Review of new Alcohol cookset.

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Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:34 am

I recently picked up one of THESE cooksets from Swisslink. The cookset is a chinese knockof of the swedish optimus 77 stormcooker. It is similar to a proper trangia set but for a fraction of the cost! :D
Here it is all closed up. There is a pleather strap to hold it together that is not shown.
Image
Take the lid off: All of the contents are nested.
Image
Everything spread out:
Image
The burner is similar to a standard consumer trangia. It is a little lighter and is of slightly lower quality. It functions well.
Here the burner pieces are assembled:
Image
The larger of the two pots will easily hold a quart. The other is slightly smaller.
The spodonical (pot grabber) (don't ask) is almost exactly like my MSR one. It's well made.
Here the larger pot is fitted:
Image
The "frypan" is a lid for the pots:
Image
This kit would be a good upgrade from the mil cookset in terms of weight. It's also a little mor normal in terms of pot shape. There are a couple of problems though:
The seal in the lid is not an o-ring. It seems to be some sort of "gasket maker" type squirted in material as a result it is impossible to extinguish the stove with the cap without damaging it (melting the gasket) On a normal trangia burner, you could just pull out the o-ring and use the brass cap.
There is no simmer ring (Which is what you would use on a trangia to extinguish the stove) I would suggest adding a proper trangia simmer ring to this kit.
The pots are mated to the set so you pretty much have to use these pots only.(not really a big deal) The pots are smooth aluminum so watch it with really acidy foods, and clean them promptly or they will turn into junk.
Here's a vid:
Image
The trangia pot supports maximize the oxygen to the burner while minimizing heat loss due to wind. These kits actually burn hotter with a slight breeze!
I boiled a quart of cold tap water in 7 minutes.

Bottom line: A good cook system for the price.
All the best!
-Paul

"A rifle behind every blade of grass?"
"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Flying Lead » Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:02 am

Nice looking kit, but kind of large.
What's the measurements when it's all put together for travel?

Thanks for the review!
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:04 am

I'm not sure... I'll get some precise measurements when I get home. The burner is the exact same size as a consumer trangia if that helps. There seems to be a push in the backpacking market for solo pots that are little more than mugs. IMHO they push the boundaries of practical cooking gear.
All the best!
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"A rifle behind every blade of grass?"
"No, but any blade of grass"

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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by toyotaman » Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:13 pm

How much does that kit weigh?

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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:01 am

1.5lbs dry weight.
The fry pan is about 8 inches in diameter, though the pot tapers to 5 inches at the other side. Collapsed, the set is 4 inches tall.
All the best!
-Paul

"A rifle behind every blade of grass?"
"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:04 am

111t wrote:The trangia pot supports maximize the oxygen to the burner while minimizing heat loss due to wind. These kits actually burn hotter with a slight breeze!
I boiled a quart of cold tap water in 7 minutes.

Bottom line: A good cook system for the price.
Thanks for the good write up and photos. What's the approximate fuel consumption? How many quarts of water could I boil with a pint of fuel?
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Wed Aug 20, 2008 6:54 pm

phil_in_cs wrote:
111t wrote:The trangia pot supports maximize the oxygen to the burner while minimizing heat loss due to wind. These kits actually burn hotter with a slight breeze!
I boiled a quart of cold tap water in 7 minutes.

