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Packafeather XL Stove

in Stoves - Alcohol

Average Rating
4.50 / 5 (2 reviews)


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Seth Brewer
( Whistler )

Locale:
www.peaksandvalleys.weebly.com
Packafeather XL Stove on 03/03/2012 10:10:23 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Overall weight comparison for this review are between my current stove setups: ALL WEIGHTS ARE IN OUNCES

1) JetBoil Sol Ti Stripped Set-up w/ foil lid = 4. 09 oz. ( Pot = 3.81 + Lid = 0.28), JetBoil Sol Stove = 2.93 oz.
Full 3.5 oz. fuel canister = 7 oz.

2) MSR Titan Kettle w/ lid = 4.55 oz. (Pot = 3.28 + Lid = 1.27) , White Box Stove = 1.09 oz.

3) Snow Peak Ti Mini Solo Pot w/ lid = 4.02 oz. (Pot = 3.25 + Lid = 0.74 ) , Packafeather XL Stove = 1.16 oz. (cap,stove,fuel pan)

Stove Test

I used 2 cups of tap water of moderate temperature (also thought of as "Just right porridge") neither hot nor cold.


1) Jetboil = 2 min 12 sec to rolling boil

2) MSR Titan Kettle w/ Whitebox = 6 min 10 sec to rolling boil

3) SnowPeak Ti Mini Solo w/ Packafeather XL = 8 min 20 sec to rolling boil


I took the Ti Mini Solo and Packafeather XL for my March 29th start at Amicalola Falls State Park in GA, and dropped the stove in Damascus, VA during Trail Days when I bought my MLD Burn pack to replace my MLD Exodus Pack (to much volume for my gear). Originally hiked past Damascus since I arrived on May 3rd and decided to hitch back for trail days. Ended up getting picked up in Bland, VA on May 10 to hitch back to see relatives and enjoy Trail Days. 584.3 miles from March 29th to May 10th. But I digress.
I did find that I really used my wind screen everytime while cooking, and looking back, think that I should have experimented with using the XL under the Caldera Cone for my Ti Mini Solo (left the cone at home). With the pot support taken off it should fit under the pot while in the cone just about the same as the stock CC stove.
See photo below for the CC stove (Left) and XL stove (center) and the Mini Solo in the Caldera Cone (right):
Caldera Cone

My burn times on the trail seemed to be around 8 min during the weeks that I used it. Not like the jetboil, but I only had to carry 4 oz. of fuel in a 1 oz. soda bottle, and it wasn't like I was in a rush to get somewhere - so the few minutes longer to boil never seemed to be too much of a hassle. (But I do like my Sol Ti)

Don't know where I got my RC gas line tubing to put on the handles of the Ti Solo and MSR Titan, but here is a link to something like what I used on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Raider-716B-5-Roll-Fuel-Line/dp/B002ZTGLFC/ref=pd_sim_indust_1

SUMMARY:

OVERALL FEELINGS ABOUT THE PACKAFEATHER XL STOVE / TI MINI SOLO POT COMBO:

LIKES: Light, packs into the pot to be self contained, VERY sturdy pot platform - feels the same as the WhiteBox - like a rock.
Very easy to use set-up and AMAZINGLY fuel efficient - using the little sucker top for the soda bottle I was able to reuse the remaining fuel from every burn. I'd estimate less than a 1/2 oz. per 8 min. burn for boiling 2 cups of water. Can reliably simmer or flamethrower depending on your needs. Still looks and works fine after consistant 2 x day use for almost 600 miles of hiking with it. LOVE the little snuffer cap that allows you to put out the stove and reuse the fuel. Allow the fuel to fully cool and ensure its out before sucking into the fuel bottle.

DISLIKES: Takes a little bit of learning curve to figure out just how small the adjustments need to be - and to allow 20-30 seconds between adjustments for it to shift flame patterns. In a big breeze you really need to watch it - it's so light I took the pot off and almost had it blow away while still lit. Almost wish the max flame power was like the Whitebox - but its efficiency versus flamethrower option still makes it a win in my book.

DO I STILL USE IT? Yes - I find its best for SUL trips during the warmer months. Great fuel efficiency and flame control put it into its own niche that it fills when I may want to slow cook or simply fully boil regular pasta (20 min slow boil is easy for this thing).

COMMENTS: The MSR Titan Kettle seems to be the largest base size pot that I'd use with this stove. The narrower taller pots seem to work well with this stove. Boil times may be slower if the pot size gets huge (with larger amounts of water to boil)

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Jetboil Pot Support priced at: $19.95
Jetboil Sol priced at: $119.95
Jetboil Sol Stove priced at: $119.95
MSR Fuel Bottle priced at: $8.00 - $19.95
MSR Shift priced at: $90.00
MSR Titan Kettle priced at: $47.98 - $60.00
Shop 3RD, Snow Peak, Sol, Titan, USE products at GearBuyer
Delmar O'Donnell
( Bolster )

Locale:
Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Adjustable & Efficient on 12/01/2013 14:13:09 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The Packafeather XL addresses stability issues some folks have with the Featherfire, while further reducing weight to 1.4 ounces. The stove’s claim to fame is its adjustable flame: from hot flame to simmering capacity, adjustable on-the-fly, with an adjustment screw controlled by a short cable. My stove is 5-1/2 rotations from full open to full closed. The stove operates very efficiently when throttled back.

Indoor testing shows it to boil 2 cups of 70-degree water in about 7.5 minutes, in an MSR Titan Kettle, full throttle. Stability of the 4.6” kettle is solid.

There’s a minor controversy about the time-lag of the adjustments. Some folks complain of a half-minute time lag between downward adjustment and flame change. The manufacturer states the adjustment is more “heat control” than “flame control,” and writes: “Be aware that as you’re turning the stove down, the heat output will decrease almost immediately even though it typically takes about 30 seconds for the flame size to fully decrease to a given setting. When turning the stove up, heat AND flame size respond almost immediately.” My experiences so far are in accord: On turndown, temperatures do seem to drop quickly, even though flame size takes awhile to adjust.

I confess I purchased the XL for the primary purpose of making pancakes on an alcohol stove. Works like a charm! After the stove heats up, I turn it down 3-4 rotations, and fry flapjacks successfully in a lightweight aluminum Imusa 6.5” fry pan. A ‘cake takes about a minute and a half on the first side, and half that on the second.

Even though the stove can fry a ‘cake evenly without hot-spots, its central updraft flame is ideal for efficiency with narrow pots.

Fuel recovery is excellent. Close the stove all the way down, then snuff it (with the supplied cap). Let the stove cool, then simply remove the outer stove to access the fuel cup. Pour unused alcohol back into your fuel container. I modified the edge of the fuel cup with a pair of round-nose pliers, to create a small pour spout.

Shop And, Fuel, MSR, Titan products at GearBuyer

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