Trangia Westwind Stove

 

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Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links
Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links

 

Trangia Westwing Stove

Price: $20.00 (www.thru-hiker.com)

Weight (manufacturer): 6.6 ounces

Weight (tested): 7.3 ounces. Burner = 2.4; Fuel cap = 0.8 ounces; Simmer cap = 0.9 ounces; Stand = 2.8 ounces; windscreen (homemade) = 0.4 ounces.

Fuel type: Alcohol

Capacity: 3 ounces

URL: www.trangia.se

 The Design

The Test

The Evaluation


Design:

The Trangia stoves have been the only manufactured alcohol stoves available for years. They are very well known for their rugged construction, reliability, and for their slow speed.

The stove itself is a double wall burner system that anyone can make using simple soda cans, but what makes it different is the fact it's made from an alloy that is much more durable and heavy, and has threads on the top so you can screw a fuel cap on - that way you can keep fuel in the stove between uses. The cap is simply a threaded cap with rubber gasket. Be careful to allow the stove to cool before putting the cap on or you may melt the gasket and screw up the seal.

The Cap has a simmer cap that snaps over the top for transport. This simmer cap is simply a "door" that can be swung over the stove burner to limit air into the stove and reduce heat. The simmer cap is very adjustable.

The Stand is made from a triangle of metal plates that the stove sits on. It is easy to put together and very rugged. The stand does not provide a wind screen, so you must make one.

To use the stove you put the stand together, then the stove slips down into the stand where notches have been cut to make the stove a very stable and solid structure when together. Fill the reservoir up to about where the neck for the filler starts, then light it and put the pot on - very simple. Once you achieve boil you can put the simmer cap on to snuff the flame or leave the "door" of the simmer cap open to the desired simmer level. When your done, just let the stove cool and put the fuel cap on to save remaining fuel for later.

Tear it down by removing the stove and putting the simmer cap on top of the fuel cap. Take the stand apart to store it flat.

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The Test

O.K. now for the numbers.

Weight:

Tests

Standards:

1.       2 cups of water at room temperature 75 degrees.

2.       Pot used is a Snow Peak 720ml titanium pot with lid.

3.       Stove used the windscreen made from doubled over aluminum foil secured with a paperclip..

4.       The fuel reservoir was filled with 90 ml of denatured alcohol. The stove weight was measured before and after each test. Start weight of burner, stand, simmer cap, and fuel was 8.6 ounces.

5..       Starting time was when the stove was lit.

6.        The stove was snuffed upon achieving true boil.

7.       The stove was placed in the freezer between tests to completely cool the stove and fuel to better simulate field conditions.

8.       Barometric pressure here was 30.15, the boiling point was determined to be 212.43 degrees.

9.    Altitude is 90 meters above sea level.

10.   For temperature readings, a Thermocouple was used hooked to a digital multimeter. Accuracy +/- 3.5 degrees.

11.   Air temperature was 75 degrees with the stove fan running to simulate a light wind.  

12.   Scale used was a Royal EX3. Accuracy +/- 0.1 ounces.

Temperature Test 1 Test 2 Test 3 Test 4 Test 5 Test 6
150˚ 375 sec 360 sec 350 sec 335 sec 330 sec 325 sec
175˚ 470 sec 450 sec 435 sec 420 sec 415 sec 405 sec
200˚ 530 sec 420 sec 510 sec 495 sec 485 sec 480 sec
212.5˚ 580 sec 565 sec 555 sec 535 sec 525 sec 520 sec
Start Weight 8.6 ounces 8.1 ounces 7.7 ounces 7.3 ounces 6.9 ounces 6.5 ounces
End Weight 8.1 ounces 7.7 ounces 7.3 ounces 6.9 ounces 6.5 ounces 6.1 ounces
Estimated Fuel consumption 15 ml 15 ml 15 ml 15 ml 15 ml 15 ml

Some conclusions based on these tests.

