Reviews of Trail Designs in the Press

Since starting the company, our product development path, driven by market demands, has gone directions we never would have expected. By way of documenting our adventure, we are including the following articles and reviews.

NOTE: The links provided to the articles in most cases are full size scans or pdf files. These are included for a historical "paper trail" more than anything else. Also, the reduced size would be too hard to read. So, if you would like to read the original text of the provided synopsis, understand that they sometimes run over a megabyte in size and you may want to download them with a right-click.


January 2017 - TGO

Yosemite to Death Valley - The Gear - Chris Townsend

 "For cooking I took the same tried and trusted system that I'd used on ....many other walks, namely the Trail Designs Classic Ti-Tri plus Inferno...."

    Page 62



Essential Survival Gear

A Pro's Guide to Your Most Practical and Portable Survival Kit - James Morgan Ayres

 "The Trail Designs caldera Cone system is very lightweight and.....generates much more heat than the Trangia......We are currently using an alcohol stove system from Trail Designs and have found it  to work very well."

 Page 95

Page 136



November 2015 - Backpacker

The Season's Best Gear - Winter Guide: Camp Kitchen

 " Most people don't think you can use alcohol stoves in the winter, but with the Trail Designs Sidewinder Ti-Tri Stove System, Justin "Trauma" Lichter and his partner Shawn "Pepper" Forry were able to sustain their 131-day [winter PCT traverse] trek on denatured alcohol, even in temps well below 0° F"

    Page 99



September 2015 - TGO

5 backpackers' stoves - Chris's favourite options for camp cooking - Chris Townsend

 "  The Trail Designs Ti-Tri ... is very much my favourite stove.....The design is simple but ingenious..."

    Page 73



September/October 2015 - Bike & Travel (German)

Outdoor Cooker - The Right Burner for the Next Tour - Hendrik Morkel

 "  The Trail Designs Sidewinder Ti-Tri has accompanied me safely on most of my tours..."

    Pages 88-91



June 2015 - TGO

Camping Stoves - Comparitive Review - Chris Townsend

 "I like the foolproof design, the windproof cone and the ultralight weight...the Fissure Ti-Tri is designed to pack inside your splitting the cone into two interlocking sections."

    Page 78



Spring 2015 - TGO

Gear Experts - 5 Key Items You Rely On - Liz Thomas
"Keg F....It's stable and sturdy, efficient, and packs conveniently." Page 129

Gear Experts - 5 Key Items You Rely On - Dave Lintern
Trail Designs Ti-Tri Stove:  Page 130

Gear Lightweight Favourites- 10 of the best - Chris Townsend
"Windproof, easy to use and ultralight, this stove unit has seen more use that any other in recent years...."
2-page Cover shot
Page 135


Spring 2015 - BMC's Summit
What the Pro Takes - Long Distance Walking - Chris Townsend

"Ultralight, windproof and compact, this stove runs on meths, solid fuel or wood. I used it on both the Pacific Northwest Trail and the Scottish Watershed"   
     Spotlight: Page 18


May 2015 - Bicycle Times
For Your Consideration - Bikepacking - Ted Smiley

"The Fissure also completely collapses so it can be stored inside a small cooking pot and easily brought along on my excursions."   
     Spotlight: Page 28


Spring 2014 - TGO
The Backpacking Issue - Special Edition

 From the Experts - 5 key items of kit - Chris Townsend
Trail Designs Caldera Ti-Tri Inferno: Page 41 

From the Experts - 5 key items of kit -Keith Foskett
"One item that has stayed with me for nearly 5 years is my Trail Designs Caldera Cone": Page 42

Lighter, Faster, Stronger - Recent UL Developments and the Future
"I've used the ....Caldera Ti-Tri Inferno on my last two long distance walks.": Page 50

One Swedish Summer - Mark Waring's 1000 mile Swedish backpack
"Mark mostly carried lightweight kit from American cottage industry manufacturers including the Trail Designs Ti-Tri stove": Pages 59 and 60

Cooking On The Move - How to choose your stove

  • Cover Shot of Caldera Cone in action: Pages 88 and 89
  • Meths - " favourite by far is the Trail Designs Caldera Cone": Page 90
  • Solid Fuel & Wood - "Trail Designs Ti-Tri can be used with wood which I did frequently on the Pacific Northwest Trail...": Page 91
  • Chris's Choices - "Currently my first choice for long-distance walks is the Trail Designs Caldera Ti-Tri": Page 91



Winter 2013 - Backpack Magazine
Caldera Cone Gear Review - Ted Smiley

"In use on the trip I was very impressed with the performance in all weathers.....It will be my cooker of choice on future trips."   
     Review: Page 15


November 2013 - TGO
Scottish Watershed - Gear Report

"Stove choice was ..... the Caldera Ti-Tri Inferno.  This stove works really well in windy weather and is quite fuel efficient.....The Ti-Tri was the same one I'd used on the Pacific Crest Trail so I knew it worked well and was durable."   
     Review:Page 47


Nr. 4  2013 - Friluftsliv
Boiling water the lightest way possible


"Caldera Keg..... which is the lightest spirit burner and the lightest burner in this review - is the most weight efficient when it comes to boiling limited amounts of water."

