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- ".... the one piece of
kit that has stayed with me since I first got hold of one in 2010 is
the Trail Designs Caldera Cone or Sidewinder system. Simple, nothing to break, nothing to fix, light, efficient, bombproof and compact."
Keith Foskett's answer to the question: "What one piece of gear would you never leave without" in winning the Liebster Award
- "I just returned from a 24 night backpacking walk along the entire coast of the Islands of the Scottish Outer Hebrides. The
sidewinder Ti-Tri performed perfectly and was a pleasure to use, it
needed surprisingly little meths and in this wet, windy and cool part of
the world it was comforting to never be more than a few minutes from a
cup of Earl Grey tea! Thank you for a great product.
John Collister - in an email to Trail Designs
- "Trail Designs have
been the masters of lightweight hiking stoves for some time. They
combine great performance, in all conditions, but remain very light,
tough, and pack small......This is a great stove that I highly recommend
for solo hikers looking for a light and efficient setup."
Tramplite's Travels - customer review
- "My wife and
myself recently completed the GR5 – 1500 miles from the
Hook of Holland to Nice. We wild camped nearly every night for 4 ½
months and used the Caldera stove every day. It was absolutely fantastic
and I can honestly not think of any other stove available that would
have been as good."
Peter Lloyd - customer review at Ultralight Outdoor Gear
extensive use of the Caldera Cone System in the field, I highly
recommend it. This cooking system is extremely light, easy to use, and
highly efficient. It's a great piece of gear for any lightweight
Dave Collins - Founder of CleverHiker.com
- "Unless you guys plan on installing a miniature cold fusion reactor in
one of your cones, I expect this will my last purchase, as it pretty
well fits the bill. These have been brilliantly and elegantly designed
products, and I am pleased to have been a customer."
Duane Hall - in an email to Trail Designs
- "Having used it successfully on last year's
TGO Challenge and on the Pacific Northwest Trail, I'm sticking with the
Caldera Ti-Tri Inferno (for his 1200km Scottish Watershed hike)"
Chris Townsend - TGO's June 2013 "How to go Lightweight"
- "After building my first cooking fire on a 1956 Boy Scout Camporee, and then wandering for over 50 years through the wilderness of white gas, butane, and iso-butane stoves, I feel as though I've arrived in the promised land every time I light up my Caldera cone."
John Joyner - in an email to Trail Designs
- "As far as the Caldera Cones, I love them..... these are beautiful pieces of kit. But, it doesn’t
stop with just looking good, they also perform just as beautifully. They
block wind better than any other windscreen I have made, functions as
both the windscreen and the pot stand, and are simple to use. No real
parts to break on these things..."
Stick - Stick's blog May 3, 2013
- "I took my new ti-tri sidewinder with inferno in the Evernew 1.3 Liter
pot out last weekend for the first time. I couldn't be happier with my
new system! I was particularly happy with the inferno. I also have a
competitor's wood stove and the inferno is dramatically better! The wide
inverted cone allows enough fuel to easily get a fire started and
instead of wanting to go out like my other stove, this baby wants to
burn! After cooking, all that was left was white ash. The alcohol and
Esbit systems also work beautifully. Thanks for making such a wonderful
product! It is truly a joy to use."
James (Roger) Harris - email to Trail Designs
- "Caldera Ti-Tri Cone....the holy grail of cooking setups. Can use wood, alcohol or esbit! (Trail Designs)...builds a piece of Ti into the windscreen that also supports your pot....the design and execution of the product is spot on."
Chase Norton - First Person to Hike the Koolau Summit
- "...the Caldera system preformed flawlessly during the entire trip."
North Star and Shutterbug- read their Ti-Tri review from the PCT
- "The TrailDesigns Sidewinder
is truly a magical cooking accessory. A pot stand and wind screen built
into one. It rolls up and fits inside of my pot. Super easy.
HikeLighter.com - 12 Favorite Pieces of Hiking Gear for 2012
- #3 Caldera GVP Cone Kit (stove) - Uses either alcohol
or solid Esbit fuel. Light and efficient. I often consider bring one of
my other stoves, but this is the one I usually take trip after trip. The
Caldera Cone Systems are made by Trail Designs and I have several, but
the GVP is my favorite.
