Thursday, 5 June 2014

Esbit Stainless steel solid fuel stove…….reasonably solid anyway!

I watched a video on Youtube the other day where someone was looking for a way to save 3g on the weight of his stove. I don’t know about others but that is just far to much for me. Saving a couple of hundred grammes is one thing, but to try and save 3? Each to their own. My own choices of stove have been either a Jetboil ZIP or a Trangia Triangle and alcohol stove with a titanium pot. I decided to see if I could drop a reasonable amount of weight without sacrificing heating ability.

My Jetboil ZIP, at £70-£80 boils 500ml of water in 2 minutes 40 seconds. I decided to have a try at a hand made alcohol stove that cost a little over £2 and boils 500ml of water in 4 minutes. The Jetboil weighs 542g with a full 100 size gas can. The alcohol setup weighs 352g (with enough fuel to boil 1-1.5 litres of water). The complete alcohol system is nearly 200g less and would cost around £50-£60 with a titanium pot.

But I also wanted a lightweight pot stand and windshield. The Trangia Triangle is almost there, but I decided to have a look at the Esbit Solid Fuel Stove. It will accept a Trangia Alcohol Stove as well as burn the Esbit solid fuel tablets. I didn’t intend to go with the solid fuel, I really don’t like it. But the stand will accept a small alcohol stove stood on the platform for the solid fuel.

At 93g it is more than 20g lighter than the Triangle. The alcohol stove I am using is around 100g lighter than the Trangia stove. The titanium pot I am using from Alpkit is around 160g which for a 1.5litre pot is extremely light.

In use the stand is a little more awkward to assemble than the Trangia Triangle with the plates not always playing ball and trying to separate as you put the last connection together. It’s then just a case of slotting the aluminium plate supplied, or the Trangia that is not, into the stand. But here you need a word of warning. Over a period of time, the plates bend a little, making the aluminium plate a little precarious so that very occasionally, as you move your pot, it falls out. If there is an alcohol stove involved, you can end up with a spill that will be possibly on fire. That is the only couple of negatives I have found so far. Minor ones that can be overcome with care.

The stand comes with a small, over manufactured pouch. It does the job of protecting the stand well, but you may decide to do without. The folded package is 110mm x 120mm x 10mm. The smallest pot I could use on it was 80mm in diameter and it comfortably takes a 1.5 litre pot at 150mm in diameter. At around £20 it is a competitor for the Trangia Triangle although not quite so tough.