The Trail Designs Caldera Cone Stove is a development of a basic methylated spirits burner, and it is ideal if low weight is your top priority when backpacking. It is based around a simple meths burner weighing in at just 16g. To improve efficiency an aluminium cone is placed around the burner to block wind and to direct heat onto the base of the pan that fits in the top of the cone. This is an ingenious design. Other gas stoves may be lighter, but they will often need an additional windbreak as well as a heavy gas canister, so their weight benefit is deceptive. The MSR Titanium Titan Kettle is being used here but you can purchase a cone to fit other pots as well. Performance is very basic though, as you simply pour methylated spirits into the burner and light it, with no facility to raise or lower the flame. Boil times are relatively slow too, so expect around 7 minutes to boil a half litre of water compared to just 3 minutes for many other stoves. But if saving weight is your priority then the Trail Designs Caldera Cone Stove is an excellent choice.
Fuel type methylated spirits
Includes cone pan support and windbreak
Packed size 12x16cm
Weight 16g (burner), 34g (windshield), 130g (pot) plus fuel
The Trail Designs Caldera Cone Stove stove is the best lightweight option we looked at.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 201