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Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Brasslite Turbo 1D stove 2014 > Test Report by Nancy Griffith

BRASSLITE TURBO 1D STOVE
TEST SERIES BY NANCY GRIFFITH
LONG-TERM REPORT
March 15, 2015

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Nancy Griffith
EMAIL: bkpkrgirlATyahooDOTcom
AGE: 48
LOCATION: Northern California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 6" (1.68 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

My outdoor experience began in high school with a canoeing/camping group which made a 10-day voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have hiked all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a few weeks long. Over the past few years I have lowered my pack weight to a lightweight base weight of 15 lb (6.8 kg) and use a tent, stove and quilt.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Turbo 1D
Photo: Brasslite, LLC
Manufacturer: Brasslite, LLC.
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.brasslite.com/
MSRP: $25.00 US
Listed Weight: 1.7 oz (47 g)
Measured Weight: 1.7 oz (48 g)

Fuel capacity: 1 oz (30 ml)
Overall height: 64 mm (2.5 in) - verified as such
Diameter of stove: 50 mm (2 in) - verified as such
Diameter of lower flange: 65 mm (2.5 in) - verified as such

Made in Asia

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Brasslite Turbo 1D stove is an alcohol-burning stove made of brass. The website explains the choice of brass which I'll summarize as the best compromise for durability and heat conductivity. It is designed as a minimalist solo stove which accommodates pots up to 5 in (12.5 cm) in diameter with a maximum capacity of 1 L. The construction is basically a double-walled cup with six air holes spaces evenly around the lower part of the outer wall. There is a stainless steel wire mesh section soldered to the top which acts as a pot stand. Around the outside is a simmer sleeve which is a band with triangular-shaped cut-outs to allow for covering the air holes either completely, partially or not at all. I found that when the simmer sleeve handle is aligned with the opening in the wire mesh top then all of the ports are open. This is an easy frame of reference for me.

The stove has recently been re-designed to change from a soldered stove body assembly to a combination of folding, stamping and tack welding. There also is no longer a base pan although the flange does extend out a bit. But it does not interfere with the simmer sleeve.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS & TRYING IT OUT

IR testBrasslite was generous enough to provide their windscreen and fuel bottle with the stove which are sold separately as accessories. So although I'm not reporting on those accessories, I will be using them for the test. The windscreen came with instructions as to how to cut it to the appropriate length and punch holes in the bottom to allow for airflow. I did that so the photos will show my modified windscreen.

The fuel bottle holds 8 oz (237 ml) and has a section to measure and dispense up to 0.5 oz (15 ml) without the rest of the fuel coming out. The design is similar to the bottle that a popular fuel stabilizer is sold in.

The titanium cook pot that I use is a 900 ml pot with a diameter just under 5 in (12.5 cm) so it is at the maximum size recommended for the 1D or at the minimum size recommended for the 2D. I decided to try the 1D but wasn't sure if the pot would fit correctly. However, I like the way it fits atop the Turbo 1D since it seems stable. For fuel I'm using denatured alcohol. So I followed the included instructions which said to place a small amount of fuel inside one of the air openings, fill the open fuel cup with the desired amount of fuel and light the lower section. I then put my pot full of water on top. The stove quickly lit with the lower flame licking up and lighting the fuel in the cup. I experimented with the simmer sleeve by gently pushing the pot onto the stove to hold it in place while I used a wooden spoon to push the sleeve handle. I was able to get a nice low flame and perfect simmer with the holes completely covered.

Brasslite claims that the time to boil 16 oz (0.5 L) water is 6 minutes, so I did an experiment with that. It's very difficult to determine exactly when boiling occurs with my pot but there were definitely plenty of bubbles at 6 minutes and the water was hot enough for making tea. I used 0.5 oz (15 ml) of fuel which burned for 10-1/2 minutes before the flame went out.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

Brasslite included instructions for how to use the stove. It covers a variety of topics including the warranty, lighting instructions, recommended fuels, how to use the simmer sleeve and even tips for storage and cleaning. In this day of having to refer to websites to get instructions, I was pleased to see this sheet included. It gives a lot of pertinent and useful information on just one sheet.

SUMMARY

The Brasslite Turbo 1D stove is a lightweight alcohol stove designed for solo use.

Initial Likes:
Light weight
Pot stand built in
Simmer sleeve

Initial Dislikes:
Nothing


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Loon LakeI used the stove for two backpacking trips and one day snowshoe hike for a total of six days. Conditions ranged from just below freezing to 66 F (19 C) and included high winds, snow, sleet and heavy mist.

