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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Anyone ever heard of the Vargo Hexagon Wood Stove? I hadn't until Mark at ReadyPro.org contacted me and asked if I would like to do a review. Since I like to see new gear, I said "sure".

The first thing that I notices as I took the stove out of the box is how thin it is.

Here are some dimensions:

Folded - about 3/4 inch tall
Folded - the widest part across the base is about 5 5/8 inches
Un-folded - about 4 inches tall
Un-folded - top - about 3 inches across
Un-folded - base - about 4 3/4 - 4 7/8 across

The bottom of the stove has 19 hexagon holes stamped in it, which as about 3/8 across.

Next weekend I'am planning on taking my kids on a camping trip. So before we headed out to the woods, I wanted to give the stove a little test run in a controlled environment So I headed over to a local creek, and brought a pot of water to a boil.

The way your "supposed" to use this stove, is you find some small pieces of wood and build a fire inside of the stove. But while looking at the stove, and doing some thinking, I found that a sterno / methanol gel fits perfectly into the stove. I know the Vargo Hexagon Wood Stove is not designed to be used like this, but oh well, it works.

The methanol gel that I'am using came from wal-mart. It was bought for my daughters wedding, so that we could keep stuff like the beans hot.

Lets do some math. Lets say that you carry 8 ounces of denatured alcohol on your backpacking trips. 2 ounces of liquid fuel might give around 15 minutes of burn time in a liquid fuel stove. This gives you the ability to cook 4 times. 16 ounces should give you 8 cook times.

200g / 7 ounces of methanol gel will burn for about 2.5 hours.

8 ounces liquid fuel = about 4 cook times
7 ounces of methanol gel = about 10 cook times

Cook times will vary on the type of stove that you use, so these times are just rough estimates.

Or, just use wood like the stove was designed for, then you dont have to worry about carrying fuel.

After the methanol gel was lit:

5 minutes - bubbles were forming on the bottom of the pot and we were getting steam.

10 minutes - a light boil.

15 minutes - a rolling boil.

This test was done on April 25, 2010 - about 100 feet above sea level with an air temperature in the low 80s.

This little stove has changed the way I think about cooking on hiking/camping trips. In the 1990s - until recently I used a single burner stove and a 1 pound propane bottle. But this gets heavy and bulky. When the bottle is empty, then it has to be disposed of.

So why not carry a stove that you do not have to carry extra fuel for? If you dont have to carry liquid fuel, then it can not leak in your pack. So if your looking for something lightweight, compact, and easy to carry. I think that is where the Vargo Hexagon Wood Stove comes into play. Backpackers and hikers could carry a 7 ounce can of sterno, or use wood from the forest.




Disclosure: I (Kevin) received this stove from Ready Pro at no cost to myself. Even though I received the stove at no cost, this does not influence my opinion in anyway.

The Vargo 750 sierra cup is sold separate from the stove.
 

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Thanks for showing that. It looks interesting. How well does it work with wood? Does it take much to be able to get that amount of water to boil?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Vargo Wood Stove

Thanks for showing that. It looks interesting. How well does it work with wood? Does it take much to be able to get that amount of water to boil?
I'am hoping to do the second video next weekend, when my kids and I head out to the woods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Vargo Stove

Just had a crazy thought. I wonder how it would work with one or two charcoal briquettes.
That is a good question. I'am guessing that it would work great with some charcoal briquettes.



Nice stove!

What's the weight on it, or am I missing it in your description?
Description from the Ready Pro website says about 4.1 ounces. That means the total weight for the stove and methanol gel is about 11 - 12 ounces.
 

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One of the things I like about this stove, from Kevin's review, is that it is so versitile. You can use it as a wood burning stove if you want, or place another heat source inside (IE Pepsi can stove, sterno, or even another Vargo stove (titanium triad)) and use it as a heat/wind shield and a focus point for your heat on top. Also, another really good idea to try is what was already posted .... charcoal fuel! Its so small and light you'd hardly even notice it in your pack, yet can bring so many more options to your cooking needs that I think its worth the money. But, it is on the mid to high pricing end as far as backpacking stoves go, and there are people that would rather use something like a folding stove .... I've got those too.

Kev, thanks for reviewing this. I dont have mine yet and didnt have the time to do any testing so your knowlege and help was very useful. Let me know how it works when you go camping.

Mark

PS - All these manufacturers are screaming to send me scripts for you, I told them there is no way that these tests will be scripted, PERIOD! It would foul the entire concept we have going here. Just keep telling it like it is. As always, Good job!
 

