

Locale: NorCal
best lightweight alcohol stove on 09/28/2013 01:22:42 MDT Print View

I agree with Dan. Uncoated .9L Evernew pot, Trail Designs Titanium Sidewinder windscreen, and Zelph Starlyte stove, all of which you can get from Trail Designs. The original 12-10 Trail Designs stove works well, but it is a little too big for the .9L Evernew pot. You simply cannot beat this alcohol stove combination for stability, wind resistance, fuel economy and safety.

Keep in mind this kit is mostly for boiling water for freezer bag style meals. If you want simmering or baking there are better options.

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Starlyte on 09/28/2013 02:29:56 MDT Print View

thanks for the tip about the starlyte i really like my 0.9 sidewinder but was anoyed that the stove just would not fit easily in the pot with the screen.

Emily Lisborg
(emilylisborg) - F
thanks! on 09/29/2013 21:59:11 MDT Print View

wow, this is my first time posting on this forum and I am overwhelmed by all these responses! All the cottage industries doing lightweight cook gear was a bit daunting at first. THANK YOU EVERYONE.

Dean F, thank you for explaining the caldera stove option so nicely, I didn't 'get' that it was custom for each of the pots. I ended up ordering a featherfire XL because it is the only one with the adjustable flame. Cooking a variety of foods is important to me. It's 1.4 oz and a ti windscreen makes it 3 oz. for the set. I am going to give it a try and if it doesn't work out, will probably go with a caldera cone sidewinder. Haven't gotten a pot yet but it will definitely not be a coated/no-stick one. Is .9L enough for a big meal? The dimensions make it seem awfully small.

Dan Yeruski
(zelph) - MLife

Results of packafeather tests on 09/30/2013 07:17:21 MDT Print View

Here is a link to an in depth study/testing of the original packafeather with lots of up close photos of stove parts and results of DIY attempts at making one, also listed is the stove Instruction Sheet which is a fun read :-)

My website has tons of info on all kinds of useful DIY stuff, linger for a while and enjoy.

Edited by zelph on 09/30/2013 07:18:29 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: thanks! on 09/30/2013 07:59:47 MDT Print View

No problem,

The FeatherFire is one of those "air-inlet occlusion" designs that I mentioned. If you really want to use an alcohol stove but need to simmer it's certainly not a bad option, though a simpler stove with a simmer ring would be, er, simpler. (I guess- I'm sort of talking out of my @$$, since I've never used the FeatherFire.) Several people here have them and like them, so I'm sure that it will serve you well, but it offends my sense of simplicity... :)

When cooking for one I find that my 0.9L pot fills me up very satisfactorily. I mean- imagine eating 0.9L of rice or pasta... (The more fanatical guys here use a beer can or a 475mL mug and do solely freezer-bag-style cooking using a cozy.)

I find it big enough to make me a generous meal and a hot drink. But all I do is boil water for pasta, rice, couscous, polenta, oatmeal, etc. (And all of that in "instant" form.) Very rarely do I do anything more involved. Also, I don't really do trips longer than a couple of weeks. If you do longer ones and anticipate the metabolic burst that comes with it and will be gorging on massive amounts of food, MAYBE go up to a 1.3L pot, especially if you'll be sharing cookware with a hiking partner. But OTOH 0.9L works for Andy Skurka, who gorges on massive trips (google him if you haven't heard of him). Eh- I'm sure 0.9L will be fine, especially for a female, who will have less caloric needs than us fat guys.

But I don't know if I've mentioned this- you may not want a titanium pot. Titanium does not conduct heat well (relatively), so it tends to form a hot spot right under the stove. This is no problem if all you're doing is boiling water, but if you're frying or baking or generally doing anything more complex than boil water it can scorch food in the center. Frankly, this is a problem with any pot combined with any camping stove that doesn't have a very diffuse head, but the titanium certainly can't make things any better. You may want an aluminum pot, which may be SLIGHTLY better. (Ignore the random wackos who will now pop up claiming that aluminum pots cause Alzheimers.)

Open Country makes a selection of anodized aluminum pots with very thin walls such that it is just as light as a comparable titanium pot. It's a bit more delicate, though, due to the thin walls. Of course, it's also easy to bend back into shape. TD sells them. And it's a hell of a lot cheaper than any Ti pot. It needs a pot-gripper, though, so that's where the weight gets you, I guess. Or you can just use your gloves.

EDIT-- Being custom fitted to a pot really isn't much of a drawback for the Caldera Cones. I mean, if you buy a $60 Ti pot you're sort of committed already, y'know? :)

Edited by acrosome on 09/30/2013 08:20:00 MDT.

Emily Lisborg
(emilylisborg) - F
thanks on 10/06/2013 16:03:43 MDT Print View

Thanks again for the feedback.

I am going to cook with the stove soon in a stainless steel pot to see how bad the hot spots are, didn't know ti was such a bad option for these types of stoves in terms of head diffusion. We'll see. I've used aluminium cookware in the past and like it a lot, I will check out the open country ones.

Recently I was on a 8 week long and in mostly male company, and I can eat a lot after a long day, just as much as any of them :0 Not that it's good to stuff myself regularly but I don't want to be limited by pot capacity if I'm real hungry. The amounts we were using were 1.5lbs dry food/day/person. I need to find a 1L and see if all that food can fit. Also I really like food and want to eat delicious stuff on the trail and not be so ravenous when arriving in town.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Re: Re: thanks! on 10/06/2013 19:36:04 MDT Print View

> (Ignore the random wackos who will now pop up claiming that aluminum pots cause Alzheimers.)

THANK you for mentioning that. The internet continually recycles very old, out of date health messages if they are fear-provoking. The "aluminum" link to Alz was already more than half-debunked in the early 1990s (before internet) and was dead in the medical community by the year 2000. It turns out that aluminum found in the brains of Alz patients is an effect, not a cause. But a good scare story won't die, and here we are in 2013, still getting the old "aluminum will kill you" story...recycled like an aluminum just keeps coming back.

I've determined that people WANT to believe pedestrian things are killing them: Aluminum, soy, sugar, corn, tap water, any sugar substitute, flu shots, George Bush--they're all deadly. So when you die of old age, you can shake your fist at your soda can for killing you.

> Several people here have them and like them, so I'm sure that it will serve you well, but it offends my sense of simplicity... :)

Well said, although I'm of a different opinion. Just had my first meal from a Packafeather XL, which is the next generation of the FeatherFire. It's more complex than my SuperCat, for sure (which is dead simple) but I don't mind the "complexity." Yes, the stove is a little "steampunk" with its turnscrew and cable, but it works great and really does allow you to go from full-on boil (to get the water rolling) and then 5 cranks down gets you a simmer (to keep the boil going on minimal fuel). When you're done, snuff it with the snuff cap, and pour the unused alcohol back into the container.

What I WASN'T prepared for is what people report as "burping." Which the stove really does do, several times in a burn.

Edited by Bolster on 10/06/2013 19:44:36 MDT.

Steven Davis

Locale: SF Bay Area
starlyte on 10/07/2013 18:03:43 MDT Print View

i have the zelph starlyte and love it...

i cut down the included windscreen a little to fit into my snow peak 600 mug which i bought a custom lid for. it's all contained inside the mug at about 5 oz total without fuel. fuel needs are about .75 oz per cup of water to boil. so i usually estimate about 3 oz per day of fuel. if i were doing a longer hike more than 3 days, i'd use my canister stove. less weight.