(translated provided.....sorry no scan of actual article)

 Spring 2013 - TGO
Comparitive Review - Cooking Systems

"The Caldera Cone is an ingenious design that surrounds the burner with an ultralight windshield into which the pot fits so most of the heat is retained inside.....It has become one of my favourite stoves."
     Intro: Page 90
     Review: Page 91

 Fall 2012 - Friluftsliv
Caldera Keg and Ti-Tri Sidewinder Review

".....weight wise this system is a home-run and not just for long trips.  Imagine how much of a weight difference this will make on day hikes."
     Original article - Page 58 and 59 (in Norwegian)

 October 2012- TGO
TGO Challenge Trip+Gear Report - Chris Townsend (Editor)

"...I took the same Caldera Ti-Tri Inferno stove unit I'd used on the Pacific Northwest Trail.....I used the stove in the doorway of the Trailstar and it worked well regardless of the weather, the cone being an excellent windshield."
     Original article - Page 33


2013 - Petersen's Hunting
Annual Gear Guide
Editor's Choice - Sidewinder Ti-Tri

"It's nearly weightless, shields the flame from wind, increases efficiency, and stores inside the short/fat pot of your may be the coolest, lightest and most unique outfit out there."
     Review - Page 58


Issue 1 - Mar/Apr 2012
Review of the Trail Designs Ti-Tri Sidewinder

"...a well crafted reliable product that has few, if any'll be hard pressed to find a better alcohol stove system, and we feel you'll be satisfied if you choose the (Ti-Tri) Sidewinder system for your cooking needs."
     Review - page 45


The Last Englishmen
Hiking 2,650 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail
by Keith Foskett

"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 313 - available now at Create Space


April 2011 - Opdag Verden Magazine (Danish)
Equipment Testing - Ultralight Innovation
Volcano From Yosemite!

"One can find many burners that can cook a half liter of water in three minutes but this is the coolest that weighs 63 grams and folds smaller than a coke bottle.  Trail Designs own thumping Caldera brand is more fun.... and more modern than anything on the market and we love it already."
     Review - Page 52 (article in Danish)


August 2011 - TGO Magazine
Cooking Systems for Lightweight Backpacking - Chris Townsend
TGO - Best Buy
TGO - Recommended

"Caldera Cone stove systems have been my favourites for several years now.   This model is the one I used on the Pacific Northwest Trail Last summer......"
     Intro - Page 98
     Review - Page 101

 Summer 2011 - Women's Adventure
Camping Stoves - Gear Review

"....Caldera’s cone captures and maximizes heat from three potential sources: wood, alcohol, and esbit (a solid fuel tablet)......this versatile system requires much less fuel than petroleum-based systems so it’s more weight-efficient for backpacking.."
     Online review here

 Ultralight Backpackin' Tips
Written and Illustrated by Mike Clelland!

"Another system for maximizing efficiency is the amazing Caldera Cone system......Highly recommended."
     Scan of relevant area on Page 99

 January 2011 - TGO
75 Days of Testing - Chris Townsend's Pacific Northwest Trail Gear Report

"The Caldera Ti-Tri Inferno stove was one of the great successes of the walk as I really enjoyed using it."
     Original article - Page 85

gearguide November 2010 - TGO
TGO Gear Special - TGO writers choose their all-time favorites

Caldera Cone Stove System
".....after years of using petroleum fuel and cartridge stoves I've returned to meths for long distance walks. This is due to the ingenious Caldera Cone...."
     Equipment Editor Chris Towsend article - page 5 800K

Trail Designs Caldera Keg
"This cooking system is particulary unusual....because it ousted my lighter homemade beer can stove system from my kit list. It managed this unprecedented feat by being the most powerful and fantastically efficient meths stove system I've ever used."
     Ultralightweight Specialist Eddy Meechan article - page 10 900K

gearguide August 2010 - TGO
Planning a hike on the Pacific Northwest Trail - Chris Townsend

"I've been impressed with the Caldera Cone stove unit in recent years.... However wood will be the easiest fuel to find for most of the walk so a wood-burning stove would be a good idea. As there may be places with no sticks and for when rain makes a wood stove impractical I've decided on a Caldera Ti-Tri Inferno...."

Original article - pages 74-75
Original article - page 76

gearguide September 2010 - Outdoor (German)
Less is More

"Record holder.....the Caldera Keg from Trail Designs, is the lightest stove system on the market."

