Rating: 5 / 5
The Caldera ULC Cone is the compact version of the original Caldera Cone that Trail Designs has been making for several years. The great benefit of the ULC Cones is that they're designed to fit inside your pot or mug instead of having the extra bulk and hassle of carrying the cone in a separate container. The downside is, there is inherently some loss of fuel efficiency, though this seems to vary somewhat from pot to pot.
As of this writing, they don't offer an aluminum ULC Cone for the Snow Peak 600 mug. However, when I brought that up in this thread, Rand from Trail Designs chimed in, indicating they'd be willing to design a custom Ti Cone for the SP600 if I was interested. So a couple of emails and a couple of days later I amazingly received a nice Ti SP600 ULC Cone in my mailbox.
My test runs with that first cone, while not bad, were a bit discouraging as far as its fuel efficiency and burn time. Much to their credit, when I contacted Trail Designs with my test results they went back to the drawing board and improved the design, reducing the number and size of the vents and opening up the throat a little. They also included an optional pot screen that increases efficiency, especially in windy conditions.
Here's the Vers. 2 cone & mug kit minus potscreen:
(The lid is from from Tinny)
The beauty part:
Everything fits inside the little SP600 mug (except the stakes):
Here's the SP600 & ULC Cone in action:
So for version 2 of the cone I'm getting 2 cups, rolling boil, in 12 minutes on .8 oz of Everclear, without using the optional potscreen. The alcohol burned for one more minute. This is outdoors, 48 degree water and 45 degree air, slight breeze. That's a pretty significant imrovement over Vers. 1, kudos to Russ & Rand!
Here's the optional pot screen:
I found the potscreen adds a bit of fidget factor in addition to its weight, but probably is worth carrying for windy conditions.
I should mention that in theory you could also burn wood in this cone, though I haven't tried it. If you're serious about using this for wood I'd contact Rand & see about getting hooked up with the floor piece, the grate and the inferno insert, basically a proper Inferno Ti Tri set up.
Here's the weights (in ounces):
ULC Ti Cone: .625
SP600 Mug: 2.875
SP600 Lid: .5
12-10 Stove: .5
Ti Stakes (2): .375
Optional Potscreen: .625
Total: 5.5 oz
Awesome job Rand & Russ!
I think this cone/mug combo is elegant in its design and simplicity and makes for an outstanding solo cook kit.