Stove Review: Vargo Triad versus Super Cat

I’m one of those guys that is always tweaking his gear, so imagine my joy when I recently found a Summit Hut gift certificate in my car.  How I managed to not spend it before, I don’t know, but I wasn’t going to make that mistake twice!  Off to the store I went.  One of the items that caught my eye was the Vargo Triad Titanium Alcohol Stove.  My homemade Super Cat has replaced my MSR gas stoves on my solo hikes, and I’ve been wanting to check out some of the manufactured stoves to see if they are better than my DIY project.

The Triad cost $29.95, and as you can see from the video (or just skip right down to the table), it isn’t worth the money in my book!  I am looking for gear that is lighter, smaller, and more efficient.  I’m also a big fan of multiple use gear.  The Triad pretty much fails on all counts.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a well made stove and a good choice if you don’t want to make your own, but it isn’t what I was looking for.

A couple of notes on the test.  I used one liter of water for the boiling time test.  This is way more than I ever boil at one time in the field.  A typical meals needs maybe half that and both stoves will boil a pint or so in about six to eight minutes.  My 4-day fuel and weight calculations assume I can extinguish the stoves and save all unused fuel.  In the real world, there is going to be spillage and waste so the Triad will likely provide a few more ounces of weight savings than indicated.  That still isn’t enough to tip the scales in the Triad’s favor, but YMMV.

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About the Author: Tucson, AZ Realtor & Investor. My true passions however are hiking and whisky (although generally not at the same time). If you have a question about any of these just drop me a line!

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