Popupbackpacker.com - Favorite Hiking Gear for 2012
- "My Evernew 900ml wide pot and Sidewinder Inferno set-up...In wood mode it's awesome. Before this set-up I was a dedicated
Bushbuddy guy but after this weekend I'm converted to the Sidewinder
Inferno..... I cannot recommend this system enough and I really think it will trump all my other stove sets now."
Nathan Stuart in a 8/12/12 BPL Review
- "One of my Trekkers forgot to pack their Pocket Rocket for their 3 person
cooking crew. I took extra fuel and boiled my water then added more
water and just kept on until all 4 folks had dinner. All in a solo
cookpot and your Ti-Tri in alcohol mode. Unbelievable!!!"
Reggie Garrett in an email to Trail Designs discussing his 7 day trip on the CT
- "The Caldera Cone system by Trail Designs has been around for a while but
far from being threatened by other newer designs, it still holds its
ground and it's the other manufacturers still trying to make up the
ground and come up with something as brilliant. It ticks all the right
boxes for a backpacking stove: it's light, compact, beautifully simple,
durable, efficient and relatively cheap."
Keith Foskett writing from the AT
- "The best alcohol stove/windscreen system I’ve used so far is the Trail Designs Caldera Cone, which burns very efficiently."
sectionhiker's backpacking stove review
- "I just purchased the Sidewinder Ti-Tri with the Evernew 600 Ultralight. ...... The features that make this very light-weight
product stand out is its simplicity. It is also dead quiet - no furious
gas burning sounds, no knobs to turn off.....just use it, blow it
out....and you're done. Love it, and well done."
Jason Quick in a 6/15/12 email to Trail Designs
- "I can clearly see that the Trail Designs Guys have been in the Game for awhile. The design and products used are seamless.
Barefoot Jake's June 2012 Sidewinder Review
- "...you and your team represent the best of the American Spirit......I don't know who is second in the field of lightweight camping equipment, but you guys are way ahead of them. Thank
you for your ingenuity, creativity, and hard work - all of us who use,
admire, and respect your products are glad we exist at a time when you
all are creating things for us. Thanks for what you do."
George Simmions in a 5/13/12 email to Trail Designs
- "Your Caldera Cone Tri-Ti (classic model) has been with me (from) the
bottom of the Grand Canyon to the 12,700' passes along the CDT.......... it has always performed well! I have about loved this thing to death. :)
J.Patrick Bowers in a 3/24/12 email to Trail Designs
- "Overall, I prefer the Ti-Tri Sidewinder Cone because of it's lighter
weight, greater capacity, better packability, wind resistance, better
stability, and ability to run equally well on wood and non-wood fuels.
Particularly where I live where wood fire bans are a fact of life, the ability to run equally well on wood and non-wood fuels is key. Moreover, I would think that for anyone who camps both above and below
tree line that the Ti-Tri Sidewinder Cone would be the wood burning stove
Hikin' Jim's Comparision of the Ti-Tri vs the BushBuddy
- "Got the Caldera Cone system last week. Got to try them all out last Friday in
the hills and had great success - boiling 300ml of water faster than my
mates Group Cooking Jetboil !!!! - was very windy and the Jetboil didn't seem to cope
Phil Hodge in a 2/21/12 email to Trail Designs
"There are an enormous number of stoves available, but at the moment the clear favorite in terms of boil time and wind resistance is the Trail Designs Caldera Cone."
1/24/12 BPL Review
"There was one piece of gear I didn't want to compromise on and that was a stove. Trail Designs' Caldera Cone System is fantastic. It is beautifully simple, light, efficient, well-constructed and bulletproof."
Page 341 - The Last Englishmen by Keith Foskett
- "....my pick for an alcohol stove, a complete system, the Caldera Cone......for
my money, the Caldera Cone ultralight stove system is a dang good one."
Hikin' Jim - reviews the Caldera Cone
- "First and foremost I think this is a great piece of kit! I am really
impressed with the performance of the system against the weight of it.
It really works much better for me as a cooking system than my old
Trangia system did and I can see it replacing my MSR Superfly as my goto stove."
