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Buggyman
2004-08-16, 01:35
Is anyone familiar with the Vargo Alcohol stove that is being sold by backpackinglight and the Vargo company itself? It seems like a good one to me, but I never buy anything without hearing positive feadback from people I trust. It sure would be a good one for Sgt. Rock to test.

SGT Rock
2004-08-16, 02:41
It sucks. I hear they are changing it though.

katesdad
2004-09-09, 08:26
Just got one of these (made out of titanium!!)

Very simple design, about the size of a tuna can. Can't comment on earlier designs, but this one works ... well it worked for me.

I used a military trioxane stove as a wind screen and a steel canteen cup. burning denatured alcohol (methylated spirits for you chemists out there).

It uses a tiny amount of alcohol, I'm guessing a half liter bottle will last a season, and at $1.75 (in UK prices) makes it a favorable replacement of other fuels ... especially gasoline given we're shelling out $4.25 a gallon!!

Ignited with the touch of a match, the flame settled down after about 30 seconds (I'm assuming it takes that long for the alcohol to start vaporizing).

Brought a canteen cup full of cold water to a rolling boil in about 7 minutes. Filling the little stove right up gives you about 20 minutes burn time on a warm day. I'm guessing these times will be affected by temperature and altitude (I live at 85 meters above sea level, and although I get up to 1100 meters every now and again, I'm usually pretty close to sea level).

I do a lot of fieldcraft work with kids in the British Army Cadet Force, so get lots of opportunities to cook outdoors. I've used gas cannisters and hezamine in the past ... never again though. Although I'll probably never manage a gourmet meal using one of these little beauties, for heating up a 24 hour ration pack meal, making a cup of coffee / soup or having a shave, they're hard to beat.

Sorry if my less than scientific approach offends the techies out there. For me, the issue is about good reliable gear, that don't cost the earth, and that's small enough to make room for the important stuff.

Nuf said.

Larry

Lanthar
2004-09-09, 10:25
So you like this new one then? I may have to shell out a bit to check it out. My only reservation, from what I can read, (and it shouldn't be an issue unless you abuse it), is that the wick inside is cotton rather than fiberglass.

Redleg
2004-09-12, 00:46
Just got one of these (made out of titanium!!)

Very simple design, about the size of a tuna can. Can't comment on earlier designs, but this one works ... well it worked for me.

.......Sorry if my less than scientific approach offends the techies out there. For me, the issue is about good reliable gear, that don't cost the earth, and that's small enough to make room for the important stuff.

Nuf said.

Larry

Yes, but what does it weigh? (grams, ounces or grains)
Sorry, but I am a closet gearhead.
jaf

Lanthar
2004-09-13, 16:14
Yes, but what does it weigh? (grams, ounces or grains)
Sorry, but I am a closet gearhead.
jaf

Just over 1oz (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/vargo_triad_titanium_stove.html)

JeffPrice
2004-09-15, 14:57
I agree with Sgt. Rock that this stove sucks. I've actually had two of these and had to return both for manufacturing problems (each was ordered from a different source, too). Both had bent or problematic legs that made the stove sit unlevel and resulted in flames coming from only one side of the stove. I also found it overly tedious to get fuel into the stove; you have to pour very, very slowly since the center hole is so small; otherwise, the indention will fill up and fuel will spill over the side. And, finally (although others may not have found this to be the case), I found that you needed to put more fuel than you really wanted to use in the stove just to get it to light.

Turk
2006-02-12, 15:54
I signed up this weekend for volunteer trail maintenance. Went to the first
meeting. Got the usual free BBQ lunch, powdered hot chocolate, and
a pretty routine boring seminar followed. However .... much to my delight
somebody from somewhere in Utah, gave everyone that signed up for
spring trail clearing FREE GIFTS!!. I got a Vargo Triad stove, and a Gerber
diamond edge pocket knife sharpener. bout $100 bucks-ish retail.
In past years, we got nothing. So any gift is a treat.. and this seemed
a pretty generous gift. They gave away bout 30 or so. Very nice gesture.


At the risk of being called a Stovie *wince* I now own 2 stoves.
(never used one in the field yet .... but that will come too I guess).
So .. my out of the box review:
Vargo Triad Alcohol Stove (05 revision):

Immediate problem - It doesnt actually have a box. It comes zip-tied
to a piece of cardboard. Easy case for shipping damage and bent legs.
In fact I made sure I grabbed one that didnt have bent legs. There were
a few that did.

Interesting about the instructions with the stove. It is self priming.
This is acomplished by overfilling. I immediately laughed and thought
of the inherent explosive problem with this lighting method.

Construction: 100 % Titanium components.
The tack welds are of poor to barely adequate quality. If I had a second
stove I would take some pliers and actually see how much force it
took to tear a leg mount off.
Advertised weight = 1.0 oz. Actual measured wt = 1.03 oz.

