User Review: Vargo Decagon
Price Paid: $30
I have about 300 trail miles hiking on the PCT, and about 300 miles of bicycle touring while using this stove. My thoughts are as follows:
1) The stove must be filled completely with fuel, and a bit of fuel needs to be spilled on the sides for it to prime properly. It must also be relatively level.
2) You must use quality methanol or ethanol fuel. HEET in the red bottle or isopropyl alcohol will not work. I even had a bad batch of generic HEET in the yellow bottle once. Use name brand fuel.
3) You must have a lid on your pot and a windscreen. I made a simple aluminum windscreen that fits inside my MSR Titan Kettle (along with the stove; it fits inside a Titan perfectly).
4) Be patient. It's not a white gas or butane stove. It will boil water if you give it time. It also won't leave you stranded like a malfunctioning gas stove has left me, at the CA/OR border on the PCT with rain and drizzle and 30 miles to the next resupply. Believe me, cold, hard Liptons aren't very tasty.
5) This is optional and NOT recommended, but it worked for me: I drilled out the bottom hole 3/16" to allow easier and faster filling. I also slightly enlarged the jets all the way around. Now, I have faster boils and a more consistent flame pattern. Modify at your own risk!