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Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Brasslite Turbo 2D stove > Test Report by Frances Penn

BRASSLITE TURBO 2D STOVE
TEST SERIES BY
LONG-TERM REPORT
April 07, 2015

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

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Frances Penn
EMAIL: oldhikergirl AT yahoo DOT com
AGE: 58
LOCATION: Santa Ana, California USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

I have been backpacking for eight years mostly on long weekends in Southern California with two or more 5-day trips per year in the Sierras. My total daypack weight, including food and water, is usually 15 lb (7 kg) and my total backpack weight, including food and water, is usually 22-26 lb (10-12 kg) depending on the need for a bear canister. I have converted to a tarp and bivy sleep system instead of a tent to keep my pack weight down. I have experienced all night rain, hail, heavy winds, camping in snow once, but mostly fair weather.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Brasslite, LLC
Year of Manufacture: 2014
Manufacturer's Website: www.brasslite.com
MSRP: US $35.00
Listed Weight: 2.6 oz (74 g)
Measured Weight: 2.6 oz (74 g)
Width of chamber and stand: 2.4 in (60 mm)
Width of Base: 3.15 in (80 mm)
Height of chamber: 1.7 in (43 mm)
Overall Height: 2.68 in (68 mm)
Side Port Diameter: 0.31 in (8 mm)
Top Port Diameter: 0.98 in (25 mm)
Fuel capacity: 2 US fluid oz (60 ml)

The Brasslite Turbo 2D Backpacking Stove is an ultralight alcohol stove constructed of 30 gauge brass shim with a stainless steel mesh top soldered to the stove base. The stove is double walled and is designed for use with a maximum capacity 2 liter pot. A smaller pot may be used as long as it meets the minimum recommended cook pot base diameter of 5 in (12.5 cm). The simmer sleeve is constructed of 32 ga brass shim and slides around the outside of the stove using the small handle. This reduces the flame by partially covering the holes at the bottom of the stove for simmering.

IMAGE 1
photo from Brasslite website


The package contained two extra optional accessories: an 8 fl oz (237 ml) plastic fuel dispenser bottle and a Brasslite Ultralight Aluminum Windscreen. These items are sold separately on the manufacturer's website with an MSRP of US $6 for the fuel bottle and US $10 for the windscreen.

IMAGE 2
package contents


I already punched holes along the bottom edge of the windscreen as suggested by the manufacturer.

The fuel bottle has two openings at the top. The white top has a flip top opening to squeeze the fuel into the stove. The black top screws off to add the fuel to the bottle. There is a one half ounce chamber just below the white top that fuel can be squeezed into from the main portion of the bottle for filling the stove.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Having used and made several alcohol stoves, I am impressed with how sturdy this stove feels in my hand. The double walls of the stove do not move when squeezed. The only moving part on this stove is the simmer sleeve to reduce the flame for simmering. The base soldered to the bottom of the stove adds to the stability of the stove. I will be using my 2 liter titanium cook pot with a diameter of 4.5 in (0.11 m). This pot fits perfectly on the stove and is very stable. I tried using my Foster's beer can cook pot but found it to be unstable due to the ring on the bottom. The bottom of the Foster's pot is just a little bit larger than the mesh ring, but not large enough to fit around it.

One comment on the simmer sleeve I noticed on the website indicates the manufacturer highly recommends the use of a pot cozy to save fuel and as an alternative to simmering. The website includes a link to instructions on how to make a pot cozy out of aluminum foil or an aluminum oven liner.

I usually use a pot cozy as a backpacker's oven to rehydrate food and to keep my food warm depending on the meal being prepared. I may not need to use the simmer function very often, but I will give it a try for testing purposes.



READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

A complete page of detailed stove operating instructions and a half page of instructions on how to customize the windscreen were provided.

The stove is designed for use with pure ethanol sold as HEET brand auto gas line de-icer, denatured alcohol and pure ethanol. The manufacturer specifically mentions in the instructions that rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) should not be used because it produces a very sooty flame.

