Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Caldera Cone

I used to be a naysayer of the Caldera Cone from Trail Designs but after some testing, I've become a convert.  Because it's an enclosed system, it is extremely efficient and since the windscreen doubles as a pot stand, it saves weight too.  This is probably one of the most creative designs I've seen for an alcohol stove cooking system and I look forward to doing more testing with different models.  Here's a quick look at a Caldera Cone for a Snowpeak 600 titanium mug.



I also have their titanium Ti-Tri which can be used as both an alcohol stove and a wood stove.  I will be testing that soon but in the meantime, here are the specs for the cone tested in the video for the Snowpeak 600:

Windscreen Weight:  1.3 oz.
Stove Weight:  0.5 oz.
Combined Weight:  1.8 oz.
The Caldera ConeSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

13 comments:

Odinius said...

Hi Jason, I live in France.
I used a caldera cone for my kettle MSR since 2 years.
I have a cone for my Tibetan mug 550 ml too.
Recently I bought a Ti tri ULC inferno for my Evernew 1.4L (ECA 403)or 0.9L (ECA 402).
It's a best solution for alcohol, esbit and wood stove simple or wood gas burner.
I love Caldera's cone.

baz carter said...

I'd be interested to hear how people store these as I find the idea of having to use a plastic box kinda defeats the idea some what. I cook eat and drink out of the same pot most of the time.

Robin said...

I have a Caldera cone The (Ti one), like it very much BUT I dont like having to store it in the plasic tube/box - it is very bulky. I thought I could use the container as a bowl but the cone is very sharp and it wasnt long before it cut through the container.
I'm actually thinking of switching to something else.

Robni
BackpackBaseCamp Blog

Sam said...

The dovetail joint is unacceptably fragile, in my opinion. Once it gets bent (inevitable) there is almost no way to bend it back to working order in the field. However I do like the models that pack into two parts and store inside the pot.

I have personally abandoned cones in favor of a homemade supercat stove, and use my pad as a windscreen.

Jason Klass said...

Robin,
The windscreen actually cut through the plastic container?

Robin said...

Yes, I have the Tri Ti Cone and it has edges that are very sharp. One time I didn't roll it up enough and it cut through the top of the plastic container (good bye cup). Mine also sticks to i have to stake the cone down or hold the cone (HOT!) to take out the cup sometimes.

Still a great product, I just don't like how much room it takes up.

Robin
BackpackBaseCamp Blog

Lyle said...

I used the Caldera cone concept and made my own cone out of titanium foil. The cone and stove have a combined weight of 9 grams (0.3 oz). I got the foil from a Ti windscreen sold by Backpacking Light. I use a super small cookpot also from BL (the trapper mug), so it can't boil more than 2 cups, but that is enough.

I also use the Ti foil to make a lid. It works great. The cone rolls up nice and can be put into the mug with the lid and stove. The stove is a tea-candle cup.

Pro-tip: use 190 proof Everclear for stove fuel for highest heat output per oz.

Robert said...

Lyle,

My first thought was "How can I make my own caldera cone?". So I would be very interested in any plans, measurements, etc. that you could share with those of us who enjoy making our own gear. One feature I really like is how the pot is supported simply by resting on its rim at the top of the cone. If I can get the measurements right, I'll be using this in conjunction with my Super Cat alcy stove and my Primus pot.

Robert said...

FYI, I found the answer to my question on the backpacking.net website. A very clear, concise, and helpful YouTube video detailing directions for making your own Caldera Cone.

Mac E said...

I switched to a cone windshield made using a script that was written by a member of the Outdoors Magic forums (it allows you to alter things like stove height, stove to pot clearance, pot diameter and height etc)

A cone is significantly more efficient than a wraparound windshield and means you don't need a pot stand, it's also very stable. I found that while it's theoretically better to have vents all the way around, in practice it's better to leave the windward side of the cone closed and bias the vents to the front (I think you commented on windshield vents facing to windward some time ago)

I've just made a cone from titanium foil (Titanium Goat) and there are pros/cons, the ti foil holds a fold much better than light alu foil but as mentioned it is pretty sharp, in addition I had to use a normal paper punch for the vents so couldn't bias large vents to the front, it's also heavier than 0.01mm alufoil. My complete system (built around a Mini Keg) now weighs 175g rather than 157g but I'll accept the extra weight in exchange for the increased rigidity/durability.

I don't use a plastic caddy as I use a Closed Cell Foam one which doubles as a cozy while offering some protection to the mini keg, the ti foil cone provides extra protection.

ChristianHiker said...

I have built many alcohol stoves in search of the perfect stove. But I really haven't found the perfect stove. The caldera is a good stove but I also have a hard time dealing with the wind screen. The small caldera that fits the fosterss beer can is about the best compermise I have seen for the solo hiker. The wood burning adaptation of the caldera is much like the bushbuddy, it leaves a build up of carbon on the bottom of the pot from burning wood. I don't like washing dishes especially after a long day.

Björn said...

Jason, did you move away from the tea light stove, if yes, why? I'm using the Caldera Cone since a few trips and am very satisfied, but I think about moving to the tea light stove because of the weight - my current cooking system weights all in all 9 ounces, and with a tea light stove I could reduce it to 3. You can never save that much alcohol, the tea light stove is also very efficient. So again, why are you unsatisfied with it?

Thanks and keep on the nice work.

Jason Klass said...

Hi Bjorn,
I have started to move away from the tea light stove mostly because I boil water for 2 now and the teal light is really more for solo use. If you're happy with your Caldera Cone, I's say stick with it. It's a great system and much more reliable than the tea light. It's plenty light.