Mar 9, 2012 at 4:33 pm #1286878
Please join me as I compare a Sidewinder Ti-Tri Caldera Cone vs. a BushBuddy Ultra on today's Adventure in Stoving.Mar 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm #1851382
@butukiLocale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Very nice review. I've been shuttling allegiances between the two, and your articles has gotten me thinking. The Caldera Cone might just be the one I spend most time with.Mar 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm #1851407
Thanks for your comments.
They're both good set ups, but I'd have to say that my preference is the Ti-Tri Caldera Cone. The Ti-Tri is pretty tough to beat, particularly if you need to use fuels other than wood for part of a trip.
HJMar 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm #1851420
@kevperroLocale: Washington State
It is the wood burning solution that interest me most. Weight, compact, inexpensive and simple construction.
Could be used as a pot stand/wind barrier for Esbit or Alcohol too.Mar 9, 2012 at 6:42 pm #1851428
I'll add more stoves as time permits and people make them available to me. The two stoves featured in this comparison were provided by BPL members Christian D. and Randy N. Thank you to Christian and Randy!Mar 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm #1852160
@pdcolelli42Locale: AT, follow@ www.thruperspective.com
Good article Jim. From what I've read the ti-tri and bush buddy are top competitors in the wood stove market. It took some time for me to make the choice to buy the ti-tri and after reading your comparison I'm glad I did. My experiences with the stove have been similar to yours and I like it for the same reasons. Sometimes it's nice to have a second opinion to make you feel better about your choice.
PhillipMar 12, 2012 at 10:53 am #1852496
Thanks. Glad the article was helpful.
I think both the BushBuddy and the Ti-Tri Caldera Cone are good wood burners. After my testing, I feel that the Ti-Tri came out on top in the wood burning category.
The place where the Ti-Tri really shines is in non-wood operation. The BushBuddy is really just a wood stove. Yes, you can operate it on other fuels, but it doesn't really excel. On the other hand, the Ti-Tri is a true multi-fuel set up. If one is going on a trip where you can burn wood 90+ percent of the time, then the BushBuddy will serve you well. But if one is going on a trip where you're going to need to burn other fuels, the Ti-Tri is the clear stand out.Mar 14, 2012 at 11:37 am #1853684
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
I previously owned the standard ti-tri (sidewinder and ULC were not available for my pot) and recently acquired the bushbuddy ultra. After using it for about a week, I happily sold the ti-tri without regret. I was using them primarily in wood burning mode with esbit as backup.
My comparison went something like this:
Simplicity/ease of use: Bushbuddy
Just invert the pot stand, insert handful of twigs, and light up. In contrast, the ti-tri with inferno and floor had 9 pieces (ti-tri, inferno, floor, grate, grate holder, 2 stakes, gram cracker, caddy). On cold winter mornings, anything I could do to speed morning departure and avoid cold hands was key. I preferred the easy stowing of the bushbuddy to the more time consuming disassembling of the ti-tri. I also had to be much more vigilant about not losing the stakes or grate holder which seemed apt to disappear into leaves or snow somewhat readily.
Fit easily in my pot, taking up no extra space. Backup esbit and firestarter could be stored inside the body of the bushbuddy. In contrast, the standard ti-tri needed a separate caddy (I used a plastic cup for weight savings) which took up more space. Tightly rolling all the parts to fit in the caddy was more effort as well.
Weight: Comparable, edge to Bushbuddy
Bushbuddy weighed 4.9 oz. Caldera (with inferno, floor, grate, 2 stakes, gram cracker, plastic cup) weighed about 5.8 oz. Some weight could have been saved by omitting the inferno if desired.
Wood burning efficiency: Bushbuddy
Able to achieve a 3.5 cup boil with a handful of twigs. Did require stoking once during process but this never bothered me. Ti-tri inferno could be packed with more wood to decrease need for fire maintenance, but required more fuel overall to achieve a boil.
If you are looking for an alcohol/esbit burner that can also burn wood, the ti-tri is the clear winner. Where I live, wood is plentiful and I found one backup (esbit) to be sufficient. I was able to achieve a 3 cup boil in the bushbuddy with a single esbit. I didn't find the ti-tri to be significatly more efficient to ofset the other disadvantages above.
Workmanship/Durability: Comparable. Bushbuddy was a work of art, but required more care in handling to avoid denting. A titanium bushbuddy would be a significant improvement.
I think both are outstanding stoves.
Owning a sidewinder or ULC may offset some of limitations of the ti-tri (mostly packability). Those interested in a multifuel stove will prefer the ti-tri
For me, the bushbuddy was the hands down winner for reasons of packability, wood burning efficiency, and simplicity of design. I just wanted to offer this alternate opinion for those looking primarily for a woodburning stove.
ti-tri in woodburning mode
Bushbuddy in esbit mode
A thing of beautyMar 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm #1853725
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
Please tell me that the plastic bag label is not "Beaver Stew."
–B.G.–Mar 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm #1853777
I actually don't think we're all that far apart. If I had to store the cone externally, I might think differently in terms of weight and packability. With the Sidewinder, the weight and packability are pretty sweet.
I don't see the set up of a Sidewinder as a big deal compared to gathering wood and getting a fire going, but that could just be me.Mar 14, 2012 at 2:30 pm #1853816
I'm with Ike on this one.
I have both the Sidewinder and the Bushbuddy Ti, and greatly prefer the Bushbuddy for its simplicity and efficiency. The Sidewinder is so fiddly to set up and take down it drives me nuts. It's also a pain to pack – way too many pieces that don't fit together in packed form.
