Trail Designs Ti Tri Sidewinder Inferno - first burn

After a somewhat harranging week, I thought I'd lighten the load yesterday by testing a couple of new additions to the kitbag.  The nice people at Trail Designs heard about my charity walk, and sent me a Ti Tri stove to accompany me on the mother of all trips in the summer.  They were great about walking me through all the options available - killer customer service.  In addition I purchased the inferno insert to amp up the wood burning option for the cone, since fuel versatility was key for me.

First the meths stove part - 300ml water at about 10 deg C, outside temp was about 15 (he says guessing - a warm spring evening at any rate) and no wind, took a fairly incredible 3m51s to come to a rolling boil.  Hardly a hill test, but a good, confidence inspiring one - the 'caldera cone' windshield/pot support is obviously doing a great job of funneling the heat.  Compared to the Whitebox Duo, the same amount of water would take a minute or so longer.

I really do love the Whitebox for its simplicity, but it fails badly on stability, especially for a larger 1.7ltr pot that T and I use together.  Here, the Caldera cone comes into its own...although you do have to make sure those ti pegs are ALL the way through.  Other than that its rock solid, its not going anywhere unless you fall into it.

I don't think that's the whole story though - part is down to the 900ml Evernew titanium pot that Bob at BPLUK had donated in support of me walking my legs off, his very last one in stock for the moment.  Alot has been written about these so I'll not go on, but its obviously a thing of beauty - measurements embossed on the side, heat proof handles, a flush lid that doesn't stick and so on.  It conducts heat like it wasn't there, and that must help with boil times. Tidy.

Next, the fire test.

The inferno insert is an additional cone that sits upside down inside the cone you see above.  The fire rests on a circular firegrate (kinda like chicken wire) and this combined contraption means the fire starts in a flash and burns like a mutha.  You can see all the bits and bobs on the TD website, and there are lots and lots of great vids on you tube as well, but this picture hopefully demonstrates how hot and efficient it can be. 

I don't have a picture of the ashes, but the pitch about the inferno component causing 'complete incineration' is pretty accurate - there was no wood left untorched, and I only had to blow on the fire once in 50mins. 

What I don't like so much, so far:
  • The lack of a caddy in the sidewinder is kinda annoying.  The cone, inferno and floor only just fit inside the evernew pot, inside a tyvek paper sheaf which I doubt will hold up to extended handling, and tyvek is very difficult to source in the UK.  I've made a new plastic container out of a 500ml water bottle, which doesn't fit in the pot but will keep soot off my other kit, and can be easily replaced when it breaks.  But, this kit does pack down very small and very light, so I shouldn't bellyache too much.
  • The cone, inferno and floor edges are super thin, and therefore quite sharp - care must be taken not to cut or damage yourself, or your gear.  Still, thin = light, and because its so thin its cools really fast so its ready to pack and go within a few minutes of the fire being extinguished.

So, a fair weather garden test is NOT a foul weather hill test, but I'm already really happy with this.  The modular nature of the stove means I can take meths, esbit or wood burning elements as required.  In the Pyrenees all 3 fuel types will come along - last time we used wood alot, and on a long trip a few extra gms of titanium will easily pay its way in saved liquid fuel weight.  Esbit will be the backup.

It may not come along to the Lakes in a couple of weeks, because there's another stove to look at, but I have a feeling ti tri and I are gonna be good friends... especially on that charity walk I'm doing.  Did I mention that already?