Trekking Blog for ultralight and outdoor – Trailblaze

Trail Designs Caldera Cone versus a normal alcohol stove

March 14, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

I have had my new Trail Designs Caldera Cone with me in my rucksack at all times during my most recent winter trips. Although I very quickly realized that the Caldera Cone is considerably more efficient, I was still interested in conducting a comparison with normal spirit stoves in widespread use (such as the Antigravitygear pepsi can stove) or with stoves which hikers can construct for themselves in a few simple steps.

Trail Designs Caldera Cone versus a normal alcohol stove

The Caldera Cone represents a revolutionary approach in the field of the spirit stove. Trail Designs have developed a product which can be individually adapted to fit any pot. The result is the most efficient spirit stove system in the world.

The Caldera Cone completely envelops the pot. The spirit stove supplied as part of the product has been specially manufactured for this system. This ensures that no energy is wasted. The heat of the stove is put to the most efficient use possible, and spirit consumption is improved.
A further benefit is the fact that no frame is required for the pot. The cone takes care of this function, and its broad lower base provides unique stability.

I am using the Trail Designs Caldera Cone in two different sizes: with a 1.1 liter pot for winter use for the purpose of melting snow and with a 475 ml pot for my solo trips in summer. I have used the 475 ml version for the comparison.

A comparison of the stoves:
– Trail Designs Caldera Cone 46 grams total weight: Caldera Cone (31 grams) + spirit stove (15 grams)
– Converted can burner 15 grams total weight : wind protection in titanium foil (5 grams) + spirit stove (10 grams)

A further 7 grams need to be added for the primer to be used with the converted can stove when temperatures are low. A primer is already integrated into the Trail Designs stove. The photo also shows a pot stand. This is not absolutely necessary in the case of the Antigravitygear spirit stove.
Weight of pot including lid: BPL 475 ml titanium mug (36 grams) + pot lid in titanium foil (5 grams)

Trail Designs Caldera Cone with BPL 450 mug Antigravitygear alcohol stove with BPL 450 mug

Assembly times were as follows (time until water boiled = reached a temperature of 99 degrees):
– Trail Designs Caldera Cone: 5 min 40 seconds
– Converted can stove: 7 min 20 seconds

Direct time comparison of temperatures reached:

  1 min. 2 min. 3 min. 4 min. 5 min.  
Caldera Cone 33 46 62 78 92 degree C
Alcohol Stove 26 36 50 67 82 degree C

An additional aspect is the fact that spirit consumption of the two stoves is very different, the Caldera Cone being considerably more efficient in this regard. When filled to capacity of 20 ml overall burning times of the stoves were:
– Trail Designs Caldera Cone 8 min 45 seconds
– Converted can stove: 5 min 30 seconds

This means that 20 ml of spirit were not sufficient to bring the water to the boil in a normal can stove, whereas the Caldera Cone would have succeeded in boiling the water even if it been filled with only 15 ml of spirit.

Another reason for the poor results of the converted can burner is, however, the fact that the pot is very small. This means that the flames go up the outside of the pot in some areas. I think that using a larger pot would have delivered better results here.

It is nevertheless obvious that the additional weight of the Trail Designs Caldera Cone can quickly be compensated for by the need to carry less spirit. The Caldera Cone brings benefits for trips as short as 2–3 days in this regard.

– Outside temperature 4 degrees celsius / water quantity 450 ml

Antigravitygear Stove with Primer Trail Designs Caldera Cone Stove


2 Responses to “Trail Designs Caldera Cone versus a normal alcohol stove”
  1. Leslie says:

    Great post, truly!

  2. trailblaze says:

    Thanks Leslie!

    Johannes / Trailblaze

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