Original article (in German) - page 98 450K
Original article (in German) - page 99 550K

gearguide 2010 - The Ultralight Handbook
From the editors of BACKPACKER Magazine

Caldera Kitchen
"This alcohol stove system has it all: utter simplicity. Wispy weight. An ingenious packing system.....But what makes the Caldera unique is the way the system is integrated: The aluminum windscreen forms a rigid cone which supports (the) pot perfectly suspended over the burner - and efficiently captures the alcohol's BTU's."

Original article - page 6 300K

gearguide April 2010 - Trail Magazine 2010 Gear Guide

"Caldera Cone and Stove - 4 stars - Add on a dedicated kettle and this is perfect for super light backpacking."

Original article - page 109 700K

November 2009 - Mountain Bike Magazine
Article by Aaron Teasdale - Riding Loaded

"....Caldera Keg-F Alcohol Stove System. At 6 ounces, this is the simplest, slickest, most efficient ultralight stove system available."

Original article - page 37 1MB

January 2009 - TGO Magazine
Mine's a Large One - Beer Can Pot/Stove Review

"....on longer trips and on occasions when it's particularly windy The Caldera Keg has proven itself to be outstanding......"

Original article - page 100 900 K - page 102 1MB

December 2008 - TGO Magazine
On Test - Wood Burning Stoves

"While not designed primarily as a wood stove, the Ti-Tri works pretty well with a fire inside. The cone does the same windshield, chimney and pot support job as with a meths burner. The weight is very low and the cone is more flexible and easier to use than the standard version. One could say that this is the luxury Caldera Cone."

Original article - pages 107-110 900 K (PDF file)

Summer 2008 - Live for the Outdoors
Graham Thompson - Video Review

"It's a remarkable piece of kit......if you want to travel ultralight it is probably one of the best things you are going to find."

Trail Magazine Video Review

July 2008 - Trail Magazine - Stoves - The Finalists - Best for Lightweight

Trail Designs Caldera Cone Stove
"This is a remarkable product. It's based around a tiny meths stove that weighs only 16g.....(and) the addition of the Caldera Cone transforms the performance by acting as a windshield, supporting the pan and funnelling the heat to the base of it......The whole cook set (with MSR Kettle) weighs in at 180g which is lighter than most burners! It's neat and compact too making it ideal for ultralight backpacking."

Original article - page 78 83 K

Summer 2008 - BackpackingLight Magazine - Issue 9
Article by Alan Dixon - Extreme Ultralight in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Alan Dixon does a sub-5 pound FSO trip and includes the Caldera!
"The light weight and high fuel efficiency of the Caldera system is hard to beat.....Weight of the whole system, including fuel bottle (less fuel) was around 3 ounces."

Original article - page 82 760 K
Picture of the gear - page 80 840 K

April 2008 - TGO Magazine
Article by Cameron McNeish - Five Favourite Things

Caldera Cone Stove
"Another relative newcomer to my gear shed but I wonder how I managed without it for so many years. This super-duper lightweight meths stove is the modern equivalent of my old, and much-cherished, Trangia stove."

Original article - page 81 250 K

January 2008 - TGO Magazine
Chris Townsend review - TGO Best Buy

"Last July I reviewed the original version of this stove and gave it a Best Buy. The latest version is even better and weighs 12 grams less as the material is lighter....the new one has a dovetial join that slides together (and) the air slots now only run along one side..... The combination of stability, light weight, fuel efficiency and wind resistance makes the Caldera Stove the best meths stove for backpacking in my opinion, suitable for any length of trip any time of year."

Original article - page 84 480 K

December 2007 - Sea Kayaker Magazine
Ultralight Camp Stove

"The Caldera Cone Stove System from Trail Designs is an ultralight, fuel-efficient alcohol stove system. It is stable, wind resistant and weighs less than two ounces.....The Caldera Cone fits most popular titanium pots and mugs and functions as a combined pot stand, windscreen and heat exchanger. It is easy to disassemble and pack."

Original article - page 54 321 K

Dec 07 Backpacker December 2007 - Backpacker Magazine - 2007 Ultralight Handbook
Kristin Hostetter - Backpacker Magazine - Gear Editor

Caldera Kitchen
"This alcohol stove system has it all: utter simplicity. Wispy weight. An ingenious packing system.....But what makes the Caldera unique is the way the system is integrated: The aluminum windscreen forms a rigid cone which supports (the) pot perfectly suspended over the burner - and efficiently captures the alcohol's BTU's."

Original article - page 83 2703 K

july 07 TGO July 2007 - TGO Magazine
Chris Townsend review - TGO Best Buy

"I'm impressed with the Caldera Cone Stove system. It's easy to use, efficient in cold and windy weather and ultralight. I'll certainly be using it in the future. I recon it's the best meths stove around at present."

Original article - page 104 411K

Mar 07 TGO March 2007 - TGO Magazine

For her April 2007 attempt to do the 3300 mile Alpine Challenge, Judy Armstrong chose the Caldera Cone system for her food prep. This article in TGO discusses her gear (only supplying the page that mentioned the Caldera). You can also read more about the plan on her website.

Original article - page 95 881k