– BTU: 7K (The Trangia burner)
– Weight: 36 oz (2lb 4oz) for the larger 25-2
– Weight: 29 oz (1lb 13oz) for the smaller 27-2
– Stove comparison chart
If alcohol fuel (and optionally, also multi-fuel) is more your thing than LPG gas canister stoves, but you want to cook with it and maximize heat efficiency with a really good wind screen, this set is very hard to beat. Some of the most experienced backpackers swear by these cook sets as they work in horrendous weather conditions, maximize the limited fuel efficiency of the Trangia stove, run silently, and avoids the mess and hassle of setting up and putting away liquid fuel stoves.
BELOW: 27-2 SET (Strangely, it’s smaller than the 25-2 set, dunno why)
BELOW: 25-2 SET (The larger set)
Some critical aspects to alcohol stoves:
– Alcohol runs super silent.
– Alcohol lights right away, no pre-heating
– Alcohol has a lower BTU (about 10K) than almost any other fuel except wood, and the Trangia translates that to about 7K BTU/hr. That may seem low if you’re just looking at the numbers, but BTU output is just one part of the equation. The power of the Trangia cook set is the ability to maximize the heat transfer to the pot, kettle, or pan.
– Alcohol is consistent and reliable across a broad range of temperatures. There is a lower limit, of course, but it is something like -20F, and doesn’t really work well at 14K feet altitude (You really need pressurized stoves in such environments). If you’re a 14’er, you’re not looking at alcohol stoves. For most of us though, that isn’t a major concern.
– The Trangia cook set design is brilliant, allowing it to work in windy weather conditions. Part of this is the volatility of denatured or grain alcohol itself, and the Trangia stove’s ability to not blow out. But wind is the arch enemy of most stoves, and the Trangia 25-X and 27-X are masters at retaining excellent heat transfer in windy conditions.
– While not light, the set is very compact considering what it contains. There are other versions of the Trangia 25- and 27- using hard anodized aluminum, and some even have non-stick coatings.
– Alcohol burns clean and is non-toxic in liquid or vapor form. Which means if you spill it, it won’t damage the environment or stain clothing, it just evaporates. Alcohol is also sterile (so there’s the secondary use of it as a disinfectant). Liquid fuels are messy, stain, are toxic to the environment (and toxic to breathe in some cases).
– The Trangia burner itself, a decades old, well tested and trusted, does take a little practice to minimize wasting fuel. The good news is that there’s an o-ring on the screw cap to hold excess fuel, and the simmer ring takes practice, but works well.
The disadvantages are really around the BTU of alcohol itself, and it is a good idea to try and use either grain alcohol or denatured alcohol whenever possible to minimize soot. Rubbing alcohol is horribly sooty. That disadvantage also means carrying more fuel. Until you get really good at cooking and boiling with alcohol, you’ll be doing a fair bit of wasting, so plan on about 1 oz per 16 oz of water boiling. On most weekend trips, that’s about 8-12 oz of alcohol, but if you plan to cook, you might want to bring more.
Another somewhat less known fact about alcohol is that it goes through a lot of oxygen more than many other fuels. If at all possible, avoid using alcohol burners in a tent, no matter how well ventilated.
As the 25-2 and 27-2 are both aluminum sets, it’s worth noting that aluminum has a few advantages:
– It heats up faster than the non-stick coated or anodized version.
– Cools down faster than the coated version
– It’s lighter than the coated version
– No worries about scratching the coating.
It also has some disadvantages.
– the coated version spreads heat a little better (not much, but a little). This mitigates hotspots.
– The non-stick coated version and even the HA version is easier to clean.
Technically, alcohol performance is reduced in colder weather, and while that’s true of this unit as well, it stands up to cold much better than the Trangia alcohol stove without the windscreen set. In fact, it stands up to cold better than LPG gas can stoves. In temperatures below freezing, a little heating plate under the alcohol stove would help improve efficiency, but really, if you want to use this set in weather so far below zero that you need extra heat to keep the alcohol stove warm, you’re better off getting the Trangia X2 and using white gas with this cook set.
The 25-2 is overkill if you’re traveling alone. Even the smaller 27-2 might be a tad heavy for some ultralight backpackers. It’s certainly back-pack-able, but there are plenty of smaller, lighter sets that can use a Trangia alcohol stove.
The 27-2 is great for one person who likes to do some fancier cooking, one person who is dead set on an alcohol stove, but going to colder and windier areas, or for two people.
If you’re talking about light eaters, than either set would be doable for two people.
For three people it’s time to move to the heavier 25-2.
It isn’t an ultra-light cook set by any means, but there also aren’t many sets out there that can make a fry pan, stove, 2 sauce pans, a kettle, a stove/pot stand and wind break, all fit into a single compact set. So if you want to have that much cooking gear, or are a huge alcohol stove fan, this is a hard set to beat.
One advantage with the Trangia is that you can add other burners if needed. The Trangia gas burner uses LPG gas canisters, and the Trangia X2 gas burner uses LPG & Liquid fuel. Above is a photo of the X2. It’s been tapered back to a 6,825 BTU max output. (Note, you can run kerosene through it as well)
For more info on the X2: https://somecampingstoves.wordpress.com/2014/12/07/trangia-x2-multifuel-burner/
For me, this is ideal for two people, mostly because I’m trying to avoid using LPG gas canisters whenever possible within reason. It’s true that LPG gas canisters are the most heat efficient fuels on the market, and paired with a superb heat exchanger like an MSR Reactor, or one of the JetBoils, or a Primus ETA Spider, they can last a long time.
But if you’re like me and do a lot of weekend backpacking trips, you end up going through LPG gas cans fast, which…let’s face it, is unnecessary trash. It may not be a big deal, but alcohol stoves and liquid fuel stoves are better at mitigating trash, plus alcohol fuel is non-toxic to the environment.
Rock on Trangia, this design, among the oldest designs in the industry, is a strong competitor to modern gas canister stoves offered today, a testament to a timeless design and engineering marvel.
Other reviews from around the web.