Aushiker - 12/25/11 - reviews the EV900 Sidewinder
- "Just wanted to send you a little praise. Tried out my new sidewinder
this weekend and its freaking awesome! That inferno insert is genius!
The whole thing is a work of art. I've never felt compelled to just
email such love for a product but I gotta say, this is just great! Keep
up the good work."
Drew Fortson in an 11/9/11 email to Trail Designs
- "In case you haven’t noticed, I love this system! Like I said, I can stop
looking. The only complicating factor is deciding which fuel to leave,
if any. Writing this post was really useful for me to think about how I
can be more efficient. "
Alan Gunn - 11/8/11 - reviews the EV600 Sidewinder on VeloDirt
- "If you've read my previous reports,
you'll know I'm hooked on this system now. .....This is a bombproof stove system which does one thing and does it very well.....The Trail Designs Caldera Cone and 12-10 Stove are a permanent part of my solo camping kit now. It's become my "go-to" stove and hasn't let me down."
Kerri Larkin in her July 27th 2011 Backpack Gear Test report
- "Thank you so much for your assistance with my recent purchase.....[My] scouts were were at first perplexed by the Ti-Tri, but when they saw it in action,
thought it was the greatest stove they'd ever seen! The service
you provided was above and beyond any expectations I could have had, and
I will be using Trail Designs for any purchases I can in the future."
Robert Brisson in a July 13th 2011 email to Trail Designs
- "Two words on the pocket rocket. Learn about a Caldera Cone. The Ti Tri model rocks and can’t fail you. 3 fuel sources and no empty to pack out!"
Pat Comer comment on traintohunt.com Wilderness Backpacking Prep
- " ...I was blown away by what a nicely designed piece of flat
titanium this is.....I loved the Ti-Tri and took it on all of my solo
trips after that.
Ray Estrella in his BackpackGearTest Review
- "Although I very quickly realized that the Caldera Cone is considerably more
efficient, I was still interested in conducting a comparison with normal spirit
stoves in widespread use (such as the Antigravitygear pepsi can stove) or with
stoves which hikers can construct for themselves in a few simple steps...." (see link for full test results)
Johannes Huwe's Trailblaze article: Caldera Cone versus a normal alcohol stove
- "I recently got a CC Sidewinder stove W/ the Inferno woodburning
option & a 3 cup pot. This sucker REALLY cooks fast with the ESBIT
Gram Cracker tab holder or
the Inferno wood burning kit. All I need is two hands full of twigs and
some tinder to cook for 20 minutes."
300winmag's WhiteBlaze post - 4/22/11
- ".....you have done it again with this one buddy. This Caldera Keg-GVP is engineering at it's finest! Cool setup......Keep up the good work! It is great having people like you all in the gear industry!"
R.L. Hesson's email to Trail Designs - 4/18/11
- "I'm already really happy with this. The modular nature of the stove
means I can take meths, esbit or wood burning elements as required."
David Lintern's Sidewinder Review - 4/3/11
- "What a stove! This thing really is tiny. It doesn't just crack the grams and ounces, it shatters them. It's really hard to see how a stove could be simpler than this..." Kerri Larkin's Gram Cracker BackpackGearTest review
- "The Inferno Sidewinder cooking system is ingenious in its simplicity and
delivers outstanding results in an incredibly short period of time. My
previous cooking systems (MSR pocket rocket & whisperlite) will
never again leave my equipment cache; however, my Inferno system will go
everywhere with me...."
John Silva - After a winter SAR trip to 7000' in the Sierras 3/16/11
- "The Caldera Cone Tri-ti is my main stove I use now. I especially love being able to boil water with a few handfuls of twigs"
In2theWild's post on backpacker.com
- "I LOVE my Caldera Sidewinder! I tell everyone who will listen about how light, packable and easy to use it is!"
Eric Smith in an email to Trail Designs - 1/27/10
- " I would never have thought some one could improve on "fire" and
the use of "fire". But after a million years of humans trying, you
with a bit of Titanium hit the mark right on. NICELY DONE. It my mind
your achievements are right up there with rip stop nylon, the LED
headlamp and Gor-Tex / highly breathable fabrics. THANK YOU."
Eric Burtt in an email to Trail Designs - 12/27/10
- "Waking in the morning after the best night sleep outdoors for a long, long time, I worshiped the Caldera God again with a cup of coffee and porridge and quickly packed up.".