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PS - All these manufacturers are screaming to send me scripts for you, I told them there is no way that these tests will be scripted, PERIOD! It would foul the entire concept we have going here. Just keep telling it like it is. As always, Good job!
if they want scripts they can pay for the review and Kevs endorsement,BTW when do we get the survivalist channel on direct tv?:D:
 

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i think the math needs refigured..
first .. how much water did you use for the test?
2oz of alch for 15min burn time? cut that in half.. all the ach ive used and tested avg about 4min max boil time .for 2 cups.that means fuel is left over to reuse.
the sterno took 15mins to boil ,thus useing more fuel .not to mention the weight difrence from alch stove to sterno..
i think this is a good stove if used the way intended. this also means that youll get alot of soot on your pot/s and stove. this could get things dirty in your pack also . cool test either way kev..
 

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if they want scripts they can pay for the review and Kevs endorsement,BTW when do we get the survivalist channel on direct tv?:D:
Maybe other guys would go for that. But, in my opinion, the only way you can convince people & customers that you have integrity with what you sell is by constantly doing your own tests over and over again, then let the years of your reputation speak for itself.

There are always those Webstores that have every new product that comes out, but have no idea how well it really works - Further, Scripted tests simply point out what the manufacturer wants you to see.

Good point though - And I'm ready to sign up for the Survivalist Channel on DirecTV.
 

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Couldn't tell from looking at it but will a GSI or a Vargo Ti-Lite cup sit on top of the stove? Also, I'd like to see a mini grill attachment that fit on top of the Hexagon stove allowing you to cook direct.
 

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I agree with you that using big bulky stoves with fuel is not a nesesaty if you have lots of woods around your wood burning stove, i love cooking with mine though i would like one thats a bit lighter and doesnt rust on me...

This Vargo stove looks really nice and maby i will try it out one day.

Thanks for great info on this one, appreciates it a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
vargo hexagon wood stove and homemade alcohol stove

i think the math needs refigured..
first .. how much water did you use for the test?
2oz of alch for 15min burn time? cut that in half..
I decided to test your comment with a homemade alcohol stove. This little stove is made out a Budweiser light can - one of the heavy cans - I think they are 16 ounce.

1 ounce of alcohol gave a 5 minute burn time.

2 ounces of alcohol gave about 8 minutes of burn time.

A rolling boil was achieved within 5 minutes

 

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ill start by saying that my first post was not meant to insult or degrade your cooking methods .that said what works for one person might not work for the next.gel fuel doesnt apeal to me .thus i dont use it.. but yes i can deff relate to complaints about the stability of alch as i have knocked many a pot over losing w/e i was tring to cook at the time.wind i havent had any issues there. i can really only coment on the stoves ive tested and made for myself .some worked really well ,but some not so .right now im useing a side burner stove like simular to the stove in the test..just a bit smaller .
the type of stove that one choses id have to day also directly relates to the type of cooking they are doing.. i mostly do rehydrated i just boil water dump it in and wait .
maybe the next guy is doing something diffrent. what works for him might not work for you.. now lets get to the alcohol stove tested . this type of stove is a side burner stove very simular to a gas stovetop..its double walled. meaning it has to bulld pressure to force the vapor through the jets..kinda the same as a penny stove .. the penny is creating the pressure.the penny syle stove need a pot stand as the bud style stove doesnt .. the stove tested works best when used also as a pot stand ,with the pot directly sitting on the stove .this will alow the pressure to build and the stove to bloom and burn more effecintly..i think the vargo will be really nice and cant wait to see how she works with wood ..
but i also ask to for you to give the ach stove another shot .even just for fun .let it bloom and put the pot directly on top ,time it. and if you still dont like it id be happy to take it off your hands..
sorry such a long post . the point i guess is everyone is diffrent that have diffrent likes and dislikes.. i ment no disrespect to you kev or anyone else .just stating my likes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
ill start by saying that my first post was not meant to insult or degrade your cooking methods .that said what works for one person might not work for the next.
After I made the video with the alcohol stove, I took a look at my Vargo Triad stove. The holes in my homemade stove are larger then the ones in the Triad stove - so the fuel will last longer in the factory made stove.

The larger holes will allow for the fuel to be burned faster. The Vargo Triad Stove, 2.5 ounces of fuel gave about 10 - 15 minutes of burn time - as best I can remember that is.

With my homemade stove, 2 ounces of fuel only gave about 8 minutes of flame.

I think the difference is directly related to the size of the holes in the stove.

But either way, the Vargo Hexagon Wood Stove provided a stable platform to cook on, and provided a nice wind shield.

I think I'am going to give this stove another couple of test - one with wood for sure. Because wood is what your "supposed" to use in this stove.

And I'am probably going to do another test with my Vargo Triad alcohol stove as the source of heat.
 
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