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Reader Reviews

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Vargo Triad

in Stoves - Alcohol

Average Rating
2.06 / 5 (17 reviews)

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( kellymelvin )
Vargo Triad on 08/02/2005 14:17:09 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

Nice little stove. Loved the stowable legs until I tried to balance my Snow Peak Titanium (rounded bottom) pot on it. They just don't fit well together. The stove is ridiculously light, fills well, lights easily and has a beautiful flame pattern. I just wish it mated with my pot better. I did not achieve the fuel consumption that others seem to get. I burned close enough to an once of fuel for my 2 cups of water that it was hardly worth the effort to put the flame out to recover unspent fuel. Also - don't forget to bring your cup along to extinguish the flame if you do plan to save your 1/4 ounce of fuel. I often simply take the one cup. This is my first alcohol stove, I'd been an Esbit fan till now.

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Mark Larson
( mlarson )

Southeast USA
Almost on 08/02/2005 20:46:14 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

Nice concept, overdone. No need for a separate stand, which is cool. Kind of a pain to fill due to the small holes. I think it's a bit fussy when it's burning. Also weighs 5x more than my current stove choice.

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Steve Martell
( Steve )

Eastern Washington
Re: Vargo Triad on 11/18/2005 11:00:25 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

For visual appeal I’d rate this stove a 5. For practical use it gets a 1. Despite the unique folding legs it has many flaws. Stove is designed so you can drain unused fuel (using a stove leg as a pour spout)—but you can never get all the fuel out. Thus some can leak out in your pack and act as a solvent. Stove is slow to fill & get lighted—Pepsi can stove users will be laughing at you! Stove blows out very easily—probably a design element so you can drain fuel, but you will still be losing fuel (vapors) as the stove cools. All in all it’s a great paper weight but a Pepsi (or similar open-jet stove) is far superior.

Edited by Steve on 12/29/2005 18:00:23 MST.

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Vlad Putin
( Primaloft37 )

Radio Free Pineland
Extremely Poor stove on 11/04/2006 14:42:47 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

I agree with the comments of the other reviewers regarding this stove. It has a nice, modern design and looks cool. It is very lightweight, made out of titanium. It is very stable too.

However, it is a pain to actually use in the backcountry. You will waste a lot of fuel trying to pour it into that little tiny hole in the middle. Trying it out at home in your garage or outside is one thing, but filling this little sucker out in the backcountry on a regular basis would just be impractical.

The one thing I do believe it might be good for is to use as an Esbit cartridge stove. Flip the thing over and place an Esbit cartridge on the flat side and light.

I got best results with this gadget when I used Everclear (grain alcohol). Fewer noxious fumes, seemed to burn cleaner and hotter with everclear of over denatured alcohol from a paint supply store.

All in all, I would summarize this thing as being very lightweight, very cool looking...but impractical and hard to fill on real world backpacking trips.

I would ask for my money back, but I dont want to go thru the hassles.


Mark Verber
( verber )

San Francisco Bay Area
Cool Looking, Poor Performance on 11/11/2006 18:41:56 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

The Triad is a cool looking design. The pot holder is stable and effective. Unfortunately the stove's performance is very poor. The stove is difficult to fuel and touchy to light. It's easy to over prime which results in significant flare-ups. Fuel efficiently is mediocre to extremely poor in strong winds. I would recommend skipping this stove.

Eric Blumensaadt
( Danepacker )

Mojave Desert
New Triad XE on 01/18/2007 09:50:12 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Vargo outdoors has improved the Triad XE convertable stove by changing to a larger alcohol container/burner.
This stove is a good alky cooker with the new, larger burner and very versatile B/C the base is also an ESBIT stove that can burn TWO ESBIT tabs at once. Nice when extra heat is needed. In fact I like ESBIT cooking better and will use that mode most often.
TIP: carefully file the bottom leg holders back (where the legs rest against them) so the legs can spread further for more stability.

Edited by Danepacker on 01/18/2007 09:50:45 MST.

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joe tittiger
( tittiger )

on the road
undecided on 04/28/2007 13:42:07 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I will hold off my rating of this stove as I am new to alcohol stoves though I do tend to agree with a lot of the criticisms.

My question to the group is what to use as a fuel bottle for this particular stove?

Thanks -- Joe

** I do hope the BPL is astute enough not to carry and peddle this stove to members after they sell out their stock.

John Williams
( lamphead )

Southeastern US
Not Great In the Real World on 07/04/2007 06:25:39 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

Not to beat the dead horse, but I agree with other reviewers: Great looking stove, but hard to fill, hard to empty and does not heat water nearly as fast or efficiently as EVERY other stove I've tried. There are just better options out there.

