Trangia Mini Trangia
Source: bought it new
Simple, reliable, and fuel is a renewable resource.
- Easy to use
- Fuel is renewable resource
- Simple design
- Not as efficient as others
When I started planning my backpacking needs, stoves terrified me. As ten-year old I had suffered significant burns to my arm and foot (boiling soup) and all things fire/heat related still freak me out thirty years later. In my planning I immediately nixed any of the pressurized stoves and soon nixed canister stoves as well, I just wasn't comfortable with using them. I found one of the three million build-a-soda-can-stove websites and did some tinkering. Though the stoves I built came out well, I still wasn't happy.
Then I found Trangia. A simple, time-tested burner design that is idiot-proof. Well, to clarify that a little, it's idiot-proof for someone cautious and attentive. It doesn't get simpler to actually fire up — just pour in fuel and light — in a few seconds (depending on how cold it is) you will have a nice steady flame ready for your pot.
Things I like: easy to use, nothing to fail in the field, and I know how to safely handle its fuel. I also like the idea that the alcohol that this stove burns comes from a renewable resource and not a fossil fuel. The stove is quiet when operating and with a little practice with the simmer ring, you can cook all sorts of things.
Things I dislike: I wish the simmer ring was more of a lobster claw design (meaning two leaves that open) as opposed to the single plate which ends up offsetting your flame under your pot.
Overall I really like this stove and pot stand. I did upgrade my pot to one that's a bit larger than the one that comes with the kit. I wouldn't call the pot stand a windscreen at all though, this stove definitely needs a better windscreen to be at all efficient.
I've used mine for day hiking meals, as well as our primary cook stove during a couple of winter storms where we lost power as well as getting us through a week without power during Storm Alfred in 2011. I've also dragged it along to our Relay for Life weekend to keep the coffee flowing for our team, everyone on the overnight especially appreciated the hot coffee and popcorn (lol this stove and Jiffy Pop are a dynamic duo!).
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $18
This is a very simple, durable and reliable stove. It stores fuel unlike other compact alcohol stoves. This works great with the aluminum Westbrook stand.
- Sturdy and durable
- Stores un-used fuel
- Burns multiple fuels
- Heavier than similar aluminum version
- Stock stand needs to be replaced
This stove is out of the box ready to use, there is not setup or prep time needed. This unlike other one piece alcohol stoves is quick and easy to fill. You just simply unscrew the stove cap and add your choice of approved fuels and light.
It will burn all styles of alcohol and automotive additive "heat." After about a minute the stove starts generating the forced flame. This particular style of alcohol stove comes with a simmer lids which allows you to control the flame. I have boiled water as quick as 8 1/2 minutes in optimum circumstances. The average time is closer to 10 minutes.
The stock stove stand that comes stock with this is heavy and bulky, I replaced it with an aluminum Westbrook stand. The three piece after market stand/windscreen is light and very compact. This extra is a must for solo hikers looking to save weight and space.
This stove will boil two quarts of water on just over an ounce of fuel. So keeping this in mind an 8-ounce fuel bottle will last you about 6 days making coffee in the morning and a dehydrated meal at night. Once you finish boiling or cooking, just simply drop the simmer plate over the stove and this extinguishes the stove. To use the simmer lid with the stove just slide it to the open position and adjust the flame to the level desired.
The stove is made out of sturdy brass weighing in at a little more than 9 ounces (used a spring style food scale could be heavier). The stove stand provided with this stove is heavy, that is why I bought the aftermarket stand ($12-14) even though the stove it self is small the stand allows you use large size pots or pans without a worry of dumping your meal.
I used this stove on several week long hikes this summer in the eastern Sierras and found no real issues with this product. I have yet to use it in freezing weather conditions, so maybe I will update you on this in the winter months.
Source: bought it new
Cheap, light, and completely reliable.
- Nothing to break down
I have two Trangias, and they are excellent stoves. I bought the Mini to try it out, and learned a few lessons:
While an alcohol stove is slower than the pressurized ones, they are also completely reliable. While I was doling out my supper, sometimes others were still trying to fix leaky valves, plugged jets, or missing o-rings, and hadn't even started!
The whole package comes complete with stove, stand, bowl, frying pan, and handle, and packs up into a neat bundle that fits into one of the side pockets on my pack. Because it's so small and light, I'll carry it as a backup when someone else wants to use their fancy new MSR, and on occasion my little stove has had to feed everyone when the more expensive ones have failed.