If anyone wants a Sidewinder that fits an Evernew 900 ml, I can make you a great deal!Mar 14, 2012 at 2:39 pm #1853821
@cadyakLocale: southwest georgia
How much wood do you need to gather? Usually one smallish (3 ft. long, 1/2" on the thick end) limb will do the job unless you are talking liters of water.Mar 15, 2012 at 8:54 am #1854166
I'm with Ike on this one.
Yeah, I think a lot of people prefer the ease of set up of the BushBuddy. I get that.
To me the set up wasn't a big deal. When Randy N sent me his Ti-Tri Cone so I could do a review, I set it up and did my entire review without ever having seen any instructions* or having seen one in use — but I came in already having a couple of years of aluminum Caldera Cone use.
Both systems are good systems. Can't go wrong either way, and as shown by the discussion here, your style and preferences should inform your choice.
*I only emailed Rand at Trail Designs after the fact for a copy of the instructions just to make sure that my already finished review wasn't going to say something totally stupid. To me the Ti-Tri Cone with inferno is very intuitive, but then I am kind of a stove guy. :)Mar 15, 2012 at 10:07 am #1854207
Great review. I especially appreciate that you compared and contrasted these two popular options. Good job.Mar 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm #1854452
And thank you to everyone for a good discussion.Mar 16, 2012 at 2:49 pm #1854846
To improve the TiTri ease/speed of set-up, instead of using the multipart inferno option you could, perhaps,
simply place a single wall (MYOG?) can style burner or zelph woodgaz (i.e single wall style "gasifer") inside the cone which then makes it double wall….
Also, I wonder if some of the inferno's efficency is just that it is a smaller fire which , so less wood is needed to keep it going.Mar 17, 2012 at 2:29 am #1855103
edit: msg removed by it's posterMar 20, 2012 at 9:45 am #1856558
Alan Bradley wrote: > Also, I wonder if some of the inferno's efficency is just that it is a smaller fire which , so less wood is needed to keep it going.
I don't think size is the issue. The air flow provided/facilitated by the Inferno option and grate is what I believe makes the difference. Also, the bowl shape of Inferno insert focuses the heat.Mar 20, 2012 at 11:19 am #1856622
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I have the Sidewinder with the Inferno. That inverted cone & screen stand was very specifically designed to be the most efficient gassifier conversion possible.
Substituting any other stove inside the outer cone would only serve to decrease the gassifier effect and thus reduce efficiency.
@ Ike >
If the Inferno loses any combustion effeciency compared to the BushBuddy it more than makes up for it in trapping heat at the top where the pot fits in the outer cone. A lot of the BushBuddy's heat is lost at the pot/stove interface.
To me the Trail Designs Tri Ti/Sidewinder Inferno stove is now the state-of-the-art in gassifier stove OVERALL efficiency.Mar 20, 2012 at 3:13 pm #1856737
Eric Blumensaadt said >
"Substituting any other stove inside the outer cone would only serve to decrease the gassifier effect and thus reduce efficiency."
It might or might not……Mar 20, 2012 at 4:15 pm #1856769
If you get a chance to do some testing, let us know how it goes. I'd be very interested in hearing your results.Mar 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm #1856893
I don't get the comments about the Ti-Tri setup. I just did it for the first time since last fall and at a normal pace I did it in 90 seconds. I did it once more as fast as I could and did it in 42 seconds. It's pretty easy and quick. Shoot it took 22 seconds to setup the H-Keg. I understand if you do want things to go as fast as possible but personally I'm not worried about saving 30-60 seconds. I leave that mindset at the office and backpack to get away from it. It takes longer to gather the wood and start the fire than to setup. And it takes longer to cool down than to pack it.
There are more pieces to deal with and possibly lose. I lost the little wire grate support and kept forgetting to replace it so I used small rocks which worked just find. I finally remembered when sending it to HJ for testing and cut a slightly heavier replacement. But Jim asked the guys at TD for a replacement when he saw them at the GGG outing and they gave him one for mine. Thanks Jim! And thanks to the guys at TD.Mar 21, 2012 at 7:29 am #1857057
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
I hope I didn't imply that the ti-tri set up was at all difficult. My point was only that in comparing the bushbuddy to the "standard" ti-tri, the bushbuddy fit in my pot and required no setup. The ti-tri took up more space, required some set up, and it was easy to misplace pieces (as you did). Because I use it primarily as a woodburner, the choice was a no-brainer for me. This was not at all to disparage the ti-tri, which is clearly a reasonable choice for those with a smaller packing option like the sidewinder or an interest in multifuel setups.
On a side note, can anyone comment on the BPL wood burning state of the market review here
In this review, using the inferno with a ti-tri lengthened boil times in all tests compared to the ti-tri alone. I was surprised that no one ever commented on this. Anyone else have a similar experience? Is this accurate? Maybe a factor of having a smaller fire?Mar 21, 2012 at 9:59 am #1857132
I hadn't seen that. I've never timed the boils but it seems really fast. The only test I did was try it with and without the inferno. The only difference I saw was that the wood burns completely with the inferno and there was some left without.Mar 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm #1857262
"Alan, If you get a chance to do some testing, let us know how it goes. I'd be very interested in hearing your results."
Sorry, I don;t have a TD Ti cone:
I was just suggesting that I think it should be possible to make an all in one insert which matches or approaches the infernos performance. It would seem a cheap experiment for someone who does have a ti cone.
I suspect the inferno's conic shape might be not that important, in which case a halfway house might be to use a spotwelded foldable ti cylinder instead (like suluk46 spotwelded ti windscreens).
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