To light the stove, the instructions indicate to pour a small amount of fuel in one of the holes at the base of the stove. Then deposit the desired amount of fuel in the top hole of the stove. Do not exceed the 2 oz (60 g) maximum fuel capacity. Place the stove on a level fireproof surface and hold a match or lighter near the base of the stove. Place the pot on the center of the stand and immediately enclose the pot with the windscreen. To adjust the simmer sleeve, hold the handle of the pot firmly and slide the simmer sleeve using a metal utensil or stick.

The instructions indicate the stove performs more efficiently with the use of a windscreen that allows 1/2 in (1.25 cm) between the pot and the windscreen.

If cooking is finished before the fuel is spent, allow the remaining fuel to burn off completely before cooling and storing the stove.

The stove may be cleaned by gently scrubbing with an old toothbrush, abrasive cleaner and hot water.

The manufacturer offers a 30-day return policy and a warranty that the stove will be free from structural defects for as long as the original buyer owns the stove.

TRYING IT OUT

I tried out the stove on my patio. I followed the instructions for adding the fuel, lighting the stove, placing the pot and then immediately placing the windscreen. The stove lit easily and within a few seconds had a tall blue flame. I boiled 2 cups of water and rehydrated some ravioli for dinner so as not to waste the fuel or the boiled water.

IMAGE 3
lit using flash


The stove is lit and the blue flame is barely visible. Care should be taken when using the stove during daylight because the flame is difficult to see.

IMAGE 4
lit-no flash


This picture was taken without flash to show the tall blue flame.

SUMMARY

This is a very sturdy little stove that operates easily. I can't wait to get it out into the field for testing.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Trip #1:
Location: Eureka Peak area of Joshua Tree, California USA
Campsite Elevation: 5,500 ft (1,676 m)
Trip Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
Trail Conditions: sandy desert on and off trail
Temperatures: 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C)
Weather: clear and sunny, windy the last day

Trip #2:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Campsite Elevation: 7,500 ft (2,286 m)
Trip Duration: 2 nights, 1 day
Trail Conditions: on snow in the forest
Temperatures: 40 to 50 F (4 to 10 C)
Weather: sunny

Trip #3:
Location: Sugarloaf Peak area near Big Bear, California USA
Campsite Elevation: 9,000 ft (2,743 m)
Trip Duration: 2 nights, 1 day
Trail Conditions: off trail in the forest
Temperatures: 40 to 50 F (4 to 10 C)
Weather: sunny

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

On the Eureka Peak trip, I squeezed an ounce of denatured alcohol into the chamber of the fuel bottle provided, placed a small amount into the outside warming ring of the stove, filled the inner portion with the remaining fuel and then boiled 2 cups of water. It took five minutes to bring this amount of water to a boil every time I used the stove on this trip. This may have been due to the lack of wind for most of the trip. The last morning of the trip was very windy. I used an extra half ounce of fuel to be sure my 2 cups of water would boil. Because of the wind, I dug a small hole and stood up large rocks around the perimeter in an attempt to create a wind barrier. It was very difficult to get the stove to light. My lighters weren't successful with lighting the stove in the wind. Finally a match was successful with lighting the stove. It took a few extra seconds to get the fuel warm enough to burn. The windscreen helped create a wind barrier once the stove was lit.

The windscreen is so tall that I can't place it around the stove to light it because the flame comes up to burn my hand. I find it is best to light the stove with the windscreen assembled and set to the side and then place the windscreen around the stove as quickly as possible once the fuel is lit.

IMAGE 1
Eureka Peak trip


On the Big Bear trip, there was snow on the ground. The stove worked well although with the cold weather, it took longer for the warming tray to heat the fuel to get the stove to burn. It took 7 minutes to bring 2 cups of water to a boil in my titanium pot. Since the stove is so small and lightweight, I took it with me on the day hike and made warm soup for everyone on our lunch break. Everyone agreed that the stove worked well and kept us warm.