Brilliant Comment from Helen Fisher - 10/29/10
"... any Trail Designs Caldera Cone is great! I own several different combinations, and have not been disappointed with any.
John Roan's PCT Section A Trip Report - 4/17/10 "I was and still am convinced that the Tri-Ti version is the ultimate backcountry cooking system."
- "The Sidewinder......is extremely effective and efficient....This is definitely a very commendable lightweight solution to trail cooking with the now attendant advantage of superb and simple packability."
fenlander's blog - 9/26/10
"I have now had more time to use it further and have to say this is an awesome piece of kit. Its simplicity is such that it can't not be used correctly with excellent results..... I have very quickly come to relish the ease of assembly, lack of 'faff' and repeatability of results. It is a sturdy and well-engineered unit....."
fenlander's blog - 10/5/10
- "... I just finished an 11 day hike of the Wonderland Trail, carrying a Caldera Cone stove for cooking. It worked great! .....I don't think I'll ever haul a Whisperlite stove along again..... Thanks for lightening my load!
Diane Pinkers in an email to Trail Designs - 9/3/10
- "We've used the Caldera Cone System on several Adirondack, NY paddle trips, and several PA, backpacking trips. It has always been easy to use, dependable, and light weight. I'm always telling and showing other people the System. It's amazing!."
Andy and Joanne Hensch in an email to Trail Designs - 8/24/10
- "...the Gram Cracker and the Caldera Cone does the business. This is a combination that would be worth any ultralight backpacker having a look at."
Andy Howell's Walking & Trekking Pages - 7/29/10
- "Trail Design's Caldera Keg....is the absolute best ultralight backpacking cook system. The design is so advanced, there's no 2nd place.....I'm enthralled with this cook set."
Helen RW on Dressed in Dirt Forum - 7/03/10
- "I have the Caldera Keg F system....No worries about the wind, the pot tipping over, or coaxing the stove along. It just works."
SlowBro on Hammock Forum - 4/20/10
- "I've got a BushBuddy, a DX2, a Ti-Try CC and a collection of r-oh stove.....in my trials there is nothing as fast and fuel efficient as a caldera cone."
MedicineMan on Hammock Forum - 4/13/10
- "The Trail Designs Caldera Keg-H Cook System is going to be my "go to" system for all my spur of the moment and short trips..... It is compact, complete, light, and durable. It is almost hard to believe that such a simple set up is as complete and reliable as it is."
Review on 4alloutdoors.org - 1/08/10
- "The caldera cone/esbit combo is darned near as quick as my primus canister stove."
10K on WhiteBlaze - 3/10/10
- "IMO the Caldera cone stove set from Trail Designs is hands down one of the best on the market currently."
butts0989 on WhiteBlaze - 3/01/10
- "I used to be a naysayer of the Caldera Cone from Trail Designs but after some testing, I've become a convert. Because it's an enclosed system, it is extremely efficient and since the windscreen doubles as a pot stand, it saves weight too. This is probably one of the most creative designs I've seen for an alcohol stove cooking system....."
Jason Klass on "Gear Talk" - 3/10/10
- "In use, it works. I'm not going to try and time how long it takes to boil 500ml of water or anything - that all gets thrown out the window when it's minus 7 and you can't feel your fingers. You just splash some meths into the centre of the burner, spill a little on the built-in priming pan, light it and snuggle back into your down cocoon, confident that this is the most efficient meths cooking system you'll ever use."
Phil Turner on Lightweight Outdoors - 2/23/10
- "The CC TT Inferno is the most stable of the wood burners I've tried."
Carol Corbridge on Boomer's Lightweight Backpacking Blog - 8/18/09
- "I have enjoyed using this stove because it handles cold and especially wind as well or better than other stoves I've used. It is the most stable of the backpacking stoves in my current gear closet. Using the cone to suspend the pot over the heat source is brilliant."
Rosaleen Sullivan on Backpackgeartest.org - 2/20/07
- "My Caldera Cone alcohol stove assembles quickly, starts reliably --- fiddle factor is low. And (for an alcohol stove) it's quite efficient. On a weight-adjusted basis, it seems to me that the performance is quite high."