Hint: Preset the simmer ring ahead of time — once it's warmed up, you'll burn your fingers trying to choke it back to save fuel.
Price Paid: $28.95
I have just completed a 12 month review of the Trangia 28. 4 seasons of use and approximately 103 days in the field. I cook both conventional meals and dehydrated meals. I gave this stove a 4.5 as it does not have the final component - a windscreen and you must protect the interior of the lid when stored to save the non-stick coating.
The stove is well designed, sturdy and with care should last a lifetime. It packs nicely and does not rattle in the pack. There is room to put a lightmyfire scout in it when packed. Drop two stones in the burner holder/windshield and you can cook with esbit. A k-mart grease pot can be substituted for the pot for a little more volume and the lid still fits. Or the whole kit will drop right in the grease pot to have two pots to use.
Fuel is stored in the stove which decreased the amount of fuel wasted compared to a Pepsi can stove. With the simmer cap I can cook things like spaghetti, eggs over-easy, and pancakes. There are no moving parts to fail and virtually no maintenance - field or otherwise. The frypan/pot lid is non stick and works wonderfully. I have never had a problem lighting or using this stove - even on snow.
For a solo hiker this a wonderful kit. I am now starting my 12 month review of the Trangia 27-3 ul.
Price Paid: $30
I've been trying to figure out what type of stove to carry while backpacking. I checked out the canister stoves, esbit, and alcohol. I decided to go with the alcohol platform.
The canister is faster and easier. But the canisters are expensive, you don't know how much gas you have left (unless you time it and do some math), and you wind up with a bunch of partially empty canisters in your gear box.
Esbit is smelly, leaves black stuff on your pot, and can only be bought at specialized camping stores (same goes for canisters).
Alcohol stoves aren't quite as efficient, and are slower, but those seem to be the only drawbacks. You can get denatured alcohol in any town, you can even use everclear or other high proof drinking alcohols in a pinch. If your alcohol stove is destroyed on the trail, on say a through hike, you can stop off and get a cat food can, and have a new stove in 5 minutes by homemaking it (google supercat stove).
Anyway, to the Mini Trangia. The Mini Trangia is heavier and less efficient than many alcohol stoves. I feel though, that it's positive qualities make up for these negatives.
The stove is brass, and very stout. It has no moving parts to break mid hike. I love the way the whole kit neatly fits together inside the pot and frying pan/lid. It can simmer, which most alcohol stoves can not. You can use the simmer ring to put out the stove when done cooking. It has a storage cap, so when you have alcohol left over in your stove, you just screw on the cap, and hike on!
The only negatives I've found, are a lack of the ability to prime the stove in cold weather, and that you need to purchase or make a windscreen. To solve the priming problem I tried several "fixes" through experimentation.
The best way I found to prime the stove in winter is this: Get a tealight candle, and pull out the candle part, leaving the metal container. Keep this with your Trangia, it weighs almost nothing. When it's cold out, get your tealight warm, I use a mini bic lighter for a couple of seconds. Put a little alcohol in the tealight. Put the tealight on the Trangia "storage" cap to elevate it. Light the tealight. Flip the pot stand upside down, and center it over the tealight. Place your stove on the upside down pot stand. In just a minute your Trangia will be warmed up, now just set the stove up like normal, and light it (you could also use the tealight to warm up water for a cup of coco instead of lighting the Trangia).
So with my Trangia in "storage mode" I have in it: the stove, snuffer cap/simmer ring, the storage cap, potstand, potlifter, windscreen folded up, a three inch long strip of cardboard to ease lighting (not needed, but nice to have), and the tealight.
All in all I really like this stove. It's built to last, with nothing really to break, and it just works, which is the most important thing when deep in the mountains.
I give the Mini-Trangia 28 4.5 stars, only because it needs a windscreen to truly be a complete stove. I made my windscreen out of an aluminum roasting pan that cost about a buck at W-Mart.
The neat thing about the 28 over the larger Trangias like the 25 or my 27-7, is that it really does have a pre-heat attachment included, and its easier to use than the optional winterizing kit that you have to buy extra for the bigger models. Just pour a little fuel in the aluminum potstand of the 28, place the spirit burner in the potstand as you normally do with the lid off, and light the fuel in the bottom by inserting a lit match through one of the air holes in the side. This will not only pre-warm the spirit burner, but also light it after a while. If you pre-warm, use a windscreen, and leave the lid on the pot, you will get a lot faster boil times than most people would have you believe.
