Model: Triad XE Stove
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
Solo hikers who prioritize cooking, convenience, and speed
» 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 Vargo Titanium Triad XE is a dual-fuel (alcohol / fuel tab) stove. The XE was designed for weight-conscious backpackers that recognize the advantages and disadvantages of burning denatured alcohol. Specifically, denatured alcohol does not burn as well in high altitude (generally over 11,000 feet) or very cold temperatures (below 20 degrees F). In these situations burning fuel tabs is recommended.
Characteristics of burning alcohol in the XE include intense heat during the priming stage and moderate heat once primed. Once primed the stove is very fuel efficient, using very little alcohol. In general, the XE can be used effectively in any condition, making it a stove that we believe sets a higher standard in ultralight hiking.
> removable inner container
> compact design
> retractable top and bottom legs
> easy to fill
> burn time: approx 12 minutes
> boils two cups of water in approximately 6 minutes
> fits any size pot (If you use a small diameter pot for cooking, such as a mug, simply fold the top legs in so that they rest against the top of the inner container)
WEIGHT: 1.7 oz.