Bottom line: A good cook system for the price.
Thanks for the good write up and photos. What's the approximate fuel consumption? How many quarts of water could I boil with a pint of fuel?
I went and did a test. I carefully measured 12 ounces of SLX denatured alcohol. In real world terms this is 1 swedish military fuel bottle plus the fuel that would store in the burner. The burner held approximately 1/3 of the alcohol, giving it a maximum capacity of roughly 4oz. I was able to boil 4 quarts per fill-up. This was to a rolling boil where steam was observed scooting out from under the lid. The first quart took between 9 and 10 minutes. The remaining 3 quarts per fill up took between 5 and 6 minutes each. This beat my 7 minute brag time from the previous post. I attribute this to the fact that the burner had to get up to the boiling point of the alcohol for the first quart. It was already hot and burning for the remaining three.
The water i used was cold tap water. The stove was left lit between pots and the pot was emptied and run under cold water to make it cool before re-filling with cold water. All in all it burned for roughly 90 minutes on 12 ounces of fuel, It boiled 12 quarts of water. Therefore fuel consumption was roughly .13oz per minute. The test was conducted under controlled, wind free conditions. Normally with a stove test this would mean that one should expect lower performance in the field. The trangia type system however, is designed to maximize performance with a slight breeze. Theoretically, the heat output and fuel consumption should increase. Like the trangia system, the vents on the side of the base of this stove are meant to face towards the wind and funnel air up past the burner:
Image
This is an illustration of a trangia kit, but the principal is the same.
The flame is completely enclosed thereby maximizing heat transfer like an alcohol jetboil.
The air was pretty still here tonight. I thought about simulating a breeze with a boxfan... but thought it would be too stove-nerdy. :roll:

One point to note regarding this test is that flat out boiling three gallons of water is not quite a real world scenario. Filling the burner with a smaller amount of alcohol should result in less warm up time as there is less alcohol to boil.
Last edited by 111t on Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
All the best!
-Paul

"A rifle behind every blade of grass?"
"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Y.T. » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:07 pm

thanks for doing such a comprehensive test and review. :)
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Flying Lead » Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:35 pm

Four inches by eight, that's not bad at all. The pics gave me the impression it was about 5 inches tall and the pan about 10-12 inches. Those Trangia burners are a little heavy, but very dependable and bullet proof. I have a couple of Swedish stainless mess sets with them and while heavy, they work well.
Super review, thanks! :mrgreen:
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:24 am

Flying Lead wrote:Four inches by eight, that's not bad at all. The pics gave me the impression it was about 5 inches tall and the pan about 10-12 inches. Those Trangia burners are a little heavy, but very dependable and bullet proof. I have a couple of Swedish stainless mess sets with them and while heavy, they work well.
Super review, thanks! :mrgreen:
It gives the impression of sort of a "fat boy-scout mess kit." In terms of size when collapsed. I'll post some pics.
All the best!
-Paul

"A rifle behind every blade of grass?"
"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:58 am

Image
So this is my old boy scout mess kit on the left... the collapsed alcohol cooker on the right.
Image
All the best!
-Paul

"A rifle behind every blade of grass?"
"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Slugg » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:03 pm

did you order it?? or did u pick it up in a store?? how much?
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:06 pm

The linky was sort of imbeded in the first post...

here it is again, free of its simplified camoflage:

http://www.swisslink.com/products/produ ... =416&sid=3" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

What's interesting is the photo shows the kit assembled wrong. There are no instructions with it. I wonder if the people who copied it off the optimus design really understood what they were doing. The box has the same photos as the web site. It notes the kit as being "built tough for australian conditions"
It was 19.95 plus shipping. It's a friggin steal at that price. The only thing i can think of cheaper is possibly a swedish military kit. (AS SEEN HERE AT CHEAPER THAN DIRT) Those are heavier and the windscreen isn't as good. Also, you can use the military burner with this kit by setting it under the normal stove support. It would give you a longer burn time per fill up. Something to consider if you have a few of those lying around.


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I swear I don't work for these guys...

-Paul
(Who will be able to cook properly well into the PAW.)
Last edited by 111t on Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
All the best!
-Paul

"A rifle behind every blade of grass?"
"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
Bushcraft/Dayhiking Kit
Three season 72 Hour Kit
Ledmark alcohol cookset!!!
New Production Kerosene Pressure Stoves!!!
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Flying Lead » Fri Sep 12, 2008 12:20 am