Backpacking:
Point Reyes National Seashore, California: 3 days; 19 mi (31 km); 0 to 780 ft (238 m); 50 to 66 F (10 to 19 C) with heavy mist, partly cloudy and sunny conditions

Snowshoe Backpacking:
Rubicon Trail, Sierra Nevada, California: 2 days; 10 mi (16 km); 6,327 to 6,500 ft (1,928 to 1,981 m); 30 to 59 F (-1 to 15 C) with clear conditions and gusty winds

Snowshoeing:
Loon Lake, Sierra Nevada, California: 2.5 mi (4 km); 6,327 to 6,478 (1,928 to 1,974 m); 32 F (0 C) with snow and sleet

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Pots used:
900 ml (30 oz) capacity, 4-3/4 in (12.1 cm) diameter, titanium on all three trips
1 L (33 oz) capacity, 7.5 in (19.0 cm) diameter, aluminum on Point Reyes trip only

Fuel used:
Klean Strip Green denatured alcohol

I carried the stove inside my titanium 900 ml (30 oz) capacity pot wrapped in a bandana to keep it protected and to prevent any clanking noises while I hiked. The stove fit easily inside the pot with a lighter, fuel measuring cup and a couple of drinking cups. On one trip, I also used the stove with a large 7.5 in (19 cm) diameter aluminum pot. Although this is recommended for use with pots up to 5 in (12.7 cm), it worked fine with this large pot. The heat spread out from the stove and heated the water to boiling in a timeframe not noticeably longer than with the 4-3/4 in (12.1 cm) diameter pot.

I used the stove for boiling water to prepare oatmeal and hot drinks and to make pasta and soup. The typical amount of water heated at a time was 25 oz (.74 L) for which I burned 1 oz (30 ml) of fuel to get the water to boil. The stove lit easily and worked flawlessly in terms of pre-heating, lighting and operating as advertised.

As compared to my other alcohol stoves I found the Turbo 1D to take a little more fuel and a little more time, so I did a controlled test at home to quantify that. The difference seems to be with the type of windscreen used and not the stove itself. If I use the Turbo 1D stove with my other windscreen that fits tight with my pot, it does just as well if not better than my other alcohol stoves. I am going to adjust the Brasslite windscreen to fit more tightly around my pot for the Long-Term test period since I will only be using the smaller of my two pots.

I really appreciate the simmer sleeve feature and used it for lowering the heat while boiling pasta in order to keep it from boiling over. This is a unique feature with alcohol stoves since I am familiar with them only being able to operate at one high setting. While this is fine for boiling water, a simmer control is much more versatile for cooking. It was easy to adjust the simmer ring by putting a little downward force on the pot to hold the stove in place and then turning the ring with a twig or spoon. One thing that I found difficult, however, was if I used my non-Brasslite tight-fitting windscreen then it had to be partly dismantled to access the simmer ring.

I found the need to pre-heat the fuel to be particularly advantageous in cooler temperatures. My other alcohol stove which does not have this feature is difficult and a little dangerous to light in cold temperatures due to lighters not producing a very large flame at low temperatures. So I end up burning my fingers while attempting to get the small flame down into the fuel. The Turbo 1D makes this a non-issue since pre-heating simply requires a little squirt of fuel into the ports or around the flange and then the rest of the fuel lights on its own. No more burnt fingers!



LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

PCT
Cooking in vestibule
I used the Brasslite on one three-day backpacking trip and two overnight car camping trips over the Long-Term test period for an additional six days of usage.

Backpacking:
Pacific Crest Trail, Southern California: 3 days; 35 mi (56 km); 2,245 to 4,500 ft (684 to 1,372 m); 39 to 74 F (4 to 23 C) with clear to partly cloudy conditions

Car Camping:
Red Rock Canyon State Park, California: overnight; 2,800 ft (853 m): 45 to 75 F (7 to 24 C) with clear conditions

Jawbone Off-Highway Vehicle Area, California: overnight; 5,900 ft (1,798 m); 42 to 70 F (5 to 21 C) with clear conditions and high winds

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Red Rock
Desert camping
Pot used:
900 ml (30 oz) capacity, 4-3/4 in (12.1 cm) diameter, titanium

Fuel used:
Klean Strip Green denatured alcohol

Windscreen used:
Brasslite windscreen with modifications to fit my pot as recommended by Brasslite

As in the Field Report, I carried the stove inside my titanium 900 ml (30 oz) capacity pot wrapped in a bandana and used the stove for boiling water to prepare oatmeal, rehydrated meals and hot drinks and to make soup. There was some wind so I used the stove inside my fully-open tent vestibule in the mornings to help provide some wind block.

Since the last test period I modified the Brasslite windscreen to fit more tightly around my pot which did seem to improve the efficiency of the stove. I continued to find that the Turbo 1D uses more fuel and takes more time than I'm used to with other alcohol stoves. But based on my experiment in the prior period, I find that mainly to be due to the windscreen and not the stove. Both fuel usage and time to boil are largely affected by wind so the conditions during this test period were a factor since there was always some wind.

I like the simmer sleeve feature but found myself not wanting to bother with trying to access it by removing the windscreen since the wind was such a factor. I ended up making meals that required boiling water only.

The durability of the stove has been superior. The stove appears nearly new with just some discoloration. All of the soldered joints and connecting points are completely intact with no signs of wear or deterioration.



SUMMARY

The Brasslite Turbo 1D stove is a lightweight alcohol stove which has a unique feature of being able to simmer.

Great:
Pre-heating feature
Pot stand built in
Simmer sleeve

Not-so-Great:
Hard to access simmer ring with windscreen in place
Boil times and fuel usage are greater than I'm used to

This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series. Thanks to Brasslite, LLC and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test this stove.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2015. All rights reserved.

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