Stove of the Week: The Caldera Cone

8:44 p.m. on October 30, 2011 (EDT)
81 reviewer rep
426 forum posts

This week's stove is the Caldera Cone with 10-12 alcohol burner from Trail Designs. P1040703.JPG

The Caldera Cone with 10-12 burner is a stable, efficient, and wind resistant ultralight alcohol system that packs well inside a standard Ziploc container that doubles as a bowl.

Packed: P1070970.JPG

Unpacked: P1040698.JPG

Believe it or not, everything in the second photo is also present in the first.

I've written a review and a supplemental blog post. Both can be accessed via this link.

HJ

3:24 p.m. on October 31, 2011 (EDT)
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I just added some more photos and a technical appendix listing weights to the blog post.

HJ

5:26 p.m. on October 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Really like the Titanium version that works without wood.  Run out of alcohol , No Fuel stove, so lighter still with wood only

5:36 p.m. on October 31, 2011 (EDT)
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Yeah, the Ti version is really popular.  It can burn wood, alcohol, or hexamine (such as ESBIT).  My aluminum version is good with alcohol or hexamine, but you don't want to try wood with an aluminum cone.

I can't burn wood here locally because of fire restrictions, so the Ti version didn't seem worth it to me.  It would be nice not to have to carry *any* fuel, but no such luck here.

HJ

5:38 p.m. on October 31, 2011 (EDT)
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1,469 forum posts

Try a new destination once in a while and let the Ti one rip

5:39 p.m. on October 31, 2011 (EDT)
255 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Or on the last burn / cook with the Alloy one then just push it in and therefore less ghear to carry home.  oh the "P" word,,,,, Pollution.

8:40 p.m. on October 31, 2011 (EDT)
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426 forum posts

The aluminum one isn't so bad.  It was a pleasure to use on my last trip.  Light, pretty compact when you consider everything I can get into the package.  Stable.  Wind resistant.  It's a really nice set up.

HJ

12:05 p.m. on November 1, 2011 (EDT)
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456 forum posts

Hi Jim, Nice little set up. But you know I am just not sure about making the switch to alcohol. Some of my worries are;

1) cook time, it's takes a lot longer then white gas.

2) being able to actually "Cook" over the flame as apposed to just boiling water.

But then again it is a lot lighter system and from what I can tell it seems to be more bullet proof, ie. easier to set up and use.

Anyway great review and keep them coming!

Wolfman

2:53 p.m. on November 1, 2011 (EDT)
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426 forum posts

Wolfman,

You're talking to a long time white gasoline user here.  I bought my first stove, a Whisperlite, in 1986.  For all of the 80's and 90's, that was the only stove I had.  Alcohol stoves take a bit of getting used to.  You might try taking an alcohol stove on day hikes to start -- they're light and compact; you'll hardly notice they're there.  A cup of hot tea on a cool fall afternoon is a real delight I must say.  Then maybe try bringing an alcohol stove on a quick overnighter (one night out).

I wouldn't recommend bringing an alcohol stove if:

  • You're cooking for multiple people (too slow)
  • You're melting snow (not enough power)
  • You're cooking a complicated menu (not enough flame control typically)
  • You're headed out in weather at or below freezing

Set up on an alcohol stove is a breeze.  There's typically no pumping or priming.  Just pour in some fuel, light, and go.  There's no heavy steel canister with delicate threads that could be cross-threaded as on a gas stove.  There's no pump that could break or seals that could fail as with a petroleum based liquid fueled stove.  And it's QUIET.

When you do start experimenting with alcohol stoves, be sure to use a windscreen.  The windscreen from your liquid fueled stove should work fine.  The flames from a non-pressurized alcohol stove have a pretty low flame velocity, and wind will play hob with your cooking if you don't have a windscreen.

HJ

3:00 p.m. on November 2, 2011 (EDT)
81 reviewer rep
426 forum posts

I used an ordinary 8oz "bottled water" bottle to hold my alcohol; you can see it in the photos. The problem with using a drink bottle of course is that someone might unknowingly take a drink.

I saw this photo on the web: Caldera+Cone+07.jpg The two flattened type bottles fit in together, but it's unlikely that anyone would confuse them with drink bottles. You'd have capacity and safety at the same time.

HJ

December 18, 2014
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