Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Trail Designs Caldera Keg-F Stove System

An integrated burner, pot, and heat exchanger sized for solo hikers.

Brand: Trail Designs

Model: Caldera Keg-F Stove System


Verdict

We’ve loved the Reactor system—which integrates a burner, pot, and heat exchanger for superfast and efficient performance—since it won our 2007 Editors’ Choice Award. This new 1-liter version is ideal for solo hikers. I used it on a nine-day, 200-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail and burned through only half an 8-ounce canister (cooking breakfast and dinner for one). Boil times averaged less than two minutes in temps down to 30°F. The puck-shaped burner nestles securely into the tall aluminum pot. The stove burns ultrahot (there’s virtually no simmer) and the pot lacks a nonstick coating, so it’s best for boiling water or heating up simple meals like ramen. $170; 14.5 oz.; msrgear.com

Best For

Solo hikers who prioritize cooking, convenience, and speed

Tester Data

» Brian Mockenhaupt (other tester: Kristin Hostetter)

» Duration Aug. to Jan.

» Locales/conditions WA, MA; 30°F to 70°F; wind, rain

» “The add-on Reactor Coffee Press Kit ($20; 1.7 oz.) let me easily make my brew right in the pot.” The Caldera Keg-F Stove System utilizes the popular Caldera conical windscreen. It is designed to support and completely surround the supplied (recycled Australian) pot, and completely capture 100% of the heat produced by the supplied alcohol (or optional solid fuel) stove. The system includes all the pieces you see here and is designed to provide the ultimate in wind protection, fuel efficiency and stability for the ultralight backpacker. (Optional insulated stuff-sack also available)

When you buy something using the retail links in our stories, we may earn a small commission. We do not accept money for editorial gear reviews. Read more about our policy.