Vargo Triad Titanium Alcohol Stove Review

For those of you who like ultralight and compact backpacking stoves, the Vargo Triad Alcohol Stove will do the trick.   Alcohol stoves are typically extremely lightweight, durable, quick and easy to use, and make for a perfect backpacking stove.vargo triad

The principle of alcohol stoves is to fill the center container, then light it and the heat will transfer to the metal. The metal then heats to the point that it gasifies the alcohol. The outer ring holes then create a burner effect from the alcohol.

Setup and Design Features

This Vargo Triad Titanium model looks like something you’d find in a survival experts backpack. It has a no frills look, but performs well in most situations. Obviously it’s a little more on the fiddly side than a tank connected burner. But it’s the trade-off you make for having such a small, and light stove.

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The stove does not come with a windscreen, but take a look at the photo below of the Vargo Titanium Windscreen (sold separately). The legs are pretty adept at stabilizing the stove on most terrains. You can have the stove lit within minutes from pulling it from your bag.

Comparison Information

Alcohol stoves do not boil water as fast as gas stoves. You are looking at around 10 minutes to boil a liter, opposed to the sub 5 minutes with gas stoves. The Triad is good at holding a large pot stably though, so you can load up a large pot safely.

Take a quick look at this introductory video from Vargo.  Super basic to use and very similar to the trangia spirit burner in setup and use.

Another plus point to the Vargo Triad is the lack of required maintenance. There are no external parts to worry about, and it’s easy to clean.  Prices range from $20 to $30.

Pros

  • Decent alcohol capacity.
  • Simple design, and robust construction.

    vargo windscreen

    Vargo Windscreen – sold separately

  • Sits stable on uneven ground easily.
  • Very strong, can support heavy pots.

Cons

  • Need a close windshield to protect the flame.
  • Making mistakes priming can prove hazardous with alcohol.
  • Doesn’t reach the heat level of regular fuel backpacking stoves.

Insider Tips

With alcohol stoves you need to be very careful with prepping the stove. If you’re careless and spill the alcohol it can be potentially dangerous. If you are new to alcohol stoves, I recommend you have a couple of trial runs at home.

Also don’t forget that it does not come with a windshield. In windy conditions it will be all but useless without some form of barrier against wind. Also, if you’re going to be out for a few days, take plenty of extra fuel as you cannot be completely sure how much you will use.

Vargo Triad Stove Summary

The Vargo Triad Titanium Alcohol Stove is one of the lightest stoves on the market, there is no question about that. The user feedback is largely positive, with the stove able to handle the cooking requirements of campers.

Conclusion

If you’re used to the usual gas or liquid backpacking stoves, you may have to take a small leap of faith on the alcohol stoves. But as a small, ultralight, and fun stove goes, this is up there with the best. Give the Vargo Triad and let me know what you think, I’d love to hear about it.

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