Over the summer, I put the Toaks titanium alcohol stove cook system with 700ml pot though the paces. Mainly while guiding in Muir’s “Range of Light.”
Why do I still use an alcohol stove on occasion? Because I can fly with it (minus fuel), they work well for a quick solo trip when I want some hot food or drinks, and depending on the trip; sometimes I can procure the fuel easier vs. a canister stove. And when guiding with Andrew, he likes to show the clients something different from the canister stoves they might be familiar with overall; as I tend to say, just another tool in my kit that I like to use as appropriate.
When Toaks asked if I’d like to review one of their stove systems, I said “Sure. Why not?”
I went with the 700ml cookset as the size is enough for a solo meal, the cup doubled as a mug for hot drinks (get that classic Sierra cup look!), and the basic windscreen/pot stand with the stove itself allowed some versatility and increased wind protection for larger pots vs. their other windscreen.
At 5.5 oz, this complete set of a stove, pot, handles, spork, windscreen, and stove stand is about the same weight as the dirt bagger classic of the cat food can and Stanco grease pot combo. But it’s not the cookpot that impressed me; it is the stove itself.
I last purchased a more expensive backpacking cook pot sometime in the late 1990s with the MSR Alpine cook set.
So, how did I like using a non-dirt bagger pot? Well, it’s a titanium cook pot. It’s light, I boiled water, and the handles made using the pot easier than a separate pot grip or again a dirt bagger method of using a bandanna. And I did enjoy the utility of the pot drinking my evening tea. I also appreciated how well everything fit together so well (including a ti spork!) in a compact package.
And while the pot is light, well made…well, it is cooking pot for backpacking. Others might prefer titanium to aluminum for various reasons. But I am just boiling water at the end.
However, I am more impressed by the stove. The Toaks Siphon Stove puts out more heat while using less fuel than any other individual alcohol stove I used.
While in the Sierra, I consistently found I had to dial back the amount of fuel used overall. Over a three-day tip and a five-day trip, I made hot drinks for every meal, cooked twice a day and never ran out of fuel. And on the seven-day trip (again with multiple meals and hot drinks), if I ended up being more dialed-in with the stove itself, I would not have needed to use some extra fuel for the last batch of hot drinks. I can say I will use the Toaks Siphon Stove for my alcohol stove needs going forward. Though a Caldera stove is more efficient, it is a less versatile system and does not easily accommodate different sized pots or needs. I don’t like to be locked into one system. YMMV.
Overall: If you want a light titanium pot system, the 700 ml set works well for versatility. If you want more stability for cooking or a larger pot, check out the 900 ml system. However, if you don’t need a titanium pot or already have cookpot(s) you use, consider using the Siphon Stove. Thirty-five dollars for a well made, efficient, and high out alcohol stove is not expensive compared to other similar pieces of gear. I will use the Siphon Stove as my “go-to” alcohol stove going forward.
Disclosure: Toaks provided the stove system for my review at no cost.