Ernest L Vergara
( evergara )
Mods to the Varago on 02/23/2008 08:09:22 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I agree with the pros and cons of the previous reviewers. My Vargo lay in storage for a year, under my barbecue. Recently I was reading Brian Vargo comments at BP Gear Test dot Org. So I decided to give the Vargo Triad one more try. I first drilled the center fill hole. I next inserted a paper clip to remove the cotton wick. Lastly I sealed the edges with J B weld. I can now directly fill the Vargo with my fuel bottle that has one of those folding nipple caps, I don't have to rely on gravity. I also prime by using a bottle cap filled with 10 drops of alcohol under the stove and seal the fill hole with a coin. I can now boil 1.5 cups of water within 6.5 to 7.25 min. using .75 to 1 oz of fuel.

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Jay Wilkerson
( Creachen )

East Bay
Hard to fill up! on 06/11/2008 22:15:30 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I have used the Triad many times and have come to the conclusiion it is to hard to fill up w/ fuel. Filling it up becomes messy because the hole is to small to take fuel. It does have nice feature though and that is you can turn it over and burn a Essbitt tab on its back side. The Vargo decagon is a better stove, easyer to fill.

Edited by Creachen on 06/12/2008 16:26:17 MDT.

Lynn Tramper
( retropump )

The Antipodes of La Coruna
thumbs down on 06/15/2008 13:55:58 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

I'll add my thumbs-down to this stove. It's only redeeming features are that it looks cool, seems robust...and works fine as an Esbit stand (thus a 2 instead of a 1). For alcohol use it is a big fiddle to fill, flares easily if you overfill, takes ages to heat up, and for all practical purposes you can't recover very much excess fuel. It's pricey and not the lightest of it's kind.

John Tunnicliffe
( BenWaller )

Northern California
Extremely poor concept execution on 12/13/2008 21:04:12 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

No quality control; very poor fabrication/welding; leaking seams, misaligned legs. It's pathetic.

And it is a Simpleton Concept, really, a travesty in titanium. The entire stove is just too small and cute to be considered to be more than a novelty item. Fuel fill hole is tiny, fuel capacity is absurd, unburned fuel unloading effectively impossible.

Terrible product. Really terrible.

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John Tunnicliffe
( BenWaller )

Northern California
Extremely poor concept execution on 12/13/2008 21:07:29 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

deleted. double post.

Edited by BenWaller on 12/13/2008 21:09:34 MST.

Tyler Bounds
( goodmojo )

Cascade Mountains, WA
great, not perfect on 01/21/2009 14:36:24 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

ok, I'm biased cause I got this stove for free- I bought a used Arcteryx Khamsin pack at a swap meet for $5 and it had this stove, still on it's hangtag, inside. Double score! I disagree with several other reviewers on many points: I have no problems filling the stove. Just squirt in a little at a time, let it drain, squirt in a little more, until you have as much fuel as you need. As far as priming the stove, I do what one other reviewer suggested- I put a few drops of fuel in a bottle cap or an empty tea light, set it under the stove and let it heat up and veporize the fuel. This cuts down on primetime and fuel usage. This way you can put in as much or as little fuel as you think you need- enough for a cup of coffee/tea/cider/miso, or enough for your meal-in-a-bag. As far as boil time, I am usually doing something else besides watching my water boil- food prep, taking photos, guying out the tent or tarp. 5-7 minutes to get my water boiling isn't as fast as my Jetboil, my Crux or my Dragonfly, but come on- this is 1 ounce, it fits in my pocket, it burns cheap fuel. And using these techniques, I rarely have fuel left over to pour back into my bottle. I also pack a small square of doubled up Reynolds wrap foil to set underneath the stove to help in the priming, and when I'm finished up, I fold up the stove, wrap it in the tinfoil so no fuel leaks out and stash it in my Snowpeak cooker. Done. No fuel to taint my pot, no mess, no worries. That said, I don't know if I would have paid $30 for this little thing, but it's sweet to have in my pack at all times with a 3 ounce bottle of fuel.

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Jonathan Ryan
( Jkrew81 - M )

White Mtns
Waste of Money on 03/06/2009 05:40:33 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

As others have stated, this thing is terrible. It has a great look to it that seems to promise functionality but once you go to use it you will find the opposite. Get a Caldera Cone instead!!!!

B. F.
( thrush )
High tech on 03/22/2009 04:37:27 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

High tech but still not good. I sold it after comparing it to a Pepsi Can Stove. Takes forever to ignite, especially in cold and windy conditions. Filling and pouring fluid back cost too much time.

WA Martinez
( Danzarr )
if there was a zero, i would put it on 12/14/2009 03:02:22 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 1 / 5

my parents gave me this as they didn't approve of my home made fancy feast alcohol stove. Cheap, yes, but at least i could balance a pot on it easily unlike this thing.

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