About the lid/frypan: it snaps on for storage and transport. To use it when cooking, invert the lid on the pot. When inverted, it has a rebated rim that keeps it from sliding off in the same way the pot rests on the pot stand. Plus you can use the pot grab to remove it. It may seem silly for me to write this, but a few others on the internet claimed the lid was difficult to use when cooking because they couldn't get it unsnapped without burning their fingers!
I do love my Trangia 27-7, but since I got the Mini the Mini stays ready to go in my ruck. Even after a brief period of soda-can experimentation, I find I like this compact utterly bullet proof Trangia the best of any one person stove I've used.
Price Paid: $20
The little stove that could. I was surprised how small it is, compared to the T-25, but the performance cannot be beat. The stove might be slower than the "rocket engines" of white gas stoves, but the fuel is safer and can be found more readily, and there is no fuss with the stove.
I would recommend making a second windscreen to go around the pot if you are cooking in a non-sheltered area, as the windscreen provided keeps the stove from going out, but doesn't trap the heat in. The stock windscreen (which doubles as a pot support) is really heavy duty, a bit of weight could be cut if they would make it out of titanium or if you made a lighter weight replacement.
Overall, the stove is perfect for the solo backpacker who wants to eat more than freeze dried foods. You start it up, go about setting up camp, and soon you have hot water. The stove also simmers very well, and because there are no flame-ups or intense heat it is easy and “safe” to use in a ventilated tent vestibule.
Price Paid: $28
Ok I have been out of the game for a while but it hasn't been that long anyway. I use to rough-it and cook over a fire but that has its problems like rain. So in my search for a stove I ruled out all petroleum based and pressurized fuels and that don't leave much.
So alcohol it is, cheap & easy to find and works good. You can use most any alcohol but I found that HEET works the best (Methyl Alcohol gas line antifreeze in the YELLOW bottle not the red) or Denatured Alcohol but with this it depends on the brad because of additives.
I chose this particular stove for three reasons A.) it has been in successful service for 20-25 years with the Swiss army (not that the Swiss have a great army) B.) it is durable with no moving parts (I can be kind of rough with my equipment) C.) you can seal in unused fuel with the o-ring sealed cap.
Easy to find fuel, Works good, easily packed, Windscreen doubles as a pot stand, Seals in extra fuel, Very durable
Not as hot as canister stoves, In bright light you cant see the flame, Windscreen could be better, A little heavy
This is an awesome little stove and I won't go camping again without it.
Update: March 9, 2009
I started out with just the spirit burner and windscreen / pot stand and I carried it nested in my other cook-set. I was so impressed with the quality and durability that I bought the complete set and it is my first choice for cook sets and stove set up. I have cooked pancakes, stew etc boiled water and eaten out of it an it is just right. The stove is a bit heaver than my Gigapower but when you add up all you canisters windscreen fuel etc they are actually pretty close in weight.
Bottom line is if you're solo or in a group it's a nice set to have and it will last you a long time.
Brilliant little stove! Weighs next to nothing, uses renewable fuel, and cooks only a bit slower than a gas-burner. I would only suggest that you take along a lightweight windscreen.
Price Paid: SEK 200 (equiv: USD $30)
I must chime in as a counterweight to all the rave reviews.
In its basic configuration, this is most definitely not a field-worthy alcohol stove.
The reason is that the windshield does not trap the heat in as soon as there is slight wind. Efficiency goes down the cellar, completely unacceptable, the stove gets EXTREMELY thirsty. Cutting a soda can into shape as an extra windshield makes it slightly better however.
The stove is not safe, either. Huge foot-long flames shoot out of the burner frequently. In-vestibule tent usage is hence out of the question. Not that you should really use any stove inside a tent but using this one would be very very dangerous.
Some people say this kit gets much better with a compact gas burner such as the Primus Micron (supposed to fit in the kit, replacing the burner and windshield). I don't like gas for simplicity reasons so I never tried this.
Summing up: Avoid, unless you will cook only in sheltered locations. Get the Trangia 27-1 instead, which is a great stove. The extra size and weight will be offset by greater fuel efficiency if your trip is longer than just a couple of days.