BrianLe on White Blaze - 1/13/10
- "Having used them (alcohol stoves) frequently in my checkered past I'll say the ONLY efficient alky stove I've seen is the Caldera cone, IMHO."
300winmag on White Blaze - 1/13/10
- "Caldera Cone - It's just a genius design with the pot stand being the wind shield. Very stable, very efficient and cool looking too. I have three of these now: the Keg-H, the standard cone for the SP900 and a ti-tri with inferno for the MSR Titan.."
Thomas Gauperaa on BPL's Editor's Roundtable Forum - 1/17/10
- "This thing is awesome. There is nothing I can say that hasn't already been said, save some anecdotal story attesting the overall prowess displayed by that thar stove... Yep"
Jeff Sullivan on BPL's Reader Reviews - 1/11/10
- "Finally settled on a Caldera cone alcohol/esbit/wood stove. Absolutely fabulous. Probably the single best gear upgrade last year. Very light and completely silent cooking."
Todd Obrien on the Yahoo BackpackingLight Group - 12/28/09
- "My Caldera Cone is a new addition to my kit, and I'm impressed with it every time I use it.....you can really notice the difference in efficiency and boil times. Easily my favorite stove, hand down."
Adam Frizzell on the BPL Reader Reviews - 12/21/09
- "I did just get a Caldera Cone Ti-Tri to start using on solo trips and it made a convert out of me on the first night."
Ray Estrella on the BPL GSpot Forum - 12/17/09
- "...hands down the Caldera puts all others that I have used to shame. It is a great alcy stove with respect to fuel efficiency and wind usage."
Jamie Shortt on the BPL GSpot Forum - 12/12/09
- "That might be the coolest damn thing I've ever seen...."
rowdybeaver33's comment on Tom Lambert's Caldera Keg video - 12/10/09
- "....this is perhaps the optimum solution when wood is available but you would like to carry fuel as a back up."
Roger Brown review of a ULC Ti-Tri Inferno on his blog - 11/22/09
- "I've used my Caldera Kitchen for the AGG 3 cup pot about 10 times now. It's a great setup and everything packs together very nicely. The stove works flawlessly and is far more efficient than any of my homemade alcohol stoves. The system seems impervious to wind."
Ken Charpie on the BPL GSpot Forum - 11/12/09
- "I've made quite a few stoves and bought a few as well. What makes these Caldera systems special is they are a "system". They are miserly in their use of alcohol and are more immune to the wind than anything else I've tried."
Greg Vaillancourt on the BPL GSpot Forum - 11/10/09
- ".....absolutely bloody love it. Pocket Rocket is now collecting dust. .....Brilliant! Reliable! Fuel effecient! Most stable stove I've come across of its kind.....I'm not going back to gas thats for sure."
terrybnd on the "Live for the Outdoors" Forum - 10/21/09
- "Gossamer Gear Caldera GVP Keg lightest and best system I have used yet! Happy camper!"
Kevin Egelhoff on BPL GSpot Forum - 10/13/09
- "I just got back from my first trip using your KILLER alcohol stove. .... I love it! Light, compact, efficient. The windscreen has got to be the best feature. Second is weight. Come to think of it, everything about it is great..... I just wanted to tell you its just a fabulous product, and I had head's turning at the BackPackers' Camp in Tuolumne Meadows while using it."
Abbie Sommer in an email to Trail Designs - 8/7/09
- "I have had the opportunity to test the TrailDesigns Caldera Cone Stove System, and it has turned an alcohol stove skeptic into a believer. ...on a January snow camping trip...on many cold mornings the Caldera heated water faster than the canister stoves... For normal backpacking use this stove is the bomb!"
Bob Shaver's on Backpacking Technology Review - 6/7/09
- "This system is a league of its own amongst the other UL stoves out there.....Ultralite+near perfect cook system. Simply put, A+ 10!"
Aaron Zuniga on BPL GSpot Forum - 5/26/09
- "I have gone though A LOT of stoves in my 40 odd years of camping and this has to be my favorite! Nicely done!"
Morris Manolson in an email to Trail Designs - 5/12/09
- "....as far as Im concerned the Caldera cone system makes all predecessors a bit obsolete- it just works in real world conditions so much better."
