Rating: 5 / 5
The guys at Trail Designs have built a reputation for themselves by providing innovative products and excellent customer service. Their Caldera Cone system was a revolution in UL wind screen/pot holder design, and since my first purchase (for my MSR Titan kettle), I've been a fan.
Building on a great idea, they created the Ti-Tri, the titanium version of the Caldera Cone which is capable of using three types of fuel (alcohol, esbit, or wood). A while back I purchased one of these Ti-Tri system from their partners at Titanium Goat, along with an 1100ml pot and lid combo. With a total weight of 7.55oz for the cone/floor/pot/lid combo, this quickly became my favorite stove system. Not only was it light and large enough for two, in wood burning mode it boiled 2 cups of water in an incredible 5 min 15 sec...and I no longer had to carry fuel!
I recently learned that they have been working with a prototype of an inverted downdraft gasifier version of the Ti-Tri, which is the same double walled technology used in the popular Bush Buddy stove. While I do not own a BB, I have experimented with many different MYOG BB designs, and this TD version peaked (no pun intended) my interest. I contacted Rand via email, and within one day he and Russ had made the Inferno insert and had it in the mail to me so I could use/test it on a trip I had planned to Charleston Peak, high above Las Vegas (approx 10,500') that weekend.
The workmanship of this piece is excellent, as I have come to expect of any Trail Designs product. Here are some photos from my trip:
Inferno insert ready to be lit
Inferno with outer cone in place
Ready for pot in approx 1 min
Heating 2 cups water
2 cups water boiling - just over 5 min
Ti-Tri Inferno in camp fire mode...I loaded this thing up to the top with wood and pine cones, and it never smoked!
What's left after about an hour of burn time
Ti-Tri Caldera Cone = 1.75oz
Ti floor = .60oz
Inferno insert = 1.25oz
Total stove = 3.60oz
Note: I didn't count the ti stakes because I use two from my tarp set up.
Comparing the Ti-Tri to the Ti-Tri Inferno:
Both systems boiled 2 cups of water in approximately the same time - 5min, 15 sec. The advantages of the additional 1.25oz of the Inferno are as follows:
- Easier to light
- Less smoke
- Re-lights easier if you let it go out
- Burns wood fuel down to ashes
The bottom line is, both systems work well, but the Inferno just works better. If you don't like fussing with lighting and tending to the fire, want a cleaner burn (i.e. less smoke in your face), and want the left-over wood fuel to burn all the way down to ashes, then the Ti-Tri Inferno may be the right stove for you.
Trail Designs has made a great system even better. Because the Inferno enhanced my back country experience, to me as least, the additional 1.25oz is worth its weight, which is why I gave it a rating of 5.
It would be interesting to see this system tested side by side with the Bush Buddy stove. :~)>