I got one today from a guy on ebay. Well built but a little heavy. Noticed the burner is 1/3 smaller than my Trangia and has less burner holes. Of course we had to boil water, so with 1.5 pts of water at 70 degree water and 74 ambient time was a smidge under 5 minutes. A Swedish mess kit with Trangia will boil a liter in less than 4 minutes so it's not nearly as hot. But this shows 2 advantages. Noticed MUCH better fuel mileage and this slower burn is a lot better for frying and heating meals. The Trangia needs to have the pot held off the windscreen to keep from burning food so while the Trangia is a much better heat source, but the new mess kit will be the heat for cooking. Really better for something that needs lower heat like frying eggs.
It would be a bit heavy in a BOB but a car/truck BOB or dayhike with the load split between 2 folks it would work great. Bugging in would also be a possibility as it has 2 nice bowl/pots and a pan. Cooking a couple of different dishes for 3-4 people is well within it's capability.
All in all I think it's a great bit of kit.
Also bought the lightweight Swisslink kettle. Nice little pot, holds just less than a quart I'm guessing. But it's too small for the Swisslink pot stand as it sits too deep in the stand and cuts off air coming out and the burner gets extinguished. Tried the burner upside down but the windscreen has only a few holes and the fire is not very hot and would take forever to heat. After turning the stand back over to the correct position I stuck a couple of lightweight tent pegs in the holes in the pot stand and the kettle now works great.
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1911nufsaid wrote:I'm not implying you, or anyone on the forum for that matter, is a 'end of world' nut job.
Woods Walker wrote:If their shit was any tighter the carbon within would be turned to diamonds.
Put me down for M14, XD45 and Pie

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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Y.T. » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:04 pm

I want to again thank 111t for all the awesome info on this cookset, including the thoroughness of the tests and the explanations. You've really helped me decide on the right kit for my needs, I couldn't have done it without your posts. :)

Definitely check out his other thread for a cheap simple way to modify this set into a higher quality one, as well as how to modify it for gas fuel:
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=36923" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
There's much helpful into on a comparison of this set with a traditional mil surplus set here:
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 14&t=39306" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

And check out his videos which quickly and clearly show how to correctly assemble and use the kit: Image
Image
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Y.T. » Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:19 pm

Flying Lead wrote:Also bought the lightweight Swisslink kettle. Nice little pot, holds just less than a quart I'm guessing. But it's too small for the Swisslink pot stand as it sits too deep in the stand and cuts off air coming out and the burner gets extinguished. Tried the burner upside down but the windscreen has only a few holes and the fire is not very hot and would take forever to heat. After turning the stand back over to the correct position I stuck a couple of lightweight tent pegs in the holes in the pot stand and the kettle now works great.
I'm assuming you mean this Trangia kettle?
do you have the .6L, .9L, or 1.4L capacity? the 25-series size or the 27-series size?

ETA: or did you get the knockoff kettle?

I noticed here and here (scroll down) that the Trangia kettle sometimes comes as part of larger Trangia kits and nestles in with the pots. Can you do the same with your kettle in the knockoff set? (packing it in with the rest of the kit) or do you have to store it separately? Since the size of the Ledmark pots and windscreen is very similar to the Trangia 25 series I thought one of the Trangia kettles might also fit the Ledmark kit.

(edited last bit to be more clear)
Last edited by Y.T. on Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:36 pm

I don't think the ledmark kettle would work with the ledmark kit the way the trangia kettle works with the trangia kit. Flying Lead seems to confirm what i would suspect. The ledmark kit lacks the little hinged pot support thingies that you see in the trangia system. The pots nest together in such a way that there is a narrow sliver of air around the pots. This contains and protects the flame while channeling most of the heat to the pot. This is why the pots are tapered giving the ledmark its great disco shape. I don't have a problem boiling water in the pots. The lid fits nicely. They should say that the system isn't compatible though. The tent peg idea is a great work around! :D
All the best!
-Paul

"A rifle behind every blade of grass?"
"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
Bushcraft/Dayhiking Kit
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Ledmark alcohol cookset!!!
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...4 words for you: deaf. amish. zombie killer.
...3 more words: machine. gun. leg.

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-- said by a quite awesome friend
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Location: Arizona, where the plants try to kill you and the sun tries to boil you alive

Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Y.T. » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:07 pm

111t wrote:I don't think the ledmark kettle would work with the ledmark kit the way the trangia kettle works with the trangia kit.
oh yeah, I realized my post above was confusing so I reworded it just now. I wouldn't expect the Ledmark kettle to nestle in the Ledmark cookset, but I thought the Trangia kettle might since the Ledmark cookset is very similar in size to the Trangia 25 cookset. Though, as you said the Ledmark has a tapered shape while the Trangia is more rounded and the kettle might not sit in there as a result.
111t wrote: I don't have a problem boiling water in the pots.
I haven't had a problem boiling in pots either, but have often found myself wanting a kettle when camping, such as for tea/cocoa. :) Pours more easily and seems to heat faster due to the shape. So I figured I'd ask.

