Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Ridiculous Design - Red Camp Mini Alcohol Stove and Stand - Real Review

This stove has to be seen to be believed!
One of the worst Alcohol Stoves I have ever used....

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Denatured Alcohol Fuel :
Trangia Fuel Bottle :
Vargo Alcohol Fuel Bottle :
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What it is : This is small-ish alcohol stove system from the Chinese company known as Red Camp. 

As you are about to see, this is an interesting system….Interesting is the keyword. 

Materials : Aluminum and Brass

Dimensions :  3.7” wide x 2.6” tall 

Weight : 5oz for the entire kit - 3.8 for the stove, 1.2 for the stand

Colors : Green, Silver, Black

Price : $18 at the time of filming

Review Pros :
  • The Alcohol stove works well and it should as it is a copy of the Trangia alcohol stove with virtually no difference between them.
  • Stove is as efficient as an alcohol stove can be.  Alcohol is not a very efficient fuel and requires a good amount of consideration before use.  I have a very popular video concerning alcohol stoves that you should watch before purchasing one. 
  • Boil Times : In the best of conditions, 2 cups of water will boil in about 10 minutes. Outdoors with a breeze, it can take even longer. 12 minutes is common for 2 cups of water. There are many factors that will impact boil performance so take that number with a grain of salt. 
  • Stove has a capacity of about 4oz of fuel.
  • Stove includes a simmer plate so you can control the output from the stove.  You can go all out or tone it down depending on the cooking that you are doing.
  • Cap can be used to snuff out the flames
  • Excess fuel can be kept inside of the stove with the use of the lid.  It has an o-ring that prevents leakage. 
  • Stand can support a wide range of pots, cups and pans - depending on what what you are using on this stove, that will dictate which setup that you will need to use.  For an example, if you are going to use a small cup with this stove, you will have to turn the stove upside down to make it work with the smaller cup. 
  • Overall setup is light weight 
  • Overall quality is good - there’s nothing to complain about here for an inexpensive stove.  With that being said, this isn’t a Trangia Stove, and it performs slightly worse.  Takes more time to prime and isn’t as fast to boil as a Trangia. 
  • The storage bag isn’t bad at all.
  • The stand is durable and is larger and thicker than i thought it would be.
  • Price is low. 

Review Cons :

  • The stand that goes with the alcohol stove is an oddity. The company claims 4 methods of setup and use.  I would say that only 3 of them actually work, one is completely unusable and is dangerous. 
  • Supported by the 3 arms - doesn’t work and barely supports the stove.  If you aren’t the most careful person in the world, you will knock the stove off of the arms which is a safety issue.
  • Under the three arms works
  • With the base upside down, it works
  • With the base on top of the stove works
  • The base with the pot supports is slick and isn’t very stable
  • The kit doesn’t work well on uneven ground
  • The pot arms would be more useful and stable if they have small extensions going inwards. That way you could set this up one way and it would work with all pots and cups.  As is, you have to flip it this or set it up that way to get it to work with your pot or cup
  • The company claims that the base acts as a windscreen - this isn’t true at all.  In the wind, even a moderate breeze, the performance of this stove is horrible.  You will have to have a real windscreen with this stove for optimal performance. Without one, in some cases you will not be able to get water to boil.
  • I’ve already spoken about this but the overall performance of this stove isn’t quite as good as a Trangia stove and in fact, comparing this to many alcohol stoves, the performance is rather bad.  I recently reviewed the Evernew Titanium DX Alcohol stove and it’s a rocket compared to this.
  • This is a re-label product; meaning there is one manufacturer who is making this and a bunch of companies are offering the exact same thing.  I’ve seen other brands selling their version for less and they include the exact same as the Red Camp.

After testing this out for some time, I can say that this is without a doubt a very interesting stove set.  It’s completely usable but that doesn’t mean that I like it.  In fact, the poor performance of this stove is a major negative….it takes so much time to get even 2 cups of water to boil and the base with the pot supports is weird.  If it was made differently it would work so much better but as is, it’s merely ok at best. 
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