1. Based on the stove serving as a fuel container I had to slightly change my testing method. Instead off adding fuel for each test, I filled it up to maximum amount then tested to see how many true boils I could get from that fuel.

2. My scale has an accuracy of +/- 0.1 ounces so a true volume couldn't be derived from simply weighing the stove after each test. Instead filling the stove with a known amount and seeing how many boils were possible ended up being a better standard and would be more in-line with the recommended method of using this stove.

3. Since the Trangia isn't a pressurized stove, the reducing times to boil with lower fuel volumes is expected. Actual fuel usage was lower than I predicted before the test. I assumed I would need about 18 -24 ml to boil, but 15 ml average was amazing. This makes the Trangia one of the most fuel efficient alcohol stoves I've ever tested.

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Using my time Hiking vs. Weight scenario here are the numbers:

Red = Worst performer

Yellow = #3 Performer

Blue = #2 performer

Green = Best performer

**Note. For purposes of this illustration I am considering my fuel bottle a 20 ounce soda bottle. The example shows making two hot meals a day.

14 Day Hike Brasslite Duo Stove Weight: Trangia Westwind Brasslite Solo Stove Weight: MSR Pocket Rocket Weight:
Hiking Day 1.0 ounces fuel a day 0.8 ounces fuel a day (30 ml) 1.0 ounces fuel a day .6 ounces fuel a day
Day 1 16.6 19.1 16.4 15.9 ounces
Day 2 15.6 18.3 15.4 15.3 ounces
Day 3 14.6 17.5 14.4 14.7 ounces
Day 4 13.6 16.7 13.4 14.1 ounces
Day 5 12.6 15.9 12.4 13.5 ounces
Day 6 11.6 15.1 11.4 12.9 ounces
Day 7 10.6 14.3 10.4 12.3 ounces
Day 8 9.6 13.5 9.4 11.7 ounces
Day 9 8.6 12.7 8.4 11.1 ounces
Day 10 7.6 11.9 7.4 10.5 ounces
Day 11 6.6 11.1 6.4 9.9 ounces
Day 12 5.6 10.3 5.4 9.3 ounces
Day 13 4.6 9.5 4.4 8.7 ounces
Day 14 (fuel for one meal left) 3.6 8.7 3.4 8.1 ounces
Base (out of fuel) 3.1 8.3 2.9 7.9 ounces
Total Weight over 14 days 141.4 194.9 ounces 138.6 158.0 ounces

I've compared the Trangia to the two newcomers in manufactured stoves - the Brasslite Solo and Duo. Even though the Trangia is more fuel efficient, it's higher base weight is an anchor dragging it down when comparing overall weight over time. To make a Trangia competitive it would have to reduce it's base weight to 3.5 ounces with stand and windscreen.

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Trail Test

I have not tested this part yet.

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Conclusion

The Trangia teaches us a lesson similar to "The Rabbit vs. the Hair" in alcohol stove fuel economy. A rapid firing stove will need more energy although it takes less time to achieve a boil; while a slow burning stove like the Trangia will do it slower but with less fuel. When your hiking, why does it matter how fast your stove boils? What does matter is making it with less weight and/or fewer re-supply stops. A more efficient stove means longer between re-supplies or a lower weight per day.

How does that impact the Trangia? Well if you could ditch the stand on the Westwind and make one from something like Hardware cloth, then you could get the weight down to about 3.9 ounces, very close to my predicted weight for competitive fuel efficiency. And if your stand is smaller, your windscreen will be smaller - saving some more weight. The Brasslite stoves would still be more weight efficient over time, but the Trangia Westwind could be a close competitor at a lower price.

My recommendation - well if price is no object and you want a low weight alcohol stove already made, get the Brasslite Solo. If you want a light weight stove already made - get a Westwind and make a hardware cloth stand and an aluminum foil windscreen.

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Hall of Honor Recipients for this page

John Hussey