Vargo Triad – first impressions

So I just had to try my new Vargo Triad stove before I use it in anger on the hill.

Never having used an alcohol stove before, even a Trangia, and being rather clumsy, it seemed approVargo Triad at full powerpriate to spark it up in the workshop.

All I can say is: beware. Although I had been warned, filling the stove from a meths bottle is tricky. I spilled the spirit and, thinking the excess had evaporated away, then had a mini inferno on my hands – quite literally as I was left with a nasty scold on two fingers.


Note to self: get a suitable container in future.

After making the work area safe again, it was time for round two. You need to fill the Triad carefully so there’s a small pool of meths in the recessed central well. This acts as a primer.

Light the well and leave the stove for a minute or so. The spirit vaporises and small jets appear from the small holes on the outside. Simple.

As in the demonstration at the Backpackers AGM, the flame is quite large and fairly hot. Vargo Triad with Alpkit Mytimug Titanium Pot

Placing a pot of water on the stove, which feels stable and would be better if the legs were buried in the ground, half a litre of water boiled in around 8 mins.

This is considerably better than performance on the hill and you will need a good windshield. I will make one out of some thin foil from

The stove will burn for around 20 mins on one tank, more than enough for a litre of water to re-hydrate some food and make some tea. .The stove works silently, too, which will seem a little strange if, like me, you’ve used a noisy Pocket Rocket for years. Unlike the ‘Rocket, there’s no simmering flexibility, though.

Despite my pyrotechnical misdemeanour, all seems good with this little stove. If I can find a decent littel bottle with a good seal then I think I’m going to enjoy using this minimalist stove for overnighters and short trips.

UPDATE: Just tried the Vargo outside in wind and thought I’d push it to the limit, as it were. With a home made windshield, it just failed to bring 850mls of water to the boil before it fizzled out. I thought it might have managed it, to be honest, but this little experiment confirms my view that it will be adequate for the applications I intend to use it for.


5 thoughts on “Vargo Triad – first impressions

  1. Sorry, not only did I nearly set myself on fire, I posted my comment on the wrong article! (see above article about outdoors station)

  2. Steve,While I would agree that it has drawbacks, the more ‘subtle’ flame means it can be used in a tent if used with care. It does enough for minimal overnight trips, but I still prefer the dependability and convenience of gas for most trips over the alcohol variants.

  3. Hello Northern Walker,Thanks for the review. I too have the Vargo Triad and, although I have read many negative reviews, I have seldom had a problem with it.I use the Coghlan contain-all bottles with the dropper spout and have never experienced a problem with filling. You just place the dropper spout directly on to the hole and squeeze. I also have a Vargo 250ml bottle for longer trips with the same dropper spout. Marking an upside scale on the plastic bottle can ensure you know just how much meths you are filling the stove with.I would recommend using a wine bottle cap (<1gram), with the sides folded down by half, as a pre-heat. If you place it just under the side of the stove and burn 2-3 mls of meths, then you don't need to fill the stove to the top. Don’t place the pre-heat under the middle of the stove, unless you’re not too attached to your eyebrows. The effect is quite spectacular, however. Also, keep something handy to remove the pre-heat if things get a bit heated like a twig or a tent stake.To simmer just use a pot-cozy (and less fuel).I would also recommend a good homemade windshield as shown on the Vargo site and a small bit of aluminium under the stove to help it along. Trial and error will inform the gap size between windshield and pot.All the best,Kevin.

  4. This stove is a royal pain. The idea behind alcohol stoves is basic simplicity. Having to prime it (last comment "I would recommend using a wine bottle cap (<1gram), with the sides folded down by half, as a pre-heat…") is BS–most other alcohol stoves don't need this. Spilled alcohol that is lit works better than this stove.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s