Saturday, July 17, 2010

Evernew DX vs Trail Designs Caldera Cone; Comparison tests

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"I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me." ~ Noel Coward

For a couple years now I’ve been using the Trail Designs Ti-Tri Caldera Titanium Cone as my main backpacking stove.  It is an extremely efficient light weight design.  For those of you not familiar with the Caldera Cone; it is an ultralight alcohol stove with an aluminum (or in this case titanium) cone.  The cone drastically increases fuel efficiency and is both the pot stand and the wind shield.  With the titanium version you can burn wood as well as alcohol (you can also burn Esbit, thus the ‘Tri’ in the name).  This design allows the hiker to carry much less weight in the from of fuel. 

Ti-Tri-Alcohol-Mode Caldera Cone

Overall I’ve been happy with the Caldera Ti-Tri system.  There are a few things that still bug me about it and caused me to look for better alternatives.  The first is that it takes up a lot of space in my backpack.  There are a few ways to store the thing, Trail Designs sells it with with a plastic container (food quality that can double as a cup).  The trouble with the plastic container is that it is not light and the second time I used the stove I ripped a slit in the top (good bye usefulness as a cup).  The edges of the titanium cone are very sharp (that’s how I ripped the top of the container) and so I need to be very careful not to cut myself.  Not something I want to be worried about in the wilderness.  On my particular cone the pot gets stuck in it, giving me trouble getting the hot pot out of the cone.

The stove I’ve picked to use now is the Evernew Ti DX set.  Again it is made out of titanium and can burn alcohol, word or Esbit.  It packs down much smaller than the Caldera Cone (I store it in my pot).  The Evernew stove has no sharp edges and has a very high quality ‘feel’ to it.  Unlike the Cone, the Evernew is not fuel efficient. It burns hot and fast.  Boil time for the Evernew is 4 minutes, 30 Seconds (2 cups 68 degree water) versus the Caldera Cone boil time of 6 minutes, 5 seconds.  So you can get your water to boil fast – an advantage.  The disadvantage is it burns hot – burn out time on 20 ml of alcohol was under 5 minutes whereas the Caldera Cone burned for over 8 and 1/2 minutes on 20 ml of fuel.

Evernew Stove

The Evernew wins on weight; The entire DX set is only 3.2 oz. (92g); My Caldera Ti Tri is 2.4 oz (68g) but including the plastic container it is 5.0 oz (143g).  Note: Each Caldera is a different weight depending what pot they are made for.  Mine is for a 700 pot which weights 3.2 oz (92g).

The Pot I use for the Evernew is a 1 Liter Evernew Pasta Pot that weights 4.1 oz (116g).  Since the Evernew is not custom made for specific pots I have much more flexibility here, which is another reason I now prefer the Evernew DX. 

So my entire setup including the larger pot with the Evernew is now 7.3 oz (208g); The Caldera was 8.3 oz (234g); so I also save an ounce by switching.

Here is a video testing the two stoves side by side:

Related reviews:

Evernew DX Ti Alcohol Stove Review

Evernew DX Ti Stove Burning Wood