Brian Maynard on BPL GSpot Forum - 5/2/09
- "The Caldera Cone represents a revolutionary approach in the field of the spirit stove. Trail Designs have developed a product which can be individually adapted to fit any pot. The result is the most efficient spirit stove system in the world."
Johannes Huwe in Germany - Trailblaze - 3/14/08
- "I am totally sold on the Caldera systems."
Roleigh Martin in an email to Trail Designs - 3/12/09
- "Thanks for the awesome designs, that can fit in a sub-5 base pack weight!"
Glen Van Peski in an email to Trail Designs - 12/03/08
- "The Caldera Cone system has already been proven being the most efficient alcohol stove system currently out there tested by various hikers and magazines. What impressed me about the Keg was that the guys from Trail Designs put really everything what you need into one box."
Roman Ackl's LightHiker's World Review (Germany) - 9/17/08
- "I stand behind your Caldera Cone and Caldera Keg products 110% and recommend them to almost everyone I run into who sees mine. Thanks again! "
James Johnston in an email to Trail Designs - 1/29/09
- "Trying to make a Caldera cone "more efficient" is like trying to make a Porsche or Corvette faster, what is the point?"
Take-a-knee on Hammockforums - 11/12/08
- "This by far beats any other alcohol stove setup that I own."
Wayne Petrovich "KrispyKritter" in an email to Trail Designs - 9/16/08
- "The Caldera stove is my stove of choice bar none. Its so reliable and beyond any stove setup out there."
Brian Maynard on BPL GSpot Forum - 9/28/08
- "The Caldera Keg system is very robust. No fooling with windscreens, etc. Just light and go."
Mark Hurd on BPL GSpot Forum - 12/19/08
- "Gram cracker and Caldera is also my go to stove.....It is my intention to use this stove set up in the Arctic later this year because of its efficiency."
Roger Brown on BPL GSpot Forum - 1/14/09
- "[The Trail Designs Ti-Tri] stove system has my highest recommendation. With a little user input it is pretty close to perfect....."
Jason Smith on BPL Reader Reviews - 2/19/08
- "....after all the abuse I have put it through it is still my "go-to" stove. It has never failed to bring water to a boil on less than an ounce of fuel. It is reliable, predictable, and efficient. And when in camp, I am usually set up, and cooking long before my hiking partners. With the kit I purchased, it is one of the most compact stove setups I have had."
passionphish on My Thru Hike - 7/30/08
- "I was frustrated with the fiddle factor caused mostly by the instability of most stoves, pot stands and wind screens. The Caldera has solved all those problems and taken camp cooking from being a stressful moment requiring full attention to a casual task."
Michael Davis on BPL GSpot Forum - 2/19/09
- "....once I discovered and started using the Trail Designs Caldera Cone systems, I found that I am using the Bushbuddy less and less. The Trail Designs system has an integrated windscreen and performs better in breezy conditions, is lighter in weight, and is designed to burn alcohol. Also, the Trail Designs system allows me to lay tinder and kindling for my fire, and then light the fire from the side. This makes starting a fire much easier. So, I don't use the Bushbuddy much anymore. Not because it is a bad stove, but because I simply like the Trail Designs Ti-Tri Caldera Cone better."
Kai Larson Review - 12/23/08
- "I have been using a 2 litre version of the Ti-Tri since Xmas. I am awed by it's efficiency and versatility, and have used it with Esbit, wood, .....but this weekend I used it for something different...something that I couldn't achieve with a BushBuddy..... ....after dinner it was getting pretty cold, and there was tons of very dry firewood all over the place. So I fired up the Ti-Tri and we all sat around this little blazing inferno. It threw out enough heat to keep us cozy and chatting for a couple of hours. It was amazing how much fuel you could load into it in one go, and we took turns tossing in the next piece of wood. We could also pitch in wood of a much greater diameter and length than anything the BushBuddy could handle. All this contained within a 2oz tiny circle of focused heat. Hats off to the designers of this mighty stove/space heater!
"Lynn Tramper" on BPL GSpot Forum - 3/30/09
John Roan's Confessions of an UltraLight Backpacker - Addicted to Caldera 1/10/11