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Trangia Alcohol Burner/Stove evaluation

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by WolfBrother, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. WolfBrother

    WolfBrother Active Member

    Jul 7, 2019
    Likes Received:
    I first posted this on another Forum in 2007

    Trangia Westwind Alcohol Stove Evaluation.

    Short version:
    IMNTBHO - This is a VERY GOOD BOB burner/stove. Using either Ever Clear grain alcohol or Denatured Alcohol from a paint store, it raised a quart of water from 69 degrees F to a rolling boil in 15 minutes. Packs light, small, and if using Ever Clear - you can drink the fuel.

    Long Version:
    Evaluation consists of Trangia alcohol burner and Westwind "stove".
    Trangia burner is about 3 inches in diameter and is about 3 inches tall.

    The Westwind "stove" is three flat shaped pieces of thin aluminum that hooks together to form a triangle that has a place to put the burner and put a pot on top of.

    Testing conditions:
    1 1/2 quart covered pot, slightly wider than tall - at room temperature.
    1 quart of water - temperature measured after sitting in the pot for 5 minutes. Pot was covered during heating tests except for 30 seconds every 5 minutes for temperature check.
    3 oz of alcohol in trangia burner positioned in Westwind stove.
    Time check - to fully vaporized flame and then
    Every 5 minutes until 30 minutes or rolling boil

    Tested fuel
    70 % Isopropyl Alcohol - purchased at a local Walgreens
    70 % Ethyl Alcohol (ETOH) - purchased at a local Walgreens
    Denatured Alcohol - purchased at a local Paint store
    190 proof Ever Clear - purchased at a local liquor store

    Test Results

    Time to heat stove before a fully vaporized flame appeared varied from 10+ minutes with the isopropyl alcohol to 8 minutes with the ETOH to less than a minute with either one of the other two.

    Isopropyl Alcohol - 30 minutes - 69 degrees to 197 degrees. Significantly noticeable fume smell
    ETOH - 30 minutes - 70 degrees to rolling boil. 25 minutes to 197 degrees. Significantly noticeable fume smell

    Denatured Alcohol - Ever Clear - identical results. No real noticeable fume smell
    5 minutes from 70 degrees to 100 degrees.
    10 minutes went from 100 degrees to 150 degrees
    15 minutes rolling boil.

    The Westwind triangle is not a good wind break. To effectively heat/cook with the burner, you'll need to provide a wind break or a lot of heat will blow away.

    Why do I think it should be in the BOB?

    1. In wet or cold or wet/cold weather the ability to have a warm to hot cup of water/tea/soup/whatever could be the difference between just being miserable and dead. Plus the occasional hot drink/food is a significant moral booster.
    2. It packs small and light.
    3. Most any alcohol will work in it - including whiskey/vodka/rum. It takes longer to get a fully vaporized flame but as it's getting going, you can too with the same alcohol.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  2. Atlas

    Atlas Administrator Staff Member

    Mar 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    Being able to use different fuels is a definite bonus with these types of stoves. Once a propane or butane canister is used up that's the end of that.

    Thank you for a good review.
    hypnos and twp like this.
  3. WolfBrother

    WolfBrother Active Member

    Jul 7, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Of course, an alcohol stove only works if you have alcohol. You always have to have a fuel. The nice thing about this is if you have access to the contents of an automotive store any and all alcohol based fuel additives/water absorbing additives will work. As well as the third squeezings of your Grandpappy's still
  4. Jerry D Young

    Jerry D Young Active Member

    Jul 14, 2016
    Likes Received:
    If you get a chance could you do a trial with HEET?

    I have been intending to get either the Trangia or the Esbit alcohol burner and an appropriate folding stove that can also use twigs and such. I need to measure and see if my water bottle/water bottle cup stove will accept the burner. It works great with just about any burnable material. I use a bit of the military gel fuel in a small screw top tin to get the wood (or other items) burning in the stove and then just keep feeding the wood in.

    Your review came at a great time, WoflBrother. Thank you.

    Just my opinion.
    hypnos, Atlas and twp like this.
  5. WolfBrother

    WolfBrother Active Member

    Jul 7, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Of the 4 forums I originally posted the review in only this one:
    is still an active forum.

    There were a number of "I just use HEET" comments.

    Looking up HEET ingredients - it's made of methanol.

    Methanol is a methane molecule (CH4) with one of the 4 binds being OH not H (CH3OH)

    Ethanol is an ethane molecule (C2H6) with one of the 6 H binds being OH not H (C2H5OH)

    Isopropyl is a propane molecule (C3H8) with one of the 8 H binds being OH not H (C3H7OH), the OH is shown to be bound to the middle C not either end C. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isopropyl_alcohol
    The bind location may have some physical chemistry effect on why it burns not as hot as Ethanol. (Denatured alcohol/Everclear)

    The big thing to worry about are what appear to be BLEVE type flare ups. The current logic is a drop or so of water or other liquid is on the inside, flashes to steam, and WHOOOOOOF you have a big flare up and possibly damage to the burner. Most folks say to prevent that, always start with a dry stove and fill it fresh. YMMV

    I will have to give HEET a try - I don't think I'd use it as a first choice - you can buy denatured alcohol where paint is sold pretty cheaply.
    hypnos, twp and Atlas like this.

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