IR -180 Tack Stove - Alex Legg
- Hi Mike,
Here is my IR for the 180 Stove. This thing looks like it's going to be fun. The HTML is at http://tinyurl.com/9m8wfp6
180 Tack Stove
Test Series by Alex Legg
Initial Report October 15th, 2012
Name: Alex Legg
Height: 6'4" (1.9 m)
Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
Email address: alexlegg2 AT yahoo DOT com
City, State, Country: Tucson, Arizona, USA
I grew up backpacking in the Rockies. I hike ranges throughout Arizona and Colorado year round. I carry a light pack, mostly water. I prefer a tarp shelter to my heavier 2-person tent. I do many day hikes and I also spend as many as 5 days out at a time. Temperatures range from below freezing to above 100 F (38 C), and elevations from 2,000 ft to 14,000 ft ( 610 m to 4, 300 m). I bag a mountain almost every weekend, and I walk my dogs 4 miles daily through deep sand and overgrown mesquite trees in our local washes.
Product Information and Specifications:
Manufacturer: 180 Tack, LLC. Made in USA
Year of Manufacture: 2012
Material: 24 ga, 304 Stainless Steel
Listed Weight: Stove: 10.4 oz (295 g)
Snow/Ash Pan: 5.8 oz (164 g)
Measured Weight: Stove: 10.4 oz (295 g)
Snow/Ash Pan: 5.7 oz (162 g)
Listed Dimensions: Assembled: 7 in x 6 in x 3.25 in (18 cm x 15 cm x 8 cm)
Folded: 7 in x 3.25 in x 0.6 in (18 cm x 8 cm x 1.5 cm )
Measured Dimensions: Same as Listed
MSRP: Stove: $46.95
Snow/Ash Pan: $7.95
Product Description and Initial Impressions:
The 180 Tack Stove is a backpacking stove that burns natural fuel such as wood and leaves. The stove is assembled by connecting the three side pieces and the three cross bar pieces. The pieces interlock using a tab and slot design. No tools are required and the unit goes together pretty easily. I didn't look at the instructions at all until after I had put the stove together and played with it. The two long side pieces have the name 180 STOVE cut into them. The smaller back piece has six holes that measure about a half an inch in diameter. The holes all look like they are to help with airflow.
I had to do a little bending of the crossbar tabs to get them to fit well, but it was not an irritating issue. The stove feels really strong once the crossbars go in. For weighing under a pound, the 180 stove feels like it can hold a lot. My curiosity got the best of me and I set a heavy 9 in cast iron skillet on top. Much to my surprise, the 180 stove held the cast iron with no trouble. Wow was all that came to my mind. I doubt that the stove will have any trouble holding my ultra lightweight backpacking pots regardless of how much food I stuff into them.
The snow/ash pan assembles by easily connecting the long tab and slot. The 180 stove fits perfectly right on top of the pan without a problem. Not that I would, but I could probably carry the stove with the burning fire all over camp while the stove sits on the pan. It's a pretty sturdy fit.
The stove comes apart just as easily as it goes together, and then it all stacks together making its own compact case. The snow/ash pan fits conveniently on the outside of the compact case without adding much to the total size or weight. Two hook-and-loop straps came attached around the case to help keep the ensemble from falling apart. I don't especially like the hook-and-loop straps so I may substitute them for two rubber bands.
Trying it out:
After I set up the stove I wanted to see just how well it worked. I found some small dry twigs and a little bit of dryer lint to get the fire started. At first I tried to build the fire inside the stove, but my hands could barely fit in to work . I removed the outer crossbar and was able to get my hands in to work on the fire. When I later read the user guide I realized how much easier it would be to simply build a small starter fire, and place the stove over the hot flames. Funny how it pays to read the user guide or stop to think a little. I can however see how if wind was present, starting the fire inside the walls of the stove may be beneficial, but do I like the easy approach. The 20 oz of water that filled my cooking pot got to a simmering boil in under ten minutes and I poured it into my french press for some coffee.
I noticed that the crossbars got covered in soot pretty quickly and so did my cooking pot. I was able to clean off most of the soot after the metal cooled off, but the odor of campfire remained. I am not bothered by this at all, and I went ahead and folded the stove up and stuffed it back into the plastic bag it was shipped in. The smell doesn't seem to come through the plastic much. I will probably use a bandana to clean the metal surfaces off when I'm on the trail.
This is a strong little stove! It holds way more weight than I expected, and it is super easy to assemble. I like that I can burn natural fuel and keep some empty fuel canisters out of the landfills. I look forward to getting this stove out in the field!
Things I like:
1. It gets dirty fast.
2. Edges could be sharp