ETA: though now that I look at the pictures again, the Ledmark kettle and Trangia kettle are practically the same size and shape so it wouldn't make any difference. I'm just being retarded, ignore me. :lol:
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by 111t » Tue Jan 06, 2009 7:16 pm

Y.T. wrote:
111t wrote:I wouldn't expect the Ledmark kettle to nestle in the Ledmark cookset, but I thought the Trangia kettle might since the Ledmark cookset is very similar in size to the Trangia 25 cookset. Though, as you said the Ledmark has a tapered shape while the Trangia is more rounded and the kettle might not sit in there as a result.
The ledmark pots rest by the rim at the top of the pot inside the windscreen. There is a small space between the top of the burner and the bottom of the pot. Even if the pot was small, if nothing held it up and allowed the air flow to flow up and out of the vent holes at the top, the stove would snuff out.

I should have mentioned that before. you can see the weight bearing ledge thingie on each pot and the frypan.

Image

Flying Lead put tentpegs through some of the holes seen here in the lower part of the windscreen:
Image
and into the ground. This will allow a kettle to sit above the burner, without snuffing it out
All the best!
-Paul

"A rifle behind every blade of grass?"
"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by wpick » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:31 am

Good Morning All

Sorry to do this, but there's another alcohol stove system you might want to look at.

It's the caldara cone stove system and the ti-tri system. Essentially, it's the jet boil version of an alcohol and solid fuel tab stoves <http://www.traildesigns.com/products01.html>

As you can see, it doesn't come with it's own pot, you provide that. I like that because I already have an MSR .85 L pot that fits perfectly. The Caldara comes with everything else, including a plastic carry case that doubles as a 1 Liter plastic glass and small bowl and only weighs 6.5 oz (w/ pot).

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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Jamie » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:50 am

I've played with these stoves, but they work less well in really cold weather, which is when I need my stove the most, so I only plan on using mine in the warm months...

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...4 words for you: deaf. amish. zombie killer.
...3 more words: machine. gun. leg.

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-- said by a quite awesome friend
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Y.T. » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:24 pm

nfa wrote:I've played with these stoves, but they work less well in really cold weather, which is when I need my stove the most, so I only plan on using mine in the warm months...
do you have the Trangia brand or the knockoff?

can you share more about what doesn't work as well?
is it the burner itself? (many people have reported that it has to be warmed up first in cold temps)
does the aluminum disperse the heat too quickly?
does it take too long to get hot? too long to cook? doesn't stay hot long enough? burns through fuel too quickly?

wpick wrote:It's the caldara cone stove system and the ti-tri system. Essentially, it's the jet boil version of an alcohol and solid fuel tab stoves http://www.traildesigns.com/products01.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I saw that when I was browsing around. how sturdy is it? some of the elements looked kinda fragile, like the "caddy" which just looks like an empty disposable water bottle. Or is this a case of simple stuff still working well. Since it's mostly recycled parts it looks like a resourceful person could make something very similar if they wanted to spend some time with tools.

btw, fixed the link for you. ZS doesn't take html, just BBC (use the buttons at the top whenever you make a post).
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Squirrley » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:15 pm

All these kind of alcohol stoves don't work so hot in the winter, or at altitude, since they run off of vaporized alcohol. That means the inside of the stove needs to be hot and have sufficient pressure built up, and that means that at high altitudes or at lower temperatures the alcohol doesn't vaporize as well, giving you a weaker/colder flame. I've tried building a small fire out of kindling under my stove before, that seems to help a little bit, if you have a stove that can be propped off the ground by an inch or two.
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Re: Review of new Alcohol cookset.

Post by Y.T. » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm

Squirrley,
yeah, it seems all acohol stoves suffer from the same issues. some are better than others. my question was really about the problems nfa had with this specific stove over others.
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