Rock solid and level tripod. Guess I got a good one. No unlevel problems.
Interesting to note here: The absolute smallest diameter pot you want to
use with this stove is 4". The SnowPeak mini solo is 3.75" at the bottom
of the base. But because of the contour, it is actually 3.5" sitting on
the flat. This diameter just barely works for the Vargo Triad pot stand.
It is quite solid and stable, but requires some precision placement when
you set the pot on. The MSR Titan Kettle has just a slight advantage
over the Snowpeak being 4" at the base. Anything under 3.75" diameter
is just not going to work with the vargo pot stand without serious
sacrifice to the flame efficiency and balance of the pot.

Funny thing about this stove is you need to overfill it, to light it.
But pouring unused alcohol back into your fuel bottle is remarkably easy.
Just tip slowly and the alcohol will run down the leg stand and works
really well as a spout. With practice you won't waste a drop.

To fill = 41-43mls. Any more and you waste priming fuel.
Time to prime = 15-20 seconds full burner light.
Boil test = 850 mls water to rolling boil in 11:30 (not counting 20 sec prime)
Rolling boil maintained without pot lid right up to flame extinguish.
Total burn time on 42mls from - prime to flame extinguish = 26 minutes.

No wind screen was used. Conducted indoors at 71 deg F.
.85 litres of water with starting temp of 46 deg F.

http://www.geocities.com/ekontario/Triad_01.JPG
http://www.geocities.com/ekontario/Triad_02.JPG
Summary: Sturdy, little stove. Definately would use over my
homemade model. I personally like the features. The legs keep
the stove well off the ground to avoid heatsink from the ground.
It is really easy to fill and to remove excess fuel. The legs are
straight and level and very sturdy with a .85, 1.12 and 1.5 litre pot.
Only real negative comments - little heavy, and poor welding.


p.s. apologize for the sanitary conditions of my kitchen! Really should
have scrubbed that pasta stain off my stove before picture. There
goes my reputation for good housekeeping as a young male bachelor.

Turk
2006-02-12, 16:26
Off topic but, thought I would mention anways. Thanks to whoever
thought of using nasal spray bottles to fill stoves. They work really
well, have a suberb seal and nest well inside my pot. Good idea!
For someone like me that is new to stoves and plans to use it
only for bad weather / as backup to woodfire, the nasal spray bottle
is perfect. The 4.1 oz bottles will give me 4 meals and I don't need
to carry any extra fuel bottles. With the vargo I can carry just a
20ml medicine cup. Pour excess fuel from the stove into that and
suck it back into the nasal spray bottle from there.

Iceman
2006-02-12, 20:39
Besides working great to fill your stove, can have the makings of a great gag! Not that I recommend borrowing someones nasal sproay or anything, but can you imagine the look on someones face after the fact?

Reminds me of the time when I was in highschool band, and a guy was sitting next to me using his eyedrops (probably to conceal the fact that he was stoned out of his mind...). I immediately picked up my valve oil bottle, and exclaimed "eye drops..? Where the hell is my valve oil!" My buddy spazzed and flailed about so much, you would have thought he actually just oiled his eye sockets.... I would have loved to see the alcohol up the nose, for sure!

oops56
2006-02-12, 22:59
I use a Elmer's glue bottle to prime some of my stoves plus a eye dropper its h--l to clean the bottle but it works plus if you put food coloring two or three drops its easy to see where you spell it if you do its the small glue bottle

weekender
2006-02-13, 12:52
Besides working great to fill your stove, can have the makings of a great gag! Not that I recommend borrowing someones nasal sproay or anything, but can you imagine the look on someones face after the fact?

Reminds me of the time when I was in highschool band, and a guy was sitting next to me using his eyedrops (probably to conceal the fact that he was stoned out of his mind...). I immediately picked up my valve oil bottle, and exclaimed "eye drops..? Where the hell is my valve oil!" My buddy spazzed and flailed about so much, you would have thought he actually just oiled his eye sockets.... I would hove loved to see the alcohol up the nose, for sure!
ha ha ha i would have loved to have seen that, if it was half as funny as the picture in my mind then it was good

Number7
2006-04-01, 22:58
I've had one of these for about a year now. I like it. I make a little inch x inch pan of alum foil that I put about 1/2 ml of fuel in and put that under the stove and light it. I set it just under the edge so that the flame licks up and over the side of the stove. Gets the stove going full bore in seconds.

Number7
2006-04-01, 23:03
I should add that in using this method I don't need to over fill the stove, or even fill it. For 500ml I put 10ml of fuel in the stove and 1/2 to 1ml in the little foil pan.

Of course I don't go out when it's cold, and in south texas you might guess what my idea of cold is. So, results may vary.