IMAGE 2
Big Bear trip
IMAGE 3
Big Bear trip


The one thing that is a potential problem with operating this stove on snow is the lack of a firm ground base. As the stove burned, it leaned to one side due to the warmth melting the snow. After this happened the first time, I tried to locate solid ground to set the stove on but was not always successful in my search. I was able to find several tree stumps to set the stove on to cook, but they were not completely level. The next time I will carry a small piece of plywood or a piece of cardboard wrapped in foil to use as a base. This may also insulate the stove from the cold and allow the fuel to warm quicker and start burning faster. I was aware of the need for a stable platform for the stove which also acts as an insulator from my past snow trips. I simply forgot to bring it on this trip.

I have tried several times to adjust the simmer ring to lower the flame to simmer with no success. According to the instructions, I pushed down firmly on the pot during cooking to allow the simmer ring to slide partially closed over the burn holes. This was a challenge because the flame wraps around my titanium pot that is 4 1/2 inch (11 cm) in diameter. I found a stick the size the instructions stated would work, but I wasn't able to get the simmer ring to move while the stove was burning. I will keep trying to see if I can get the simmer ring to swivel partially closed over the burn holes. I rotated the simmer ring before and after cooking just to make sure it actually worked cold.

I think the simmer ring is a great feature which allows this stove to be more versatile. I will keep trying to get the simmer ring to swivel during cooking.

SUMMARY

This little stove works great for my cooking style. I usually prepare my dehydrated meals at home, rehydrate them on the trail while I am hiking to camp and then add boiling water to my meals to warm them. I also make hot water for drinks and oatmeal. I don't bring meals that need to simmer at a low flame for long periods of time.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Trip #4:
Location: San Jacinto area, California, USA
Elevation: 9,500 ft (2,900 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: on and off trail with a light snow storm
Temperatures: 20 to 35 F (-6 to 1.67 C)
Weather: snow storm

Trip #5:
Location: Big Bear area, California USA
Elevation: 7,500 ft (2,286 m)
Trip Duration: 2 days, 1 night
Trail Conditions: off trail in the forest with patches of snow remaining
Temperatures: 40 F (7 C)
Weather: sunny

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

On the San Jacinto trip, I placed the stove on a platform made from a piece of cardboard wrapped in aluminum foil. This helped to stabilize the snow surface for the stove. It took extra time to warm the fuel before the stove burned at full flame. Once the stove was burning, I boiled two cups of cold water in 8 minutes.

On the Big Bear trip, the stove lit quickly and boiled two cups of cool water in 7 minutes. There were small patches of snow remaining on the ground, but I was able to find a patch of level dirt to place the stove on for cooking. I also used the platform on this trip because I wasn't sure how much snow would still be remaining on the ground.

I have not been successful in rotating the simmer ring while the stove is cooking. I can rotate the ring before the stove is burning and after the stove has cooled. I'm not sure if it has something to do with the heat that makes the stove expand or that I haven't found the correct method to rotate the ring. Each time I tried to push down lightly on the top of the pot, the flames would come up the side and were too hot on my fingers. I usually just boil water for all my meals so the simmer ring was not a deal breaker.

I really enjoy the simplicity of boiling water with an alcohol stove. It makes clean up so easy to just add boiling water to my custom made dehydrated meals and eat directly from the zip-top bag they were carried to camp in. No dishes and I only need to remember to pack my spork, little titanium pot, stove, windscreen, lighter and matches for back-up. Since the stove and these other items fit in my titanium pot and the carry bag, I have a compact cooking setup.

The only downside to an alcohol stove is that some locations in California do not permit alcohol stoves for fire safety reasons.

SUMMARY

This stove is a durable and reliable little stove in all the conditions tested. My outlook on alcohol stoves as being fragile and unreliable has been changed after this test. I will continue to use this stove in all locations where alcohol stoves are permitted.

This test series is now completed. Many thanks to Brasslite and BackpackGearTest.org for this testing opportunity.

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

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