This morning I was asked to make a comparison video between the Starlyte stove & the 12-10 stove when used with the 1.3L Trail Designs Sidewinder Caldera Cone. I had been talking with Rocco about these stoves on one of his recent YouTube videos (seen HERE) and he was interested in seeing how the Starlyte stove compared to the 12-10 stove. So, I figured it was an easy enough video to make, and got to it!
To begin with, I would like to say that I am not discrediting either stove. In my honest opinion, both stoves are excellent stoves and worth owning. However, there are a few small differences that set them apart, so like any other piece of backpacking gear, what may work for one of us may not work for the next. Considering this, I thought that Rocco had a good idea when asking for a comparison since (as I said) these are both awesome stoves.
So, how about a little general side-by-side comparison of the stoves:
- Cost: The 12-10 stove comes bundled with the Caldera Cone Kits, but it can also be purchased separately for $14.95 (+ s&h). The Starlyte stove comes with a lid, and cost $13.00 for the regular version, or $14.00 for the modified version (again, + s&h). As well, when ordering a Caldera Cone from Trail Designs, one has the option to order the modified Starlyte stove rather than the 12-10 stove for an additional price ($12.00).
- Weight: My 12-10 stove weighs 0.5 oz. My mod’ed Starlyte stove with the lid weighs 0.6 oz.
- Size: The 12-10 is larger than the Starlyte stove, both in height and width. Usually, more width would equal a more stable stove, however, I find both of these stoves to be equally stable. However, due to its smaller size, the Starlyte stove will obviously fit inside considerably smaller cook pots, or in cook pots with more items stored inside.
As far as features, the 12-10 stove comes with a built-in priming pan, which should help in lighting the stove when the temperatures are colder. Other than this, there really are no other features” to the 12-10 stove. It is simply a well-built, easy-to-use, highly functional stove that comes in at a very low weight.
When it comes to the Starlyte stove and features, there are a couple included, however, Zelph has done an excellent job at adding a few worthwhile features that improve the stoves safety and efficiency, while keeping the stove light and simple to use. In order to make the Starlyte stove a bit safer, he has stuffed the inside of the stove with a lightweight material that actually soaks up the fuel. This means that if the stove is knocked over when lit, the fuel will not spill out (although, one should still be very careful and pay close attention when using the Starlyte stove, despite this feature).
Another useful feature is that he has included a lid on the Starlyte stove. This makes it very convenient to simply blow out the stove once the preferred water temperature is reached, let the stove cool down, and then cap it with the lid. Between the lid and the material inside the stove. The remaining bit of fuel can easily and safely be transported right inside the stove and is ready for use the next time the stove is needed. This really helps eliminate the possibility of wasting fuel by only using as much as is needed, when it is needed, and no more.
So, as I said, Rocco asked me to do a little video comparing the two, and here is that video:
As seen in the video, both stoves really do a great job at simply boiling water. As noted, I used 1 oz of Denatured alcohol in each stove. The water was 2 cups of “cold” water from my tap (outside temperatures between 66 F & 78 F). During the burns, there were only slight, occasional breezes blowing. Nothing the cone couldn’t handle for sure!
The 12-10 stove achieved a hard rolling boil around 6 minutes & 50 seconds, then boiled for another 5 minutes and 30 seconds, finally dying out at 11 minutes & 20 seconds from the time I placed the cook pot over the stove. The highlight of this stove over the Starlyte is definitely a faster boil time.
The Starlyte stove achieved a hard rolling boil around 10 minutes, then boiled for another 7+ minutes, finally dying completely out around 17 minutes & 50 seconds from the time I placed the cook pot over the stove. (However, the last minute of burn time was not really enough to call a real boil.) The highlight of this stove over the 12-10 stove is a slightly longer boil time.
In the end though, both stoves are great stoves in my opinion, and they are both definitely worthy enough to have on the trail. Which one you carry is your own decision. As for me, I am glad that I have both and can carry which ever one I choose! 🙂
As seen in the comments below, a few long time Starlyte owners have shared their experiences with the Starlyte stoves when used with their Caldera Cones. As well, Garth had even spoke with Zelph and Dan Dunstan (a very involved Starlyte & Cone user) and said this:
I had some correspondence with Zelph and Dan Dunstan on the BPL forum about the starlyte with the Ti Tri. … Zelph recommended the standard Starlyte for a ECA 252.
As well, J Mole has been a long time user of the original Starlyte stove with his DIY cone for a MSR Kettle, and had this to say about the modified Starlyte stove:
…The modified Starlyte ( which zelph brought out this year?) is a slower beast ( due to the choking effect of the foil disc). I’ve tried it, but with the pots I use, could see little fuel efficiency over the original -just a longer boil time…
So, this was enough proof for me to decide to remove the ring and give it a try this morning since I needed some hot water for coffee anyway.
The lip/ring around the top of the stove was a bit loose on one side of my Starlyte stove already, so I simply pulled the top ring off. This completely exposed the inside of the Starlyte stove (as seen in the photo above) and allowed me to remove the choke ring without damaging anything. Then I simply spread a thin layer of JB Kwik Weld on the inside lip of the ring and pressed it back onto the stove, of course leaving the choke ring out. Now, I have an original Starlyte stove! As well, since the ring is still perfectly in tact, I can still carry it under the lid, and use it as a bit of a simmer ring if I choose to.
Also worth noting, even by adding a small amount of JB Weld to bond the top and bottom back together, the weight has not changed, even in terms of grams. Before hand, on my scales the weight would rock back and forth between 15 & 16 grams (including choke ring & lid). After removing the choke ring and applying the JB Weld, the weight still rocks back and forth between 15 & 16 grams, even when including the lid & choke ring back in.
So, I took the same cone & 1.3L Evernew cook pot that I used yesterday, back outside this morning. Again, I used 2 cups of “cold” tap water, and 1 oz of Denatured Alcohol in the stove. And as expected, the stove reacted quite different. The boil time dropped from 10 minutes, to about 6 minutes & 50 seconds! Strangely enough, this is the same boil time as the 12-10. As for burn out time, it burnt completely out around 11 minutes and 10 seconds, again, almost exactly like the 12-10 stove at 11 minutes & 20 seconds…
So, by removing the choke ring, I now get the same results as I would with the 12-10 stove, at least with the 1.3L cook pot & Sidewinder cone. This really narrows the comparisons between the 12-10 stove and the Starlyte stove down, for me at least. Considering they get the same results now, I will likely go with the Starlyte over the 12-10 simply because I like its ability to transport left over fuel in the stove, and that it can’t spill out if accidentally knocked over. As well, in smaller cook pots, the Starlyte stove will fit easier. The benefits that I can see with the 12-10 over the Starlyte is that it has a larger fuel capacity, and may be easier to light in colder, or windy situations. (However, I have not personally experienced any issues when lighting the Starlyte stove. It has always lit very easy for me.)
Anyway, thanks again to my readers. I appreciate the feedback such as this. Keep it up! 🙂
Thanks for stopping by.
Disclaimer: I won the Caldera Cone Sidewinder kit in a contest a while back on Trail Groove. The kit of course included the 12-10 stove. I paid for the Starlyte stove with my own monies. Despite how I came by either stove, the comments in this post are of my own opinion. I am not required to write about either stove.